Wilderness Therapy Certificate

Wilderness Therapy – also known as behavioral healthcare – is an adventure-based therapy treatment modality for behavior change and interpersonal self-improvement, combining experiential education and individual and group therapy in a wilderness setting.

The Wilderness Therapy Certificate is for students who are seeking a career that uses wilderness as a therapeutic process to help those in need. This certificate focuses on theory within psychology and sociology, as well as experiential learning in the outdoors through the Outdoor Recreation and Leadership coursework.

Students who complete the Wilderness Therapy certificate program will have a well-rounded outdoor education experience and a high degree of training specific to employment within the outdoor industry, as well as basic counseling psychology theory and methods. 

Organizations that may employ graduates include wilderness therapy program, recreation facilities, outfitters and guide services, ski areas, summer adventure camps, community nature centers and outdoor programs, whitewater river outfitters, outdoor equipment purveyors and other outdoor education and/or recreation companies and organizations. 

In addition to field-based experiential learning of basic technical skills, students will also be prepared as outdoor trip leaders by examining and developing the interpersonal skills needed in positions in outdoor leadership. 

At a Glance

  • Earn the wilderness therapy certificate in 27–30 credits. Military veterans may be able to obtain credits for prior learning experiences.
  • A unique opportunity to explore courses in two four-year degree programs ⁠— Outdoor Recreation and Leadership and Psychology and Community Studies ⁠— on a pathway to certification in a fast-growing field.
  • Students will have the opportunity to become certified as Wilderness First Responders.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor projects that the adventure therapy industry will grow 7% in the next decade.