University Catalog 2023-2024

Outdoor Leadership (Minor)

To see more about what you will learn in this program, visit the Learning Outcomes website!

The Department of Health and Exercise Studies offers a minor in Outdoor Leadership. It is designed for undergraduate students wishing to enhance their personal development and enjoyment of adventure based programs and those desiring the pursue careers as outdoor leaders. Students will develop a foundation of essential leadership skills and experience through course work focusing on outdoor skills and leadership training. Students will gain an appreciation for both the natural environment in which the outdoor activities take place and the diverse backgrounds and inclusivity of participants associated with the activities. Students will also have an opportunity to apply theory to practice through the practicum experience taken at North Carolina State University.

Recent practicum experiences include:

  • Assisting Health and Exercise Studies Outdoor activity classes
  • Scout camp leaders
  • Rock climbing gym instruction
  • Co-leading the Diversity and Inclusion Adventure Experience

To be admitted to the program, a student must have a GPA of at least 2.0. Application for admission to any University minor program is now available via MyPack Portal. Admission will be based upon the student’s academic record, and in most cases no longer requires departmental review. Go to the Add a Minor page to apply.

For more information about this program, visit our ​website​.


Department of Health and Exercise Studies
North Carolina State University
Campus Box 8111
Raleigh, NC 27695-8111

Dr. Tommy Holden
Teaching Professor and Outdoor Leadership Minor Coordinator
North Carolina State University, Box 8111
1172D Wellness and Recreation Center
Raleigh, NC 27695-8111

Plan Requirements

Complete a minimum of 15 hours of coursework in the following areas.
A grade of “C-” or better in each course.

A minimum overall GPA of 2.0 in the minor.

There are four (4) required courses, totaling ten (10) credit hours.
The remaining credit hours consist of five (5) elective courses selected from a list of outdoor specific offerings.

A student enrolled in the Outdoor Leadership minor can expect to incur program costs from $350 up to $900.00 or more. Costs will vary and are dependent on the courses(s) in which students are enrolled. Program costs help defray program expenses including guides, transportation, food, campground fees, and specialized equipment rental when required.

A minimum of 10 credit hours must be completed at NC State including the practicum.

A maximum of TWO (2) courses may be used (double-counted) towards both departmental major requirements and minor requirements.

Required Courses (10 credit hours)
HESM/PRT 214Foundations in Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Education3
HESM 315Challenge Course and Team Building Facilitation3
HESM 316Outdoor Education Pedagogy3
HESM 402Practicum Experience in Outdoor Programs (Prerequisites: HESM 214, HESM 315, HESM 316 and First Aid/CPR certification or equivalent. Must have permission from the instructor to register.)1
Elective Courses (at least 5 credit hours)5-6
Select five of the following:
Rock Climbing 1
Rock Climbing 2
Whitewater Canoeing
Whitewater Kayaking
Whitewater Rafting
Mountain Biking
Sea Kayaking
Total Hours15-16