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There are many misconceptions about career paths and options available in the field of recreation, parks, and tourism. From the stereotype of the Park Ranger to the bumbling government official in the television comedy “Parks and Recreation,” the misconceptions distort what we really do.  

The field of recreation, park and tourism management is is broad and diverse and appeals to individuals who are interested in working with people in a variety of settings such as non-profits, outdoor settings, live entertainment, sports and recreation as well as in commercial or for profit settings such as the golf industry, resorts, amusement parks, cruise ships and other business related entities. Most of the students and alumni of RPTM are drawn to the non-traditional work setting, hours and opportunities.

The mission of the Recreation, Park and Tourism Management department from the 2014-2019 Strategic Plan is “Transforming Health and Wellness — Through Engaging Life Experiences.” The long history of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management at Penn State demonstrates Penn State’s commitment to supporting education and training of professionals in the field. Our alumni work in a variety of settings (see options below) that target individuals, children, families, and seniors as well as communities at large with a focus on physical, emotional, spiritual and social health and wellness.