Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to excellence, access and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it. ASU enrolls more than 80,000 students in its academic programs on four physical campuses in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area and online. ASU has focused its attention toward impacting the economic, cultural, social and environmental health of the communities it serves. Its focus is one of promoting academic excellence, entrepreneurial strategies, cultural diversity and broad access to educational services. Faculty and students are encouraged to apply their thinking to real world problems in an interdisciplinary fashion. ASU goals for 2015 and beyond are: 1) Demonstrate leadership in academic excellence and accessibility; 2) Establish national standing in academic quality and impact of colleges and schools in every field; 3) Establish ASU as a global center for interdisciplinary research, discovery and development by 2020; 4) Enhance our local impact and social embeddedness.

The WLCE program is in the School of Community Resources and Development at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. The mission of SCRD is to enhance the social, cultural, environmental, and economic well-being of communities through instruction, discovery and service. The school consists of four primary focus areas: parks and recreation management; tourism development and management; nonprofit leadership and management; and community sports management. These professional areas make use of a multi-disciplinary system approach to the study of community dynamics including a focus on activities such as: 1) livable communities; 2) healthy communities; 3) civically engaged communities; 4) sustainable communities; and 5) safe and diverse communities.


The faculty of the School of Community Resources and Development includes 29 individuals with expertise in a variety of academic interest areas. The Director of the School is Dr. Kathleen Andereck. Director of Graduate Studies is Dr. Gyan Nyaupane ( More information about our School can be found on our website.


Undergraduate degrees

B.S. in Community Sports Management

The Community Sports Management degree focuses on the many roles recreational and amateur sports play within a community as a mechanism to contribute to quality of life, domestically and abroad. Emphasis is on the role of sports in youth development; the role of sports organizations and programs in community development; the impact of sports tourism and multisport events on community development; and the role of sports in delivery of nonprofit agency services. Both a program and a managerial emphasis will be targeted, with an emphasis on delivery of services across the lifespan. Some specific areas of opportunity include work with youth sports, adaptive sports, sports events, sports tourism and sports clubs.

B.S. in Nonprofit Leadership & Management

The Nonprofit Leadership and Management program will empower you through coursework and co-curricular experiences to help you become a successful professional who positively impacts the community in which you work. By completing the undergraduate program, you may also earn national certification from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance which will prepare you to lead and strengthen nonprofit organizations.

B.S. in Parks & Recreation Management

The Parks & Recreation Management program provides an interdisciplinary education in the management of parks, protected areas and community based recreation services and special event management. Students learn to integrate the managerial, natural and social sciences to make informed decisions for recreation service delivery. The curriculum combines classroom instruction with field experiences and covers parks and recreation policy, programming, planning, management, communication, inclusive services, and history. The PRM program prepares students for professional positions in variety of public, private, and nonprofit organizations. Our undergraduate major in Parks & Recreation Management is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions (COAPRT). Students may specialize in Therapeutic Recreation (TR) within the Bachelor of Science in Parks & Recreation Management degree. The curriculum prepares students with the skills to provide therapeutic interventions and adaptive recreation services for individuals with illnesses or disabling conditions in a variety of service settings. Students develop knowledge and skills to assess individuals, develop plans of service, provide diverse therapeutic interventions, and evaluate and document outcomes of care.

B.S. in Tourism Development & Management

Upon completion of your degree you will possess a sound theoretical understanding of the comprehensive study of tourism. This will include knowledge related to the growth and development of tourism throughout the world in historical, spatial and economic terms; the economic, ecological, and socio-cultural impacts of tourism in both the developing and developed world; and the system of tourism production, product development, service delivery, and consumption by diverse domestic and international market segments. Other areas of study include the psychological foundations of travel motivations, visitor perceptions, and their experiences at destinations, as well as host-guest interactions. The program encompasses local, regional and global perspectives in the study of tourism. There are also two concertation available in Resort and Hotel Leadership and Sustainable Tourism. The concentration in Resort and Accommodation Leadership will attract students and professionals who have interests in the diverse areas of knowledge needed within the accommodations sector such as meeting the expectations of hotel and resort guests; the interrelated functions within departments of the lodging and food and beverage industries; ecological, social and economic sustainability practices in the industry; management and leadership specifically for the accommodations sector; and career opportunities

