Tourism, Recreation and Adventure Leadership

Tourism, Recreation and Adventure Leadership

Degree Type
Bachelor of Science
Honors Bachelor of Science
College of Forestry


In the tourism, recreation and adventure leadership program, we develop leaders, facilitators, and managers of outdoor adventure, recreation and tourism experiences who have internationally-recognized knowledge and skills. We'll teach you to be an effective decision-maker and to provide safe experiences in complex and dynamic environments.

The TRAL program at OSU-Cascades is a leader in outdoor adventure and tourism education. We are known for a quality, challenging, academically rigorous, and applicable four-year degree program that helps students gain competency in the outdoor adventure, recreation and tourism sectors. We attract high-quality students from local, regional, national, and international locations, based on our reputation as a leading program in the West. Our students embrace the challenge of sustainability in all that they do.


Program Information

Adventure Leadership Education (ALE) Option

Choose this option if you love to learn, study and work outside. Rivers, mountains and trails will be your classroom as you learn how to educate others about the outdoors and guide them through life-changing outdoor experiences. After graduating, you'll be prepared to work as a guide, interpreter or start your own outdoor-focused business.

Nature, Eco and Adventure Tourism (NEAT) Option

Learn how to use business and natural resources skills to operate tourism companies specializing in creating outdoor experiences for members of the public.

A total of 180 quarter credits are required to graduate, including 60 upper-division credits. Requirements include:

Baccalaureate core: 34-37 credits
TRAL core requirements: 40 credits
TRAL specialty option requirements: 65 credits
Electives if needed to complete 180 total credits, including 60 upper-division credits

Degree Checklist and Guides

Tourism, recreation, & adventure leadership students at OSU-Cascades choose one of the following options. Completion of an approved TRAL option is required. Declaration of the option must be done in the first term of enrollment at OSU.

Adventure Leadership and Education (ALE)
Nature, Eco and Adventure Tourism (NEAT)
TRAL - ALE/NEAT Advising Guide (PDF)

Transfer Guides

OSU-Cascades COCC Transfer Guides

College of Forestry - Transfer Course Guides

TRAL Cascades Transfer Guide - Mt.Hood Community College

TRAL Cascades Transfer Guide - Linn-Benton Community College

Four-Year Sample Plan and Curriculum

A degree pathway is important to student success. To help you explore your major coursework and for you to begin the process of creating an individualized academic plan, we have created a sample four-year plan for the Tourism, Recreation, and Adventure Leadership major. These plans also include academic and co-curricular opportunities ideas for each academic year.

This is a sample plan intended for informational purposes only. Students will work with their OSU academic advisor to create degree plan that works best for each student based around unique interests, goals and transfer work.

TRAL- Adventure Leadership Education Option Sample Curriculum
TRAL- Nature, Eco and Adventure Tourism Option Sample Curriculum

Using the following course forecast information students will plan ahead and work with their advisor to create and update academic plans.

OSU Course Catalog

OSU Class Search

TRAL Courses by Term

Upon successful completion of the program, students will meet the following learning outcomes:

  • Explain the importance of tourism and recreation in natural settings for achieving societal goals, such as community development, human health and quality of life, and sustainable use of natural resources.
  • Identify, analyze, and apply the best available information on science, management practices, and public preferences to address contemporary tourism, recreation, and outdoor leadership opportunities and issues.
  • Make tourism, recreation, and outdoor leadership decisions within applicable laws, policies, and regulations and across cultural and national contexts.
  • Communicate effectively with a variety of audiences in appropriate formats.
  • Work effectively and professionally in groups, both as leaders and followers.
  • Understand principles and methods for successful supervision of employees and/or volunteers.

Tourism, Recreation and Adventure Leadership Minor (30 credits)

Students may elect to earn the Tourism, Recreation, and Adventure Leadership minor. This minor provides basic knowledge about recreation adventure tourism planning and adventure leadership.

Tourism, Recreation and Adventure Leadership Minor Checklist (PDF)

Our extended classroom is Bend, Oregon

Bend is the perfect place to study tourism, recreation and adventure leadership. Many TRAL courses include field components, from half-day field trips to multi-week outings. Complement your program with participation in Cascades Adventures, our student-led outdoor trips program. You are minutes from:

  • Downhill skiing and snowboarding at Mt. Bachelor
  • Backcountry and cross-country skiing at an extensive sno-park system
  • Rock climbing at world famous Smith Rock State Park
  • Mountain biking and road biking that is rated as some of the best in the nation
  • Fly-fishing on some of the most pristine rivers in the lower 48
  • Kayaking and white-water rafting on world class rivers

Student Spotlight

Zipline intern at Mt. Bachelor

TRAL student Dominic Vezzani has worked as a terrain park supervisor at Mt. Bachelor for the past six years. For his internship, he wanted to gain experience as a tour guide – and only had to look across the mountain to the zipline to find it. Launching from an elevation of 7,800 feet and dropping nearly 1,400 vertical feet — Mt. Bachelor's zipline is the Northwest's steepest and fastest. Groups of 12 are guided down three platforms in this multi-step thrill ride. Dom scheduled the other tour guides, communicated with ticket sales, and did a lot of problem-solving. "My self-confidence grew as a manager this summer," he said. "It's easier to have the hard conversations now."

Go International

Costa Rica: An immersion in culture and nature

In this hybrid course, you'll learn about tropical ecology and conservation, develop backcountry adventure skills and experience the culture of Costa Rica while backpacking between working family farms, traveling by raft down the Rio Savegre, and exploring the national parks of the southern coast. The online course in fall term will introduce you to the history of Costa Rica, tropical ecology, natural resources, and adventure tourism. Then it's off to Costa Rica for ten days in December. Learn more.

Sample Courses

  • Sustainable Communities
  • Nature, Eco, and Adventure Tourism
  • Endangered Species
  • Design Management of Outdoor Experience
  • History of Outdoor Adventure
  • Risk Management
  • Outdoor Living Skills and Lab
  • Expedition I & II
  • Intermediate Rock Climbing
  • Intro to Whitewater Kayaking
  • Manage Individual & Team Performance

Course Listing

Where do our grads work?

  • Bend Rock Gym
  • Brasada Ranch Resort
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Cascades Camp & Conference Center
  • NOLS
  • Outward Bound
  • Seventh Mountain Resort
  • Student Conservation Association
  • Tetherow Resort
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto
  • Think Wild
  • Travel Oregon
  • Tumalo Creek and Kayak
  • US Forest Service
  • Ventana Research
  • Wanderlust Tours


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Contact Us

We're here to help! Future students can connect with an OSU-Cascades admissions advisor for admission and program questions.