Parks and Recreation Management, Undergraduate Certificate

Department of Geography, Planning, and Recreation

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

This undergraduate certificate is no longer offered at the Online Campus. See the Campus Availability tab below for alternate plan campus options.

If you are currently working in the parks and recreation field and wish to strengthen your foundation in this area, NAU's professional undergraduate certificate coursework is designed to meet your needs.

  • To receive an undergraduate certificate (at least 15 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.

    Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program). See the "Details" tab for additional information.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 18
Major GPA 2.0
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required

Purpose Statement

The Parks and Recreation undergraduate certificate fulfills the discipline of providing foundational knowledge and skills for entry-level careers serving communities through parks, recreation, and related industries. Students develop a basic understanding of these professions, including their scope, operations, and role in facilitating meaningful experiences for diverse populations.

The curriculum introduces students to core competencies such as recreation program planning, leadership techniques, facility operations, fiscal administration, and community engagement. Students gain introductory knowledge and abilities related to assessing community needs, organizing recreational events, utilizing public relations strategies, budgeting, and embracing inclusion.

This certificate prepares students for frontline opportunities with parks departments, community centers, hospitality and tourism businesses, athletic organizations, and related industries seeking to promote healthy lifestyles, enhance quality of life, and provide enjoyable experiences through accessible programs, public spaces, and customer service. The certificate serves as a pathway for those interested in exploring or advancing careers that engage communities recreationally.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the nature and scope of relevant parks, recreation, tourism, or related professions and their associated industries.
  • Demonstrate critical thought on the history of Parks and Recreation.
  • Articulate the values found in core philosophical concepts as they relate to Parks and Recreation.
  • Practice leadership and facilitation skills.
  • Assess the importance of ethics in recreation leadership.
  • Assess needs, develop, and facilitate targeted recreation and leisure experiences.
  • Analyze the differences and organizational structures among recreation service sectors.
  • Identify funding structures, financing, and budgeting systems common to recreation service sectors.
  • Demonstrate techniques for community.

Certificate Requirements
  • Please note that all courses for this certificate are web-based.

  • This certificate may be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program or as a stand-alone certificate. Federal financial aid cannot be used if the certificate is completed as a stand-alone certificate.

  • Students enrolled in this certificate may not enroll in or pursue the following due to the number of overlapping units:

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