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Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management - Recreational Therapy


The online Ph.D. in the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (PRTM) Recreational Therapy cognate area has been designed specifically to ensure strong research training, optimize opportunities for student-faculty interaction and mentoring and address an essential need in the field for educators in recreational therapy. The online approach will enable us to prepare individuals to meet the same expectations as those students on campus, while accommodating the needs of students who are unable to pursue a traditional, residential path to degree completion. We will do this through innovative approaches including individualized mentoring; three, five-day, on-campus residencies (five consecutive days per year for the first three years of the program), synchronous online instruction and an educational plan designed specifically to meet the needs of each student. If you are interested specifically in earning continuing education credits, please click here for more information.

The goals of this program are to:

  1. Develop competent recreational therapy educators who are prepared to meet the complexities of preparing recreational therapy students to work in various treatment settings.
  2. Develop competent researchers prepared to build and contribute to the body of knowledge in recreational therapy.
  3. Reduce the dearth of available educators in recreational therapy.


The following requirements must be met to be considered for admission to the online Ph.D. in the PRTM recreational therapy cognate area:

  1. Recent GRE scores (in last five years).
  2. A personal statement outlining the purpose for pursuing Clemson’s online Ph.D. and your career goals. Please also identify your research interests related to any RT modality, setting or population. Finally, please describe your strengths and weaknesses as an online learner.
  3. Two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant's academic and/or job performance as a recreational therapist (one of each preferred).
  4. Unofficial transcripts of all previous academic work, both graduate and undergraduate. Official transcripts will be required once admission has been granted. GPA of at least 3.0 in all graduate course work.
  5. Documentation of certification as a certified therapeutic recreational specialist.
  6. Applicants for whom English is a second language must also submit acceptable TOEFL scores.
  7. A copy of your most recent resume/curriculum vitae. Please give a clear indication of your recreational therapy experience, including your job title, name of supervisor(s), your duties or responsibilities and approximate number of hours worked at each setting (note: 2,000 hours of work experience beyond internship are required in recreational therapy prior to admission to the program). Other information related to professional and academic qualifications should be included at the discretion of the applicant.


Stats/Methods Classes

STAT 8470 – Intro to Statistical Methods (3)
STAT 8170 – Applied Multivariate Analysis (3)
PRTM 8130 – Qualitative Research Methods (3)
PRTM 8710 – Applied Research in Recreational Therapy (3)
PRTM 9360 – Recreational Therapy Research Practicum (3)

Cognate Area/Specialization: Recreational Therapy

YDP 8080 – Grantsmanship (3)
PRTM 8720 – Advanced Facilitation Techniques in Recreational Therapy (3)
PRTM 8730 – Advanced Theory and Application in Recreational Therapy (3)
PRTM 8740 – Management of the Clinical Process in Recreational Therapy (3)
PRTM 8750 – Program Development and Consulting in Recreational Therapy (3)
PRTM 9110 – Professional Issues in PRTM (3)
PRTM 9340 – Recreational Therapy Teaching Practicum (3)
PRTM 9350 – Teaching Clinical Skills in Recreational Therapy (3)


PRTM 9300 Doctoral Residency 1 – Intro to Online Learning and Academic Writing (1)
PRTM 9310 Doctoral Residency 2 – Dissertation Topic Development (1)
PRTM 9320 Doctoral Residency 3 – Dissertation Proposal Development (1)

Additional Requirements

Comprehensive Exams
Dissertation (18 credits)

South Carolina is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and Clemson University (CU) is an approved SARA institution, which means we adhere to established standards for offering post-secondary e-learning programs in all member states. Please review our state authorizations to see if this program is offered in your state and our process for student complaints against the university.


For more information about this online program, please visit the PhD. Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management - Recreation Therapy program webpage, or contact Marieke Van Puymbroeck, Ph.D., Recreational Therapy Coordinator,, 864-656-1189

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per credit hour

*Price is approximate and may not be reflective of current cost. Please check the Student Financial Services Page for the most accurate tuition rates.

Program contact

Marieke Van Puymbroeck, Ph.D., Recreational Therapy Coordinator