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2020 Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies in California

Approximately 3,541 parks, recreation and leisure studies degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. 756 of these degrees were given by schools in California alone, making it the 1st most popular state for parks and rec students. With so many options it can be difficult finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies in California ranking analyzed 9 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in parks, recreation and leisure studies. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 1 schools for Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies students in California.

Choosing a Great Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies School

Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies in California The parks and rec program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality parks and rec program can vary widely even among the top schools. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To account for this we consider a college's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a host of various factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

A parks, recreation and leisure studies degree from colleges on this list typically translates into higher than average income following graduation. A parks, recreation and leisure studies bachelors degree from a school in California helped students who graduated in 2015-2017 earn $33,886 a couple years later.

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other parks, recreation and leisure studies students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized parks, recreation and leisure studies related accrediting body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies students in California.

Best Schools to Study Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies in California

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities to study parks, recreation and leisure studies.

Best Parks & Rec Colleges in California

California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo is a wonderful choice for students interested in a Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies degree. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a very large public school located in the suburb of San Luis Obispo.More…

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California State University - Chico is a wonderful choice for individuals pursuing a Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies degree. Located in the city Chico, Chico State is a public school with a fairly large student population.

After getting their bachelor's degree, parks and rec students usually make an average of $35,300 at the beginning of their careers.

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San Jose State University is a good decision for individuals pursuing a Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies major. Located in the city San Jose, San Jose State is a public college with a fairly large student population.

San Jose State University parks, recreation and leisure studies graduates receive $9,714 more than the standard parks and rec graduate.

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California State University - Long Beach is a wonderful option for individuals pursuing a Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies major. Cal State Long Beach is a fairly large public school located in the city of Long Beach.

Students who graduate from the parks and rec program make around $31,900 in their early career salary.

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#5

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA

SDSU is a very large public school located in the city of San Diego.

Students who graduate from the parks and rec program earn an average of $26,000 in the first couple years of their career.

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California State University - Sacramento is a fairly large public school located in the city of Sacramento.

Graduates from the parks, recreation and leisure studies major at California State University - Sacramento make $3,914 above the typical college grad in this field when they enter the workforce.

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#7

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA

Located in the city San Francisco, SFSU is a public college with a very large student population.

Graduates of the parks and rec program state that they receive average early career earnings of $31,800.

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Located in the city Hayward, California State University - East Bay is a public school with a fairly large student population.More…

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Located in the city Fresno, Fresno State is a public college with a very large student population.

Graduates of the parks and rec program report average early career wages of $30,800.

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Best Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies Colleges in the Far Western US Region

Explore all the Best Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies Schools in the Far Western US Area or other specific states within that region.

State Colleges Degrees Awarded
Washington 303 65
Oregon 266 44
Nevada 199 1
Alaska 146 13

Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies is one of 4 different types of Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Health & Physical Education 63,893
Recreation Administration 4,172
Other Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 275
Outdoor Education 235

View All Parks & Rec Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Jazmin Smith.

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