Leisure Services Management Specialization | PHRP| SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Education and Human Services

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Leisure Services Management Specialization

Program Information

Leisure Services degree is all about ‘fun’ ‘meaningful’ and ‘profitable’. Graduates of this major find rewarding jobs at:

  • Public parks and recreation departments
  • Nonprofit civic and religious organization
  • State and national parks
  • Campus recreation
  • Recreation program for elderly people
  • Military recreation program (MWR)
  • Private resorts / Large scale commercial recreation
  • Sports/recreation facilities
  • Tourism organization
  • Youth recreation and leadership program
  • Rehabilitation centers / Long-term care facilities
  • Recreation department in a medical treatment center
  • Fitness/Sports centers
  • Other recreational venues

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These are only a partial list of the many organizations across the 50 states and foreign countries, graduates will have fun and meaningful time on a daily basis because they provide diversified customers with a higher quality of life in outdoors, indoors, or even in clinical settings.

In more detail, the option in Leisure Services provides five different emphases: programming, leadership, administration, management, and facilities. Each emphasis includes additional focused study that enables students to prepare for a career in a specific programmatic or organizational setting. Upon completion of this degree, the students are given opportunities for employment in a variety of agencies and organizations serving the leisure and recreational needs of people.

The current job market for Recreation field is also excellent. For example, Parks and Recreation has been recognized as one of the best degrees for finding a job (ranked  #3, Yahoo Education, 2013). Based on the report of Recreation Management-Salary Survey 2011, the average salary of people with degrees in recreation management was $36,000 to $40,000 for entry-level positions; $40,000 to $52,000 for middle-management positions; and $62,000 to $99,000 or more for director positions.

Especially the Master of Science in Leisure Services offers a program of study that benefits students with the theory, knowledge, and skills needed assume upper-level managerial positions in sport and leisure services.

Course Hours

REC 365 Administration of Recreation and Leisure

REC 375 Commercial Recreation (OR)

REC 425 Planning and Design or Recreational Facilities

REC 445 Outdoor Recreation Management

REC 465 Advanced Administrative Techniques in Recreation
12 hrs
ACCT 210 or 220 3 hrs
PH 334 3 hrs
CI 483a 3 hrs
Six hours selected from:
PSYC 301, 303, 304, 305, 307, 323, 333
6 hrs
Electives (may be subject to certification requirements) 16 hrs
Total 43 hrs

Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP)

Students graduating from this program can become eligible to sit for the examination to become a Certified Park and Recreation Professional.  Click here for more information.

NOTE: To graduate, you must complete a minimum of 60 hours at a senior institution and a total of 120 hours AND apply to graduate by the second week of the semester in which you plan to graduate.


All students majoring in recreation at SIUC are required to complete two field experiences and an internship with a professional recreation agency. Field experiences are usually arranged with local agencies, but may also be approved off campus during the summer months.

The internship, a more formal relationship, is a semester-long, full-time experience, often with a salary or stipend; students are chosen on their merits. Our students have completed internships with Disney World, Martin-Marietta, Johnson Wax, Chicago Rehabilitation Institute, Veterans Administration hospitals, Illinois Children's Research Hospital, and the Land Between the Lakes environmental center, among others. Our students gain first-hand experience by doing field work under the supervision of trained recreation professionals who may assist in future job searches.

Reasons to join the SIU Recreation Professions Program community:

  • Dedicated faculty committed to excellence in teaching.
  • Small classes.
  • Community is at the core of every experience.
  • Field based learning -from paddling down a winding river to climbing in sandstone canyons or backpacking on remote wilderness trails, recreation classes often meet beyond the classroom.
  • Experiential Education -our educational philosophy emphasizes self-direction and learning by doing.
  • Extensive Network of Alumni
  • You’ll have Fun!

goofing around HER Group