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Frequently Asked Questions

The following are frequently asked questions about the RPM Graduate program.

QUESTION: What is the actual Frostburg State University degree that I earn from this program?

Students earn a Master's of Science (MS) degree in Recreation & Parks Management.

QUESTION: What is a cohort?

A cohort is a group of students who enter the program together and complete the program as a group. Many students prefer this approach because of the collegiality that develops among the students.

QUESTION: Why is there an entrance requirement of three years of experience?

There are several reasons why there is a three year entrance requirement for the program. First, students have programming experience and are ready to make the next step into an administrative position. Second, students have made a commitment to the profession through their work experiences. Third, it significantly affects the teaching style. Students have experience to contribute to others in the program. This includes students who enter the program with an experience basis from outside the discipline.

QUESTION: Do I need to take the GRE's for admission into the program?

No, you do not need to take the GRE’s to be admitted into the program.  We feel the admission requirements we put in place are strong indicators of student success in this program.

QUESTION: I have an undergraduate degree in recreation. Is the master's program more of the same or is it something that is really different?

The master's program in RPM has a very different focus from the typical undergraduate program. The undergraduate program is designed to prepare students to enter the discipline as recreation programmers. Hence, the focus of the undergraduate program is primarily on leadership and programming skills. In contrast, the master's program is designed to prepare students for the next step in their careers or to prepare them for administrative positions in recreation and park agencies. For this reason, you will note the absence of any program planning classes in the master's program.

QUESTION: Why do I need this program?

Generally, students who take the RPM program indicate two reasons for enrolling in the program. First, they want to advance themselves to the next step in their careers and they want to learn the administrative skills that they will need to do this. Second, people who want to enter the field who are currently employed outside of the field or who are in the field and did not complete their undergraduate degree in recreation find that the program provides them with the formal training that they need.

QUESTION: Why online?

Throughout its fifteen year history, the Masters program has traditionally been offered through a weekend cohort approach in the central Maryland metropolitan district. Due to the growing needs of professionals without available access to a graduate degree and the busy schedules of our students, the program has transitioned to an on-line format with one required face-to-face orientation.

There are ten required courses that make up the 30 credit program. Two courses will be offered online every semester in a sequential order. If a student completes all requirements, the program will take 2½ years to finish.

The program is designed to accommodate professionals working in the field who desire to remain employed while completing their program. Since most students are working professionals, they are part-time students and will be expected to complete two classes each semester (spring and fall). 

A new cohort will begin every fall.  Early admission is April 1 with the final deadline for application of June 1st, pending availability in the cohort.  The application must be fully complete in order to be considered.  All applications received after the deadline will be placed on a waiting list for the pending cohort for which they originally applied.  Once a cohort is full, applicants will be placed on a list for the following year.

QUESTION: I am interested in the program. Who do I contact regarding the program and where and when is the next cohort?

After taking a careful look at the information on this website, feel free to contact Dr. Natalia Buta who is the coordinator of the online graduate program.  Her contact information is listed below.  You are encouraged to e-mail Dr. Buta with any specific questions you have regarding admission into the program.

If you have specific questions about accessing the proper application forms or submitting your application, please contact Ms. Vickie Mazer, Director of Graduate Studies at

FSU Contact: Dr. Natalia Buta