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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 seven 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.

ranger class 2019

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 871 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 three-year campus or distance education plan.

bullet Park Protection Degree Information

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 $7500.

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 Tentative Program Dates

Spring 2020 - January 6 to April 24

Fall 2020 - August 10 to November 20

Spring 2021 - January 4 to April 23

Fall 2021 - August 9 to November 19

Spring 2022 - January 3 to April 22

Fall 2022 - August 15 to November 18

*Note:  The program is presented in a blended (combination of on-line and classroom) format. The on-line segments typically start two weeks prior to 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:

Phone: (928) 523-8242     

Northern Arizona University
Parks & Recreation Management Program
19 W. McConnell Drive, PO Box 15016, Building 70,        SBS West room 201,
Flagstaff, AZ   86011-5016

Mark Maciha

“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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