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Master of Science in Recreation Administration

Graduate study in Recreation Administration prepares students for advanced careers in the field of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. Through a combination of online and traditional classroom instruction, students will explore the theoretical foundations of the field while developing the administrative and management skills needed to become managers of private, commercial, and public recreation agencies. Students may also focus on research design and methodology in preparation for a research-based position and/or doctoral studies.


Students seeking admission to the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies graduate program must have an undergraduate degree and a desire for graduate study. Applicants must apply for admission to the Recreation and Leisure Studies department in addition to being admitted by Enrollment Services. The following items must be submitted to the Recreation and Leisure Studies Graduate Coordinator:

1. A copy of the CSULB graduate application

2. Official test scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test. While no specific cut-off scores are required on either the verbal or the quantitative sections, applicants must score a "4" or higher on the analytic writing section of the GRE.

3. A current resume that describes the applicant's academic achievements (including honors and awards), extracurricular activities, as well as relevant work, internship and volunteer experiences.

4. Three letters of recommendation from persons able to testify to the student's academic ability, preferably from former professors.

5. A personal statement addressing the following: (a) academic and professional goals; (b) a description of academic and professional experience; and (c) purpose for pursuing graduate study.


Applicants for graduate study in Recreation and Leisure Studies must meet the following prerequisites.

1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited university with a major or minor in recreation and leisure studies or related discipline. Students with Bachelor's degrees from non-related majors who meet all other prerequisites should contact the graduate coordinator for an evaluation.

2. A student must have an overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) in their major or minor of 3.0 or better. Students who have an overall GPA less than a 3.0, but present acceptable evidence of professional potential either through recent academic performance and/or experiental background, may be admitted by special action of the Department's Graduate Committee.


Graduate students in recreation and leisure studies are expected to:

1. Maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA in all graduate work competed at CSULB and all graduate work transferred to meet graduate requirements.

2. Maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree objective.

Advancement to Candidacy

To be advanced to candidacy, recreation and leisure studies graduate students must successfully achieve the following:

1. Satisfactory completion of the graduate writing assessment requirement (GWAR; GRE analytical writing section).

2. Minimum of 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA in all units undertaken for the approved program of study.

3. Satisfactory completion of the following courses with a "B" or better grade: REC 571, Philosophy, Issues, and Trends and REC 696, Research Methodology.

4. Approval of the Graduate Coordinator and the Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Services.

5. Enrolled in the semester in which the advancement to candidacy takes place.


Completion of the Master of Science in Recreation Administration requires 30 units of post-baccalaureate course work to include the following.

1. Take 15 units of the following core courses (15):

  • REC 521, Recreation Administration (3)
    Prerequisites: None
  • REC 571, Philosophy, Issues, and Trends (3)
    Prerequisites: None
  • REC 591, Research Proposal Writing (3)
    Prerequisites: REC 571 and REC 595, and REC 696
  • REC 595, Data Analysis in Recreation Administration (3)
    Prerequisites: REC 571 and REC 696
  • REC 696, Research Methodology (3)
    Prerequisites: none

2. Complete 12 units of graduate advisor approved electives (12)

3. Complete the graduate experience in one of three ways (3):

  • REC 697, Directed Studies (3)


  • REC 692, Directed Project (1-3)


  • REC 698, Thesis (1-3)

Students interested in pursuing leadership roles in the field of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism may wish to choose either REC 692 or REC 697 as their graduate experience. Students interested in pursuing a doctorate or research based positions within the field may wish to choose REC 698 as their graduate experience.

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