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Recreation Management

Student working on computer

Faculty members in the graduate program promote the richness of diversity and create a truly inclusive learning community. Affiliation with practitioners brings innovative content to the classes, and the strong alumni connection provides continued professional development support and job opportunities.

Students prepare for administrative careers utilizing strategic management skills to coordinate recreation and leisure services in a variety of settings.

 Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following:

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Jan Hodges
Jowers Center (JOW), Room A173

“This program helped me to get back in the game of learning and understanding the trends and issues in the field. My association with this program has opened up so many doors for me, and I am extremely grateful.”

— Deidre Flores, M.S.R.L.S. ’14

Course Work

Master of science in recreation and leisure studies (M.S.R.L.S.) students may choose either thesis or non-thesis degree routes. The non-thesis option, intended for students who are interested in extending their professional expertise, requires 36 hours of course work in recreation management theory and practice. Students will engage in an independent study or research project to enhance their career specialization. The 30-hour thesis option is best suited to students who have an undergraduate degree in recreation and/or professional work experience. This option includes recreation management course work and thesis credit. Electives in both options are determined in concert with faculty to enhance the students’ specific goals within the profession.

Degree Hours Thesis Option Minor Option
M.S.R.L.S. 36 Non-Thesis No minor
M.S.R.L.S. 30 Thesis No minor
Jowers Center building

Graduate students in leisure services include students coming straight from their undergraduate internship to seasoned working professionals seeking career advancement. This variety enhances the peer and shared learning environment.

Program Mission

The recreation management program at Texas State University focuses on innovative and evidence-based professional preparation to ready students for many different careers within the leisure services profession. Adhering to values of real-world experience, diversity, and evidence-based practices, the recreation management program prepares professionals to meet the ever-changing needs of constituents. The goals are to prepare graduates who will lead the advancement of leisure services through innovative programming, professional service, and research.

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Program Faculty

Faculty members of the M.S.R.L.S. program are involved in research pertaining to professional competencies, management issues, recreation education, serving diverse constituencies, and understanding leisure spaces. Publishing faculty regularly serve in professional leadership roles for continuing education and professional associations. Faculty diversity is supported by adjunct graduate faculty who also hold prominent professional positions, bringing current professional practice to the curriculum.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

The professional recreation manager works in diverse settings such as youth-serving agencies, churches, campus or military recreation, and governmental park and recreation services. Graduates may seek such credentials as a certified park and recreation professional or registry of collegiate recreational sports professionals.

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements

Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall - Priority February 1 February 1
Fall - Standard June 15 June 1
Spring October 15 October 1
Summer I April 15 March 15
Summer II June 1 No Admission

Application Deadline
This program has a flexible deadline, which means applications received after the posted deadline may be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, with no guarantees for admission consideration.

Funding Information
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.

Application Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.


  Review important information about the online application.

Application Fee(s)

  • $55 nonrefundable application fee
  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

  Review important information about application fees.

Transcripts & GPA

  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 2.75 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)

  Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

GRE Scores

  • GRE not required


  • statement of purpose (maximum 500 words) addressing the following:
    • What experiences have led you to pursue graduate studies in recreation management?
    • What qualities, values, characteristics do you possess that will enable you to meet the academic rigors of graduate education?
    • What are your career goals relating to obtaining a master’s degree?

  Review important information about documents.


Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

  Review important information about official test scores.