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Program Details

Recreation [REC] M.S. (Graduate)

Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department
Sharon Todd, chair
Anderson Young, graduate coordinator
Professional Studies Building, Room 2213
607-753-4941
Email: rpls@cortland.edu

Overview

Activity. Adventure. Academics. Focus your energies, combine your passions and prepare for exciting careers. No matter what your background, you can pursue an advanced degree and discover a place where you truly enjoy your work by studying for the M.S. in recreation at SUNY Cortland. Choose from three concentrations:

  • Outdoor and Environmental Education
  • Management of Leisure Services
  • Therapeutic Recreation

Program Highlights

Join your peers from disciplines as varied as human development, the arts, anthropology, management, English, physical education and others who come together in small classes for exciting discussions led by our enthusiastic and dedicated faculty.

In addition to core courses in recreation, you’ll examine in-depth issues in your concentration and explore related topics such as health, political science, sociology and physical education, as well as the behavioral, natural or social sciences. You’ll also learn about research methods and complete a master’s thesis or other culminating activity. When you successfully conclude the program, you may be qualified to sit for national certification examinations.

Internship Capstone Experience

Most students choose to cap their study with an internship experience that integrates theory with practice under the supervision of a SUNY Cortland faculty member and a professional in the field. Sites range from the National Park Service, YMCAs or YWCAs to retirement communities, parks and recreation agencies, rehabilitation clinics, outdoor leadership and wilderness trip providers, challenge courses or private recreation companies.

Career Potential

Because recreation touches all walks of life and all ages, the M.S. in recreation from SUNY Cortland allows you to build the career of your dreams — working with people or alone, indoors or outdoors or almost any combination you desire. You might find yourself conserving lands with the Finger Lakes Land Trust, managing a state park or serving as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), among many others.

If you’re interested in university teaching or administration, you’re well prepared to pursue the Ph.D. at graduate schools such as Cornell, Penn State and University of Utah.

Graduate Admission

Evaluation Policy

At the State University of New York College at Cortland, we seek a diverse and academically strong student body. Our admission policy and practice will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin or marital status.

Required Materials

  1. Completed online Graduate School Application - Apply Now
  2. Official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended to be forwarded directly to SUNY Cortland Graduate Admissions Office, P.O. Box 2000, Cortland, NY 13045
  3. A resume, uploaded as part of online application process
  4. A one- or two-page statement of your educational and professional goals, uploaded as part of online application process
  5. Names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers of three references, submitted as part of online application process
    Note: At least one reference must be academic. Letters of recommendation are not required.

Admissions Criteria

  1. Preference will be given to candidates with the following:
  2. Bachelor’s degree, completed before classes begin, in any academic major. Students without certain recreation course work may be required to complete three to nine hours of corequisite course work.
  3. An undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.8 or above (on a 4.0 scale). Students who feel they are qualified in spite of an undergraduate grade point average below a 2.8 are encouraged to contact the department before applying for admission.
  4. A grade point average above 2.8 does not guarantee admission. Other application materials are considered. Spaces in the program may be limited.

Deadlines

Fall semester applications: July 1
Spring semester applications: Dec. 1
Summer semester applications: April 1

Applications submitted after the deadline may be considered on a space availability basis.
Please contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 607-753-4800 to check availability.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 34 credit hours of approved graduate work as described below is required for the M.S. in recreation.

A. Recreation: 21 credit hours
  • A supervision or administration course (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 601 - Recreation Research and Evaluation I (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 602 - Recreation Research and Evaluation II (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 603 - Historical, Philosophical and Theoretical Perspectives of Recreation and Leisure (3 cr. hr.)
Nine credit hours in one of the following concentrations:
  • Outdoor and Environmental Education (EOE)
  • Management of Leisure Services (MGLS)
  • Therapeutic Recreation (TR)

The recommended courses for each concentration are listed below.

B. Supporting Area: 6 credit hours

Additional courses in recreation, including REC 698-Research in Recreation and/or REC 699-Independent Study in Recreation; or in areas closely related to recreation such as biology, education, environmental studies, foundations and social advocacy, geography, health, physical education, political science, psychology, sociology, special education, etc.

C. Electives: 6 credit hours

Behavioral, natural, or social sciences such as biology, education, environmental studies, foundations and social advocacy, geography, health, physical education, political science, psychology, sociology, special education, etc. Credit for REC 698: Research in Recreation and/or REC 699: Independent Study in Recreation may also be included in this category.

Normally students earn one to seven credit hours for thesis-related or project-related work, including one credit hour of culminating activity (REC 684: Master's Thesis or REC 685: Master's Project) plus up to six credit hours of REC 698: Research in Recreation and/or REC 699: Independent Study in Recreation, which may be substituted for coursework in supporting areas or electives, upon advisement.

