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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

Information Zoom session on Wednesday November 17, 2021 at 7:30 CST

Our MS in RST-Online program will have an information Zoom session on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at 7:30 CST.  We invite you to this event.  We will be covering the following about our MS in RST-Online program:

  • Introduction/focus to the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism
  • Why pursue the MS in RST-Online program
  • Coursework offered
  • Leadership possibilities after graduation
  • Admission requirements
  • Q & A

Our upcoming application deadline for the spring semester is December 9, 2021. Our spring semester will start Wednesday January 5, 2022.
Please join us!  You can register here.

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


Eva Schmidt

Alumni Perspectives

Shannon Elsey

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 2022

  • Application deadline: December 9, 2021
  • First 8 week courses: 1/05/2022 - 3/01/2022
  • Second 8 week courses: 3/02/2022 - 4/26/2022

To apply for a graduate degree program in Recreation, Sport and Tourism, please visit this page.

Required and Elective Courses

Required Courses

Code Course
RST 501-Concepts & Applications in RST

Hours: 4

RST 512-Managing RST Organizations

Hours: 4

RST 515-Marketing in RST

Hours: 4

RST 516-Finance & Budgeting

Hours: 4

RST 519-Strategic Management

Hours: 4

Total Hours: 20

Required Emphasis Area Coursework

Select one of the following courses

Code Course
RST 502-Critical Issues in Recreation Hours

Hours: 4

RST 520-Critical Issues in Sport

Hours: 4

RST 530-Critical issues in Tourism

Hours: 4

Total Hours: 4

Graduate Electives

Select three of the following courses


Code Course
RST-503 Advanced Research Methods

Hours: 4

RST-518 Event Management

Hours: 4

RST-594 Park Planning and Design

Hours: 4

RST 593-Special Problems

Hours: 4

Total Hours: 12

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 2021-2022 academic year is $712 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 2021


For more information, contact Timothy Tiger, Student Services Adviser, or call 217-333-3629

Online Graduate Handbook

You can download the Online Graduate Handbook by following this link.

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