Southern Illinois University - Receration

 Recreation as a career? Yes!


Recreation is serious business with a healthy career outlook.

Our students complete two field experiences and one, semester-long, full-time internship. You might help a child with a physical disability see a whole new horizon from the back of a therapy horse.

Or you might facilitate corporate team building and leadership with a backpacking trip in the wilderness. Or, you might learn how to turn a resort experience from meh to magnificent.

See what SIU can do for you

View Undergraduate program


Outdoor Leadership & Management

You can make a career in outdoor recreation or wilderness education and leadership.  Your classes may include rock climbing, back packing, canoeing and mountain biking as well as land navigation, trail building and outdoor living skills. Many of our students become certified as Leave No Trace educators and Wilderness First Responders.

Therapeutic Recreation

If you believe that activity-based therapies can make a world of difference to those recovering from illnesses or living with a disability, you’ve come to the right place. Our Camp Little Giant, held at our own Touch of Nature Environmental Center, was the birthplace of the Special Olympics movement and one of the first outdoor camps for individuals with a disability. We use adaptive sports and recreation to produce positive and measurable outcomes for individuals with physical, cognitive, developmental, or mental health disorders.

Recreation Management

This specialization emphasizes programming, leadership, administration, management and facilities. Students can focus on one of these areas to hone their career track. Our students are prepared to take the examination to become a Certified Park & Recreation Professional upon graduation.

“The most important thing I learned in the outdoor living skills class was … what I am truly capable of. We don’t live unless we do what we believe is right and we take risks to learn about ourselves.” Filip Ferguson, Bloomington, Illinois

Master of Science in Education

Students can also pursue a MS.Ed. in Recreation Professions, with the option to complete the thesis track, non-thesis track, or internship track.

Concentration areas include Recreation Administration, Outdoor Recreation Resource Management, or Therapeutic Recreation.

View Graduate Program

siu horse therapy

Be a Part of this.