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Outdoor Recreation Studies (ORS)

From the classroom to the great outdoors

We combine formal coursework and field-based learning in this emphasis area to prepare students for a variety of employment opportunities in organizations such as outdoor recreation and land management agencies, outdoor or adventure education programs, and nature-based tourism operators. From their first day of classes, ORS students are exposed to a number of innovative learning situations to help advance their critical thinking, group cooperation, data-driven decision making, and outcomes focused management.

Operating from a strong interdisciplinary and theoretical foundation, ORS students apply their knowledge to authentic, career-oriented issues.

Education during COVID-19

Utah is Ideal for Outdoor Recreation Studies

Utah has world-renowned access to most major outdoor activities and 70% of the state’s majestic landscapes are public. This unique environment readily allows students to apply classroom knowledge during transformative field experiences in awe-inspiring locations.

ORS students engage in content related to:

  • Outdoor leadership
  • Visitor use management in parks and protected areas
  • Environmental interpretation and communication
  • Group management and facilitation
  • Pedagogical approaches for outdoor settings
  • Outdoor technical skills
  • Advocacy of outdoor recreational opportunities

Potential employers of students completing degrees with this emphasis include:

  • National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
  • National Park Service
  • Guide services, including international organizations
  • Outward Bound
  • Residential and/or expedition-based therapeutic wilderness programs or camps
  • United States Forest Service
  • Nature-based tourism operators
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • State Departments of Natural Resources, including State Parks
  • Outdoor experiential education programs

Undergraduate Advising

Eric Gardner

Undergraduate Advisor

Phone: 801-585-0832

Online ST&HM Program

Preston Tanner

Online Program Coordinator 

Phone: 801-587-7357

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