Outdoor & Experiential Education (OEE)


This program is designed to introduce teacher candidates to the variety of ways in which outdoor and experiential programs can be offered in various school and community settings.


Application Process

Selection of incoming teacher candidates is based on the Queen's application requirements as well as the supplemental documents submitted to Student Services. Applicants must meet the requirements for Primary-Junior or Intermediate-Senior.

Concurrent Education teacher candidates can apply in December before entering their final year.

How to Apply


  • For both Primary-Junior and Intermediate-Senior teacher candidates.
  • 4 successive terms, starting in May and ending in August the following year. Queen's graduates are out into the job market early.
  • Integrates conventional teacher education with preparation of leading dynamic school and community-based outdoor, nature-oriented activities.
  • Explores experiential education theory and hands-on methodologies as they apply to a variety of environmental contexts and teaching subjects.
  • Teacher candidates in OEE complete 21 weeks of placement, 3 weeks in an outdoor education facility or a placement identified by a district school board as an outdoor education program (during winter practicum, subject to placement availability), and an additional 3 weeks outside a school setting - anywhere in the world (alternative practicum). Students are able to apply for travel fellowships to support education-related travel outside Canada.
  • Program orientation and field camp is held in late August.
  • Develops the leadership skills required to implement outdoor and experiential programs.
  • Develops critical thinking skills pertaining to contemporary environmental and educational issues.
  • Offered to Concurrent Education students in their final year.

Career Opportunities 

OEE alumni are engaged in a variety of careers ranging from full-time classroom teaching to work in other related fields like service, environment, and health. Many employers actively seek out their dynamic qualities. 

OEE graduates have gone on to propose and implement various programs, such as some of the initial environmental integrated programs, nature-based preschools, and unique environmental initiatives within a school board. Other alum have gone on to: 

  • Classroom teaching within experiential emphasis (public or private school setting)
  • Camp directors
  • Independent outdoor programs (e.g., Outward Bound, eco-tourism lodges)
  • Outdoor-focused businesses 
  • Environmental advocacy and awareness to organizations and businesses 

Admission Requirements and Information

Applicants are required to have an acceptable undergraduate degree (minimum 3-year General degree).  Preference is given to applicants with a 4-year Honours undergraduate degree.


  • A minimum “B” average based on the grading scheme of the issuing postsecondary institution.
  • 1 half‑year course in Developmental Psychology (or equivalent) or 1 full‑year course in Introductory Psychology (or equivalent).
  • Completion of a 4‑year Honours undergraduate degree (20 full‑year courses). If you have less than 20 full-year courses, it is recommended that you take additional courses to add up to 20, as this can be an advantage for salary and advancement.

Notes on Policies:

  • Recommended courses provide a broader subject knowledge that will be helpful with a teaching career.
  • The recommendations listed in the Admissions Policies are suggested for admission. Having the recommended items may help applicants to be more competitive in the admission process, but applicants may gain admission without the recommended items.
  • Unless otherwise specified, throughout the Admissions Policies, a “course” means a university‑level or second‑year CEGEP course.
  • “1 full-year course” means a full‑year course or its equivalent (e.g., 2 half‑year courses).

Applicants With a Graduate Degree in Progress

  • If you are completing a graduate degree (e.g., MA, MSc) by spring, you may be eligible for additional admission points.
  • Indicate on your application that you are enrolled and the anticipated completion date. Provide a final transcript by June 30 showing that the graduate degree was conferred.

Applicants With a University Degree and a College Diploma/Applied Degree

  • If you completed 2, 3, or 4 years of a college diploma/applied degree program, you may be eligible to receive additional admission points by submitting an official college transcript, in addition to your university transcript.
  • If you have already received substantial university transfer credit for college courses or college credit for university courses, you may not be eligible for such consideration.

The Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) sets its own document and assessment requirements and policies, which may be different from the requirements noted in these policies.

Completing the BEd degree requirements does not guarantee a teaching certificate. All graduates who apply to the OCT must meet all of the OCT requirements.

