Advising & Registration

Advising and Registration

Welcome to the Recreation Program 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. Please explore all the links provided throughout this site. If you have any questions, feel free to ask an advisor.

For general Recreation Program advising information, please see the Recreation Program Plan of Study from the online catalog.

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

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

Advising guides for specific interest areas within the Recreation Program:

What can you do with a degree in Recreation?

The Recreation Program 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 recreation fields, such as outdoor, community, therapeutic, military, and tourism. Some jobs 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

What is the study of Recreation?

The purpose of recreation and leisure is to contribute to the health and well being 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.

How do I apply to the Recreation Program?

Students normally apply for admission to the Recreation Program fall quarter of their sophomore year (students must have reached sophomore status by the spring quarter they plan to begin the program). The number of students admitted to the program each year is limited to about sixty. Applicants should first submit their materials via email to Taylor Leenstra ( and then schedule a 15-20 minute interview with a faculty member (in Carver 209).

The priority deadline to apply was November 1, 2018. Applications are accepted after the priority deadline date if space is available in the program. We are currently at our limit of 60 students; however, you may still turn in an application and have your interview. If space opens up in the program, we will contact you.

Remember that RECR 201 is required as a pre-requisite for the recreation major (offered fall quarter 2018, MTWR 12-12:50, CRN 40026, and winter quarter 2019, MTWR 11-11:50, CRN 10277).

Below you will find the steps to apply to the Recreation Program:

1. Follow the instructions on the Recreation Program Application Process. (Or pick one up in the Recreation Program Office, Carver 209, or from Taylor Leenstra in Carver 271B.) Email all documents in ONE email to

This application is separate from the application to Western Washington University, and admission to the Recreation Program is contingent on admission to the university. However, you may turn in your Recreation Program application before you are admitted to Western.

2. Include with your application an official or unofficial transcript/academic history of all college course work, both at WWU and at any other colleges you have attended.

3. Include a double-spaced, 2-3 page essay that addresses the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in a career in recreation and leisure services?

  • What experiences have fostered your interest in a career in recreation and leisure services?

  • What contributions do you think you can make to the field of recreation and leisure services?

  • What can you contribute to the Recreation Program and what do you expect to receive from it?

  • Discuss any other relevant factors.

4. Schedule a 15-20 minute interview with a member of the faculty (in Carver 209) after all materials have been submitted to Taylor. You should give the faculty a day or two to review your application materials before your interview.

Graduation Application Process

Two quarters before graduating, every recreation major must submit a Degree Application form and a signed Major Evaluation for Graduation form to the Registrar's Office. For directions on this process, please click HERE.

Waitlist Policy

Students majoring in recreation will receive priority on the waitlist.

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 a recreation program faculty member.