How to Apply

To apply for the Wilderness Institute’s fall Wilderness and Civilization program , please send a one-page letter of application to with "Wilderness and Civilization Application" in the subject line of your email. If your application is accepted, you will move on to the personal interview phase. In that case, our Director will contact you to schedule a half-hour interview over Zoom at a time convenient for you both.

Letters of application should be saved in pdf format and attached to your email. Your letter should include the following at a minimum:

  • Name
  • Email address or best means of contacting you
  • Current university or school and expected year of graduation
  • Current or intended major
  • Statement of interest in the Wilderness and Civilization program, including your academic and personal goals. Explain how you heard about the program and what specifically appeals to you about the experience. Please also describe what you see as the opportunities and challenges for working with a group of 25 other students for a semester.
  • List two references whom we may contact about your aptitude and fit for this program; include their name and title, their affiliation, and phone or email contact information as well as their relationship to you.

Eligibility and Application Evaluation Process

The Wilderness and Civilization Program accepts applications on a rolling basis until April 1. This means each application will be reviewed on its own merits as it arrives. Students are encouraged to apply early and may apply a full year or two in advance to secure a space and to facilitate academic planning.

The program admits sophomores, juniors, and seniors with an average GPA of 3.0 or greater in the last academic year. Students who are admitted to the program will need to maintain their 3.0 GPA in order to retain their admitted status. That said, we consider every aspect of a student’s application, especially the personal interview and academic references, to determine the best applicants for the cohort.

Participation in the program is limited to 25 students. Out-of-state students may participate through the National Student Exchange Program (NSE). NSE students should apply to Wilderness and Civilization first and, if accepted, will then apply to the University of Montana.