The recreation management industry is expanding and expected to grow faster than average over the next eight years. At Appalachian State University, you’ll prepare for careers in recreation management in one of the country’s most beautiful places for year-round recreation.
The Recreation Management (BS) - Commercial Recreation and Tourism Management degree prepares students to design, manage and deliver services related to the resort, tourism and commercial recreation industries.
Coursework focuses on entrepreneurship, small business management, marketing and management in the recreation context. Students work in a variety of environments including resorts, clubs, for-profit recreation companies, cruise lines, visitor bureaus, hotels and spas as well as social entrepreneurial endeavors. Students also participate in service-learning activities involving the community or have the option to study abroad.
Employment: Students have found positions working in commercial recreation businesses, professional sports, tourism, resorts, hotels and destination management organizations.
Former students have found internships and employment at Kiawah Island Resort, Walt Disney World, Haywood County Tourism Development Authority, The Biltmore, Omni Resorts, River Girl Fishing Company, Kitty Hawk Kites and High Gravity Adventures.
Graduate School: Students have pursued graduate degrees in various areas of business, including marketing and management.
A minor is required. Popular choices are Business, Management and Marketing.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
The Recreation Management Association (RMA) - a club providing extra recreational, social, and professional development opportunities to supplement Appalachian’s Recreation Management (RM) program. Membership is open to all Recreation Management majors/minors as well other interested students.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- Nearly 100% of Appalachian Recreation Management students pass the Certified Park and Recreation Professional Exam.
- Appalachian’s location in Boone provides a scenic, small town backdrop with year-round recreation opportunities, including climbing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, white water boating, fishing and camping.
- The region includes some of the best outdoor and adventure recreation opportunities, such as Mount Mitchell (the highest peak east of the Rockies), the Blue Ridge Parkway, the New River (part of the Wild & Scenic Rivers System and an American Heritage River), Grandfather Mountain, several N.C. state parks, four ski resorts, the Pisgah National Forest, and numerous recreation oriented resorts and private developments.
- The Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education emphasizes a combination of classroom and hands-on experience with one-on-one advising.
- An internship is required. Host sites have included: resorts, camps, outdoor education centers, adventure programs, therapeutic wilderness programs, parks and recreation departments, state parks, national parks, YMCAs, theme parks, outfitter/guide services, convention and visitors bureaus, professional sports teams and military bases.
Boone and Hickory*
*The Hickory Campus location is pending accreditation from SACSCOC for this program. Accreditation is expected in summer 2023.
- Recreation and park directors
- Hotel or resort manager
- Marketing director
- Park manager
View more career possibilities
Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education
Beaver College of Health Sciences
Dr. Daniel Theriault