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Department of Recreation & Leisure Studies at University of Mount Olive: Daytime Degree Programs




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Exercise Science

Health and Physical Education (Licensure)

Leisure Service Management

Recreational Therapy

Recreation and Leisure Studies Generalist

Sports Communication

Sports Management

The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies provides a quality education that prepares its majors for graduate study or professional careers in Leisure Service Management, Recreational Therapy, Sport Management, and Exercise Science. In addition the department houses the Health and Physical Education courses.  A Health and Physical Education degree prepares students for a career in teaching, typically in the public school setting in grades K-12. The department also offers minors in Recreation & Leisure Studies and Coaching. Within the program, students will have the opportunity to be actively engaged with other students and their community through hands-on learning activities in addition to one-on-one faculty interaction within the classroom.

The department prides itself on preparing students for entry-level rewarding career positions, developing the knowledge, skills and abilities to work with people of all ages and backgrounds in a variety of recreation, leisure, clinical, educational, fitness and sport settings. This includes developing skills such as: research, presentation, programming, planning, management and leadership.

The University of Mount Olive Recreation and Leisure Studies Department strives to meet or exceed the standards for accreditation in each of its emphasis areas. The degree prepares graduates for related professional certifications and licensure. Visit the links below for specific information on course offerings, degree requirements, career potential and professional development.


Service Learning Opportunities for Students

Service learning and hands on experiences are offered throughout a student’s career at UMO. Innovative faculty members know students learn from doing and create these opportunities in their courses. This facilitates the understanding and application between theory (text book and course content) and practice. Communication skills and confidence build while students are busy doing and learning.

During the sophomore year, RLS students will gain experience and have the opportunity to explore careers of interest during the field training practicum. Students earn three hours of credit by working hands-on in their future career choice for 120 hours (40 hours per semester hour). Students may select an agency of their choice that fits their professional career interests, or faculty can assist with placement.

Another unique feature of the RLS academic programs is the 480 to 600 hour internship during the last semester prior to graduation. The internship is designed to provide students with a three month, full-time professional experience in the field of choice. Students are required to seek an internship that meets their immediate career goals. In addition, the internship experience provides a real world experience prior to graduation, and often leads to job placement. Students who recently completed the internship often state how the internship helps them to understand and apply what they have learned in the classroom.

Health and Physical Education majors engage with students and earn firsthand experience in classroom management, lesson planning and teaching during the semester-long Internship at a local school.

Each student is encouraged to become actively involved in professional associations related to their field of study by attending conferences, webinars and workshops, serving in leadership roles and hosting professional development opportunities on campus.


Students at UMO, regardless of their major, may add a minor in one of the following areas of study.  These minors will enhance and expand career opportunities in many fields.



Through an articulation agreement between University of Mount Olive and Watts School of Nursing, a student can graduate with an associate of science degree from University of Mount Olive and complete the nursing requirements at Watts School of Nursing to apply for the NCLEX exam for licensure as a registered nurse. To qualify for the associate of science degree, a student must make application to and be accepted for admission into the Watts School of Nursing. Admission information is available on the Watts School of Nursing website at



The Recreation and Leisure Studies faculty includes individuals who have a wealth of experience and knowledge in their chosen field. Each has earned advanced degrees and professional certifications and has worked in their area of expertise. Professors bring real-life practical application, current events and problem solving, as well as current academic research, into the classroom offering a creative hands-on approach to learning though active participation.

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