Master of Science in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit Any changes will appear on our errata page.

Graduate Advisors: Latkova, Roberts, Rosegard, Tierney, Wilson, Yoshino

General Information

The mission of the Master of Science in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism (RPT) program is to serve as a catalyst for the development of emerging entrepreneurial leaders who will be change agents and advance the recreation, parks, and tourism profession and society.

The M.S. in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism program prepares students to be employed in supervisory and managerial positions in areas of community recreation and nonprofit leisure services, commercial and private enterprises, and in parks and natural resources management agencies. The degree also offers the underpinning for students who wish to pursue a doctorate degree at other institutions for advanced research, consulting, and teaching positions. The department offers a foundation of quality education, service, and research that bridges the gaps between theory and practice, knowledge and experience, and critical and creative thinking.

The program is offered in a hybrid format providing the advantages of both online and in-person experiences. The online experiences allow students to eliminate commutes, which may be appealing to persons working full time or with families. The intensive classroom experiences and individual faculty advising build strong relationships within the cohort of students and between the students and RPT faculty. We almost exclusively accept students in the fall in order to build a cohort of students that often develop strong professional and social ties.

SF State’s RPT M.S. program is part of a collaboration with California State University, Chico, and California State University, Sacramento. This collaboration provides opportunities to network with other students with similar professional interests. It also gives students access to three times as many faculty for teaching, research, and professional networking.

SF State students are provided a strong base of resources and experience at their home campus. Each student will be assigned a home campus faculty member to serve as a mentor and academic advisor. The advisor will guide students through their culminating graduate experience; an applied research project or thesis.

Visit the recreation, parks, and tourism student graduate program web site at for more information.

Applying For Admission to the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Graduate Program

A limited number of highly qualified applicants are accepted for the fall semester of each year. All applicants are required to either have an undergraduate degree in recreation, parks, tourism, or a closely related degree; or at least one year of full-time professional work experience in the profession. Applicants who otherwise qualify but lack a related degree and/or need supplemental background information will be given additional readings and assignments due by the end of their first fall semester.

The graduate admission application to San Francisco State University is a two-part process. You must submit Part One and Part Two of your graduate admission application simultaneously by deadline to be considered for admission.

Part One:

Apply online through CSU Mentor for a Graduate Program. The Office of Graduate Admissions no longer accepts paper applications to graduate programs.

Send all required documents noted on your online SF Gateway Portal “To Do List” to the Division of Graduate Studies:

Graduate Admissions
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Ave., ADM 250
San Francisco, CA 94132

Part Two:

The Department requires the following additional information:

  • A Departmental application (
  • A statement of purpose
  • GRE score of 4.0 or above on the Analytical Writing portion of the exam
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least one from an academic and one from a professional)

In order to maintain enrollment in the program, a student must:

  • Develop an approved graduation plan signed by the student’s RPT advisor and make substantial progress toward meeting plan requirements, including completion of at least two core classes in the first fall semester.
  • Maintain a B- or better in all classes and an overall grade point average of 3.0
  • Maintain continuous enrollment in at least one program course per semester

Program Curriculum

Courses in the core are taught using an online hybrid format by the RPT Department and partnering recreation departments at CSU Chico (RECR) and Sacramento State (RPTA). All of the students in the core courses participate in a mandatory in-person seminar on one of the participating campuses at least once near the beginning of that semester. There may be other in-person meetings with faculty or small groups of students as necessary; however, most hybrid classes are online. Students choose 9 units (3 classes) of electives with advisor consent. Six units may be upper division undergraduate classes and at least 6 units must be from SF State. Students will complete one of two culminating experience options; a thesis or applied research project.

Recreation, Parks, and Tourism (M.S.) — 30 units

Foundation Core (9 units)

RPTA 200 - Sacramento
RECR 264 - Chico
RPT 720Developing Collaborative Leaders in Leisure Services3

Professional Core (9 units)

RECR 611 - Chico
RPT 810Research Methods in Recreation and Leisure Studies3
RPTA 202 - Sacramento

Area of Specialization (9 units)

Selected courses with advisor approval
(maximum of 6 units of upper division courses; maximum of 3 non-SF State units).

Culminating Experience Options (3 units)

Select one of the following:
RPT 895Applied Research Project (and Oral Defense of Professional Paper)3
RPT 898Master's Thesis (and Oral Defense of Thesis)3