Frequently Asked Questions

What’s included in the student cost?

The total program cost (including tuition) of $7,516 includes 16 quarter credits (10-11 semester credit equivalency) from The Evergreen State College, ground transportation between Anchorage and McCarthy, food, lodging, and safety expenses for the summer. Roundtrip airfare to Anchorage, one or two night's accommodation in Anchorage (depending on when students choose to arrive and depart Alaska), and personal backpacking and camping gear (except crampons, ice axe, camp stoves and fuel) are student responsibilities. 

Besides the student cost, what should I budget for airfare and gear? 

Airfare is typically $500 to $800 round-trip from the lower 48 United States. Gear expenses will depend on what you already own, but most students spend $300-$800 on backpacking equipment. You will receive a detailed list of suggested items to bring once you enroll. Ice axes and crampons can be rented for a small fee. 

How do I receive academic credit at my home university?

Students from universities throughout the United States and abroad receive academic credit for successful completion of the field studies. We provide written narrative evaluations based on The Evergreen State College grading system. Academic Lead Dr. Aliette Frank and The Evergreen State College registrar can help you determine how to best transfer credits. 

Can I receive credit in a department other than Environmental Studies?

Our courses will typically transfer as elective credits that can be used to meet degree requirements. If you are majoring in biology, geology, geography, or other related fields and wish to receive credit in your major, consult your dean. We can provide a syllabus detailing the learning outcomes, activities, and assessments we use that are relevant to many majors. Contact Academic Lead Dr. Aliette Frank ( for a syllabus you can give your dean, or if you would like help.

Do I need prior wilderness or backpacking experience?

Alaska Wrangell Mountains Field Studies is suitable for any adventurous student in good physical condition; all necessary skills will be taught and previous wilderness and backpacking experience is not required. We can help you come up with a physical fitness plan once you enroll. 

If I have an injury or medical condition can I come?

Our staff have Wilderness First Responder (WFR) or Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) certification. Because the landscape in which we study is rugged and unpredictable, we keep safety a priority. We carry EpiPens and basic backcountry medical supplies/medicines. Contact Academic Lead Dr. Aliette Frank ( if you have questions or concerns about our safety procedures or compatibility with your personal circumstances.  

What will I need to bring?

Summer weather can range from sunny and 90-degrees to snow at high elevations, so you will need appropriate summer and winter clothing/equipment. Once you enroll, we will send you a detailed gear list and tips for assembling everything.

When does the field studies run?

June 22, 2017 - August 9, 2017. Evergreen State College students should note this is a four-day earlier start date than the Evergreen summer session. We recommend all students arrive in Anchorage on June 21st. Transportation arranged by WMC departs from Anchorage for McCarthy at 8 a.m. on June 22nd and returns to Anchorage August 9th at night. Departing flights after 10 p.m. August 9th are fine, though we recommend students depart August 10th. Students are in McCarthy or in the backcountry the full duration of the field studies. 

Are there prerequisites?

Freshman through senior standing and at least one introductory course in biology, geology, environmental science, environmental studies, geography, anthropology, political science, or other relevant discipline.

If you by chance to do not meet the prerequisites, please send a recommendation letter from your academic advisor along with your application. The letter should include your advisor’s contact information and a brief statement explaining why you are qualified for the field quarter in Alaska. 


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