Male UMF skier at mountain

Looking for a degree that combines your passion for the great outdoors with a valuable skill set that’ll allow you to manage — or start your own — four-season outdoor recreation-related businesses? Our Outdoor Recreation Business Administration (ORBA) program may be the call of the wild for you.

The University of Maine at Farmington Outdoor Recreation Business Administration Program (aka ORBA) is an innovative academic program with a broad four-season focus and an emphasis on business, with substantial coursework in outdoor recreation — including areas like snow sports, the river industry, adventure sports, hiking and camping, golf and inland fishing.

A particular strength of ORBA is the required internship, which provides you with valuable hands-on experience and a network of professional contacts.

In the ORBA program you will develop a broad range of business knowledge and skills, together with skills in writing, oral presentation, problem solving, decision-making, leadership, and team building.

The program was developed with guidance from outdoor rec industry partners and leaders, so we are confident that it will provide you with the skills and knowledge that you will need to succeed in outdoor recreation.

UMF has a strong and longstanding connection to the active outdoor lifestyle, particularly in skiing and snowboarding. Located in the foothills of Western Maine, the Farmington area is rich in natural and scenic resources: spectacular lakes, great hiking trails, beautiful and challenging ski slopes, and the best whitewater rafting and kayaking in the Northeast.

We have a number of student leadership opportunities through Mainely Outdoors — our year-round outdoor adventure program designed to help UMF students and community members of all abilities take advantage of our region’s amazing outdoor activities: hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, camping, mountain biking, Nordic skiing, canoeing, geo-caching, and more.

Many ORBA students simultaneously earn a UMF Alpine Operations Certificate while they complete their degree in Outdoor Recreation Business Administration.

Internships – Real-World Experience in the Outdoor Recreation Industries

At UMF you can find out, first-hand, what it’s like to work in Outdoors-focused fields while you learn valuable career skills and develop a strong network of professional contacts.

Here’s a short list of where our Outdoor Recreation Business Administration students have recently interned:

  • Sugarloaf Ski Resort: marketing, park crew, ski school management, races & courses management, ski retail management, golf club management and more
  • Sunday River Ski Resort: assistant to the president, ski patrol/mountain operations, snow sports school management, terrain park management, marketing, ski school management, retail management and more
  • Copper Mountain Ski Resort – Colorado: ski school management
  • Winterstick Skis: retail / product management
  • Lost Valley Ski Area: marketing, management, snowmaking
  • Titcomb Mountain Ski Area: assistant to general manager, assistant manager, coaching, terrain park management, ski school management and more
  • Black Mountain Ski Area: terrain park management
  • Farmington Parks & Rec Dept: various positions
  • The Riders Club Snowboarding / Surfing / Skateboarding Youth Program: youth coach / mentor
  • Carrabassett Valley Academy: alpine ski coach
  • Lake Winnipesaukee Golf Club: pro shop management
  • Sebago Trails Paddling Company: management, marketing
  • East Millinocket Recreation Dept: various positions
  • Breakwater Inn & Spa: management, hotel, hospitality
  • New England Marine & Industrial: management
  • Hammond Lumber Corporate Headquarters: marketing
  • UMF Athletics: marketing, videography
  • UMF Fitness & Recreation Center: various positions

This program qualifies for a New England Regional Student Program tuition discount of nearly $5,000 for residents of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Canada.