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Recreation Studies Program

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About the Program

The graduate Recreation Studies program is designed to prepare students to work in administration of park and recreation programs and facilities, collegiate recreation, university teaching, research and extension, outdoor recreation and education, ecotourism and adventure travel operations and guide services, and leisure and recreation program development and evaluation. The program combines course-work and hands-on, practical learning experiences. Experiential-based learning components are present in many of the courses offered.

In addition to being well-known for our Recreation Management and Outdoor Recreation & Education specializations, we also welcome students interested in focusing their studies in other areas such as sustainable tourism, inclusive recreation, gerontology, and others. An additional specialization in Campus Recreation is currently being developed. Our cohort of students is an ideal size, as each entering master's class has approximately a dozen students. Small classes help foster discussion in and out of the classroom with our faculty and students. We have impressive facilities available for learning opportunities. Our program is housed in Grover Center, with "smart" classrooms, a café, and a wellness center. The Recreation Studies program also relies on a variety of Campus Recreation facilities for instructional and learning experiences, including the Ping Student Recreation Center, the Golf and Tennis Center, Bird (Ice) Arena, the Aquatic Center, and the Challenge Course. The strong connection that we enjoy with the Division of Campus Recreation allows us to capitalize on learning opportunities beyond the four walls of the traditional classroom.

Beyond required course-work, students may choose courses of personal interest; take advantage of opportunities provided through independent study; or earn credit hours by completing meaningful certification or other training at other colleges, universities, or at professional conferences and meetings. Each student works with an advisor to develop a personal plan of study that meets his or her unique interests and professional goals.

The program may be completed in one year, followed by comprehensive examinations, or it may be extended to a two-year program that is research oriented and culminates in a master's thesis or project.


Applications are accepted year-round.Typically, applications for both admission and financial aid for the next academic year should be received by February 15.

Program Requirements

Curriculum Components


Recreation Studies Core


Areas of Specialization




Capstone Experience





For a full list of recommended and required courses, click HERE.


For more information, please contact:
Dr. Bruce Martin
Program Coordinator, Recreation Studies
Patton College of Education
Grover Center E160
Athens, OH 45701