ProRanger: Certificate Program

Undergraduate Certificate Program

University College, in consultation with the National Park Service, has developed a certificate program in National Park Service Management that provides extensive opportunities for academic study, training and development. The certificate also provides internship placement as preparation for a career in National Park Service law enforcement and in other areas related to park service management and other related careers.

Temple students who have been accepted into the ProRanger Philadelphia program will be required to enroll in the Certificate in National Park Service Management and complete the full complement of academic and training experiences. Students should see their advising office or contact Vicki Lewis McGarvey ( with questions about the certificate program.

This program consists of experiential elements as well a 15-credit certificate that consists of both classroom and experiential learning. Optional experiences are also recommended.

Experiential components (non-credit):

Certificate components (15 credits):

  • PRAN 3001 - Professional Preparation Seminar for the ProRanger (1 credit)

  • PRAN 1577 - Introduction to ProRanger Program (2 credits)

  • HIST 2214 - History of the National Park Service (3 credits)

  • HIST 2215 - Imperiled Promise: An Introduction to Heritage Interpretation in the National Park Service (3 credits)

  • CJ 3701 - Land Management and Federal Law Enforcement (3 credits)

  • PRAN 3002 / CJ 2000 - Leadership Communication for Law Enforcement(3 credits)


Program Timeline

Students generally will be selected as juniors in the fall and will begin coursework in the spring. Courses may be offered in alternating in odd and even years. Students interested in the program are advised to begin taking coursework prior to acceptance into the program in order to ensure requirements can be completed. Interested students who do not believe they can complete the academic requirements should contact Adrian Fernandez or Vicki McGarvey to determine if an individual plan can be created.

Proposed schedule of classes for the ProRanger Program






Year 1

  • Selected into program

  • PRAN 3001 - Professional Preparation Seminar for the ProRanger (1 cr)

  • HIST 2214** - History of the National Park Service (3 cr)

  • Summer Internship
    (not for credit)

  • Introduction to ProRanger Program
    (PRAN 1577) (2 cr)


Year 2

  • CJ 3701* Land Management and Federal Law Enforcement (3 cr)

  • HIST 2215** Imperiled Promise: An Introduction to Heritage Interpretation in the National Park Service
    (3 cr)

  • PRAN 3002 / CJ 2000- Leadership Communication for Law Enforcement (3 cr)

  • Graduate from Temple

  • Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy(non-credit)






Total Credits 15

** these two courses will be offered in alternating spring semesters

Course Descriptions

PRAN 3001 - Professional Preparation Seminar for the ProRanger (1 credit)
This course that will provide students preparing for summer internships with the National Park Service the opportunity to learn and develop the professional skills necessary for working in the National Park Service and other federal agencies. It will focus specifically on preparation for summer internships at national park sites and post-graduation employment with the National Park Service.

PRAN 1577 - Introduction to the ProRanger Program (2 credits)
The ProRanger Internship is designed to provide students with first-hand experience working in a national park. While the emphasis of the course is oriented towards gaining practical experience, students are expected to complete a number of academic assignments to complement their work experience and help provide them with a deeper understanding of the larger context regarding their employment. Permission required.

HIST 2214 - History of the National Park Service (3 credits)
This course will examine ideas that have shaped the National Park Service and its mission. It will introduce students to key events and figures responsible for creating the National Park Service that played critical roles in its development. Particular focus will be placed on significant legislation bearing on the agency's function, turning points in its institutional evolution, genesis of bureaucratic hierarchies and process, origins and evolution of its interpretive strategies and the relationship over time between the agency and broad currents in American history. Note: For history majors, this course is in the American history category. Offered every other spring semester.

HIST 2215 - An Introduction to Heritage Interpretation in the National Park Service (3 credits)
This course surveys theory and method in heritage interpretation, which refers broadly to the various techniques used by the National Park Service to communicate the significance of its historical resources. Students will study the history of heritage interpretation, examine the challenges that confront it today and consider new paths forward. Although this course serves Temple's ProRanger program, it will also appeal to students interested in public history, museum studies, communication studies, and education.

CJ 3701 - Land Management and Federal Law Enforcement (3 credits)
This course offers a broad introduction to the history, operation and governing laws of the United States Public Lands System as well as a more detailed examination of several federal government agencies with law enforcement divisions, namely, the National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), that are responsible for providing visitor and resource protection in areas that are or have been owned or administered by the federal government. Several themes underpinning the course include: the discretionary prerogatives of law enforcement branches of land management agencies, federal (and state) authority and jurisdiction on the public lands, the significant enabling legislation for the stewardship of cultural, natural and historical resources including the Organic Act of 1916, the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the Federal Land Use Policy Act of 1976, and the issues and challenges inherent in the protection, conservation and preservation of vast public lands and resources. This has been developed by Criminal Justice and is already being offered as a Special Topics course. It will be offered every other fall semester.

PRAN 3002 - Leadership Communication for Law Enforcement(3 credits)
Students enrolled in the National Park Service (NPS) ProRanger Program face encounters and challenges unique to their roles in protecting our national parks as well as dealing with the public. Oftentimes, Park Rangers are the first line of defense to protect these priceless assets. The role of a Park Ranger is ever-changing and evolving as more parks face real-world crime problems. While law enforcement is an important mission of the NPS, it is not its sole mission. May also be taught as CJ2000.

To see a full list of requirements for the undergraduate certificate program, please visit the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Supplementary Program Preparation:

The following courses and experiences are not required of program participants but have been recommended by alumni of the ProRanger program as helpful preparation for a career as a Ranger:

Skills And Fitness

  • Adventure Climbing (KINS 1003)
  • Aikido I & II (KINS 1005 and 1006)
  • Backpacking & Camping (KINS 1009)
  • Tae Kwon Do I (KINS 1052)
  • Walking/Jogging/Running (KINS 1058)
  • Weight Training I (KINS 1062)

Academic Preparation

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice (CJ 1001)
  • Introduction to Criminal Law (CJ 2501)
  • Criminal Procedure: Police Phase (CJ 3501)
  • Criminal Procedure: Prosecution & Adjudication (CJ 3502)
  • Geology of the National Parks (EES 0854)


  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification