2018-19 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Mar 22, 2023  
2018-19 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department

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Sharon Todd, chair
Professional Studies Building, Room 2213
Fax: 607-753-5982
Email: rpls@cortland.edu

School of Professional Studies

Blind guide helping blind skier onto ski lifts


Lynn Anderson, Susan Barnett, Kenneth Cohen, Amy Direnzo, Andrew Purrington, Sharon Todd, Vicki Wilkins, Susan Wilson, Anderson Young

Adjunct Faculty

For a listing of adjunct faculty see the Faculty and Administration  section.


Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Recreation
Bachelor of Science in Recreation
Bachelor of Science in Recreation Management
Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation

Concentrations Offered

With Outdoor Recreation
Environmental and Cultural Interpretation
  Natural Resource Recreation Management
  Outdoor Leadership
With Recreation
  Camp Management
  Leisure/Recreation Program Delivery


The Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department at SUNY Cortland is the most comprehensive professional preparation program of its kind in New York state. Established in 1948 and fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT), the department is also one of the oldest and most highly respected programs in the United States. Many of the most distinguished scholars and professionals in the recreation field began their careers by studying here. The curriculum prepares students for a wide variety of career opportunities in outdoor recreation, therapeutic recreation, recreation management and recreation programming and leadership in a wide variety of settings and agencies. See the department Web page for an in-depth description of degree offerings.

Special Features

  • Very bright job market for recreation graduates, as predicted by the U.S. Department of Labor
  • High employment rate (more than 90 percent) of graduates
  • Nationally and internationally recognized faculty committed to students
  • Capstone internship semester and numerous other experiential learning opportunities
  • The Annual Cortland Recreation Conference — one of the premier recreation conferences in the northeast
  • Outdoor Education Center at Raquette Lake 
  • Home to the Inclusive Recreation Resource Center, the National Coalition for Education in the Outdoors, and the New York State Outdoor Education Association
  • Direct credit agreement with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
  • Opportunities for International Study
  • Suggested minors in Environmental and Outdoor Education and Tourism Development (see Geography Department)
  • SUNY Cortland Recreation Association and the Inclusive Recreation Club, our department's student clubs, and Rho Phi Lambda, the national honorary fraternity for recreation students
  • Numerous scholarships for recreation majors


  1. Degree requirements  listed in this catalog apply to all majors offered by this department.
  2. Liberal Arts Requirements: 60 credit hours

Cortland International Program in Recreation

The following titles are among the recreation and leisure courses offered at the London Metropolitan University through Cortland's Study Abroad Program. These may be substituted for certain major requirements.

The Leisure and Tourism Environment
Public Policy: Leisure and Tourism
Human Resource Management
Organization Management and Design
Destination Marketing
Leisure Planning and Development
Museums and Heritage

The following titles are among the outdoor education and tourism courses offered at University of Cumbria through Cortland's Study Abroad Program. These may be substituted for certain major requirements. A wide range of courses in other subjects is also available at the University of Cumbria.

Therapeutic Experiences in the Outdoors
Generic Outdoor Skills
Outdoor and Environmental Education
Nature Conservation and Management
Expedition Organization
Tourism Policy and Planning
Leisure and Recreation Policy and Issues




      EducationRecreationStudy Abroad

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