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Thank you for your interest in the PhD Program!

To learn more about Parks, Recreation, and Tourism graduate studies at the University of Utah, please refer to the PRT Graduate Bulletin and the PhD Handbook in the Graduate Student Resources box at the bottom. 

Graduate Assistantships

Each year, we offer traditional departmental research and teaching assistantships to incoming PhD students, as well as a changing assortment of special assistantships linked to specific focus areas and research projects.

First-year teaching assistants (TAs) and research assistants (RAs) generally begin mentored teaching in an integrated block of core undergraduate courses and are assigned to independent course instruction as they progress through the doctoral program. Examples of past and current research assistantship funding partners include the American Camp Association (ACA), the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), the Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation, and the Global Change and Sustainability Center (GCSC). Additional opportunities are anticipated each year, and many positions offer a blend of teaching and research.  

Each assistantship requires 20 hours of work a week for 9 months and includes a monthly stipend, tuition/fee waiver, and subsidized health insurance. Please visit The Graduate School for details on fellowships and benefits 

Current Graduate Assistanship Opportunities

Western Regional Graduate Program

Residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming are eligible to enroll in our program and pay resident tuition rates through WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education). Learn more about how to receive resident tuition through WICHE or contact graduate admissions at (801) 581-7283.

Applying to the Doctoral Program

  1. Students must have an earned a master's degree. Students with degrees not in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism are encouraged to apply. Those students without prior degrees in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism will enroll in content awareness classes.
  2. Three letters of recommendation (reference requests are made from The Graduate School's application portal, see below).
  3. Resume indicating background and experience.
  4. For international applicants, performance on TOEFL meeting the requirement of The Graduate School.
  5. Entrance examination (written composition of approximately 10 pages).

    Please prepare an original composition, not to exceed ten pages, on a specific topic related to parks, recreation, and tourism studies that is of special interest to you. The composition must be uniquely composed for this exam. Term papers, employment-related reports, previously written research proposals etc. are not appropriate. Within your composition, point out how that topic relates to your research and scholarly interests in the study of parks, recreation, and tourism. In other words, what research would you like to conduct on the topic? Feel free to develop your composition on any topic you wish within this broad framework, but be certain to focus on a single topic, be certain to explore your research interests related to that topic, and include citations for any references that you use. 

    Graduate faculty in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism within the Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation will examine your paper for clarity and grammatical construction, organization and focus of ideas, effectiveness of transitions between major themes and ideas, validity and soundness of reasoning, and quality of evidence you provide in support of your positions. As such, you are writing an argument, not a descriptive work. Results of the evaluation of your paper will be used by graduate faculty in making a recommendation to the Graduate School concerning your admission or non-admission to graduate studies in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.

    Please attach the Doctoral Program Examination Form as a cover sheet for your paper.

  6. Graduate school application, fee, and official transcripts.
  7. Scores of 155 Verbal and 145 Quantitative on the GRE. Comparable scores on alternate graduate exams may be acceptable (e.g., GMAT).
  8. All materials can be submitted electronically on The Graduate School's Application Portal.
  9. Potential PhD students must have an earned Master's degree. Students with degrees not in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism are encouraged to apply.
  10. We currently only consider doctoral applications once a year, in the late winter (January 15) for fall enrollment.
  11. Review the current Graduate Assistantships for Doctoral Students.

Application Materials Due Date

All doctoral applications must be received by January 15th.

International applicants are encouraged to allow additional time for the applications process. Please note: The international student applicant pool is highly competitive, and most successful applicants have arranged for faculty sponsorship prior to completing their applications with the Department.

Graduate Advising

Dr. Dorothy Schmalz

Director of Graduate Studies

Phone: 801-581-8080


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