Bachelor's Degree in Rec Studies

Oct 11, 2019

Bachelor's degree programs in recreation studies focus on the history, philosophy and operation of sports and leisure events. Learn more about the program, common courses and job options for graduates.

Essential Information

In bachelor's degree programs in recreation studies or rec studies, students study trends in the field, conduct risk analyses and learn how to find funding for events. Students also learn how to plan and manage special events, tournaments and league operations.

Recreation or 'rec' studies is also sometimes referred to as recreation and leisure studies or park, recreation and leisure studies. Specializations include community recreation, travel and tourism, therapeutic recreation, sports management and youth development. Students in these programs may be required to gain hands-on experience by interning at recreational areas such as state parks, rehabilitation centers or YMCAs.

Applicants will need a high school diploma or GED, and SAT or ACT scores are usually needed as well.

Bachelor's Degree in Recreation Studies

Degree programs in recreation studies study the reasons and ways in which individuals participate in activities or events. Students typically explore areas of leadership and activity development. Also, programs may offer students coursework in areas of inclusive recreation and park programs. While earning a bachelor's degree in recreation studies, students may study topics that include:

  • Marketing enterprises
  • Special populations
  • Facility design
  • Recreation philosophy
  • Leisure services legal issues
  • Leisure administration

Popular Career Options

Individuals who graduate from an undergraduate program in recreation are prepared for careers with private, commercial and nonprofit organizations in a variety of sports and leisure related areas. Depending on a graduate's interests, an individual may choose to work in state parks and nature areas, or they may veer toward careers with fitness centers or community sports associations. Some students may even find careers developing leisure activities for recovering addicts, helping others rehabilitate. Graduates may find positions as:

  • Athletic directors
  • Coaches
  • Park rangers
  • Athletic trainers

Employment Outlook and Salary

To provide some salary perspective, athletic trainers earned a median annual income of $47,510, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2018. During the 2018-2028 decade, employment is expected to increase by 19% (

Continuing Education

Graduates from bachelor's degree programs in recreation studies may choose to continue their education and pursue master's degrees in the field. Master's degree programs in recreation are designed to develop leadership and promote social change through individualized programs. These programs can lead to career advancements in management, administration or research in recreation.

Students interested in learning more about recreational activities and leadership can earn a bachelor's degree in recreation studies. Graduates can pursue master's degrees or work various jobs, such as athletic trainers and directors.

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