Academic Programs - Recreation and Leisure Studies


The department is no longer accepting any new students for the Recreation and Leisure Studies in  Counseling and Human Development Services.  Please contact the department if you have any questions.

Program Mission

The mission of the Recreation and Leisure Studies Program is to prepare students to deliver recreation and leisure services in a diverse society, to engage in research on leisure, and to foster a new generation of scholars who can do the same.

Program Vision

Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Georgia will be known for outstanding scholarship, leadership, and educational excellence in the areas of recreation administration, experienced based education, and the scholarly study of leisure. To that end faculty and students address the design, provision, and evaluation of recreation and leisure services that facilitate health, education, and well-being across the lifespan, and study the psychological and social dimensions of leisure. It is our belief that recreational contexts can foster positive growth and development, engage citizens in their communities, and promote understanding and respect for diversity.

Nationally Recognized Faculty and Students

The Recreation and Leisure Studies Program is recognized across the university community and the nation:

  • Dr. Doug Kleiber has received the Roosevelt Research Award from the National Recreation and Park Association
  • Dr. Diane Samdahl has received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Society for Park and Recreation Educators.
  • Dr.’s Corey W. Johnson, Gwynn M. Powell, Joy James and Rudy Dunlap were recipients of the Society for Park and Recreation Educators Innovation in Teaching Award for their creative implementation of the unified core curriculum
  • Dr. Corey W. Johnson serves as the president of the Society of Park and Recreation Educators.
  • Dr. Gwynn Powell received a citation of honor from Russia’s minister of education for her study abroad program: Camp Counselors in Russia.

The Michael J. Hendrickson Academic Support Fund in Recreation and Leisure Studies

Michael Jeffrey Hendrickson was a student in the 2006-2007 Recreation and Leisure Studies undergraduate learning community and a friend to all he met. The UGA senior died suddenly on December 1st, 2007 of a severe bacterial infection. Michael’s loving spirit illuminated this program and he is sorely missed.

In his memory, the College of Education is proud to announce the establishment of the Michael J. Hendrickson Academic Support Fund in the Recreation and Leisure Studies Program. To download a contribution form to Michael’s fund, please click here.

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