Woman student working with young skiers

The University of Maine at Farmington’s Alpine Operations Certificate program helps you turn your passion for skiing and snowboarding into a career.

Partnering with Maine ski areas, the UMF Alpine Operations Certificate combines a strong on-mountain experience with business and related classes — including a valuable on-mountain internship.

Not a major, not a minor, the 18-credit Alpine Operations Certificate is open to ALL UMF students — in ANY major: Business Economics, Community Health Ed., Outdoor Rec Business Administration, Secondary Ed., Business Psychology — you name it.

The Alpine Operations Certificate is also open to those not enrolled full-time at UMF: community members, adults, and others.

Designed to get you the core skills for working in the skiing industry, the Alpine Ops Certificate also prepares you to earn PSIA Level 1 certification.

Knowledge, Skills and Hands-on Experience

We asked Maine’s top ski area management what they look for in hire-able and promote-able employees and they told us they spot their best talent in their ski school programs — the skiing and snowboarding instructors who work closely with their customers of all ages: children, teens and adults.

Hearing that, we built our Alpine Operations Certificate on the ski school model. Farmington’s Titcomb Mountain (just 7 minutes from campus — you can see it from the windows of our Scott Hall residence hall) will serve as your on-hill learning lab.

There, you’ll be heavily involved in running Titcomb’s successful UMF Snowcats children’s learn-to-ski program. And you’ll also teach young adults, fellow UMF students, and others to ski and snowboard.

Save more than $5,500 per year in tuition. This University of Maine at Farmington program qualifies for the NEBHE Tuition Break.

Through the NEBHE Tuition Break program, students from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont receive a $5,670 tuition discount on this Certificate program.

What can you do with an Alpine Operations Certificate?

Data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources. Median Salaries for positions in Maine typically fall below those of other New England states.

Internships – Real-World Experience in the Snowsports Industry

At UMF you can find out, first-hand, what it’s like to work in the Snowsports field while you learn valuable career skills and develop a strong network of professional contacts.

Here’s a short list of where our Alpine operations students have recently interned:

  • Sugarloaf Ski Resort: marketing, park crew, ski school instructor, races & courses management, ski retail management, golf club management and more
  • Sunday River Ski Resort: assistant to the president, ski patrol / mountain operations, snow sports school management, parks & pipe supervisor, marketing, ski school instructor, retail management and more
  • Copper Mountain Resort, CO: ski school management, terrain park management
  • Titcomb Mountain Ski Area: assistant to general manager, assistant manager, coaching, terrain park supervisor, ski school management and instructor and more
  • Lost Valley Ski Area: marketing, snowmaking, management
  • Black Mountain Ski Area: terrain park management
  • Winterstick Skis: retail / product management
  • The Riders Club Snowboarding Youth Program: snowboarding & skiing coach / mentor
  • UMF Athletics: assistant ski coach, videography, marketing
  • UMF Mainely Outdoors Program: outdoor recreation management

Bringing Mountain Experts (Industry Contacts) Into Your Classroom

The Alpine Ops Certificate program will not only bring you to the mountains — it brings the mountains to you. You’ll have industry experts from Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Copper Mountain (CO), Ski Maine, Winterstick Snowboards, Mountain Force Apparel, and others come to your UMF classes as frequent guest speakers.

You’ll get some serious knowledge and make some serious industry contacts.

A Top 20 College for Skiing & Snowsports
— U.S. News & World Report

The University of Maine at Farmington was recently named one of the 2024 Top 20 Colleges in the Nation for Skiing & Winter Sports by U.S. News & World Report. Seriously, is anyone surprised? Our students have loved this about UMF for decades.

Shakespeare in the Morning, Sugarloaf, Saddleback, Sunday River by Noon

Located at the gateway to world-class skiing and snowboarding, Farmington is the perfect location if you’re into the active outdoor lifestyle. With Sugarloaf, Saddleback, and Sunday River in our backyard, we’ve got three amazing, world-class ski resorts just a quick drive from campus. Plus, Farmington’s own Titcomb Mountain ski area is a 7-minute drive from campus (you can see it from the Scott Hall residence hall windows).

In fact, if you’ve skied Sugarloaf or Saddleback, you’ve probably driven right through our campus. Where else can you take a Business Psych class in the morning and crush fresh pow by lunchtime?

Get Your Shred On — FREE

All full-time UMF students can ski or snowboard for FREE at Farmington’s Titcomb Mountain. Thanks to a generous donation from Sunday River and Sugarloaf ski resorts, you can get a free season pass to Titcomb Mountain — just 7 minutes from campus.

Titcomb has daytime and nighttime alpine and Nordic skiing and snowboarding. Plus a cozy fireside lodge, a snack bar, a decent terrain park and massive outdoors fire pit — again, just 7 minutes from campus.

And all full-time UMF students can also get FREE skiing and snowboarding lessons at Titcomb, too. The free lessons include a 7-week program at Titcomb followed by 1 big mountain experience at either Sunday River or Sugarloaf. And guess who the instructors will be? Alpine Ops students (you)!

UMF offers men’s and women’s intercollegiate Alpine ski racing, Nordic racing and Snowboardcross and Slopestyle through the United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association (USCSA). Sugarloaf and Titcomb Mountain our home training mountains.

We also have a student-led Farmington Outing Club, and student leadership opportunities through our Mainely Outdoors adventure program — a year-round program designed to help UMF students and community members of all abilities take advantage of our region’s amazing outdoor activities: hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, camping, mountain biking, Nordic skiing, canoeing, geo-caching, and more.

Contact Us

Office of Admissions
University of Maine at Farmington
246 Main Street
Farmington, Maine USA 04938-1994
tel  207-778-7050
fax  207-778-8182
TYY (via Maine Relay Service) dial 711