Read more about current OCT licensing requirements.

In addition to the above, preferred status will be given to candidates who have completed at least one half-year undergraduate or graduate course in at least four of the following areas: 

  • English
  • Geography or Canadian History
  • Health and/or Physical Education
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • The Arts (visual arts, music, drama, dance)
  • Developmental Psychology or full-year Introduction to Psychology

The first 6 areas are incorporated in the content and pedagogy of Ontario Primary/Junior curriculum.

  1. Five full‑year courses are required for the first teaching subject; three full‑year courses are required for the second teaching subject (four are required if Music is the second teaching subject). Completing some of the teaching subject courses from upper‑year course offerings at the university level is recommended. Consideration for offers of admission may be given at the discretion of Student Services.
  2. It is recommended that applicants have a minimum “B” average in the courses that meet the teaching subject requirements.
  3. Each course taken in preparation for a teaching subject may be used only once towards either teaching subject (i.e., “double counting” is not acceptable).
  4. A maximum of one full‑year course will be accepted from outside the department of the teaching subject
  5. Please refer to the Teaching Subject Course Requirements (below) for the required and/or recommended courses for teaching subjects offered in the Queen’s Teacher Education program.

Note: You may have courses on your transcript from a department other than the one that reflects the discipline area. If you are applying to Intermediate/Senior, you must complete the Teaching Subject Course form (provided once you have submitted your application), indicating the courses you feel relate to the teaching subject.

Queen’s must receive all documentation to support the teaching subject course requirements by December 10. Student Services makes the final decision about whether a course meets the discipline area.

Teaching Subject Requirements

Dramatic Arts


  • One full‑year practical studio course (acting or directing); and
  • One half‑year course in theatre history (which may include any of the following components: performance in western and eastern theatre traditions from early classical eras to the end of the 19th century, a survey of production methods, and architecture).


  • One half‑year course in theatre production (which may include any of the following components: stage management, scenery design, costumes, lighting and sound systems).



  • One full‑year course with Canadian content in English literature or poetry; and
  • One full‑year or a combination of two half‑year courses in any of the following:
    • English literature
    • Poetry
    • Creative writing

An acceptable equivalent for the full‑year writing course would be one full‑year English course or equivalent that includes an exploration of writing in a variety of literary genres (e.g., poetry, drama, fiction and non‑fictional prose).

First Nations, Métis and Inuit Studies

No additional course requirements beyond the 5 full-year courses required for the first teaching subject and 3 full-year courses required for the second teaching subject.

French as a Second Language*


  • 1 full‑year course with strong overall grammar review at a minimum second‑year level;
  • 1 full-year course in writing for accuracy;
  • 1 full‑year comprehensive literature course; and
  • 1 full‑year oral communication course.
    For a second teaching subject, only 3 of the 4 are required.

*If you choose French as a teaching subject, one or more of your practicum placements may take place in a French setting (Immersion, Core, or Extended)



  • 1 half‑year course in Canadian geography (physical and/or human)


  • 1 half-year course in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/Geomatics/Geo-Informatics, which may include: Cartography and Remote Sensing
  • Courses in Physical Geography, which include: Geomorphology, Climatology, Bio-geography, Geography of Soils, Glaciation, Lithosphere and Plate Tectonics, Natural Disasters
  • Courses in Human/Economic/Cultural Geography, which include: geography courses that cover global issues, such as tourism, development, environment, poverty, demographics/population, resources, resource management, land use: rural and urban, urban & rural planning, international trade and aid, Environmental Impact Assessment, regional geography (especially Canadian)
  • Related courses: Geology, Earth Science



  • 1 full‑year survey course in Canadian History


  • 2 or more of the following courses central to the History program taught in Ontario high schools:
    • Indigenous History
    • American History
    • Ancient & Medieval History
    • Modern European History
    • World Politics



  • Courses beyond those in the core calculus/analysis stream.

