2 bicyclists riding on a country road

Recreation, Sport & Tourism

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


Foster healthy lifestyles with a career in the world’s largest industries. As a student in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, you will learn from award winning faculty, work alongside world-class researchers, and gain hands-on, practical skills in your courses, study tours, site visits, and internships with related professional organizations. We offer undergraduate and graduate programs on campus, as well as two exciting online programs: our Online Master of Science in Recreation, Sport and Tourism and our Professional Certificate.

The core courses provide a strong foundation in theory and managerial principles. Select an area of concentration to complement your interests.


Friday, October 15, 2021

10:00 am - 1:30 pm via Zoom (CST)

Register here

Deadline for submissions:
End of day, Tuesday, October 12th

The College of Applied Health Sciences (AHS) is holding its annual Ph.D. Recruitment Day on Friday, October 15 from 10:00am – 1:30pm via Zoom. Please attend to learn more about the exciting Ph.D. degree options in AHS. We offer doctoral studies in very relevant and marketable fields such as Community Health, Kinesiology, Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, and Speech and Hearing Science.

The recruitment day will include helpful information about admissions, financial aid, and career prospects. You will also hear from current doctoral students about their reasons for choosing AHS and their experiences of being in a doctoral program. In addition, you will visit your program of choice to learn specifics about the application process and speak with faculty concerning their research.

Call Ms. Sally Marshall at (217) 333-2131 for more information.




Greetings from RST | Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at Illinois

The Experience

As part of the College of Applied Health Sciences, the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism offers programs of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels leading to Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Our graduates are found in our nation's park districts, forest preserves, amateur and professional sports industries, resorts, bureaus of tourism, educational institutions, and universities.

Our faculty scholars study the changing leisure needs of our society. The Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism is dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities through research that has an impact, educational programs that address both theory and practice, and outreach activities that make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.

Significance of the Industry

Faculty and staff of the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism (RST) at the University of Illinois work to advance knowledge about the choices that people make for their discretionary time throughout the lifespan, including outcomes of those choices at personal, family, community, and institutional levels. RST faculty and staff apply their expertise to enhance the delivery of leisure services, recognizing that recreation, sport and tourism are synergistic elements of a unique and multifaceted industry. RST appreciates the significance of play, the contribution of arts, and the value of diversity. The research and engagement of RST foster healthy lifestyles, environmental stewardship, effective management and marketing of organizations, and social and economic development of communities.

What Will I do?

A degree in Recreation, Sport and Tourism will transform you into a leader in the unique and multifaceted leisure services industry. Our graduates are regularly placed in highly selective and desirable internships and careers across the field and throughout the globe, and enjoy one of the industry’s most extensive and impressive alumni networks for the remainder of their professional lives.

Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism Graduate Program

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. Kim Shinew.

Take a look at where our alumni are working:

  • American Airlines

  • Arista Records

  • Boise Park System

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America

  • Charlotte Hornets

  • Chicago Blackhawks

  • Darden Restaurants

  • Denver Sports Commission

  • Environmental Protection Agency

  • Hilton Hotels Corporation

  • Illinois Department of Human Services

  • John Elway Corporation

  • Lake County Forest Preserve District

  • Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

  • Los Angeles Zoo

  • McCormick Place

  • Meadows Country Club

  • Motorola

  • National Park Service

  • New England Patriots

  • Norwegian Cruise Lines

  • National Collegiate Athletic Association

  • NFL Network

  • Pac 12 Sports Network

  • PGA

  • Proctor & Gamble

  • SmithBucklin

  • St. Louis Cardinals

  • Ticketmaster

  • United Way

  • United States Olympic Committee

  • Vail Recreation District

  • Youth for Understanding

On October 28th, as part of this year's Sapora Symposium, a panel met to discuss the life and times of Lou Henson. You can play the recording above.

Follow this link to see the schedule of events for this year's Sapora Symposium.

The Cutting Edge Symposium

George Cunningham, Corey Johnson, Christine BuzindeIn the Fall of 2020, the Department of RST launched a new monthly symposium series highlighting cutting-edge research in recreation, sport, and tourism and featuring research talks from prominent scholars in the field. The series continues in the Spring of 2021.

Spring 2021 Speaker Line-up

February 19: George Cunningham

March 19: Corey Johnson

April 16: Christine Buzinde

See the videos from the Cutting Edge lecture series. Note: password required.

Awards & Scholarships

Get Started with AHS

It’s a great time to join AHS. Build your career making a difference.