Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies

2023 Most Focused Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies

1,386 Ranked Colleges
73,813 Degrees Awarded
$23,800 Avg Cost*
Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major

When pursuing a degree in today’s world, students have many different options to choose from. College Factual was founded, in part, to help students make the decision as to what would be the best school for them. Our “Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major” ranking is part of that endeavor.

Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies is the 15th most popular major in the country with 73,813 degrees awarded in 2020-2021. In 2019-2020, parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies graduates who were awarded their degree in 2017-2019, earned an average of $31,423 and had an average of $24,388 in loans still to pay off.

This year’s “Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major” ranking analyzed 1,386 colleges that offered a degree in parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies. That schools that top this list have a program in parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies in which the largest percentage of students at the school are enrolled.

For more information, check out our ranking methodology.

More Ways to Rank Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools

When choosing the right school for you, it’s important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we’ve created a number of major-specific rankings, including this “Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major” list to help you make the college decision.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major

The following schools top our list of the Best “Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major”.

Top 25 Most Focused Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies

#1

Professional Golfers Career College

Temecula, California

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Professional Golfers Career College. It ranked #1 on our 2023 Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major list. PGCC is located in Temecula, California and, has a small student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 40 ’s parks and rec degrees to qualified students.

Read full report on Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at PGCC

#2

International Sports Sciences Association

Carpinteria, California

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend International Sports Sciences Association. The school came in at #2 for the Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major. Located in Carpinteria, California, this small private for-profit school awarded 127 diplomas to qualified ’s parks and rec students in 2020-2021.

With a freshman retention rate of 100%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its undergraduate students.

Read more about Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at International Sports Sciences Association

#3

United States Sports Academy

Daphne, Alabama

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend United States Sports Academy. It ranked #3 on our 2023 Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major list. The Academy is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Daphne, Alabama. It awarded 50 ’s parks and rec degrees in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive undergrad student loan default rate. It’s only 3.8%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Since the school has a undergrad student-to-faculty ratio of 7 to 1, those pursuing a degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors.

Read full report on Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at The Academy

#4

Jarvis Christian College

Hawkins, Texas

Out of the 1,386 schools in the Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major that were part of this year’s ranking, Jarvis Christian College landed the #4 spot on the list. Jarvis Christian College is a private not-for-profit institution located in Hawkins, Texas. The school has a small population, and it awarded 28 ’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Read full report on Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at The Bulldogs

#5

Concordia University, Irvine

Irvine, California

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Concordia University, Irvine. It ranked #5 on our 2023 Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major list. Concordia University, Irvine is a private not-for-profit institution located in Irvine, California. The school has a small population, and it awarded 438 ’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The undergrad student loan default rate at the school is 2.9%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

Full Concordia University, Irvine Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Report

#6

William Penn University

Oskaloosa, Iowa

William Penn University came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking. Located in Oskaloosa, Iowa, this small private not-for-profit school handed out 58 degrees to qualified ’s parks and rec students in 2020-2021.

Read more about Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at William Penn University

#7

Ottawa University - Ottawa

Ottawa, Kansas

Ottawa University - Ottawa did quite well in the 2023 Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking, coming in at #7. Ottawa, Kansas is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out ’s parks and rec degrees to 25 students in 2020-2021.

The impressive undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 10 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools.

Read more about Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Ottawa

#8

Concordia University, Chicago

River Forest, Illinois

Concordia University, Chicago came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking. Located in River Forest, Illinois, this medium-sized private not-for-profit school handed out 429 diplomas to qualified ’s parks and rec students in 2020-2021.

The low undergrad student loan default rate of 3.1% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%.

Read full report on Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Concordia University, Chicago

#9

Bryan University

Tempe, Arizona

Bryan University came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking. Bryan University is a small private for-profit school situated in Tempe, Arizona. It awarded 329 ’s parks and rec degrees in 2020-2021.

Full Bryan University Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Report

#10

Emmanuel College

Franklin Springs, Georgia

Emmanuel College landed the #10 spot on the 2023 Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking. This small school is located in Franklin Springs, Georgia, and it awarded 26 ’s parks and rec degrees in 2020-2021.

Read more about Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Emmanuel College

#11

Voorhees College

Denmark, South Carolina

Voorhees College did quite well in the 2023 Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking, coming in at #11. Voorhees College is located in Denmark, South Carolina and, has a small student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 15 ’s parks and rec degrees to qualified students.

