Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

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The Doctoral degree allows students to match their particular research interests and career aspirations with departmental research activities and faculty expertise. The primary areas of interest for students include health and well-being, human dimensions of the natural and built environment, sustainable and equitable tourism, and geospatial methods and modelling with a substantive area of study in another discipline.

The Master's degree provides students the opportunity to develop and enhance their critical understanding of both the conceptual foundations of parks, recreation and tourism management and the procedures of systematic inquiry and critical problem solving as applied to planning and management issues. The department offers educational opportunities and resources for the preparation of professionals concerned with planning, organizing, managing and directing parks, recreation, sport, and tourism programs, areas, and facilities. Two Master's Degree options are available, MS in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (thesis), and Online Professional Master of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management (MPRTSM) (non-thesis). As part of the Natural Resources Masters Program, the Department administers two degree options under the Outdoor Recreation Technical Option. In addition, the Graduate Certificate in Sport and and Entertainment Venue Management (SEVM) and the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Graduate Minor are offered by the Department.

The general emphasis areas at the Master's level include: parks and recreation management, tourism development and management, geographic information systems, recreational sport management, and natural resource recreation management.

The online MPRTSM degree provides students with a solid professional and business education designed to advance their career development in parks, recreation, tourism, and sport industries. The online degree program operates on a cohort model and admits students in fall and spring semester.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Although each doctoral course of study will be unique to the individual student, the usual course of study will include a minimum of 54 hours beyond the Master's. These credit hours are distributed among the core courses, statistics and research methods, a minor or substantive area consisting of 15 hours of course work approved by the student's faculty advisor, and the dissertation. Students are expected to have completed a Master's degree, preferably one with a thesis. Students without research experience will have to demonstrate an ability to produce scholarly work in PRTM.

Master's Degree Requirements

Each Master’s Degree has (Master of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management & Master of Science). The minimum credit hours range from 30 for MS in PRTM Degree, to 34 for MNR-Outdoor Recreation Technical Option Degree. Doctoral and M.S. application deadline is February 15 for both U.S. and international students. Online Degree-MPRTSM application deadline is May 15.

Student Financial Support

Graduate assistantships are available to students in PhD and MS degree program on a competitive basis.

Faculty

Full Professors

  • Norman Aaron Mowatt

Courses

PRT 500  Conceptual Foundations of Recreation  (3 credit hours)  

Exploration of the conceptual foundations of leisure, recreations, sport, play, and work, the history of ideas in the field and the relationships of these ideas to contemporary professional and social problems. Restricted to PRTM masters and students and others by consent of the instructor. This course will be offered in an accelerated seven-week format.

Restriction: PRT Grad Students Only

Typically offered in Fall only

PRT 501  Research Methods In Recreation  (3 credit hours)  

Examination and understanding of advanced scientific investigative methods in their application toward explaining recreation and leisure behavioral phenomena and for resolution of recreation management problems.

Restricted to: Graduate-level Statistics

Typically offered in Spring only

PRT 503  Advanced Fiscal Management for Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Organizations  (3 credit hours)  

This course is intended to provide students with advanced concepts of fiscal management as applied to the unique industries of parks, recreation, tourism and sport management. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how the receipt, disbursement, and utilization of funds can foster sustainability within these types of organizations. Additionally, this course will focus on developing the skills necessary to apply ethical financial analysis principles through financial risk management. This course is restricted to PRTM masters students and others by consent of the instructor. This course will be offered online in an accelerated seven-week format.

Typically offered in Fall only

PRT 504  Data Management and Applications in Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management  (3 credit hours)  

Introduction to procedures and techniques used in research and evaluation in parks, recreation, sport, and tourism settings to solve management problems. The course emphasizes techniques for data collection, management, analysis, and communication of research findings. This course is restricted to PRTM masters students and others by consent of the instructor. This course will be offered online in an accelerated seven-week format.

Typically offered in Fall only

PRT 505  GIS and Spatial Analysis in PRTS  (3 credit hours)  

Introduction to spatial reasoning and spatial analysis as implemented in geographic information systems (GIS) to perform evaluation and research in parks, recreation, tourism, and sport settings. This course is restricted to PRTM master's degree students or others with consent of the instructor.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing and MPRTSM

Typically offered in Spring only

PRT 506  Organizational Behavior and Leadership in Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport  (3 credit hours)  

This course will focus on the organization and administration of public, private and not-for-profit park, recreation, tourism and sports (PRTS) agencies. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the structural, human, political, and cultural factors that impact organizational efficiency and effectiveness - specifically focusing on these environments. The course will primarily address issues related to organization, management, ethical leadership, human personnel supervision, theory, and research. This course is restricted to PRTM master's degree students or by permission of instructor. This course will be offered online in an accelerated seven-week format.

