Department of Recreation, Hospitality, & Parks Management

BS in Recreation, Hospitality, & Parks Management

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Our Coursework

Our department provides students with many opportunities for learning:

  • Students receive a broad-based education in the foundations of recreation, programming for diverse populations, and management and leadership skills, including management of people, finances, and customer service environments. Then, they specialize in their specific area of interest.
  • Students learn about a variety of industries and careers, including private, public, and non-profit settings, and are provided with tools to help them get jobs and succeed in the workplace.
  • Students may participate in a variety of field experiences such as National Public Lands Day, working at large and small events, and touring hotels, parks, and venues.
  • Students complete a required internship before graduation, providing them valuable experience in their career. Students serve full-time internships in public recreation agencies, private or commercial recreation businesses, hotels and resorts, event and convention management, restaurants and foodservice, therapeutic programs, or parks and natural resource-related agencies.

Program Options

Community & Commercial Recreation and Tourism Option

(Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Hospitality, & Parks Management, Option in: Community & Commercial Recreation and Tourism)

Students in Community, Commercial Recreation, and Tourism (CCRT) prepare for a variety of careers in for-profit, non-profit and public employment.

Students pursue jobs in many different commercial recreation operations including resorts, golf courses, amusement parks, wineries, summer camps, military recreation, employee recreation, and children's programs. The tourism courses at Chico State introduce students to agencies such as convention and visitor bureaus, economic development agencies, destination marketing organizations, and chambers of commerce. Students also pursue careers with non-profit organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Clubs. Many graduates choose to become entrepreneurs.

Major Associations Serving the Field:

Course Catalog:
Option in Community and Commercial Recreation and Tourism(opens in new window)


Event Management Option

(Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Hospitality, & Parks Management, Option in: Event Management)

The Event Management (EM) option is designed to prepare students to work in the event industry, either as event planners or with suppliers (such as hotels and convention centers).

Students learn about event planning, coordination, and management in many environments. Graduates may work with many different types of events such as conferences, conventions, exhibitions, and festivals, as well as fundraising, political, religious, social, music and sporting events. They are also prepared to work at event facilities such as hotels, convention centers, and stadiums.

Coursework includes classes on programming and event planning, as well as a capstone course where students design, plan, and/or implement a special event. Students may also learn through experience by working at and volunteering for special events in the local area.

Major Associations Serving the Field:

  • Association of Conference and Events Directors-International (ACCED-I)
  • Events Industry Council
  • International Association of Venue Managers
  • International Live Events Associatioin
  • Meeting Professionals International
  • National Association for Catering and Events
  • National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners
  • Professional Convention Management Association
  • Religious Conference Management Association
  • Society for Incentive Travel Ecxellence
  • Society of Government Meeting Professionals

Course Catalog: Option in Event Management(opens in new window)


Parks & Natural Resources Management Option

(Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Hospitality, & Parks Management, Option in: Parks & Natural Resources Management)

Students in Parks & Natural Resources Management (PNR) focus on learning to plan, program, manage, interpret, and maintain natural and cultural resources. Graduates work in agencies that manage public lands and cultural resources and provide recreation opportunities. These include federal and state parks and forests and other public lands, wildlife refuges, cultural heritage sites, and regional and local recreation departments.

Coursework provides a foundation in PNR, in addition to great opportunities for students to participate in immersive educational experiences in public lands and natural resources, and Field School programs. Students select elective courses that support their individual study and career goals.

Major Associations Serving the Field:

Course Catalog: Option in Parks and Natural Resources Management(opens in new window)


Recreation Therapy Option

(Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Hospitality, & Parks Management,Option in: Recreation Therapy)

Students in Recreation Therapy (RT) gain the knowledge and skills to restore ability to people's lives through leisure activities such as music, art, sports, and drama. RT students enhance individuals' independence to help them participate in life's everyday activities.

Opportunities for graduates include physical medicine and rehabilitation, acute care, mental health services, agencies supporting individuals with disabilities, facilities for older adults, and state hospitals and corrections. Our curriculum follows the job competencies approved by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, and graduates are eligible to sit for the national exam to become Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists &/#174;.

Major Associations Serving the Field:

Course Catalog: Option in Recreation Therapy(opens in new window)


Resort & Lodging Management Option

(Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Hospitality, & Parks Management, Option in: Resort & Lodging Management)

The resort & lodging management (RLM) option prepares students for careers in hospitality management. Students learn general management skills, from customer service to leadership, in addition to a focus on hospitality, hotel & resort operations and food and beverage management.

Our graduates work in management positions at hotels, resorts, restaurants, conference facilities, convention centers and stadiums, country clubs, and wineries. They also work as convention and meeting planners and for concessionairessuch as Aramark, Compass Group, and Delaware North, at national parks and stadiums. Many graduates work for hotel chains such as Hyatt, Marriott International, Marriott Vacations Club, Omni Hotels, Hilton, and Fairmont, along with many independent and boutique hotels and resorts.

Major Associations Serving the Field:

Course Catalog: Option in Resort and Lodging Management(opens in new window)