Recreation Management and Policy Major: Outdoor Leadership and Management Option (B.S.)

Recreation Management and Policy Major: Outdoor Leadership and Management Option (B.S.)
Outdoor Leadership and Management students rock climbing

Ranked as one of Money Magazine’s “10 best colleges for people who love the great outdoors,” UNH is the northeast’s premier academic setting for students pursuing careers in the booming outdoor industry. The outdoor leadership and management program at UNH is the oldest continually accredited outdoor leadership major in the country, with an excellent reputation and prominent alumni working in every aspect of the Outdoor Industry.

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The outdoor leadership and management program at UNH prepares graduates for work in outdoor programs, parks and protected areas, and public and private recreation settings. Our alumni are guides, leaders, directors and managers of organizations that provide high-quality outdoor experiences for people across their lifespan. This program prepares graduates for dynamic careers in outdoor education, adventure programming, outdoor recreation management, parks and protected areas management, youth and after-school programming, and land and water conservation.


By combining experiential learning with a classic liberal arts education, outdoor leadership and management students learn foundational philosophies and theories, hone skills in outdoor activities such as climbing, canoeing and backpacking, and gain career competencies through an on-site internship. Our graduates leave with the administrative, management and leadership skills necessary to work in a diverse array of public, private and non-profit outdoor organizations such as the National Outdoor Leadership School, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service and many others. The outdoor leadership and management program also boasts 100% internship placement and job placement.


  • College outdoor program director
  • Outdoor adventure educator
  • State or national park manager
  • State or national park ranger
  • Mountain and ski resort manager
  • Municipal or commercial recreation director
  • Nonprofit organization director
  • Outdoor business owner
  • Recreation and wilderness program leader
  • Youth program director
  • Outdoor recreation manager

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Curriculum & Requirements

UNH’s Outdoor Leadership and Management (OLM) Program is designed for students who want to study and work in outdoor programs, parks, and public or commercial recreation settings. Our graduates are guides, leaders, directors, and managers of agencies that provide healthy outdoor activities for people across their lifespan. Our curriculum combines experiential learning in urban, rural, and backcountry landscapes with a classic liberal arts education. You’ll gain a solid foundation in the theories, philosophies, and methods of outdoor recreation leadership and management while gaining skills in outdoor activities, pursuits or disciplines such as climbing, canoeing, and backpacking. This program will prepare you for dynamic careers in outdoor education, adventure programming, outdoor recreation management, parks and protected areas management, youth and after-school programming, conservation, and other outdoor fields.   

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: No

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

Outdoor Leadership and Management Option Course Requirements

RMP Shared Core (24 credits)
RMP 490Recreation & Tourism in Society4
RMP 501Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice for Recreation Services4
RMP 557Program and Event Design4
RMP 563Recreation Management and Policy Practicum2
RMP 654Professional Development and Ethics2
RMP 764Internship8
Outdoor Leadership and Management Option Core (22 credits)
RMP 411Applied Recreation Risk Management2
OUT 681Foundations of Adventure Education4
OUT 686Wilderness Emergency Medical Care4
RMP 711Recreation Resource Management4
RMP 772Law and Public Policy in Leisure Services4
RMP 776Human Dimensions of Natural Environments4
Leadership or Management course - select one of the following:2-4
OUT 682
Experiential Teaching & Leadership
RMP 641
Group Facilitation and Leadership
RMP 670
Venue Management Design & Operations
Field Leadership - select at least 2 of the following:8
OUT 540
Top Rope Rock Climbing
OUT 551
Adventure Programming: Backcountry Based Experience
OUT 552
Adventure Programming: Water Based Experiences
Electives - minimum 6 credits 16
Field Leadership course (OUT 540, OUT 551, OUT 552 not selected above can be selected as an Elective)
Leadership or Management course (OUT 682, RMP 641, RMP 670 not selected above can be selected as an Elective)
OUT 539
Artificial Climbing Wall Management
OUT 541
Technical Operation of Aerial Adventure Courses
OUT 542
Sea Kayaking
OUT #543
Winter Adventure Programming
OUT 545
High Angle Rescue
OUT 546
Whitewater Canoeing
OUT 547
Lead Rock Climbing
OUT 549
Wilderness Navigation
RMP 603
New Hampshire Ski Industry Management
RMP 663
Management and Finance in the Experience Industry
RMP 668
Youth Culture and Programs
RMP 775
Entrepreneurial and Commercial Recreation
Lifetime Activity Program Course - Select 2 courses (with outdoor discipline)4
LAP 501
Lifetime Activity Program: Special Topics
RMP 764Internship 28 or 12
Total Credits74-80

Other courses may be recommended by the academic advisor to fulfill the elective requirement.


Professional Internship: a supervised internship is required of all majors and serves as their major capstone requirement. The internship is designed to create a bridge between theory and practical application. Students, working with their advisors and the internship coordinator, select an appropriate setting based on their professional and career interests. They must register for an 8 credit (10-week, 400 hour) or 12 credit (14-week, 560 hour) internship that is under the supervision of a qualified professional. Specific requirements are identified in the Internship Manual available from the Department of Recreation Management and Policy.

  • Students will know and demonstrate the nature and scope of the outdoor industry, including outdoor education, adventure leadership, and parks and protected-areas management.
  • Students will know and demonstrate the techniques and processes used by professionals and staff in the outdoor industry.
  • Students will know and demonstrate the foundation of the outdoor industry in history, science, and philosophy.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to design, implement, and evaluate services that facilitate targeted human experiences and that embrace personal and cultural dimensions of diversity in outdoor settings.
  • Students will demonstrate entry-level knowledge about operations, strategic management, and administration in the outdoor industry.
  • Students will demonstrate the potential to succeed as professionals at supervisory or higher levels in the outdoor industry through participation in structured practicum and internship experiences.

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