Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies

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The Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies was founded on July 1, 1946 and has been a distinct department since its inception. The Department offers specializations in Public, Nonprofit, and Community Recreation; Recreational Sport Management; Recreational Therapy; Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management; and Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Human Ecology. There are more than 400 undergraduate students and more than 50 graduate students, including 27 doctoral students. The Department works closely with local, state and national agencies in cooperative research, education, and internship opportunities.  The Department has a variety of external activities and initiatives, including Bradford Woods, the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, and the Leisure Research Institute.

Our Vision

We are diverse team of colleagues dedicated to the improvement of the quality of life through leisure. We accomplish this by global academic leadership and excellence in the development and dissemination of a body of knowledge.

Our Mission

We provide global academic leadership and excellence through teaching, research, service and scholarship in outdoor and resource management, recreation, and tourism management. We accomplish this through a humanistic approach to utilizing innovation, collaboration, and application of technology. Our scholarship affects students, colleagues, professionals, and citizens in local, national, and global societies.  

Our Values

We believe in the following:

  • The essentiality of recreation and leisure to the health of all people.
  • The need for professionally trained persons to plan and administer programs, design and manage facilities, and guide users in the healthy expression of leisure.
  • The interdisciplinary nature of the profession, and the importance of synthesizing the social, administrative, environmental, and health sciences through the study of leisure and recreation.
  • The need for faculty and professional staff to provide leadership for the profession at municipal, state, national, private and commercial levels through research, teaching, and service.
  • The requirement for faculty and students through research and scholarship to add the body of knowledge in the field.
  • The importance of sustaining fundamental development in pedagogy, curriculum design, and instructional technology.
  • The importance of parks and places for recreation and leisure pursuit.
  • The academic competencies of faculty expressed in terms of their impacts on communities through research and professional practice.
  • Public services programs bridging the gap between research and professional practice.