Apr 17, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sport and Recreation Leadership, Sport and Recreation Concentration, M.S.


In addition to The Graduate School qualifications for admissions, potential candidates must meet the requirements of the Hart School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management. For more information, see the application website.

In all programs, courses must be selected with the approval of the adviser in accordance with the professional goals of the student. Students applying to Sport & Recreation Leadership are expected to have satisfactory Graduate Record Examination scores and adequate undergraduate preparation including at least one course in a cognate area of the discipline.


The sport & recreation leadership program is designed to empower students with the education and skill sets necessary to succeed and become a leader in the sport or recreation industries.

Master of Science in Sport and Recreation Leadership

The Master of Science degree in sport and recreation leadership requires 33 credit hours. Students select a concentration in either sport and recreation or campus recreation when applying to the program. They enroll in core and concentration classes simultaneously throughout their program. Students in both concentrations may select either the thesis or non-thesis option.

Core Courses

The core curriculum is designed to weave the concepts of leadership through the five common core courses of the program. These core classes will be the platform from which students learn to navigate the various segments of the sport and recreation industry and their communities as leaders. The focus of this set of course work is to provide students with specific industry skill sets and knowledge in the areas of budget management, human resource management, staff training and development, gender equity, research, legal and ethical issues, risk management, teamwork, networking and project management. All of these areas are essential elements for the training and success of master’s level professionals in sport and recreation.

Required Courses Credit Hours
SRL 515. Leadership in Sport and Recreation Professions   3
SRL 525. Research Techniques in Sport and Recreation Leadership   3
SRL 615. Fiscal Planning and Management in Sport and Recreation Leadership   3
SRL 635. Human Resources Management and Development in Sport and Recreation   3
SRL 675. Legal Concepts in Sport and Recreation Leadership   3


Sport and Recreation Concentration

Students who complete the sport and recreation concentration requirements will be prepared to work in all segments of the sport and recreation industry. Graduates of this concentration will find employment in areas such as high school and college coaching and athletic administration; professional and amateur sport associations; public, private, and non-profit agency administrators; parks and recreation agencies; and youth sports programs.


All electives must be pre-approved by the SRL program director. Selection of an elective must be based on the student’s career path and the segment of the industry they have chosen to pursue.

Students may select electives in departments outside the sport and recreation program. The sport and recreation concentration allows a student to select between a three-hour internship or a three-hour elective, subject to SRL program director approval. The campus recreation concentration has a three-hour elective built into its curriculum for the non-thesis option. The goal is to provide students with a more beneficial educational experience by allowing them to tailor their education to meet their career objectives. The sport and recreation student, however, must provide convincing evidence to the SRL program director that his or her educational experience would benefit more from an elective than performing the internship.

Students may take electives in SRL as well as any other relevant graduate courses at JMU. SRL recommends courses which will enhance cultural literacy, such as

AHRD 570. Diversity and Ethics in AHRD  

KIN 542. Exercise Across the Lifespan  

KIN 575. Gender Issues in Sport and Recreation Leadership

KIN 611. Teaching Diverse Populations in Health and Physical Education  

NUTR 545. Nutrition and Exercise  

PSYC 649. Multiculturealism, Diversity and Difference: Theory, Research and Practice in Student Affairs  

PSYC 660. Counseling Theories  


The internship is a 400-hour practical work experience designed to apply theory and course content to problems encountered in a professional setting. Specific assignments will be determined by the needs of the student. Typical internship sites include professional sports organizations, college athletic departments, high school athletic departments, parks and recreation agencies, collegiate recreation centers and youth sports programs. Internship sites must be approved by the director of the SRL program. The internship is required in the campus recreation concentration (non-thesis option), but is optional in the sport and recreation concentration non-thesis option. The internship is not an option in either concentration in the thesis track of study. In the sport and recreation concentration students may opt to take on additional coursework instead of the practical experience because some students are working full-time in the industry and the practical experience is not crucial in obtaining a position. In the campus recreation concentration, the majority enroll directly after completing an undergraduate degree or enter the program with 1-2 years of work experience most often in a related segment of the sport or recreation industry, so the internship is a requirement for them.

Thesis Option

Students in both concentrations have the option of completing a thesis. The thesis option allows students to conduct scholarly research under the guidance of a thesis chair (selected by the student) and two committee members (selected by the student with chair approval). All committee members must be graduate faculty. One committee member may be a faculty member in a department outside sport and recreation leadership. Any full-time graduate faculty member in the department is eligible to chair a thesis. Students will enroll in SRL 700. Thesis for two consecutive semesters upon completion of 18 credit hours. Before enrolling in SRL 700 students must get approval of their thesis proposal from all members of their committee as per the requirements of the sport and recreation leadership department. Following approval, the thesis chair is responsible for guiding and directing the student through the research process. This includes submission of the thesis to the committee, final approval of the committee and submission to The Graduate School. Thesis students will participate in a defense with their committee. Following a successful defense, students will make recommended changes and submit the document to the thesis chair for final approval. Upon approval it will be submitted to the committee for signatures and then filed with The Graduate School.

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