Have you ever thought about directing a clinical recreational therapy department, city parks and recreation program, YMCA, or commercial recreation operation? Do you have an interest in combining a degree that focuses on quality of life along with administration?

ECU offers a master of science in recreation services and interventions with two concentrations: recreation and park administration and recreational therapy administration.

East Carolina's RSI degree program allows you to work closely with faculty and other graduate students to learn and grow in the profession or prepare you for doctoral school. The program offers opportunities to learn hands-on, in-the-trenches skills and techniques as well as conduct research alongside faculty. This MS program will assist you in learning administrative and research skills to serve you in any direction you choose. The MS degree has two concentrations: recreation and park administration (RPA) and recreational therapy administration (RTA). The RPA concentration provides coursework and studies related to parks and recreation in government, outdoor recreation, tourism, commercial recreation, nonprofit organizations, and a host of other settings to enhance quality of life for all.

The RTA concentration is for those wishing to enhance their skills and understanding of providing recreational therapy in a wide range of clinical settings. This allied health focused concentration can be directed in areas such as behavioral, physical, or cognitive therapy in settings that address rehabilitation, long-term care, and other clinical settings to aid individuals with impairments and injuries to attain the highest quality of life possible.

ECU Advantage

The MS degree program in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies has gained national attention for producing prepared professionals ready to make a difference in the lives of all peoples. We offer two graduate certificates to enhance student preparation; one in biofeedback, as part of our Center for Applied Psychophysiology, and one in aquatic therapy. Both of these certificates are the only ones of their kind in the eastern United States.

Our faculty are nationally known for their expertise, scholarship, and focus on students. Our eight recreational therapy faculty are fully credentialed and work closely with qualified practitioners throughout the state and across the country. The other eight faculty have a wide range of interests in tourism, the outdoors, leadership, physical activity in parks, and campus recreation. All RCLS faculty utilize their statewide and national networks to engage students in the highest quality education.

What You Will Study

There is no catalog data for this program.

Careers With This Degree

Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

  • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
  • Restaurants, Hotels and Hospitality
  • Recreation & Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Recreation Workers
  • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies

Career Opportunities

ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

NC Tower

This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

  • Self-employed;
  • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
  • Work outside of North Carolina.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

Degree-specific internships

For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.