Graduate Academic Programs
Master's Degree Programs
Master of Science in Recreation Degree (MSR), Tourism Management Major
The tourism management program prepares students to enter the world's largest and most diverse industry. Tourism is the business of attracting and catering to the needs and expectations of visitors, and this program focuses on the marketing to and management of tourists, tourist facilities, and destinations. These include government and non-government tourism organizations, hotels, resorts, convention centers, theme parks, visitor centers, cruises, airlines, and other tourist businesses.
The tourism management program may also serve as a stepping-stone to a doctoral program, and students interested in eventually pursuing are encouraged to complete a Master’s Thesis (HPER-R 599), which will enhance their ability to conduct timely and useful research to further the field of tourism. Students are provided the necessary tools and encouraged to both initiate research projects and work with faculty on existing projects. Check with your academic advisor for more information including the opportunity to apply for department, school, and university grants to support your research interests.
A minimum of 35 credit hours is required for this program. The Master of Science in Recreation degree must include a minimum of 20 credits from the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies. A minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) is required for graduation. A minimum grade of C– is required in each course. All electives for completing the degree must be approved by the advisor.
Complete each of the following courses (24 cr.):
- HPER-R 500 Philosophy of Leisure and Recreation (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 515 Special Concerns in Parks and Recreation: Convention and Meeting Planning (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 515 Special Concerns in Parks and Recreation: Event Planning and Programming (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 520 Organizational Leadership for Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Public Lands (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 525 Administrative Theory and Management Practices in Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Public Lands (3 cr.)
- HPER-T 590 Introduction to Research in Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation (3 cr.)
- HPER-T 591 Introduction to Statistics in Public Health (3 cr.)
- HPER-T 594 Finance and Budgeting (3 cr.)
Complete one of the following courses (3 – 5 cr.):
- HPER-R 539 Master's Project in Administration (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 599 Master's Thesis (5 cr.)
- HPER-R 642 Internships in Recreation and Parks (3 cr.)
Complete a minimum of two of the following courses (6 cr.):
- HPER-R 522 Economics and Marketing for Leisure and Tourism (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 523 Visitor Behavior (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 529 Ecotourism: Management and Systems
- HPER-R 580 Strategic Planning and Management in Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Public Lands (3 cr.)
Complete remaining electives, if needed, to reach the required minimum 35 credits.
Select electives with approval of advisor. The following courses are recommended:
- HPER-R 545 Advanced Ecosystem Management in Outdoor Recreation (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 640 Independent Study and Research in Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Public Lands (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 641 Readings in Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Public Lands (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 643 Practicum in Recreation and Parks (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 645 Research Seminar in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies (3 cr.)
- HPER-T 592 Intermediate Statistics in Public Health (3 cr.)
- HPER-T 693 Experimental Analysis and Design (3 cr.)
- HPER-T 694 Multivariate Statistical Analysis (3 cr.)
Prerequisites (If required)
- HPER-R 330 Management in Recreation, Parks and Tourism (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 350 Sustainable Tourism (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 351 Convention Management and Meeting Planning (3 cr.)
- HPER-R 430 Event Planning and Program Development (3 cr.)
Due to its global significance, tourism often involves practices in the international arena. The program offers overseas courses and trips that allow students to explore a multicultural landscape in a fashion that is conducive to learning. Further, internship opportunities can help students to preview the operation of interest within the tourism business in order to build a competitive edge in the field of specialization (e.g., hotel/resort management) prior to graduation.
Typical tourism job titles are hotel manager, marketing director of a city visitor and convention bureau, coordinator of a university conference bureau, event and meeting planner, researcher for a state department of tourism, and manager for a theme park.