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Recreation Administration, B.A.

Find your future at Humboldt. The recreation, tourism, and leisure service industry is the largest and fastest growing in the world. With the increasing availability of leisure time, the demand for qualified recreation professionals is continually increasing. At Humboldt we are doing our part to meet this demand by offering a personalized atmosphere in which one can work, grow, and learn while majoring in recreation administration. We provide the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge, understanding, and sensitivity needed to help secure a position in the recreation profession.

Why this Program

The North Coast provides a unique learning lab for students—connecting their education to practical experiences that can’t be found elsewhere.

Our campus provides a sense of care, support and belonging, and better prepares students to approach their chosen fields through a lens of social justice.

We strive for societal and economic improvement, demonstrated in our personal passions and the professions that we pursue.

Peer partners training

Academics & Options

The Recreation Administration program uses an interdisciplinary approach and provides a variety of experiential learning modality. Students will take courses in programming, leadership, administration, management, philosophy, and inclusive recreation, as well as in their area of emphasis.

Program Emphases

The Diving Leadership emphasis prepares students to enter the scuba diving industry as certified dive professionals. Students gain real world and hands-on experiences developing personal underwater skill and leadership training working with fellow students with a focus on diver safety and proficiency in the challenging waters of Northern California. Learning to lead divers in the challenging waters of Northern California prepares students to explore the rest of the world as highly qualified dive professionals.

The Inclusive Communities option is an exciting route to prepare upcoming professionals for careers in municipal, county, state, and federal community based recreation programs, and private not-profit recreation programs. The program places emphasis on creating access for all community members, including individuals who experience disabilities, homelessness, poverty, and age related isolation.

Outdoor Leadership is for those students who see themselves working outside and providing opportunities to grow, play and safely experience the great outdoors. Students learn and have opportunities to practice on land, water and snow their professional skills and knowledge to succeed in the growing outdoor industry.

Students in the Tourism Management option prepare to be professionals who provide and manage tourism opportunities and experiences in such diverse settings as resorts, meeting planning, convention and visitor bureaus, tour operations, and recreation businesses. In this option students focus on understanding tourism as a community development tool that if used effectively can improve quality of life and conserve the natural environment. Students gain the desired professional skills to be successful through site visits, interactions with professionals, and opportunities to participate in hands-on projects.

Did you know?

The recreation, tourism and leisure services industry is the largest and fastest-growing industry in the world — designing and providing leisure experiences through outdoor adventure companies, hotels and resorts, corporate wellness programs, youth agencies, municipal recreation departments, and many other organizations.

Outside magazine called Arcata a “dream town” for outdoor play.

Humboldt County has 110 miles of coastline and more than 160,000 acres of majestic redwoods.

Outdoor recreation is the 4th largest economy in the United States. In 2020, it generated $689 billion in consumer spending and 4.3 million jobs.

In 2020 the travel and tourism industry in the US supported 6.3 million jobs with nearly 1 million of those jobs in California.

The dive Leadership emphasis is the only program in California that leads directly to Dive Master certification as part of your college degree.

Diving training in the pool


The recreation administration program helps assure that students have the practical experience needed and the academic competencies required to obtain a position and succeed in an exciting, challenging, and personally satisfying profession.

  • Recreation Director
  • Community Center Director
  • Recreation Specialist
  • Park Superintendent
  • Recreation Supervisor
  • Outdoor Adventure Recreation
  • Outdoor Leader
  • Camp Director
  • Challenge Course Facilitator
  • Inclusion Specialist
  • Environmental Educator
  • Divemaster
  • Scuba Instructor
  • Diving Safety Officer
  • Tour Guide
  • Hotel Manager
  • Visitors Bureau Director
  • Event Planner
  • Airport Desk Agent
  • Guest Relations Manager
Bowling in Redwood Bowl

Ready to find what
your future holds?