About the Department

Hiking GirlRecreation Administration is the academic department for students who want to prepare for a career in the "Recreation and Leisure Industry."

Overall, the Recreation and Leisure Industry, including tourism, is a huge and diverse industry with over $1 trillion of spending within the U.S. each year. There three major components of the industry:

Commercial Recreation and Tourism

This is the largest segment of the industry and includes all the private corporations and businesses that offer leisure related facilities, products, and services. These include hotels, resorts, cruise ships, tour companies, theme parks, special event companies, professional sports, entertainment businesses, family fun centers, recreation retailers, river rafting companies, golf & country clubs, and many more types of leisure business.

Non-Profit Agencies

There are thousands of non-profit organizations that provide recreation and leisure services to people in virtually every city and town in the country. These include Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, YWCA, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and many types of special interest clubs, camps, and community service organizations, and cultural art centers.

Government Recreation Agencies

Every level of government is involved in recreation for its citizens. This includes National Parks, National Forests, State Parks, City and County park and recreation departments, university campus recreation programs, public school sports, recreation, and community education programs, and armed forces recreation programs.

What is the common theme that ties these many different types of agencies and businesses together as one huge yet diverse field? It's this:

We manage facilities, programs, and services that help people have a higher quality of life through positive, enjoyable, and enriching recreation and leisure experiences. That's what recreation and leisure professionals do, and our curriculum helps students learn the skills to do that.