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Course content

Students in the master's degree program have three option areas from which to choose:

-Park and Recreation Management
-Sport Management
-Tourism Management

A candidate for the M.S. degree must spend at least one semester on campus and complete a minimum of 36 graduate hours. Students select a thesis or a non-thesis option to fulfill their requirements. The thesis option requirements include 12 hours of core course work in RST, 1 critical issues course (4 hours), 8 hours of research methods, 8 hours of electives, and 4 hours of thesis. Students selecting the non-thesis option are required to complete 20 hours in core course work in RST, one critical issues course (4 hours), and 12 hours of electives. A full-time student can complete the program in three or four semesters.

Additionally, students can earn a Master of Science degree in Recreation, Sport and Tourism online. Consisting of nine courses in 8-week segments starting every two months, the degree can be completed in 18 months. Designed and taught by expert faculty and instructors, students are engaged in collaborative projects, culminating in a professional paper.

The mission is to understand and promote the development and sustainability of healthy communities and advance quality of life and well-being of individuals, families, and communities through parks, recreation, sport, and tourism.
This mission is accomplished through teaching, which conveys the knowledge and values necessary for individuals to lead responsible, productive and personally satisfying lives; through scholarship which advances knowledge; and through engagement with society which enriches the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities throughout a diverse society.

Career opportunities
Recreation, Sport and Tourism encompass a wide range of disciplines including business administration, marketing, management, psychology, sociology, urban planning, and public policy analysis. The curriculum in RST prepares you to design, manage, and deliver leisure services to a variety of populations in diverse settings and provides a firm foundation from which you may pursue graduate studies. Beyond a strong core integrating management, leisure theory, and research, the program requires a full-time internship experience, allowing you to focus your studies on your career interest.

Students majoring in RST can pursue a concentration in Community Recreation Management, Sports Management or Tourism Management. Graduates of the Department go on to be highly successful professionals in the recreation, sport and tourism industry.

The experience
What began as a single undergraduate course in recreation at the University of Illinois eventually became the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism. As part of the College of Applied Health Sciences, the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism now offers programs of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels leading to Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Our graduates are found in our nation's park districts, forest preserves, amateur and professional sports industries, resorts, bureaus of tourism, educational institutions, and universities.

Our faculty scholars study the changing leisure needs of our society. The Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism is dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities through research that has an impact, educational programs that address both theory and practice, and outreach activities that make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.

We appreciate your interest in the Department of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism and welcome your application for admission. Applications for graduate admissions are processed through a system called ApplyYourself, accessed by the following:

This system allows applicants to track their admission progress and conduct most of the admission process, including credit card payments, electronically. Please read below for comprehensive information on our Admissions process.

Note: If you are interested in applying for the online M.S. in Recreation, Sport and Tourism, please visit this Admissions page for information specific to applying for the online program.

An underlying principle throughout these guidelines is to continually improve the quality of our graduate students and enhance the fit between graduate students and the collection of faculty teaching and research interests. These guidelines recognize the importance of high quality graduate students to our departmental culture, and are directed at a constructive development of culture through graduate student admission decisions.

For consideration for Fall admission and to be competitive for financial support, all application materials must be received by January 8. Applications submitted after this date, and before July 15, will also be considered for admission.

For consideration for Spring admission all application materials must be received by October 1.





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Recipient: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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