The Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services major offers career tracks in leisure planning and management, resource management and therapeutic recreation. Through hands-on learning, experiences in the field, and in-classroom learning, the Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services program prepares students for fulfilling careers in this growing field.

Accreditation Statement

The Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services (RPLS) is situated within the College of Allied Health and Nursing (CAHN) at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The RPLS department was created in 1968 and the Bachelor of Science degree in the major has been continuously conferred for the past fifty years. The department is the only nationally accredited undergraduate RPLS program in the state.

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Career Opportunities

The following is only a partial list of the many occupations available if you choose a career in RPLS.

  • Therapeutic Recreation Specialist in a hospital or a rehabilitation center

  • Park Naturalist and Park Ranger in city, state or national parks and forests

  • Director of Recreation and Parks for a city or county

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Recreation, Parks & Leisure Services News

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Signature Experiences

Rec Club
The Rec Club works to promote relationships between students, faculty, and professionals.

Cruise Culture Study Abroad
Spend your spring break on a cruise excursion learning all about the cruise industry behind the scenes.

Camp Maverick
Camp Maverick - Rec N' Read is a recreation and literacy intervention camp designed to help struggling readers improve reading and writing skills while having fun and playing games.

Students in Action
Students in the Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services Department are offered many leadership opportunities.

Field Experience
The Field Experiences requires you to complete a total of 150 hours of professional experiences in a recreation and leisure service agency prior to applying for your practicum. The field experience is established with the assistance of your advisor.
Field Experience Form

Events and Announcements

RPLS Day Save the Date.PNG
Dr. Jonathan Hicks won the Duane Orr Teacher of the Year Award for Minnesota State University, Mankato.  Dr. Hicks was nominated by a group of students in the RPLS major, two of which are pictured with him Sierra Hietala (left) and Ella May (right), both RPLS Class of 2021.
Kaitlyn Graning was selected as the recipient of the 2020 Southern Minnesota Recreation & Parks Association (SMRPA) scholarships.  Congratulations Kaityln!
Brittany Kelley was selected as the recipient of the Joanne Ardolf Decker Scholarship.  Congratulations Brittany!
Amber Page was selected as the recipient of the RPLS Diversity Scholarship.  Congratulations Amber!
Sierra Hietala was selected as the recipient of the Don and Pat Buchanan Scholarship.  Congratulations Sierra!

Contact Recreation, Parks & Leisure Services

Contact the Recreation, Parks & Leisure Services program.

Leisure Planning Management, BS

The Leisure Planning and Management emphasis area prepares students to work in a wide variety of leisure service organizations with a particular focus on program planning, facilitation, and administration.

Resource Management, BS

Students in the Resource Management emphasis area focus on the interactions of people and nature.

Therapeutic Recreation, BS

TR is a profession where you help people with disabilities, illnesses, and other conditions discover and nurture their passions.

Recreation Minor

Get curriculum information for the Recreation Minor program.