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Recreation Management
Healthy People, Vibrant Communities

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Recreation Management

About the Major

Think about where you are right now, but take away the community center(s), the playgrounds, the ball fields, the bowling alleys, the fitness centers and gyms, the bike paths, the arts and music festivals, the local and neighborhood parks, the protected natural spaces... what’s left?

Our nationally accredited program prepares Bobcats to manage, coordinate, and direct the myriad of programs and agencies that directly contribute to people’s quality of life and form the backbone of our communities. Municipal parks and recreation departments, state and federal agencies, commercial recreation companies, sports and fitness facilities, and local and regional tourism offices are just a few places our Bobcats now call home; and through their work they make their communities better places to live and play.

Embracing an experiential approach to education, the program works hand in hand with community partners to fulfill their academic goals while providing a real-world benefit to the Athens and greater Southeast Ohio community.

Why OHIO's Recreation Management Major?



    The Recreation Management Major requires a 400-hour internship experience. Internship sites have YMCAs, municipal parks and recreation departments, amusement pars, commercial resorts, campus recreation programs, fitness centers, and youth sports leagues.



    OHIO's location in Athens, Ohio, offers students a picturesque college town experience with abundant year-round recreational activities such as hiking, cycling, backpacking, bouldering (indoor and outdoor), mountain biking, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, camping, wildlife viewing, and swimming. Athens is conveniently situated in a region teeming with adventures, including nationally acclaimed spots like Bailey's Trail System (15 minute drive from campus) for mountain biking, Hocking Hills State Park (45 minute drive from campus) for hiking, and New River Gorge National Park (3 hour drive from campus) for climbing and whitewater paddling. 


    Graduate Success

    Employers of OHIO alumni include the National Parks Service, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, U.S Forest Service, YMCA, Columbus Metro Parks, University Campus Recreation Centers, U.S. Navy Morale, Welfare, and Recreation, JCC of Greater Columbus, REI, and many more! 

Career Opportunities

Graduates from the Recreation Management major are prepared to lead and excel in their profession!

Example Job Titles:

  • Director of Parks and Recreation
  • Program Coordinator
  • Camp Director
  • Youth Sport Coordinator
  • Recreation Facility Director
  • Resort Manager
  • Travel Consultant/Coordinator
  • Festival Director
  • Event Planner/Coordinator

Minors and Certificates

The Recreation Management major is complimented by a variety of potential minors or certificate programs depending on an individual Bobcat’s interests. Potential pairings include:

Costs and Financial Aid

When you choose OHIO, you’re getting the competitive tuition rates of a state university, but with the personalized attention and support you might expect from a private school. In fact, for the second consecutive year we were named the best value among Ohio’s public universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Tuition and fees are assessed based on the number of credit hours of enrollment, Ohio residency and program. 


The Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions (COAPRT). As an accrediting body, COAPRT is accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

2023 Annual Report
2022 Annual Report
2021 Annual Report

More Information on the Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies Programs' Accreditation


If you have any questions, please reach out to:

Dr. Bruce Martin
Program Coordinator,
Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies
Patton College of Education
Patton Hall 202Q
Athens, OH 45701