Course Information Suite

Programs of Study: Undergrad

Recreation, Sport & Tourism

Head of the Department: Laurence Chalip
Director of Graduate Studies: Carla Santos
Graduate Coordinator: Jill Gurke
104 Huff Hall
1206 South Fourth Street
Champaign, IL 61821
(217) 333-4410
E-mail: or

Major: Recreation, Sport & Tourism
Degrees Offered: M.S., Ph.D.

Online Program: Recreation, Sport & Tourism
Degrees Offered: M.S.

Graduate Degree Programs

The Department of Recreation, Sport & Tourism offers programs of study leading to the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The Master of Science program educates students about leisure behavior, public parks and recreation systems, sport and tourism, in various private and semipublic settings providing leisure services. The M.S. degree may be undertaken as a terminal professional track program or serve as the first step toward the Ph.D. program. The Ph.D. program is, in general, designed to develop educators and research personnel in the study of leisure behavior, the management of recreation, tourism, and sport systems that provide leisure services, or both.


The Graduate College admission requirements apply. Specifically, the admission requirements are a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (A = 4.0) for the last two years of undergraduate work and any graduate work completed. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for all graduate degrees. A minimum score of 610 is required on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (253 on the computer-based test). Students are also required to provide a statement of purpose outlining their area of study, and three letters of reference. Preference is given to applicants who will be full-time students and active degree candidates. Students may be admitted for the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

Degree Requirements

*For additional details and requirements for all degrees, please refer to the department's Graduate Degree Requirements Handbook and the Graduate College Handbook.

Master of Science

Required Courses: Thesis option - Required Hours Non-thesis option - Required Hours
RST 512, 515, 516   12
Restricted electives 16 8
RST 501 and 503 8 8
RST 502 or 520 or 530 4 4
RST 590 (twice) 0 0
Thesis Hours Required– RST 599 (min/max applied toward degree): 8  
Total Hours 36 36
Minimum Hours Overall Required Within the Unit:
12 at the 500 level 12 at the 500 level
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall:
16 16
Other Requirements:*    
Minimum GPA: 3.0 3.0

A candidate for the M.S. degree must spend at least one semester on campus. A full-time student can complete the program in three or four semesters.

Doctor of Philosophy

Required Courses: Required Hours
RST 550 and 551 8
RST 590 (required every semester on campus) 0
Departmental coursework to support specialization 12
Coursework outside department to support specialization 16
Advanced research methods to support specialization 12
Thesis Hours Required – RST 599 (min/max applied toward degree): 32
Total Hours 80
Other Requirements:*  
Two years in residence  
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD? Yes
Qualifying Exam Required No
Preliminary Exam Required Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required Yes

Departmental requirements include satisfactory performance on the written preliminary examination at the completion of formal coursework, the oral preliminary examination on the proposed research for the thesis, and a final examination in defense of the doctoral thesis.

Online Program

See requirements above for non-thesis option of the Master of Science.

Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in this program. It is also anticipated that doctoral students will engage in research activities and scholarly communication under the guidance of their Advisor.

Financial Aid

The department offers quarter-time and half-time assistantships in teaching, administration, and research, as well as tuition and fee waivers and the opportunity to apply for fellowships.