Master degrees

M.S. in Community Resources & Development

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Community Resources and Development is offered by the School of Community Resources and Development at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. The degree prepares students to analyze and understand critical topics and issues pertinent to the fields of recreation, leisure, tourism, nonprofits and community development. The goal of the Master’s degree is to provide an academic experience that fosters scholarship, critical thinking, and creativity while preparing graduates for leadership/management positions in public, nonprofit, and private agencies. Students select one of the four emphasis areas: sustainable communities; tourism; parks and recreation management; or nonprofits and non-governmental organizations. Coursework selection should reflect a sense of continuity and relevance based upon the student’s academic and professional goals. The Master’s degree culminates with either a thesis or a professional project.

Master of Sustainable Tourism

This degree is fully online. Students in the Master of Sustainable Tourism receive a comprehensive education with a focus on the environmental, economic and social aspects of tourism, equipping them with the skills necessary to create pioneering sustainable development solutions to the challenges facing tourism today. This holistic curriculum focuses on integrating sustainability into existing tourism theories and concepts. The program prepares future sustainable tourism professionals to meet the increasing demand for people trained in sustainability practices and the application of those practices in tourism. The proliferation of organizations such as Sustainable Travel International, National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations, the International Ecotourism Society, and the Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council among many others, points to the growing importance of this field. Completion of the MAS in Sustainable Tourism can be done in either 12 or 24 months. Students are admitted as a cohort in the fall semester and follow either a one year or two year plan including summer courses. Students take core required courses and select from a small number of elective courses under the advisement of the MAS Program Director. The program includes an applied project that allows students to integrate knowledge from the entire program.

Doctoral degree

Ph.D. in Community Resources & Development

The Ph.D. program is a university-wide interdisciplinary degree. The core faculty engaged in this program is housed in the School of Community Resources and Development (SCRD) at the Downtown Phoenix campus. The faculty is comprised of diverse individuals with a broad range of scholarly expertise and leadership abilities in the primary areas of study.  In addition, the Ph.D. builds on current collaborations with faculty with related research interests from existing ASU departments, schools and centers with expertise in public administration, urban planning, community development, communication, gerontology, geography, exercise and wellness, human evolution and social change, family studies and human development, marketing, economics, sustainability, social work, criminal justice and criminology, sociology, and life sciences. The Ph.D. consists of a minimum of 54 credit hours beyond the Master degree. Students are required to take 24 credits of core coursework, 15 of which are with the cohort during their first year and 6 with their cohort during the second year.


The school is organized around research, education, and promotion of sustainable community development in a complex, dynamic urban environment. The faculty has identified two broad themes for our programs and research foci. These themes transcend disciplinary boundaries to guide transformative scholarship. Cross-cutting activities include leveraging resources, multi-sector approach/partnerships, recognizing and nurturing leadership, participatory research, and collective impact.

Community and Economic Development for Public Good

Research and education in this theme focuses on understanding and promoting sustainable community and economic development activities to promote well-being, happiness, enhanced quality of life, and social equity for all residents. Specific projects examine the role of the nonprofit and philanthropic sector; parks, recreation and tourism activities; and community organizations in promoting resilience, empowerment, and adaptive capacity for individuals and communities.


Sustainability is a university-wide strategic initiative at ASU rather than the province of any single unit, and our School makes unique contributions to sustainability scholarship and education. This theme focuses on work that empowers communities to develop pathways for transformation to a sustainable future. Researchers explore fundamental social scientific questions about human-environment interactions. Research also examines the role of public, private, and nonprofit institutions in sustainable community development.


We offer a full range of opportunities for students and visitors including scholarships, graduate assistantships, post-doctoral studies, visiting students and scholars, and others. Please contact the School for more information.