D. Culminating Activity: 1 credit hour

M.S. degree candidates must successfully complete a culminating activity from the three following options:

  • REC 683 - Comprehensive Examination in Recreation and Leisure Studies (1 cr. hr.)
  • REC 684 - Master's Thesis (1 cr. hr.)
  • REC 685 - Master’s Project (1 cr. hr.)
  • REC 697 - Extension of Graduate Culminating Activity (1 cr. hr.)
  • Students who do not successfully complete REC 683, REC 684 or REC 685 must register for REC 697.
Recreation Concentrations:

I. Environmental and Outdoor Education Concentration [EOE]

Students must complete REC 601, REC 602 and REC 603 as listed in the Recreation requirement (A) above in addition to the recommended concentration requirements listed below.

A. Supervision/Administration Core: 3 credit hours
  • REC 560 - Camp and Outdoor Program Administration (3 cr. hr.)
B. Environmental and Outdoor Education Core: 9 credit hours
  • EDU 568 - Environmental and Outdoor Education (3 cr. hr.) and
  • REC 605 - Fieldwork in Recreation (1-3 cr. hr.) or
  • REC 606 - Recreation Internship (3 cr. hr.)
For the Environmental Education and Interpretation track select:
REC 569 - Environmental and Cultural Interpretation (3 cr. hr.)

For the Outdoor Pursuits and Organized Camping track select:
REC 574 - Outdoor Pursuits Education and Leadership (3 cr. hr.)

C. Supporting Area: 6 credit hours

  • REC 640 - Recreation Resource Management (3 cr. hr.)
    And select one:
  • EDU 515 - Leisure Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • EDU 548 - The Adirondack Classroom (3 cr. hr.)
  • PED 527 - Models and Theories of Adventure Learning (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 503 - Campus Recreation Programming and Administration (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 520 - Youth Development through Recreation (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 541 - Site and Facilities Planning (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 544 - Commercial Recreation Management (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 545 - Adirondack Park Policies and Issues (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 546 - Legal Aspects of Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 549 - Natural Resource Recreation Policy and Management (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 570 - Outdoor Education Practicum (3 cr. hr.)
D. Additional Electives: 6 credit hours
  • REC 610 - Wilderness and American Culture (3 cr. hr.)
    a
    nd
  • BIO 507 - Advanced Field Natural History (3 cr. hr.) or
  • BIO 510 - Advanced Field Biology (3 cr. hr.)
E. Culminating Activity: 1 credit hour
  • See the options for the required culminating activity (REC 683, 684, 685) listed above
II. Management of Leisure Services [MGLS]

Students must complete REC 601, REC 602 and REC 603 as listed in the Recreation requirement (A) above in addition to the recommended concentration requirements listed below.

A. Supervision/Administration Core: 3 credit hours
  • REC 509 - Human Resource Management in Leisure Services (3 cr. hr.)
B. Management of Leisure Services Core: 9 credit hours
  • REC 544 - Commercial Recreation Management (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 546 - Legal Aspects of Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 640 - Recreation Resource Management (3 cr. hr.)
C. Supporting Area: 6 credit hours
  • REC 605 - Fieldwork in Recreation (1-3 cr. hr.) or
  • REC 606 - Recreation Internship (3 cr. hr.)
    And select one:
  • EDU 515 - Leisure Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • EDU 568 - Environmental and Outdoor Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 503 - Campus Recreation Programming and Administration (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 508 - Leisure Services for Older Adults (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 520 - Youth Development through Recreation (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 538 - Design and Administration of Therapeutic Recreation Services (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 541 - Site and Facilities Planning (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 549 - Natural Resource Recreation Policy and Management (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 560 - Camp and Outdoor Program Administration (3 cr. hr.)
D. Additional Electives: 6 credit hours
  • Select an additional six credit hours chosen by advisement in BIO, EDU, EST, FSA, GRY, HLH, PED, POL, PSY, REC, SOC or SPE.
E. Culminating Activity: 1 credit hour

See the options for the required culminating activity (REC 683, 684, 685) listed above.

III. Therapeutic Recreation [TR]

Students must complete REC 601, REC 602 and REC 603 as listed in the Recreation requirement (A) above in addition to the recommended concentration requirements listed below.

A. Supervision/Administration Core: 3 credit hours
  • REC 538 - Design and Administration of Therapeutic Recreation Services (3 cr. hr.)
B. Therapeutic Recreation Core: 9 credit hours
  • REC 530 - Therapeutic Recreation Process I (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 533 - Therapeutic Recreation Process II (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 535 - Therapeutic Recreation Interventions (3 cr. hr.)
C. Supporting Area: 6 credit hours

For students without an undergraduate degree in recreation:

  • EDU 515 - Leisure Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 607 - Therapeutic Recreation Internship (3 cr. hr.)
For students with an undergraduate degree in recreation:
  • Elective by advisement in BIO, HLH, PSY, REC or SOC (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 607 - Therapeutic Recreation Internship (3 cr. hr.)
D. Additional Electives: 6 credit hours
  • Six credit hours of electives selected by advisement and review of NCTRC standards for certification.
    Recommended electives include anatomy and physiology, abnormal psychology, or human growth and development/developmental psychology.
E. Culminating Activity: 1 credit hour
  • See the options for the required culminating activity (REC 683, 684, 685) listed above.
Additional Requirements

Other requirements for the award of the M.S. may be determined by the Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department (e.g., corequisites) and must be ascertained by students in consultation with a department graduate advisor.

Total Credit Hours Required: 34