Recreation, Park, & Tourism Management | Kent State University

Recreation, Park, & Tourism Management

The Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management program prepares students for successful careers in a variety of leisure service settings. Graduates of the program find work opportunities at resorts, recreation centers, youth programs, parks and recreation departments, state and national parks, and a wide variety of other fields.

Kent State University's Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT). The Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT) accredits baccalaureate programs in parks, recreation, tourism, sport management, event management, therapeutic recreation, and leisure studies offered at regionally accredited institutions within the United States and its territories, and at nationally accredited institutions in Canada, and Mexico.  For more information on COAPRT accreditation, please visit:


People visit parks and participate in recreation and tourism for the countless benefits these settings and activities provide. For example: individuals benefit through the experience of enjoyment, physical fitness, and increased self confidence; families benefit through opportunities for togetherness and bonding; the natural environment benefits as ecosystems and spectacular landscapes are preserved as parks; communities benefit as recreation, parks and tourism create economic growth, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. Thus, the goal of recreation, park and tourism management is to create opportunities for people to enjoy this wide array of benefits while protecting the resources and maintaining the facilities on which these benefits depend.

Graduates of this program understand the wide array of benefits produced by recreation, park and tourism and they work professionally to provide these benefits at local, national and global levels. Furthermore, they work to assure that all people have access to these benefits regardless of ability or socio-economic status. Professional opportunities are available in, but not limited to: resorts, theme parks, visitor and convention bureaus, local park and recreation departments, state parks, national parks and other protected natural areas, campus recreation and wellness centers, urban recreation centers, youth development, YMCA, YWCA, therapeutic recreation, inclusive recreation, corporate wellness programs, camps and outdoor leadership schools.

To learn how you can begin a career in recreation, parks and tourism management, check out our bachelor's degreemaster's degree and minors.


  • Tourists spend over 600 billion dollars in the United States each year.
  • In Ohio, tourists spend over 38 billion dollars each year.
  • In Ohio, nearly half a million jobs are sustained by tourism.
  • Individuals with disabilities are the largest minority group in the U.S. and serving their recreation needs is an important role of recreation, parks, & tourism professionals
  • According to the Surgeon General, outdoor recreation activities are essential to children's health.
  • According to The Partnership for a Healthier America, the parks and recreation industry is instrumental in reducing childhood obesity.
  • Over 83 million acres are protected by the US National Park Service.
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park is less than 10 miles from Kent State University.
  • The National Park Service employs over 20,000 people.
  • Across the country, over 100,000 people are employed full time by city park and recreation departments.
  • The RPTM program at Kent State University is COAPRT accredited. COAPRT is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Contact Information

Dr. Andrew Lepp
Program Coordinator

Dr. Mary Ann Devine
Disability Studies & Community Inclusion Certificate