The Sports and Recreation Management major is one of two programs in the Hart School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management. Students within the major will receive a Bachelor of Science degree.

Admission and Progression Standards

Visit the Major Snapshots site to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major.

Students wishing to declare a Sport and Recreation Management major must first attend a New Major Orientation session, which are scheduled periodically throughout the semester. Students must declare the major prior to enrolling in non-Foundation HM or SRM courses.

For any student transferring into the Hart School, there are cutoff dates for declaring Sport and Recreation Management and Hospitality Management. Students are admitted only twice a year, October 1 and March 1. 

  1. Any student wishing to take Hart School courses in the Spring semester, or any summer term session would be required to contact the Hart School advisory team and declare the change of major on or before October 1.
  2. Any student wishing to take Hart School courses in the Fall semester would be required to contact the Hart School advisory team and declare the change of major on or before March 1. 
Description of Major

In 2010, the Hospitality and Tourism Management program and Sport and Recreation Management program were merged to create the new School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management. In 2015, the school was named for donors GJ and Heather Hart. 

The faculty is dedicated to the development of future leaders in sport and recreation management professions through a course of study that maximizes the potential of individuals and society. Within the program, the faculty emphasizes the skills and real-life experiences that are so important to be successful in this industry. This is demonstrated through supervised practicums and a senior-level, 400-hour internship. In addition, the program is dedicated to providing an outstanding undergraduate program based on the criteria of relevant professional associations, opportunities that challenge students to think critically, and projects that push the boundaries of knowledge and promote effective practice in sport and recreation management. Sport and Recreation Management prepares students for employment in the business of sport or recreation and a variety of other work settings, including professional sport teams, intercollegiate athletics, administrative positions within wellness facilities, university recreation centers, broadcasting, retail and sporting agencies.

More About the Field 

Sport and Recreation Management deals with both the business aspects and management of professional, collegiate and high school athletics and recreation programs and facilities.

Sport management is a field that combines skills in planning, organizing, leading, controlling, and budgeting for an organization within the sport industry. The field of sport management has experienced tremendous growth, resulting in increased demand for trained professionalsSport managers connect within athletic organizations, aspects of sports, health, wellness, business, and entertainment. The opportunities are as vast as the number of sports played throughout the world. Management of sport is a multibillion-dollar industry, and as such, those who pursue this field must be committed to work long hard hours.

Recreation management promotes healthy lifestyles by creating and delivering recreation and fitness programs in a variety of settings. Americans have more leisure time now, than previous generations, but have difficulty using this time in meaningful and satisfying ways. Stress-related disease, a breakdown of community, and a decrease in the physical and emotional health status of Americans have become serious concerns in the United States. Recreation management emphasizes the positive outcomes of recreation, leisure, and fitness that enhance the health and well-being of individuals and the communities in which they live. 


Those training to become sport and recreation professionals can focus on different aspects of this field. Sports managers can handle the financial aspects of an athletic organization, create marketing strategies for special events, direct athletics in a school setting or help athletes negotiate contracts or sponsorship and endorsement deals. Other areas to consider is public relations, sporting goods sales, facility management, athletic fund raising or sports broadcasting. What is certain for the field of sport, as a whole, is professionals will do a significant amount of traveling, and often work irregular hours, including nights and weekends. Recreation managers can oversee commercial businesses, run youth agencies and summer camps, work for the Park Service or manage recreation facilities. They may administer recreation programming in public, private, or commercial recreation settings. Professionals may specialize in marketing, ticket / merchandise sales, scheduling facilities / complexes, budgeting or program development.

Complementary Majors and Minors 

Sport and Recreation Management majors may seek minor concentrations in Coaching, Conflict Analysis and Intervention, English as a Second Language, Gerontology, Health Communication, Modern Foreign Language – Spanish, Special Education Non-Teaching, or Sport Communication. In addition, the students earn a general business minor from the College of Business.

Characteristics of Successful Students

Those that possess a love of sports and recreational activities. For students, it is essential that they are self-directed; industrious, can relate and work well with others.  


Many graduates choose typical career paths associated with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated careers that utilize skills and experiences developed during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some fields will require graduate study or further training. The listing below offers a few examples of some career paths taken by recent graduates of the SRMM program:

  • Adult Sports & Facilities Manager
  • Adventure Recreation Coordinator
  • Amateur Sports Coordinator
  • Aquatics Coordinator
  • Aquatics Director
  • Aquatics Program Director
  • Assistant Director of Promotions
  • Assistant Director of Intramural Sports
  • Assistant Labor Coordinator
  • Athletic Contract Manager
  • Athletic Director
  • Camp Director
  • Campus Recreation Director
  • Community Center Director
  • Director of Intramural Sports
  • Director of Stadium Operations
  • Director of Ticket Operations
  • Facilities & Equipment Assistant Director
  • Facility Operations Coordinator
  • Fitness Activities Assistant Director
  • Fitness Center Director
  • Fitness Coordinator
  • Fitness Director
  • Fitness Training Assistant Director
  • Fitness/Wellness Program Director
  • Golf Course Manager
  • Marketing/Public Relations Director
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Media Relations Specialist
  • Outdoor Recreation Program Coordinator
  • Outdoor Recreations Program Director
  • Parks Manager
  • Pool Operations Director
  • Recreation Center Facility Supervisor
  • Recreation Director
  • Recreation and Parks Director
  • Recreational Sports Assistant Director
  • Resort Activities Director
  • Resort Program Director
  • Sports Camp Director
  • Sport Coordinator
  • Sports Equipment Sales Person
  • Sports Events Coordinator
  • Sports Information Specialist
  • Sport Program Associate
  • Sports & Revenue Facilities Director
  • Sports Scout
  • State Games Sport Operations Coordinator
  • State Games Sports & Operations Director
  • Youth Programs Director
  • Youth Recreation Services Specialist

Who Employs Graduates?

Advertising Companies, Athletic Facilities, Colleges/Universities/Public and Private School Systems, Campus Recreation Centers, Corporate Fitness Centers, Public/Private Schools, Federal Agencies – (National Park Service, Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers), Fitness Centers, Heath Clubs, Hospitals, Parks and Recreation Departments, Recreation Facilities, Resorts, Retail Businesses, Sports Camps, Sports Equipment Companies, Sports Teams, and Youth Agencies, Youth Camps.

Internships and Experiential Opportunities 

All students in sports and recreation management must complete a 3-credit hour practicum SRMM 282) and a 6-credit hour internship SRMM 482). Students can find information on sport and recreation management related internships by speaking with faculty in the department.

View our list of  internship coordinators for each major.

Career Profiles 

Coaches and Scouts
Recreation Workers
Agents/Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes
Coaches and Scouts
Fitness and Wellness Coordinators

Additional Resources to Research Careers
  • Handshake: view new internships and jobs that employers are looking to hire JMU students from your major 
  • Career Outcomes: see where alumni worked or studied right after graduating.
  • GoinGlobal: learn more about employment opportunities overseas as well as H1B visa information for international Dukes pursuing jobs in the U.S.
  • O*NET: browse occupational profiles to learn about thousands of different careers, pulling data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 
  • CareerOneStop: explore thousands of different careers by looking at career profiles 
  • Utilize the LinkedIn Alumni tool to see what others have done with their majors and what their career paths look like. Reach out to alumni via LinkedIn and conduct an informational interview.

© University Career Center, James Madison University

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the JMU University Career Center. Content for each major has been written/reviewed by faculty in the respective department and is revised each year. Requests to update content can be submitted to career@jmu.edu

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