Study and Explore in the High Sierra

The High Sierra Semester offers students an opportunity to leave the traditional classroom and campus setting in Azusa to embark on an adventure in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Through the integration of rigorous Great Works courses and challenging outdoor programs, High Sierra students experience adventure while fulfilling both major and General Education requirements.

Close-Knit Learning Community

At High Sierra, a tight-knit group of about 40 students live together, study together, eat together, and explore together, challenging themselves both in the classroom and outdoors. The experience offers students an opportunity to slow down, dive deep, and fully embrace their education at Azusa Pacific. High Sierra faculty and staff are dedicated to the spiritual and academic development of the community, creating an ideal environment for personal growth and learning. As a result, alumni consistently describe their High Sierra semester as a pivotal chapter in their APU years, one where they grew personally, were challenged academically, and met some of their closest friends.

Learn more about the semester curriculum, read students’ High Sierra stories, and find out how to apply.

A Semester in the Mountains

The semester takes place at Emerald Cove Camp, located at Bass Lake in the Sierra National Forest, just south of Yosemite National Park. It is in the midst of the beauty of this setting that students live and study, reminded of God’s creation. The mountain campus is particularly conducive to undistracted study, reflection, writing, conversation, and prayer. Students enjoy many outdoor activities during the semester, including kayaking, rock climbing, wakeboarding, mountain biking, and much more. Additionally, students participate in backpacking trips with their classmates and professors designed to integrate student life with their academic coursework.