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 programcurriculum 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, therapeutic recreation, experiential education, and sport management.
The Student Experience
Students seeking degree enrichment opportunities can complete an undergraduate research project or 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.
Graduates of the program are prepared to pursue careers as parks and recreation managers, tour guides, park rangers, coaches, scouts, travel agents, and outdoor adventure specialists. Alumni have found work as conservation coordinators, recreation therapists, guides, managers at outdoor recreation companies, and ski patrollers and instructors 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.