2 bicyclists riding on a country road

Recreation, Sport & Tourism

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

Online Master of Science in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism

3 students studying with laptops outdoors on the Illinois quad

About Our Degree Program

The online Master of Science degree from the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism provides you a quality and highly accessible education, ensuring that you are prepared to meet the changing requirements of the recreation, sport and tourism industry.

  • High ranking program and university

  • Graduate in 18 months

  • Ideal for working professionals

  • Cost effective compared to other online programs

  • 100% online delivery; no campus visit required

  • 36 credit, non-thesis degree

  • No GRE scores required

  • No background in RST required

  • No additional cost for out-of-state or international students

  • Federal financial aid available

Alumni Perspectives

Shannon Elsey is the Superintendent of Recreation for the Oak Brook Terrace Park District which provides Park and Recreation Services for Oak Brook Terrace. Shannon graduated from the University of Illinois with an online Masters degree in RST in May of 2015.


“The University of Illinois Online Master of Science in Recreation, Sport and Tourism program provided me a valuable opportunity to pursue a graduate degree while continuing to work full-time on growing my career in college athletics administration. I was able to take the knowledge and skills that I gained during my master’s program and immediately implement them with my employer. My Illinois degree has opened doors and provided essential tools to assist me in earning promotions as I continue to advance in my career as a college athletics administrator. The flexibility of the program, along with great communication from faculty and staff, creates a perfect situation for a working sports professional to pursue a master’s degree”

  • Chris Lynn
  • Associate AD - Development
  • Louisiana Tech University

Important Dates

Spring 2020

  • Application deadline: December 12, 2019
  • First 8 week courses: 1/1/2020 - 2/25/2020
  • Second 8 week courses: 2/26/2020 - 4/21/2020

Summer 2020

  • Application deadline: April 15, 2020
  • First 8 week courses: 4/29/2020 - 6/23/2020
  • Second 8 week courses: 6/24/2020 - 8/18/2020

Fall 2020

  • Application deadline: August 15, 2020
  • First 8 week courses: 8/26/2020 - 10/20/2020
  • Second 8 week courses: 10/21/2020 - 12/15/2020

Suggested Online Electives

Code Course
RST 503 - Advanced Research Methods in RST

Hours: 4

RST 518 - Event Management

Hours: 4

RST 594 - Park Planning and Design

Hours: 4

Tuition and Fees

The RST online MS degree features a flat-rate tuition—no additional cost for out-of-state or international students. Cost of the program for the 2018-2019 academic year is $686 per credit hour including fees. Veteran benefits apply.

Financial aid is available.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree with a cumulative 3.0 GPA (4.0 grading scale) in the last 60 credit hours/two years from a regionally accredited college/university
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement
  • NO GRE is required
  • Application fee
  • For international applicants – Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL iBT – greater than 102; IELTS – greater than 7.0)

Application Checklist for Summer and Fall 2019


For more information, contact Timothy Tiger, Program Coordinator or call 217-333-3629

Contact Us

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