​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Program Description

If you love the outdoors, feel connected to the environment and enjoy educating people, you can turn that passion into a career in outdoor recreation. CMU outdoor and environmental recreation students combine class and fieldwork to prepare for careers in parks, protected areas, camps, and outdoor or environmental education programs — including at national parks or adventure programs. A minor and a required internship enhance your leadership skills, such as planning and supervising others.

Put Your Degree to Work

​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data

JobMedian PayJob Growth through ​2022​
Conservation scientist$59,060 per year3% (900 more jobs)
Recreation worker$22,240 per year14% (49,000 more jobs)
Community service manager$59,970 per year21% (27,700 more jobs)

For More Information

Visit the College of Education and Human Services website​ or contact:

Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Administration
Finch Fieldhouse 214
Email: rpl@cmich.edu
Phone: 989-774-3858

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.

(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)

Recreation: Outdoor and Environmental Recreation Concentration

An internship and a minor are required on this concentration. A minor or equivalent in Anthropology, Biology, Geography, Geology, Museum Studies, or Sustainability and Environmental Policy is preferred; other appropriate minors may be considered only through consultation and approval from a departmental advisor.
Total: 51-66 semester hours
Required Professional Core Courses
(42-57 hours)
Note: RPL 310 must be taken two semesters prior to actual internship. Note: RPL 320 (Internship) is a capstone experience following the completion of all other course work at the university. Students electing the B.A. or B.S. degree plans will complete a 15 credit internship. Students electing the B.A.A. degree plan will complete a 30 credit internship.
RPL 118
Introduction to Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services
2
RPL 205
Outdoor Leadership
3
RPL 209
Inclusive Recreation with Diverse Populations
2
RPL 216
Introduction to Outdoor Recreation
3
RPL 310
Pre-Internship in Leisure Services
1
RPL 320
Professional Internship in Recreation
1-30
RPL 358
Foundations of Outdoor and Environmental Education
3
RPL 370
Leave No Trace Ethics
1
RPL 470
Park and Natural Resource Management
3
RPL 508QR
Budgeting & Funding for Leisure Service Agencies
3
RPL 511
Liability and Risk Management in Leisure Services
3
RPL 518
Research & Philosophy in RPL
3
Additional Requirements
(6 hours)
Through consultation with an advisor, the student will select from the following classes for a total of six (6) credits:
RPL 218
Teaching of Outdoor Skills
3
RPL 435
Leadership in Adventure Education Programming
3
RPL 552
Environmental Interpretation
3
RPL 570
Wilderness Issues and Policy
3
Electives
(3 hours)
Select any RPL course.