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Parks, Recreation & Tourism

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Program Description

The field of parks, recreation, and tourism is concerned with providing healthy, fulfilling, and sustainable outdoor leisure and tourism opportunities to people of all backgrounds. Specialists in this field manage and maintain these resources and environments, ensuring that the public can safely enjoy the great outdoors. With the Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (PRT) program at the University of Utah, you will be prepared to pursue a wide array of fields concerned with social, environmental, and economic aspects of society. Students pursuing the major may choose one of three emphasis areas: Commercial, Community, & Sport Management, Outdoor Recreation Studies, and Sustainable Tourism & Hospitality Management. Regardless of emphasis area, the program curriculum offers you the opportunity to study leisure theory and research, as well as applied topics related to the park, recreation, and tourism profession. Example course topics include leisure services management, natural resources, recreation planning and management, experiential education, and sport management.

The Student Experience

Students complete a Senior Internship, learning valuable career skills while still in school. If you want to get involved in your program, the department has a number of student clubs and organizations: consider joining the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE), or one of the many other area groups. For example, the Outdoor Adventure (OA) program allows student volunteers to lead and manage outdoor and day trips for fellow U students. Activities include skiing, canyoneering, camping, and others. OA also offers equipment rentals for all of your outdoor recreation needs.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program are prepared to pursue careers as parks and recreation managers, tour guides, park rangers, coaches, scouts, event planners, and outdoor adventure specialists. Alumni have found work as conservation coordinators, guides, sports and fitness coordinators, event managers, facility directors, managers at outdoor recreation companies, camp directors, and ski patrollers and managers at Utah resorts. If you wish to travel to other parts of the U.S., take your talents to the parks and recreation facilities that span the country as an employee of the National Park Service or United States Forest Service. With additional education, students can also find employment in higher education and research.

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Exploratory Classes

  • PRT 1110 - Well-being, Happiness, and the Good Life
  • PRT 2100 - Wilderness in America
  • PRT 2201 - Intro to Hospitality and Tourism

Last Updated: 7/10/24