Therapeutic Recreation, Ed.M.
COLLEGE OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Fall: June 1 [December 15 for international applicants]
Spring: October 15 [August 1 for international applicants]
Applications are processed as they are received throughout the year.
Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3
From Whom: One letter of recommendation should be obtained from a university faculty member familiar
with the applicant's academic competence. Currently enrolled undergraduates or those who have recently received their B.S. degree should submit two reference letters from faculty members. One reference letter may be from a practitioner
who can address work-related competence.
Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:
While there are no prerequisite course requirements
for admission, students lacking an academic
background in Therapeutic Recreation may be required to complete
one or more undergraduate courses in the discipline during the first semester of their graduate program. Additionally, applicants are advised to complete a course in anatomy and physiology, lifespan human development, and abnormal psychology prior to or at the very beginning of their graduate program. Please note that students whose undergraduate
coursework does not meet the National Council for Therapeutic
Recreation Certification (NCTRC) standards for "supportive
coursework" (see www.nctrc.org) will be required
to complete this coursework prior to sitting for the certification
examination. In consultation with an advisor, students may be required to take:
Ed 121: Life Span Human Development
PE 100: Anatomy and Physiology
Psy 150: Psychopathology
TR 331: TR Assessment and Documentation
TR 335: TR Clinical Procedures
Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:
A baccalaureate degree is required, but it need not be in Therapeutic Recreation.
Statement of Goals:
The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words
and should, at a minimum, include the following elements: why
your background and interests make you suitable for a career
in Therapeutic Recreation, your future career goals, and
your academic and research interests and accomplishments.
Standardized Test Scores:
The GRE/MAT is required. While there is no absolute minimum
score, the department seeks scores in the 50th percentile
or higher on the GRE verbal and quantitative sections or on
the MAT. A combination of UGPA and test scores are used
to determine admissibility.
Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed
to be accepted:
575 paper-based, 230 computer-based, or 88 internet-based. Any student admitted with a TOEFL score below 600 on the paper-based, 250 on the computer-based, or 100 on the internet-based examination must pass an English skills course during the first semester of enrollment at Temple University. Those having taken the paper-based or computer-based test have the additional option of testing out of the English course by taking and passing the SPEAK test at Temple.
A resume is required.
Graduate credits from an accredited institution
may be transferred into the Department of Therapeutic
Recreation. The content and credits must
be equivalent to coursework offered at
Temple and must be approved by the department's Graduate Director. The grade must be a "B" or
better in order to transfer. The maximum
number of credits a student may transfer
General Program Requirements:
Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the
Core Courses (12 s.h.):
TR 511: TR Administration
TR 563: Conceptual Issues in TR
TR 566: Fieldwork (optional
TR 574: TR Seminar in Disabilities I
Ed 500: Research Design (or equivalent)
Ed 525: Statistics (or equivalent)
PH 534: Theories of Health and Leisure Behavior
Cognate Courses (12.h.)*:
TR 512: Seminar on TR Professional
TR 521: Leisure, Health and Wellness
HS 570: Clinical Programming and Practice (prerequisites are TR 330 and TR 331 or the equivalent)
TR 575: TR Seminar in Disabilities II
may be substituted in consultation with an advisor.
Internship: Any student who is not a certified recreation therapist (CTRS) is required to perform an internship that is a 600-hour field placement under the supervision
of a full-time CTRS at an approved agency site. If
the student is a CTRS, an advanced internship or substitute
course is mandatory. The student
works with her/his faculty advisor in the selection of
the field site.
Language Examination: No language examination is required.
examination consists of two parts: the first is a multiple
choice exam designed to ensure that the student
has the entry-level knowledge to practice
in the discipline; the second is a written essay exam
to ensure that the student can think critically and
analytically and can adequately express her/his
choice exam covers the same areas as the
NCTRC national certifying exam: foundation
material, professionalism, assessment, program
planning and evaluation, program implementation
and intervention, administration, and characteristics
of individuals with disabilities. The written
essay portion of the exam requires responses to questions or scenarios about current
issues affecting the discipline as well as theory/philosophy, program implementation, research,
This exam is usually
taken after all coursework is completed. It is available several times throughout the year. Students
arrange with their academic advisors to
schedule and complete the examination.
