Bachelor of Arts in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration

The Recreation, Parks, and Tourism (RPT) Department at SF State has established a reputation for excellence since 1946. We prepare students for meaningful careers by engaging them with San Francisco Bay Area partners, educating them using high-impact practices, and empowering them to make authentic changes in themselves and their community.

The San Francisco Bay Area is an ideal location to study recreation, parks & tourism. The concentration of public, commercial, and nonprofit recreation; local, state, and national parks; and domestic and international tourism organizations in the Bay Area provide an educational laboratory to network, learn, and apply students’ knowledge and skills.  Graduating with a Recreation, Parks & Tourism BA is the pathway to a meaningful and rewarding career.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Communication: demonstrate professionalism through verbal, nonverbal, visual, and written communication.
  2. Foundations: explain the history, philosophy, and science of recreation, parks, and tourism.
  3. Information Technology: use software applications to gather, analyze, and report information.
  4. Leadership: analyze intrapersonal and interpersonal leadership from an ethical, moral, and legal context.
  5. Management/Administration: explain organizational structure, and apply financial and human capital principles and practices from an operational and strategic management perspective.
  6. Programming: plan, implement, and evaluate programs for diverse populations in varied settings.
  7. Profession/Industry: identify and explain nature and scope; standards; trends and issues; and careers within RPT.
  8. Sustainability: explain and analyze economic, environmental, and sociocultural aspects of sustainability.
  9. Wellness: explain the concepts, benefits, and application of wellness in the context of RPT.

Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration (B.A) — 39 units

All students must complete the core courses and program electives. All courses used in the major must be completed with a letter grade of C- or better (CR/NC option is not allowed) and a minimum grade point average of 2.0. A grade of C or better is required in RPT 600GW.

Core (30 units)

RPT 200Foundations of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism3
RPT 300Leadership in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism3
RPT 325Information Technology in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism3
Select One:3
Conference, Event Planning, and Management
Campus Recreation
Programming Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Experiences
RPT 350Facilitating Wellness Through Leisure3
RPT 500Organization and Administration of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism3
RPT 600GWProfessionalism in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism - GWAR3
RPT 690Internship in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism9

Program Electives (9 units)

Choose 9 units of that best meet your professional interest and are approved by advisor.  Other electives are possible with advisor approval.

Select One:3
Leisure Travel and Tourism
Parks and Outdoor Recreation Resources
Select Two:6
Adventure Travel
Growth Through Art and Leisure
Growth Through Adventure
Developmental Play Processes
Therapeutic and Inclusive Recreation
Urban Recreation and Parks
Recreation Destination Resorts
Travel with Purpose
Ecotourism & Sustainable Travel
Recreational Use of National Parks and Protected Areas

Complementary Studies

Bachelor of Arts students must complete at least 12 units of Complementary Studies outside of the primary prefix for the major. (Note: Students may not use an alternate prefix that is cross-listed with the primary prefix for the major.)

Students who complete two majors or a major and a minor automatically complete the Complementary Studies requirement. Additional ways to complete Complementary Studies for students in the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration major include study abroad and 12 units of courses complementary to the major approved by a Recreation, Parks & Tourism department advisor. 

Students who have earned AA-T or AS-T degrees and are pursuing a similar B.A. degree at SF State are required to fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement as defined by the major department. Students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement to ensure degree completion within 60 units.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Ethnic Studies LD 3 F
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.

First-Time Student Roadmap

Transfer Student Roadmaps (2 Year)

ADT Roadmap

For students with one of the following pathways:

  • Business Administration 2.0 (AS-T)
  • Child & Adolescent Development (AA-T)
  • Communication Studies (AA-T)
  • Environmental Science (AS-T)
  • Geography (AA-T)
  • Hospitality Management (AS-T)
  • Kinesiology (AS-T)
  • Public Health (AS-T)

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.