Department of Health and Human Development, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

The purpose of recreation and leisure is to contribute to the health and well-being of individuals and enhance the quality of community life. As such, the study of recreation is multidisciplinary, requiring understanding of the social, behavioral, physical, and environmental sciences as they pertain to helping people grow and develop in their leisure while conserving our vital natural resources. Knowledge of the arts and humanities is important as well, because leisure is one of the most fertile opportunities for self-expression and the development of community.

In support of healthy individuals, families, and communities, career opportunities in recreation and leisure services are numerous and diverse. The Recreation Management and Leadership curriculum prepares students to design, implement, manage, lead, and evaluate recreation programs and services. The program is designed as four sequential 15-17 credit hour blocks of classes (phases) with students moving through the program as a cohort group. Students enter Phase I of the program during spring quarter, typically during their sophomore or junior year. The following schedule shows the sequential order of the four program phases:

The phase system allows maximum flexibility for scheduling students’ educational experience to include workshops, field experiences, conferences, and seminars both on and off campus. By making use of other departments at Western, statewide recreation resources, and recreation professionals, students are provided with exposure to a wide variety of experiential and service-learning opportunities.

Recreation and leisure contribute to the health and well-being of individuals and their communities. Graduates of Recreation Management and Leadership are employed throughout the region, nation, and world in a variety of settings, including public recreation departments, outdoor recreation programs, hospitals, and tourism agencies. The Recreation Management and Leadership major emphasizes preparation in the broad areas of outdoor recreation, community recreation, therapeutic recreation, and sustainable tourism. Community and outdoor recreation graduates find employment in federal and state recreation and park agencies, county and community recreation departments, non-profit agencies, camp and adventure programs, wilderness therapy, and commercial recreation settings. Therapeutic recreation graduates find employment in hospitals; skilled nursing facilities; mental health agencies; adaptive outdoor recreation programs, community recreation departments; and federal, state, and private agencies serving persons with disabilities or other adapted recreation needs. Graduates prepared in sustainable tourism find employment with tour companies, resorts, ecolodges, and convention and visitor bureaus.

Recreation Management and Leadership and its Therapeutic Recreation Concentration are nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT).

Students should contact Jen Leita, HHD Advising Coordinator, for current information on admission procedures.

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Listed below are the documents required to apply for this course.
4 years


Apr 2024

Start Month

Mar 2024

Application Deadline

Upcoming Intakes

  • September 2024
  • April 2024
  • January 2025
  • September 2025
  • April 2025
  • January 2026
  • September 2026
  • April 2026

Mode of Study

  • Full Time