Read more about Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Voorhees College

#12

Huntingdon College

Montgomery, Alabama

Huntingdon College did quite well in the 2023 Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking, coming in at #12. Huntingdon College is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Montgomery, Alabama. It awarded 49 ’s parks and rec degrees in 2020-2021.

Read more about Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Huntingdon College

#13

Chowan University

Murfreesboro, North Carolina

Chowan University ranked #13 on this year’s Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major list. Located in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, this small private not-for-profit school handed out 38 degrees to qualified ’s parks and rec students in 2020-2021.

Read more about Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Chowan University

#14

Alice Lloyd College

Pippa Passes, Kentucky

Alice Lloyd College did quite well in the 2023 Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking, coming in at #14. This small school is located in Pippa Passes, Kentucky, and it awarded 14 ’s parks and rec degrees in 2020-2021.

Full Alice Lloyd College Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Report

#15

Logan University

Chesterfield, Missouri

Logan University came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking. Logan University is a small school located in Chesterfield, Missouri that handed out 95 ’s parks and rec degrees in 2020-2021.

The undergrad student loan default rate at the school is 2.8%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

Read more about Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Logan University

#16

Ecclesia College

Springdale, Arkansas

Ecclesia College came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking. This small school is located in Springdale, Arkansas, and it awarded 8 ’s parks and rec degrees in 2020-2021.

With a undergrad student-to-faculty ratio of 10 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed.

Full Ecclesia College Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Report

#17

Bethany College Kansas

Lindsborg, Kansas

Bethany College Kansas came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking. Bethany College Kansas is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Lindsborg, Kansas. It awarded 29 ’s parks and rec degrees in 2020-2021.

Read full report on Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Bethany College Kansas

#18

Coker University

Hartsville, South Carolina

Coker University did quite well in the 2023 Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking, coming in at #18. Hartsville, South Carolina is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out ’s parks and rec degrees to 45 students in 2020-2021.

Read more about Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Coker University

#19

Newberry College

Newberry, South Carolina

Newberry College landed the #19 spot on the 2023 Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking. Newberry College is located in Newberry, South Carolina and, has a small student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 50 ’s parks and rec degrees to qualified students.

Read full report on Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Newberry College

#20

Wesley College

Dover, Delaware

Wesley College did quite well in the 2023 Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking, coming in at #20. Wesley College is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Dover, Delaware. It awarded 51 ’s parks and rec degrees in 2020-2021.

The impressive undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools.

Read full report on Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Wesley College

#21

SUNY Cortland

Cortland, New York

With a ranking of #21, SUNY Cortland did quite well on the 2023 Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major list. SUNY Cortland is a medium-sized school located in Cortland, New York that handed out 349 ’s parks and rec degrees in 2020-2021.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 85%. The undergrad student loan default rate at the school is 3.5%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

Read full report on Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at SUNY Cortland

#22

Crowley's Ridge College

Paragould, Arkansas

Crowley’s Ridge College ranked #22 on this year’s Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major list. Located in Paragould, Arkansas, this small private not-for-profit school awarded 7 diplomas to qualified ’s parks and rec students in 2020-2021.

With a undergrad student-to-faculty ratio of 10 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed.

Read more about Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Crowley’s Ridge College

#23

Reinhardt University

Waleska, Georgia

Reinhardt University came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking. Reinhardt University is a private not-for-profit institution located in Waleska, Georgia. The school has a small population, and it awarded 59 ’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Read full report on Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Reinhardt University

#24

Webber International University

Babson Park, Florida

Webber International University came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major ranking. This small school is located in Babson Park, Florida, and it awarded 28 ’s parks and rec degrees in 2020-2021.

Full Webber International University Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Report

#25

Southwestern Christian University

Bethany, Oklahoma

Southwestern Christian University ranked #25 on this year’s Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major list. This small school is located in Bethany, Oklahoma, and it awarded 13 ’s parks and rec degrees in 2020-2021.

