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Recreation & Sport Management Master’s Programs

Two concentrations are offered at the master’s level in the Recreation and Sport Management program: sport management and therapeutic recreation. The concentrations emphasize the experiential education approach to professional preparation. Students graduating from this program gain practical experience to accompany their academic degrees.

Concentrations Offered

Sport Management has been a formally recognized program at UT since 1983. The mission of the program is to prepare dynamic leaders for tomorrow’s sport industry through scholarship, leadership, diversity, and quality academic and practical experience. Sport Management includes any combination of skills related to planning, organizing, leading, and evaluating within the context of an organization or department whose primary product or service is related to sport.

Students are offered the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for a career in sport management. The curriculum provides the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree that combines coursework and professional experience. The program offers considerable flexibility and can be designed to fit each student’s interests.

The program offers both thesis and nonthesis options with both requiring 36 hours for the degree. Three classes are required, with the rest of the curriculum consisting of topic specific sport management courses and work experiences. Students are also afforded the opportunity to take classes in the sport studies curriculum, which focuses on the study of the sociocultural aspects of sport.

Visit the Graduate Catalog to see the curriculum and course descriptions. Check out our Faculty and Staff page for more information about the faculty in recreation and sport management.

Scholarly Inquiry Option:

  • Consists of 36 hours of coursework and a written comprehensive examination.
  • The scholarly inquiry is an in-depth, scholarly work that relates to the student’s area of emphasis and builds upon the student’s previous coursework and professional experience.
  • The scholarly inquiry requires a written report in a style appropriate to the student’s experience.

Thesis Option:

  • The master’s thesis should be considered a contribution to the field of knowledge in the concentration discipline. Six semester hours of credit may be earned in preparation of the thesis. You must continue to register for three hours of thesis credit even if you do not finish in the semester intended. You will continue to do this until the completion and acceptance of the thesis.
  • The thesis should represent original research limited in scope so there will be sufficient time to complete it. The thesis experience culminates in a formal presentation to the thesis committee with attendance open to the public.
  • Those who plan to continue their education at the PhD level and pursue careers as faculty in higher education tend to choose the thesis option, which consists of 30 hours of coursework and a 6-hour thesis.

We usually admit twenty-five to thirty-five students from a pool of seventy-five to 100 applicants. Decisions are made on a number of criteria:

  • An analytical writing score that is competitive with other applicants, as well as verbal and quantitative scores that are competitive with other applicants.
  • Candidates must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above to be considered (or at least in the senior year).
  • We consider the applicant’s writing ability and answers to supplemental application questions (areas of interest, for one) in determining who might be a good fit for our program.
  • Ratings forms/letters of recommendation are also considered. At least two of your references should be able to discuss your performance in an academic setting.
  • Files will not be considered until complete.

Students may apply for fall and summer admission only. If you are interested in spring admission, please contact a faculty member in your area to inquire about the possibilities.

The therapeutic recreation concentration prepares students for employment in management and leadership positions with agencies that deliver health care services. Students find successful employment in psychiatric institutions, physical rehabilitation units, drug and alcohol treatment centers, community-based programs, long-term care facilities, outdoor and school-based programs, and children’s programs.

Professional Certification
Students enrolled in the therapeutic recreation concentration are urged to prepare for and take the professional certification examination offered by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation. Many public, quasi-public and nonprofit employers mandate professional certification as a condition of employment. The primary purpose of certification is to ensure that personnel employed in therapeutic recreation meet high standards of performance.

Because we require our students to be eligible for national certification, they must have courses in the following areas, either in their bachelor’s or master’s program. These courses will not count toward the master’s degree.

  • human development (birth through death)
  • abnormal psychology
  • human anatomy
  • human physiology

In addition, students who received their undergraduate degree in other disciplines must take three “make up courses” which are generally RSM 310, RSM 320, and RSM 420.

Visit the Graduate Catalog to see the curriculum and course descriptions. Check out our Faculty and Staff page for more information about the kinesiology faculty.

We usually admit 10 students from a pool of 20-25 applicants. Admissions decisions are made on a number of criteria:

  • Candidates must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or above in their undergraduate work to be considered (or at least in the senior year).
  • We consider the applicant’s writing ability and answers to our application questions (areas of interest, for one) in determining who might be a good fit for our program.
  • Ratings forms/letters of recommendation are also considered.
  • Files will not be considered until complete.

Students may apply for fall admission only.

