Apr 01, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, PhD

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Program Description

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (PRTM) offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD in person and online). Flexibility permits individual development in professional interest areas such as community recreation; sport and camp management; park and conservation area management; recreational therapy; travel and tourism, and youth development. Each student’s program is tailored to suit personal and professional goals. Applicants from other disciplines may be required to develop background knowledge of parks, recreation and tourism through undergraduate coursework. Applicants for PhD programs must submit GRE scores.

Enrollment requires that the student hold a bachelor’s and master’s degree for admission into the PhD program. For individuals interested in the recreational therapy cognate area, students are required to have at least 2,000 hours of work experience beyond the internship and current certification as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). Students choosing the online delivery of the PhD are required to participate in weekly synchronous class periods.

Summary of Degree Requirements

Coursework leading to the PhD is planned to give students a comprehensive knowledge of their concentration area within PRTM and a mastery of the methods of research. This degree is not awarded solely on the basis of coursework completed, completion of preliminary or comprehensive examinations, or other routine requirements. The final basis for granting this degree is the student’s grasp of the subject matter across a broad field of study, competence in planning and conducting research, and the ability to express themselves adequately and professionally both orally and in writing. Ultimately, only the student’s advisory committee can certify that they have earned this degree. This degree requires a minimum of 30 credits beyond the master’s degree, and at least 60 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. A minimum of 12 credit hours of non-research coursework and a minimum of 18 hours of dissertation research are required.


PRTM Core Courses (15 credits total required)
Stats/Methods Courses (15 credits total)
Collateral, Industry Area, or Elective Courses (12 credits total)

Students work with their advisor to determine an appropriate set of collateral or industry area courses, which may include teaching focused courses, additional advanced statistical or methodological courses, or other relevant electives.

Additional requirements (18 credits total)

All PhD students must present at least twice in PRTM 9100  (dissertation proposal or results) or in Residency 2 and 3 prior to graduation. Students must obtain the chair’s permission to schedule presentations.

The online PhD includes a residency experience each summer (generally in late May), where students are expected to come to campus for a five-day intensive mini-mester. The program does not cover travel, lodging, or food expenses associated with the residency program, although it does make arrangements for group rates at the hotel located on campus and provide daily transportation from that hotel to the program building. In person students are permitted to attend residency courses if they register for residency credits. Note that summer course credits may not be covered by an assistantship.

Outcomes, Learning Objectives, and Graduation Requirements

The PhD degree (in person and online) is an advanced research program requiring a dissertation, producing a new piece of research as the culmination of the program. The goal of this degree is to produce a skilled professional capable of independent research. PhD students also are given a sequence of professional experiences designed to provide competencies in faculty skills such as teaching, advising, grading student work, preparing manuscripts, and presenting scholarly work at conferences or workshops. Since the PhD is the terminal degree in the field, it is reasonable that standards of student performance be greater than standards at the master’s level.

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