Read more about Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Southwestern Christian University

Rest of the Best 50 in Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major

Not only did these schools make the top 50 list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

#26

Brevard College

Brevard, North Carolina
#27

California University of Pennsylvania

California, Pennsylvania
#28

Lock Haven University

Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
#30

Springfield College

Springfield, Massachusetts
#31

Trine University

Angola, Indiana
#32

Central Baptist College

Conway, Arkansas
#32

Saint Augustine's University

Raleigh, North Carolina
#34

Adrian College

Adrian, Michigan
#35

Alderson Broaddus University

Philippi, West Virginia
#36

Wingate University

Wingate, North Carolina
#37

Lebanon Valley College

Annville, Pennsylvania
#38

Ottawa University - Surprise

Surprise, Arizona
#39

Missouri Valley College

Marshall, Missouri
#40

Bacone College

Muskogee, Oklahoma
#41

Defiance College

Defiance, Ohio
#42

University of the Southwest

Hobbs, New Mexico
#43

Lasell University

Newton, Massachusetts
#44

Union College Kentucky

Barbourville, Kentucky
#45

Mississippi Valley State University

Itta Bena, Mississippi
#46

Livingstone College

Salisbury, North Carolina
#47

Monmouth College

Monmouth, Illinois
#48

Castleton University

Castleton, Vermont
#49

Rocky Mountain College

Billings, Montana
#50

Texas Lutheran University

Seguin, Texas

Rest of the Top 15% Colleges in Schools Highly Focused on Parks & Rec Major

While not in the ‘top 50’, these schools make the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

