Top Schools for Recreational and Leisure Activities Programs

Read about programs in recreation and leisure studies. Learn about degree options at four top schools, and find out where else students can pursue training in recreation and leisure studies.

View popular schools

There are both undergraduate and graduate-level programs available in recreation-related topics. Relevant majors include sports management, leisure studies and tourism management, among others.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Cultural Studies
  • Ethnic and Gender Studies
  • Geography and Cartography
  • Human and Consumer Sciences
  • Human and Social Services
  • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
  • Military Studies
  • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Religious Studies
  • Social Science and Studies
  • Social Studies and History
  • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies

School Information

Notable schools for this field include Bowling Green State University, Florida State University, Arizona State University and Asbury University. Two of these schools have been accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT). All four were regionally or nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH

School Highlight: Bowling Green State University is home to the School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies.

The university offers majors in tourism, leisure & event planning and sport management. Students can also enter into the university's School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies. Through this HMSLS department, undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered in athletic training, exercise science, physical education and sport management and training, among other areas of study. The school has been accredited by COAPRT, and it was ranked as tied for #103 among all public schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL

School Highlight: This university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in recreation and leisure services administration.

The university's College of Education offers bachelor's and master's programs in recreation and leisure services administration. Study areas include leisure education and research, counseling and recreation. Graduates should be ready to handle professional responsibilities associated with resort and recreational centers. For 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Florida State as tied for #92 among all national universities, and tied for #38 on the list of the best public schools.

Arizona State University in Phoenix, AZ

School Highlight: The school offers a B.S. in Tourism Management program.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Parks and Recreation Management at Arizona State has been accredited by COAPRT. Within this major, students may pursue a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation, which has also been recognized by COAPRT. In addition, the school offers a B.S. in Community Sports Management and a B.S. in Tourism and Development Management. At the graduate level, students may also pursue a Master of Science or Ph.D. in Community Resources & Development, or a Master of Applied Science in Sustainable Tourism. In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Arizona State University #1 on its list of the most innovative universities in the country. The school was also tied for #61 on the list of the best public schools.

Asbury University in Wilmore, KY

School Highlight: The student-faculty ratio at Asbury is 13:1, and over 63% of courses have less than 20 students.

Asbury University is a private Christian university that placed 14th on the U.S. News & World Report list of the best universities in the South region for 2017. The university's Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department offers a major in recreation that can help students prepare for a career in recreation administration or programming and facility planning. Students learn about adventure camping, recreation concepts and therapeutic recreation. They also develop outdoor survival skills, find out how to plan a park area and complete an internship.

Top Recreational and Leisure Activities Programs

The following schools also offer programs related to recreational and leisure activities:

  • Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA, offers one of only two COAPRT-accredited recreation programs in the state.
  • Students in Howard University's M.S. in Urban Recreation program can enroll in courses at other schools in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. consortium.
  • At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, master's degree students can choose between thesis, non-thesis and online tracks. The school also offers a Ph.D. in Recreation, Sport and Tourism.
  • Students in the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Recreation program at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS, can choose between more than 20 internship options, both within Mississippi and in other states.
  • After finishing the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Recreation Education program at CUNY Lehman in Bronx, NY, graduates are eligible to take the Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) exam offered by the National Recreation and Park Association.
  • Central State University in Wilberforce, OH, is the only historically black college/university (HBCU) in Ohio.

For students who want to earn a degree in a recreation or leisure studies field, there are schools around the country with relevant undergraduate and graduate programs, some of which have been accredited by the premier organization in this academic field, the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
    • BS in Liberal Studies
    • AAS in Business Administration - Health Club Operations

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Sports Business
    • Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education (ITL)

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Liberal Arts

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Science in Sports Analytics Management

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your age?

    • BA: Liberal Studies
    • AA: Liberal Arts

    What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?