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2021 Best Value Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in California

28 Colleges
6,037 Bachelor's Degrees
$29,166 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Value Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies School for You

Best Value Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in CaliforniaIn 2018-2019, 6,037 bachelor's degrees were awarded to parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies students who went to a California college or university. This makes it the #12 most popular major in the state. This means that of the 54,385 bachelor's that were awarded in the country, 11.1% were from a college or university in the state.

This year's Best Value Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in California ranking looked at 28 colleges that offer a bachelor's in parks and rec. Note that the phrase 'best value' does not mean the absolute lowest-priced. For this ranking, we are identifying those parks and rec schools that provide their students with a hiqh quality education at a price that is lower than other colleges and universities of the same caliber.

Average cost figures start with estimating tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other related expenses. We then subtract the average amount of financial aid that a student receives. You can use this as a gauge to estimate how much you may need to pay out of pocket to cover costs when financial aid isn't enough. Keep in mind that the net cost for you may be higher or lower, depending on your income and other factors.

One Size Does Not Fit All

The parks and rec school you choose to invest your time and money in matters. To help you make the decision that is right for you, we've developed a number of major-specific rankings, including this list of the Best Value Parks & Rec Schools.

To further help you make the college decision, we've developed a unique tool called College Combat that allows you to compare schools based on the factors that matter the most to you. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

2021 Best Value Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools in California

The colleges and universities below are the best for the money for parks and rec majors.

Top 10 Best Value Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools

California State University - Fresno landed the #1 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies schools. Fresno State is a very large public school located in the city of Fresno.

At Fresno State, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 5.0 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $20,188. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Fresno State is $100,132. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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California State University - Long Beach earned the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings. Cal State Long Beach is a very large public school located in the large city of Long Beach. In addition to being on our best value list, Cal State Long Beach has also earned the #2 rank in our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in California ranking.

At Cal State Long Beach, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 5.0 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $24,708. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Long Beach is $122,552. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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California State University - Chico earned the #3 spot in our 2021 rankings. Chico State is a fairly large public school located in the city of Chico. As a testament to the quality of education offered at Chico State, the school also landed the #4 rank in our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in California ranking.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Chico State is 4.7 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $25,192. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Chico State is $118,654. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#4

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco State University earned the #4 spot in our 2021 rankings. SFSU is a very large public school located in the large city of San Francisco. As a testament to the quality of education offered at SFSU, the school also landed the #7 rank in our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in California ranking.

It takes the average student at SFSU about 4.8 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $26,093. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from SFSU is $123,942. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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California State University - Sacramento landed the #5 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies schools. Located in the large city of Sacramento, California State University - Sacramento is a public college with a very large student population. California State University - Sacramento not only placed well in our value rankings. It is also #5 on our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in California list.

It takes the average student at California State University - Sacramento about 5.1 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $26,553. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from California State University - Sacramento is $135,951. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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Our rankings recognize San Jose State University as the #6 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of San Jose, San Jose State is a public school with a very large student population. As a testament to the quality of education offered at San Jose State, the school also landed the #1 rank in our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in California ranking.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at San Jose State is 5.0 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $29,311. This means that the average student pays around $147,141 to get a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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California State University - Monterey Bay landed the #7 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies schools. California State University - Monterey Bay is a medium-sized public school located in the suburb of Seaside.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at California State University - Monterey Bay is 4.7 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $24,223. This means that the average student pays around $112,637 to get a bachelor’s degree from California State University - Monterey Bay. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#8

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA

San Diego State University comes in at #8 in this year's ranking. SDSU is a fairly large public school located in the city of San Diego. SDSU not only placed well in our value rankings. It is also #3 on our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in California list.

It takes the average student at SDSU about 4.6 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $30,830. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from SDSU is $141,818. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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Our rankings recognize Humboldt State University as the #9 school in this year's rankings. Humboldt State University is a medium-sized public school located in the town of Arcata.

It takes the average student at Humboldt State University about 4.9 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $24,360. This means that the average student pays around $118,390 to get a bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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California State University - Northridge comes in at #10 in this year's ranking. Located in the city of Northridge, California State University - Northridge is a public college with a very large student population.

The average student at California State University - Northridge graduates in less than 5.0 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $22,577. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from California State University - Northridge is $111,982. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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

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

State Degrees Awarded
Washington 497
Hawaii 238
Oregon 620
Alaska 33
Nevada 239

Parks & Rec Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Health & Physical Education 5,402
Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 635

View All Parks & Rec Related Majors >

Majors Similar to Parks & Rec

Related Major Annual Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting 5,071
Public Administration & Social Service 2,750
Legal Professions 381
Military Technologies & Applied Sciences 10

View All Parks & Rec Related Majors >

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • 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 NPS Photo/Zurbuch.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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