Undergraduate Academic Programs

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Recreation (BSR), Public, Nonprofit, and Community Recreation Major

Description of Program

In the specialization, public, nonprofit, and community recreation, students acquire professional management skills that can be applied in a wide variety of recreation and leisure facilities (such as community centers, museums, and public parks) and programs around the world. Quality courses with small faculty/student ratio and varied fieldwork opportunities guarantee our students an outstanding educational experience.


Apply online for undergraduate admission to Indiana University at http://admit.indiana.edu/.

A newly admitted freshman pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Recreation degree with a major in public, nonprofit, and community recreation will receive an offer of direct freshman admission to this major program if he or she meets both of the following criteria:

  • The applicant must have earned one of the following minimum standardized test scores: A combined critical reading and math score of 1270 on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or a composite score of 29 on the ACT (American College Test).
  • The applicant must have either graduated in the top 12 percent of his or her high school graduating class or earned a minimum high school GPA of 3.5.

Before entering the School of Public Health - Bloomington as a public, nonprofit, and community recreation major, all other students must meet both of the following criteria:

  • The student must successfully complete at least 26 credit hours.
  • The student must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) at Indiana University.

Students in the University Division must also declare their intention to major in public, nonprofit, and community recreation to the University Division Records Office. Undergraduate students who complete the semester before certification of admission to the school with less than a 2.0 GPA for the semester will be admitted on a probationary status.

International applicants for admission to a second undergraduate degree program in the School of Public Health - Bloomington, whose primary language is not English, must satisfy one of the following criteria before being considered for admission directly into one the School's degree programs:

  • submission of a minimum score on the Test Of English As a Foreign Language (TOEFL), of 550 on the paper-based test, or 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 on the Internet-based test.
  • submission of a minimum score of 7 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • proof of completing at least three full years of secondary school in a predominantly English speaking country. A current list of such countries can be found here.

For students from countries where the TOEFL and the IELTS are not available, other evidence of English proficiency may be considered.

All entering international students whose primary language is not English will be required to take a special examination in English with IU prior to registering. Prepared by IU and designed to test a student’s ability to use English in an academic setting, the exam consists of three parts: an essay on a general topic, a listening comprehension exercise, and a grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension section. There is little that one can do to prepare for this exam other than to continue using written and spoken English at every opportunity. Appropriate remedial English courses may be prescribed on the basis of the results of this test.

International students whose primary language is not English must agree to take any English language courses prescribed from the results of this examination. Fees for special part-time English courses are the same as for other courses; however, credits earned do not meet degree requirements. If the results of the proficiency examination indicate that full-time work in English is required, the student will be assigned to the Intensive English Program (IEP).  

Students enrolled in IEP do not take academic courses until they achieve adequate English proficiency. If a student has serious doubts about English ability and is not financially prepared to undertake the additional time and expense of an intensive English program here, the student should consider completing English study in the student’s home country. In addition, the student may consider delaying admission to a future session.

Degree Requirements

This is a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Recreation degree with a major in public, nonprofit, and community recreation.  A minimum of 26 successfully completed credit hours and a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) are required for admission to this program.  Graduation requirements include:

  • completion of general education requirements.
  • completion of outdoor recreation, parks, and human ecology major requirements.
  • a minimum of 120 successfully completed credit hours which count toward the degree program.
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in courses with the following department code-prefixes: SPH-L, SPH-O, SPH-R, SPH-T, and SPH-Y.
  • No Pass/Fail except for free electives.
General Education (20 – 39 credits)

All undergraduate students must complete the IU Bloomington campus-wide general education common ground requirements. Such students must visit the 2013-2014 General Education Bulletin to view these requirements.

Major (72 cr.)
Public, Nonprofit, and Community Recreation Specialization (30 cr.)

