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River Semester: 100 Days on the Mississippi

Photo: Augsburg University, used with permission

Message About Affiliated Programs

Although ACM’s three managed off-campus study programs are discontinued, ACM will continue its affiliation with this program through the 2023-2024 academic year (learn more).

Travel from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico as part of this distinctive educational expedition. Advance your undergraduate studies with a customized curriculum built around environmental justice and social change in the Mississippi watershed.

The River Semester program is administered at Augsburg University

River Semester is open to students at ACM colleges. See the River Semester website for full program details »

Photo: Augsburg University, used with permission

Travel the Mississippi River from the headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico on a 100-day expedition

Paddle and sail in custom-designed catamarans down the Mississippi and along some of the Gulf Coast. Practice outdoor leadership and a low-carbon way of life. Develop skills tailored to fit the needs of businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and graduate institutions.

Photo: Augsburg University, used with permission

Engage in coursework and independent research that fit your interests and goals

Courses discuss themes such as sustainability, politics, justice, and leadership in the context of the Mississippi River. Past field research projects have addressed topics including environmental and social justice, the Clean Water Act, agriculture in the watershed, race relations, and urban riverfront revitalization.

Photo: Augsburg University, used with permission

Connect with local residents, experts, and organizations

Explore the history, culture, literature, music, and food of the American heartland. Hear from guest lecturers on topics such as traditional ecological knowledge, ancient river civilizations, urban resilience in the age of climate change, and American Indian communities and their fight for justice.

"There is an element to this trip where we never leave class. It’s amazing to be able to have conversations with people that not only make you question and think about yourself and what you believe, but also think about what you have never thought about before. I have never wanted to learn so much more about everything."

Hannah Arvold

Environmental studies major
Photo: Augsburg University, used with permission


  • Fall Semester (late August to mid-December), odd years only

Host institution

Augsburg University Center for Global Education and Experience (CGEE), Minneapolis, MN

Living arrangements

Varies throughout semester, but primarily camping in tents.

Program details

See the River Semester website for full program details:


Application deadline

Applications are due March 1, 2025 for the Fall 2025 River Semester. Please click here to apply.


Michael Vertovec, Associate Program Manager
180 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2020, Chicago, IL 60601
312.561.5934 / mvertovec@acm.edu

Off-Campus Study Resources

Browse Off-Campus Study Opportunities: ACM Shared Programs | Japan Study | River Semester

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