Bachelors In

Recreation & Leisure Studies Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.

Why We Love It

  • $40,150
    Potential Avg. Salary*
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook

* Salary & growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at for 21-1094 Community health workers 11/2021. Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

With a bachelor of science in recreation and leisure studies, you’ll gain the education needed to help people relax, de-stress, and improve health through leisure activities.

Students study a wide range of topics in the social sciences—including psychology, biology, anatomy, gerontology, physical education, and sociology—enabling them to find work in a wide range of positions in the public and private sectors.

What is a Degree in Recreation & Leisure Studies?

Leisure studies is the study of activities that people engage in for fun and relaxation in their free time. Leisure activities include playing sports, hiking in national parks, exploring art galleries, visiting a spa, and taking a yoga class, along with any other number of activities.

To get a sense of the types of activities covered by recreation and leisure studies, you could pick up a program of classes offered by the YMCA. One of the leading leisure studies institutes, all YMCA class subjects are considered leisure activities.

Students of leisure studies learn about the psychology of leisure activities—how it improves mental and physical health and can be used as rehabilitation. Graduates from this program find work in a wide variety of careers, working in gyms as fitness instructors, for sports organizations as coaches, as rangers in local, state, and national parks, or as counselors in youth camps.

Recreation and leisure studies program graduates are equipped to help individuals of all age levels have fun, relax, and stay healthy.

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What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Recreation & Leisure Studies?

  • Foundations of Recreation and Leisure Studies
  • Recreation Leadership & Programming
  • Nature-Based Tourism
  • Wellness Education and Counseling
  • Sport and Recreation Facility Management
  • Concepts & Issues in Therapeutic Recreation
  • Human Development and Behavior
  • Perspectives on Leisure & Play

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Recreation & Leisure Studies?

Demand for trained and educated recreation and leisure studies professionals is expected to grow faster than the national average over the coming decade, so the job outlook for graduates of this degree program is bright.

The increased demand is due to two factors: increased childhood obesity creating more demand for fun recreational opportunities, and the aging Baby Boomer generation who will need people to create and oversee recreational activity programs in nursing and long-term care facilities.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in Recreation & Leisure Studies will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at that could transfer to universities in the US.

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Best Jobs for Recreation & Leisure Studies Degrees

A bachelor’s degree in recreation and leisure studies is a flexible degree that allows students to qualify for a number of roles in sports and recreation facilities; local, state, and national parks; and travel and tourism bureaus.

Graduates may work with children, adolescents, teenagers, adults, or the elderly, teaching these populations how to live a fun and healthy lifestyle through leisure activity and recreation.

How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your Recreation & Leisure Studies degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

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There are many ways to make college affordable and accessible.

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Get a Certificate in Recreation and Leisure Studies First

For entry-level jobs in local parks departments or with organizations like the YMCA, a certificate in recreation and leisure studies may be a sufficient level of education. Students can complete a certificate program first, find and qualify for work in the field, and then earn both professional experience and an income while in school pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

Additionally, the certificate credits often transfer to reduce the number of credits you need to earn to get a bachelor’s degree.

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