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Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management


  • How PRTM EDGE Works

    During PRTM EDGE, students spend the semester taking a common 12-credit core, composed of three courses:

    • PRTM 2200 (3 credit hours): Conceptual Foundations of PRTM
    • PRTM 2220 (3 credit hours): Program and Event Planning in PRTM
    • PRTM 2260 (6 credit hours): Foundations of Management/Administration in PRTM

    The learning outcomes for this course align with those of the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism, & Related Professions (COAPRT).


  • PRTM Edge By Semester

    Fall and Spring
    This is the traditional semester long PRTM EDGE program. Most PRTM students are enrolled in the EDGE program. Enrollment is capped at 150 students.

    The PRTM EDGE program is also offered on campus (and abroad - see below) during the long summer session (12 weeks). Enrollment is capped at 25 students.

  • EDGE Program Planning Process

    As we encourage our students to do during the PRTM EDGE program, a team of faculty members and graduate students, along with other University and community partners, collaborate to make PRTM EDGE program happen.

    Our EDGE team meets regularly throughout the entire academic year in order to plan, implement and evaluate the PRTM EDGE program. Our EDGE team also works closely with current and former EDGE students to ensure that the student voice is taken into account as we make decisions before, during and after each EDGE semester. Furthermore, faculty and graduate students on the PRTM EDGE team have no teaching obligations outside of the PRTM EDGE program. Basically, during the EDGE semester, the students own the faculty’s time and the faculty own the students’ time.

    Students have consistently commented on how the PRTM EDGE program format creates closer faculty/student bonds than those created in traditional classroom settings, allowing the EDGE team to adapt to the overall climate and input of the EDGE student community.

  • Frequently Asked Questions About PRTM EDGE
    What is the time commitment of EDGE?

    If there is an event outside of their assigned class time that we want students to attend, we will give them two weeks advance notice. Some EDGE projects will require students to meet outside of this time frame as part of their EDGE experience.


    Is any of the material we learn specific to my concentration area?

    The PRTM EDGE program is designed to provide you with the knowledge and concepts needed to build a solid foundation in the field of parks, recreation and tourism management. This foundation will be a relevant and applicable starting place for all of the concentration areas offered in PRTM. Although, it is not the intent of the PRTM EDGE program to focus on learning that is specific to one concentration area, it is anticipated that you will be exposed to all of the concentration areas through collaboration with other students and visits with various agencies and professionals.

    Do we have classes during EDGE?

    While in EDGE, you are registered for three courses, for a total of 12 credit hours. This gives you an opportunity to also take a class specific to the concentration you choose (Community Sport and Recreation, PGA Golf Management, Park and Conservation Area Management, Recreational Therapy or Tourism and Event Management) that semester. 

    How do we figure out our schedule?

    At the beginning of the semester you will receive an overview schedule of the semester that details the content to be covered each week. You will also be given a minimum of two weeks advance notice about experiences scheduled outside of your assigned class time. 

    How often do we get to interact with faculty during EDGE?

    Without exception, one of the most frequent comments on EDGE evaluations has been how much more closely students work with faculty during the EDGE semester. Students and faculty work together to cover content, complete projects and travel in the field. During EDGE, faculty have no other teaching commitments which means that their teaching efforts are dedicated to EDGE students. Since the EDGE semester includes such a variety of experiences from field trips, to practical projects, to one-on-one meetings, faculty get to know their students in a way unique to the EDGE experience.

    Can I take other courses while I’m enrolled in EDGE?

    Yes, you can! We encourage you to take a course that helps you explore your PRTM concentration area of interest.  

    What happens when students leave EDGE and continue their more traditional courses?

    Students report that the transition back to traditional courses can be struggle. In EDGE, they become accustomed to the content of four courses being integrated into one semester-long experience; whereas when they go back to traditional courses, each course exists in isolation. However, students also report that they are more confident in their classes after EDGE, and many believe this is due to the relationship they develop with faculty. In fact, many still come to PRTM EDGE faculty to continue the support for their learning, as well as job and internship assistance.

  • Highlights and Accomplishments

    2020 – The EDGE program celebrated 10 years of providing experiential, collaborative and innovative learning to students.

    2016 – The EDGE program offered the inaugural international version of the program in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom.

    2015 – The PRTM EDGE program served as Clemson University’s nominee for the S.C. Commission on Higher Education Service Learning Award.

    2014 – PRTM 2290 (part of EDGE program) was designated as a CT2 course that focused on critical thinking skills as part of Clemson University’s Quality Enrichment Program.

    The PRTM EDGE team was awarded Clemson University’s Phil Prince Award for Innovation in Teaching.

    2013 – PRTM EDGE faculty published several articles in a special edition of SCHOLE on undergraduate education.

    2012 - PRTM EDGE faculty and students were highlighted in a featured webcast for Clemson University Service Alliance.

    2011 - The PRTM EDGE team was awarded the College of Health, Education and Human Development Award for Excellence in Innovation.

  • Other Student Testimonials

    Some student quotes from EDGE evaluations:

    "The day camp implementation week is a great way to give back to the local Clemson community. It was an incredible opportunity to program and execute for a live group."

    "What I learned from this experience (volunteering at the Trash Bash) is that, first and foremost, it’s always important to go into everything with a calm demeanor, an open mind, and a positive attitude. This kind of mind set can apply to my next volunteer experience, the rest of this semester, the rest of my time at Clemson, and really anything for the rest of my life."

    "This was an awesome experience! I absolutely loved it! It was a great way of learning."

    "EDGE, while very often overwhelming and confusing, was a great way to grow not only as a PRTM professional but as a person as well. I've learned a lot about myself this semester, and how resilient I actually am."

  • Find Out More

    For more information about the PRTM EDGE program, contact program coordinator Dr. Lauren Stephens at

An Experiential Approach to Learning About the Profession.

edge-logoStudents Engaging in Diverse, Guided Experiences (EDGE) is a 12-credit hour, semester-long program that will teach you the foundations of PRTM. During the PRTM EDGE semester, students will learn how to plan, manage and evaluate a project – and they will do so through the use of innovative teaching methods, undergraduate research, real world experiences and experiential learning.

The focus of this semester is not only to prepare students for their chosen profession but to also assist them in the development of skills and knowledge needed to be contributing and engaged members of society. These skills and knowledge are aligned with essential 21st century skills that include critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and collaboration. All students majoring in parks, recreation and tourism management (PRTM) are required to complete this program.


Picture of Lauren Stephens Ph.D.

“The EDGE program prioritizes experiential learning opportunities and student-faculty relationships. Our goal is that students walk away from the EDGE semester feeling confident in their choice to pursue a career in PRTM and knowing that they have found a place they belong. ”

Lauren Stephens, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
Clemson PRTM EDGE Program
Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management | 170 Sirrine Hall