At the Hart School, you won’t just gather in classrooms to analyze and discuss things you’ve read in a textbook. You’ll learn by doing. By engaging in powerful, impactful educational experiences outside a traditional classroom setting, you will apply what you have learned to gain knowledge, build lifelong friendships, engage with alumni and mentors, cultivate your personal growth and much more.

In-class experiences will allow you to simulate or partner with real sport and recreation agencies to learn through action in the real world. The classroom may be converted into a ticket sales call center when you partner with NASCAR to sell tickets to a race at Richmond Raceway. You may work to rebrand Women’s National Basketball Association teams or learn about the nuances of facility design when developing a local park, campground or sports complex.

Other experiences take place outside of the confines of a physical classroom. You may plan, execute and evaluate a recreation program in the community such as a 5k, sports clinic or field day. Facility site visits allow you to tour and learn about various sport and recreation facilities from parks to sportsplexes and stadiums to arenas. By participating in JMU athletic facility operations, you can learn about hosting NCAA Division I athletic events on campus. Each semester brings new destinations and new chances to learn from experts - and by doing.

Recent hands-on experience opportunities: 

  • NCAA Men’s Final Four
  • NFL Super Bowl
  • NASCAR University
  • PGA Tour’s BMW Championship
  • JMU Athletics Game Day Operations
  • University Recreation Center Operations (UREC)
  • We Hart Racial Equality 5K
  • Le Gourmet Fundraising Dinner and Auction

The required practicum and internship are opportunities to gain valuable work experience that are built right into your SRM degree. You begin with a 90-hour practicum as part of the SRM 282 course, and complete a 400-hour internship in SRM 482.  Combined, these experiences give you a valuable edge in the job market right from the starting gate. As they are often completed during the Fall or Spring semester while taking other classes, many students complete practicums working for University Recreation or Athletics at JMU.  Additionally, students have worked with Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Parks and Rec, Sports Analytics and Special Olympics.

Internships require a much longer commitment and serve as a capstone experience for students, allowing you to showcase all you have learned by working for an agency similar to one where you may want to work as a professional. Previous students have interned for collegiate athletic programs, professional sports teams, Disney/ESPN, Wasserman, Tough Mudder, Horizons Edge Sports Campus, Massanutten Resort, FOX Sports, local high school athletic departments, University recreation programs, local parks and recreation departments and even at far away places like Australia and Paris.

Learn more about internships and practicums.

As a future sports and recreation leader, you’ll need to know how to gather and analyze data to help make the best possible decisions for your organization. Our Research Experience for Undergraduates program will help you learn the process of conducting independent research in the business disciplines. 

As an undergraduate research assistant, you’ll make valuable connections with JMU faculty as you collaborate on research topics of mutual interest, learning a wide range of research skills such as reviewing literature, developing surveys, collecting and cleaning data, and analyzing results. These experiences may also give you a competitive edge in applying for graduate school.

Previous Projects:

  • Co-Authoring a Case Study: A case study that examines racism in youth sport and recreation from a comprehensive perspective: The stories of Amanda Scott, Lexi, and Hugo.
  • Co-Authoring a Peer-Reviewed Journal Article: Challenges of an established amateur sport: Exploring how wheelchair basketball grows and thrives through a sport development lense (Published in the Journal of Amateur Sport).
  • Co-Authoring a Textbook Chapter: Governance of Olympic and Paralympic Games in the edited text Administration & Governance in Global Sport Business (Ruihley, B. J., & Li, B.)

“As I move further into my schooling and career, this experience will serve as a cornerstone of my presentation skills. My time spent in the REU program has been one of the highlights of my time here at JMU." - Hunter VanMeter ('22)

For many students, the time spent studying abroad is one of the most significant periods in their academic studies. Long afterward they continue to discover that the immersive experience of another culture pays dividends throughout their lives as they navigate new social and global career environments.

Through the Center for Global Engagement, you’ll be able to take advantage of specific SRM international programs with a focus on the Sport and Recreation industries.

Examples of past SRM study abroad opportunities include:

  • Internship placements in Australia with sports teams or companies involved with Australian Rules Football.
  • The Study of Sport and Recreation in Ireland
  • Sport-for-Development and Baseball in the Dominican Republic
  • The History of Sport, Recreation and Hospitality in Italy
  • Management in Sport and Recreation in Paris
  • Combating Gender Inequality in Youth Through Recreation and Sport Education/Coaching in Rwanda
  • Exchange programs where students take classes in Sport Management (in English) with a partner institution located in either Sweden or South Korea

Oftentimes, internships can also be arranged in these locations.


What our students say...

"The knowledge and mentorship that I received from the first-class faculty and staff assisted in shaping the professional that I am today. Additionally, the hands-on experiences that I was exposed to helped to prepare me for my career."

Amanda (Cramer) Allshouse ('11)
Specialist, Global Partnerships, National Basketball Association

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