Master of Science in Recreation and Leisure Services (M.S.R.L.S.) Major in Recreation Management (Non-thesis Option)

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Recreation and Leisure Services (M.S.R.L.S.) degree with a major in Recreation Management is designed to prepare administrators, supervisors, educators, consultants, and researchers to assist people toward richer lives through leisure experiences. Recreation Management encompasses the administration and supervision of recreation and leisure services. Recreational professionals seeking course work for certification as Certified Park & Recreation Professional would enroll in this option.

Application Requirements

The items listed below are required for admission consideration for applicable semesters of entry during the current academic year. Submission instructions, additional details, and changes to admission requirements for semesters other than the current academic year can be found on The Graduate College's website. International students should review the International Admission Documents webpage for additional requirements.

  • completed online application
  • $55 nonrefundable application fee

          or

  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials
  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • official transcripts from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 2.75 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • background course work in marketing and management
  • GRE not required
  • statement of purpose (maximum 500 words) detailing the following:
    • experiences leading to graduate studies in recreation management
    • qualities, values, characteristics of the student that will help him/her meet the academic rigors of graduate education
    • career goals relating to obtaining a master’s degree

TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS Scores

Non-native English speakers who do not qualify for an English proficiency waiver:

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official PTE scores required with a 52
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and minimum individual module scores of 6.0

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Recreation and Leisure Services (M.S.R.L.S.) degree with a major in Recreation Management requires 36 semester credit hours.

Course Requirement

Required Courses
REC 5310Philosophical Foundations of Recreation & Leisure Services3
REC 5330Organizational Leadership in Recreation and Leisure Services3
REC 5340Social Psychology of Recreation and Leisure3
REC 5346Literature and Research3
REC 5350Legal and Ethical Issues in Recreation and Leisure Services3
REC 5360Applications of Finance & Marketing in Recreation3
REC 5380Administering Leisure Delivery Systems3
REC 5337Independent Study in Recreational Administration3
or REC 5318 Selected Topics in Recreation and Leisure Services
or REC 5381 Outdoor Program Leadership and Administration
Prescribed Electives
Choose 12 hours from the following (other courses may approved by your advisor):12
Interpersonal Communication
Organizational Communication
Communication and Negotiation
Understanding Self: Developing a Personal Vision of Leadership
Understanding People: Professional Development
Managing Urbanization
Seminar in Nature and Heritage Tourism
The Geography of Land Management
Seminar in Strategic Communication
Advanced Digital Media
Organizational Behavior and Theory
Public Finance Administration
Organizational Theory, Change, and Behavior
Seminar in Sociology of Racial and Ethnic Relations
Total Hours36

Comprehensive Examination Requirement

Students are required to take a written comprehensive examination in their last semester of the program. Students must pass the comprehensive exam in at most two attempts. If the student fails to pass the comprehensive exam in two attempts, the student will retake the comprehensive exam during the next long semester.

Students who do not successfully complete the requirements for the degree within the timelines specified will be dismissed from the program.

Master's level courses in Health and Human Performance: REC

Courses Offered

Recreation (REC)

REC 5199B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continued thesis enrollment. No thesis credit is awarded until the thesis is submitted for binding.

1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

REC 5299B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continued thesis enrollment. No thesis credit is awarded until the thesis is submitted for binding.

2 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

REC 5310. Philosophical Foundations of Recreation & Leisure Services.

To introduce and explore the meanings of leisure, leisure behavior, and leisure services from historical, philosophical, sociological, and political perspectives. Students will develop a philosophical view of leisure based on exploration of the history of leisure and the leisure profession as well as consideration of the nature of the individual and society.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5318M. Programming for Active Older Adults.

Individuals who work in leisure and aging focus on enhancing the quality of life for individuals aged 55 and over. The population of persons over the age of 65 is growing rapidly and in the US the 'older adult' population now includes members from three distinct age cohort group.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing|Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5318O. Programming Nature Experiences.

Nature experiences are reliably linked to physiological and psychological health benefits and are a popular way to spend leisure time. This course examines the relationship between leisure programming and nature experience. Students will have the opportunity to learn about biophilic human responses to nature, eco-phenomenology, nature-based pedagogy, and other constructs that will improve their ability to facilitate and interpret nature experiences in the leisure setting.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing|Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5320B. Programming Trends in Therapeutic Recreation.

This is a seminar style course where students investigate current trends in the provision of therapeutic recreation (TR) services, including evidence-based practice (EBP) and advancing the profession. This course is also designated as an Academic Service-Learning Course.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing|Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5321. Issues and Trends in Therapeutic Recreation Services.

