Parks and Recreation Management Program
Department of Geography, Planning and Recreation

Northern Arizona University

prm_logo_EXSM copy.jpg (17726 bytes)

Northern Arizona University has been offering Bachelor of Science degrees in Recreation since 1961. We offered our online Parks and Recreation Management (PRM) Certificate in 2001 and the first accredited online Bachelor of Science degree in Parks and Recreation Management in 2003. We began offering innovative 2 year and 3 year degree completion progression plans in Fall of 2012. The PRM faculty have continually demonstrated a commitment to providing a unique, diverse and innovative student centered educational experience. The Parks and Recreation Management Program is located in the Geography, Planning and Recreation Department, a unit within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PRM Mission, Vision and Values

PRM Annual Assessment Report

The Parks and Recreation Management Program is accredited by the Council of Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT). The PRM program prepares professionals for rewarding positions in the exciting field of parks, recreation and leisure services through traditional campus and online courses. We promote, experiential education, and real-life challenges, which teach students to plan, organize and facilitate challenging and satisfying leisure service programs to meet the needs of an ever-changing population. We offered the first (2003) and still the only COAPRTaccredited online Bachelor of Science degree in Park and Recreation Management.

"Knowledge, Experience and Exploration; a unique partnership
preparing park, recreation and leisure service professionals for careers in the 21st century."

prm students

The Parks and Recreation Management Program offers a Bachelor of Science Degree. Faculty in the program have diverse interests and experience in outdoor leadership, community recreation management, park and resource protection, recreation programming, interpretation, outdoor recreation research, recreation site and area planning.

Emerging trends in leisure and recreation underscore the dynamic environment in which the recreation professional must be prepared to function. In this dynamic setting, recreation professionals are leaders whose vital role it is to ensure the availability of future park, recreation and leisure service opportunities.

"The only true measure of ones life is how many other lives you have enriched."
Dr. Charles Hammersley

PRM Faculty



Meet the PRM Faculty

One of the most recognized strengths of the PRM program is the professionalism, dedication,   and commitment of it's faculty. They collectively bring professional experiences from across the park, recreation and leisure services spectrum.

PRM faculty photo from top left to right; John Lynch, Marieke Taney, Aaron Divine. Bottom left to right; Judy Montoya, Mark Maciha, Dr. Charles Hammersley, and Dr. Pam Foti.

PRM Faculty


Park Ranger Training Program   


In 1998, NAU Parks and Recreation Management Program began offering one of only seven Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Programs (SLETP) in the United States. Over 700 students have completed the SLEPT program at NAU.

The Park Ranger Training  Program is accredited by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation (FLETA) Board.  This accreditation provides assurance that the program meets or exceeds a set of standards that have been collectively established by the federal law enforcement training community and the National Park Service.

The PRTP is offered as either a credit or non-credit program. Upon successful completion of the PRTP, students are eligible to receive a seasonal law enforcement "Certificate of Completion" that is recognized by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and various other federal and state agencies. 

Students interested in pursuing a Park and Recreation Management Bachelor of Science degree in conjunction with the PRTP have a 3 year campus or distance education plan (3NFREE).

For more information contact:

Mark Maciha, Director
Park Ranger Training Program, Northern Arizona University,
PO box 15016,
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5016
Office: (928) 523-8242 Fax: (928) 523-2275


PRTP Rangers on Patrol in Glen Canyon, NRA



PRTP Ranger on Patrol in Boysen State Park, WY


Online Degree in Parks and Recreation Management

We offer the first (2003) and still only NRPA accredited online Bachelor of Science degree in Parks and Recreation Management.

The program of study for the Bachelor of Science degree in Park and Recreation Management is the same as the one offered to our campus students at the Flagstaff Mountain campus.  The NAU Parks and Recreation Management online degree requires 120 hours of credit, including a 45-hour professional core.

Extended Campuses (online out-of-state) All PRM core courses are offered online. Distance students usually combine NAU distance classes with previous or concurrent college coursework from other institutions to meet the 120 hour requirement. Most distance students take the PRM core courses and either the Community/Commercial or Individual emphases from NAU, but may also include liberal studies courses from their local community college or other institutions.

For more information about the PRM online degree contact:
Dr. Charles Hammersley, phone (928) 523-6655 or e-mail:

Online Certificate in Parks and Recreation Management

The PRM Certificate was designed to meet the needs of individuals currently working in the parks and recreation field who wish to strengthen their professional background. In addition, it provides an opportunity for individuals without a park and recreation background to achieve a sound academic foundation in this field.

