Recreation Management and Policy: Recreation Administration (M.S.)

Recreation Management and Policy: Recreation Administration (M.S.)

RMP Student running program at Rec Climbing Wall


Advance your career and improve quality of life for people of varying ages and abilities by learning how to plan, administer and evaluate recreation and outdoor education programs and services. The recreation administration master’s degree program will provide you with a solid foundation in leisure theory, research and data analysis, and administration. You’ll be able to explore areas that interest you, such as camp administration, outdoor recreation, natural resources management, parks and protected areas, outdoor education, adventure programming, nonprofit administration, commercial recreation, youth or senior services, sports and fitness management, community recreation and more. Our M.S. degree will prepare you for leadership and administration positions in this growing field.


At UNH, you’ll find an atmosphere of collegiality and collaboration. You’ll also find exceptional opportunities for coursework, fieldwork and research through our Applied Recreation Research Collaborative (ARRC), which provides public, private and nonprofit recreation resource managers and practitioners with data-driven solutions to inform decision making and policy. You will also benefit from our partnerships with UNH Campus Recreation, the Browne Center and Northeast Passage.


  • Adventure program management
  • Campus recreation
  • Commercial recreation
  • Event management
  • Mountain and ski resort management
  • Natural resources management
  • Nonprofit administration
  • Outdoor and experiential education
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Parks and recreation programs
  • Sport and fitness management
  • State or national park ranger or manager
  • Tourism
  • Youth and senior service


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

Phone: (603) 862-2391

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Curriculum & Requirements

The Recreation Administration option prepares professionals with advanced knowledge and skills to plan, administer, and evaluate recreation and outdoor education programs and services across a variety of sectors, including: sports and fitness, community recreation, campus recreation, nonprofit administration, commercial recreation and events, tourism, camps, outdoor education, adventure programming, outdoor recreation, parks and protected areas, conservation, natural resources, and senior or youth-serving agencies. Postgraduate employment opportunities include working as guides, leaders, directors, planners, and managers of agencies and programs that provide healthy recreation and outdoor activities for people across the lifespan.

Specializations are available in campus recreation, outdoor education, and leadership through our partnerships with UNH Campus Recreation and The Browne Center. A specialization is available in adaptive sports through our partnership with Northeast Passage.

Applied research opportunities are available through our Applied Recreation Research Collaborative (ARRC Lab), which provides public, private, and non-profit recreation resource managers and practitioners with data-driven solutions to inform decision-making and policy.

Degree Requirements

The 30 credit Recreation Administration option consists of required and elective coursework. In consultation with a faculty adviser, students will select either a capstone portfolio or thesis track. Full-time students typically take up to two years to progress through the RA option degree requirements. If a student takes leveling courses, they may need to complete more than two years. Part-time students may take longer to complete the degree.

Required Core Competencies
RMP 800Concepts of Recreation and Leisure3
RMP 806Recreation Administration and Organizational Behavior3
Required Research Competencies
RMP 992Research Methods in Recreation Management and Policy3
SW 962Data Analysis and Statistics3
or EDUC 881 Introduction to Statistics: Inquiry, Analysis, and Decision Making
Capstone - Choose Thesis or Porfolio Track 1
Thesis Track:
RMP 899
Master's Thesis
4 Elective Courses
Portfolio Track:
RMP 995
Capstone Seminar
6 Elective Courses
Elective Courses (RMP Dept Courses)12-18
RMP 811
Recreation Resource Management
RMP 820
Adaptive Sport Facilitation for Recreation Therapy and Related Professions
RMP 872
Law and Public Policy in Leisure Services
RMP 875
Entrepreneurial and Commercial Recreation
RMP 912
Non-Profit Administration and Leadership
RMP 924
Fund Development and Grantwriting
RMP 964
Graduate Internship
RMP 970
Teaching Practicum
RMP 980
Independent Study
Elective Courses (outside RMP Dept): 2
ADMN 852
Marketing Research
ADMN #952
Organizations, Leadership, and Environments
ADMN 953
The Social Power of Leadership in the 21 Century
ADMN #956
Managerial Decision Making
ADMN 960
Marketing/Building Customer Value
ADMN 970
Economics of Competition
ADMN 982
Creating Winning Strategies
HMP 812
Health Analytics
KIN 802
Health Content and Youth Risk Behaviors
KIN 840
Athletic Administration
KIN 841
Social Issues in Contemporary Sports
KIN 865
Advanced Topics in Coaching
KIN 880
Psychological Factors in Sport
KIN 881
Inclusion in Physical Education
KIN 882
Therapeutic Applications of Adventure Programming
KIN 883
Psych Factors of Adventure Ed
KIN 884
Historical Foundations of Outdoor Experiential Education
KIN 885
Program Models and Evaluation in Outdoor Education
PHP 902
Environmental Health
PHP 904
Social and Behavioral Health
PHP 922
Public Health Economics
PHP 924
Policy and Practice of Community Health Assessment
RAM 867
Social Impact Assessment
SW #814
Introduction to Addiction: Assessment and Intervention
SW 840
Implications of Race, Culture, and Oppression for Social Work Practice

Thesis track choose 4 electives; Portfolio track choose 6 electives. Both tracks may also choose electives outside Dept.


This is not an all inclusive list.

  • 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.


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

  • Fall: February 1 
  • Spring: November 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 upload a copy (PDF) of your official 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 4 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 February 1.

International Applicants

Some academic departments recommend that international applicants, living outside of the United States, and planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit our extended inquiry form before submitting a full application. The extended inquiry form will be reviewed by the academic faculty and a department representative will reach out if your background and qualifications are a good fit for the program. 

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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