A related course may be considered (up to a maximum of one full‑year course or equivalent) if the course has a math or statistics course listed as an exclusion; in these cases, calendar descriptions listing the exclusion must be sent to Student Services.

Music (Instrumental or Vocal)

Applicants may not select both Music – Instrumental and Music – Vocal as teaching subjects.


  • A minimum of 1 half‑year university course in each of the following areas of music study:
    • Music theory
    • Additional Music Theory or Music Creation (may include: Composition, arranging, orchestration, electroacoustic)
    • Musicology/Ethnomusicology
  • A minimum of 1 full‑year university course in each of the following areas of music study
    • Applied Music (For instrumental music, applicants must have a minimum of 6.0 units in instrumental lessons or ensembles. For vocal music, applicants must have a minimum of 6.0 units in vocal lessons or ensembles. The applied music course is equivalent to a Grade 8 Conservatory certificate.)
    • Music Education or Education-related (1 half-year course required for second teaching subject). May include: conducting, secondary instrument, instrumental techniques (e.g., keyboard skills, vocal tech, guitar tech, brass tech, etc.)

Science – Biology


  • One full‑year course that has a major laboratory component, from a university biology department.

Note: Only one full‑year course in each of biochemistry and human biology will be accepted.


  • Any or all of the following courses will be useful: cell biology, ecology, genetics, microbiology, plant and animal (invertebrate and vertebrate – including human) biology.

Science – Chemistry


  • One full‑year course in introductory chemistry; and
  • One half‑year course in organic chemistry.

Only one full‑year course in biochemistry will be accepted. Applicants with an undergraduate degree in engineering must specify the chemistry content of each course and supply calendar descriptions.

Science – Physics


  • One full‑year, first‑year introductory physics; and
  • One half‑year course in electricity & magnetism beyond first‑year introductory physics.

Applicants with an undergraduate degree in engineering must identify the physics content of each course, using mechanics, sound, optics, and electricity and magnetism as headings, supplemented by calendar descriptions, to indicate the physics content in any course not labelled as Physics.

Visual Arts


  • One-and-a-half full‑year courses in comprehensive studio practice (including at least 2 of: Drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, ceramics, or fiber arts) and
  • One full‑year survey course in art history (for e.g., Ancient Greece through to the Modern Era) And
  • One half-year course in one of: Period-specific Art History OR Thematic Art History; Contemporary Art; Canadian Art History; Indigenous North American Art; Non-Western Art (Eg. Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Islamic); Aesthetics and Art Criticism; History of Architecture; or History of Canadian Architecture

Official Transcripts 

  • All transcripts submitted must be official, bearing the institutional seal and/or original signature of the institution’s registrar. Photocopied or forwarded transcripts are not acceptable.
  • All transcripts, once received, become the property of Student Services and are not returned to you.
  • Your previous academic credentials must be obtained at an institution providing an academic environment and education that prepares students for potential success in advanced study at Queen’s.

    Official transcripts should consist of:

  • Postsecondary transcripts from each institution you attended.
    • Ontario transcripts: Request your transcript through the TEAS application.
    • Out-of-province transcripts: Request transcripts from the issuing postsecondary institution (including CEGEP, if applicable). 
  • NOTE: Out-of-province and high school transcripts are to be sent directly to educstudentservices@queensu.ca or:
    Student Services
    Faculty of Education, Queen’s University
    Room A112, Duncan McArthur Hall
    511 Union Street
    Kingston, ON K7M 5R7
    Attention: Jamie Kincaid

International transcripts

For the Bachelor of Education/Diploma in Education, applicants who obtained a degree from a foreign institution (from non-Canadian or American institutions) must have all international official transcripts evaluated by World Education Services (WES) (ICAP course-by-course assessment).

Note that it can take upwards of six weeks for WES to receive official transcripts from a foreign academic institution, after which point the WES evaluation can take a week or longer to complete. Applicants should begin the evaluation process as early as possible.

