Applying to the Major


Declare the Recreation Management & Leadership major now.

Contact academic advisor Jen Leita to declare.

Learn More About Recreation Management and Leadership

Welcome to Recreation Management and Leadership in the Department of Health and Human Development at Western Washington University. Included here is information to assist you in deciding whether recreation is the field you wish to study, as well as information to get you started in our department. 

For general Recreation Management and Leadership information, please see the Recreation Management and Leadership Plan of Study from the online catalog.

For a more a more detailed look at the phase curriculum, please see the Recreation Management and Leadership Phase System.

For a look at which recreation courses are required each quarter, please see the Recreation Management and Leadership Class Schedule.

Advising guides for specific interest areas within Recreation Management and Leadership:

What is the study of Recreation Management and Leadership?

The purpose of recreation and leisure is to contribute to the health and wellbeing of individuals and to enhance the quality of community life. As such, the study of recreation is multidisciplinary, requiring understanding of the social, behavioral, physical, and environmental sciences as they pertain to helping people grow and develop in their leisure while conserving our vital natural resources. Knowledge of the arts and humanities is important as well, because leisure is one of the most fertile opportunities available to human beings for self-expression and the development of community.

What can you do with a degree in Recreation Management and Leadership?

Recreation Management and Leadership offers a curriculum for persons interested in careers in recreation and leisure services. It provides a solid professional foundation complemented by concentrations that allow majors to work in a variety of fields, such as outdoor, community, therapeutic, military, and commercial recreation. In addition to its philosophy of professional study based in principles of liberal education, Recreation Management and Leadership features an innovative phased curriculum. "The Phase" is a four-part sequence of courses which students typically enter in the spring of their sophomore year and finish the fall of their senior year. Approximately 60 students enter and complete the four blocks of phases together as a community of learners. This arrangement has many advantages, chief among them:

  • A supportive community of fellow students, faculty, and alumni.
  • A variety of learning environments in addition to the classroom, such as overnight retreats, field experiences, and professional conferences.
  • Greater access to faculty and comprehensive advising.
  • Being part of the Phase tradition and its growing alumni network throughout the state, region, and nation.

The Phase, in a word, is special. We encourage you to ask faculty, students, and graduates about it.

Examples of jobs in the recreation field include:

  • Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (in various settings including hospitals, long-term care facilities, mental health centers, schools, and prisons)
  • Wilderness Ranger for the National Park Service
  • Program Director for non-profit agencies (Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, etc.)
  • Adventure Tour Guide
  • Camp Director
  • Community Events Coordinator
  • Wilderness Instructor

Transfer Students

If you are thinking about transferring to Western, consult the Office of Admissions Transfer Student Information.

Applying to Western

For information about applying to Western, contact the Admissions Office, Old Main 200, (360) 650-3440. An Undergraduate Application for Admission is required of all freshmen, transfer and post baccalaureate applicants.

Need help?

If you need help deciding on classes, or if you need any other information, feel free to contact Jen Leita, HHD Advising Coordinator, CV 201A, or schedule an appointment.

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