Masters Online Admissions

Admission Guidelines

Consideration for admission to the online program is based on a comprehensive review of the applicant’s admission packet, including past academic performance and professional experience. Requirements include the following:


  • Bachelors degree from an accredited institution
  • A major in parks, recreation, sport, tourism or a related field will be given preference
  • GPA, last two years of undergraduate studies with a minimum of 3.0* out of 4.0
  • TOEFL/IELTS - For international students’ language ability, a TOEFL score or IELTS test is required. Minimum scores are as follows:
    pbT TOEFL - greater than 610
    IBT TOEFL - greater than 102
    CBT TOEFL - greater than 253
    IELTS - greater than 6.5
  • Three letters of reference that specifically address the applicant’s ability to be successful in an online graduate program in recreation, sport and tourism
  • A current resume reflecting academic and professional experience**
  • Personal Statement: Such statement is reviewed closely to identify one's interests and professional experience** related to parks, recreation, sport or tourism. Listed below are specific questions for applicants to address, but not limit themselves to, within their personal statement. These questions could be addressed in one whole essay, or as itemized responses to the questions:
    1. What are your goals for graduate study and a professional career? If appropriate, describe your professional experience as it relates to parks, recreation, sport, or tourism.
    2. Why do you feel the University of Illinois is appropriate for you? Why do you think the online program offered by the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism is a good match for your interests?
    3. Why are you pursuing an online graduate degree? In what ways would your degree contribute to your future and/or career?

* Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis. In reviewing the applicant’s entire packet, there may be convincing reasons to admit the applicant (e.g., professional experience) even though the required GPA or TOEFL (for international applicants) is below the minimum.

** Professional experience in the field, although not necessary, would improve an applicant’s admission packet. Such experience should be highlighted in the applicant's resume and the applicant's "personal statement."

Application Procedures

We appreciate your interest in the Department of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism and welcome your application for admission to the online program.

To apply for the online Master of Science in Recreation, Sport and Tourism, please visit our Apply Now page.

We recommend that your application and all materials be received at least two weeks prior to the intended start term. Keep in mind that applications received close to the beginning of the intended start term may not be processed in time for you to begin that course.

Once you apply, you will be assigned an Advisor who will work with you throughout your entire program—from admission, to registration, to financial aid, and all the way through graduation. After your application is submitted, your Advisor will monitor the submission of all application materials (recommendation letters, transcripts, etc.) and provide you with a weekly status of your application materials.

Once an application is complete, it will be reviewed by a committee. The committee will make one of three recommendations to the Graduate College:


  1. accept—satisfies all admission requirements,
  2. accept on "limited status"—satisfies most admission requirements, however, in the review of an applicant, there may be convincing reasons to admit the applicant yet concern about his/her ability to successfully transition into the graduate program. In such cases, applicants will be admitted on "limited" status. Students are generally removed from "limited" status if they achieve a 3.0 GPA, or
  3. reject—does not satisfy most of the admission requirements.