Graduate Programs

Whether you are looking for a master's degree or your doctorate in RPTM, our multi-disciplinary graduate program is designed to educate students about research, theory, and practice related to recreation, parks, tourism, and leisure. Both the master of science (M.S.) and the doctor of philiosophy (Ph.D.) programs help you develop an understanding of the social, environmental, psychological, and economic aspects of human behavior in relation to the experience and delivery of recreation, park, tourism, and leisure activities.

Master's Program

The Master of Science in RPTM (M.S. RPTM) is designed for those who are looking to continue their studies at the doctoral level at Penn State.

Doctoral Program

If you already have a master's degree, our Doctor of Philosophy in RPTM (Ph.D. RPTM) provides in-depth preparation for research and teaching positions in higher education as well as higher-level administrative positions in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

You also have the option of entering a dual-degree program with RPTM and Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment (HDNRE) Program.

Our Focus

We strive to educate and inspire graduate students to make contributions to society, and our conceptual approach serves as the foundation of what and how we teach. In particular, we integrate topics such as diversity, environmental sustainability, human development, health and well being, social innovation and entrepreneurship, community and economic development, and leadership and management across the curricula. We provide the opportunities and resources for you to learn critical thinking, problem solving and systems thinking so you are prepared to effectively respond to human, social, and environmental issues.

Research, Theory, and Practice

Our multidisciplinary graduate program is designed to educate students about research, theory, and practice related to leisure and recreation as experienced at the individual, societal, and cross-cultural levels.

Both the M.S. program and Ph.D. program help students develop an understanding of the social, environmental, psychological, and economic aspects of human behavior in recreation and leisure activities and also allow students to concentrate their studies in:

  • Recreation/tourism management and marketing
  • Commercial recreation and tourism
  • Therapeutic recreation
  • Outdoor recreation and protected area management
  • Community recreation
  • General leisure behavior

Course work and collaborative research with faculty offer students the opportunity to gain broad-based knowledge about leisure and recreation but also to concentrate on particular sub-fields of interest. These include disciplinary areas, such as the psychological, social, and cultural aspects of leisure and recreation; and applied areas, including recreation management, tourism, and outdoor resource based recreation.

Additional Information

Individuals interested in either the M.S. or Ph.D. programs in RPTM may contact:

Melissa Strouse 814-863-6599
mvs5@psu.edu

or

Dr. Deb Kerstetter, Professor-in-Charge of Graduate Studies
814-863-8988
debk@psu.edu