A single-semester school for high school juniors and seniors in Colorado

HMI is akin to a college study abroad program, but for high school students. Our students spend a full academic semester on our campus and return to their home schools invigorated about education, experienced in leadership, and more aware of the world around them. 

48 High School Students

 Three Wilderness Expeditions

Honors and AP-Level Academics 

Students who attend the HMI Semester complete a full course-load of honors and AP-level classes in order to reintegrate smoothly into their home academic environments. They live on our campus surrounded by curious and ambitious peers in sustainable, off-the-grid cabins. Unique to HMI, students spend five weeks of the semester backpacking and skiing in the mountains of Colorado and the canyons of Utah with their teachers and classmates. In their remaining years of high school and beyond, our alumni consider their semester away at HMI one of the most important and formative periods of their lives.

Learn More

Wilderness
Academics
HMI and College
Day in the Life

The HMI Semester is selective; we accept high-achieving, academically-oriented students looking to make the most of their high school experience. Our students come from diverse backgrounds attend public and private schools across the United States and abroad.

Who should apply?

  • High school sophomores and juniors interested in spending a semester at HMI the following year. 
  • No previous outdoor experience is required to participate in HMI–only an interest in spending extended periods of time (10-18 days at a time) outdoors in wilderness settings.
  • While some of our students already consider themselves active outdoorspeople, others have never camped, hiked, or skied before. We teach our students everything they need to know to fully participate in our outdoor activities.
  • Approximately 30% of our student receive financial aid, and our aid packages can include free or reduced-price outdoor gear rental. Our top financial aid awards include free plane tickets to and from Colorado

Since 1998 students from hundreds of high schools have attended HMI

See if your high school is listed, or work with your school to be the first student to attend HMI. Click here to view the nine member schools that have a formal relationship with HMI. 

The Intentional HMI Community

Community is more than just a buzz word at HMI. While many students are drawn to our school for our wilderness program–it is the members of the HMI community who leave the most lasting impact. Students and teachers at HMI interact in far more than in the traditional ways. HMI teachers are backpacking instructors, running partners, and mentors. Our alumni report extraordinarily close relationships with their teachers and peers—ones that helped them take risks, try new things, and learn to be the people they hoped to be. As they return to their sending high schools, our students seek to recreate the most positive elements of the HMI community. They seek out authentic relationships, work to reduce their dependence on technology and social media, and “rise above”  negative adolescent social dynamics. 

This semester-long experience has impacted Isabella's ‘being' almost as much as our parenting of her over the last 17 years. Thank you HMI for providing this independent, safe and transformative experience where she found her own beliefs and ideals, life long friends and probably most importantly, her voice.
Michele
HMI Parent

Discover HMI through photos