Career opportunities in recreation

The program in recreation, park and leisure studies has a long history at the University of Minnesota and is one of the oldest in the nation. The program has been preparing professionals to enter the field since the early 1900's.

The University of Minnesota offers emphasis areas of study in Recreational Administration and Outdoor Recreation. Graduates with a degree in recreation work in a variety of programs and agencies. Examples of several agencies are listed below with links to their websites to further explore the programs offered and types of careers that are available with these agencies.

Recreation Administration

Students that focus on Recreation Administration can direct their career path in many directions working with public park systems, not-for-profit organizations, for profit companies or the travel and tourism industry. Coursework in programming as well as business and administration prepares students to move into positions to plan, direct and supervise recreation programs and manage personnel and facilities.

Typical organizations that hire our students include:

Outdoor Recreation

Students focusing on Outdoor Recreation seek out employment in areas such as: adventure education and recreation facilities (camps, challenge courses, outdoor tripping organizations and businesses, and college outdoor programs ex. U of MN Center for Outdoor Adventure); environmental and outdoor education facilities (nature centers, environmental education centers and interpretive centers); and, in park management at the county, state and federal level (DNR, State or National Parks, U.S. Forest Service, Regional Park Systems).

The Center for Outdoor Adventure (COA) is located right here on the University of Minnesota campus. It provides opportunities for students to become trip leaders, to work at an indoor climbing facility, and do internships. The Center for Outdoor Adventure serves the University community by providing outdoor trips, equipment rentals, clinics, summer programs, and an indoor climbing wall. To learn more, visit COA.

Another preferred employer is our Community Partner, Wilderness Inquiry (WI), a non-profit outdoor based company located near campus in Dinkytown. Wilderness Inquiry's mission is to make adventure travel accessible to everyone, regardless of age, background or ability. To find out more about the exciting opportunities with WI, visit

Typical organizations that hire our students include:

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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer
Last modified on 8/8/2012