Recreational Management and Leadership

Recreation Management and Leadership

Student sitting on ledge looking at mountain

Inspire. Motivate. Influence.


There’s more to life than just punching in a timecard at your job. When your career is about enriching the lives of others and celebrating the path to wellness, earning a living can be especially fulfilling.

Nationally accredited, Western Washington University's Recreation Management and Leadership Program offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation. Our degree program will prepare you to succeed at a variety of careers in recreation. Four areas of concentration are available to students pursuing this major:

The Phase System

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, especially:

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

FOREST (Foundations of Outdoor Recreation, Entrepreneurship & Sustainable Tourism) Certificate

The purpose of the FOREST (Foundations of Outdoor Recreation, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Tourism) is to provide students with the ability to apply Entrepreneurial and Innovative mindset, knowledge and skills to Outdoor Recreation and Sustainable Tourism and related areas. At WWU we focus on human-centered, whole person development including self-discovery, knowledge, skills/abilities and mindset where we support being able to identify opportunities and tie them to innovations while bringing people and resources together to make impactful change happen. Students will learn introductory to intermediate foundations allowing them to become entrepreneurial and innovative leaders (intrapreneurs), create and prepare to launch their own business (or other organization type including non-profits/NGOs and social enterprises) and/or join an existing organization as a productive, entrepreneurial team member.

Adding a FOREST certification to your degree is easy. To learn more visit the WWU catalog.

COAPRT Accreditation

Western Washington University's Recreation Management and Leadership major is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT). 

Read more about COAPRT accreditation