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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 (65-66 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. Special Event Planning
  • RA 130. International Tourism: Multicultural Issues and Impacts
  • RA 131. Foundations of Special Events and Tourism
  • RA 133. Recreation and Parks Facilities Planning and Operations
  • RA 135 or MKTG 100S.  Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Marketing or Marketing Concepts
  • RA 139. Research and Evaluation in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism
  • RA 184i. Internship in Recreation, Parks, Tourism and Recreation Therapy
  • ACCT 3 or ACCT 4A. Essentials of Accounting or Financial Accounting Principles and Systems

*(33-34 units)

  • BA 18. Business and the Legal Environment
  • COMM 103. Advanced Public Speaking
  • ENTR 81. Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  • MCJ 106. Publication Design
  • MCJ 142. Advertising Procedures
  • MCJ 152S. Fundamentals of Public Relations
  • RA 119. Conference, Convention, and Meeting Planning
  • RA 146. Adventure Based Programming
  • RA 150. Sports and Entertainment Facility Management
  • RA 192T. Topics in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism
  • REC 74. Games for All Ages (5 units)

General Education requirements (48 units)

Other requirements (9 units)
American Government and Institutions (PLSI 2), Multicultural and International (MI), and Upper-division writing 

Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)

*Total units (120)

Contact Us

Dr. Sam Lankford
Option Coordinator and Department Chair

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