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Master of Public Health | (Parks and Recreation)

Master of Public Health

The parks and recreation movement in the United States has held within its core values the protection of open spaces and healthy recreational activity as a means of promoting the health and well-being of the public and enhancing social justice.

The IU Online Master of Public Health in Parks and Recreation explores the linkages between recreation and public health, while teaching administrative and leadership skills for developing, delivering, and administering recreational programs with public health outcomes in mind. As a student in this program, you master competencies in core areas of public health including epidemiology, biostatistics, social and behavioral sciences, environmental health, and health policy and management.

The IU Online MPH in Parks and Recreation prepares you to work within the parks, recreation, and leisure delivery systems in both the built and natural environment to promote the health of the public, in such careers as:

  • Park agency director
  • Program coordinator 
  • Municipal park superintendent  
  • Proprietor of private recreation operations
  • State park program director 
  • Local health department associate 
  • Health and human services agent 
  • Health department personnel 

Degree Requirements

To graduate with the MPH in Parks and Recreation, you must complete a minimum of 44 credit hours. The MPH in Parks and Recreation is a non-thesis degree, but does require a 3 credit hour field experience of practical application of public health principles under the supervision of a qualified preceptor. As a part-time student (two courses per semester), you can complete the degree in four years. In addition to the core curriculum, you complete graduate certificate coursework in one of three areas: gerontology and health, sexual and reproductive health, or safety management.

Requirements are broken down as follows:

  • MPH core courses (20 credit hours) 
  • Parks and recreation core concentration courses (12 credit hours) 
  • Additional core graduate certificate courses (12-15 credit hours) 


To be accepted to this program, you must have:
  1. A bachelor's degree

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:

Complete an online application that includes:

  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose (600 words or less)
  • Resume
  • GRE scores
  • TOEFL score (minimum 80) or IELTS score (minimum 7) - international students only 


SPH-O 510 Human Health, Quality of Life, and Natural Environments 3 Credits
SPH-R 510 Philosophy of Leisure and Recreation 3 Credits
SPH-R 512 Administrative Theory and Management Practices in Leisure Services 3 Credits
SPH-R 585 or SPH-R 550 Leisure as a Determinant of Public Health (SPH-R 585) -or- Special Concerns in Parks and Recreation (SPH-R 550) 3 Credits
SPH-R 691 Readings in Recreation: Professional Development Seminar 1 1 Credit
SPH-R 691 Readings in Recreation: Professional Development Seminar 2 1 Credit
SPH-R 696 MPH Field Experience in Parks and Recreation 3 Credits
SPH-R 698 MPH Culminating Experience in Parks and Recreation 3 Credits
SPH-X 601 Assessment and Public Health 3 Credits
SPH-X 650 Evidence-Based Approaches to Public Health 3 Credits
SPH-X 660 Population Health Determinates 3 Credits
SPH-X 685 Public Health Policy and Politics 3 Credits

Find course descriptions with our Search Schedule of Classes/Courses tool.

Tuition & Fees

Cost for Indiana Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $518.62
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1555.86
Note:  Additional fees will apply.
Cost for Out of State Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $621.98
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1865.94