2019-2020 Catalog

Publication date June 2019

Recreation Management - Master of Science

The Master of Science in Recreation Management is a multidisciplinary program of advanced study designed to prepare graduates for careers in the public, private non-profit, and the commercial sectors of the recreation profession. With three curricular options (thesis, graduate project, or internship), the program serves both students with extensive recreation backgrounds and students who are looking to a masters program as their gateway into the recreation field.

Please visit the website that introduces you to the graduate Recreation Management Program, our graduate faculty, and the opportunities at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.


For more information please contact:

Kate Evans, Ph.D.

Thank you for your interest.

"My graduate studies at UWL were exactly what I was looking for - a supportive and encouraging learning environment with enough flexibility to allow me to direct my own studies. The faculty were outstanding, providing me with the right tools and guidance to accomplish everything I desired."

Michael Maningas, 2000 Graduate


The program welcomes students without an undergraduate degree in recreation, but some prerequisite courses may be required. Students may take deficiency courses prior to beginning the graduate program or they may begin the program and take the courses within the first two semesters of their graduate program.

Prerequisite courses include:
REC 301Leadership and Programming in Recreation3
or demonstrated experience in recreation programming
STAT 145Elementary Statistics4
Total Credits7

If all of the above courses have not been previously taken, the recreation graduate program director will determine program deficiencies on an individual basis. The review will be based on previously taken courses as well as prior work experience. The graduate program director also will determine which deficiency courses need to be taken for credit (auditing of courses might also be recommended).


(30 credits)

Required courses (15 credits):

REC 520Revenue Management in Leisure Enterprises3
REC 701Philosophical Foundations of Leisure, Play and Recreation3
REC 710Entrepreneurship in Recreation3
REC 711Management of Leisure Services Organizations3
REC 720Research Methods for Recreation, Parks, and Leisure3
Total Credits15

Research options (6 credits):

Select one:

Option A - thesis
REC 799Research: Master's Thesis6
Option B - graduate project
REC 761Graduate Project in Recreation6
Option C - internship
REC 700Internship in Guided Learning6

Elective courses (9 credits):

Recommended elective graduate courses in the department of recreation management and therapeutic recreation include:

REC 500Planning for Park and Recreation Facilities3
REC 502Risk Management in Leisure Service Organizations3
REC 504Budgeting in the Recreation Enterprise3
REC 581Outdoor Pursuits1-3
REC 780A Comparative Approach to Leisure and Society3
REC 795Independent Study in Recreation1-3
REC 797Special Projects in Recreation Management1-3

Graduate degree requirements

After being admitted to the program of one's choice, candidates for a graduate degree must:

  1. Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
  2. Complete all courses and other program requirements, including residence requirements prescribed for the degree desired in the respective school or college within a seven-year period from the date of initial enrollment.
  3. Earn a minimum of 30 credits for a master's degree; 54 credits for a doctorate or post-master's degree. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (700, 800, 900, and non-slash 600 level courses).
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. Satisfy dissertation, thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects and internships, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A dissertation or thesis approved by the committee must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval at least two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. However, if the seminar paper or project report is to be archived in Murphy Library, the student must follow the same rules as they apply to the dissertation/thesis requiring approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. For further research/dissertation/thesis guidelines, see the Office of Graduate Studies.
  6. File a completed "Intent to Graduate" form online via the WINGS Student Center immediately following registration for the final semester or summer term in residence. December graduates and winter intersession should file by May 1. May and summer graduates should file by December 1.
  7. Pay the graduation fee and remove all other indebtedness to the university. Payment of graduation fees does not imply readiness for graduation and does not take the place of applying for graduation.
  8. Complete all requirements within 30 days after the official ending date of a term in order for a degree to be awarded for that term. (See #5 above for separate deadline for written capstone experience.)
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