Graduate Studies

Recreation, Park & Tourism Administration

"As a non-traditional and place-bound student, the flexibility in class delivery options provided gives me the opportunity to earn a degree that fits my career goals." -- Steven Sierra

"I chose RPTA because of the faculty. I was impressed by how much they wanted to get to know me and so many of them had real work experience." -- Bret Woodside

Program Overview

The Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration teaches students how to design, deliver and evaluate leisure experiences. Leisure is commonly recognized as arts, recreation, entertainment, health and fitness, hospitality, outdoor activities, sport, travel, and tourism. Students should be able to complete the MS in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration on the Macomb campus, as well as being able to complete core courses and some electives via livestream and asynchronous course delivery at the Quad Cities campus and beyond.

Why Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration at WIU?

The degree is designed to be flexible. Students may complete the degree on the Macomb and/or Quad Cities campus, and through remote course offerings taken online. Students have the opportunity to choose among directed electives and the exit option that best positions them for their careers based on approval of their graduate committee. The RPTA Department, Horn Field Campus, and partnering agencies work cooperatively to provide students with hands-on educational opportunities.

Advanced course work is available in:
  • leisure services administration,
  • campus recreation,
  • community recreation,
  • outdoor recreation and leadership,
  • natural and human dimensions of resource management,
  • park planning and management,
  • programming for leisure services,
  • tourism, hospitality, and event management,
  • recreation therapy and inclusion,
  • youth services programming,
  • non-profit organization and programming. 
Recent graduates are employed at agencies like:
  • Adventure Works
  • Peoria Civic Center
  • Arlington Heights Park District
  • Itasca Country Club
  • American Cancer Society
  • US Army Corp of Engineers
  • HyVee
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Easter Seals
  • Washington State Parks
  • George Johnson Development
  • Jason’s Deli
  • O’Fallon Park Department
  • McDonalds Corporate Headquarters


Our Faculty

All graduate faculty possess terminal degrees in recreation, parks, tourism, or other related fields. Each faculty member has a particular area of expertise ranging from public administration, nonprofit management, therapeutic recreation, outdoor recreation, tourism, facility management, and camp administration. Faculty members are recognized nationally and internationally for their research and publications.

Quick View

Degrees Available:

  • M.S.
  • Integrated Bachelor's/Master's


  • Macomb
  • Quad Cities

Required GPA:

  • Cumulative: 2.75 or
  • Last 2 years: 3.0

Admission Requirements:

  • Statement of Intent
  • Transcripts
  • Resume
  • 3 professional references

Interesting Facts: Fall 2023

  • Currently enrolled: 18
  • International: 4
  • Minority: 3
  • Students with Assistantships: 11

Department Contact Information:

Knoblauch Hall 140