College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2012-2013

Department of Geography, Planning, and Recreation

Parks and Recreation Management, Bachelor of Science

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Community and Commercial Recreation - Emphasis
  • Individualized Study - Emphasis (ending Summer 2015)
  • Outdoor Education and Leadership - Emphasis
  • Park Protection - Emphasis
  • Tourism - Emphasis (ending Summer 2015)

Through this plan, we help  recreation resource professionals prepare for diverse careers in the field of parks and recreation. We focus on small class size, high student-teacher interaction, on-site field experiences, and experiential learning opportunities-and we are dedicated to expanding the scholarly knowledge base of people and organizations for the purpose of enhancing the quality of leisure experiences and places.

This plan is nationally recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association.

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-six National Forests and a dozen units of the National Park Service system are within a half-day's drive of campus, including the nearby Grand Canyon. We 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

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
  • Be aware that you may not use courses with a PRM prefix to satisfy liberal studies
  • 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
Major GPA C
Highest Mathematics Required STA 270
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate Required
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan


Major Requirements
    • 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 PRMBSX, the only emphases that are available are Individualized (ISBSXM) and Community Commercial (CCRM).

      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.

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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