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The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management seeks to educate future leaders, advance research and spread knowledge to fulfill NC State's land-grant mission.

Building Healthier, Stronger Communities

Founded in 1947, the NC State Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of communities around the world by promoting active lifestyles and fostering positive connections between people and nature. We accomplish our mission through innovative and creative teaching, collaborative research, and focused engagement with local, national and global partners.

The department currently offers a total of three undergraduate degree programs, three graduate degree programs and two online degree and certificate programs. From our historical strength in sports and outdoor recreation, we have diversified our research and education portfolio to include the following concentration areas:

  • Recreation and Park Management focuses on environmental education, outdoor recreation, parks planning and management and conservation of parks and other natural resource areas.
  • Tourism and Event Management focuses on recreation facility management techniques, fiscal management, facility and site planning, and recreation programming and administration.

In addition to our degree and research programs, the department is also home to outstanding Extension and Outreach programs that help to protect our state’s special places, such as parks, farms and tourist destinations, and to enhance the health and well-being of our residents and tourists. Our Digital Imagery Visualization Lab also allows faculty and students to utilize digital imagery and immersive virtual environmental technologies to assist park, recreation, and tourism professionals with advanced mapping, planning, and analysis tools and applications.

We create a better future

The interdisciplinary expertise and talent of our faculty allow us to engage critical national and global challenges related to parks, recreation, sport and tourism.

Experience Your Education

At the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, we provide a practical education that combines theory and classroom instruction with hands-on experiences and real-world research.

Ready to learn on the job? Our 10-week internship experience provides student with skills in program development, administrative procedures, supervision, and facility operation and maintenance.

Think you can change the world? Students can work with our award-winning faculty to conduct high-impact research in a number of focus areas, including outdoor recreation, environmental education and more.

Dream of studying abroad? We offer several study abroad programs that allow students to immerse themselves in new cultures and to develop a more comprehensive vision of their academic and career goals.

“The many professional development workshops, resume building exercises, internships and conferences have all developed skills that I will need in my future.

– Ellison Lambert

Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management student

Our Students Get Jobs

Housed in one of the smaller colleges on campus, our department offers a personable and friendly atmosphere where students benefit from one-on-one interactions with faculty experts. By gaining an understanding of the many aspects of sport and recreation, students leave our department ready to pursue an array of career paths:

  • Park Ranger – Patrol park grounds to make sure campers, hikers and visitors follow park rules and fire safety regulations. Give presentations or guided park tours. Recent employers include the National Park Service.
  • Sport Program Director – Responsible for team leadership and implementation of high-quality classes, events and programs. Recent employers include Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources.
  • Marketing Representative – Develop and promote the services of a golf facility or company, including customer service and strategic planning. Recent employers include Golf Channel and GolfNOW.