Faculty who write the questions also grade
the responses. Each examination is evaluated
by two faculty members, each voting to pass
or fail the student. If the members are
not in agreement, a third faculty member
reads and evaluates the examination and
determines the outcome. Students may be
requested to provide verbal explanations
to questions in a follow-up meeting. Students
are allowed two opportunities to successfully
complete the exam.
is given a choice of questions on which
to respond on the written examination. The
evaluators look for (a) an understanding
of core concepts, (b) the application of
principles to specific scenarios, and (c)
an ability to write technically in a manner
consistent with the expectations of the
discipline. Students must successfully pass
at least 70 percent of the written portion
of the exam in order to satisfactorily complete
with an academic background and previous
experience practicing as a recreation therapist
are permitted to complete a master's project
in lieu of the comprehensive exam. This
option is always used for students who intend
to pursue a doctoral degree.
The master's project
is designed by the student in consultation
with faculty, and can involve research,
program evaluation, or other elements that
demonstrate advanced application of Therapeutic Recreation principles
The master's project is
presented to the faculty and evaluated based
on standards appropriate to the project.
Program Contact Information:
Dept. of Therapeutic Recreation
1700 N. Broad Street, Suite 313
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Dr. John Shank
Dr. John Shank
About the Program
The 33-s.h. master's program in Therapeutic
Recreation (TR) is designed for individuals who
want to advance their knowledge and skills in providing
play, recreation, and leisure as a form of health
promotion and rehabilitation to individuals with
disabilities across the lifespan. The program provides
an opportunity for currently certified recreation
therapists to individualize their area of study,
including but not limited to health promotion, clinical
intervention, and administration. Students who
do not have an academic background or work experience
in TR service delivery may use the Ed.M. program to
meet the academic requirements to sit for the national
credentialing examination of the National Council
for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). Their program is typically 36-39 semester hours.
Time Limit for Degree Completion: 4 years
Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a full-time or part-time (6-8 credit hours or less per semester) basis.
Dept. of Therapeutic Recreation
1700 N. Broad Street, Suite 313
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Interdisciplinary study is encouraged through certificate programs in Gerontology (through the Institute on Aging), Horticulture Therapy (through the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture), and Assistive Technology and Disability Studies (through the Institute on Disabilities). Other interdisciplinary study may be geared to the student's personal interests, e.g., exercise science, special education, or counseling. The College of Health Professions also provides opportunities for interdisciplinary learning, which can culminate in a certificate of Interdisciplinary Education.
Numerous health care and human service agencies in Philadelphia and the surrounding Delaware Valley region cooperate with the TR department and offer opportunities for student training and research. These include nationally recognized rehabilitation facilities such as Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Easter Seals Society, Moss Rehab and Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, the Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports, the Princeton Medical Center; Shriner's Hospital, the Temple University Hospital and Health System, United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia, and the Variety Club Camp and Developmental Center.
The faculty and the program are nationally
recognized for excellence and have received
numerous national and state awards for their
contributions. Graduates of the program consistently
perform well on the national certification examination
for certified recreation therapists.
Areas of Specialization:
Faculty members specialize and offer
learning opportunities in health promotion
and rehabilitation, gerontology, physical
and mental health, and disability studies.
Graduates of the program are highly
sought for advanced clinical/management positions
in hospitals, pediatric facilities, nursing
homes, adult day programs and assisted living
facilities, and community settings providing
specialized services to individuals with disabilities.
Non-Degree Student Policy:
Students are allowed to take up to
9 semester hours of coursework before matriculation.
Selection of courses must be made in conjunction
with the department's Graduate Director.
Funding is available in various forms. The principal duties of a Teaching Assistant (TA) include assisting faculty members in the classroom
(field, observatory); conducting tutorials and discussion
sections; and grading quizzes. A TA may also be
used as an instructor in an undergraduate course
in Therapeutic Recreation, depending on the TA's expertise
and experience. Research
Assistants are expected to devote up to 20 hours
per week to research obligations. Availability
depends on whether faculty have externally funded
research grants. Assignments vary depending on the
nature of the grant. Both Teaching and Research
Assistantships carry a stipend
and partial or full tuition remission. Academic Internships are also sometimes available and involve graduate students in faculty- supervised projects other than assisting with teaching and research. An example would be coordinating an after-school recreation program for children in a neighborhood community center. Academic Internships carry a stipend and partial or full tuition remission. Graduate Externships are available
through other divisions of the university. For example,
Temple University's Recreation Services hires externs
to conduct student recreation events, and the Institute on Disabilities hires externs to assist with various projects. Externs do
not receive tuition remission. Externship postions are handled by each
unit offering them. Applying for a position as TA, RA, Academic Intern, or Graduate Extern is done in the form of a letter outlining relevant qualifications and experience submitted by March 15 to the Department Chair.