Graduate Programs

jwl_7882Welcome to the Graduate Program web pages for the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences. Our graduate program has produced leaders in private industry, public services, and in academia. The prestige of our department can largely be attributed to its faculty, both past and present. Our current faculty publishes more research than any department of its type, and has won multiple awards at the department and individual level (for both teaching and research).

Additionally, the Department has four active Professors and three Emeritus Professors in the Academy of Leisure Sciences; two active Professors and one Professor Emeritus in the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration; and two active Professors and two Professors Emeriti in the International Academy for the Study of Tourism.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.S.) – Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences

PhD

The Ph.D. degree prepares students for a career as a university faculty member or research scientist in a government agency or the private sector. It requires 70 semester hours of graduate study beyond the master’s degree, including 24 hours devoted to an original dissertation research. A final examination on the dissertation is conducted by the student’s advisory committee. The Ph.D. degree normally takes three  to four years to complete, depending on individual circumstances.

Additional_Information

Master of Science (M.S.) – Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences

Thesis_Option

The Master of Science (thesis option) is designed for students interested in continuing on to advanced study in a doctoral program, as well as those entering professional service. It requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of study beyond a bachelor’s degree, including at least eight hours devoted to original research documented in a master’s thesis. A final examination on the thesis is conducted by the student’s advisory committee. Normally, it takes two years to complete this degree, although the time varies depending on individual circumstances.The Ph.D. degree prepares students for a career as a university faculty member or research scientist in a government agency or the private sector. It requires 70 semester hours of graduate study beyond the master’s degree, including 24 hours devoted to an original dissertation research. A final examination on the dissertation is conducted by the student’s advisory committee. The Ph.D. degree normally takes three  to four years to complete, depending on individual circumstances.

Non-Thesis_Option

The Master of Science (non-thesis option) is intended for current professionals or those seeking a degree leading to professional service in recreation, parks, or tourism. It requires a minimum of 36 semester hours beyond the bachelors degree. Students earning this degree may elect a professional internship as part of the 36 hours, but this is not required. Students write a review paper consisting of library research on a topic approved by the student’s advisory committee. The advisory committee also conducts a final comprehensive examination. For most students, the M.S. (non-thesis) degree can be completed in 1.5 to two years.

Additional_Information

Graduate Certificate 

Community_Development_Certificate

The Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences offers this transcripted certificate through its Program in Rural Sociology and Community Studies.  This twelve-hour certificate program provides students with an understanding of the principles and processes of community development.  It addresses issues of decision making and leadership, human organization and communication, institutional capacity and enhancement, and resource mobilization and management.  It also gives attention to special populations in development processes and outcomes.  The program is available to students pursuing any graduate degree at Texas A&M University and who meet enrollment criteria. For more information contact the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Irina Shatruk (ishatruk@tamu.edu), or the Leader of the Program in Rural Sociology and Community Studies.

RPTS Research Areas

Community_Development

Address changes occurring in metropolitan centers, fringe areas and rural communities through applied research and extension programs. Through coursework, extension and research, you can focus on community and economic development, sociology of rural minorities, sociology of nutrition and health, natural resources and environmental quality, and sociology of agriculture.

Research Publications 

Event_Management

Explore the issues surrounding planned events as well as their management, design and production. This program will prepare students to gain practical and theoretical understandings of events and the experiences created by fairs, sports, expositions, and festivals. Students often work closely with professionals and practitioners in public service and not-for-profit sectors.

Natural_Resource_Management_and_Policy_Analysis

Management of recreation, park and leisure service agencies that requires expertise in problem-solving, computer-based decision making, assessment of social and environmental impacts, personnel, public relations, volunteer management, financing and fund-raising, marketing of services, and needs assessments. Skills in working with people in the legal and political environment are necessary, as well as the ability to assess and work with other organizations for cooperative developments in recreation and tourism. Students in this emphasis prepare for managerial careers with public recreation and park agencies, youth agencies, not-for-profit recreation agencies, and commercial recreation enterprises.

Recreation_and_Park_Administration

Park and recreation amenities are crucial elements in healthy communities. Your coursework and research, conducted in cooperation with faculty, can focus on marketing and financing parks, positioning, visitor behaviors, constraints to participation, park planning and risk management.

Tourism_Management

Study the myriad issues associated with one of the world’s largest industries. Research that the faculty conduct within this emphasis combines a balance between tourism development and sustainability from the following perspectives: marketing, management, anthropology, geography, technology, communications, conservation, planning, psychology, heritage, sustainability and ecotourism.

Youth_Development

Delve into interdisciplinary research and learning opportunities related to youth development and programs that help young people to become fully functioning adults. Research conducted in this area includes evaluation of youth recreation programs, adolescent development and health, and issues related to race and ethnicity. The Elda K. Bradberry Recreation and Youth Development Chair is housed within the department.

Admissions

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