Experience the Adirondacks

Live a semester as a resident explorer, entrepreneur, environmental scientist, poet and policy advocate of the Adirondack Park, one of the largest protected landscapes in North America.

Become absorbed and committed, think bigger and work harder than you ever have to create intelligent solutions in a 6-million-acre laboratory with wildlife, small-town communities and recreation enthusiasts.

Whether you attend Clarkson or another U.S. higher education institution, you can experience this — and more — as part of Clarkson's Adirondack Semester, an off-campus study program for undergraduate students.

About the Program

The Adirondack (ADK) Semester is a 15-credit-hour, off-campus domestic study program for undergraduates. Students from any major who are committed to learning about environmental science, policy, economics and the human history and contemporary issues of the Adirondack region are encouraged to apply.

Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous states and is referred to as a great experiment in conservation and regulated economic development. We'll examine the struggle in the park to find balance and sustainability.

You'll learn from Clarkson faculty, all of whom are distinguished scholars who have worked in the Adirondacks. You'll learn to analyze complex problems related to environmental, social and economic sustainability. And, you'll meet with Adirondack Park leaders, policymakers, residents and business owners and learn from peers in mentored team projects.

What to Expect

Contact Us

Stephen Bird, ADK Semester Co-Coordinator 
271 Snell 
Box 5715

Phone: 315-268-3990 
Email: adksemester@clarkson.edu

Student Life

You'll reside and attend ADK Semester classes on the campus of Paul Smith's College, near Saranac Lake, New York. Campus housing is suite-style living and provides an inviting communal space with a small kitchen. You'll enjoy health services, access to the gym and climbing wall, outdoor gear, boats, meal plans, mailboxes and more. Saranac Lake hosts a vibrant arts culture, bustling storefronts, cozy pubs, restaurants and music venues.

Flexibility and breaks in the schedule allow time to pursue personal interests, as well. You can paddle on St. Regis Lake, mountain bike on the trails throughout campus or hike up St. Regis Mountain to breathtaking views of the High Peaks.

Other nearby outdoor activities include camping, rock and ice climbing, skating, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, mountaineering and fly fishing.


Our curriculum combines experiential education, undergraduate research, collaborative assignments and projects, writing-intensive courses, learning communities, common intellectual experiences and community-based learning.

The curriculum consists of five three-credit-hour courses providing 15 transferable 300-level credit hours. After the ADK Semester, you'll have fulfilled five out of the seven courses that are required for either an environmental science minor or an environmental policy minor.

Review the Full Curriculum

Faculty and Staff

Faculty teaching in the Adirondack Semester provide different disciplinary approaches to the study of the Adirondacks. They specialize in areas such as biology, environmental science, political science, philosophy, literature, anthropology and engineering.

Meet Our Faculty and Staff

Take the Next Step Toward a Semester to Remember

Reach out to learn more about the program: