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Department of Recreation Administration

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Special Events and Tourism

Explore Special Events and Tourism

The Special Events and Tourism option provides opportunities for careers organizing and promoting events in the community, such as concerts, the arts, wine and food tastings, nature hikes and adventures, weddings, and fundraising events. Graduates work for community-based organizations such as non-profits, environmental organizations, government, convention centers and quasi-governmental organizations such as visitor and convention bureaus, main street and fairs, as well as private resorts and clubs.

Experience in your Profession

Our program culminates with a semester-long 525-hour internship. Many business, government, and nonprofit organizations create, plan, and execute a wide variety of special events and they hire full-time or contract staff to manage them. In addition, government park and recreation organizations hold annual events that require professional planning and management from an outside contractor, or within a department of parks and recreation. Students are also required to get experience while taking classes by completing pre-internship hours

Job Placements and Career Outlook

Event coordinators solicit exhibitors and negotiate contracts, setting up booths, assigning vendor spots and attracting the public to the event. Festivals include events such as food-based tourism, wine and music events, arts and crafts show, job fairs, carnivals, main street special events, and health fairs. This option is organized to help students who want to work in the event planning profession, whether it be private, public, or nonprofit.


Major requirements (65-69 units)
The following core program courses are required of all candidates for this degree. Additional required courses dependent upon the selected option area.

RA 55. Foundations and Careers in RPT

RA 60. Technologies in RPT

RA 73S. Leadership in RPT

RA 77S. Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Programming

RA 80. Lifelong Learning in the Natural Environment

RA 101. Leisure and Human Behavior

RA 125. Diversity and Inclusive Practices in RPT

RA 128. Legal and Financial Aspects of RPT

RA 179. Supervision and Administration in RPT

RA 180. Professional Placement in RPT

*27 units total

  • RA 117
  • RA 130
  • RA 131
  • RA 133
  • RA 135 or MKTG 100s
  • RA 139
  • RA 184i
  • ACCT 3 or ACCT 4A

*(38-42 units)

  • BA 18
  • COMM 103
  • ENTR 81
  • MCJ 106, 142, 152S
  • RA 119, 146, 150, 192T
  • REC 74 (5 units)

General Education requirements (49 units)

Other requirements (6 units) Upper-division writing and Multicultural and International (MI)

Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)

Total units (120)*

Contact Us

Sam Lankford, Ph.D.
Option Coordinator and Department Chair