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Emphasis of the Program

The Education Department now offers programs in health education, physical education - teaching, physical education with emphases in recreation and sport management, coaching, and adapted PE. Students gain a broad knowledge of anatomical, physiological, and biomechanical aspects of human movement and become aware of the many fitness and leisure time activities promoting lifelong wellness.

Career Opportunities

Students graduating with an emphasis in recreation have a wide variety of career opportunities. As Americans enjoy more recreation and leisure activities, recreation leadership positions are available at YMCA’s, community recreation programs, Boys & Girls Clubs, group homes, senior retirement villages, military posts, correctional facilities, and fitness clubs. As these organizations are seeking qualified recreational directors and managers, our students are prepared in recreational programming, outdoor experiential learning, aquatics, financial management, and working with diverse populations in the field of recreation. Students qualified in aquatics are filling many positions in various recreational settings.


Recreation students will develop skills in outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, cross country skiing, biking, camping, canoeing, and various sports. The recreation classes go beyond the classroom to various recreational settings such as state parks, nature trails, environmental learning facilities, and sport venues. Our students gain valuable experience working with Special Olympic athletes, youth programs, and senior citizens. Recreation students are encouraged to gain experience through internships, field practicums, after school programs, the WHP Major’s Club, intramurals, the SMSU Fitness Center, and aquatics.

Facilities and Services

Facilities available to students include: an exercise science lab, indoor tennis courts, computer lab, a dance studio, gymnastics room, wrestling room, 25 yard pool and diving well, three racquetball courts, free wireless online access, seven indoor basketball/volleyball courts, indoor field house with running track and a fitness center with free weights and exercise equipment. Outdoor fields are used for softball, basketball, football, intramurals, and soccer. The nature trail is used for running, walking, and cross-country skiing. The new SMSU Regional Event Center provides additional recreation and sport opportunities.

Scholarship Opportunities

Incoming students may be eligible for a number of academic and leadership scholarships through the Office of Admission. These scholarships are awarded based on a student’s past academic performance including ACT score, GPA, class rank, and leadership activities. The WHP Department also offers an annual scholarship to a returning student who has demonstrated good academic performance, leadership ability, and participation in the major’s club.

About SMSU

Founded in 1963, Southwest Minnesota State University has earned a reputation for excellence. Located on a beautiful interconnected and accessible campus, Southwest Minnesota offers three master’s programs in addition to over 50 undergraduate programs. The faculty and staff at Southwest Minnesota State set it apart and make it an outstanding small university offering the equivalent of a private school education at a fraction of the cost.

Last Modified: 6/28/22 12:07 PM | Website Feedback