The Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Recreational Therapy

Clemson University Recreational Therapy Logo

Welcome to the Clemson University Recreational Therapy (CURT) page!

Recreational therapy is a cost-effective healthcare profession that uses active treatments such as leisure, sport, play, and community participation to increase the well-being and functional outcomes for people with individuals experiencing disability or health conditions. Recreational therapy was defined by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (2009) as: “A treatment service designed to restore, remediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by illness or disabling condition.”

More simply stated, recreational therapy improves functional outcomes for people with health conditions using active treatments such as leisure, sport, play, and community participation. Recreational therapists are nationally certified and use the clinical process of assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Did you know that:

  • In 2012, Kiplinger Magazine ranked Recreational Therapy as the #4 college major for having a lucrative career.
  • CNN reported that Recreational Therapists have the #9 best job to save the world.
  • Forbes magazine reported that recreational therapists are the least likely to be replaced by automation (yes, it’s true! We won’t be replaced by robots!)

The CURT program offers the following degrees: BS, MS (online or traditional) and a PhD. We have a thriving program and offer a number of experiential learning opportunities for students at all educational levels. The curricula were designed to meet contemporary needs in practice, as well as standards set forth by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification.

Students who complete the BS or MS programs will be eligible to sit for certification from the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).

Students interested in the PhD program should have current certification as a CTRS, and professional experience in the field (2 years preferred).

Take a look around, and if you have any questions about the program, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Marieke Van Puymbroeck, Recreational Therapy Coordinator, at mvp@clemson.edu or 864-656-1189.