Typically offered in Fall only

PRT 507  Strategic Marketing Management in Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Organizations  (3 credit hours)  

This course examines the theoretical principles and applications of marketing and promotion strategies for recreational sport and key marketing concepts and strategies using case studies. There is significant discussion on marketing activation, leveraging strategies of sport/event sponsor brands/ companies, and developing a marketing plan. This course is restricted to PRTM master's degree students and others with the content of the instructor. This course will be offered online in an accelerated seven-week format.

Typically offered in Spring only

PRT 508  Risk Management for Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Organizations  (3 credit hours)  

This course explores risk management in PRTs organizations with an emphasis on ethical managerial strategies. The topics include legal concepts related to specific managerial functions, impacts on functions in recreation environments that result in more efficient and successful operation and protection for the organization. In addition, effective strategies for risk management related to facilitating active-healthy lifestyles and sustainable communities will be explored. This course is restricted to PRT master's degree students and others by consent of the instructor. This course will be offered online in an accelerated seven-week format.

Typically offered in Summer only

PRT 509  Program Evaluation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Organizations  (3 credit hours)  

This course focuses on the development of a working knowledge of the rationale, procedures and tools for conducting sound program evaluation assessments in parks, recreation, tourism, and sport organizations. Effective skills for mastering comprehensive program evaluation strategies including formative, summative, and knowledge building strategies are taught. Students explore social science methods specifically appropriate for evaluation of youth programs.

Typically offered in Summer only

PRT 510  Active Recreation and Community Health  (3 credit hours)  

This course focuses on the association of active recreation in communities and community health. Students explore individual, social, community, environmental, and policy factors that affect community health and the contribution of recreation and park programs and facilities. This is a seven week course.

Typically offered in Spring only

PRT 511  Sport and Entertainment Venue Management - Facilities  (3 credit hours)  

In this course, students will examine the management of sport facilities, paying particular attention to environmental concerns and the sustainability of the event venue. Specifically, we will first focus on the three E's of sustainability (Environment, Equity, Economics) and learn about sustainable systems. From this underpinning, the class will be divided into six critical topic areas of sport facility managment: 1. History and role of venues 2. Venue Safety and Security 3. Venue Policy and Procedures 4. Food and Beverage Operations 5. Transportation and Parking Management 6. Ancillary Revenue Sources

Typically offered in Fall only

PRT 512  Sport and Entertainment Venue Management - Operations and Services  (3 credit hours)  

A thorough background on operations and services is essential for sport and entertainment venue managers. This course examines venue management by covering essential managerial functions. These include management and human resources, customer service and crowd management, managing volunteers, scheduling and booking venues, and ticket office operations.

Typically offered in Spring only

PRT 550  Human Behavior and the Environment  (3 credit hours)  

This course helps students understand the variety of cognitive, social, affective, and environmental factors that influence human behavior in natural resource contexts, with an emphasis on nature-based recreation experiences and conservation behaviors. Students will explore behavioral models from different disciplines, examine pathways to promote behavior change, and assess implications for park management, environmental stewardship, and natural resource conservation.

Typically offered in Fall only

PRT 552/PRT 452  Field Experience in Nature-Based Recreation & Tourism Management  (3 credit hours)  

This dual-listed course provides undergraduate and graduate students with hands-on exposure to the multifaceted nature of national park management and awareness of the complex challenges facing national park managers. Examines nature based recreation and tourism management approaches from an applied and interdisciplinary perspective with applications across federal and state recreation resource management agencies. Students will practice problem-solving techniques and interact with a wide variety of staff from the National Park Service, park partner organizations, and adjacent community managers. This course culminates in a week-long field experience that may conflict with other scheduled courses. Field experience held in conjunction with five other universities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A fee will be assessed for the trip that covers transportation, lodging and meals.

R: Junior or Senior Undergraduate Student Standing

Typically offered in Spring only

PRT 555  Environmental Impacts of Recreation and Tourism  (3 credit hours)  

Understanding of environmental impacts of recreation and tourism, and different methods for assessing and managing such impacts. Examination of the scientific and management literature and application of impact assessment techniques.

Typically offered in Fall only

PRT 560  Theory and Practice of Partnerships for Conservation and Community Sustainability  (3 credit hours)  

Understanding of collaborative processes and the role of partnerships in public land management, community based conservation, tourism development, and community health and recreation. Examination of literature and evaluation of collaboration and partnerships in practice.

Typically offered in Spring only

PRT 575  Children and Nature  (3 credit hours)  

In recent decades, there has been an explosion of research around the benefits of nature, supporting measures of happiness, health, attention spans, social cohesion, and others. In parallel to these studies on how nature benefits people (especially children), work has emerged on how children may also be good for nature. Children are leading global movements to combat climate change, becoming civically active to ensure access to nature for all, and proving to be an avenue to bring even the most politically divided communities together to work toward a sustainable future. In this course, students will gain an overview of this rapidly growing literature, meet some of the researchers behind it, and find ways to contribute to it. Perspectives of graduate students from natural resources, education, landscape architecture, or others who are interested in exploring how nature can benefit kids and kids can benefit nature are most welcome.

