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Photo of a kayaker kayaking through rapids on a rocky river

Expeditionary Studies (EXP) at SUNY Plattsburgh

Adventure Education and More

Only a handful of programs anywhere in the U.S. take adventure sports’ curricula to advanced levels. We’re one of them.

In fact, the intellectual and physical adventure we call expeditionary studies is distinct for that very reason. Whether you focus on climbing, paddling, skiing, or pursue advanced-level classes in all three, the expeditionary studies curriculum develops your skills and thinking. This occurs from your first introductory classes — Outdoor Living Skills among them — to your upper-level classes, where you might find yourself paddling in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, rock climbing in Joshua Tree, or skiing on Mt. Hood. When you’ve completed the requirements for the B.S. in Expeditionary Studies, you’ll be skilled enough to work in the wide world of outdoor activities.

Follow EXP Students on:

Photo of a crosscountry skier in a snowy forest

An Adventure Curriculum for Everyone

If you dream of adventure and have the desire to learn what it takes, if you want to know how to lead others in their adventures, discover things about yourself as you push your body and mind to ever-increasing limits, and if you accept the challenge of pursuing these goals in majestic settings, then expeditionary studies is an academic program that can take you on your desired path.

The degree integrates study of such topics as the history of exploration, environmental ethics, and environmental justice, with experiences in leadership, planning, and risk management, to name a few. And always, you’ll be spending huge amounts of time advancing your skills in paddling, climbing, or skiing. In fact, the classes in those areas have more time in the field classroom than in the traditional classroom.

Not Your Average Desk Job: An Experiential Academic Program Preparing Students for ‘The Outdoor Industry’ or Expeditionary Studies Careers

Expeditionary studies is sending its graduates into a variety of professional positions. They enjoy fulfilling careers as sea kayak and mountain guides, professional ski patrollers, park rangers, and leaders in eco-tourism and adventure-based counseling. In classes that are often as small as five or six students, you’ll be studying with world class faculty who have traveled and guided around the world. Our innovative curriculum guarantees you will have constant and close contact with them in the field throughout your studies. The faculty can’t do it alone, though, and EXP students must take seriously the intellectual, physical and experiential commitments required of aspiring outdoor professionals.


Important Note about Admission to the EXP Program

Admission to expeditionary studies is competitive and limited. We advise that you contact the EXP department chair AND apply early!

“Expeditionary skills are an emerging new core competency.” — The Center for Association Leadership

Watch to Learn More About the Expeditionary Studies Program

Expeditionary Studies: Thinking Adventures from Aaron Stone on Vimeo.


Photo of Cerise Oberman and Larry SorokaExpeditionary Studies Endowment Award Established

A key tenet of Plattsburgh’s expeditionary studies curriculum is the need to plan: plan for the short and long term, plan for oneself and others and plan for realities and possibilities.

The program’s founder, Laurence Soroka, and his wife, Cerise Oberman, recently made their own plan: to provide deserving EXP students financial support by establishing the Expeditionary Studies Endowment Award. Read more.

How to Apply

Download and email your completed application to the EXP Office.


Contact Information

We invite you to learn more about expeditionary studies at SUNY Plattsburgh. Please feel free to contact the chair.

Jerry Isaak, Chair
Office: 102 Broad Street
Phone: (518) 564-5292
Email: [email protected]