Rank College Location
51 Bridgewater College Bridgewater, VA
52 Whittier College Whittier, CA
53 Kansas Wesleyan University Salina, KS
54 Belmont Abbey College Belmont, NC
55 University of Saint Katherine San Marcos, CA
56 Guilford College Greensboro, NC
57 Coastal Carolina University Conway, SC
58 Southeastern Oklahoma State University Durant, OK
59 LaGrange College Lagrange, GA
60 Carroll University Waukesha, WI
61 Kentucky Wesleyan College Owensboro, KY
62 Barton College Wilson, NC
63 Randolph College Lynchburg, VA
64 Bethune - Cookman University Daytona Beach, FL
65 University of Memphis Memphis, TN
Rank College Location
66 Tabor College Hillsboro, KS
67 Sterling College Sterling, KS
68 Western Colorado University Gunnison, CO
69 Allen University Columbia, SC
70 Transylvania University Lexington, KY
71 Hardin - Simmons University Abilene, TX
71 University of Mount Union Alliance, OH
73 Canisius College Buffalo, NY
74 East Central University Ada, OK
75 Westminster College Missouri Fulton, MO
76 Westmont College Santa Barbara, CA
77 Tougaloo College Tougaloo, MS
78 Catawba College Salisbury, NC
79 Shaw University Raleigh, NC
80 Franklin College Franklin, IN
81 McPherson College McPherson, KS
82 Colby - Sawyer College New London, NH
83 Dean College Franklin, MA
84 Martin Methodist College Pulaski, TN
85 Fort Lewis College Durango, CO
86 Mt. San Antonio College Walnut, CA
87 Lees - McRae College Banner Elk, NC
88 Blue Mountain College Blue Mountain, MS
89 Mitchell College New London, CT
90 Benedict College Columbia, SC
Rank College Location
91 Heidelberg University Tiffin, OH
92 Brewton - Parker College Mount Vernon, GA
93 Wittenberg University Springfield, OH
94 Randall University Moore, OK
95 Bluffton University Bluffton, OH
95 Warner Pacific University Portland, OR
97 Grand View University Des Moines, IA
98 Sul Ross State University Alpine, TX
99 Concordia University, Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN
100 Olivet College Olivet, MI
101 Nichols College Dudley, MA
102 Sterling College Craftsbury Common, VT
103 University of Wisconsin - La Crosse La Crosse, WI
104 Wilmington College Wilmington, OH
105 Tusculum University Greeneville, TN
106 East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania East Stroudsburg, PA
107 Emory and Henry College Emory, VA
108 University of Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN
109 Eureka College Eureka, IL
109 Garrett College McHenry, MD
109 Howard Payne University Brownwood, TX
112 Elizabeth City State University Elizabeth City, NC
113 Central State University Wilberforce, OH
114 Winston - Salem State University Winston-Salem, NC
115 Roanoke College Salem, VA
Rank College Location
116 Hanover College Hanover, IN
117 St. Thomas Aquinas College Sparkill, NY
118 Delaware State University Dover, DE
119 Warner University Lake Wales, FL
120 Alaska Pacific University Anchorage, AK
121 Davis & Elkins College Elkins, WV
122 Nebraska Wesleyan University Lincoln, NE
123 Northern State University Aberdeen, SD
124 Ferrum College Ferrum, VA
125 Methodist University Fayetteville, NC
126 Ohio Wesleyan University Delaware, OH
127 Manhattanville College Purchase, NY
128 University of Western States Portland, OR
129 University of Pittsburgh - Bradford Bradford, PA
130 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
131 Northwestern Oklahoma State University Alva, OK
132 William Peace University Raleigh, NC
133 Eastern Oregon University La Grande, OR
134 Missouri Western State University Saint Joseph, MO
135 Cornell College Mount Vernon, IA
136 Manchester University North Manchester, IN
137 Averett University Danville, VA
138 Philander Smith College Little Rock, AR
138 Mount Marty University Yankton, SD
140 Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX
Rank College Location
141 Pfeiffer University Misenheimer, NC
142 Loras College Dubuque, IA
143 Berry College Mount Berry, GA
144 North Greenville University Tigerville, SC
145 St. Andrews University Laurinburg, NC
146 Holy Names University Oakland, CA
147 Colorado Mesa University Grand Junction, CO
148 The University of Tennessee - Chattanooga Chattanooga, TN
149 Cumberland University Lebanon, TN
150 The College at Brockport Brockport, NY
151 Morris College Sumter, SC
152 Lenoir - Rhyne University Hickory, NC
153 Lake Superior State University Sault Ste Marie, MI
154 Northern Vermont University Johnson, VT
155 Hastings College Hastings, NE
156 University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Chickasha, OK
157 Concordia University, Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
158 Endicott College Beverly, MA
159 Saint Ambrose University Davenport, IA
160 Culver - Stockton College Canton, MO
161 Keystone College La Plume, PA
162 Hampton University Hampton, VA
163 Central Methodist University - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Fayette, MO
164 West Virginia Wesleyan College Buckhannon, WV
165 University of South Carolina - Aiken Aiken, SC
Rank College Location
166 Adams State University Alamosa, CO
167 University of Montevallo Montevallo, AL
168 Grambling State University Grambling, LA
169 Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK
170 Midway University Midway, KY
171 The University of Tennessee - Martin Martin, TN
172 Southwest Minnesota State University Marshall, MN
173 Schreiner University Kerrville, TX
174 East Texas Baptist University Marshall, TX
175 Linfield University - McMinnville Campus McMinnville, OR
176 University of Sioux Falls Sioux Falls, SD
176 West Virginia State University Institute, WV
178 Augustana University Sioux Falls, SD
179 California State University - Monterey Bay Seaside, CA
180 College of the Canyons Santa Clarita, CA
181 Prescott College Prescott, AZ
182 California State University - Chico Chico, CA
183 Maryville College Maryville, TN
183 Central Christian College of Kansas McPherson, KS
183 Winthrop University Rock Hill, SC
186 Truman State University Kirksville, MO
187 Morehouse College Atlanta, GA
188 Bluefield College Bluefield, VA
189 Avila University Kansas City, MO
190 Oklahoma Panhandle State University Goodwell, OK
Rank College Location
191 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
192 Cabrillo College Aptos, CA
193 Johnson C Smith University Charlotte, NC
194 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
195 Plymouth State University Plymouth, NH
196 Texas State University San Marcos, TX
197 University of Northern Colorado Greeley, CO
198 University of Antelope Valley Lancaster, CA
199 Black Hills State University Spearfish, SD
200 Humboldt State University Arcata, CA
201 San Diego Christian College Santee, CA
202 Ouachita Baptist University Arkadelphia, AR
203 Hannibal - LaGrange University Hannibal, MO
204 Angelo State University San Angelo, TX
205 Greensboro College Greensboro, NC
206 University of Mobile Mobile, AL
207 Southern Nazarene University Bethany, OK
208 Midland University Fremont, NE

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Notes and References

References

  • 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 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).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

Read more about our data sources and methodologies

Footnotes

  • *Avg Salary and Avg 4-Year Grad Rate are for the top schools only.
  • Some schools otherwise deserving of recognition may have been removed from this ranking in the event that new data identified post-publication warranted it, or at the request of the school.

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