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B.S. in Recreation and Tourism Management

The Recreation and Tourism Management Program at Georgia Southern University is the only COAPRT accredited four-year bachelor’s degree of its type in the state of Georgia. Our students learn the underlying theory and administrative practices necessary to provide quality leisure services in the areas of outdoor recreation, sports and athletics, event planning, and tourism. Since 1983, our graduates have engaged in diverse rewarding professions that provide life-changing experiences throughout the state and nation.

Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Tourism Management
Format: In person on the Statesboro Campus
Credit Hours: 124

Accreditation: Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions for 39 years.

Program Highlights

Ranked #1 in Georgia and #3 in the Southeast Region for a Bachelor’s in Park & Rec

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Emphasis in Outdoor Recreation

The Outdoor Recreation emphasis prepares students to work for organizations that manage natural resources and provide outdoor recreation opportunities to the public. There are numerous experiential learning opportunities designed to develop knowledge and skills necessary for success in the outdoor recreation industry. Graduates work in fields such as resource conservation, park law enforcement, environmental education and outdoor leadership.

There are two general career paths that outdoor recreation students can pursue: Outdoor Recreation Management and Outdoor Program Administration.

Careers in Outdoor Recreation

Outdoor Recreation Management

Graduates work for federal and state land management agencies.

Examples include:

  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Conservation law enforcement
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
  • Georgia DNR – Coastal Resources Division
  • Historic sites
  • National park services
  • State park systems
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services
  • U.S. Forest Services

Outdoor Program Administration

Graduates work for recreational, educational, developmental, and therapeutic adventure programs in the private and non-profit sectors. Examples include:

  • Camps, private schools, and residential facilities
  • Commercial guide services and tourism providers
  • Destination ski resorts
  • Military Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs
  • National Outdoor Leadership School
  • Outdoor education centers and science schools
  • Outward Bound
  • Therapeutic wilderness programs
  • University outdoor programs

Emphasis in Tourism and Community Leisure Services

The Tourism and Community Leisure Services emphasis provides students the skills and experiences required to manage recreation programs and facilities in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Career opportunities are prevalent in organizations such as community parks and recreation departments, campus recreation centers, YMCA’s, Boys and Girls Clubs, and tourism destination resorts and hotels. Students collaborate with Bulloch County Recreation Department and other local organizations to provide programs and services to the community.

Careers in Tourism and Community Leisure Services

Tourism

Graduates work for public, private and non-profit organizations that manage tourism destinations and market them to potential visitors. Examples include:

  • Airlines and cruise ships
  • Commercial guide services and tourism providers
  • Conference centers
  • Convention and visitor bureau
  • Destination marketing & sales
  • Destination resorts
  • Event management organization
  • Theme park and tourism attractions
  • Tourism promotion & planning agencies

Community Leisure Services

Graduates work for public, private and non-profit organizations that manage recreation programs and facilities. Examples include:

  • Aquatic facilities and water parks
  • Athletic departments
  • Campus recreation and intramurals
  • City and county recreation departments
  • City and regional arts centers
  • Corporate recreation programs
  • Fitness centers
  • Golf courses
  • Military Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs
  • Sports and athletic facilities

Other Program Options

Accelerated Bachelors to Masters in Public Administration (MPA)

Eligible undergraduate students can apply up to 12 graduate credit hours toward the Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Tourism Management, and the Masters in Public Administration..

Interdisciplinary Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management

Eligible undergraduate students within the recreation major can complete the certificate requirements in conjunction with required courses and guided major electives.

Students from outside the major can complete the certificate requirements by completing 18 credit hours, including a 3 credit hour practical experience and at least one recognized industry certification (e.g. ServSafe, TIPS, Cvent).

Minor in Recreation and Tourism Management

The Recreation and Tourism Management Minor is open to any undergraduate student interested in the fields of community recreation, outdoor recreation, and tourism management. Minor in Recreation and Tourism Management with only 15 credit hours

Supplement your major course work with related skill sets:

  • Environmental education
  • Event planning
  • Outdoor leadership
  • Resource conservation
  • Resort operations
  • Tourism management
  • Youth sports programming

Student Resources

Recreation Student Association (RSA)

The Recreation Student Association provides a forum to discuss critical issues in the field of parks, recreation, and tourism management. We promote opportunities for career development and community service through partnerships with relevant professional associations, community organizations, and private businesses. Membership is open to all Georgia Southern students. For more information please contact Dr. Tom Sweeney:  tsweeney@georgiasouthern.edu.

Recreation Student Association (RSA) facebook group

Finding a Job

Finding a Job

Search the below websites for potential job listings in your emphasis area. Additionally, those interested in internships can query any organization regarding potential internships.

Scholarships

Honey Bowen Scholarship

Started in 2000, the Honey Bowen Scholarship was established in honor of Genaria Honey Bowen, a Statesboro civic activist. During her time, Bowen organized the first Parks and Recreation Department in Bulloch County in 1948 and served as the director. Bowen received countless awards for the effort she put into her community, including being inducted into the Georgia Parks and Recreation Association Hall of Fame. Bowen continued to serve her community until her passing in 1997 at the age of 91. This scholarship is available to students majoring in Recreation and Tourism Management.

Wayne and Syble Gay Scholarship

Established in 2013, this scholarship was created by Wayne and Sybil Gay to financially support Georgia Southern students. Wayne Gay graduated from Georgia Southern in 1968 with B.S. in Recreation and an M.S. in Recreation Administration in 1973. Sybil Gay received three separate degrees from Georgia Southern in 1967, 1972, and 1985, all in Upper Elementary Education. This scholarship is available to rising juniors and seniors who have maintained a GPA of 3.25 or higher. This scholarship is available to students majoring in Recreation and Tourism Management.

