Bachelor's Degree in Leisure Studies
Research bachelor's degrees in leisure studies. Get information on requirements, courses and career prospects to make an informed decision about your education.
Bachelor's Degree in Leisure Studies
Leisure studies programs often incorporate the closely related topics of recreation or fitness studies. Students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to develop, deliver and oversee leisure and recreational programming for diverse communities at public and private locations, like parks, schools or commercial operations. Some leisure studies bachelor's degree programs offer concentrations such as therapeutic or youth recreation, child life, recreation and sport business, recreation administration or sport management, allowing students to take coursework that is specific to their career goals. Many colleges and universities offer leisure studies programs as a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree.
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically necessary for admission into a college or university. Some programs have additional admission requirements for the major, such as first completing specific courses or a minimum number of credit hours. Other programs recommend certain classes to high school students considering a bachelor's degree in leisure studies program, such as arts and crafts, leadership, music or computer science.
Programs usually require a combination of required courses and electives. Practical education like a field experience or internship provides students with opportunities to work in professional recreational settings like community centers, parks, commercial recreation venues and health facilities. Typical classes may include:
- Principles of therapeutic recreation
- Recreation and leisure program development
- Legal concepts in leisure and recreation
- Leisure and recreation services and finance
- Leadership and administration of leisure services programs
- Youth recreation
- Public speaking
- Outdoor leisure
- Sport business
- Recreation facilities
- Introduction to community health
- Anatomy and physiology
Popular Career Options
A bachelor's degree in leisure studies qualifies graduates for a wide-range of entry-level recreational occupations in the private and public sectors. They can work in settings such as rehabilitation centers, school athletic programs, fitness centers, sporting organizations and businesses, correctional facilities, community centers and nursing homes. Some job options include:
- Park leisure services manager
- Park ranger
- Leisure services programmer
- Private leisure club staff member
- Park and leisure services marketer
Professional Certification and Continuing Education
Some bachelor's degree programs prepare students for leisure studies-related professional certification. For example, students enrolled in programs in California may qualify for the state's recreator certificate or recreation therapist certificate through the California Board of Recreation and Park Certification, Inc. (www.cbrpc.org). Students who complete a therapeutic recreation track may qualify for Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist certification through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (www.nctrc.org).
Students can continue their studies in graduate programs by earning a Master of Arts or doctoral degree in leisure studies or a closely related field like recreation and leisure studies. Available concentrations may include recreational sport management, recreation administration or therapeutic recreation. In leisure studies graduate programs, students may perform original research and assess various recreation activities and programs. Practical education may also be required. Master's degree students may enroll in a thesis or non-thesis option. Doctoral degree students typically complete a dissertation.
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