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Department Visit

Applicants wishing to be considered for financial support for a campus visit should submit the following materials before December 6, 2019. Visitation to campus for interested candidates will be scheduled after the first of the year.

  • A cover letter articulating an area of interest for doctoral studies and research
  • A current resume/CV
  • Names and contact information for 3 academic or professional references
  • Transcripts from the last college/university attended
  • If available, please include unofficial reports of any recently completed standardized tests such as the GRE.

About our Graduate Assistantships

The Parks, Recreation, and Tourism program at the University of Utah is now accepting applications for consideration for doctoral research and teaching assistantships. Research assistantships in our Healthy Communities and Environments theme focus on the intersections between people and nature, as they affect health and wellness. Currently funded research assistants are working with the American Camp Association (ACA), the Spencer Foundation, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), the National Park Service, the Kendeda Fund, and the Global Change and Sustainability Center (GCSC). Additional opportunities are anticipated and many positions offer a blend of teaching and research. Teaching assistants generally begin teaching in a mentored integrated block of core courses and progress to independent course instruction.

Research and teaching assistantship appointments involve 20 hours of work a week for 9 months and include a monthly stipend, tuition/fee remission (through the Tuition Benefit Program), and subsidized health insurance. Please visit The Graduate School for details on fellowships and benefitsExceptional candidates may qualify for additional scholarship monies, additional months of appointment, and/or summer teaching or research opportunities. Travel support to present at professional conferences is available through the Department, the Graduate School, and student associations.

Positions are generally renewable for three or four years, during which time continual registration as a full-time student is necessary and progress toward Ph.D. completion is expected. Applicants must be admitted and enrolled in the doctoral program in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Utah.

Application Deadline

Interested applicants should complete an application with the Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation and The Graduate School.  All application materials must be submitted before January 15, 2020 in order to begin the doctoral program and position in Fall (August) of 2020. 

Utah is the west at its best! With four distinct seasons, ready access to outdoor activities including superb skiing at eight world-famous resorts just minutes from campus. Utah is home to five national parks and countless national, regional, state, and local recreation areas. Salt Lake City, with a metropolitan population of 1.3 million, is the hub of the Intermountain West. 

Additional questions, inquires, and applications for campus visitation support can be directed to Dr. Dorothy (Dart) Schmalz, Director of Graduate Studies, University of Utah, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, 270 S. 1400 East, Room 201 William A. Stewart Building, Salt Lake City, UT 84112; or emailed to

For additional information on the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism please visit the Department Homepage

2020 Assistantships

PhD Students Only

Department Research and Teaching Assistantship

This assistantship includes teaching core courses in our undergraduate program, and assisting faculty with research, external funding, and writing. Potential applicants should visit our website to review our faculty expertise and existing courses at the undergraduate level. In their letter of application, candidates should comment on how they see themselves fitting in with existing operations and faculty interests. We are especially interested in graduate assistants who complement our existing faculty and help create dynamic departmental synergies. Interested applicants, please contact Dr. Dorothy (Dart) Schmalz at | 801-581-8080. 

Family Experiences and Family/Youth Well-Being

This assistantship includes data collection, primary and secondary data analysis, and reporting results. This research aims to understand the conditions under which shared family experiences (e.g., recreation) lead to individual and family developmental and relational outcomes (e.g., positive emotions, subjective well-being, positive youth development). Populations under study include siblings in early and middle adulthood and single-parent households. Research methods include ecological momentary assessment (EMA; similar to experience sampling methods), surveys, and in-depth interviews. Student initiated projects aligned with the larger research themes are welcome. Interested applicants, please contact Dr. Camilla J. Hodge at 801-585-7239.

Eco and Sustainable Tourism Assistantship  

Responsibilities associated with this assistantship include field projects and/or survey and interview efforts focused on eco and sustainable tourism as it relates to parks and protected areas including: Impact of tourism on gateway communities; the role of concessionaire practice and policies in facilitating sustainable tourism; ecosystem health and quality of life; tourism as a tool for conservation; and, standards and certification in eco and sustainable tourism. Some applicants may be eligible for a funded Fellowship at the University’s Global Change and Sustainability Center (GCSC). Interested applicants, please contact Dr. Kelly Bricker at | 801-585-6503.

Community Recreation and Sport Management Assistantship

Students interested in community recreation sport management will have the opportunity to teach undergraduate students in topics such as sport trends and sport business techniques. Other responsibilities associated with this assistantship may include assisting with applied research and/or projects related to community youth sport and youth development. Interested applicants, please contact Dr. Mary Wells at | 801-585-7086. 

Leisure for Health and Well-being Assistantship

There are many ways that leisure and positive psychology overlap in serving individual and community health and well-being. Self-motivated and curious students interested in further exploring the relationships between these complementary disciplines will be active in the development of grant proposals and conducting research. Students will be expected to contribute with their own research agenda that corresponds with broader research goals. Of particular interest are parks and green spaces individual and community physical, mental, emotional health and well-being. Interested applicants, please contact Dr. Dorothy (Dart) Schmalz at| 801-581-8080.

Youth Development and Organized Camping Assistantship

Two assistantships are available to coordinate and support our on-going partnerships with the American Camp Association and NOLS. Specific work will entail data collection and management, logistical planning, project and team coordination, and presenting, writing, and dissemination of results. Data collection will involve both qualitative and quantitative approaches over the next four years and will involve program participants, parents, and staff. It is expected that students will generate their own research projects synergistic with the larger research plan as a way to support their academic progress. Interested applicants, please contact Dr. Jim Sibthorp at | 801-581-5940.

Masters Students

The Parks, Recreation, and Tourism program typically awards a few masters students with assistantships each year. Additionally, funding may come from sources external to the Parks, Recreation, and Tourism program, such as Campus Recreation Services. However, the number and nature of assistantships available to new masters students changes from year to year. When an assistantship becomes available, it will be posted here.

Graduate Advising

Dr. Dorothy Schmalz

Director of Graduate Studies

Phone: 801-581-8080


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