How to Apply

You must complete your application online through the university’s Graduate Admissions website. There is a $60 application fee for new applicants and a $30 fee for students who were previously enrolled as graduate students at UT. The following materials are required as part of the online application:

Unofficial academic transcripts from every undergraduate institution you have attended are required. International students should submit official or attested university records with certified translations if the records are not in English, along with degree confirmation.

Scores are optional for the sport management concentration.

Scores are not required for the therapeutic recreation concentration.

As part of the online application, these questions are department-specific and will be reviewed carefully by the admissions committees. The departmental assistantship application is included in this section, so if you want to be considered for a teaching assistantship in our Physical Education Activity Program (PEAP), you must answer all questions. If you do not want to be considered for our departmental assistantships, you can skip these questions. PLEASE NOTE: completion of these questions does NOT guarantee an assistantship, as only about 10 percent of master’s students will receive an assistantship from our department. See the “Costs & Funding” section below for more information.

A current resume is required as part of the application process.

Three ratings forms may be submitted with or without letters of recommendation. The process of these forms being sent to and submitted by your recommenders is completed entirely online. Two forms should be completed by academic references, and the third can be completed by a professional reference. All three ratings forms and/or letters of recommendation MUST be received before your application will be considered complete and reviewed by the admissions committee.

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take and pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Official scores must be received directly from the appropriate testing service. UT’s score reporting code for TOEFL is 1843. The score must not be older than two years from the requested date of entry. Applicants who have a degree from an accredited US institution in the past two years are exempt from the TOEFL or IELTS requirement.

Before an I-20/DS-2019 can be issued for an admitted student, documented availability of sufficient funds for the first 12 months of studies must be submitted to the Center for International Education (CIE). Please visit the CIE website for the most current estimate of expenses.

Additional Information

Admissions are done on a rolling basis, so highly qualified applicants may be admitted as soon as all application materials are received.

For priority consideration, as well as consideration for the available departmental assistantships, all materials should be received by February 1 (for fall admission).

While some decisions may come earlier or later, the majority of admissions decisions are made from mid-January to the end of March. Decisions on our limited departmental assistantships may be made at this time or during the next few months.

Only complete applications files will be considered. It is your responsibility to confirm that all your materials have been received. You should check your status with both the Graduate Admissions Office and International Admissions Office, as well as the department’s admissions coordinator. Your status with the Graduate Admissions Office doe not necessarily reflect your status with the department.

Applicants applying late can be considered for admission if there are still openings available.

The Graduate School’s admissions deadlines differ from our department deadline. Applicants should adhere to our February 1 deadline and submit all materials by then.

  • Please note that we can only admit a certain number of students, so late applications may not even be considered.
  • International applicants for fall semester should complete the university/Graduate School admissions process several months prior to the February 1 deadline to allow adequate time for the application to be forwarded to the department for consideration. We recommend international application files to be complete by December 31. You are also encouraged to contact the Center for International Education for additional information.

The current tuition and fees can be viewed on the university’s One Stop website.

Some graduate assistantships are offered by academic departments and administrative offices at the university. An assistantship is a financial reward to a graduate student for part-time work in teaching, administration, or research while pursuing an advanced degree. Appointments are normally on a one-fourth to one-half time basis, usually requiring ten to twenty hours of service per week. The annual stipend is payable in either nine or twelve monthly installments. In addition to the stipend, graduate teaching assistants (GTA), graduate teaching associates (GTAssoc), graduate assistants (GA), and graduate research assistants (GRA) with appointments on a one-fourth time basis or higher, are entitled to a waiver of maintenance fees and tuition for the period of appointment in accordance with university policy. These appointments also include a benefit of health insurance for the student.

A very limited number of graduate teaching assistantships are available from our department in the Physical Education Activity Program (PEAP), assisting with research and/or teaching undergraduate lab sections. The application for these positions is included in the online graduate school application. Faculty members will select students for these positions, typically between April and June, for the upcoming academic year. Very few master’s students are funded through the department. However, there are many sources of funding and assistantships elsewhere on campus, as detailed below. We highly recommend that prospective students start early looking for funding sources.

While there is no central point of contact for information on GA positions, some positions are filled periodically in college advising centers, admission offices, residence halls, athletics, recreational sports, and other service offices. These areas/departments should be contacted directly. When announced, openings for the assistantships may be found on the Graduate School’s website.

Here are some additional helpful websites regarding costs and funding:
Financial Aid

Graduate Fellowships
Other Funding Sources