Recreation Management and Policy: Adaptive Sports (M.S.)

Recreation Management and Policy: Adaptive Sports (M.S.)
RMP students playing wheelchair frisbee


A recreation management and policy M.S. with an option in adaptive sports will prepare you for a range of professional opportunities in adaptive sport administration, programming, facilitation, fund development and grant writing, and research/evaluation. You’ll learn how to develop, implement and lead adaptive recreational and competitive sport opportunities for a diverse range of disability populations. The adaptive sport option incorporates the latest theoretical knowledge, technical skills and evidence base for safe and high-quality professional preparation of adaptive sport professionals. You’ll develop the knowledge and skills needed for leadership and management roles that will allow you to help improve quality of life for individuals and groups in your community and beyond.


At UNH, you’ll find an atmosphere of collegiality and collaboration. You’ll also find exceptional opportunities for coursework, fieldwork and research through our partnership with Northeast Passage, a nationally recognized therapeutic recreation and adaptive sports organization, affiliate of Move United, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, and sport-specific governing bodies for adaptive sport certifications, competitions, and standards. Northeast Passage’s Adaptive Sports and Recreation program offers a spectrum of services from entry-level instruction to ongoing recreation and competitive sports opportunities for people with disabilities.


  • Adaptive sports organizations
  • Municipal recreation services
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Parks and recreation Programs
  • Public school programs
  • Rehabilitation hospitals and outpatient clinics
  • Veterans Administration hospitals and military services
  • Youth-based services

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Curriculum & Requirements

The Adaptive Sports Option prepares professionals for middle to upper-level administrative positions within the adaptive sports sector of the field, including positions within parks and recreation departments, rehabilitation hospitals, Veteran’s Administration hospitals and outpatient clinics, non-profits agencies, public school settings, grassroots adaptive sport organizations, national and international adaptive sport organizations, and/or commercial sport and recreation providers.

The Adaptive Sports Option leverages our unique partnership with Northeast Passage, a nationally recognized TR and adaptive sports program associated with the RMP Department, and Chapter of Move United. Graduate students will be exposed to Northeast Passage’s Adaptive Sports and Recreation program, which offers a spectrum of services from entry-level instruction to ongoing recreation and competitive sports opportunities for people with disabilities.

Degree Requirements

The 32-33 credit Adaptive Sports option consists of required and elective coursework. In consultation with a faculty adviser, students will select either a thesis or portfolio track. The core curriculum combines courses in adaptive sports and recreation facilitation, program administration in sport and recreation, law and public policy, non-profit administration and leadership, fund development and grant writing, and a supervised fieldwork experience in an adaptive sports setting. Students develop research competencies through a capstone portfolio or thesis specifically tailored to adaptive sport practice. Students also take one elective course to support desired specialization.

Full-time students typically take up to two years and one summer session to progress through the Adaptive Sport option degree requirements. Part-time students may take longer to complete the degree.

Required Core Competencies
RMP 820Adaptive Sport Facilitation for Recreation Therapy and Related Professions3
RMP 872Law and Public Policy in Leisure Services3
RMP 912Non-Profit Administration and Leadership3
RMP 924Fund Development and Grantwriting3
RMP 963Graduate Field Practicum2
Required Research Competencies
RMP 992Research Methods in Recreation Management and Policy3
SW 962Data Analysis and Statistics3-4
or EDUC 881 Introduction to Statistics: Inquiry, Analysis, and Decision Making
Capstone - choose Thesis or Portfolio track
Thesis Track:
RMP 899
Master's Thesis (Sections I & II - 6 credits total )
Elective Course
Portfolio Track:
RMP 995
Capstone Seminar
Elective Course
Elective Course
Elective Courses (not an all-inclusive list)3-6
EDUC 856
Advocating for Diverse and Inclusive Family-School-Community Partnerships
KIN 865
Advanced Topics in Coaching (highly encouraged)
KIN 881
Inclusion in Physical Education
SW 812
Understanding Developmental Disabilities
SW 897
Special Topics in Social Work and Social Welfare (Mental Health Aspects of IDD)
SW 897
Special Topics in Social Work and Social Welfare (Youth Emotional Behavior)

This graduate program is approved to be taken on an accelerated basis in articulation with certain undergraduate degree programs.

