Tourism and Special Events

Tourism and Special Events is one of three concentrations in the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism at Radford University. Upon successful completion of the program, you can find employment in resorts, municipal parks and recreation systems, convention and visitors bureaus, tourism marketing organizations, youth services nonprofit agencies, destination management organizations, cruise ships and private agencies.


Concentration Requirements (12 credits)

In addition to the core curriculum and RCPT major requirements, students wishing to complete the Tourism and Special Events concentration must complete 15 credits in tourism. Click on this link to view the tourism concentration curriculum.

Real-World Practice

All courses in the tourism and special events concentration incorporate “real world” practice. Practitioners visit classes to share their expertise and experience in the field. Classes also visit regional tourism providers to learn about tools, techniques, and best practices from professionals. An opportunity for a five-week field course (Tourism Institute) in locations such as the Bahamas, France and within the US are also offered. These courses are aimed at exposing students to international tourism, island resort experiences and water-based adventure travel with sailing, snorkeling, diving and touring experiences.

Those taking RCPT 435, Tourism Marketing and Promotion, visit regional attractions and learn from managers and owners the challenges of operating a tourism establishment. Courses in commercial recreation, special event management, and sustainable tourism are also part of the curriculum.


We facilitate networking between students and leaders in their interest areas through conferences and many professional development opportunities. The department supports student attendance at Virginia Recreation and Parks Association events, the National Recreation and Park Association annual congress, and The Resort & Commercial Recreation Association. Tourism students are encouraged to network through Virginia Tourism Corporation events and regional destination management organizations.

International Tourism

Those interested in international tourism can attend one or two semesters at Blaise Pascal University in Vichy, France. Courses are taught entirely in English and enable students to learn the French language and culture while studying international business. Courses transfer directly to Radford University and can be used toward their undergraduate degree and a degree in international business with French from Blaise Pascal University.