Illinois State University
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Recreation Administration

Our mission in the Recreation Administration graduate sequence is to provide advanced knowledge in recreation management that will prepare students for mid to upper-level management positions in recreation, parks, and tourism.Some students also choose to pursue future graduate study at the doctoral level.We emphasize the role of scholarship and focused disciplinary study. This advanced knowledge prepares our graduates to think conceptually and analytically, and to positively impact professional practices and policies in their field.

Students enrolled in our sequence focus their academic course work on developing the ability to understand and apply theories and practices in the areas of management, marketing, and finance in the public and private sectors. As a culminating experience, our students complete a thesis, professional practice, or an independent study, depending on each student's interest and career goals.

Students in the Recreation Administration graduate sequence will find small class sizes that encourage interaction and discussion, faculty members that are dedicated to supporting students, learningopportunitiesthat connect to real-world professional issues,and top-notchfacilitiesin which to learn. We invite you to learn more about our program and to contact us if you need more information.


Recreation Administration Faculty and Research Interests

Brent Beggs, Ph.D., Indiana University
Recreational sports, field experiences, and leisure behavior

Dan Elkins, Ph.D., Indiana University
Social psychological aspects of leisure behavior, factors contributing to non-participation in leisure activities

Amy Hurd, Ph.D., Indiana University
Management and competencies in professional development in leisure service agencies

Tracy Mainieri, Ph.D., Clemson University
Exploring summer camp as an avenue to youth civic development, program evaluation, youth development

Barbara Schlatter, Ph.D., University of Illinois
Recreation program planning


Recreation Administration Curriculum

In addition to the 6 hour research core required of all graduate students in Kinesiology and Recreation, this sequence requires students to complete 21 hours of graduate-level recreation administration coursework (KNR 453, 466, 472, 473, 474, 475, 476), 3 hours in a cognate area and completion of a culminating experience, both of which are selected by the student and his/her appointed advisor in order to best position the student to succeed in an administrative career in the leisure services industry. The culminating experience consists of a 3-6 credit hour professional practice, a 6 credit hour thesis, or 3 credit hours of independent study. This curriculum is outlined below:

Research Core - 6 hours

  • KNR 497, Introduction to Research Methods
  • KNR 445, Statistics in Applied Science and Technology

Recreation Administration Sequence Core - 21 hours

  • KNR 472, Foundations of Leisure (Even, fall)
  • KNR 474, Concepts and Theories of Leisure and Recreation (Odd, fall)
  • KNR 473, Trends in Issues in Leisure and Recreation (Odd, spring)
  • KNR 475, Management of Sport and Recreation (Every fall)
  • KNR 476, Leadership Development for Leisure Service Professionals (Even, spring)
  • KNR 466, Marketing of Sport and Recreation (Every spring)
  • KNR 453, Facility/Event Management (Every fall)

Cognate Area  3 hours approved by the recreation administration faculty advisor

Culminating Experience - 3-6 hours approved by the recreation administration faculty advisor

  • KNR 499, Thesis, 6 hours
  • KNR 400, Independent Study, 3 hours
  • KNR 498, Professional Practice, 3 hours

Admission to the Recreation Administration Sequence

Applications for admission are first sent to the university graduate school and are then reviewed by the Recreation Administration faculty and the school graduate program coordinator. Admission to the program is competitive and admissions decisions are based on a variety of factors, including undergraduate grade point average, letters of recommendation, past work experiences, and future career goals.

The ideal candidate will have experience (internship or work experience) in a recreation and leisure setting, possess a bachelor's degree in recreation or a related field, have strong undergraduate grades, have strong recommendations, and have a desire to pursue a career in the recreation and leisure service industry. To assure full consideration, completed applications must be filed by February 1 for fall admission. Applications will not be considered until all materials have been received.

Recommended Pattern of Coursework

If you begin the program in the fall of an ODD year, your course work will look like this:

Fall (ODD) Spring Summer Fall Spring
474 476 472 473
497 445 Cognate Culminating Exp.
453 466 475

If you begin the program in the fall of an EVEN year, your course work will look like this:

Fall (EVEN) Spring Summer Fall Spring
472 473 474 476
497 445 Cognate Culminating Exp.
453 466 475


Questions about Recreation Administration? Contact Dr. Tracy Mainieri, Sequence Coordinator.

Recreation Administration Graduate Students

Career Opportunities

Mid to upper-level administration positions in:

  • Park districts and recreation and park departments
  • County, state, and national parks
  • Tourism and/or convention & visitors bureaus
  • Commercial and resort businesses

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Kinesiology and Recreation
Campus Box 5120
250 McCormick Hall
Normal, Il 61790-5120
Phone: (309) 438-8661
Fax: (309) 438-5559

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