General Accelerated Master's policy, note that some programs have additional requirements (e.g. higher grade expectations) compared to the policy.

Please see the Graduate School website and contact the department directly for more information.

  • Students will know the roles and interrelationships of diverse leisure service delivery systems, as well as professionalism in the discipline.
  • Students will know and apply the psychological, sociological, and social psychological theories and philosophies associated with leisure and recreation behavior.
  • Students will develop the ability to translate and apply relevant theory to park and recreation programs and services.
  • Students will know the historical and cultural perspectives associated with the park and recreation field, and will apply issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion to park and recreation management.
  • Students will apply financial, budgetary, planning, marketing, program evaluation, and human resource knowledge and skills to meet present and future organizational needs and challenges.
  • Students will implement leadership skills that advance the park and recreation profession and broader society.
  • Students will design and conduct research, analyze and interpret data, and apply research findings to the park and recreation profession.
  • Students will explore the interrelationships of allied professions with the park and recreation profession.
  • Students will know how to promote the benefits of recreation and leisure to enhance individual, social, economic, and environmental well-being and quality of life.
  • Students will demonstrate effective conceptual and technical communication skills, both in oral and written form.

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Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • FallIt is recommended to apply early as priority and funding consideration is given to applications received by February 1. Applications accepted until August 1 if space available. Please note that fall 2024 is now full and closed for admissions.
  • SpringIt is recommended to apply early as priority and funding consideration is given to applications received by December 1. Applications accepted until September 1 if space available.
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional:  ME MA RI

Accelerated Masters: Yes (for more details see the accelerated masters information page)

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 2 required

Two separate recommendation letters written by someone who can speak to the applicant’s work and academic performance must be submitted. Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Please provide typed responses to the following questions. Each response should be limited to a maximum of 300 words.

  1. Why are you seeking to earn an MS Degree in Recreation Management and Policy from the University of New Hampshire? How does your previous academic background and work experience contribute to the Department of Recreation Management and Policy as a graduate student? 
  2. Which specific RMP MS Option are you interested in pursuing and why? The RMP MS program offers three unique RMP MS options to students:
  3. Which specific RMP MS faculty member are you interested in working with and why?
    • *Note: Accelerated Masters applicants do not need to answer this question.
  4. Are you interested in pursuing the RMP MS thesis or portfolio option and why?
    • *Note: Accelerated Masters applicants do not need to answer this question.
    • RMP MS thesis students conduct rigorous independent research to examine a specific problem/question. The end product is either a traditional monograph-style thesis or a peer-reviewed journal article. This option prepares graduates for either professional practice and/or advanced doctoral programs. For more information, please see the RMP Graduate Handbook (pages 15-17).
    • RMP MS portfolio students conduct rigorous capstone projects in each of their courses to acquire a portfolio of knowledge, skills, and abilities. The end product is a comprehensive portfolio of acquired competencies. This option prepares graduates for professional practice. For more information, please see the RMP Graduate Handbook (pages 18-20).
  5. What are your future career goals – what do you plan to do after completing the RMP graduate program and how with this degree help you obtain said goal?


A current resume is required with your submitted application.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

Additional Department Requirements

The RMP MS admission application process has 3 steps:

1) Applicants must attend an RMP MS information sessions via Zoom.

2) Applicants must directly contact via email the RMP MS faculty member with whom they wish to work and set up a Zoom or phone interview.

3) Applicants must apply for admission online to the RMP MS program through the UNH Graduate School online portal no later than the posted deadline.

Dual Degree Option:

The Social Work and Recreation Management and Policy programs have a dual degree option:

    The Master of Social Work and Master of Science Program in Recreation Management and Policy

Please contact either department for additional details.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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