Program Summary

Credits Required


Tuition per Credit


Online Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management – Commercial Recreation and Tourism Management option

With a growing focus on the global issues associated with human development, health, and wellness — as well as the impact of recreation and tourism on ecological, economic, and cultural systems—professionals with the skills needed to manage the recreation and tourism industry are in high demand.

Penn State’s Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM) – Commercial Recreation and Tourism Management option can help prepare you for a career in one of the world’s largest service-sector industries.

Why a Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management Degree from Penn State?

Aiming to help transform human and environmental health and well-being, the RPTM program at Penn State works to understand all of the factors that impact how people spend their leisure time. By studying these factors, you can learn how to better support and develop opportunities for recreation and tourism that benefit the economy and environment as well as the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of people and communities.

Your Online Penn State RPTM Courses

Taught by faculty with diverse backgrounds from across the globe, your courses can help you gain the theoretical, managerial, and technical skills you need to become a leader in the field. Online course delivery provides you with the flexibility and convenience to study around your own schedule without sacrificing quality.

As a student in the commercial recreation and tourism management option, you will have the opportunity to study business management and entrepreneurial principles through the lens of recreation and tourism, with course topics including:

  • diversity in recreation services
  • introduction to leisure theory
  • sustainability, society, and well-being
  • leadership and group dynamics
  • legal issues in recreation
  • service marketing
  • program evaluation
  • event planning and programming
  • facilities management
  • foundations of tourism
  • career exploration

What can I do with the Commercial Recreation and Tourism Management option of the RPTM degree?

If you were highly engaged with recreation, sports, and activity as a child, or you have found yourself drawn to traveling and adventure-seeking, the RPTM degree from Penn State could provide the perfect educational path for you. We will work to help you connect your passion with a career.

Specifically, as a graduate of the Commercial Recreation and Tourism Management option of the RPTM degree, you can be well equipped to assess social, environmental, political, and economic benefits and detriments of tourism development; develop a comprehensive recreation and tourism business plan; and create strategic management decisions for non-profit and for-profit recreation/tourism organizations. 

This degree can prepare you to help people make the most of their leisure time with a career from a broad range of fields. A few of the many opportunities include:

  • Tourism and Event Management – You could find yourself working for a convention and visitors bureau, or as a hotel manager, travel agent/tour guide, or event planner.
  • Entertainment, Sport, and Fitness Venue Management – Careers in this area could include theme park manager, athletic director/supervisor, campus recreation director, or professional sports team marketing manager.
  • Youth and Senior Recreation Services -You could become a recreation worker where you would design and lead activities in places like youth summer camps, fitness centers, senior centers, or nature parks.
  • Many More – Through the challenging course work and the experiential learning, this degree can help open the door to positions with employers whom you may not have considered before.

Military Grant-in-Aid Benefits for RPTM Students

The Military Grant-in-Aid is an undergraduate program that brings our tuition rate closer to the Department of Defense cap, making a Penn State World Campus quality education more affordable to our military students and spouses. More details, including Grant-in-Aid forms, can be found on the Military Grants and Scholarships page.