Deadline extended to June 30

High school students: earn college credit in the Great Smoky Mountains!

The fifth annual Great Smokies Experience will take place from July 20 to July 31, 2017

The Great Smokies Experience is a one-of-a-kind, credit-bearing, introductory college experience for high school students entering their junior and senior years, and recent high school grads. Created and administered by professional educators from Maryville College, The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, and the Mountain Challenge Program, this is an eleven-day, hands-on environmental program that takes place mostly in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

For more information, explore our frequently asked questions, learn about our educators, and get to know some of the ideas that drive this program.

Participants who successfully complete this program will earn credit for a three-hour Introduction to Environmental Issues and Sustainability Studies (ENV/SUS 101) class from Maryville College, a high quality, student-friendly liberal arts college with a family-like environment, just a short drive away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Students will spend most of this class living at Tremont in the park, with the remaining time taking place on campus at Maryville College and at other important sites in Southern Appalachia. Students will go on breathtaking hikes, take a canoe trip to the Tellico Reservoir, take scientific species surveys, explore the National Park at night, climb up Mt. LeConte, investigate the Maryville College Woods, and spend time in a classroom tackling big questions about the environment and our relationship to the earth.

The total cost for this program is $1,275.

Applying to the Great Smokies Experience

Apply here for the Great Smokies Experience, 2017! The official deadline for the 2017 program is now Friday, June 30. Priority consideration will be given as applications are received. We reserve the right to close the application before this deadline, or create a waiting list.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to learn more, please take a look at our frequently asked questions or email Doug Sofer, coordinator of the program, at

We can't wait to hear from you!

-- Doug Sofer, Mark O'Gorman and the Great Smokies Experience Team

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

Great Smokies Experience 2015