The department offers three majors:
1) Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences
The RPTS major has 4 emphasis areas:
A) Tourism Management
B) Community Recreation and Park Administration
C) Parks and Conservation
D) Youth Development
2) Community Development
3) Renewable Natural Resources Major Emphasizing RPTS
Students in the RPTS and the Community Development major take the same core courses required by the department. Click on our undergraduate brochure for additional information about our curriculum.
1. Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences Major (120 hours)
The undergraduate curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences provides students with an emphasis on problem-solving skills, development of an international perspective, and the application of scientific principles to managerial problems. The first two years of studies build a foundation that spans a wide range of disciplines and bodies of knowledge in the arts and sciences, and provide the student with an introduction to the history and concepts of recreation, park and tourism sciences. The second two years prepare students with the knowledge and skills for both entry-level positions and for future professional growth in the field.
Through the curriculum, students develop the depth and breadth of knowledge needed to scientifically investigate and select among alternatives as well as the intellectual skills to organize and integrate their knowledge in new and more effective patterns. An education in recreation, park and tourism sciences prepares students to become professionals with the capacity to learn from life and throughout life.
RPTS Major Emphasis Areas
A) Tourism Management Emphasis (120 hours) Tourism is one of the world’s largest and most diverse industries. This option focuses on the planning, management, development, and promotion of places and events as tourism attractions. Courses in tourism are designed to collectively build understanding about the linkages that exist between local places and cultures, host populations, and various public, private, and special interest groups. Students in this emphasis can pursue careers in private sector enterprises, government agencies, convention and visitor bureaus, and other tourism related service organizations.
B) Community Recreation and Park Administration Emphasis (120 hours) 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.
C) Parks and Conservation Emphasis (120 hours) Management of natural and cultural resources associated with conserving parks and other protected areas. Land managers and related professionals integrate concepts in the bio-environmental sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and policy and administrative decision-making. Necessary skills include geographic information systems, impact assessment methodology, and heritage and natural resources planning techniques. Students with an emphasis in this field look forward to careers with both public and private employers in the recreation, park, and tourism fields, including state and federal agencies and private enterprises, non-profit organizations, youth camps, and environmental education programs.
D) Youth Development Emphasis (120 hours) Programs and services that contribute to the development of young people’s personal, physical, social and educational abilities. Youth workers are program developers, leaders and managers who need to be able to work with youth, families, organizations and communities. Coursework in this option focuses on positive youth development, program planning and evaluation, and methods for working with young people.
2. Community Development Major (120 hours)
This emphasis is designed to prepare students to address changes that are occurring in metropolitan and fringe areas, as well as changes that are occurring in other types of communities located in non-metropolitan areas. For example, rural communities have smaller economies of scale and less diverse populations than larger cities. Small coastal and other natural resource based communities must carefully weigh impacts of development against protection and conservation of environmental qualities.
Graduates of the community development program will be able to apply their conceptual, analytical, and management skills to such issues involving infrastructure development, leadership, economic growth, youth development, poverty, welfare-to-work, water quality, land use, and other issues involving mobilization and collaboration with diverse community groups. Community development students can look forward to careers in various levels of government and their programs, Cooperative Extension, and regional planning organizations. Other potential employers include private community planning firms, industrial parks, retirement communities, recreational resorts and communities, and public relation firms.
For information about this program go to the Community Development Link
3. Renewable Natural Resources Major Emphasizing RPTS (120 hours)
The Institute of Renewable Natural Resources offers opportunities to be affiliated with one of three different departments: Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences or Ecosystem Science and Management. The degree allows students to obtain professional training in specific areas in management and conservation of natural resources. This degree allows students to pursue a broad approach to natural resource education through a multi-department degree.
Renewable Natural Resources (RENR) is for students desiring a rigorous education in the study and management of sustainable ecosystems for a wide variety of resource values. The RENR program of study is comprised of a core of courses and two emphases – one on management and the other on policy. The goal of this core/emphasis structure is to provide students with an identity as a renewable natural resources specialist, while, at the same time, affording the flexibility for preparation for a variety for career tracks. The underlying goal of the RENR degree is to integrate the scientific issues of renewable natural resources. Graduates of this program will be able to articulate these issues verbally and in writing in their chosen career. Therefore, the RENR degree emphasizes verbal presentations and major papers as well as field-oriented activities.
The RENR programs are designed to help students prepare for careers in public and private organizations associated with the planning and use of natural resources and the environment. Possible employment includes areas such as multi-use land management, environmental assessment, resource inventory, natural resource planning, law, policy analysis and land remediation.
An emphasis may be selected in policy or management. The RENR degree consists of 120 credit hours: 43 university core, 44 common to both emphasis areas and 24 designated by the emphasis area and 9 free elective hours. Academic advisors in any of the three departments (RPTS, WFSC, RLEM) are able to advise students on the RENR curriculum.