Mission Statement

The mission of the Outdoor Recreation Division at Northern Michigan University is to provide an exemplary baccalaureate degree program in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management which attracts and retains a diversity of students who show promise in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes of outstanding leisure service and outdoor recreation professionals.

Students will know, understand, and effectively apply general and specialty professional skills in a variety of leisure and outdoor recreation settings. Broadly stated, these skills include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • The practical application of abstract knowledge; Interpersonal and communication skills; Technical skills and; The ability to display and express an understanding and appreciation of leisure and the role of the leisure service profession in a free and pluralistic society

The outdoor Recreation Leadership and management program will provide:

  • The opportunity for declared majors and minors to develop additional competencies for more specialized entry-level position in leisure and outdoor recreation settings;  A framework for learners to interact with each other, with educators and with people in and out of the University system; An education environment that nurtures: exposure, exploration, discovery, synthesis, analysis, evaluation, judgment, curiosity, creativity, group processes, teamwork and enjoyment.


  • To provide an effective and cognitive academic foundation that meets professional standards in leisure studies and outdoor recreation, including:
    • Development of outdoor technical skills
    • Development of leadership competencies
    • Development of teaching skills in outdoor settings
    • Understanding and promotion of a leisure-valued lifestyle
      Advocacy for outdoor recreation opportunities
  • These goals are accomplished through the integration of classroom and experiential education
    • Field experiences
    • Interdisciplinary learning
    • Personal and professional growth and development



Do you like to work outside? Are you interested in helping to preserve the environment? Would you be interested in interpreting wildlife and foliage to those who want to learn about their surroundings? Would you like to lead others into the "wild" outdoors? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, a career in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management might be for you.

An Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management major is trained and educated to obtain professional roles in a variety of agencies that make up the leisure and outdoor recreation service system. All of the classes that are required in the program will help you meet the professional entry-level standards established under the National Recreation and park Association (NRPA) and American Alliance for Leisure and Recreation(AALR) by the Council on Accreditation.

The list of career possibilities available to you as an Outdoor Recreation leadership and Management major are vast and only depends on the competencies and skills you acquire through your academics and extracurricular activities.

Some introductory courses available to help you decide if this is the right major for you include RE110 Introduction to Recreation and Leisure, RE155 Outdoor Living Skills, and RE250 Education in Outdoor Settings.

Starting salaries are contingent upon geographic location and the individual applicants' work experience and initiative and usually range from $20,000 to $40,000.

Possible Careers Include*:

  • Recreation Programs
  • Interpretive Programs and Services
  • (Historical Cultural and Natural Resources)
  • Nature/Outdoor/Visitor Centers
  • Resources Development Planning Services
  • Boy/Girl Scouts
  • Outdoor Education Centers
  • Nature Centers
  • Adventure Based Learning Centers
  • Children's Museums
  • Churches
  • Group/Halfway Houses
  • Youth at Risk Programs
  • Adult Day Care Correction Facilities
  • Senior Citizen/Retirement Facilities
  • Golf Courses
  • Bowling Centers
  • Camps
  • Retail Stores
  • Ski Areas
  • Instructional Schools
  • Guide Services
  • Travel Agencies
  • Hotels, Motels, Resorts
  • Amusement and Theme Parks
  • Camp Grounds
  • College and University Programs
  • Graduate School
  • Additional training and further education may be required for some of these jobs.
  • Remember to take any necessary exams early; it can take up to six weeks for results to be sent to the schools to which you applied
  • Obtaining an internship as an undergrad will make you more marketable when seeking employment after graduation