School of Sport, Recreation, and Tourism Management - George Mason University
Practicum and Internship Experience

Paid and volunteer fieldwork positions are great ways to gain a perspective on the many avenues one may choose within the Recreation Management profession. Students in the Recreation Management concentration complete a practicum followed by a full-time capstone internship. These real-world opportunities allow exploration of specific interests while providing opportunities for resume building.

PRLS 241 – Practicum

The practicum provides students with an entry-level guided work experience in the field of Recreation Management. Students complete 120 hours over a minimum of 10-12 weeks during the semester. A variety of practicum sites exist to match student interests, including the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center, The Edge, Aquatic and Fitness Center, Fairfax County Park Authority, Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services, and the Mason LIFE program.

After registering for PRLS 241 contact Dr. Brenda Wiggins, bwiggins@gmu.edu for site selection and approval.

PRLS 490 – Recreation Management Internship

Completed during the last semester. Interns will network with outstanding professionals, undertake tasks that allow them to independently apply their university coursework to real-life situations, and complete a project at their site. This experience helps seniors launch their professional careers, making them a more valuable asset to any hiring organization.

In the semester prior to beginning the internship, the mandatory internship orientation must be attended for information about navigating the internship. Both the site and university approvals must be completed prior to interning. All forms can be found in the Recreation Management Internship Manual. Until such forms are processed, interns will not be able to register for PRLS 490 on patriotweb.

Note: Failure to complete the mandatory internship orientation session will make a student ineligible to complete their internship during the applicable semester.

After completing the paperwork, the faculty supervisor will open the course for interns to register for PRLS 490, and only one other course may be taken during that semester. Senior standing is required (90 credits completed) as well as satisfactory completion of all other coursework. Interns are supervised directly by professionals, who communicate regularly with the intern's faculty supervisor.

For inquiries regarding Recreation Management Internships contact the Internship Coordinator Dr. Brenda Wiggins, bwiggins@gmu.edu.

Recreation Management: Parks and Outdoor Recreation Students

Students will intern 30 hours per week at a pre-approved site for a minimum of 480 hours over 16 consecutive weeks in the semester.

Recreation Management: Therapeutic Recreation Students

Students will intern 35 hours per week at a pre-approved site supervised by a certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS) for a minimum of 560 hours over 16 consecutive weeks in the semester.

Related Links

The web links below may be of interest for students and professionals needing ready access to information or contacts in the field. State, national, and international professional associations are also listed.

Professional Associations

General Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies

National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS)
World Leisure and Recreation Association (WLRA)
Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE)

Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resource Management

Association for Experiential Education (AEE)
International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASNR)
National Association for Interpretation (NAI)
George Wright Society
National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
Wilderness Education Association (WEA)
American Camp Association (ACA)
North American Association for Environmental Education
Outward Bound
The Student Conservation Association

Therapeutic Recreation

American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA)
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA)
National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification

Sport, Resort and Commercial Recreation

National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA)
Resort and Commercial Recreation Association (RCRA)
Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA)

Annual Meetings

Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium (NERR)
National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS)