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Master of Science in Recreation with an emphasis in Recreation Management Online

Prepare for leadership roles in the exciting and evolving realm of municipal, nonprofit, and public recreation organizations.

02/24/23 Next Application Due Date
03/13/23 Next Class Start Date


Insights into Our Online Recreation Management Degree

Gain an in-depth understanding of fast-moving, increasingly complex recreational challenges in the M.S. in Recreation Management online program. Deepen your credentials for leading programs in youth and municipal organizations, parks and recreation departments—and more.

$10,500 Total Tuition
As few as 12 months Program Duration
30 Credit Hours

In this online recreation master's program, you will study facility design and management, recreation programming, commercial recreation, and athletics for active adults. Our core coursework covers broader topics such as data analytics, risk management, grant writing, and human resources.

Our curriculum is aligned with the requirements for Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification, which is essential for high-level employment in the industry. Plus, our online students may join campus associations and student organizations—such as the Health Science and Wellness Future Professionals—to broaden networking opportunities with peers.

Recreation management career opportunities include:

  • Camp Director
  • Municipal Recreation Director
  • Youth Sports Director/Administrator
  • Nonprofit Sports Manager

Have questions or need more information about our online programs?

Also available

Northwest offers a variety of specialized online degree options. Check out our other online graduate programs.

Tuition and Fees

Find Out How and When to Pay Your Tuition

Our M.S. in Recreation online programs offer affordable, pay-by-the-course tuition, which is the same for in-state and out-of-state students. All fees are included.

$350 Per Credit Hour
$10,500 Program Tuition*

View full tuition breakdown

Program Per Credit Hour Per Course Per Program
M.S. in Recreation – Recreation Management $350 $1,050 $10,500

Important Refund Information

2nd day of class Last date for 100% refund for dropped course
4th day of class Last date for 75% refund for dropped course
6th day of class Last date for 50% refund for dropped course
8th day of class Last date for 25% refund for dropped course

*Tuition and fees are subject to change. Current amounts are based on 2020-21 tuition rates. Textbooks and laptops are not included with tuition.

Northwest Missouri State University is ranked #1 among the "Best Online Colleges in Missouri" by SR Education Group (2019).


Important Dates for Our Students

Northwest online programs are delivered in an accelerated format ideal for working professionals, conveniently featuring multiple start dates each year.

02/24/23 Next Application Due Date
03/13/23 Next Class Start Date

View full calendar

Term Program Start Date Application Deadline Document Deadline Registration Deadline Payment Due Last Class Day
Spring 1 01/11/23 01/03/23 01/03/23 01/04/23 01/06/23 03/03/23
Spring 2 03/13/23 02/24/23 03/01/23 03/07/23 03/08/23 04/28/23
Summer 1 05/09/23 04/25/23 04/28/23 05/02/23 05/04/23 06/23/23
Summer 2 06/26/23 06/09/23 06/14/23 06/16/23 06/21/23 08/11/23
Fall 1 08/21/23 08/07/23 08/10/23 08/14/23 08/16/23 10/06/23
Fall 2 10/16/23 10/02/23 10/05/23 10/09/23 10/11/23 12/01/23

Ready to take the next step toward earning your degree online from Northwest?


Follow Our Streamlined Program Admission Requirements

At Northwest, we've streamlined the admission process to help you get started quickly and easily. Please read the requirements for the M.S. in Recreation – Recreation Management online program, including what additional materials you need and where you should send them. The requirements include:

Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
Official transcripts from all institutions attended

View all admission requirements

To apply for this program, you must meet these requirements:

  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.75 on the undergraduate transcript from a regionally accredited institution OR an undergraduate overall GPA of 2.50 to 2.74 from a regionally accredited institution and a 3.0 GPA on six hours of required graduate coursework at Northwest in the major program where admission is requested.
  • Documentation of ONE of the following:
    • Score of 280 or higher on GRE combined score
    • OR

    • 3.0 Overall undergraduate GPA
    • OR

    • Two years of documented full-time employment (minimum average 30 hours per week) in the field of study
    • OR

    • Successful completion of another master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with at least a 2.75 GPA

If you are a non-Missouri student, you should determine whether this program fits the certification requirements for your state.

Official transcripts can be emailed to [email protected]. To submit official documents by mail, send them to:

Graduate Records Specialist
Northwest Missouri State University
800 University Drive
Maryville, MO 64468-6001

Have a question? Call us at 844-890-9304 844-890-9304.

Click here for State Authorization information.


A Look at the Online Recreation Management Curriculum

For the M.S. in Recreation – Recreation Management online program, the curriculum is comprised of 10 courses (30 credit hours), including 18 credit hours of core courses and 12 credit hours of emphasis courses.

Expand All [+]

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Familiarizes the student with appropriate assessment/evaluation techniques as they are utilized in various leisure service settings. Techniques related to the delivery of recreation programs, park and recreation resources, and personnel are reviewed. Emphasis is placed on those assessment/evaluation skills used by leisure professionals to determine the extent to which programmatic and organizational goals and objectives have been achieved.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Designed to familiarize students with tasks common to mid-level managers in the field. Offers opportunities to confront ethical issues and discuss possible solutions in the context of information learned in the course.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

An introduction to present-day methods and techniques of research, applicable to the fields of health, physical education and recreation.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Basic foundation of data analysis covering descriptive and inferential statistics and how to use these to improve practice and research and to appropriately assess findings. Covers both parametric and nonparametric applications to the health, physical education, recreation and dance fields.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Designed to give students a basic understanding of their legal responsibilities as teachers, coaches, trainers and recreation professionals to provide a safe environment for those they serve and to develop an understanding of the law and how it may apply to the rights of students, special populations, women and coworkers.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Acquaints students with the vocabulary, concept and practices in the study of grants administration and management. Enables practicing the skills necessary in obtaining outside funding and provides awareness of the individual roles and agencies within public funding.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

A study of the types of facilities utilized in recreation settings, including the aspects of the planning process, design, financing, needs assessment, facility management and maintenance.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

An introduction to the scope, characteristics, development, management aspects and trends within the commercial recreation industry, including the delivery of goods, services, amenities, facilities and entrepreneurship.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course offers students opportunities to explore how to strengthen the quality of programming through grounding them in recreational theories and concepts. Students will learn how to better design recreational experiences, increase participation rates, document outcomes and raise revenues for their agencies. Course content will expand on basic programming concepts and include higher level, philosophical and critical thinking of how to best meet the needs of the persons served while providing them with what they want.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

The course explores the role of leisure in healthy older adult development. Students will acquire a basic understanding of leisure for the current older adult cohort, Baby Boomers and future elders. Students will explore leisure services and settings, critically analyzing how history has and will shape the leisure behaviors of seniors.

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