Tahoe Semester

The Tahoe Semester is located at Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe. Living in a worshipping/learning community, students investigate the many aspects of the environment through the use of science, humanities, and cocurricular activities that allow students to explore the natural world. General Education credits are available in Natural Sciences, Humanities: History, Philosophy, and Biblical Studies through integrated courses that focus on the environment of the Tahoe Basin. These academic options are enhanced with speakers who address environmental issues, and local site visits within the Lake Tahoe and Sacramento communities, to create a deeper connection to the curriculum content. The semester also includes structured experiences in backpacking and extracurricular opportunities such as mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, stand-up paddle boarding, and trail running. These opportunities, as well as the rich curriculum, provide a chance to experience, investigate, and apply academic coursework through experiential learning in Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, and the surrounding area.


The courses available through the Tahoe program fulfill APU’s General Education categories of Civic Knowledge and Engagement, Natural Science, Intercultural Competence, Theology, Fitness for Life, Humanities: History, Philosophy, and Luke/Acts and include a Kinesiology Track. Courses include, but are not limited to the following areas: kinesiology, humanities, fitness, Bible, astronomy, theology, and electives for a variety of majors and minors. See full course offerings and academic tracks.

Program Goals


Students are immersed in an organic and surreal natural environment where they explore nature through science, communal living, and worship.


Students engage in hands-on experiences in physical science and natural history to gain an understanding of the Tahoe Basin.


Students utilize and engage in humanities to examine the rise of science as it pertains to the order of Christian life. Students establish an understanding of their place and how the nature of science has transformed the “patterns” (Romans 12:2) in the contemporary world.


Students discover the unique relationship between the life of faith and the life of the mind through the integration of faith and academic inquiry.


Students are exposed to and discover what it means to be a part of a community through three distinct development stages. The first of these stages fosters spiritual and social development through an introductory backpacking experience, the second stage emphasizes the academic journey and how it applies to living in community, and the third stage synthesizes the spiritual, social, and academic components of the semester during a weeklong integrative trip.


Through the integration of sciences, humanities, and community, students develop a richer sense of diversity as a necessary component of human culture and the natural world.


Students cultivate a stronger sense of leadership and self-confidence through elements of communal support in the physical, academic, and spiritual arenas.

Apply to Study in Lake Tahoe

For more information on courses, dates, and how to apply, visit the Tahoe Semester website.

Financing Your Tahoe Semester

Student scholarships, grants, and other financial aid may be used for payment while attending the APU Tahoe Semester. For more information regarding program tuition and fees, read our Financial Aid Policies.

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