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.
APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program and check the status of your application by using the ApplyYourself PIN and password assigned to you.
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:
No prerequisite courses are required
for admission, although students lacking an academic
background in Therapeutic Recreation may be required to complete
one or more undergraduate courses in the discipline by the end of their first semester in the graduate program. For example, a specially designed online "readings" course may be completed the Summer prior to beginning the program in the Fall semester. Other courses may also need to be completed prior to or at the very beginning of the 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 1322: Life Span Human Development
KIN 1223: Anatomy and Physiology
PSY 2201: Psychopathology
TR 3101: TR Assessment and Documentation
TR 4196: 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 or MAT is required. Scores are expected in the 50th percentile
or higher on the GRE verbal and quantitative sections or on
the MAT, but a combination of undergraduate GPA and test scores are used
to determine admissibility. Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may be considered for admission based on scores at or above the 65th percentile on the GRE/MAT and B+ or higher in 9 credits of graduate-level coursework.
Minimum TOEFL score needed
to be accepted:
550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.
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:
Minimum Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the
Core Courses (15 s.h.):
TR 8141: Conceptual Issues in TR
TR 8150: TR Seminar in Disabilities
TR 8171: TR Administration
TR 8188: Fieldwork (optional
TR 9143: Leisure, Health and Life Quality
ED 5101: Research Design in Education (or equivalent)
ED 5325: Introduction to Statistics and Research (or equivalent)
Cognate Courses (12 s.h.)*:
TR 5250: Seminar on TR Professional
TR 8142: Clinical Programming and Practice (prerequisites are TR 2103 and TR 3101 or the equivalent)
TR 8160: 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 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. Part I is typically completed prior to Internship, and Part II is completed within 5 weeks of the completion of the internship. 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.
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 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 Therapeutic Recreation department and offer opportunities for student training and research. These include nationally recognized rehabilitation facilities such as Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the 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. Graduates who use the degree to enter this field are also highly sought after to begin practicing as a recreation therapist.
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 sometimes available and involve graduate students in faculty-supervised projects other than assisting with teaching and research. An example is 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 positions are handled directly by the
units offering them.
Applying for a position as a TA, RA, Academic Intern, or Graduate Extern is done in the form of a letter outlining relevant qualifications and experience. It must be submitted by March 15 to the Department Chair.