New online master’s degree

Young lady hiker standing with backpack on top of a mountain and enjoying sunrise

Program serves recreation professionals looking to advance

Recreation management professionals looking to advance in their career can now apply for a new, fully-online Master of Science in Recreation Management-Professional Development program at UW-La Crosse.

The 30-credit program will be offered for the first time in fall 2019, making it the first online Master of Science in Recreation Management in the UW System, says Kate Evans, program director.

“This new degree serves the needs of recreation professionals who are not in a position to leave their careers to come back to school, but who want or need to advance their education to move forward in their career,” Evans explains. “We’ve created the program so they can continue to work and use their professional experiences while learning.”

The new online offering is different from other programs currently offered in UWL’s Recreation Management & Therapeutic Recreation Department not only in its fully-online format, but also in that it is created specifically for those with professional experiences in the field.  While advancing their management skills, the program participants are empowered to build on a base of recreation education and/or experience to advance knowledge, skills and careers.

Applications are being accepted now until seats are filled for the fall 2019 term. The first notification for acceptance into the program will be April 1. To learn more and to apply visit or contact Katherine Evans, academic program director, at or 608.785.8210.

The new online degree adds to several programs offered through UWL’s Recreation Management & Therapeutic Recreation Department including undergraduate majors and minors and face-to-face graduate programs in Therapeutic Recreation and Recreation Management.

Program details

Students will progress through the program with other learners. This online program offers collaborative learning opportunities consisting of projects, discussions and research-based content and best practices in the field of recreation management.

Each fall, a new group of students will begin coursework consisting of 30 credits. The culminating course will be the Capstone Seminar in Recreation Management in which students will integrate their skills and knowledge into an actionable plan for addressing an issue in recreation or leisure service delivery. Students are provided the option to present their capstone project at UWL, connect with their instructors and peers, and participate in the university’s commencement ceremony.

Designed for working professionals who balance competing obligations, the program will:

  • Allow time for work and family
  • Build on prior education and existing experience in the field
  • Focus on management skills required for attaining and advancing in recreation management positions

There is no GRE requirement.  A culminating capstone project is required instead of a thesis, and for those working in a recreation management role, the capstone project can be completed and implemented in conjunction with their current job position.

Additional highlights of the program include:

  • Advance (from start to finish) with the same group of aspiring and current recreation management professionals
  • Network with others from a variety of recreation settings
  • Examine perspectives of diverse populations as they relate to the leisure experience
  • Complete 30 credits in six semesters/two years

UWL’s strong recreation management faculty, high placement record and affordable tuition make the Master of Science in Recreation Management-Professional Development a program of choice for those interested in entering and advancing in the field of recreation management. 

UWL Continuing Education and Extension and Recreation Management & Therapeutic Recreation department collaborated on the development and implementation of the new program.

UWL Graduate programs

UWL offers more than 30 graduate degrees and certificates in areas from health and wellness to business and management.  Offerings include on-campus programs and online and hybrid programs. Learn more about UWL graduate school programs.