The recreation, parks and leisure studies 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 studies 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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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.

Professional Connection
Each fall professionals in the field of Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services come to campus for the day to network with students in the program. Many of these professionals are alumni of the program.

Events and Announcements

Camp Maverick Rec n' Read Summer Kits can be found here!

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

Get admission, application, prerequisite and curriculum information for the Leisure Planning Management, BS program.

Resource Management, BS

Get admission, application, prerequisite and curriculum information for the Resource Management, BS program.

Therapeutic Recreation, BS

Get admission, application, prerequisite and curriculum information for the Therapeutic Recreation, BS program.

Recreation Minor

Get admission, application, prerequisite and curriculum information for the Recreation Minor program.