Recreation, Park, Tourism, and Hospitality

Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration
Undergraduate Program

The Department of Recreation, Park, Tourism, and Hospitality teaches students how to design, deliver and evaluate leisure experiences. Leisure is commonly recognized as arts, recreation, entertainment, health and fitness, hospitality, outdoor activities, sport, travel, and tourism.

Students are able to complete the BS and MS in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration on the Macomb Campus, as well as being able to complete core courses and some electives via livestream and asynchronous course delivery at the Quad Cities Campus and beyond.

Why Choose RPTA?

  • Hands-on learning
  • Real world training
  • Mentorship and networking with alumni and industry professionals 
  • Anticipated job growth according to Occupational Outlook Handbook 

The program has been accredited since 1978. In addition to certifications that can be earned through coursework, students graduating from this program are immediately eligible to sit for the Certified Park and Recreation Professional exam, and students who successfully complete the prescribed courses are eligible to sit for the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist examination.

The B.S. in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration curriculum allows students to develop leadership skills, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills, and to engage in day-to-day activities associated with managing leisure service industries. Recent graduates are employed at agencies like:

  • Adventure Works
  • Peoria Civic Center
  • Arlington Heights Park District
  • Itasca Country Club
  • American Cancer Society
  • US Army Corp of Engineers
  • HyVee
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Easter Seals
  • Washington State Parks
  • George Johnson Development
  • Jason’s Deli
  • O’Fallon Park Department
  • McDonalds Corporate Headquarters

Students customize their curriculum to fit their future careers by completing options, university-approved minors, and internships to gain specific skills.  The department offers programs that can be completed on the Macomb (M) and/or Quad Cities (Q) campuses.


  • Adapted Recreation and Inclusion (M)
  • Community Organizations (M, Q)
  • Outdoor Recreation (M)
  • Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (M, Q)
  • Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management (M)

Departmental minors

  • Event Planning and Management (M, Q)
  • Hospitality Management (M)
  • Nonprofit Administration (M, Q)
  • Outdoor Leadership (M)
  • Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (M, Q, O)
  • Youth Leadership (M)


The undergraduate internship provides students an opportunity to gain hands-on, practical experience that will prepare them to transition from the classroom to their career. This educational experience is to be at a minimum 12 weeks full time and serves to provide opportunities for practical application of classroom knowledge. Students are enrolled in 12 academic credits of coursework. Educational assessments and outcomes are outlined in the internship manual.

Transfer Resources

The Department of Recreation, Park, Tourism, and Hospitality appreciates transfer students and has designed its curriculum to be as transfer-friendly as possible. In addition to the major including 16 hours of open electives, the department has created articulation agreements and transfer pathways to benefit its future students. Transfer students may be able to complete a degree without having to come to a physical campus depending on the scheduling choices available to them.