Internships

Internships

Students complete a 400-600 hour internship in the final semester of their senior year as a requirement for graduation from the program. This is a work-study course supervised by a faculty member and internship site coordinator. Students are expected to apply knowledge gained through coursework to real-life situations. The internship site must meet certain criteria and be approved by the faculty coordinator in advance. Refer to the Internship Website linked below for detailed information. Students will complete Professional Development in Recreation (RECR 4630) in preparation for the internship program.

Georgia Southern graduates have been very successful in securing employment opportunities in RTM and advancing within parks, recreation and tourism careers. Alumni of the University’s RTM program include directors and superintendents of many regional and state park systems nationwide. Examples include Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resource, Director of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites, and the Executive Director of the Georgia Recreation and Park Association. The network of Georgia Southern University graduates working throughout the state and the nation provides a tremendous resource for job and internship placement.

Available Internship Highlight

Available Internship Highlight

Camp Wheel-A-Way is held at Camp Twin Lakes in Winder, GA.

This camp is directly affiliated with The Kyle Pease Foundation- an organization that promotes inclusion through endurance sports. This camp is a vehicle for us to provide an adaptive camp experience filled with growth and fun to those ages 6-30 who have cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities. We are looking to fill volunteer positions for this camp so we wanted to reach out to you in hopes that you would share this information with your colleagues and/or students. This is a great opportunity for students who are looking for experience with a medically fragile population. It will be held at Camp Twin Lakes’ “Camp WIll-A-Way” location in Winder, Georgia. As a volunteer, counselors will stay in the cabins with the campers and are expected to stay on camp for the duration of the weekend. Housing and meals are provided at camp!

The dates are March 22-24. The deadline to apply is March 1st, 2024. I have attached both the camp flyer as well as the application link below. If you or anyone else have any questions, please feel free to contact us at this email: kpfcamps@gmail.com

https://forms.monday.com/forms/348ad31fcdcd2e9f6b4fae7dcdb6c972?r=use1

Recent Internship Locations

Recent Internship Locations

  • American Conservation Experience
  • Army Corps of Engineers; B. Everett Jordam Lake
  • Bainbridge Decatur County Parks & Recreation
  • Bill Cody Ranch
  • Bluewater Bay Marina
  • Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center
  • Bulloch Country Recreation Dept.
  • Butler-Mason YMCA
  • Camp Twin Lakes
  • Campus Outreach
  • Cape Eleuthera Institute
  • Carolina Point
  • City of Decatur Children and Youth Services
  • Clyde Venue-Savannah
  • Dalton Park and Recreaton Dept.
  • Driftwood Environmental Education Center
  • Falling Creek Camp
  • GA 4H Jekyll Island
  • GA National Fairgrounds and Agricenter
  • GA State Parks; Ft. Yargo
  • Georgia Cooperative Extension – Tifton
  • Green River Preserve
  • GS Center for Wildlife Education
  • Hardeeville Park and Recreation Dept.
  • High Trails Outdoor Science School
  • Holiday Inn
  • J Strom Thurmond Lake & Dam
  • LRT Sports
  • Macon Bibb County Recreation
  • Macon Museum of Arts & Sciences
  • Magnolia Spring State Park
  • Marriott Park City
  • Meramec Adventure Learning Ranch
  • Montana State Parks
  • N. Augusta
  • Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Dept.
  • National Park Service
  • Oatland Island Wildlife Center
  • Resort Rentals
  • Savannah Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Skipstone Adventures
  • South Bryan Park and Recreation Dept.
  • Student Conservation Association
  • Summit Meadows Adventures*
  • The Georgia Conservancy
  • Tormenta FC
  • UGA Cooperative Extension
  • University Nevada Las Vegas Athletic Dept
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • US Forest Service; Boundary Waters
  • Vail Resorts
  • Walking Mountains Science Center
  • YMCA of the Rockies
  • Young Life Windy Gap
Student Resources
Accreditation & Learning Outcomes

Professional Accreditation

Our undergraduate major in Recreation & Tourism Management is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions (COAPRT). COAPRT is, in turn, accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Learning Outcomes

COAPRT standard 2.05.05 requires reporting of aggregated results of learning outcomes assessment and other evidence of program academic quality. Results for the most recent academic year (AY 2021-2022) follow:

  • Student performance on learning outcomes that address COAPRT Standards 7.01-7.04 exceeded a 70% achievement target by 17%.
  • 100% of student interns met or exceeded expectations on their supervisor final evaluation; 80% of students exceeded expectations (scored 90% or higher).
  • Undergraduate students are mentored by senior faculty and obtain advising and course scheduling support via a professionally staffed advisement center. (CBSS Advisement Center)
  • 88% of student interns secured professional employment within parks, recreation, and tourism organizations, or were admitted to graduate school within six months of their final academic semester. 

Additional evidence of student achievement and academic quality may be discerned in the following documents. Please contact Program Coordinator to obtain copies of these documents.

  • COAPRT Series 7.0 Learning Outcomes Performance
  • SACSCOC Recreation & Tourism Management Program Assessment Report

COAPRT Reaccreditation Granted

The Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT) granted continuing accreditation of Georgia Southern University’s Recreation & Tourism Management program on October 28, 2022. The Council approved the following commendations: 

  • The program is commended for its continued commitment to accreditation for the past 39 years. 
  • Faculty demonstrated strong regional, state, and national connections to industry professionals in order to support experiential learning, curriculum development, and mentorship. 
  • Program faculty are committed to the support of student success through their accessibility to students, outreach/networking, formal and informal advising, and creation of experiential learning opportunities.
  • Campus and program services for students with disabilities are a significant strength of the program.
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Last updated: 2/8/2024