Career Paths

Supervise a community recreation center, coordinate travel and tourism packages, plan special events, organize youth athletics, direct an aquatic center, coordinate tournaments, or guide visitors and clients.


A major in Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality leads to employment with agencies in the public, private, and non-profit sector with individuals of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Starting salaries are comparable to those of teachers yet vary with the nature of the setting and economic demands. The major is designed to assist the student in acquiring practical skills and employment connections and networks. Students complete 50 clock hours of recreation experience in the field prior to their junior level practicum and 500 clock hours of recreation experience in the field prior to their senior level internship. Additionally, students complete a 90-hour practicum and a 480-hour internship at professional sites under the direction of full-time recreation, tourism and hospitality professionals. Networking with professionals and with the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association is required in senior level classes, including the practicum and internship. Of the students who have completed their internships, the employment rate is 75% (full and part-time offerings). Responses to a career services survey noted a 100% employment rate.

Hands-on career experiences form an integral part of the experience. Through practicum and internship opportunities with a variety of agencies, including public parks, non-profit organizations like YMCAs, CVBs, and Senior Centers, you'll fine tune your area of interest, put classroom theory into practice and gain valuable skills that will help you after graduation. In Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality, you'll be able to tailor your program to emphasize your special interests as you plan your future. You are likely to be hired as an activity director, aquatics specialist, recreation director or event planner. You'll find positions at tourist attractions, city recreation departments, retirement communities, and protected public lands, among others.