Complete each of the following courses:

  • CMCL-C 121 Public Speaking (3 cr.) (minimum grade of C–) +(A&H) or CMCL-C 122 Interpersonal Communication (3 cr.) (minimum grade of C–) +(S&H)
  • SPEA-V 362 Nonprofit Management and Leadership (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 101 (Formerly: HPER-T 101) Introduction to Resource Development/Fundraising (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 220 (Formerly: HPER-R 205) Foundations of Public, Nonprofit, and Community Recreation (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 221 (Formerly: HPER-R 266) Recreation Facilities Management (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 412 (Formerly: HPER-R 422) Marketing for Leisure Services (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 413 (Formerly: HPER-R 451) Fiscal Management for Leisure Service Organizations (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 414 (Formerly: HPER-R 441) Legal Aspects of Recreation (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 425 (Formerly: HPER-R 468) Strategic Planning for Recreation Organizations (3 cr.)
  • SPH-T 201 (Formerly: HPER-R 236) Tourism and Commercial Recreation (3 cr.)

Recreation Core (33 cr.)
Complete each of the following courses:

  • SPH-R 110 (Formerly: HPER-R 160) Foundations of Leisure and Public Health (3 cr.) +(S&H)
  • SPH-R 142 (Formerly: HPER-T 142) Living Well (3 cr.) +(S&H)
  • SPH-R 210 (Formerly: HPER-R 270) Inclusion in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 311 (Formerly: HPER-R 330) Management in Recreation, Parks and Tourism (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 312 (Formerly: HPER-R 392) Career Perspectives and Internship Preparation (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 314 (Formerly: HPER-R 395) Data-Based Decision-Making Methods (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 497 (Formerly: HPER-R 463) Professional Internship (12 cr.)
  • SPH-T 410 (Formerly: HPER-R 430) Event Planning and Program Development (3 cr.)
  • 320 Hours of Field Experience are required.
Professional Electives (9 cr.)

Complete a minimum of 9 credits from the following professional electives:

  • ANTH-A 403 Introduction to Museum Studies (3 cr.)
  • SPH-F 150 (Formerly: HPER-F 150) Introduction to Life Span Development (3 cr.)
  • SPH-O 279 (Formerly: HPER-R 279) Outdoor Adventure Education (3 cr.)
  • SPH-O 313 (Formerly: HPER-R 385) Wilderness and Protected Lands (3 cr.)
  • SPH-O 430 (Formerly: HPER-R 413) Outdoor Adventure Programs: Foundation/Theories (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 201 (Formerly: HPER-T 201) Annual Giving (2 cr.)
  • SPH-R 202 (Formerly: HPER-T 202) Major Gifts (2 cr.)
  • SPH-R 223 (Formerly: HPER-R 283) Recreation Based GIS Systems (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 230 (Formerly: HPER-R 206) Recreational Sport Programming (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 301 (Formerly: HPER-T 301) Capital Campaigns (2 cr.)
  • SPH-R 315 (Formerly: HPER-R 310) Leadership Strategies and Diversity Applications (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 322 (Formerly: HPER-R 302) Aquatic Management (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 335 (Formerly: HPER-R 354) Sport and Violence (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 426 (Formerly: HPER-R 471) Human Resources Management in Leisure Services (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 431 (Formerly: HPER-R 472) Youth Sport Management (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 450 (Formerly: HPER-R 424) Shipwreck Parks as Underwater Museums (3 cr.)
  • SPH-T 301 (Formerly: HPER-R 350) Sustainable Tourism (3 cr.)
  • SPH-T 323 (Formerly: HPER-R 353) Festival and Event Management (3 cr.)

+ Courses followed by a A&H notation apply toward completion of both the major requirement and the general education, arts and humanities requirement.

+ Courses followed by a S&H notation apply toward completion of both the major requirement and the general education, social and historical studies requirement.

Special Opportunities

During the course of their studies, students have the opportunity to work and train in a variety of professional public, nonprofit and community recreation management settings. Through class practica, projects, internship opportunities, and field experiences, students learn leadership, management, programming, marketing and evaluation, legal aspects of park and recreation management, and communication skills.


Graduates with this degree are prepared for a range of career positions, including: facility manager, community specialist, recreation leader, youth recreation services specialist, public sector special events programmer, aquatics director, recreation event manager, military recreation provider, recreation manager/supervisor, national park staff, and conservation officer.

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