Laboratories and Working Groups


older couple on bicycles

Research shapes the identity, stimulates classroom instruction and serves as a springboard for our Department's public engagement activities. Research is also an important component of professional preparation of master's and doctoral students in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism. Members of our faculty are world-renowned for their scholarly accomplishments and are involved in many exciting research projects. They are actively collaborating with faculty from a number of different departments on the University of Illinois campus, including Kinesiology and Community Health; Human and Community Development; Anthropology; Urban Planning; Landscape Architecture and others. They are also involved in joint research projects with the Penn State University, Texas A & M University, North Carolina State University, University of Michigan and many other institutions. Learn more about research interests of our faculty.

Our Department is home to five exciting research laboratories where graduate students can develop their research skills:

Research Labs

  • Diversity Research Lab
  • Leisure and Health Lab
  • Park Planning and Policy Lab
  • Tourism Laboratory for Economic and Social Behavior Research
  • Sports Lab


Whether as part of a class project, thesis or dissertation, or collaboration with faculty on their grants, our graduate students conduct an impressive number of scientific investigations. From leisure and mental health among cancer survivors, to economics of sport, tourism demand forecasting, and leisure and marital satisfaction among intercultural couples, our graduate students' interests span a wide variety of topics in the field of recreation, sport, and tourism. Learn more about various research projects conducted by our grads.