Adventure Guide Diploma

The Adventure Guide Diploma is a fast-paced, two-year course of study comprised of field trips, outdoor skills instruction, and self-directed expeditions. Courses cover a wide range of adventure activities and theoretical topics. Field trips make up 60 percent of the course load.

This 60-credit diploma is made up of 36 required credits and 24 elective credits. The diploma transfers into Adventure Studies concentrations in the Bachelor of Tourism Management degree (BTM) or the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree for students who wish to complete a degree.

The Adventure Guide Diploma is a well recognized credential for those who wish to go directly into employment in the adventure tourism industry. The private sector is a major supporter of this program through training, certifying, and helping students build a network for future employment. Graduates work as outdoor skills instructors, mountain or river guides, and in other wilderness-related leadership occupations.

Areas of study

The Adventure Guide Diploma builds upon the technical skills and leadership within each of the activities achieved in the first year of study. Students will develop focus and refinement within their areas of interest, while having the option to add new technical skill areas as well. Areas study by activity type include:

  • Hiking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Ice Climbing
  • Mountaineering
  • Ski Touring and Avalanche Education
  • Rope Rescue
  • Expedition Skill Development
  • Canoeing
  • Sea Kayaking
  • White Water Rafting
  • White Water Kayaking
  • Swift Water Rescue
  • Surfing

Program structure

Students apply to complete the Adventure Guide Diploma after they complete the Adventure Guide Certificate. Completing a second year at the Adventure Studies Department the Adventure Guide Diploma provides students with a solid foundation in adventure activities and adventure industry experience. Compressed, modularized classroom course instruction complements the seasonal field activities. Theory courses include the following:

Year 1 (Adventure Guide Certificate)
Theory Courses — required (18 credits)
ADVG 1010-3   The Adventure Tourism Industry
ADVG 1020-3 Wilderness Travel
ADVG 1050-3 Guiding Leadership I
ADVG 2010-3 The Wilderness Environment
ADVG 2030-3 Advanced Wilderness First Aid
ADVG 2830-3 Expedition Planning and Leadership
Field Courses — required (4 credits)
ADVG 1530-2 Kayak 1
ADVG 1570-2 Rock Climbing 1 (or 2)
Field Courses — required minimum of one of the following four courses
ADVG 1510-2 Flatwater Canoe Instructor 
ADVG 2070-2 Ocean Surfing 1
ADVG 2640-2 Sea Kayaking 1
ADVG 2660-2 River Rafting 1
Field courses — required minimum of one of the following two courses
ADVG 1560-2 Ski Touring 1
ADVG 1580-2 Mountaineering 1
Electives (two or more electives activity courses — may include above courses) (4 credits) 
ADVG 1550-1 Ski Skills
ADVG 1590-2 Avalanche 1
ADVG 1600-2 Swiftwater Rescue Technician III
ADVG 2260-2  Ocean Surfing 2
ADVG 2490-2 Kayak 2
ADVG 2500-2 Rock Climbing 2
ADVG 2650-2 Sea Kayak 2
ADVG 2750-2 Rafting 2

Year 2 (Adventure Guide Diploma)
Theory Courses — required (18 credits)
ACCT 1000-3 Financial Accounting
ADVG 1110-3 Search and Rescue Management
ADVG 1276-3 Business and Marketing of Adventure Operations
ADVG 2040-3 The Business of Adventure
ADVG 2060-3 Legal Liability and Risk Management
ADVG 2850-3 Instructional Skills Workshop
Field Courses — required (2 credits)
ADVG 1900-2 Expedition 1
Students specialize in activity areas, refining proficiency and developing a deeper understanding of that industry sector.
Field Courses (minimum of 10 credits)
ADVG 2270-3 Ocean Surfing 3
ADVG 2460-2 Swiftwater Rope Rescue
ADVG 2510-2 Moving Water Canoe
ADVG 2530-2 Kayak 3
ADVG 2540-2 Senior River Kayak Instructor
ADVG 2570-2 Ski Tour 2
ADVG 2650-3 Sea Kayak 2
ADVG 2730-2 Swiftwater Rescue Technician IV
ADVG 2760-2 Ice Climbing
ADVG 2790-2 Ski Tour 3
ADVG 2800-2 Rock Climbing 3
ADVG 2810-2 Mountaineering 2
ADVG 2930-2 Rock Climbing 4
ADVG 2940-2 Mountaineering 3


Completion of the Adventure Guide Certificate. 

Application to Adventure Guide Diploma including:

  • Cover letter expressing intent
  • Summer work/practicum plans 
  • Outdoor Experience Log
  • Revision of Certificate transcripts and GPA


Note: Admission to the Adventure Guide Diploma is competitive and based on technical skill and experience level. Applications are screened to ensure an adequate level of skill and experience.