How Is WRFI Different?

Prospective Students A Day in the Life of a WRFI Student Plans and Preparations Ask an Alum

Today, more than ever, college students have incredible options for field-based education. The benefits of experiential learning are becoming more widely recognized and sought after as a critical component of a liberal arts education. The programs available to college students these days offer a wide variety of experiences, emphases, and opportunities. WRFI is a unique program with the potential to provide a life changing experience. Please take a moment to review the following ways in which WRFI is different from other programs to get a better sense of whether WRFI is the right program for you!

Additional Benefits of WRFI:


Credits Available in a Variety of Majors

Students come to WRFI from majors across campus and need a variety of credits! Students can earn anywhere from 3 to 15 semester credits, or- if you’re at a quarter system school- 4.5 to 22.5 quarter system credits. Currently, WRFI offers courses in Environmental Studies, Natural Resource and Science Management, Geography, and Philosophy. Our courses attract students studying Anthropology, Geosciences, Conservation Biology, Restoration Ecology, Native American Studies, Engineering, English, Education, and Political Science, just to name a few. We are happy to help you work with your advisors and faculty to figure out how to transfer credits from a WRFI course back to your school and which of our courses is the best fit for you!

Extended Backcountry Travel, Taught 100% in the Field

WRFI does not operate out of a field station or base camp! On a WRFI course, you will sleep under the stars every night and depending on which course you choose, you will spend anywhere from 50-75% of your time in a backcountry setting; our shortest stints in the backcountry are five days and our longest are twelve. When you’re not in the backcountry, you’ll still be camping in a “front-country” setting at an established campground, a State or National Park, or maybe in the backyard of one of our guest speakers.

The Benefits of Learning About your Backyard

With the exception of a few weeks spent in the Canadian Rockies, all WRFI courses are taught in the United States. We feel strongly that there is a lot to learn about our backyards! The United States is comprised of vastly diverse landscapes and cultures. WRFI courses take place in the American West; a region as unique and interesting as any place in the world. Our students express a keen interest in developing a sense of place and understanding the communities and societies they inhabit. In addition, as American citizens, the logistics and expense associated with domestic travel is typically much less arduous than traveling abroad.



WRFI's turning 30 years old in 2024! Click Here to learn more!
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