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Recreation and Leisure Studies

Major in Recreation and Leisure Studies

Recreation and Leisure Studies are a branch of the social sciences that focuses upon improving people's lives through the provision and management of meaningful leisure time programs and therapy. Professionals work in a variety of settings such as public parks and recreation, rehabilitation centers, travel and tourism, hospitals, private organizations such as the YMCA, commercial agencies such as theme parks and fitness centers, long-term care facilities, and many more. Recreation and Leisure Studies use the principals of human motivation and satisfaction, current trends, and a philosophy of practice to provide programs and services that improve lives.

About The Program

council on accreditationThe primary purpose of the program is to provide both classroom AND practical learning experienc­ es in the study of Recreation and Leisure. Nation­ ally accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Park, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Profes­ sions, the Department supports students studying one of two career tracks: Recreation Management and Recreational Therapy. The curriculum infuses practical learning opportunities with outside agencies within courses providing "real-world" experience to reinforce classroom work and allow students to hone their career preferences. The pro­ gram is nationally recognized for its assessment, work with alumni and professionals, and ensuring that all graduates sit for the examination to be­ come a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist or Certified Park and Recreation Professional.

Major: Recreation and Leisure Studies (BA)
Recreation Management Track, Recreation Therapy Track

Chair: Douglas A. Kennedy, Ed.D., CPRP
School: Birdsong School of Social Science

The Recreation and Leisure Studies major requires a seven course "core" which provides the founda­ tion for each student to undertake a career track in either Recreational Therapy or Recreation Management. The career tracks require an ad­ ditional five courses of specialization. All students are required to complete a final semester capstone internship. This semester-long internship allows the student to earn "real-world" experience and apply their coursework with a recreation agency locally, nationally, or internationally.

busch gardens williamsburg

Virginia Wesleyan University is pleased to offer international students a unique opportunity to participate in the American Culture and Tourism Management Internship Program at Busch Gardens-Williamsburg. Students from across the globe take part in credit-earning studies, combined with a Leisure and Tourism internship at the Busch Gardens theme park in beautiful Williamsburg, Virginia. Virginia Wesleyan University offers classes and academic credit for this experience that includes a working and learning internship opportunity at the Busch Gardens-Williamsburg theme park. Students live in the Busch Gardens International Housing Village in Williamsburg, take classes in American Culture and Tourism from the Recreation and Leisure Studies program at Virginia Wesleyan University, and complete an internship at Busch Gardens.

Virginia Wesleyan University is proud to partner with US-China Century Education Group Corp (USCCE) as our exclusive representative and program consultant in China.

All students complete a final semester internship with an agency of their choice. The semester prior they will work with a faculty advisor to select the internship that mirrors their interests. This internship experience gives the student a "competitive edge" as they transition from college to the workplace or graduate studies.

Graduates have not only worked in traditional recre­ ation agencies and healthcare, but have also used the content of their courses and the experience from the internship to work in administration, teaching, sales, health care, consulting, professional association management, law enforcement and more. Students have also entered graduate school to study fields as diverse as Education, Sport Management, Theology, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Pathology.