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A man rides a bike past Lake Herrick

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

About this Degree

Connect people with the outdoors with a major in parks, recreation, and tourism management. This program is ideal for anyone who wants to work outdoors and teach others about the environment. Learn to create educational programs, manage natural resources for outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism, and help people interact with the environment.

Students learn real-world skills and tools needed to identify, understand, and manage complex human-environment issues. This includes an emphasis on understanding significant historical developments, developing services and programs, managing for recreational impacts, and recognizing the importance of sustainable development.

What you will learn

Courses teach the "human dimensions" of natural resources, helping students better understand the role that people play in sustainable outdoor recreation and tourism. Learn what makes tourism sustainable, how to cultivate environmental awareness through outdoor recreation, managing wilderness areas to accommodate visitors, and the business skills needed to run a successful eco-tourism or recreation enterprise.

The curriculum offers opportunities for students to study abroad on one of our many study abroad programs including Antarctica, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Other Programs Offered:

Students pursuing the parks, recreation, and tourism major may be able to complete one or more of the following programs alongside their major.

Possible Job Titles:

Tourism director

Park manager

Environmental educator


Outdoor adventure guide



You can find many of our graduates working at state and national parks, where they are leaders in their field. Others move into environmental interpretation or education, work as directors at municipal parks and leisure service offices, for tourism boards, or work in the eco-tourism industry.

This degree also sets graduates up for working as a business owner in a tourism-related field.

General Research Information:

Faculty research includes topics such as sustainable business models, motivations for tourists, eco-tourism, and the influence social media has on travel. Students are encouraged to assist in faculty and graduate student projects.

Support Warnell

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Learn more about giving.