Ensure you are on the Canadian page (a maple leaf in the banner). Applicants are responsible for the costs associated with the WES evaluation and any translation required. Applicants must request that WES evaluations be sent directly to Student Services by the official transcript deadline.

If you have questions, please contact Student Services.

Queen’s University attempts each year to admit a student body reflective of the general population of Canada. The Faculty of Education has developed an admission policy regarding equitable representation of groups that are underrepresented in the teaching profession, and has reserved a number of equity admission places in the Bachelor of Education and Diploma in Education Programs. Those who complete the voluntary Equity Admission form will be considered both under the general admission procedure and under the equity admission policy.

Equity Admission Form

English is the language of instruction at Queen’s University and in the schools in Ontario where our teacher candidates carry out their required practice teaching. Applicants who are non-native speakers of English are required to provide evidence of oral and written proficiency in English in one of two ways:

  • Candidates must have studied full-time at least three full years (or the equivalent) at a university where the language of instruction and examination was in English in a country where one of the official languages is English. Time spent in ESL courses or in an ESL program is not counted toward this three-year requirement. Applicants who have attended university other than in North America must submit a letter directly from the university verifying that the language of instruction and examination was English.


  • Candidates must have achieved the required level of proficiency on one of the three tests of English language listed below.

Each of the following language tests has a minimum score that must be attained before the applicant will be considered for admission to the Faculty of Education:

  1. The Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based (TOEFL iBT). The TOEFL iBT test code number 8573 must be used to ensure that the results are forwarded directly to the Faculty of Education. Required test scores: Minimum 24 on the Reading component, 23 on the Listening, 28 on each of the Writing and Speaking components, with a minimum 103 overall.
  2. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Request the Academic test. Required test scores: minimum 6.5 on both the Reading and Listening components, and a minimum of 7.0 on the Writing and Speaking components, with a minimum 7.0 overall.
  3. Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL). Select “Test Takers” from the top bar menu to access information, including test locations and dates. Required test score: Minimum 70 in all 4 categories and minimum 70 overall.

Candidates admitted to the program who are found to have an unsatisfactory command of the English language, either spoken or written, where their language skills interferes with their ability to communicate effectively in the classroom, may be required to take remedial work or may be asked to withdraw from the program.


Our OEE Community 

Our program kicks off with a field camp that builds a strong foundation of community amongst each OEE cohort. OEE students take courses together as a cohort, including EDST 260 Understanding the Principles and Programs in Outdoor and Experiential Education and FOCI 260: Outdoor & Experiential Ed (full course descriptions). OEE students also build community through events, workshops, and field trips held throughout the program. 

The OEE program is looking for students who can bring unique perspectives and a range of experiences to our community so that our students can learn from each other. We don’t expect our students to come ‘fully loaded’ with certifications and years of experience. We attempt to accept a variety of students to the OEE program. 

The focus of readings and theories changes yearly to reflect the constantly evolving field. Field trips are based on student interest and have included trips to organic farms, heirloom seed sanctuaries, outdoor centres, conservation areas, water treatment plants, winter camping, and more. 

Program Schedule

Summer 1


In-person learning

  • Early May intro to the program
  • Class Block 1 (June)
  • Class Block 2 (July)


3 weeks Practicum (May)

Fall 1

(Sept. – Dec.)

In-person learning

  • Class Block 3 (Sept.)
  • Class Block 4 (Nov.- Dec.)


7 weeks of Practicum (Oct. – Nov.)

Winter 1

(Jan. – April)

In-person learning

  • Class Block 5 (Jan.)
  • Class Block 6 (April)


4 weeks Practicum (Feb. – March)

3 weeks Alternative Practicum (March)

Summer 2

(May – Aug.)

In-person learning

  • Class Block 7 (June)
  • Class Block 8 (July)


4 weeks Practicum (May)

Below are examples of typical weekly schedules for the Fall and Winter terms. Because of the condensed nature of the program, courses change weekly and by term. 

