Recreation Therapy, M.S.
COLLEGE OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS AND SOCIAL WORK
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Fall: April 1; December 15 international
Spring: October 15; August 1 international
Applications are processed as they are received throughout the year.
APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program. Check the status of your application by using your ApplyYourself PIN and password.
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 professional
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 are required to complete
one or more undergraduate courses in the discipline by the end of their first semester in the graduate program. These include:
TR 2103: Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation Practice*
TR 3101: Therapeutic Recreation Assessment and Documentation*
TR 5101: Health, Activity and Aging
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. These courses include:
ED 1322: The Developing Individual Across the Life Span (or equivalent, such as Developmental Psychology)**
KIN 1223: Human Anatomy and Physiology I**
PSY 2201: Foundations of Psychopathology (or equivalent, such as Abnormal Psychology)**
* Required of M.S. students without TR background.
** Required for NCTRC credentialing examination.
Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:
A baccalaureate degree, earned with a minimum GPA of 3.0, is required. All undergraduate majors are considered for admission.
Statement of Goals:
The Statement of Goals of approximately 500-1,000 words
should, at a minimum, include the following elements: why
your background and interests make you suitable for a career
in Recreation Therapy; 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 is used
to determine admission. 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 Program 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 (18-24 s.h.):
TR 5101: Health, Activity and Aging***
TR 8101: Evidence-Based Practice I
TR 8102: Evidence-Based Practice II
Conceptual and Contemporary Issues in TR
Clinical Programming and Practice in TR
TR 8171: TR Administration
TR 9143: Leisure, Health and Quality of Life
TR 9187: TR Practicum
TR 9995: Master's Project in TR
Required External (3 s.h.):
HRP 5xxx: Research Design (or equivalent)
Specialization Electives (9 s.h.):
3 courses selected, with guidance, to fit area of specialization (e.g., geriatrics, pediatrics, rehabilitation)
*** Another course
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.
Master's Project on Evidence-Based Practice:
All M.S. degree students are required to complete a field-based project on evidence-based recreation therapy practice. The project is proposed and approved by graduate faculty before it is implemented. The final project is prepared for presentation at a professional meeting/conference, and may result in a manuscript for publication as well.
Program Contact Information:
Department of Therapeutic Recreation
1700 N. Broad Street, Suite 304
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Graduate Program Director:
Dr. John Shank
About the Program
The M.S. in Recreation Therapy is designed for individuals who
want to advance their knowledge and skills related to evidence-based practice within healthcare and human services. The curriculum teaches from a conceptual model of health promotion and rehabilitation and maintains a lifespan perspective in three core areas: health, disability, and leisure. The primary focus of academic and clinical preparation is on training recreation therapists to use
play, recreation, and leisure to achieve and maintain goals related to health
promotion, rehabilitation, and full participation in active, meaningful life.
The program provides
an opportunity for currently certified recreation
therapists (CTRS) to advance their knowledge and understanding of evidence-based practice within an area of specialization (e.g., geriatrics, pediatrics, rehabilitation), and gain skills to meet specialty certification through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). The program for currently certified recreation therapists is completed in 30 semester hours.
do not have an academic background in Therapeutic Recreation may use the program to meet eligibility requirements for the NCTRC national credentialing examination for recreation therapists. These students may also select an area of specialization. Excluding "leveling" coursework, these students complete their program in 36-39 hours.
Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3-4 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.
Department of Therapeutic Recreation
1700 N. Broad Street, Suite 304
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 diversity of departments and programs in the College of Health Professions and Social Work presents abundant opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning.
Numerous healthcare 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.
Additionally, graduate students are encouraged and supported to complete internships/clinical practicums in an extensive network of agencies the program has cultivated over the years. These include placements across the country, including California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Montana, and Virginia.
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 credentialing examination
for certified recreation therapists.
The academic program meets or exceeds all current curriculum standards issued by professional organizations and the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).
Areas of Specialization:
Faculty members specialize and offer
learning opportunities in adapted sport and inclusive recreation, behavioral health, disability studies, geriatrics, health promotion
and rehabilitation, pediatrics, and physical
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 graduate coursework before matriculation.
Selection of courses must be made in conjunction
with the department's Graduate Program Director.
Funding is available in various forms:
- The principal duties of a Teaching Assistant include assisting faculty members in the classroom
(field, observatory); conducting tutorials and discussion
sections; and grading quizzes. A Teaching Assistant may also be
used as an instructor in an undergraduate course
in Therapeutic Recreation, depending on the the individual's expertise
and experience. A Teaching Assistantship carries a stipend and partial or full tuition remission.
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. A Research
Assistantship carries 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, or Academic Intern is done in the form of a letter outlining relevant qualifications and experience. It must be submitted by March 1 to the Graduate Program Director.