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Department of

Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

Graduate Program Master of Science (M.S.) Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree

the department The Penn State Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM) is one of the most well-respected programs of its kind in the nation. Established in 1946, its goal is to improve understanding of the leisure experience as well as human well being across the life span through interdisciplinary and internationally relevant research, teaching, and service related to recreation, park, and tourism phenomena and resources.

the program RPTM’s multidisciplinary graduate program is designed to educate students about research, theory, and practice related to leisure and recreation as experienced at the individual, societal, and cross-cultural levels. Both the M.S. program and Ph.D. program help students develop an understanding of the social, environmental, psychological, and economic aspects of human behavior in recreation and leisure activities. The programs allow students to concentrate their studies in a variety of areas: recreation/ tourism management and marketing; commercial recreation and tourism; therapeutic recreation; outdoor recreation and protected area management; community recreation; and general leisure behavior.

Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

The Penn State Difference Penn State is one of the leading research universities in the United States. According to the National Science Foundation, it consistently ranks among the top 15 major U.S. universities in research expenditures in science and engineering fields. Its graduate programs attract students from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds and from more than 100 countries all over the world. Penn State has an enrollment at its main campus—University Park—of nearly 45,000 students, some 7,000 of which are graduate students. The University invites students to consider its graduate programs, whether they aspire to conduct research that will contribute to global knowledge or to hold a leadership position in their field with government or industry.

Master of Science (M.S.) Degree The M.S. degree is designed for students who wish to continue their studies at the doctoral level at Penn State. Students who wish to pursue a Ph.D. degree but do not have an M.S. degree will complete a thesis and earn a master’s degree in the process of working toward the doctorate.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree The Ph.D. degree provides in-depth preparation for research and teaching positions at the college and university levels as well as higher-level administrative positions with public or private recreation providers.

“The Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management offers the best of both worlds: a family atmosphere nested within a world-class research facility. The faculty consistently supported my growth as an instructor, encouraged me as a fledgling researcher, and helped me learn what it means to be a member of an academic community. From teaching to tailgating, there was always someone there to help make the experience better.” - Rob Andrejewski, Ph.D. ’11

Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

Course work The department offers an interdisciplinary set of core and elective courses. Core courses include: • Leisure studies foundations • Social psychology of leisure • Philosophical and social bases of leisure • Scholarly writing in leisure studies • Research methods • Leisure studies surveys and appraisals Elective courses in the following programmatic areas also are available: • Leisure, culture, and diversity • Leisure and disability • Leisure, health, and wellness • Outdoor recreation • Tourism

Other Opportunities Students can enter a dual-degree program in RPTM and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment (HDNRE).

Careers Graduates typically are employed in academic settings; as researchers at governmental agencies, such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the U.S. Forest Service; as employees of consulting firms; or as owners of their own businesses.

Funding Teaching and research assistantships, as well as fully funded university fellowships, are available to cover tuition and to help with living expenses. In addition, students often can obtain employment as research assistants through faculty research grants.

Research Through interdisciplinary and innovative research projects, faculty members in the department explore a variety of factors that influence the leisure behavior of individuals and communities. Using a variety of methods, they study: • Positive youth development through leisure • Visitor use monitoring for and management of natural resources • Recreation for individuals across the life span, especially those with disabling conditions • Health consequences of the cultural and behavioral consonance of leisure lifestyles • The complex mix of physical, cultural, and biological impacts of recreation and tourism • Sustainable use of recreation spaces

“I’ve experienced great support from professors that possess a broad range of research interests and experiences. They have encouraged me to organize my curriculum in a multi-disciplinary manner based on my personal research interests. I also feel fortunate to have met fellow students who stimulate me intellectually, and who I want to collaborate with throughout my academic career.” - Jaeyeon Choe, Ph.D. ’12

Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

How to apply The process of applying for admission to Penn State’s Graduate School requires the following application materials, some of which are submitted to the Graduate School (Part 1) and others of which are sent directly to the RPTM graduate program (Part 2): Part 1 - Apply to the Graduate School at Penn State Every applicant is required to submit an online application to the Graduate School. Information about fees and programs of study can be found at The online application can be accessed through the “Graduate School Admissions and Program Information Portal” at Part 2 - Apply to the RPTM Graduate Program In addition to the items delivered to the Graduate School, formal admission to the M.S. and Ph.D. programs requires: (1) A minimum of a 3.0 grade-point average (2) A recent GRE score (within five years) (3) A resume (4) Three letters of reference (5) A written statement of objectives for undertaking graduate study, with an indication of desired career and research focus

Contact Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management The Pennsylvania State University 801 Ford Building University Park, PA 16802 814-863-0847 • 814-867-1751 (fax)

This publication is available in alternative media on request. Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce. (GRAD13011) U.Ed. HHD 13-011

Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management Graduate Program Overview  

Graduate Program Overview for the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM) at Penn State

Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management Graduate Program Overview  

Graduate Program Overview for the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM) at Penn State