Dec 02, 2023  
2019-2020 APU Catalog 
2019-2020 APU Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Outdoor & Environmental Education, M.S.

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The Master of Science in Outdoor & Environmental Education (MSOEE) provides graduate students training in outdoor and environmental education literacy, pedagogy, and programming using APU’s active learning model. The degree program aims to develop graduate level competencies by offering intense, hands-on education utilizing APU’s Kellogg and main campuses. Students finish their degree by completing either a research or project-based thesis.

Student areas of focus have included Environmentally Responsible Behavior, School & Community Gardens, Place Attachment, Place-Based Learning & Curriculum Development.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the degree, students will have:

  • Developed and demonstrated comprehensive knowledge of the fields of outdoor and environmental education by articulating these concepts and understandings in research papers, articles submitted for publication and professional presentations
  • Developed and articulated a personal philosophy of outdoor/environmental education that grows from integrating knowledge of theory, reflection as a practitioner and an understanding of the role of nature in informing culture
  • Worked directly with teachers or at Lab School (grades K-8) to develop curriculum materials and/or students (grades K-8) to conduct programming in outdoor and environmental education
  • Developed and strengthened skills in written and oral communication in order to deliver professional presentations and craft publishable papers in journals of outdoor and environmental education
  • Completed thesis research or a professional project


The MSOEE program admits students for the Fall semester only. Applicants seeking to begin studies at any other time must submit a written request for exception, stating reasons for an alternative start date. This request must accompany other application materials.

The general requirements for admission to graduate studies at APU are found in the Admissions section of the catalog.  In addition, there are supplemental requirements for the MSOEE program as follows:

  1. Three letters of recommendation dated within the past twelve months
  2. Current resume or CV
  3. Standardized Test Scores, from one of the following:
    • Millers Analogies Test (MAT) – APU Reporting Code: 1841
    • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) – APU Reporting Code: 4201
    • Praxis CASE
  4. Submit an essay (750-1000 words) outlining your interest in the program and professional goals.
  5. Those candidates who satisfy the admissions requirements noted above, and who ultimately receive an offer for admission, will be required to provide authorization for a background check so as to allow participation in required coursework that involves close interaction with a vulnerable population (minors).


Applicants should have successfully completed twelve (12) semester credit hours of science or natural history courses at the undergraduate level.  It is recommended that students complete a college level statistics course prior to enrollment.

MSOEE Format and Program Delivery

The MSOEE program is designed to be completed across 2 years of enrollment, for students maintaining full-time status.

MSOEE courses are offered in APU’s block and session format, with a majority of core courses offering in the Session.  Each Master of Science in Outdoor & Environmental Education graduate is required to complete required courses, electives, and a thesis or professional project.  First year courses are held onsite at APU’s Kellogg Campus;  in the second year, MSOEE students take electives from across fields (and campuses) to develop thesis/professional projects.

Students who opt for the MSOEE plus CO-OP (teacher preparation program), substitute CO-OP requirements for MSOEE electives; and the CO-OP internship/capstone serves as professional project.

Minimum Graduation Credit Hour Requirement: 36

MSOEE plus Certification-Only Option Program (CO-OP)

MSOEE students may choose to pursue teacher certification at APU. Students can dual enroll in the MSOEE and the Certificate-Only Option Program (CO-OP), enabling them to obtain both the MSOEE and teacher certification in an efficient and effective manner. CO-OP is APU’s K-8 teacher preparation program that certifies in the State of Alaska. Complete CO-OP program information is found in the CO-OP section of the catalog.

Program Outcomes

See the CO-OP section for professional competencies additional to MSOEE, developed through CO-OP.


Students must apply and be accepted for the dual program MSOEE plus CO-OP upon initial application to APU or prior to beginning the second year of the MSOEE program.  The general requirements for admission to graduate studies at APU are found in the Admissions section of the catalog.  In addition to supplementary admissions requirements for MSOEE, MSOEE plus CO-OP applicants are required to have the following:

  1. Basic Competency Exam:  applicants must take Praxis CASE or another state approved qualifying exam with scores at or above Alaska requirements
  2. Content Preparation Audit of Undergraduate Coursework:  applicants’ undergraduate transcripts will be evaluated to ensure ‘content preparation’ across fields of study in preparation for K-8 teaching

Students are adequately prepared for MSOEE plus CO-OP if they have met the admissions criteria for MSOEE.  If, however, a student’s undergraduate transcript does not demonstrate coverage of the the ‘content preparation’ requirements for K-8 teaching, the student may be admitted and required to take prerequisite courses or studies. 

MSOEE plus CO-OP Format and Program Delivery

MSOEE plus CO-OP is designed to be completed in 5 semesters, across 2.5 years of enrollment, with students at full-time status.

MSOEE students complete the first year of study in the MSOEE program.  In the second year, MSOEE students shift into CO-OP courses for the teacher preparation program.  CO-OP courses run in the Full Semester term, with three 3-day on-campus intensives, and weekly elearning sessions between intensives.  In the final semester of CO-OP, students are in a 9-credit Internship (student teaching), during which they cannot be employed elsewhere or taking other courses.

Minimum Graduation Credit Hour Requirement: 45

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