Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies

When you major in one of our recreation programs, you follow in the footsteps of a long line of leaders in the field.

Our faculty are highly respected teachers and scholars who will give you the personal attention you need to succeed. You’ll have the opportunity to do internships and fieldwork in parks, hospitals, recreation departments and other settings in the U.S. and abroad.

Our definition of “classroom” is extremely broad — you can get academic credit for kayaking, backpacking, rock climbing and other outdoor adventures.

Cortland has the longest-running and most comprehensive recreation program in New York. The core curriculum of all four degrees, as well as the therapeutic recreation program, are accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT).

Our alumni network of accomplished professionals, combined with your Cortland degree, will put you on the path to a rewarding career.

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We are proud to launch three new social media accounts for the Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department. Stay up-to-date on department events by following and liking us on:

If you belong to a SUNY Cortland student group, tag us in your posts so we can share your information too!

William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental Outdoor Education

Located in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, SUNY Cortland’s educational facilities on Raquette Lake include the Antlers lodge, Kirby Camp and Huntington Memorial Camp, the only National Historic Landmark in the SUNY system. This unique learning environment is great for research activities, teacher workshops and high school classes. Learn More. Get Directions.

Inclusive Recreation Resource Center

Check out the Inclusive Recreation Resource Center headquartered at SUNY Cortland, and watch this short video about the IRRC.

Coalition for Education in the Outdoors

Housed at SUNY Cortland, the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors is a national leaders in outdoor education. 

Visit CEO

69th Annual Cortland Recreation Conference

The 69th Annual Cortland Recreation Conference is November 7-8, 2019 (Thursday and Friday). Visit the website to learn about more about the longest run student conference in the nation. 

Cortland Bike Project

Visit the Cortland Bike Project site to learn more about the SUNY Cortland Bike Project.

Online Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Recreation

The Therapeutic Recreation Online Graduate Certificate Program and the online M.S. are now accepting applications for Fall 2019. Learn more about the online certificate and how to apply

inclusive canoeing


Cortland named one of nation’s healthiest campuses

Partnership for a Healthier America named Cortland one of the 32 healthiest campuses in the country.

Class Creates 'Flying Frogs' Proposal

Students visited the Adirondacks to hatch fixes for the park's economic and environmental issues.

SUNY Cortland Graduate Student Leads Milkweed Planting

The planting was part of an effort to provide a food source for monarch butterflies.

College Plans ‘TransAction’ Conference

The March 1 event discusses needs and experiences of gender non-binary college students.

Fear of Wilderness Is Feb. 27 Topic

Recreation expert Sharon Todd has studied why Millennials avoid the out-of-doors.


Rho Phi Lambda Honor Society logo

Rho Phi Lambda Honor Society, An Honorary Fraternity for Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services


SCRA is Cortland's recreation major's club.

Read More About Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department Clubs