Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

Who We Are

The Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management is made up of educators, researchers, staff and students who focus on global issues associated with the contribution of leisure to human development, health and wellness as well as the impact of recreation and tourism on ecological, economic and cultural systems.

We value intellectual curiosity leading to discovery, integrity, honesty, excellence, community, and collegiality.

Our mission is to transform human health and well-being through recreation, park, tourism, and leisure opportunities.

Transforming Human and Environmental Health

There are many factors that influence what people do in their leisure time, including age, gender, family structure, and availability and accessibiltiy to parks and recreation facilities. We strive to better understand these factors so that we can support and develop interventions that focus on improving the benefits derived from leisure and to mitigate negative outcomes.

RPTM is well positioned to work synergistically with experts from the social sciences, ecology, health sciences, and others.

Our Program

We aim to educate and inspire you to make contributions to society, and our conceptual approach serves as the foundation of what and how we teach. In particular, we integrate topics such as diversity, environmental sustainability, human development, health and well-being, social innovation and entrepreneurship, community and economic development, and leadership across the undergraduate and graduate programs.

Our world-class faculty members help make a difference for you by:

  • Engaging students in experiential learning
  • Providing opportunities for international experiences
  • Encouraging involvement in professional organizations

Undergraduate Program

As a student in the RPTM undergraduate program, you have the choice to pursue one of three options:

Graduates of the program receive a bachelor of science degree in RPTM, and they often pursue careers in supervisory or administrative positions in the following fields:

  • Parks and land management agencies
  • Environmental interpretaion centers
  • Commercial, community, and municipal recreation centers
  • Tourism bureaus
  • Golf courses
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Schools and universities

Graduate Programs

Whether you are looking for a master's degree or your doctorate in RPTM, our multi-disciplinary graduate program is designed to educate students about research, theory, and practice related to recreation, parks, tourism, and leisure. Both the master of science (M.S.) and the doctor of philiosophy (Ph.D.) programs help you develop an understanding of the social, environmental, psychological, and economic aspects of human behavior in relation to the experience and delivery of recreation, park, tourism, and leisure activities.

Master's Program

The Master of Science in RPTM (M.S. RPTM) is designed for those who are looking to continue their studies at the doctoral level at Penn State.

Doctoral Program

If you already have a master's degree, our Doctor of Philosophy in RPTM (Ph.D. RPTM) provides in-depth preparation for research and teaching positions in higher education as well as higher-level administrative positions in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

You also have the option of entering a dual-degree program with RPTM and Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment (HDNRE) Program.