The difference between a "Certificate" and a "Minor" is the Certificate was designed for non-matriculating, non-traditional students. The PRM Minor is for degree seeking students with other than a PRM Major. The PRM Certificate consists of five PRM classes (15 hours) delivered via the Internet.

For more information about the PRM online certificate contact:
Dr. Charles Hammersley, phone (928) 523-6655 or e-mail:

Important Information Regarding Degree Mills  

Please watch this important video ( regarding degree and accreditation mills.  According to CHEA, "Degree mills and accreditation mills mislead and harm. In the United States, degrees and certificates from mills may not be acknowledged by other institutions when students seek to transfer or go to graduate school. Employers may not acknowledge degrees and certificates from degree mills when providing tuition assistance for continuing education. “Accreditation” from an accreditation mill can mislead students and the public about the quality of an institution. In the presence of degree mills and accreditation mills, students may spend a good deal of money and receive neither an education nor a useable credential."  Read more on CHEA's website (

Career Opportunities

PRM students in the Taos "Box"

Parks and recreation management graduates can find jobs with municipal parks and recreation departments; private resorts, clubs, and spas; federal land-management agencies; county, state, and federal correctional institutions; non-profit organizations; religious youth and adult organizations; hospitals; military installations; sporting goods manufacturers and trade associations; and travel and tour companies. In it's Jan 1, 2000 edition, Newsweek predicted that by 2050, a full 50% of American jobs will be in "leisure/tourism."

Agencies Which Employ PRM Majors

  •  Federal Agencies (National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Morale, Welfare & Recreation) 
  •  Municipal and state park recreation agencies
  •  Resorts, cruise lines, ski areas and tour companies
  •  Private outdoor outfitters, adventure and guide services
  •  Nonprofit organizations (YMCA, YWCA, Boys & Girls Club, Camp Fire, Inc., Boy and Girl Scouts, Jewish Community Centers, and Catholic Youth Organizations)
  •  Summer, day/afterschool, residential and special needs camps
  •  Convention & Visitor Bureaus and Special Event Companies
  •  Travel/Tour Companies (Airlines, Cruise Lines, Sightseeing Buses & Trains)
  •  Athletic & Fitness Clubs
  •  Aquatic and Theme parks (Disney, Six Flags, Universal Studios)
  •  Museums, zoos, nature centers

More Park and Recreation Management Information

Course Descriptions

Emphasis Areas (Applies to PRM students admitted PRIOR to Fall 2015)

2015 Emphasis Areas (Applies to PRM students admitted BEGINNING Fall 2015)


Major in PRM (Program of Study)- Applies to PRM students admitted PRIOR to Fall 2015

Major in PRM (Program of Study)- Applies to PRM students admitted BEGINNING Fall 2015

Minor in PRM

PRM Professional Portfolio

PRM Scholarship Information

PRM Progression Plans - for campus & distance students

  •  2NTHRU - 2 year degree completion
  •  3NFREE - 3 year degree completion
  •  4NMORE - 4+ year degree completion

Distance Courses Directory

Internship Program

The final semester of the Parks and Recreation Management Program consists of pre-professional work experience, PRM 408 Internship in Parks and Recreation Management. A fifteen-week internship is required to earn the bachelor of science degree and may be completed at a park, recreation, and/or leisure service agency of the student's choice. A student must complete 600 hours of work for an organization and fulfill guidelines as set by the intern advisor of the recreation program. The internship may be completed at an agency in the public sector, commercial enterprise, or a nonprofit organization, within the United States or abroad.

Recreation Opportunities at NAU

Students attending NAU find a wide range of recreational opportunities awaiting them both off and on campus. Abundant local public recreation lands, including the Grand Canyon National Park, provide prime recreation opportunities as well as living laboratories in which to learn first-hand about recreation management. The diverse opportunities for recreation participation and education also include on-campus recreation centers that offer weight-lifting rooms, gymnasiums, racquetball courts and swimming.

 Flagstaff was voted the 9th best college town by Outside magazine (September 2003)

"...take advantage of the adventure perfect landscape and mild climate to get outside..."

A major source for on-campus recreation is the NAU Outdoors Program which features classes on kayaking, fly-fishing, rock climbing, and skiing. The program also rents equipment at low cost to students for camping, backpacking, and other activities.

Please contact us for further information:

  Video Conferencing is available for all PRM faculty.

Contact: Dr. Charles Hammersley
Parks and Recreation Management
Northern Arizona University
PO Box 15016, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5016
Phone: (928) 523-6655 or 
Fax: (928) 523-2275


PRM students/faculty Packrafting the Colorado river

[NAU] [College of Social and Behavioral Sciences]


Parks & Recreation Mgmt. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED