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COVID-19 Updates and Resources

Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management

Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management, M.S.

Picture of students on the walkway in front of Cooper Library on campus.

The Master of Science in PRTM (thesis) degree is designed for people planning to undertake doctoral study, work in research related positions in their chosen profession, or pursue administration positions in park, recreation and/or tourism agencies and settings.

Given the current COVID-19 crisis and subsequent challenges related to standardized exams, our graduate programs will provide a GRE waiver process for all applicants for Fall 2022. GRE results can be submitted if they are available, however, prospective students are required to submit a 3-5 page double-spaced writing sample focused on a topic of their own choosing. This can also be a published paper, one that is under review or was written for a class.

  • Overview

    The goal of this degree is to produce a skilled professional capable of research with minimal supervision.

    This degree is designed for people planning to undertake doctoral study, work in research related positions in their chosen profession, or pursue administration positions in park, recreation and/or tourism agencies and settings. Due to the nature of the curriculum this is a traditional, on-campus degree. 

  • Application Deadline

    Applications wanting to be considered for fall admission should submit all required materials by February 1. Application materials for spring admission are due by October 1.

    Students are strongly encouraged to begin the degree in Fall, as our course work sequences in a specific manner. A spring start may put you off-sequence and behind.

  • Admission Requirements


    Enrollment requires that the student hold a bachelor’s degree for admission into the master’s (online, non-thesis) program.

    Prospective students must complete an application form and submit:

    • Undergraduate transcripts demonstrating a successful bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and including:
    • GPA, last two years of undergraduate studies with a minimum of 3.0 out of 4.0
    • TOEFL / IELTS - For international students’ language ability, a TOEFL score or IELTS test is required. Minimum scores are as follows:
      • pbT TOEFL - greater than 610
      • IBT TOEFL - greater than 102
      • CBT TOEFL - greater than 253
      • IELTS - greater than 6.5
    • Two letters of reference that specifically address your ability to be successful in a graduate program in parks, recreation and tourism
    • A résumé
    • A personal statement indicating your interests, background, intent for pursuing a master’s degree and how it will advance your career 
    • Recreational Therapy students must have proof of current CTRS certification or be eligible to sit for the national exam

    Visit Clemson University Graduate School Admissions to learn more about admission requirements, how to apply and important dates.


  • Program Requirements

    Minimum Course Requirements (17 hours):

    • PRTM 8010 Philosophical Foundations (3 credits)
    • PRTM 8080 Behavioral Aspects of PRTM (3 credits)
    • PRTM 8110 Research Methods in PRTM (3 credits)
    • PRTM 8910 Master’s Research (6 credits)
    • PRTM 9100 Research Seminar (2 credits)

    Other Courses (19 hours)

    • 3-4 credits of statistics
    • 3 credits of research methods in addition to PRTM 8110
    • 12-13 hours of additional classes to be selected by student with advisor's approval
    • At least one half of the total graduate credit hours, exclusive of thesis research, will be from courses numbered 8000 or above.
    TOTAL: 36 hours

    Recreational Therapy Concentration-Specific Coursework

    Students wishing to specialize in recreational therapy will take the following courses, for a total of 36 credit hours:

    • PRTM 8710 Applied Research in Recreational Therapy (3 Credits)
    • PRTM 8720 Advanced Facilitation Techniques in Recreational Therapy (3 Credits)
    • PRTM 8730 Advanced Theory in Recreational Therapy (3 Credits)
    • PRTM 8740 Management of the Clinical Process in Recreational Therapy (3 Credits)
    • PRTM 8750 Program Development and Consulting in Recreational Therapy (3 Credits)
    • 3 Credits of Statistics 
  • Transfer Credits

    A maximum of 12 credit hours may be transferred and must be approved by your advisor.

  • Committee

    The student's committee must consist of at least three members and the majority of the advisory committee, including the major advisor, must be comprised of Clemson University faculty from the program offering the particular degree and who hold full-time tenure-track positions.

    Part-time and visiting faculty employed by Clemson may serve on this committee but may not serve as chair. Persons not employed by Clemson University may serve if they have been appointed to an adjunct faculty status.

  • Final Examination

    A successful oral defense of the thesis is required.

  • Time Limit

    All course work to be credited toward the master’s degree must have been enrolled in and completed within six calendar years prior to the date on which the degree is to be awarded.

  • Financial Information

    Tuition and Fees

    Explore information on tuition and fees using the Student Financial Services’ tuition and fee calculator. (Be sure to choose the ‘online’ tab at the top of the page.)

    Financial Aid

    For information regarding Financial Aid, please contact the office of Student Financial Aid.


    All on-campus program applicants are considered for a limited number of competitive departmentally funded assistantships. No separate applications are needed to be considered for an assistantship. 


  • Find Out More

    Please contact the coordinator of graduate studies at or call (864) 656-3400 for more information.

    We also encourage you to complete and submit the Departmental Supplemental Information Form, so we can learn more about your interests and answer any questions you may have about admission, plans of studies, and financial assistance.

    A formal Graduate School application must also be submitted. Please click this link for information.

Master's student keeps camp magic alive for children of front line COVID-19 workers

In Summer 2020, Clemson PRTM master's student Katie Thurson worked as part of the Powdersville YMCA team providing the Emergency Relief Childcare program for a limited number of children of front line workers during COVID-19. Thurson helped manage a daily team of between five and seven staff members and up to 36 children using increased health and safety protocols.

Read the Story
Clemson PRTM master's student Katie Thurson.
Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management | 263 Lehotsky Hall