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

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

RMP Student running program at Rec Climbing Wall

Why get a master’s degree in recreation administration?

Advance your career and improve quality of life for people of varying ages and abilities by learning how to plan, develop and manage recreation 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, nonprofit administration, commercial recreation, youth 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.

Why choose UNH’s recreation administration 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 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 and 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. 

Potential career areas

  • Campus recreation 
  • Commercial recreation 
  • Event management 
  • Natural resources management 
  • Nonprofit administration 
  • Outdoor recreation  
  • Parks and recreation programs 
  • Sport and fitness management 
  • 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 thesis or non-thesis track. Full-time students typically take 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 typically complete the program in three years.

Required Core Competencies
RMP 800Concepts of Recreation and Leisure3
RMP 806Recreation Administration and Organizational Behavior3
Required Research Competencies
RMP 998Special Topics (Research Methods)3
SW 962Data Analysis and Statistics3
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 cr total)
Non-Thesis Track:
RMP 980
Independent Study (counts as elective course for non-thesis track; can take twice)
RMP 995
Colloquium Seminar
Elective Courses in RMP Dept (Thesis track takes 4 electives; Non-thesis track takes 5 electives. Both tracks may also take electives outside Dept)12
RMP 811
Recreation Resource Management
RMP 820
Adaptive Sports and Recreation Facilitation
RMP 850
Advocacy, Aging, and Active Living
RMP #860
Program Administration in Recreational Sport
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
Total Credits30
Elective Options Outside of RMP Department (not all-inclusive list):
ADMN #832
Exploration in Entrepreneurial Management
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 #831
Inclusive Teaching Through Sport
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
PHP #940
Health and the Built Environment
RAM 867
Social Impact Assessment
SOC #880
Social Conflict
SW 814
Introduction to Addiction: Assessment and Intervention
SW 840
Implications of Race, Culture, and Oppression for Social Work Practice


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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Thompson Hall


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