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2021 Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in the Southwest Region

45 Colleges
7,519 Bachelor's Degrees
$26,180 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in the Southwest RegionParks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies is the #13 most popular major in the country with 54,385 bachelor's degrees awarded in 2018-2019. Of those degrees, 7,519 went to students in the Southwest region of the United States.

For this year's Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in the Southwest Region ranking, we looked at 45 colleges that offer a bachelor's in parks and rec. Not only do the schools that top this list have excellent parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies programs, but they also offer a lot of support to non-traditional students.

To come up with these rankings, we looked at factors such as affordability, and overall quality of the parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies program at the school. Check out our ranking methodology for more information.

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 Best Parks & Rec Schools for Non-Traditional Students list to help you make the college decision.

In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

2021 Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools for Non-Traditional Students in the Southwest Region

The following schools top our list of the Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges for Non-Traditional Students.

Top 10 Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools for Non-Traditional Students

#1

Texas State University

San Marcos, TX

Texas State University tops the 2021 list of our schools in the Southwest Region that are best for non-traditional parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies students. Located in the city of San Marcos, Texas State is a public college with a very large student population. As a testament to the quality of education offered at Texas State, the school also landed the #4 rank in our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Southwest Region ranking.

About 6.6% of Texas State students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 9,406 students take at least one class online at Texas State. There are roughly 8,060 part time students in attendance at Texas State. Texas State does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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The #2 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of North Texas. Located in the city of Denton, UNT is a public school with a very large student population. In addition to being on our best for non-traditional students list, UNT has also earned the #6 rank in our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Southwest Region ranking.

About 7.4% of UNT students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 13,820 students take at least one class online at UNT. 9,800 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Texas A&M University - College Station landed the #3 spot in our 2021 best parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies schools for non-traditional students. Located in the medium-sized city of College Station, Texas A&M College Station is a public college with a very large student population. In addition to being on our best for non-traditional students list, Texas A&M College Station has also earned the #3 rank in our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Southwest Region ranking.

The student loan default rate at Texas A&M College Station is lower than is typical, just 2.1% of students default in three years. There are approximately 4,608 students at Texas A&M College Station that take at least one class online. 9,459 of Texas A&M College Station students are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Our rankings recognize Southern Methodist University as the #4 school in this year's rankings. SMU is a large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Dallas. SMU also took the #2 spot in our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Southwest Region rankings.

About 2.7% of SMU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 603 students at SMU that take at least one class online. 2,754 of SMU students are attending part time. SMU does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Texas Woman's University earned the #5 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the midsize city of Denton, TWU is a public college with a large student population.

The student loan default rate at TWU is lower than is typical, just 6.6% of students default in three years. Approximately 5,206 students take at least one class online at TWU. 6,517 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Our rankings recognize Northern Arizona University as the #6 school in this year's rankings. Located in the small city of Flagstaff, NAU is a public school with a fairly large student population.

The student loan default rate at NAU is lower than is typical, just 6.6% of students default in three years. Approximately 7,024 students take at least one class online at NAU. 7,213 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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University of Houston - Clear Lake landed the #7 spot in our 2021 best parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies schools for non-traditional students. UH Clear Lake is a medium-sized public school located in the suburb of Houston.

About 4.4% of UH Clear Lake students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 2,265 students take at least one class online at UH Clear Lake. 4,916 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#8

Tarleton State University

Stephenville, TX

Tarleton State University earned the #8 spot in our 2021 rankings. Tarleton is a fairly large public school located in the remote town of Stephenville.

The student loan default rate at Tarleton is lower than is typical, just 7.7% of students default in three years. 1,004 of Tarleton students are exclusively distance learners. 4,374 of Tarleton students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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The #9 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Sam Houston State University. SHSU is a very large public school located in the distant town of Huntsville.

About 5.8% of SHSU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 7,776 students at SHSU that take at least one class online. 5,468 of SHSU students are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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The University of Texas at Arlington comes in at #10 in this year's ranking. UT Arlington is a very large public school located in the city of Arlington.

About 5.8% of UT Arlington students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 18,425 of UT Arlington students are exclusively distance learners. There are roughly 24,029 part time students in attendance at UT Arlington. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Best for Non-Traditional Students Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges by State

Explore the best for non-traditional students parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies schools for a specific state in the Southwest region.

State Degrees Awarded
Arizona 950
Texas 5,678
Oklahoma 798
New Mexico 92

Parks & Rec Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Health & Physical Education 8,561
Recreation Administration 242
Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 163
Other Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 46
Outdoor Education 12

View All Parks & Rec Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting 13,518
Public Administration & Social Service 9,911
Legal Professions 4,927
Military Technologies & Applied Sciences 1,135

View All Parks & Rec Related Majors >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Cost is for the top 25 schools only.

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 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).
  • Veteran-specific data can be found at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to NPS Photo/Zurbuch.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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