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University of Florida: The Tourism and Sport Management of the Future

The University of Florida, situated on a sprawling 2000 acre campus in Gainesville, is surrounded by outdoor opportunities, including six state parks within driving distance, and is also home to the well-known Gator’s sports teams, along with their faithful mascots, Albert and Alberta Gator. While these factors no doubt appeal to many students deciding exactly where to study, they are particularly significant for those choosing to study tourism, recreation and sport management.

Whether you’re interested in wandering the lakes and exploring the outdoors, or cheering on the Gator’s in ‘The Swamp,’ the Department of Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management at the University of Florida offers it all, and more.

The Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management is continually celebrating successes both in Florida and around the world. Its students have the opportunity to attend conferences, meet renowned lecturers, network with industry professionals, and some have even represented the USA at Olympic events! Read more about these successes here.

The Departments’ two Master’s degrees are particularly renowned, and with good reason.

Master of Tourism and Recreation Management

Cody Benkelman Tourism & Hospitality Management student
Cody Benkelman, Tourism student. Image courtesy of University of Florida

The tourism and recreation management masters offers graduate students a lot in terms of choice, with two concentrations as well as two specializations available to choose from. This gives students the chance to study the effects tourism and recreation can have on natural resources, how to analyse tourism behaviour through large datasets, destination development, and hospitality operations. Students also can learn crisis management in order to be prepared for when things go wrong. Read more about this program here

Along with the above, students have the option to submit a thesis as part of the post-graduate degree, and with so much in terms of tourism and recreation surrounding the campus students at the University of Florida won’t have to go far for inspiration:

  • Florida is a major market leader in both domestic and international tourism
  • It boasts an abundance of natural and manmade attractions; lakes, national parks, walking trails along with the globally recognised Walt Disney World and the more recently opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  • Tourism is the number one industry in Florida
  • Students have access to the Eric Friedman Tourism Institute, one of the leading tourism institutes in the world. EFTI supports four research centres.

Master of Science in Sport Management


Image courtesy of University of Florida

With a focus on the latest advances in the field of sport, this course, designed by the University of Florida’s expert faculty, presents both a theoretical and practical approach to Sport Management. Masters students will become expert in evaluating organizational goals, developing financial strategies, and applying marketing and legal concepts in the sports industry, as well as understanding the internal and external factors that continually shape it. Students have the option to choose from a range of specialisms and again, there are countless extra-curricular activities on offer at the University of Florida which contribute towards the Sport Management degree:

  • Excellent examples of successful sports teams, such as the Gator’s.
  • Sport Laboratories which can be used to aid study and inform research.
  • Student fitness centres and sports clubs where Masters Students can feed their passion or find willing participants for sports related research.

Not only is there lots on offer in terms of support and inspiration, but the Master of Science in Sport Management is also offered as an online degree at a tuition rate significantly below out of state rates for international students. This option is more flexible, and perhaps more practical for those living out of the state, who have families or are already in work, whilst being just as immersive and specialized as the offline version. In addition, there is the option to gain real practical experience by completing a Practicum or Internship.

So why the University of Florida?


Image courtesy of University of Florida

If you’re still not convinced by the many outdoor attractions, the proximity to Cinderella and Harry Potter, or Albert and Alberta Gator then here’s one more thing that makes the Master’s programmes at the University of Florida attractive to both students and prospective employers.

Both Master’s programmes outlined focus not only on the present, but also on the future, both the future of the students and that of their chosen fields of study.

The internships offered prepare students for the world of work, allowing them to network and potentially find a position before even finishing their degree. Similarly, for those studying Sport Management and not submitting a thesis a Capstone Project must be completed. This project allows students to demonstrate their ability to carry theoretical knowledge into the world of work as well as to reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses in order to better equip them for life after graduation from the programme.  

Those studying tourism and recreation management don’t only think about the present, but they consider the possible effects of tourism on the globe, and on protections that might need to be put in place in the future.

A Master’s degree from the University of Florida will not just provide you with an in depth knowledge of Tourism and Recreation or Sports Management, it will equip you with that knowledge, as well as the practical skills needed to really use it to create something worthwhile, be that a successful sports team or an ideal tourist destination. Not only that, but it will also equip you with the skills to think ahead in order to protect what you create and sustain it for future generations, just as the University has sustained a history of excellence since its founding 160 years ago.

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Feature image courtesy of Unsplash

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