Parks and Outdoor Recreation

Increasingly recognized as contributing to the livability of communities and quality of life for all people, parks and recreation programs play a major role in promoting a healthy lifestyle and environment. The nationally-accredited curriculum in Parks and Outdoor Recreation at George Mason University provides students with the framework necessary for professional development, career advancement, and advanced education through a combination of rewarding learning and practical experiences. Students interested in the field of Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies can pursue the degree of Bachelor of Science in Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources, with a concentration in either Parks and Outdoor Recreation.

Students are exposed to the various facets of this dynamic and rapidly growing field. Our graduates are prepared to make a real difference - informing policy, promoting economic development, advocating stewardship of natural resources, encouraging inclusive community service and lifelong recreation participation, and working to enhance the quality of life of all individuals, families, and communities at the local, national, and international levels.

BS in Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources —
Parks and Outdoor Recreation (POR)

hiker in the woodsParks and Outdoor Recreation graduates plan and implement community recreation and sport programs, services, and events; lead outdoor adventure activities; teach about the environment using experiential learning techniques; and manage natural and cultural resources and their recreational uses. Fieldwork, internship, and employment opportunities abound in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the greater Washington (DC) metropolitan area.


Minor in Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies (PRLS)

outdoor sceneThe PRLS minor is an excellent complement to a Mason bachelor's degree program or major, and assists students in furthering their education and career goals. Students are required to complete 18 credits in parks, recreation, and leisure studies courses, including a practicum field experience. This minor is available to all Mason students (including those studying Information Technology and Engineering, Health and Human Services, Environmental Science and Policy, Psychology, Management), with the exception of RHT students in any one of the HFRR degree programs. More Minor Information


This career ready concentration explores the contribution of recreation and parks to public well-being and quality of life. The curriculum includes courses in leadership and administration, natural resources management, outdoor recreation programming, and environmental education. The program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions. Graduates are employed in national, state, and local recreation and park agencies, non-profit organizations, and private and commercial operations. Students complete supervised internships in professional settings.   As a nationally-accredited program, our graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles in a wide range of professional careers, and to qualify for application as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP).


“Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading…” 

— Thomas Jefferson