Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences

The Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences is comprised of student-centered faculty and staff offering an undergraduate degree, certificates and minors leading to professional careers. Using a blend of in-person and online courses, our courses emphasize problem-solving skills and experiential learning. Students in this major learn how to incorporate social and life sciences to design meaningful experiences and to manage and market organizations related to recreation, hospitality, events, tourism and youth programs. The curriculum couples theoretical foundations in recreation, parks and tourism with real-world application to provide students with tangible skills. Courses engage students in the study of planning, positioning, leadership, problem-solving, innovation, policy, marketing and finance to enhance the quality of life and livability of Texans and communities around the world. Students often engage in service-learning experiences in the community and on campus to apply course concepts.

We offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences; within this degree students must select at least one of three certificates: Recreation and Park Management; Tourism Management; and Youth Development. Graduates of this degree build careers in resort and hotel management, event venues, in state and municipal parks, at performing arts facilities and museums or in camps and other youth-serving organizations. 

The Department offers two certificates which are open to all majors: the Professional Event Management Certificate; and the Hospitality Management Certificate.

Minors open to all Texas A&M undergraduate students are:

  • Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences
  • Park and Natural Resource Management
  • Tourism Management
  • Youth Development

Crompton, John L, Distinguished Professor and Regents Professor
Recreation, Park & Tourism Sc
PHD, Texas A&M University, 1977

Durko, Angela M, Instructional Associate Professor
Recreation, Park & Tourism Sc
PHD, Texas A&M University, 2014

Eden, Heather, Instructional Assistant Professor
Recreation, Park & Tourism Sc
PHD, University of Wollongong, 2014

Harwell, William R, Assistant Professor of the Practice
Recreation, Park & Tourism Sc
MS, Memphis State University, 1980

Jamal, Tazim B, Professor
Recreation, Park & Tourism Sc
PHD, University of Calgary, 1997

King, Brian Edward Melville, Professor
Recreation, Park & Tourism Sc
PHD, Monash University, 1995

Kyle, Kelly T, Lecturer
Recreation, Park & Tourism Sc
MS, Pennsylvania State University, 2000

Petrick, James F, Professor
Recreation, Park & Tourism Sc
PHD, Clemson University, 1999

Shafer, C S, Professor
Recreation, Park & Tourism Sc
PHD, Clemson University, 1993

Suess Raeisinafchi, Courtney, Assistant Professor
Recreation, Park & Tourism Sc
PHD, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2014

Sullins, Donna, Instructional Assistant Professor
Recreation, Park & Tourism Sc
EDD, University of Georgia, 2016

Tang, Mei Fung, Instructional Associate Professor
Recreation, Park & Tourism Sc
PHD, Victoria University, Australia, 2012