• Course Delivery
    100% Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

Recreation Administration, MS in Recreation

Master of Science in Recreation

Because people today spend more time and money on leisure, fitness, sports, and recreation activities than ever before, the job outlook for recreation administration graduates is excellent. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, the average park and recreation agency employs four executive personnel, seven administrative personnel, and three planning/development personnel.

The IU Online Master of Science in Recreation with a major in recreation administration includes coursework in the philosophy of leisure and recreation; human resource management; finance and budget; research in health, kinesiology, and recreation; and statistics in public health. In this non-thesis degree program, students will complete a capstone project involving the application of key principles to an in-depth study of a practical problem, or an experiential internship.

As a student in the program, you prepare for executive and administrative positions, managing recreation and leisure services in a variety of settings, including public agencies, private and commercial organizations, parks, and campus-recreation and military-recreation organizations.

Your IU Online MS in Recreation Administration prepares you for such careers as:

  • Recreation and parks director 
  • Campus recreation program director 
  • Park manager 
  • Facility operations coordinator 

Degree Requirements

To graduate with the MS in Recreation Administration, you must complete a minimum of 35 credit hours. At least 20 of the 35 credit hours must come from the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies.

Requirements are broken down as follows:

  • Recreation administration foundation courses (21 credit hours) 
  • Elective courses (9-12 credit hours) 
  • Capstone experience (2-5 credit hours) 

NOTE: Your elective coursework must be completed in fields of Management and Administration, Theory and Foundations, and Topics and Trends. Electives must be approved by your academic advisor.

You have two options for completing the required capstone experience: (1) an intensive master's project that summarizes the knowledge and skills obtained from coursework, or (2) an internship through which concepts and principles learned from coursework are applied.


  • SPH-Q 501 Introduction to Statistics in Public Health3 Credits
  • SPH-R 510 Philosophy of Leisure and Recreation3 Credits
  • SPH-R 512 --or-- SPH-R 511Administrative Theory and Management Practices in Leisure Services --or-- Organizational Leadership of Leisure Services3 Credits
  • SPH-R 544Legal Aspects of Recreation Administration3 Credits
  • SPH-R 550Special Concerns in Parks and Recreation, TOPIC: Fiscal Management in Recreation Administration3 Credits
  • SPH-R 598 --or-- SPH-R 697Master's Project in Administration --or-- Internships in Recreation and Parks2-4 Credits
  • SPH-X 505 Principles and Foundations of Public Health3 Credits
  • SPH-X 590Introduction to Research in Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation3 Credits
  • EDUC-Y 520Strategies for Educational Inquiry3 Credits
  • SPH-R 524Fundraising for Public and Nonprofit Agencies3 Credits
  • SPH-R 571Recreational Sports Administration3 Credits
  • SPH-R 573Seminar in Recreational Sports2 Credits
  • SPH-R 574Human Resource Management in Recreational Sports3 Credits
  • SPH-R 691Readings in Recreation2-3 Credits
  • SPH-R 693Independent Study and Research3 Credits
  • SPH-R 695Practicum in Recreation and Parks1-3 Credits

Tuition & Fees

Cost for Indiana Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $437.68
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1313.04
Cost for Out of State Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $525.22
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1575.66
Note:  Additional fees will apply.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Earn a quality education

    With more than 120 online degree programs to choose from, Indiana University gives you the opportunity to receive a top-quality education when you want it, where you want it. The faculty who teach our online courses are the same exceptional faculty who teach those courses on our campuses. Whether you're looking for an undergraduate education or want to continue advancing your career with a graduate degree, IU Online’s degree program options have something for everyone.

  • Flexibility

    Online learning gives you the flexibility and freedom to attend your classes whenever and wherever is most convenient for you. You can save time and money by being able to continue to work and by avoiding relocation or travel costs. You will be required to complete assignments in a certain timeframe, but in most instances, you can log in and complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you. Classes aren't tied to a certain time or day.

  • Service you expect from a leading University

    Online learners at Indiana University have access to the same student services available to on-campus students. We're committed to providing you with the quality educational experience students have come to expect and desire from Indiana University, without needing to make sacrifices to the other commitments in your life.