Graduate Academic Programs

Master's Degree Programs

Online Master of Science in Recreation Degree (M.S.R.), Outdoor Recreation

Description of Program

The Online 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 Health & Wellness Design. 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 the following list of requirements:

Public Health Foundations Requirement (0 credits)
All new master's degree students must complete the Public Health Foundations online course no later than the end of their first semester of graduate study. Complete details and registration information for this course can be found

Outdoor Recreation Foundation Courses (15–20 credits)
Complete each of the following courses:

  • SPH-Q 501 Introduction to Statistics in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-O 510 Human Health, Quality of Life, and Natural Environments (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 510 Philosophy of Leisure and Recreation (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 512 Admin. Theory & Practice in Leisure Services (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 590 Introduction to Research in Health & Wellness Design (3 cr.)

Capstone Courses (2–5 credits)
Complete one of the following courses:

  • SPH-R 598 Master's Project in Administration (2–4 cr.)
  • SPH-R 599 Master's Thesis (5 cr.)
  • SPH-R 697 Professional Internship (2-4 cr.)

Specialization Courses (12 credits)
Students must complete a minimum of 12 credits of specialization courses within the Department of Health & Wellness Design. 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.

Remaining Electives (3 – 6 cr.)
Complete electives to reach the required minimum 35 graduate-level credits. Electives must be selected with advisor approval

Special Opportunities

Graduate academic appointments are available for students pursuing graduate studies in the Department of Health & Wellness Design. 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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