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Program Details

Recreation Education [RED] M.S.Ed. (Graduate)

Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department
Sharon Todd
, chair
Anderson Young, graduate coordinator
Professional Studies Building, Room 2213
607-753-4941
Fax: 607-753-5982
Email: rpls@cortland.edu

Overview

Whether to enhance your skills as a teacher or to prepare for a career in recreation, the M.S.Ed. in recreation education from SUNY Cortland may be right for you. If you hold or are eligible to hold a New York state teaching certificate, this degree can lead to your professional certification, as well as a variety of other career options. Choose from three program concentrations:

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

Program Highlights

Enjoy collaborating with your peers from many fields in small classes led by dedicated faculty. Beyond in-depth topics in your concentration and core courses in recreation, you’ll explore related issues in the behavioral, natural and social sciences, health, political science, sociology and education. 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 campus recreation programs and after-school activities to retirement communities, special event planning, camps, hospitals, inclusive community recreation, historical and cultural interpretation at national park units, university program management or commercial resorts.

Career Potential

Recreation affects all walks of life and all ages. The M.S.Ed. in recreation education from SUNY Cortland gives you the tools to create a rewarding career serving a wide range of audiences, whether you remain in education or shift to the field of recreation and parks. You may choose options such as teaching in public or private schools, serving as an activity director at an after-school program, managing a state park or becoming a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. You’re also well prepared to pursue the Ph.D. at graduate schools such as Cornell, Clemson, University of Illinois, North Carolina State University and University of Florida.

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. Documentation of teaching certification or eligibility for teaching certification in any subject area issued by the New York State Education Department
  4. A resume, uploaded as part of online application process
  5. A one- or two-page statement of your educational and professional goals, uploaded as part of online application process
  6. 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

Preference will be given to candidates with the following:

  1. 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.
  2. Teaching certification or eligibility for teaching certification in any subject area issued by the New York State Education Department. Persons without such should apply for the Master of Science in Recreation degree.
  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.Ed.

A. Professional Education: 15 credit hours
  • An education elective, by advisement
  • A course in curriculum development
  • 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.)
B. Recreation Education Concentration: 12 credit hours

The recreation education concentration may be taken in one of the following areas:

  • Outdoor and Environmental Education (EOE)
  • Management of Leisure Services (MGLS)
  • Therapeutic Recreation (TR)

Six credit hours must be in recreation education and six credit hours may be in areas closely related to recreation such as education, physical education, health, psychology or sociology. No more than four credit hours in activity clinics or workshops may be counted toward the master's degree. For each concentration (outdoor and environmental education, management of leisure services, and therapeutic recreation) the department requires or recommends specific supporting and/or elective courses. These curriculum guidelines are available from the department or its website.

The recommended courses for each concentration are listed below.

C. Electives: 6 credit hours (selected under advisement)

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.

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 course work in supporting areas or electives, upon advisement.

D. Culminating Activity: 1 credit hour

M.S.Ed. 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.)
    S
    tudents who do not successfully complete REC 683, REC 684 or REC 685 must register for REC 697.
Recreation Education Concentrations:

I. Environmental and Outdoor Education Concentration [EOE]

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

A. Professional Education: 6 credit hours
  • EDU 568 - Environmental and Outdoor Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • EDU elective, chosen by advisement (3 cr. hr.)
B. Environmental and Outdoor Education Core: 12 credit hours
  • REC 560 - Camp and Outdoor Program Administration (3 cr. hr.)
  • REC 640 - Recreation Resource Management (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. Additional Electives: 6 credit hours
  • REC 610 - Wilderness and American Culture (3 cr. hr.)
    and
  • BIO 507 - Advanced Field Natural History (3 cr. hr.) or
  • BIO 510 - Advanced Field Biology (3 cr. hr.)
D. 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 Professional Education requirement (A) above in addition to the recommended concentration requirements listed below.

A. Professional Education: 6 credit hours
  • EDU 515 - Leisure Education (3 cr. hr.) or
  • EDU 568 - Environmental and Outdoor Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • EDU elective, chosen by advisement (3 cr. hr.)
B. Management of Leisure Services Core: 12 credit hours
  • REC 509 - Human Resource Management in Leisure Services (3 cr. hr.)
  • 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. Additional Electives: 6 credit hours

Select one course from the following:

  • EDU 515 - Leisure Education (3 cr. hr.) if not selected above
  • EDU 568 - Environmental and Outdoor Education (3 cr. hr.) if not selected above
  • 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.)
Also select from either:
  • REC 605 - Fieldwork in Recreation (1-3 cr. hr.) or
  • REC 606 - Recreation Internship (3 cr. hr.)
    Or, select an additional three credit hours by advisement in BIO, EDU, FSA, GRY, PSY, REC, SOC.
D. 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 Professional Education requirement (A) above in addition to the recommended concentration requirements listed below.

A. Professional Education: 6 credit hours
  • EDU 515 - Leisure Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • SPE/EDU elective, chosen by advisement (3 cr. hr.)
B. Therapeutic Recreation Core: 12 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.)
  • REC 538 - Design and Administration of Therapeutic Recreation Services (3 cr. hr.)
C. Additional Electives: 6 credit hours
  • REC 607 - Therapeutic Recreation Internship (3 cr. hr.)
    Three 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.
D. 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.Ed. 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