College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2014-2015

Department of Geography, Planning, and Recreation

Parks and Recreation Management, Bachelor of Science

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Community and Commercial Recreation - Emphasis
  • Individualized Study - Emphasis
  • Outdoor Education and Leadership - Emphasis
  • Park Protection - Emphasis
  • Tourism - Emphasis

Please note that not all emphases are available online. Check with your adviser for additional information.

Through this Bachelor of Science degree in Parks and Recreation Management, recreation resource professionals are prepared for diverse careers in the field of parks and recreation. The PRM Program focuses on small class size, high student-teacher interaction, on-site field experiences, and experiential learning opportunities. The faculty are are dedicated to expanding the scholarly knowledge base of people and organizations to enhance the quality of leisure experiences and places.

This program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT) and recognized by the National Recreation and Park Assocation (NRPA)

This program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT).


What Can I Do with a Bachelor of Science in Parks and Recreation Management?

If you have a keen interest in the outdoors and desire to help ensure the availability of future park, recreation, and leisure service opportunities, a degree in Parks and Recreation Management will help you pursue this career. Graduates find jobs with municipal parks and recreation departments, private resorts, federal land-management agencies, correctional institutions, nonprofit organizations, and a variety of other outlets in the industry.

Northern Arizona University's location is perfect for studying parks and recreation with six National Forests and a dozen units of the National Park Service system within a half-day's drive of campus, including the nearby Grand Canyon. Degree coursework will help prepare you for a career that encourages healthy lifestyles and enjoyment of the outdoors.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Forest/Park service
  • Recreation planning
  • Urban planning
  • Leisure travel industry
  • Land management
  • Nonprofit organizations

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Municipal parks and recreation director
  • National park service administrator
  • Urban planning commissioner
  • University professor

University Requirements

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 51 units of major requirements
  • At least 18 units of emphasis requirements

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Mathematics Required STA 270
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate Required
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
University Honors Program Optional
Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan Optional
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan


Major Requirements

    Take the following 51 units with at least 27 units taken at NAU:

    Emphasis Requirements (Select One):

    Please note that the Individualized Study emphasis and the Community & Commercial Recreation emphasis are the only emphases available online. Check with your adviser for additional information.


    • Individualized Study Emphasis (18 units)
      Coursework must be approved by the PRM faculty and may include an existing approved university minor. You must work with your advisor to determine the courses you will use for this student-individualized plan as early as possible to ensure that you graduate in a timely fashion. Please be aware that your advisor must approve these 18 units of coursework.

    • Please note: in the online Parks and Recreation Management, the only emphases that are available are Individualized Study and Community & Commercial Recreation.

      We strongly recommend that you obtain Wilderness First Responder (PRM 216) or EMS certification as part of your plan.

      Note: A National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) "Outdoor Educator Course" (equivalent to 6 units) or "Instructors Course" will meet the requirements for PRM 331 and PRM 352. A NOLS "Outdoor Educator Semester" course will meet the requirements for the Outdoor Education & Leadership Emphasis with the addition of electives equal to 18 units.

  • Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Plan Option

    This program is available as an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan.  Accelerated Programs provide the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates working on their bachelor’s degree to simultaneously begin work on a master’s degree, which may allow them to complete both degrees in an accelerated manner by applying 6 units toward both degrees.  Students must apply to the accelerated program and the master’s program by the application deadline, and meet all requirements as listed on the Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Programs to be considered for admission.  Admission to programs is competitive and qualified applicants may be denied because of limits on the number of students admitted each year.  Be sure to speak with your advisor regarding your interest in Accelerated Programs.
General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit. 

    You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

Additional Information
  • Also note that you must maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average in the lower-division core in order to move forward into upper-division core courses. In addition, you must have a "C" or better in all lower- and upper-division core courses, including repeated courses, in order to graduate.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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