Department of Recreation Administration
About the Profession
The Field of Recreation Administration
Recreation contributes to the health and well-being of individuals and enhances the quality of community life.
Our courses encourage students to learn and participate in hands-on activities to help all people live healthy, enjoyable, active, and meaningful lifestyles. Recreation Administration majors are active in the classroom and in the community.
The profession focuses on the principles underlying recreational activities and the practices involved in providing indoor and outdoor recreational facilities and services for the general public.
These recreational activities and services take place in outdoor recreation, parks and recreation, therapeutic recreation programs for people with disabilities, campus recreation, commercial recreation, travel and tourism, and youth serving organizations.
This field of study is multidisciplinary requiring an understanding of social, behavioral,
and environmental sciences as they pertain to helping people grow and develop in their
leisure pursuits while conserving our natural resources. Knowledge of the arts and
humanities is also important because leisure provides opportunities for self-expression
and the development of community.
Last year, Visit California surged back into international markets and delivered a historic $38.2B in ad-influenced spending — spending that would not have occurred otherwise. Thanks to the industry’s vision and unity, California tourism is bouncing back from the pandemic stronger and sooner than anyone predicted. Learn more in the FY22/23 Year in Review https://yearinreview.visitcalifornia.com.
Recreation and leisure business comprises the second largest industry in the United States. Employment opportunities are excellent. Graduates who are highly motivated and assertive have been very successful in securing professional positions when they design their academic and work experience to meet the needs of the marketplace.
Recreation professionals lead, supervise, and manage recreation activities, oversee areas and facilities to promote leisure education for individuals and groups in public, private and non-profit agencies. Employment settings include: municipal parks and recreation departments, private resorts, county, state, and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, religious youth and adult organizations, hospitals, military installations, colleges and universities, and travel and tour companies.
In support of healthy individuals, families, and communities, career opportunities in recreation and leisure services are numerous and diverse. The recreation curriculum prepares students to design, implement, manage, lead, and evaluate recreation programs and services in the following professional options: Community Recreation and Youth Services, Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resource Management, Special Events and Tourism, Sports and Entertainment Facility Management, and Recreation Therapy.
The undergraduate curriculum is designed to serve as a foundation for graduate education in recreation administration. A master’s degree may be required for some administrative positions in recreation.
The doctoral degree is desirable for those pursuing a career in higher education.