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Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
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Student with backpack and hat hiking in the woods

If you are passionate about spending time outdoors, the Outdoor Recreation option of Penn State’s Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management major may be the right match for you.

As a student pursuing the Outdoor Recreation option, you’ll be challenged to become a leader in the Outdoor Recreation field by learning key principles and developing skills that will launch your journey.

Pursue your passion for the outdoors

Within the Outdoor Recreation option, two distinct pathways await exploration: Adventure Recreation and Park Management and Environmental Interpretation (PMEI). Each pathway offers exclusive opportunities beyond traditional classroom settings.

Adventure Recreation immerses students in the world of outdoor leadership and skill development essential for navigating the diverse landscape of outdoor recreation. From backpacking to rock climbing, challenge courses to paddle sports, and mastering winter skills, our field-based courses equip students with hands-on experience. Some courses even offer additional certifications such as Leave No Trace Level 1, ACCT Level 1 Practitioner Certification, and AGMA Climbing Wall Instructor Course, enhancing students' credentials at an additional cost. Moreover, all Adventure Recreation students undergo training to obtain Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications, complemented by coursework in leadership, management, and administration.

Park Management and Environmental Interpretation (PMEI) provides a unique opportunity to leverage the resources of Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, Penn State’s affiliate nature center. Here, students embark on a semester-long journey of outdoor leadership and environmental interpretation courses, utilizing the natural world as their classroom. Engaging in hands-on experiences, students educate children and families about the wonders of the natural world, collaborating closely with outdoor educators, team-building facilitators, and naturalists from Shaver’s Creek.

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Adventure Recreation focuses on teaching outdoor activities that promote health and well-being, such as backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing/mountaineering, expeditions, and snowsports. This pathway is aligned with research on expeditionary pursuits, health and well-being, and fostering a sense of belonging. It is ideally suited for individuals aspiring to work in orientation and wilderness trips, campus recreation, and health and well-being programs.

Park Management and Environmental Interpretation (PMEI) icon-olus-circle

Park Management and Environmental Interpretation is tailored for individuals passionate about environmental education, conservation, and fostering a deeper connection with nature. Aligned with cutting-edge research in parks and protected areas, this pathway is perfect for those with aspirations to make a difference in National and State Parks, as well as environmental education centers.