Finch is family.

You can expect to be on a first-name basis with faculty who have an open-door policy and serve as your academic advisor. Students describe the historic Finch Fieldhouse, the home of the RPL Department, as a "home away from home." As a student, you will be taking classes within a fully accredited program with superior academic instruction including hands-on internship and career experiences, agency partnerships, and service-learning opportunities.

Why choose a degree in the department of recreation, parks and leisure services?

As a student, you'll learn about the social and personal benefits of leisure, including how it reduces stress, builds self-confidence, and improves overall health and wellness. As a future professional in the recreation and leisure industry, you will have an opportunity to assist people in leading a healthy leisure lifestyle, as well as improving your client's quality of life and the community they live in.  If you are interested in using your leadership skills to run programs and events for a variety of populations, manage facilities and make a difference in people’s lives, then this may be the profession for you!

Three distinct majors

We do learning in action

Department highlights

  • The Event and Recreation Management Program was awarded the "Best Event Management Bachelor's Degree" by the International Festivals and Events Association.
  • The Recreational Therapy and Rehabilitation Program is in the top five nationally for the number of certified therapists that have passed the NCTRC national exam. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), with CMU alumni passing the exam at a standard consistently higher than the national average.
  • The Outdoor & Environmental Recreation program offers opportunities to become nationally certified or gain skills as a Leave No Trace Trainer, American Canoe Association Canoe Touring Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, belay, and high ropes certified climber, or a Project WILD or Project Learning Tree participant.
  • You'll receive individualized advising from faculty teaching within their major that have real-world experience. 
  • Study abroad in New Zealand or in Southeast Europe (Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia) on a faculty-led study abroad trip.
  • The recreation and leisure industry is a significant part of the economy in all 50 states. You'll have flexibility in exploring a variety of careers.  
  • Home of Deaf Blind Central
  • The RPL Department has been accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions (COAPRT) for nearly four decades.