Find Yourself Out There

OSU-Cascades is a leader in outdoor adventure and tourism education.


About the Degree

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.

Undergraduate Degree Offered

Bachelor of Science in Tourism, Recreation, and Adventure Leadership

  • Degree Requirements
  • Students earn a bachelor of science degree from OSU in tourism recreation, adventure leadership with one of the following options:


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.

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


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.

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

United World College of Southeast Asia

The TRAL program partners with the United World College of Southeast Asia (UWCSEA) in Singapore to provide research and internship opportunities for TRAL students. UWCSEA is participating in a seven-year study to evaluate the outdoor education program's impact on overall student learning and development. The study is being conducted by OSU-Cascades faculty researchers Dr. Michael Gassner and Dr. Christopher Wolsko. Read Dr. Michael Gassner’s initial reflections on the study, and what Gassner and Wolsko wrote about the impact of outdoor experiences on overall human health and well-being.

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

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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.