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Park Ranger Training Program

Northern Arizona University
Parks & Recreation Management Program

"Tomorrow's Resource Stewards"

nau logoNAU news - Park ranger training opens path to career fulfillment

Welcome to Northern Arizona University’s Park Ranger Training Program (PRTP), one of only a few nationally accredited programs that provide the training required to work as a seasonal park ranger in law enforcement in the National Park Service.  Upon graduation from the program, students receive a “Certificate of Completion” issued by the National Park Service.  This certificate is also recognized by other federal and state land management agencies.

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.

Since 1998, more than 800 students have completed the NAU PRTP program.

The program is offered in the fall and spring semesters with classes generally meeting all day, at least five days per week.  There are also several night and weekend sessions that are required.  Fitness training is conducted three days per week in NAU’s new multi-million dollar Health and Learning Center.

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).

bullet 3NFREE Park Protection Degree Plan - Campus - Distance

The program is offered with the following options:

  • College Credit Option: 12 credit hours that can be used toward a bachelor’s degree.  This is the preferred option for students that are working toward a degree or that may be considering a degree.  This option requires admission to NAU and the cost is the current full-time tuition rate, plus an $1,800 course fee.
  • Non-Credit Option:  This option is best for individuals that have already completed an undergraduate degree.  The program fee is $6500.

Applications are accepted on a continual basis.  Selections for the fall semester (August-November) are generally made in May and selections for the spring semester (January-April) are determined in September.  There is a high demand for the program and early applications are encouraged.  The class size is limited to 26 students.

For more information, call Dr. Mark Maciha at 928-523-8242.

calendar icon  PRTP 2017-2019 Tentative Dates

Fall 2017 – August 14 to November 17

Spring 2018 - January 8 to April 20

Fall 2018 – August 13 to November 16

Spring 2019 - January 7 to April 19

Fall 2019 – August 12 to November 22

*Note:  The program is presented in a blended (combination of on-line and classroom) format. The on-line segments typically start two weeks prior ot the start of the in-person schedule noted above.

bullet Application Packet  (.pdf)

 To search the PRTP web site, type in the words you wish 
  to search for in the box below.

Mark Maciha, Ed.D., Director
Park Ranger Training Program
Office: (928) 523-8242     
Fax: (928) 523-2275

Northern Arizona University
Parks & Recreation Management Program
PO Box 15016, Flagstaff, AZ

“If a trail is to be blazed, send a ranger, if an animal is floundering in the snow, send a ranger, if a bear is in a hotel, send a ranger, if a fire threatens a forest, send a ranger, and if someone needs to be saved, send a ranger.”

Stephen T. Mather, First Director of the National Park Service





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