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The Department of Parks, Recreation, & Tourism

Wonder what it's like?

We caught up with a few of our students to find out their journey.
However you got here, find out if this program's for you.

Experience the great outdoors with U-EXPLORE

Classes are open to any U student. Intensive, short duration, 2-credit experiential learning classes with over 90 different sections of classes each year, delivered by professional and experienced instructor teams. If your tired of being stuck in the classroom, answer the call of adventure, see what makes Utah unlike anywhere else, and get credit while you do it..

Tourism in Southern Utah's red rock country

Why Utah?

Located on the northeastern edge of Salt Lake City, our 1,500 acre campus reaches to the foothills of the majestic Wasatch Mountains. Over 25,000 students represent all 50 states and many foreign countries. More than 2,000 clinical, adjunct, research, and visiting faculty serve the student body.

Utah is the West at its best: four distinct seasons, ready access to all 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 650,000, is the hub of the Intermountain West.  

Autumn forests near the U

Backed by the best

Our undergraduate program is accredited through the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions (COAPRT). COAPRT is, in turn, accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Council on Accrediation COA


You may have questions along the way.
We're here to help.

These are difficult times and we know you've got difficult questions,
but we're here to help you every step of the way.

Eric Gardner


Eric Gardner



Jim Sibthorp

Director of Graduate Studies

Jim Sibthorp, Ph.D.



Our Vision

We envision a global community that values and celebrates parks, recreation, and tourism. To that end, we contribute to individual, community, and environmental health through education, research, and action informed by the preventive, developmental, and restorative properties of parks, recreation, and tourism.

Our Mission

We create, share, and apply knowledge about parks, recreation, and tourism to inspire students, inform policy, serve social needs, promote sustainability, and advocate for the health of people, communities, and the environment.

Our Values

  • Student centeredness
  • Student involvement
  • Community connections
  • Informed and engaged citizenship
  • Excellence in and integration of scholarship, teaching, and service
  • Outdoor, experiential, and traditional instruction
  • Speculative as well as applied knowledge
  • Ecological literacy
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Career development and professional advancement of our graduates
  • Independent and lifelong learning

Department Chair

Dorothy L. Schmalz, Ph.D.

Interim Chair of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism

Phone: 801-585-6503 Email:

PRT Main Office

270 South 1400 East Room 201, William A. Stewart Building Salt Lake City, UT 84112 Phone: 801-581-8542 Campus Map