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

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

RMP students playing wheelchair frisbee

Why get a master’s degree in adaptive sports?

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. 

Why choose UNH’s adaptive sports program?

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 Disabled Sports U.S.A., and Gold Level Club member of U.S. Paralympics. 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.

Potential career areas

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


Department of Recreation Management & Policy
Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2391

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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, affiliate of Disabled Sports U.S.A., and Gold Level Club member of U.S. Paralympics. 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 (

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 non-thesis 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 an applied project or thesis specifically tailored to adaptive sport practice. Students also take one elective course to support desired specialization.

Full-time students typically take two years and one summer session to progress through the Adaptive Sport option degree requirements. Part-time students typically complete the program in three+ years.

Required Core Competencies
RMP 820Adaptive Sports and Recreation Facilitation3
RMP #860Program Administration in Recreational Sport3
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 998Special Topics (Research Methods)3
SW 962Data Analysis and Statistics3-4
or EDUC 881 Introduction to Statistics: Inquiry, Analysis, and Decision Making
Capstone Course (choose 1 track)6
Thesis Track:
RMP 899
Master's Thesis (Sections I & II - 6 credits total)
Non-thesis Track:
RMP 980
Independent Study
RMP 995
Colloquium Seminar
Select one of the following Electives (not an all-inclusive list)3
EDUC #852
Contemporary Issues in Learning Disabilities
EDUC 856
Supporting Families of Individuals with Exceptionalities
EDUC #857
Contemporary Issues in Autism Spectrum Disorders
KIN #831
Inclusive Teaching Through Sport
KIN 865
Advanced Topics in Coaching (highly encouraged)
KIN 881
Inclusion in Physical Education
OT #822
Introduction to Assistive Technology
OT #824
Assistive Technology and Physical Disabilities
OT #826
Assistive Technology and Sensory, Communicative, and Cognitive Disabilities
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)
Total Credits32-33


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

  • Fall: Feb. 1 (for funding and GA application); March 15 (final)
  • Spring: Nov. 1
  • 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 after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. 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 are required for any school you earned a degree from, attended for at least one year, or attended for 2 or more semesters. Exceptions to this rule may be approved at the discretion of the program you are applying to and the UNH Graduate School Admission’s office.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a careful statement regarding:

  1. Why are you choosing to pursue graduate work in the RMP Department at UNH? 
  2. Why are you interested in this specific option of study (choose one: recreation administration, therapeutic recreation administration, or adaptive sports administration)?
  3. How does your professional and/or educational background make you suitable for a career in this specific option of study?
  4. What are your academic and research interests?
  5. What professional and/or academic accomplishments have you achieved to date that will contribute to your success?
  6. What are your future career goals – what do you plan to do after completing the RMP graduate program?

Statements must be included with your submitted application.


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.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

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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