Sample Schedule - BEd Primary Junior

Below are examples of typical weekly schedules for the Fall and Winter terms. Because of the condensed nature of the program, courses change weekly and by term. 

Weekly Intermediate Senior Sample Schedule

In-Class Experience: Practicums

An advantage to being in the OEE program track is that you will get to experience different outdoor education environments, subject to placement availability. Sometimes, people who come in with a lot of experience in adventure programs realize that they might be more interested in exploring Forest School programs with primary-level students. Likewise, some people who have naturalist work experience may decide that high school integrated programs that allow a longer period of time to get to know students is a strong area of interest. The emphasis of the program is on exploring the many forms of outdoor education and finding out where your future might reside.

About Practicums 

You will complete 18 weeks of practicum with education professionals in publicly funded, Ontario classrooms: one component in the first summer (3 weeks); two components in the fall (7 weeks in total); one component in the winter term (4 weeks), followed by an alternative practicum (3 weeks - not counted in the 18 weeks); and one component in the second summer (4 weeks). Please note that having access to a vehicle during the practicum components can help widen the scope of available placements for you. 

Due to the high demand for the local Kingston school boards and the limited spaces available in these boards, you should be prepared to be placed in any of your four school board choices. This means is that while you will be in Kingston for your class blocks, you could be elsewhere in the province for your practicum placements. Please note that having access to a vehicle during the practicum components can help widen the scope of available placements for you.

Where Will I Be?

The practicum blocks take place in schools within the designated catchment area, which includes 26 boards spanning from Burlington to Cornwall. When you are admitted to the program, you will identify 4 district school boards within the designated catchment area, with the potential to be placed within any of those 4 boards. We do our best to place candidates within a one-hour commute of their home address, but this is not always possible.

Students in the OEE program normally complete the winter term practicum in an Outdoor or Experiential Education setting, subject to placement availability. This practicum must take place in Ontario with an OCT-certified teacher in good standing. Typically, this practicum is at an outdoor centre, with an integrated program in a public school, or at an alternative school like a credited program for youth at risk. In the event that a placement cannot be secured, you will return to a school within the designated catchment area. 

Alternative Practicum

The 3-week Alternative Practicum is typically completed outside the school system, and takes place in the winter term, after March Break. For OEE teacher candidates, the alternative practicum takes place in a non-traditional outdoor-based setting anywhere in the world – there are travel fellowships available to help you get there.

We’ve had OEE teacher candidates complete their practicums at Forest Schools, in National Parks (read about Brooke Jones’ experience at Banff National Park), and at nature centres around the world (read about Amy Newham’s alternative practicum at the Hawaii Nature Center).


Map of Public District School Boards used by Faculty of Education

  1. Toronto District School Board 
  2. York Region 
  3. Durham 
  4. Kawartha Pineridge
  5. Trillium Lakelands (Lindsay area only)
  6. Hastings, Prince Edward
  7. Limestone
  8. Upper Canada
  9. Ottawa-Carleton
  10. Renfrew
  11. Simcoe (Barrie and Orilla only)
  12. Peel 
  13. Waterloo
  14. Halton


Catholic School Boards used by Queen's Faculty of Education

  1. Dufferin-Peel (Mississauga/Brampton only)
  2. Toronto
  3. York 
  4. Durham 
  5. Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland & Clarington 
  6. Algonquin-Lakeshore
  7. Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario 
  8. Ottawa
  9. Waterloo 
  10. Halton 
  11. Simcoe (Barrie/Orillia only) 
  12. Renfrew

Finance Your Studies

Tuition and Fees 

Find information about Tuition and Fees on the Registrar’s website (scroll down to the “education” headline and look under Consecutive & Concurrent (final year) heading. The Registrar & Financial Aid Services website has information on Expenses and Budgeting.  

Financial Aid  

  • Named General Bursaries for the Faculty of Education – there are numerous bursaries available specifically for Faculty of Education students.  

Contact Us

For more information regarding admission, please contact Student Services.