R: Graduate Standing or Permission of Instructor

Typically offered in Fall only

PRT 595  Special Topics In Recreation Resources  (1-6 credit hours)  

Special topics in various aspects of recreation resources developed under direction of a graduate faculty member on a tutorial basis. Subjects offered under this course listing also used to test and develop new courses.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

PRT 610  Special Topics In Recreation Resources  (1-6 credit hours)  

Special topics in various aspects of recreation resources developed under direction of a graduate faculty member on a tutorial basis. Subjects offered under this course listing also used to test and develop new courses.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

PRT 620  Recreation Resources Problems  (1-4 credit hours)  

Assigned or selected problems in field of recreation administration, planning, supervision, maintenance, operations, financing or program. Special research problems selected on basis of interest of students and supervised by members of graduate faculty.

Prerequisite: Advanced Undergraduate standing or Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

PRT 650  Professional Electronic Portfolio for Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management  (1 credit hours)  

Students will develop a personalized digital portfolio of the work completed in all required courses in the Masters of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management program. The portfolio should include evidence, reflection, and critical analysis of core competencies achieved throughout their academic course of study. This course must be taken during a student's last semester after he or she has completed all the required courses.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing and PRT 500 and PRT 504 and PRT 505 and PRT 506 and PRT 508 and PRT 503 and PRT 507.

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

PRT 685  Master's Supervised Teaching  (1-3 credit hours)  

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

PRT 693  Master's Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

PRT 695  Master's Thesis Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Thesis Research

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

PRT 696  Summer Thesis Research  (1 credit hours)  

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Summer only

PRT 699  Master's Thesis Preparation  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who have completed all credit hour requirements and full-time enrollment for the master's degree and are writing and defending their thesis. Credits Arranged

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Summer only

PRT 700  Advanced Theories of Leisure  (3 credit hours)  

This course is designed to examine theory as it can be applied to understanding of leisure behavior and parks, recreation, and tourism management research. The goal is to provide a foundation for identifying, evaluating, and applying theoretical perspectives to PRTM research. Students are expected to engage in a critical analysis of theory in PRTM. Ph.D. student

Typically offered in Fall only

PRT 701  Research Methods in Parks, Recreation, & Tourism Management  (3 credit hours)  

The overall goal of this course is to provide students with a background in advanced social science research methods commonly used in PRTM-related fields as well as strategies for planning, designing, evaluating, and applying research using the social science framework. This course will also be designed in a way to guide students through the phases of the research design and to develop a research proposal.

Completion of PRT 500/700 or concurrently enrolled; Graduate Status

Typically offered in Fall only

PRT 705  Qualitative Research Methods in Conservation & Community Sustainability  (3 credit hours)  

Examination of qualitative research methods and designs in the contexts of human dimensions of natural resources, equitable and sustainable tourism development, and community health and well-being, including data generation, organization, analysis, quality and presentation. A research project will be conducted with the application of qualitative data organization software.

P: Doctoral student status, or with consent of instructor.

Typically offered in Spring only

PRT 730  Tourism, Community Health, and Sustainability  (3 credit hours)  

In this course students will examine the potential role of tourism in mitigating or exacerbating health disparities and environmental degradation in rural poor areas. The course endorses an academic ethic of engaged scholarship. Students will be asked to make original contributions to participatory development scholarship, and they will be asked to collaborate with community partners on an applied project addressing tourism, health disparities and environmental degradation in an economically depressed rural community. Consistent with the engaged nature of this course, we will travel to rural communities to meet stakeholders, collect data, and provide coaching/training to tourism micro-entrepreneurs.

Typically offered in Spring only

PRT 795  Special Topics in Recreation Resources  (1-6 credit hours)  

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

PRT 801  Doctoral Seminar in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Research  (1 credit hours)  

Research studies, scientific articles and progress reports on research effects presented and critically evaluated. Each student pursuing a doctoral degree is expected to take this offering four times for one hour of credit each time.

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

PRT 810  Special Topics In Recreation Resources  (1-6 credit hours)  

Special topics in various aspects of recreation resources developed under direction of a graduate faculty member on a tutorial basis. Subjects offered under this course listing also used to test and develop new courses.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

PRT 885  Doctoral Supervised Teaching  (1-3 credit hours)  

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

PRT 893  Doctoral Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

PRT 895  Doctoral Dissertation Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Dissertation research.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

PRT 896  Summer Dissertation Research  (1 credit hours)  

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Summer only

PRT 899  Doctoral Dissertation Preparation  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who have completed all credit hour, full-time enrollment, preliminary examination, and residency requirements for the doctoral degree, and are writing and defending their dissertations.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer