A-Z Index


Program(s) Available: B.S., Minor

Do you like helping people improve their overall wellness and quality of life? If so, a recreation degree may be right for you. Students can specialize in Sport Management, Parks and Recreation Management, Therapeutic Recreation and Corporate Recreation and Wellness. Professionals who work in these areas of emphasis play a crucial role in mental and physical health of communities through their work in sports, recreation, parks, fitness and therapy-based programs.

Why Study Recreation at Northwest

Did you know? Northwest's recreation degree is accredited by COAPRT. Northwest provides profession-based learning experiences through partnerships with Northwest’s fitness center and campus recreation, Northwest Athletics, the Midwest Symposium on Therapeutic Recreation, MOERA outdoor Odyssey challenge course and more!

Pick your path

Corporate Recreation/Wellness

Corporation recreation/wellness offers programming related to a person’s physical well-being.

corporate recreation/wellness 4-year plan

Recreation and Park Management

Recreation and park management prepares students for program leadership, overall development, budget and facility management and more.

recreation and park management 4-year plan

Sport Management

Sport management prepares students for leadership roles in professional, collegiate and community sports organizations.


Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic recreation teaches students how to assess and evaluate the needs of individuals with special needs.


Minor program

A minor in recreation is available! This program teaches students how to assess the recreational needs of a community, plan and implement programming and evaluate program effectiveness. Prior to the completion of this program, students complete a 200-hour field experience with a recreation agency. Through Northwest’s partnerships with local agencies and businesses, these hours can be completed in Maryville.

Career ready
Therapeutic Recreation

“I felt that Northwest provided a lot of resources and services for the students to succeed. I also loved the campus size and the high rate of students succeeding after they graduate. ” — Elisa Greer

Career Opportunities

  • City, county or regional government agencies
  • Conservation organizations
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Senior centers and nursing homes
  • Adult daycare centers
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Residential facilities
  • Substance abuse centers
  • Camps and outdoor recreational programs
  • Community centers
  • YMCA
  • Employee health, wellness and fitness centers
  • State and federal agencies

What Can I Do With a Major in Recreation?

Foster Fitness Center

The Robert and Virginia Foster Fitness Center is available for students to gain experience in managing facilities, developing programs and personal training.

Foster Fitness Center


Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area (MOERA) offers more than 320 acres of land dedicated to providing experiential learning opportunities for Northwest students.


Local Partnerships

Northwest’s partnership with the Maryville Community Center provides students with opportunities to gain profession-based experiences through event planning, project management and maintaining a budget. Did you know? Northwest students have planned the annual Daddy-Daughter Dance for more than a decade!

Local Partnerships

Field experiences & Internships

Field experiences are required in this major and consist of 10 weeks and a minimum of 200 hours during the student’s sophomore or junior year.

Internships are required with a recreation major. Upon completion, students earn between 480 and 600 hours of personal training in their field. 

Field experiences & Internships

Martindale Hall renovation

Martindale Hall, the home of Northwest's School of Health Science and Wellness, will have seven new lab spaces through the new renovation, including a Sports Science lab and a Recreation and Abilities lab.

Martindale Hall renovation
The impact of value at Northwest
Right size. Right price.
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