Recreation and Leisure Studies, M.S. - Recreation Therapy

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The Master of Science degree program in recreation and leisure studies is designed to prepare students for supervision, administration, and management of recreation programs and facilities. Areas of specialization are: Recreation Therapy or Recreation Administration.

The specialization program in recreation therapy can be designed to meet certification requirements of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). The specialization in Recreation Administration prepares students for advanced careers in the field of parks, recreation, and tourism.

Beyond the core and specialization related classes, students are required to take a practicum based course to gain career related experience. The curriculum is also individualized and structured to meet the needs of students who are working full time by offering courses mostly in the evenings or on weekends using both traditional and hybrid formats.

The curriculum is competency based with a strong emphasis on the professional skills necessary to be an effective manager or service provider. A combination of didactic course work, practicum experiences, and independent study activities provides students with a broad array of learning experiences to further their professional development. Elective courses are approved in order to best serve the academic and professional interest of the students.

The normal sequence for completion of a master ’s degree program is four consecutive terms of classwork in addition to completion of a special project, thesis, or comprehensive exam.

Program Sequence - 30-36 Credits

As sequencing changes, it is highly recommended that students meet with their program advisor to finalize a list of requirements for graduation.  

Basic Core Courses — 9 credits

Area of Specialization — 18-21  credits

Courses based on the specialization that the student follows; e.g., recreation administration, and recreational therapy. Courses must be in the subject of Recreation and Leisure and be at the graduate level. 

Recreation Therapy Courses

REC 534 — Advanced practice in Therapeutic Recreation Programming - 3 credits
REC 581 — Seminar in Therapeutic Recreation Service - 3 credits
REC 585 — Clinical Aspects of Therapeutic Recreation - 3 credits
REC 541 — Advanced Concepts in Recreational Therapy - 3 credits
REC 584 — Leisure Education - 3 credits
REC 543 — Advanced Interventions in Recreational Therapy - 3 credits
REC 583 — Practicum Experience - 3 credits

Departmental Electives-minimum of 3-9 credits

Select 3-9 electives. These must be graduate level and in Recreation and Leisure.

Suggested Elective
REC 533 — Socio-Leisure Needs of Individuals with Disabilities - 3 credits
REC 599 — Grantsmanship
Or courses in the MBA program - Advisor permission needed

Additional Requirement
Students in the program may choose either the Thesis or Special Project option.

Master’s Thesis

Thesis Seminar I (REC 590, 3 credits) and Thesis Seminar II (REC 591, 3 credits)

The thesis option is intended for students who eventually plan to acquire an Ed.D. or Ph.D. in order to teach in a college or university, or to pursue a career in recreation and leisure research, or to be eligible for high state and federal supervisory positions. Thesis I includes the development of a thesis proposal and must be completed before registering for Thesis II.

Special Project

Students select the 583/588 (3 credits each) option including a practicum experience to be determined in consultation with the graduate coordinator and a special project as a capstone work incorporating course materials applied to an area of interest to the student. The project results are deliverable product at completion of the course. (REC 588/Practicum 583):

Special Project — A project or real life type of examination. The idea is to offer students a practical, relevant, and meaningful choice.

In lieu of either the thesis or special project option, students may select the comprehensive exam option as the capstone experience. The comprehensive exam option includes six (6) credits of elective coursework.