How much does the Great Smokies Experience cost?

Thanks to the generosity of a few extraordinary donors, we have been able to cut the cost of the Great Smokies Experience down to just $975.00, a sum which includes all tuition, fees, room and board, and transportation to and from the Park, as well as to and from all field trips.  This new price is now well under that of many non-residential 3-hour college courses, and is significantly less than comparable residential, college-credit-bearing programs designed specifically for high school students.  We are proud to report that this year's price is reduced nearly 65% from last year.

To reduce costs even further, Tennessee residents who complete a dual enrollment grant application online by May 15 may also be eligible for an additional grant to partially offset the cost of this program.  Other states may also offer dual enrollment assistance so check with your high school or your state’s board of education.

How is this Environmental Studies course (ENV 101) different from other kinds of environmental science courses? Why study the environment at Maryville College?

Environmental Studies explores environmental questions from many different disciplines and perspectives.  Ecology, the study of the interrelationships between organisms and their surroundings, is of course a large part of environmental studies.  In addition, Environmental Studies includes analysis of environmental public policy, questions of sustainable design, ecological history, sociology, social psychology, and multiple other fields.  We believe that Maryville College with its rich tradition of high-caliber interdisciplinary education is an ideal place to study the environment from this kind of holistic perspective.  Check out Maryville College's Sustainability initiatives, as well as our majors in Environmental Studies, and in Environmental Science for more information.

What are the physical requirements of the Great Smokies Experience?

This program requires students to engage in the following kinds of physical activities: hiking at a moderate pace up to eight miles through rugged, wet and/or steep terrain; canoeing or kayaking; and camping in tents.

How do I apply, and is there an application fee?

Applying to the Great Smokies Experience is absolutely free.  Apply now using our online application form!

How do I find out the current status of my application?

We will make every effort to get back to applicants within seven days.  If for some reason we have not contacted you after a week, there may have been a technical difficulty.  Please email us at and we will respond you as soon as possible.

Will students be picked up from the airport? What airport should students fly into?

Yes, we will pick up students from Knoxville's main airport: McGhee Tyson Airport (airport code: TYS), only ten minutes away from the campus of Maryville College.  We will request flight information two weeks before the program begins.  Students should try to arrive in the morning or, if necessary, mid-afternoon.

Are there other scholarships or fundraising opportunities available?

There are no scholarships directly associated with the Great Smokies Experience at this point in time.  However, there may be many ways to raise funds for tuition. Places of worship, fraternal organizations (such as Rotary or Lion’s Clubs), and family members may be able to help defray the costs of this program. There are also many websites that can help you with fundraising (such as Pay It Square or Crowd Tilt), that you can link to through social media like Facebook.

When is the application deadline?

The deadline to apply to the Great Smokies Experience is Friday, May 29, 2015.  Space is limited to twelve students for the 2015 program so earlier registrants are more likely to reserve a spot in the class.

Will other colleges and universities accept this ENV 101 course for transfer credit?

Almost always. The final answer to this question depends on a given institution’s credit transfer policies. Maryville College is a four-year, accredited college with a reputation for high-quality classes, and this ENV 101 course from the Great Smokies Experience is no exception. We will be happy to provide you with a copy of a course description, a syllabus or any other documentation you need. Best of all, students planning to attend Maryville College will automatically receive credit for this class!

What is your refund policy?

Students who apply to the Great Smokies Experience, are accepted, and who register for the program may cancel their registration for a full refund minus a $250.00 processing fee any time before Friday, June 12, 2015.

While you're here, make sure to check out Maryville College's Sustainability initiatives, as well as our majors in Environmental Studies, and in Environmental Science.  

 If you have further questions that you do not see on this page, please e-mail the Coordinator of the Great Smokies Experience at