Recreation, Sport & Tourism, PhD

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Recreation, Sport and Tourism

department head: Carla Santos

director of graduate studies: Monika Stodolska

graduate coordinator: Tim Tiger

overview of admissions & requirements:

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

department website:

college website:

department office: 219 Huff Hall, 1206 South Fourth Street, Champaign, IL 61821

phone: (217) 333-4410

email: and

The Ph.D. program is designed to develop researchers and educators in the study of leisure behavior, the management of recreation, tourism, and sport systems that provide leisure services, or both.

Graduate Degree Programs in Recreation, Sport & Tourism

Recreation, Sport & Tourism, MS (on campus & online)

Recreation, Sport & Tourism, PhD

The Department of Recreation, Sport & Tourism offers programs of study leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.  The Master of Science program educates students about leisure behavior, public parks and recreation systems, sport and tourism, in various private, public and semi-public settings providing leisure services.  


The Graduate College admission requirements apply. Specifically, the admission requirements are a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (A = 4.0) for the last two years of undergraduate work and any graduate work completed. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for all campus-based graduate degrees. In accordance with Graduate College requirements, scores on the TOEFL must be greater than 102 and scores on the IELTS must be greater than 7.5. Students are also required to provide a statement of purpose outlining their area of study, and three letters of reference, preferably from academic sources. Preference is given to applicants who will be full-time students and active degree candidates. Students may be admitted for the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in this program. It is also anticipated that doctoral students will engage in research activities and scholarly communication under the guidance of their advisor.

Financial Aid

The department offers quarter-time and half-time assistantships in teaching, administration, and research, as well as tuition and fee waivers and the opportunity to apply for fellowships.

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Recreation, Sport and Tourism

Departmental requirements include satisfactory performance on the written preliminary examination at the completion of formal coursework, the oral preliminary examination on the proposed research for the thesis, and a final examination in defense of the doctoral thesis.

RST 503Adv Leisure Research Methods4
RST 550Theory and Methods of Leisure4
RST 551Contemporary Issues in Leisure4
RST 590Doctoral Research Seminar and Colloquium (required for four semesters)4
Coursework to support specialization (of the 28 required hours, a student must complete a minimum of 12 hours of RST coursework)28
Advanced research methods to support specialization16+
RST 599Thesis Research (min/max applied toward degree)20
Total Hours80

Other Requirements1

Other requirements may overlap
Two years in residence
Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD? Yes
Qualifying Exam Required: No
Preliminary Exam Required: Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required: Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required: Yes
Minimum GPA: 3.0