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

Recreation Management and Policy: Recreation Administration (M.S.)
RMP Student running program at Rec Climbing Wall


The Recreation Administration M.S. program prepares individuals for dynamic, exciting, and high-impact upper-level professional careers in recreation, parks, outdoor adventure, and tourism settings. The program is designed for those seeking professional practice, advancement in their current career, changes in career settings, and/or research positions and doctoral programs. The Recreation Administration M.S. program provides students with a solid foundation in research, theory, and practice and prepares leaders for professional careers in the growing fields of outdoor recreation management, parks and protected areas management, natural resource management, tourism and commercial recreation management, community recreation management, outdoor education and leadership, adventure programming, nonprofit administration, youth and senior services, camp administration, sports and fitness management, and more.


The UNH Recreation Administration M.S. program is led by world-class faculty members with academic expertise and professional industry experience, creating the perfect blend of theory and practice in small class sizes that encourage interaction and discussion. Faculty members are dedicated to supporting students and providing learning opportunities, both in the classroom and in the field, that connect students to real-world professional issues. The Recreation Administration M.S. program also offers exceptional opportunities for coursework, field work, and research through our various top-notch laboratories, learning facilities, and centers such as the Applied Recreation Research Collaborative (ARRC) lab, The Browne Center for innovative learning, and Northeast Passage – a world renowned therapeutic recreation provider.   


  • Nonprofit park and recreation agencies
  • State park and recreation agencies
  • Federal park and recreation agencies
  • Campus recreation organizations
  • Event and planning organizations
  • Commercial recreation organizations
  • Community recreation programs
  • Adventure programs

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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 recreation 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 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 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
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.

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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