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, 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 outdoor recreation: 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, public lands policy, 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.

Requirements

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.

Courses

OREC 5000Introduction to the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5001Sustainability Practices within the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5002Leading Sustainable Change in the ORE2
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 5008Community Economic Development Strategies for the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5010Community Economic Development Tools for the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
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

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.

Certificates

Introduction to the Outdoor Recreation Economy - Graduate Certificate

In the Master of Outdoor Recreation Economy (MORE) graduate degree program, the outdoor recreation economy is viewed holistically. It links public lands, the communities that sit alongside them, and the outdoor recreation industry. This certificate explores the interaction between these nodes of the outdoor recreation economy and lays the foundation for the MORE degree program. Courses in the certificate will provide an introduction to public lands and natural resources policy, challenges and opportunities for community economic development, and inclusive leadership skills for the outdoor recreation industry. This certificate is required for attainment of the MORE degree.

Subject Courses (Asynchronous)
OREC 5000Introduction to the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5001Sustainability Practices within the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5016Foundations of Environmental Law and Culture2
OREC 5002Leading Sustainable Change in the ORE2
Project Course (Synchronous)
OREC 5003Outdoor Recreation Project Tools and Skills2
While students may take the Introduction certificate courses in any order, it is recommended to complete the four subject courses before enrolling in the project course.

Public Lands and Natural Resources Policy - Graduate Certificate

With over 640 million acres of land in the United States owned by the federal government, and significant holdings by both state and local governments, public lands are a venue ripe for opportunity and conflict. This certificate examines critical and emerging issues on public lands and natural resources management across the U.S. Following an overview of the structure of public lands management, including federal land management designations and agencies and major laws and policies relevant to public lands management, the certificate transitions into issue-based discussions of challenges facing public lands management. The certificate also explores how stakeholders, such as interest groups, non-governmental organizations, and the general public, influence the policy process.

Subject Courses (Asynchronous)
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 5017Environmental Movements, Alliances, and Legal Change2
Project Course (Synchronous)
Students must complete the four subject courses before enrolling in the project course.

Building Resilient Communities through Outdoor Recreation - Graduate Certificate

Outdoor recreation spaces are central to the development of healthy, vibrant and socially viable communities. Community-based outdoor recreation development is centered around strengthening the well-being of a community by improving access to outdoor recreation, increasing ownership of community assets and expanding the entrepreneurial base for the local population. This certificate explores the processes, strategies, tools and funding mechanisms that promote the development of inclusive, sustainable and resilient outdoor recreation opportunities in the broader context of community economic development. Focus is also given to how communities can build their capacity through outdoor recreation development by undertaking community visioning and planning processes that engage diverse perspectives and take into account the needs and wants of the community. Central to this is the building of trust and long-term partnerships and collaborations that contribute to a vibrant and civically engaged community. Students acquire a range of relevant skills, including those needed to implement meaningful community engagement, identify internal and external funding sources, and communicate a powerful narrative through the use of stories and data to champion the outdoor recreation economy for all communities.

Subject Courses (Asynchronous)
OREC 5018Community and Place Matters2
OREC 5008Community Economic Development Strategies for the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5010Community Economic Development Tools for the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5019Building Community Capacity and Readiness for the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
Project Course (Synchronous)
OREC 5011Outdoor Recreation Economy Community Economic Development Project2
Students must complete the four subject courses before enrolling in the project course.

Leading a Sustainable Business in the Outdoor Recreation Economy - Graduate Certificate

The outdoor recreation industry sector includes outdoor recreation product manufacturers, supply chains, retailers, lodging and transportation services, guides, and resort operators, among a host of others. Demand for advanced outdoor technical apparel, footwear and equipment drives innovation and entrepreneurism. It creates jobs for highly skilled workers in diverse fields such as technology, product design, manufacturing, sustainability and global commerce. In addition to product and service innovation, the sector needs a talent pipeline that understands policy, 
community economic development and sustainability. Many parts of the industry are committing more resources to social responsibility, community support and environmental sustainability—but do not have the talent sophistication to effectively integrate these objectives. This certificate will provide the knowledge and tools to better integrate sustainability into outdoor recreation industry operations.

Subject Courses (Asynchronous)
OREC 5012Strategic Leadership in the Outdoor Recreation Economy2
OREC 5013Circular Economy and Integration of Sustainable Business Practices2
OREC 5015Building an Outdoor Recreation Enterprise2
OREC 5020The Business of Outdoor Recreation2
Project Course (Synchronous)
OREC 5014Outdoor Recreation Business Project2
Students must complete the four subject courses before enrolling in the project course.

Inclusivity in the Outdoor Recreation Economy - Graduate Certificate

The Inclusivity in the ORE graduate certificate focuses on developing a more welcoming and inclusive outdoor recreation economy and expanding access to the outdoors to everyone by offering students tools and strategies to effectively lead the transition to a more equitable outdoor industry. Students enrolled in the certificate will learn global best practices in inclusivity through coursework, resources and access to thought leaders who are guiding global organizations to a more diverse and inclusive future. The certificate has the intention to create a safe space for deep learning, honest exploration and open dialogue.

Subject Course (Asynchronous)
OREC 5021

Additional coursework for this certificate will be offered in the Fall 2023 semester.

Introduction to the Outdoor Recreation Economy - Graduate Certificate

Knowledge & skill outcomes

  • Be versed in major topics related to the outdoor recreation economy.
  • Understand the importance of context and place-based, cultural, social, economic and ecological differences when looking for solutions.
  • Understand the systems connections of the constituent elements of the outdoor recreation economy.

Public Lands and Natural Resources Policy - Graduate Certificate

Knowledge & skill outcomes:

  • Understand contemporary issues in public lands and natural resources management.
  • Understand the policy and statutory context in which debates regarding public lands policy are situated.
  • Understand stakeholder dynamics and coalition building with regards to public lands and natural resources management.

Community Economic Development and the Outdoor Recreation Economy - Graduate Certificate

Knowledge & skill outcomes:

  • Understand social, cultural, and economic foundations of outdoor recreation economy communities.
  • Develop knowledge of the macro- and micro-economic factors behind economic transitions in communities.
  • Learn about community economic and business development theory and practice.
  • Develop an understanding of the strategies and tactics to successfully transition local economies, including the tools to do so.
  • Learn the skills to build community capacity and strengthen civic engagement to assist communities take greater control of their future.

Leading a Sustainable Business in the Outdoor Recreation Industry - Graduate Certificate

Knowledge & skill outcomes:

  • Gain knowledge of leadership skills for the outdoor recreation industry sector.
  • Gain an understanding of circular economy and sustainable business practices.
  • Learn tools for tracking and measuring sustainability.

Inclusivity and Leadership in the Outdoor Industry - Graduate Certificate

Knowledge & skill outcomes:

  • Communicate the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion and access within the outdoor recreation economy.
  • Identify opportunities for increasing access and inclusion within the outdoor recreation economy.
  • Lead outdoor industry organizations in developing diverse and inclusive recruiting and hiring practices.
  • Recognize and champion the outdoor recreation economy’s role in addressing issues of diversity, equity, inclusivity and outdoor access in all communities.
  • Play a leadership role in creating a natural environment where all people feel not only welcome but encouraged to become active participants as outdoor enthusiasts, industry professionals and stewards dedicated to the protection of the land.