This is a seminar-style course during which students investigate current trends related to the provision of therapeutic recreation services and professional advocacy. Prerequisite: REC 5328 with a grade of "C" or better.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5325. Philosophical Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation.

Course examines the history, theory, and philosophy of therapeutic recreation such as service models, standards, and legislation. The use of therapeutic recreation in supporting the attainment and maintenance of well-being of people with differing characteristics and abilities is explored in a variety of service settings. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5326. Therapeutic Recreation Planning and Implementation.

This course provides an in-depth examination of the therapeutic recreation process with a focus on planning and implementation of individualized services and supports for persons with disabling conditions. Therapeutic recreation practice concepts of interventions, modalities, instruction, leadership, supervision, and leisure counseling are explored. Prerequisite: REC 5327 with a grade of "C" or better.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5327. Assessment, Evaluation, and Documentation in Therapeutic Recreation.

This course provides an in-depth examination of the assessment and documentation phases of the therapeutic recreation process. Students will administer, score, interpret, and report standardized and specialized assessment instruments and documentation methods. Corequisite: REC 5325 with a grade of "C" or better.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5328. Advanced Principles of Therapeutic Recreation.

This class provides an in-depth examination of the principles of organizing, funding, and managing therapeutic recreation services within a variety of settings. Topics include analysis of professional credentialing, policies, standards of practice, ethical behavior, and regulatory guidelines as they relate to therapeutic recreation are applied to advancing the profession. Prerequisite: REC 5327 with a grade of "C" or better.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5329. Evidence-based Practice in Therapeutic Recreation.

This course provides for the application of the therapeutic recreation process through case study development within a variety of service settings. Particular emphasis is on treatment modalities and techniques applicable to group interventions. Prerequisite: REC 5328 with a grade of "C" or better.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5330. Organizational Leadership in Recreation and Leisure Services.

This course provides an exploration of management issues within recreation administration with an emphasis on the role of the leader as a conduit for effectiveness. Content will include theories and philosophies, processes, accountability, strategic planning, and conflict resolution applications.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5337. Independent Study in Recreational Administration.

Individual study related to recreational administration under direct supervision of a faculty member. May be repeated for additional credit at the discretion of the department chair.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5338. Internship in Therapeutic Recreation.

This course provides students the opportunity to complete an intensive, on-site internship under the supervision of a nationally Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Students will complete 560 hours in a therapeutic recreation setting. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5340. Social Psychology of Recreation and Leisure.

To provide an introduction and overview of the personal, social and social-psychological contexts of leisure; utilizing current literature the course will focus on examining leisure and recreation behavior from psychological, sociological and social-psychological constructs that are contributing to a contemporary, interdisciplinary understanding of the leisure phenomenon.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5346. Literature and Research.

Directed reading, reports, and discussions of the current literature in the field of education, a critical analysis of research techniques and the locations and securing of information, together with the steps necessary to the solution of research problems in this field.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5350. Legal and Ethical Issues in Recreation and Leisure Services.

A seminar style course that focuses on legal and ethical issues related to recreation and leisure services. Tort law, participant rights, accessibility, credentialing, and others are topics to be addressed in this course.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5360. Applications of Finance & Marketing in Recreation.

This course is a study of financial and marketing concepts, principles, and techniques as they relate to recreation and leisure delivery systems. These include full cost accounting, pricing, financial management, distribution, promotional techniques, marketing plans, alternative funding and proposals. Prerequisite: REC 5380 with a grade of "C" or better or instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5380. Administering Leisure Delivery Systems.

This course content provides students with program development and administration tools developed and tested within the recreation industry. Topics may include the exploration of programming and organizational theory, administrative processes, and the application of the organizational principles to the recreation service delivery systems.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5381. Outdoor Program Leadership and Administration.

Within the role of leadership and administration, students will become knowledgeable in the theoretical foundations of outdoor programs, adventure programming, and wilderness travel. The history of thought surrounding natural places and outdoor recreation will be examined throughout the semester.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

REC 5399A. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s initial thesis enrollment. No thesis credit is awarded until the student has completed the thesis in REC 5399B.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

REC 5399B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continued thesis enrollment. No thesis credit is awarded until the thesis is submitted for binding.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

REC 5599B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continued thesis enrollment. No thesis credit is awarded until the thesis is submitted for binding.

5 Credit Hours. 5 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

REC 5999B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continued thesis enrollment. No thesis credit is awarded until the thesis is submitted for binding.

9 Credit Hours. 9 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit