College of Education and Human Development

SRTM Adds Two New Degrees

September 10, 2021

FAIRFAX, Va. – Two new bachelor’s degrees are now being offered in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University.

The School of Sport, Recreation, and Tourism Management (SRTM) will now offer bachelor of science degrees in sport management and recreation management. Both were previously offered as concentrations and now join tourism and events management as degrees available to undergraduate students in SRTM.

“Specialized degrees in sport, recreation, and tourism management are degrees that we know students are looking for and will find even more useful than our old degrees when hitting the job market,” SRTM Interim Director Laurence Chalip said. “Our school has such a good reputation, but I think that for any employer who isn’t used to seeing or familiar with our degree, the label will make more sense to them.”

SRTM, which also offers a master’s degree in sport and recreation studies, has built up a solid reputation. The school brings a diverse faculty with both theoretical and practical experience that offers real industry experience.

Mason’s location also provides opportunities for industry leaders to serve as adjunct professors or as guest lecturers in undergraduate courses. The proximity to Washington D.C. enables students to gain hands-on experience before graduation, thanks to internship partnerships with local businesses; organizations; county, state, and national parks; clinical sites; resorts; and collegiate and professional sports teams.

The intersection of sport, tourism (and hospitality), and recreation, Chalip says, also sets Mason apart from other programs in that Mason students are prepped to be able to work with all three industries.

“The fastest growing area in the industry is sport and tourism,” Chalip said. “Sport and tourism directors are being hired by guess what? Recreation departments. So that means you need to be able to understand sport, recreation, and tourism together in order to be able to move into that fast-growing realm of the industry. This is a huge plus.”

Sport management graduates include an Olympic gold medalist and coaches, executives, and professionals in the MLB, MLS, NBA, NHL, and NFL along with coaches and professionals in a variety of settings in collegiate athletic departments.

Faculty with a wealth of knowledge help prepare those future industry leaders for success. Mason’s Sport Management program features three former presidents of the North American Society for Sport Management, along with former coaches, professional sports executives, and industry experts.

“We have the best combination of scholars and people with experience of any school in the world,” Sport Management Academic Program Coordinator Craig Esherick said. “We have a great collection of faculty who love to teach. They truly get an enjoyment out of working with students, helping them through their academic career, and seeing them develop as individuals when they graduate.”

Recreation Management students have three options when completing their degrees: a concentration in parks and outdoor recreation, a concentration in therapeutic recreation, or an individualized concentration of their design. Narrowing this degree, certified by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions, will hopefully help attract students to the new major, Recreation Management Academic Program Co-Coordinator Brenda Wiggins said.

Alumni of the Recreation Management program have secured positions with the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Institutes of Health, and Veterans Administration. Completing a capstone requirement at local and state parks, recreation departments, senior centers, nursing and residential care facilities, hospitals, and rehabilitation sites help seniors earn jobs upon graduation from Mason.

“Recreation Management plays a major role in promoting a healthy lifestyle and environment for both individuals and communities, especially recognized in the last year during COVID 19,” Wiggins said.

About the College of Education and Human Development

The College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, inspires undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students to promote learning and development across the life span. Innovative, inclusive, and cutting-edge, the college and its 30 academic programs that spread across three schools (School of Education, School of Kinesiology, and School of Sport, Recreation, and Tourism Management) prepare professionals who improve lives and make a difference for the community and for the world. The college is a nationally recognized leader in educator preparation, special education, counseling, and school leadership; prides itself in far-reaching expertise that includes sport management, human performance, athletic training, recreation management, and tourism and events management; and is home to 9 centers engaged in groundbreaking research. Learn more at