Doctor of Philosophy in Recreation, Sport and Tourism

The Doctor of Philosophy is a research oriented degree that prepares successful candidates for positions in higher education, private organizations, public agencies, and other research-based positions. During their doctoral program, students complete course work, written and oral preliminary examinations, and a dissertation in an area of specialization.

Core Requirements

  • RST 503 - Advanced Research Methods - 4 hours
  • RST 550 – Theory and Methods of Leisure - 4 hours
  • RST 551 – Contemporary Issues in Leisure - 4 hours
  • RST 590 – Seminar- 1 hour, required 4 semesters (recommended every semester on campus)

Specialization Requirements

  • Coursework to support specialization - 28 hours (12 of the 28 hours must be RST courses)
  • Advanced research methods to support specialization - 16 hours

Thesis Requirements

  • RST 599 – Thesis Research - 20 hours

TOTAL UNITS (minimum): 80 credit hours

Prerequisite for Ph.D. Program

  • Master's degree
  • Two years in residence
  • Graduate level foundations class in leisure is recommended
  • Graduate level social science research design


To apply for a graduate degree program in Recreation, Sport and Tourism, please visit our Apply Now page.

Graduate Student Teaching Preparation Program

In addition to the above coursework, students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to enhance their teaching skills by attending teaching workshops and taking RST 560 or an equivalent teaching preparation course (all potential substitutes must be approved by the Graduate Committee). RST 560 may be counted toward the 12 hours of "Departmental Coursework to Support Specialization" requirement.

Progress Reports

Every doctoral student will be required to submit a progress report once a year. The reports will have to be submitted to the department, not the individual advisors, by May 31st of each year (or as soon as grades are available).

Course Description

RST 550: Theory and Methods of Leisure

Surveys concepts, methods, and problems of leisure research that are common to recreation, sport and tourism; histories of theoretical and methodical developments are discussed, appreciated and critiqued; examines the development of ideas through literature, with discussion centered on explaining the evolution of literature.

RST 551: Contemporary Issues in Leisure

Critically surveys research from neighboring disciplines to determine how this research may inform and influence future research in recreation, sport and tourism; provides a comparative perspective, including discovery alternative theories to guide our research; examines links between distinct phenomena that can potentially lead to creative research (Prerequisite is 550)

RST Graduate Manual

Click here to access the RST Graduate Manual.