Parks and Recreation Management, M.S. Community Recreation Management Concentration


Students who choose to focus on Community Recreation Management within the Master of Science in Parks and Recreation Management degree are prepared to plan, implement, market, evaluate, and manage recreation programs and events. An emphasis is placed on the application of recreation, park, and leisure services to enhance health, wellness, and quality of life among individuals and communities.

This program of study also covers philosophical and theoretical foundations of the recreation field, which are essential to obtaining higher level job positions. Career opportunities for graduates include positions as an event planner, recreation facility director, or recreation program manager in the public, private, or non-profit sectors. This concentration provides students with all of the requirements necessary to become Certified Park and Recreation Professionals (CPRP).

Program Distinctions

  • Faculty are credentialed and nationally recognized as exemplary teachers, advisers, and scholars.
  • Students consistently earn scholarships and awards from state and national professional associations (e.g., National Recreation and Park Association, North Carolina Recreation and Park Association).
  • Low faculty-student ratios allow faculty mentors to be committed to your success and share access to their professional network.
  • Multiple options for your capstone experience (i.e., internship, project, thesis).
  • Workshops and conferences that sharpen your skills.
  • Several evening courses offered to accommodate working professionals.
  • Accreditations & Affiliations:
    • Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions, since 1981
    • National Recreation and Park Association
    • North Carolina Recreation and Park Association
    • The Academy of Leisure Sciences

The Student Experience

  • The M.S. in Parks and Recreation Management requires 36 credit hours. 
  • All M.S. in Parks and Recreation Management applicants are eligible to compete for graduate assistantships and a limited number of tuition waivers. These assistantships include opportunities within the department and local partner agencies.
  • Specialized courses in community development; management; recreation; parks and health; and finance and budgeting.
  • Free electives in the graduate plan of study allow students to pursue additional certifications, such as a Nonprofit Management Certificate.
  • Service-learning and volunteer opportunities offer hands-on practical experience in a myriad of professional and community settings.
  • After discussing career goals with an advisor, you choose either a thesis or non-thesis option. If you select the non-thesis option, your advisor helps determine (based on amount of professional experience) whether you complete a project, internship, or combination of a project and internship

After Graduation

  • Careers include recreation and parks administration, commercial enterprising, sports management, resource management, and parks and forestry management.
  • If you are completing a thesis, you may consider applying for a Ph.D. program.
  • Potential career path examples:
    • Aquatics Director 
    • Campus Recreation Manager 
    • Event Planner
    • Commercial Recreation Business Owner
    • Recreation Supervisor
    • Sporting Event Planner
    • Youth and Adult Sports Coordinator

Apply to Program

  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.00
  • Current resume
  • Professional statement including graduate program and career goals
  • Three reference letters, preferably from a mixture of academic and professional sources
  • Interviews are encouraged for all applicants, and required for graduate assistants

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