Ohio University

Search within:

Recreation Management

The Recreation Management major is a nationally accredited major and will prepare Bobcats for programming, management, as well as coordinator positions within the field of parks and recreation. Bobcats within the major will be working with and learning from experienced faculty, who have worked in various recreation agencies and remain active in a variety of recreation organizations. 

Through hands-on experiences, Bobcats within the major will learn about working in public and non-profit agencies such as municipal parks and recreation, state and federal recreation agencies, youth agencies, commercial recreation agencies and many more! Bobcats will learn about the variety of professions and job opportunities within the field of recreation and will work with these agencies through course projects as well as through their required internship.

Course topics within the Recreation Management major include:

  • Programming
  • Management and leadership
  • Facility operations
  • Research
  • Risk management
  • Inclusive recreation
  • Festival and event planning

Bobcats within the major are also set up to earn a certificate in Festivals, Events, and Entertainment Management to complement their degree.


Why OHIO's Recreation Management Program?
  • The Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies Program is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, and Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT). 
  • The Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies program combines both traditional classroom experience with hands-on learning that aims to enhance students’ employability and connect students with recreation agencies within the industry. 
  • Employers of OHIO alumni include the National Parks Service, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, U.S Forest Service, Outward Bound, NOLS, Alaska Geographic, YMCA, Camp Joy, Garden of the Gods (Colorado), Scouting USA, Naturalists At Large, Adventure Treks, Columbus Metro Parks, and many more! (Business Wire report(opens in a new window))
  • The Recreation Industry continues to grow rapidly and encompasses a wide variety of sectors, services, and experiences such as fitness, community recreation, sports, tourism, festivals, and more! 
  •  OHIO’s location in Athens, Ohio, offers students a scenic and college town experience that provides year-round recreational opportunities that includes hiking, cycling, backpacking, bouldering (indoor and outdoor), mountain-biking, standup paddleboarding, canoeing, camping, wildlife viewing, swimming, and much more.
  •  Located in a region rich with outdoor and adventure recreation opportunities, the Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies program is in close proximity to nationally renowned areas for mountain-biking (Bailey’s Trail System; 8 miles), hiking (Hocking Hills State Park; 37 miles) as well as climbing and whitewater paddling (New River Gorge National Park; 149 miles).
  •  The Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies program requires a 400 internship experience. Internship sites have included camps, national parks, state parks, forest service areas, YMCAs, parks and recreation departments, Outward Bound, wilderness therapy organizations, outdoor education centers, commercial outfitters, guide services, and ecotourism resorts. 
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
Program Requirements

View the Course Catalog entry for detailed requirements and curriculum.

The coursework in this major is offered within many other academic departments, such as Business, Psychology, Economics, Philosophy, Communication, and Journalism. As such, the major is very academically rigorous and allows you to customize your experience.

Apply Now

Council on Accreditation Logo

The Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions (COAPRT).

As accrediting body, COAPRT is accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).COAPRT standard 2.05.05 requires programs to report aggregated data and additional evidence reflecting program academic quality and student achievement. Results for the most recent academic year (AY 2020-20121) follow:

  • Outcome 1 from Standard 7.01: Obtain a richer understanding of procedures and techniques commonly utilized for the assessment of leisure needs.
  • Outcome 1 Assessment Method: As a culmination of students’ efforts in conducting a needs assessment on a local recreation and leisure organization, students produce a comprehensive facility plan. The following project requires that students gather data from multiple sources and research the type of facility that characterizes their partner organization. With the data garnered, students interpret the results, create a set of recommendations for their partner organization, and create a comprehensive facility plan report. The comprehensive facility plan report serves as one indicator of students’ comprehension of the stated learning outcome.
  • Outcome 1 Result: In 2020, 89% of students scored a 73% or higher on the assignment. The overall mean grade earned by students for the assignment was an 84.1%. 
  • Outcome 2 from Standard 7.02: Understand inclusive practices as they apply to the design and operation of recreation programs, services and facilities.
  • Outcome 2 Assessment Method: Students must develop and submit a program plan that reflects an original inclusive recreation program that is at least two hours in length. Evaluation of the program plan occurs through a designated rubric that draws from specific required assignment components. 
  • Outcome 2 Result: In 2020, 90% of the students scored at or above 73% on the assignment. The overall mean grade for the assignment was an 81%. 
  • Outcome 3 from Standard 7.03: Identify a variety of resources involved in managing recreation facilities that can assist a facility in becoming more financially and environmentally sustainable. 
  • Outcome 3 Assessment Method: To meet the following learning outcome, students carry out a basic energy audit that evaluates energy consumption. Reviews of this type have become an important evaluative tool for recreational organizations that are looking to reduce their energy consumption and achieve a certain level of cost savings. Students' efforts involve obtaining building demographic information, collecting energy usage data for a two-week period, calculating utility costs for current light sources and energy-efficient alternatives, and a payback period for proposed changes. 
  • Outcome 3 Result: In 2020, 75% of students scored at or above 73% on the assignment. The overall mean grade for the assignment was an 84%.

CHEA requires accredited institutions to inform the public about "degree and accreditation mills." Cautions concerning these are summarized in a video that can be viewed on the CHEA website.

According to CHEA, degree mills and accreditation mills mislead and harm. In the United States, degrees and certificates from mills may not be acknowledged by other institutions when students seek to transfer or go to graduate school. Employers may not acknowledge degrees and certificates from degree mills when providing tuition assistance for continuing education. "Accreditation" from an accreditation mill can mislead students and the public about the quality of an institution or program. In the presence of degree mills and accreditation mills, students may spend a good deal of money and receive neither an education nor a useable credential.

For more Information

Dr. Andrew Szolosi
Program Coordinator, Recreation Management
Patton College of Education
Patton Hall 202L
Athens, OH 45701