Outdoor Recreation Industry Studies (BS)

Degree: Bachelor of Science
Major: Outdoor Recreation Industry Studies
Program Code: 3151

About This Major . . .

The Outdoor Recreation Industry Studies degree program prepares students to enter the world of outdoor industry business management, sales, and marketing, adventure services, guide services, adventure programming, expedition planning and adventure leadership. The Outdoor Recreation Industry Studies degree program recognizes the multifaceted nature of the outdoor industry, combining a wide range of coursework in outdoor leadership, business management, innovation and entrepreneurship, adventure planning, tourism, risk management, stewardship and sustainability.

Through study and experience, students completing the degree in Outdoor Recreation Industry Studies will be prepared to work in one of the largest growing segments of the economy: the outdoor recreation industry. At more than 2% of the GDP and over $880B in consumer spending per year, the outdoor recreation industry is a powerhouse economic driver that demands a highly skilled workforce.  Students will gain qualifications for jobs in such fields as outdoor industry business- including retail and manufacturing- resort and ski area management, state and national park service, outdoor education, camp administration, and professional guiding.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Service's What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate historical, socio-economical, and philosophical aspects of the outdoor recreation industry. (Critical Thinking)
  2. Apply fundamental concepts of management, administration, marketing, finance, and economics to the outdoor recreation industry. (Applied Learning)
  3. Apply technical skills of survival, risk management, and leadership in outdoor settings. (Applied Learning)
  4. Construct codes of personal ethics and apply codes of professional and environmental ethics within the outdoor recreation industry profession. (Personal and Social Responsibility)
  5. Explain and navigate the relationships between the outdoor recreation industry and state/federal legislation, public lands and water, climate science, wildlife corridors, and regulatory agencies. (Critical Thinking, Information Literacy)
  6. Articulate the implications of economic development, education and workforce, public health and wellness, and conservation and stewardship within the outdoor recreation industry. (Specialized Knowledge, Quantitative Fluency)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

 Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Specific to this degree:

  • Wilderness First Responder course certificate

 Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours)
See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below. If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 1
MATH 113College Algebra-GTMA1 (or higher) 23
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts course3
Natural Sciences
Select one Natural Science course 33
Select one Natural Science course with a lab 44
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Must receive a grade of “C” or better and must be completed by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


This a 4 semester credit hour course. 3 credits apply to Essential Learning requirements and 1 credit applies as an elective credit.


ENVS 101 suggested as it is a pre-req for ENVS 304.


One course must include a lab.

 Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirements
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
OREC 104Orienteering1
OREC 105Backpacking1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1
Total Semester Credit Hours7

Essential Learning Capstone must be taken after completion of the Essential Learning English and Mathematics requirements, and when a student has earned between 45 and 75 credit hours. 

 Foundation Courses Requirements

(22 semester hours)

ACCT 201Principles of Financial Accounting3
BUGB 211Business Communications3
MANG 201Principles of Management3
MARK 231Principles of Marketing3
KINE 200Foundations of Kinesiology3
OREC 205Foundations of Outdoor Recreation Industry Studies3
Choose one of the following courses:3
Probability and Statistics-GTMA1
Introduction to Business Analysis
Introduction to Business Analysis
Choose one of the following courses:1
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
River Rafting
Total Semester Credit Hours22

 Program Specific Requirements

(48 semester hours)

ENTR 300Small Business and Entrepreneurship3
ENVS 304Environmental Science for Outdoor Recreation3
KINE 342Sport Law and Recreation Risk Management3
KINE 480Inclusive Physical Activity3
MARK 335Sales and Sales Management3
OREC 100Leave No Trace1
OREC 112Rock Climbing II1
OREC 135Backcountry Winter Travel1
OREC 305Outdoor Industry Business3
OREC 335Public Lands Management3
OREC 350Community Health and the Outdoor Recreation Industry3
OREC 405Outdoor Recreation Leadership, Programming, Education, and Assessment3
OREC 499Internship6
POLS 488Environmental Politics and Policy3
Restricted Electives (choose three):9
Avalanche Rescue Techniques and Theory
Swiftwater Rescue Techniques and Theory
Rock Climbing Instructor and Rope Rescue
Professional Outdoor Guide
Total Semester Credit Hours48

 General Electives Requirements

All college-level courses appearing on your final transcript, not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 120 hours. 11 semester hours needed to meet graduation requirements. 

MATH 113College Algebra-GTMA11
Select electives10
Total Semester Credit Hours11
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
KINE 200 Foundations of Kinesiology 3
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
MATH 113 College Algebra-GTMA1 4
OREC 100 Leave No Trace 1
Essential Learning - Natural Science 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
OREC 104 Orienteering 1
OREC 105 Backpacking 1
OREC 205 Foundations of Outdoor Recreation Industry Studies 3
Essential Learning - Social and Behavior Science 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science with Lab 4
 Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
OREC 112 Rock Climbing II 1
Choose one of the following: 1
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
River Rafting
Essential Learning - History 3
Essential Learning - Social and Behavior Science 3
General Elective 3
Essential Learning- Humanities 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
OREC 135 Backcountry Winter Travel 1
ACCT 201 Principles of Financial Accounting 3
MANG 201 Principles of Management 3
ENVS 304 Environmental Science for Outdoor Recreation 3
Restricted Elective 3
Essential Learning - Fine Arts 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Third Year
Fall Semester
BUGB 211 Business Communications 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
MARK 231 Principles of Marketing 3
OREC 350 Community Health and the Outdoor Recreation Industry 3
Restricted Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
MARK 335 Sales and Sales Management 3
OREC 305 Outdoor Industry Business 3
OREC 335 Public Lands Management 3
Choose one of the following: 3
Probability and Statistics-GTMA1
Introduction to Business Analysis
Introduction to Business Analysis
General Electives 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
ENTR 300 Small Business and Entrepreneurship 3
KINE 342 Sport Law and Recreation Risk Management 3
KINE 480 Inclusive Physical Activity 3
Restricted Elective 3
General Electives 2
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
OREC 405 Outdoor Recreation Leadership, Programming, Education, and Assessment 3
POLS 488 Environmental Politics and Policy 3
OREC 499 Internship 6
General Electives 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

ENVS 101 suggested as it is a pre-req for ENVS 304.

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at http://www.coloradomesa.edu/registrar/graduation.html.

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.