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The famous Rosalind Gardens on a warm spring morning in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Parks and Outdoor Recreation

Sustainable Master of Business Administration

Next start date is August 12. No GRE needed and applying is free!!

Navigate the business of outdoor recreation,

where green skills meet career success.


As our world faces challenges in managing outdoor spaces responsibly, your commitment to sustainability is the key. With an SMBA in Parks and Outdoor Recreation, you’ll dive into a curriculum blending business savvy with green principles, shaping you into a leader capable of addressing today’s environmental complexities. Imagine engaging in projects that don’t just earn grades but craft real, sustainable outdoor solutions.

Program Overview


The SMBA (Sustainable Master of Business Administration) in Parks and Outdoor Recreation prepares students to become leaders in the sustainable outdoor recreation sector, a growing sector important for its environmental and social benefits. Outdoor recreation can help to improve people’s physical and mental health, connect them to nature, foster a sense of community, as well as protect and conserve natural resources. Combining theoretical knowledge with practical skills, students gain a deep understanding of the industry’s economics, social and cultural dimensions, environmental impacts, and management practices.

Through coursework, experiential learning, and research, students develop the competencies to apply business principles, manage financial and operational aspects, design and implement sustainable programs, advocate for policies, and think critically about the future of the industry. Graduates are well-positioned for careers in outdoor recreation management, sustainable tourism, adventure tourism, and other related fields, where they can use their skills and knowledge to make a positive impact on the environment and society.


Career Outlook

Earn your degree.

Unlock new opportunities.

881k

Project Management Specialist jobs in the U.S., 2022.

$95k

Project Management Specialist average pay, 2022.

+6%

Estimated U.S. job growth for Project Management Specialist jobs through 2032. 


*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unity Environmental University cannot guarantee employment. Salary data represents averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience.


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Experiential and Immersive Coursework

Family and kids with map in the forest.

Ecological Economics

Economic systems influence how society understands its relationship to the environment. Students will learn the basic principles of ecological economics, evaluate the framework, and learn to apply its principles to sustainability work.

View from the height of the playground and vacationing people in Drozdy in Minsk.Belarus.

Introduction to the Outdoor Recreation Industry

This course introduces the basics of the outdoor recreation industry, covering contemporary issues, public policies, service providers, theories, principles, and employment opportunities. Critical discussions and analyses enhance understanding of the field.

Man on a snowy hike.

Sustainable Management of Outdoor Recreation Agencies

This course delves into management principles for outdoor recreation agencies, with a focus on sustainability. Exploring topics like sustainable marketing, accounting, and financial management, it provides a comprehensive understanding of operational aspects through a sustainability lens.


Degree Requirements and Courses


The Master’s in Parks and Outdoor Recreation degree requires 36 credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA. For more requirements, view our full course catalog.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Parks and Outdoor Recreation?

    Parks and Outdoor Recreation is a dynamic field where passion for the outdoors meets sustainable leadership. It’s more than just managing green spaces; it’s about equipping professionals with a unique blend of business acumen and environmental stewardship.

    It involves crafting green solutions, addressing issues of environmental degradation, and ensuring responsible practices in public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. A Parks and Outdoor Recreation SMBA is a journey towards becoming a leader who not only loves nature but actively contributes to its preservation and sustainability. It’s a commitment to shaping a greener, more resilient future for outdoor enthusiasts and the planet alike.

  • What is an SMBA?

    A Sustainable Master of Business Administration (SMBA) includes the foundational concepts of a Master of Business Administration (MBA), while also integrating principles of environmental and social responsibility to prepare future business leaders to drive long-term economic success that includes ecological resilience and societal well-being. 

  • What courses will I be taking?

    SMBA Core: 21 credits

    • PROF 510 Communication for Environmental Professionals 
    • PROF 515 Ethical Practice and Policy 
    • SUST 525 Making the Invisible Visible: The ESG Proposition 
    • SBUS 505 Accounting & Finance for Sustainable Solutions 
    • SUST 515 Leading Sustainable Change
    • MKTG 505 Marketing Research 
    • SBUS 590 Sustainable MBA Capstone I: Planning Green Business Initiatives

    Major Program Core: 15 credits

    • SBUS 515 Ecological Economics
    • RECR 520 Introduction to the Outdoor Recreation Industry
    • SUST 650 Sustainable Management of Outdoor Recreation Agencies
    • RECR 620 Practical Research Applications in Outdoor Recreation 
    • SUST 655 Designing Sustainable Outdoor Recreation Experiences

    For course requirements and a better look into your program, view our full course catalog. Then apply online for free to get started.

  • How much does it cost?

    Your online education should be affordable and manageable. Our team of distance education concierges will work with you through the admissions process to help you plan and pay for your degree. Learn more about the costs here.

  • How fast can I finish?

    The timeframe for completion is up to you! Enroll in 6 credits per term and complete the program in a little over one year. Alternatively, opt for part-time study by taking one course at a time. Whichever path you choose, we’re here to support your educational journey every step of the way. Contact your concierge or advisor to create your personalized plan.


Program Features


Career Focus – Unity ranks in the top 15% of colleges for social mobility according to CollegeNET. Demand for employees with green skills is growing daily, and the sustainability core in every master’s program at Unity means that you’ll graduate with an environmental consciousness applicable to every career path.

Earn While You Learn – Our asynchronous model is designed to provide flexibility, allowing you to balance your studies with professional and personal commitments.

World Renowned Faculty – Learn from faculty who are working in their field, bringing their professional network and real-world insights into the virtual classroom, fostering valuable connections for your future career.

Applied Learning – You’ll be required to engage your local community and environment while completing your master’s degree, giving you practical, hands-on experience while allowing you to translate theoretical knowledge into real-world solutions. 

Personalized Support – You can rely on one-on-one professional advising, career support from your first day, unlimited mental health counseling, and more.



Ready to Learn More?


Fill out the form below to speak with someone at Unity about the Distance Education programs. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Welcome to Hybrid Learning where you can train for a meaningful environmental career while enjoying ultimate flexibility! Choose the combination of in-person and online courses that fits your life and goals. With 8 terms available per year with 5-week terms, we offer the best of online and hands-on education.
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Welcome to the Technical Institute for Environmental Professions! Join us for in-person, job-focused, environmental associate degrees at our commuter campus in New Gloucester, Maine. The Technical Institute offers flexible, innovative, and affordable preparation for Maine’s high-demand jobs with two-week terms, low per-credit pricing, and state-of-the-art HyFlex classrooms.

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Distance Education Concierge

Last Updated on June 21, 2024