The Master of Science in Outdoor Recreation Economy (MORE) is an interdisciplinary, applied master’s degree that prepares professionals to become creative, thoughtful leaders across the outdoor recreation economy sector. The program leverages University of Colorado Boulder’s academic excellence and experience in professional graduate education, as well as the State of Colorado’s deep connection with the outdoor recreation economy. The program is industry responsive, creates widespread access, and provides innovative, fully online learning opportunities.

The program provides skills and knowledge to students and learners from a variety of backgrounds who are interested in the outdoor industry, community building, making the outdoors more inclusive, and the public lands and natural resources policy sectors. The scope of the MORE curriculum addresses five key overlapping areas:

  1. Outdoor recreation industry: Wholesalers, manufacturers, tour operators and guides provide hardware and services for people to take advantage of open spaces and recreate. Increasingly, the outdoor industry can motivate consumer spending toward sustainability and public lands stewardship. Students who complete this focus will receive a background in sustainability, resilience, outdoor recreation and business fundamentals.
  2. Public lands policy: Policies and regulations that govern access and sustainable use are imperative for the appropriate use, conservation and enjoyment of public lands. Students who complete this focus will emerge with knowledge and practical experience in these areas, ready to address the new policy challenges facing public lands.
  3. Building resilient communities through the outdoor recreation economy: How can communities ensure that development is not something that just happens to them, but rather is something that is instigated from within? How can communities ensure that development builds upon community strengths and assets and reflects the needs and wants of all its members? What skills, knowledge and tools do communities need to have at their disposal to inspire action and take charge of their future and become more livable, resilient and sustainable? Students who complete this focus will gain the knowledge and skills to advance in the important role that outdoor recreation can play to support communities in building their capacity for change and taking proactive steps to improve their economic prospects and quality of life.
  4. Sustainable leadership: Businesses in the outdoor recreation economy that develop sustainable, innovative products, services and inclusive practices are positioned to lead the next generation of leaders and enthusiasts in a dynamic and fast-growing sector in the economy. Students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully integrate purpose-driven leadership, business acumen, inclusivity and sustainability into outdoor recreation industry operations and entrepreneurial ventures.
  5. Inclusivity in the outdoor recreation: Starting with a safe space for deep learning, honest exploration and open dialogue, this certificate focusses on developing a more welcoming and inclusive outdoor recreation economy and expanding access to the outdoors to everyone. Students who complete this focus will gain tools, resources, strategies and best practices to effectively lead the transition to a more equitable outdoor industry.

In addition to knowledge specific to outdoor recreation, sustainable leadership, public lands policy, inclusivity in the outdoors and resilient communities, students will gain career-relevant skills in project management, communication and systems thinking. The knowledge and skills gained in the MORE program will immediately prepare students to advance in their current careers or gain employment in the outdoor industry.

For more information, visit the Master of Science in Outdoor Recreation Economy website.


Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Master of Outdoor Recreation Economy degree will conform to the requirements set by the Graduate School. No coursework may be transferred into this program.

Required Courses and Credits

The master's degree requires a minimum of 30 credits hours of graduate level coursework, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Students must complete three certificates at 10 graduate level credit hours each. All students must complete the foundational (Introduction) certificate and two additional certificates to earn their degree.

Each certificate has a distinct curriculum, and courses may not be double counted toward more than one certificate. Students may take the certificates in any order. For students who are new to the outdoor recreation economy, it is recommended to start with the Introduction certificate, which provides foundational knowledge in the areas of policy, sustainability and community development.

For this degree, students are not required to complete a thesis, capstone project or final examination. A 2-credit, synchronous (remote, live) project course is required to complete each of the three certificates. This project course represents a culmination of the certificate where students apply the skills, tools and knowledge gained from certificate subject courses to address current policy, business or community development challenges in the outdoor recreation economy. The emphasis of each of the project classes is the development and implementation of innovative strategies, processes and solutions on an experiential outdoor recreation project. Once a student has completed three of the 10-credit online certificates, they will be awarded the master's degree.


OREC 5000Introduction to the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5001Sustainability Practices within the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5002Leading Sustainable Change in the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5003Outdoor Recreation Project Tools and Skills2
OREC 5004Environmental Justice and Stewardship2
OREC 5005Issues in Public Lands2
OREC 5006Issues in Natural Resources Management2
OREC 5007Public Lands and Natural Resources Policy Project2
OREC 5008Strategies for Resilient Outdoor Recreation Economy Communities2
OREC 5010Tools for Resilient Outdoor Recreation Economy Communities2
OREC 5011Outdoor Recreation Economy Community Economic Development Project2
OREC 5012Strategic Leadership in the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5013Circular Economy and Integration of Sustainable Business Practices2
OREC 5014Outdoor Recreation Business Project (C)2
OREC 5015Building an Outdoor Recreation Enterprise2
OREC 5016Foundations of Environmental Law and Culture2
OREC 5017Environmental Movements, Alliances, and Legal Change2
OREC 5018Community and Place Matters2
OREC 5019Building Community Capacity and Readiness for the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5020The Business of Outdoor Recreation2
OREC 6100Special Topics for Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5021Foundations of Inclusivity in the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5022Cultivating Belonging and Accountability in the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5023Inclusive Leadership and Conscious Change in the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5024Social Justice and Equity in the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5025Inclusivity and Belonging in the Outdoor Recreation Economy Project Course2

Plan(s) of Study

The Master of Outdoor Recreation Economy (MORE) degree pathway offers flexibility to support working professionals. This degree program is offered entirely online and is composed of stackable certificates, each worth 10 credit hours. To earn the MORE degree, candidates complete three certificates, for a total of 30 credit hours.

The MORE degree offers a foundational (Introduction) certificate taken by all students, and a range of additional topic-focused certificates from which students must complete two. Each certificate consists of four asynchronous subject courses and one synchronous (live, remote) project course related to the relevant content areas, skills, tools, and leadership practices of the sector. Students may complete certificates in parallel or sequentially. In addition, students may finish certificates as they are able, and may stack the certificates to complete the degree. Students may also elect to continue and complete additional certificates.

Visit each certificate's catalog page to learn more: