Mission of the Department — Road to Success
Welcome to the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences (RPTS). We provide opportunities that prepare you to become leaders in the field of recreation, parks and tourism and significant contributors to the quality of community life.
Our world-class education, cutting-edge research, and active outreach to professionals and the general public helps you succeed as a manager, administrator, entrepreneur, marketing professional, decision maker, or change agent in the recreation, park and tourism fields or possible career opportunities in the field of community development.
Study in one of the premier departments of its kind in the world and learn about managing resources (human, natural, cultural, financial, community, and physical) for recreation and tourism and improving community quality of life. Coursework in behavioral and life sciences engages you in the study of planning, positioning, leadership, problem solving, innovation, policy, marketing, and finance. Your studies include both domestic and international perspectives, and involve the application of scientific principles and processes to management problems, communications, information management, conflict resolution, analysis, grant writing, and fundraising skills.
Although enrollment varies from year to year, currently there are approximately 420 undergraduate and 70 graduate students. While the majority of our undergraduate students are Texas residents, graduate students come from all corners of the United States and from many other countries.
Faculty and Staff
The Department has an internationally recognized history of accomplishment in instruction, research, and public service. The faculty and staff maintain this tradition. The Department has assembled a superior teaching and research faculty. The department’s multi-disciplinary and distinguished faculty has generated hundreds of books, scientific journal articles and technical reports, and has provided intellectual leadership in recreation, park and tourism sciences throughout the world.
The Department sponsors four active undergraduate professional organizations: RPTS Club, RPTS Aggie Representatives (Aggie Reps) and Student Event Planners Association (SEPA). Club membership is open to all students in the department. The club’s primary aim is to develop student leadership and provide opportunity for fellowship among students and faculty. The student group sponsors academic and social activities, including guest speakers, golf tournaments, camping trips, barbecues and other outings. The organization is also a member of Texas A&M’s Intramural program, thus providing members with opportunities for athletic competition. The club is an affiliate of the student chapters of the Texas Recreation and Park Society and the National Recreation and Park Association.
Students selected as Aggie Reps hone their leadership skills by organizing and conducting professional development events which benefit all students, and development new student recruitment strategies and events.
To facilitate the development and placement of future professionals, the department maintains a job file for graduating students, and provides opportunities for students to meet leisure agency and tourism business representatives. In addition, internship opportunities to help students prepare for future employment are available.
Facilities and Services
RPTS is located on the 4th floor of the brand new AGLS building. There are two computer labs on the floor; the undergraduate lab has 42 microcomputer workstations reserved for the exclusive use of recreation, park and tourism students, the graduate lab has 12 workstations. A wireless internet connection serves the entire building.
The department’s Extension program is also located on the fourth floor. The purpose of the Extension unit of the department is to provide Texas citizens with information necessary to improve the quality of their decisions in the areas of parks, recreation and tourism. Both undergraduate and graduate students are often involved in the public education projects of Extension, as the need for answers are transmitted to researchers and the results of research are disseminated to citizens. For students involved in Extension projects, the exposure to real world, real time problems are invaluable experiences.