Online Leisure Studies Masters Degree Program Information

Research online leisure studies courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

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Essential Information

There are a few online and hybrid master's degree programs in the leisure studies field, sometimes combined with studies in sports and tourism. These programs are often designed for professionals already working in leisure studies who wish to expand their expertise and move into leadership positions. However, applicants who have a bachelor's degree and work experience in a related field may also be accepted.

Master's degree programs in leisure studies are available fully online and sometimes in hybrid formats. They often include online classes in organizational behavior, risk management, fiscal management and strategic marketing. Hybrid programs may require students to attend on-campus classes and participate in face-to-face workshops to practice learned skills. Students may complete a thesis track or a special project.

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Master's Degree in Leisure Studies

Master's degree programs in leisure studies provide students with enhanced administrative and operational skills. Students use research and analysis concepts to address issues like the effectiveness of therapeutic leisure activities. The correlation between recreation and contemporary social issues is also examined.

Information and Requirements

Applicants typically must have completed a bachelor's degree program at an accredited college or university. Some schools may require students to have work experience in leisure services or a related discipline. A number of these programs are offered completely online; however, some include a mix of distance education and on-campus classes. Online classes are viewed by students through the use of online learning management systems, such as Blackboard, in order to interact with their professors and fellow students on discussion boards and chat rooms.

Common Courses

Master's students explore issues in the administration and implementation of leisure and recreational activities. They develop advanced knowledge in management and leadership in the delivery of leisure and recreational programs to a public audience.

Theories and Concepts of Leisure

Students in this class review the basic foundations of leisure and recreation in modern society. They analyze the cultural impact of leisure and address current issues and special problems related to the field.

Budgeting and Planning for Sport and Leisure Activities

In this online course, students explore the practical aspects of operating a sports and leisure program from a financial standpoint. Topics of discussion include budgeting and planning through the use of budgeting documents, spreadsheets and analysis techniques.

Organizational Behavior and Leadership

This course provides an overview of best practices for organizing and administrating public, private and non-profit leisure, recreation and tourism and sports agencies. Particular emphasis is placed on the various factors that affect organizational and leadership effectiveness.


Career Information

Graduates of a master's degree program are generally qualified for senior and supervisory positions in areas like parks and recreation, sports management and volunteer and youth agencies. In November 2016, Salary.com reported that the median annual salary for a campus recreation director was $65,985.

Online master's degree programs in leisure studies typically include advanced coursework in the business and organizational aspects of sports, recreation and tourism. They may also provide an opportunity for students to conduct independent research in particular issues of interest.

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