Welcome to the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies

Learn it. Love it. Live it!

We offer majors in outdoor adventure leadership and therapeutic recreation. Both offer you an opportunity to blend your interest in helping people live a healthy, satisfying, independent, and productive life using strategies that focus on recreation, leisure, or the outdoors. You will have opportunities for hands-on practice with real clients to nurture the importance of leisure to a sustainable and health lifestyle. Our educational philosophy emphasizes collaborative partnerships and interdisciplinary work with other disciplines such as speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. We will also strongly encourage you to dive more deeply into your research interests and give back to the community through service. As a graduate, you will be able to practice and function in a leadership position independently in a competent, ethical, and inclusive manner.

Outdoor Adventure Leadership

For interests in outdoor leadership, ecotourism, outdoor education, camp management, natural resource management, environmental interpretation, youth-at-risk programs, and the adventure education and travel industry

Therapeutic Recreation

For interests in using leisure activities to work hands-on with clients to enhance people's physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being through leisure activities.

Be Educated at a "Best of the Best" Institution

Maximize value by completing your undergraduate studies at a "Best of the Best" institution, awarded to the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the 2018 National Recreation and Parks Association Conference.

A person in a blue shirt and tan pants is holding an award plaque next to a man dressed in a suit. In the background is a poster that says "Best of the Best" Ceremony
Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies


Ithaca College’s Recreation and Leisure Studies Program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT). COAPRT accredits baccalaureate programs in parks, recreation, tourism, sport management, event management, therapeutic recreation, and leisure studies offered at regionally accredited institutions within the United States and its territories, and at nationally accredited institutions in Canada and Mexico. Review our program assessment reports for more information.

Important Information Regarding Degree Mills

Please watch this important video regarding degree and accreditation mills. According to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), "Degree mills and accreditation mills mislead and harm. In the United States, degrees and certificates from mills may not be acknowledged by other institutions when students seek to transfer or go to graduate school. Employers may not acknowledge degrees and certificates from degree mills when providing tuition assistance for continuing education. “Accreditation” from an accreditation mill can mislead students and the public about the quality of an institution. In the presence of degree mills and accreditation mills, students may spend a good deal of money and receive neither an education nor a useable credential."


RLS Department Office
G40 Hill Center
Ithaca College
953 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850

Fax ~ 274-1943