Graduate Academic Programs

Master's Degree Programs

Master of Science in Recreation Degree (MSR), Outdoor Recreation

Description of Program

The Master of Science in Recreation degree with a major in outdoor recreation is designed for students interested in outdoor recreation management, resource management, camping administration, outdoor/environmental education and interpretation, outdoor leadership, and the dimensions of human ecology commonly associated with aspects of outdoor recreation and park management.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 35 credit hours is required for this program.  The Master of Science in Recreation degree must include a minimum of 20 credits from the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies.  A minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) is required for graduation. A minimum grade of C– is required in each course. All electives for completing the degree must be approved by the advisor.

Complete each of the following courses (15 cr.):

  • SPH-Q 501 (Formerly: HPER-T 591) Introduction to Statistics in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 510 (Formerly: HPER-R 500) Philosophy of Leisure and Recreation (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 511 (Formerly: HPER-R 520) Organizational Leadership for Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Public Lands (3 cr.)
  • SPH-X 505 (Formerly: HPER-C 505) Principles and Foundations of Public Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-X 590 (Formerly: HPER-T 590) Introduction to Research in Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation (3 cr.)

Complete one of the following courses (2-5 cr.):

  • SPH-R 598 (Formerly: HPER-R 539) Master's Project in Administration (2-4 cr.)
  • SPH-R 599 (Formerly: HPER-R 599) Master's Thesis (5 cr.)

Complete specialization courses (12 cr.):

Students must complete a minimum of 12 credits of specialization courses within the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies. Choose from one of the four specialization areas: (1) Outdoor Interpretation, (2) Resource Management, (3) Outdoor Leadership, (4) Outdoor Recreation. Course selection must be approved by graduate advisor.

Complete electives to reach the required minimum 35 graduate-level credits. (3 – 6 cr.)

Select electives with approval of advisor.

Special Opportunities

Graduate academic appointments are available for students pursuing graduate studies in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies. Selection criteria for a graduate assistantship or associate instructorship include scholarship records, experience, previous graduate work, and letters of recommendation. Duties for a student academic appointment may involve assisting faculty with teaching, research, or other departmental duties; teaching classes; working in the Division of Recreational Sports; or other special assignments.


The purpose of the master's program in outdoor recreation is to provide students with the skills necessary for successful careers in the development and implementation of experiences that promote meaningful and healthy relationships between people and the outdoors.

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