2 bicyclists riding on a country road

Recreation, Sport & Tourism

Promote environmental stewardship. Lead social and economic development. Study management and marketing.

5-Year BS/MS Option

The Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism (RST) offers an integrated and accelerated program for outstanding students that combines a bachelor’s and master’s degree, referred to as the 5-year BS/MS option. This option can be completed in less time than is required for the two degrees separately. The 5-year BS/MS option is designed to provide students with the academic and professional skills needed to succeed in the recreation, sport and tourism industry.

RST majors with a GPA of 3.5 are eligible to apply at the beginning of their junior year. Accepted students will then work on both degrees simultaneously and will receive both degrees at the same time, once all requirements for each have been completed. Although their degrees will not officially be awarded, students may participate in the bachelor’s graduation ceremonies once they have completed the 120 credit-hour requirement for that degree.

For more information, contact Dr. Toni Liechty.

RST BS-MS Application Information

BS-MS applications are accepted until October 6

A Complete BS-MS Application Includes:

  • Online Graduate College Application
  • Personal Statement
  • Academic Statement of Purpose
  • Resume
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Unofficial Transcripts
  • Pre-requisite requirement: 3.5 GPA

BS-MS Application Instructions

Online Application: Once you log in, the BS-MS application is located under the Recreation, Sport and Tourism (RST) section.

Proposed Program Information Section:

  • Select "Recreation Sport and Tourism" as the proposed program.
  • Select "Recreation Sport and Tourism – BS/MS" as the degree.
  • Select the semester that you start your BS/MS - this will be the term that you start your BS/MS portion.

Academic History Section:

  • Fill out the requested information on all of the universities you have attended or are currently attending.
  • Upload unofficial transcripts (your own copies) from all colleges you have attended, including community colleges.

Test Scores Section:

Test scores (ex: GRE) are not required.

Resume Section:

In this section, please upload a current version of your resume or CV.

Academic Statement of Purpose Section:

All applicants will be required to submit both an academic statement and a personal statement. 

Academic Statement

Please write a statement that answers the following questions (1,000 words max):

  1. How has your academic and professional background, including any professional training, prepared you for graduate study?
  2. How will our program help you achieve your intellectual and professional goals?
  3. What are your academic interests, and why do you wish to pursue graduate studies in this specific program?

In addition, all applicants will be required to answer questions about their personal experiences and goals:

Personal Statement Section:

You will be asked to respond to the following:

The University of Illinois strives to cultivate graduates and future alumni to be responsible citizens and leaders who value knowledge, creativity, global awareness, and social and cultural understanding. We invite applicants to describe their potential contribution to the institution and alignment with our strategic priorities to create "an institution committed to excellence in discovery, teaching, and research, and a climate where all can achieve their highest aspirations in a safe and welcoming environment."

Short Personal Statements 1 & 2 (required from all applicants - 250 words max)

1. Please describe any experiences and/or challenges that may have shaped your intellectual and personal development. 

2. Provide insight into your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect in which scholars with diverse perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and collaborate productively and positively.

All applicants will also be presented with the following short answer essay questions; their responses are optional.

Optional Personal Statements 3 & 4 (responses are optional - 250 words max)

3. Please address any concerns you may have in your application. If, for example, you do not believe that your academic credentials demonstrate your true capabilities, please explain why. Also, describe any gaps in your academic career and work experience or any extenuating circumstances in your profile of which the admissions committee should be made aware. 

4. If there is something that you would like to highlight that you have yet to discuss in other areas of the application, please do so here.

If programs wish to request additional statements from applicants, they may do so in a program-specific essay that will appear on the Program Essays page. For the programs currently requesting a program-specific essay, we will reach out to you separately regarding any updates that will need to be made for the 2024 application. Please note that these statements will need to be reviewed by the Graduate College, and we will seek advice from legal counsel before they can be added to the graduate application.

References Section:

  • Three letters of recommendation are required. At least two of the letters should be from faculty, either within or outside RST.
  • You do not have to wait for your letters to be complete to submit your application. The letters will automatically update when they are sent to the online system. It is recommended to submit your application well before the deadline, even if your letters of recommendation have not been submitted yet.

Application Fees

After you submit your online application, you will be prompted to pay a non-refundable application fee ($70 for domestic applicants, $90 for international applicants). Your application will not be reviewed until this fee has been paid. If you do not pay your application fee within 3 weeks of submitting your application, your application will be not be submitted. If you believe you may qualify for a need-based application fee waiver, contact us at tliechty@illinois.edu for assistance.

Apply now!

Contact Information

  • Toni Liechty
  • Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism
  • 1206 S. Fourth Street
  • Champaign, IL 61820
  • Phone: (217) 300-0105
  • tliechty@illinois.edu