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The goal of the Tahoe Semester is to decrease our fragmentation by seeing how different academic disciplines interrelate and how one can bring the body, mind and spirit into a greater unity.

David Williams, Director

The APCU Tahoe Semester

Immersed in heart of the Sierra, the APCU Tahoe Semester is built around a curriculum that examines the natural world from philosophical, historical, and scientific perspectives, with an emphasis on environmental issues. The program also includes a strong diversity, equity and inclusion component that highlights the indigenous peoples of that region and their distinct perspectives on nature, ecology, and environmental justice.

 In addition, students and faculty participating in the Tahoe Semester are able to explore and experience the Tahoe basin through frequent group outings that complement and contribute directly to the academic component. Weekly plenary sessions involving all students and faculty serve as a centerpiece for the program, providing a forum for interdisciplinary discussion and debate.


The Tahoe Semester curriculum is centered around a standard set of Centre College undergraduate courses drawn from the humanities and natural sciences to ensure that they can fulfill general education requirements at most, if not all, APCU schools.

Courses in history, philosophy and political science provide a diverse set of perspectives on the question, “What is nature?” and celebrate the indigenous peoples in and around the Tahoe basin and their perspectives on natural resources and the environment. Likewise, science courses will explore ecology, geology, biodiversity, and the impact of climate change in the region. 


The Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center serves as the Tahoe Semester campus. It is situated along the shores of Lake Tahoe and provides all the conveniences of a college campus, including lodge-style accommodations, meals, transportation, and a range of outdoor equipment needed to explore the beauty of the Sierra. 

Each semester a truly special community is formed as students and faculty participate together in meals, wilderness adventures, and classroom explorations. This shared life on the shores of Tahoe creates lasting bonds and encourages a slower, more intential pace.


Lake Tahoe’s beautiful mountains and blue waters support a co-curricular component that deepens learning through guided wilderness experiences such as mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, stand-up paddle boarding, and trail running. These experiences are not designed to test endurance, but instead are intended to complement the in-class experience by enhancing mental and physical wellness. 

The emphasis on physical and mental wellness is also developed through the program's communal setting as students, faculty and staff live and work together building strong bonds of friendship and mutual respect.

The APCU Tahoe Semester is open to students at all 54 APCU member institutions. The “all in” cost for participation is $16,000 for the full semester--significantly less than similar study away programs--and includes tuition, fees, room & board, resource materials, and all outdoor equipment. In most cases, the cost is incorporated into your standard tuition commitment and managed through your home institution. In other cases, you may have to support a portion of the cost on your own with help from financial aid resources that are available to you.

For more information, download this Tahoe Semester Fact Sheet or contact the study abroad coordinator on your campus. You are also welcome to call the APCU office at 470.443.1948.

    Association of Presbyterian Colleges & Universities
    Agnes Scott College, Box 1102
    141 E. College Avenue | Decatur, GA 30030
    470.443.1948  |