Recreation and event management takes advantage of a booming leisure industry. With an expected job growth rate of 44 percent by 2020, CMU’s new recreation and event management major — Michigan’s first — puts you on a fast track to success. As a student, you might work behind the scenes at a major campus concert, help organize the nation’s only student-run Gus Macker basketball tournament or land your dream job through a required internship. Employers at theme parks, parks and recreation departments, community/convention centers, festivals, and entertainment venues covet your energy and await your graduation.
Points of Pride
- The International Festivals and Events Association honored CMU with its 2019 Gold Pinnacle Award for Best Event Management Bachelor's Degree.
- CMU has one of the top five largest recreation education programs in the United States.
- CMU’s recreation and event management major is accredited through the National Recreation and Park Association.
- The major boasts the nation’s only 30-week internship program.
Put Your Degree to Work
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data
|Job||Median Pay||Job Growth through 2022|
|Event and meeting planners||$45,810 per year||33% (94,200 more jobs)|
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 Major: Recreation and Event Management Concentration
An internship and a minor are required on this concentration. Specific minors are preferred. Other minors may be considered only through consultation and approval from the department advisor.
Advertising, American Sign Language, Business Administration, Child Development, Communications, Entrepreneurship, Gerontology, Hospitality Services Administration, Management, Marketing, Professional Sales, Public Administration, Religion, Retailing, Sport Management, Youth Studies, or any Language minor.
Other minors may be considered only through consultation and approval from the department advisor. The Event Management minor cannot be taken as a minor with this concentration.
Total: 66 semester hours
Required Professional Core Courses
Note: Choose one of RPL 343 OR 436, not both.
Note: Choose one of RPL 307 OR 470, not both.
Note: RPL 310 must be taken two semesters prior to internship; RPL 497 and 518 must be taken one semester prior to internship; RPL 320 must be taken as a 30 credit hour internship.
Introduction to Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services
The nature, scope, and significance of recreation, parks, and leisure in today's world. A survey of professional opportunities.
Recreation Activity Facilitation
Methods, techniques, facilitation styles, and organization of recreational activities including sports, crafts, cultural arts, games, and teambuilding initiatives.
Inclusive Recreation with Diverse Populations
Introduction of inclusive recreation and activity programming with diverse populations. Recommended: RPL 118.
Introduction to Recreation and Event Management
An introduction to the broad areas of, and career opportunities in, recreation and event management.
Management Skills in Leisure Services
The development of conceptual and human relations skills necessary to the successful management of a leisure service agency. Prerequisites: RPL 118; One of the following: RPL 204, 216, 222, 261.
Pre-Internship in Leisure Services
Preparation for participation in the internship experience. Should be taken two semesters prior to internship. CR/NC only. Prerequisites: RPL 216 or 222.
Professional Internship in Recreation
In-depth, capstone internship experience in commercial, community, therapeutic, or outdoor recreation. Prerequisite: RPL 310.
RPL 343/HSA 343
An examination of where and why the hospitality services industry client travels domestically and abroad, and the economic impact of tourism expenditures. Identical to HSA 343. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses.
Planning Recreation Programs and Events
Development and implementation of recreation programs and events for diverse populations in a variety of leisure service settings. May be offered as Writing Intensive. Prerequisites: One of the following: RPL 204, 216, 261, 222.
Facility Operations and Maintenance
Operation and maintenance of areas and facilities for parks, recreation, and leisure services including specialized facilities, e.g. aquatics, ice arenas, sport fields, and natural areas. Prerequisites: RPL 204 or 216 or 261 or 222; signed Recreation Major. Recommended: RPL 307 or 405.
Meeting and Exposition Planning
The development of skills and knowledge necessary for successful planning and management of conventions, meetings, and expositions in a recreation and event management setting. Prerequisite: RPL 430.
Park and Natural Resource Management
Management of federal, state, and local park systems, and natural resource areas. Focuses on environmental issues, administration, planning, and visitor management. May be offered as Writing Intensive. Prerequisites: RPL 118; one of the following: RPL 204, 216, 261.
Seminar in Recreation Professional Development
Advanced level capstone course focusing on recreation and event management trends and issues, continuing professional development, and resources for continuing education. Prerequisites/Co-requisites: Students must be in their last semester of on campus enrollment prior to the Internship with a minimum of 24 RPL credits and have a signed RPL: Recreation and Event Management major.
Budgeting & Funding for Leisure Service Agencies
Budgetary and fund development procedures for leisure service agencies. Quantitative Reasoning. Prerequisite: One of the following: RPL 204, 216, 222, 261, graduate status. Pre/Co-requisite: One of the following: RPL 358, 430, 431.
Liability and Risk Management in Leisure Services
Situational analysis of the legal systems impacting the delivery of recreation and leisure services. Emphasis on applied legal understanding and loss control strategies. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. Prerequisite: 6 credits in RPL or signed Event Management Minor; or Graduate Status.
Research & Philosophy in RPL
Exploration of the philosophical and social foundations, benefits, and application of recreation and leisure services. Develops skills for research and evaluation in leisure service settings. Prerequisites: 14 credits in RPL or graduate status.
Marketing of Leisure Services
Provides the foundation and basis for applying marketing principles and techniques to the provision of leisure service experiences. May be offered as Writing Intensive. Prerequisites: 6 Credits of RPL or Event Management Minor.