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PRTM Graduate Programs Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to some questions frequently asked by students interested in applying to Clemson University's graduate program. Click on a question to view the answer or click on "Expand All" to view all answers.

  • What is required for admission in the program?

    We require the following items:

    1. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores on the three parts of the exam (for the masters online, non-thesis degree GRE is recommended but not required).

    2. A University application including applicant's personal statement.

    3. Two letters of recommendation.

    4. Transcripts of all academic work.

    5. A current résumé reflecting academic and professional experience.

    6. A departmental supplemental information form.

    Item 6 should be returned to the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, 128 McGinty Court, 263 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634. All other material should be returned to the Clemson University Office of Graduate Admissions. An online application is preferred.

  • How do I apply online?

    The application includes detailed instructions which should be followed as you complete the form.The URL link for the application is as follows: The Clemson University Graduate School website provides supplemental instructions which you may find useful in advance of filling out the online application. These instructions may be found at

  • What score do I need on the GRE and TOEFL for admission?

    Scores of the two objective sections (verbal and quantitative) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for students admitted to the program are expected to be in the range of at least 152-154 for verbal, 143-145 for quantitative and a 3.5 for the written portion. Any applicant with a V+Q total below that average must be able to submit exceptional supporting materials to have a competitive application (transcript, reference letters, whatever else you may desire). (GRE scores more than five years old relative to the date of initial enrollment will not be accepted without approval of the graduate coordinator.) Because of the strong communication component of the Ph.D., non-native speakers of English should have a minimum IELTS scores of greater than 6.5.

  • How do I find out more about the GRE?

    Information about the GRE is available at

  • When do I need to have my application material submitted?

    Review of applicants is done on a rolling basis. All decisions for assistantships are made in mid-February for the following fall. Therefore, we urge you to submit all materials by February 1. Applications received after that date will be considered based on available space in the program and funding availability.

  • How do I check on the status of my application?

    You can check the status of your application online at

  • Do I have to have a degree in parks, recreation or tourism to apply?

    A degree in the parks, recreation or tourism field is not required. In fact, over half of our students come from other fields as varied as education, business, biology or physics.

  • What graduate degrees are available in your department and what are the requirements for each degree?

    Three graduate degrees are offered: the Master of Science (online, non-thesis), the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy (view the requirements). In addition we now offer a Ph.D. PRTM online in the recreational therapy cognate area. The M.S. (online, non-thesis) is offered as an entirely on-line graduate degree program with an emphasis on the student who is already a practitioner in the field or looking to make a career change. The degree is focused on giving the student a solid foundation of the theoretical underpinnings of the field while also developing the student’s practical administrative and management skills. The M.S. (thesis) places greater emphasis on research design and methodology and requires a thesis representing an original contribution to scholarship acceptable to the faculty and Graduate School. The Ph.D. program is based on the student's grasp of recreation subject matter, competency to plan and conduct research, and the ability to effectively and professionally use written and oral communication.

  • What are the emphasis areas in PRTM?

    We have four emphasis areas: community recreation management, recreation resource management, recreational therapy, and travel and tourism. Many graduate students pursue study in areas that include more than one of these areas. You will find additional information about these areas on our website.

  • Can I start in the spring semester?

    A few students in the M.S. thesis and Ph.D. programs start in the spring semester and that is a possibility. However, more funding is available for the fall semester. In addition, it is our experience that the graduate program is more conducive to a fall semester start for the on-campus degrees. However, for the online degree approximately half start in the fall and half in the spring. Online recreational therapy doctoral students are only eligible to start in May of each year.

  • Can I study sport management at Clemson?

    Sport management is not available as an area of study. However, if you are interested in community sport (i.e., running a community's athletic program, working for the YMCA), the community recreation management focus may be right for you.

  • Do I need a master's degree to enter the Ph.D. program?

    Yes, admission to our Ph.D. program is limited to individuals who already have a master's degree.

  • How long will it take to complete my degree?

    There is no standard answer to this question since individual circumstances vary. However, our expectation is that our master's students finish in two years and our doctoral students in four years.

  • How many faculty members are in the department?

    There are approximately 36 full-time faculty members in our department. See a description of the faculty and their interests at this link.

  • How many graduate students are in the program?

    We typically have between 50 to 60 graduate students at any one time, along with about 50 enrolled in the online degree programs. Approximately half are pursuing doctoral degrees and the other half are pursuing master's degrees.

  • Does the department provide graduate assistantships?

    Yes, the department offers several graduate assistantships. There is no additional application necessary to be considered for departmental funding. NOTE: Departmental funding is not available for the online M.S. (non-thesis) degree. Duties include assisting faculty in their teaching or research. Our students work as graduate assistants across campus including the leisure skills program, Fike Recreation Center, the Outdoor Laboratory, the Martin Inn, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and the athletic department. In addition to the graduate assistantship stipend, all graduate assistants receive a tuition waiver. (You pay no tuition, in-state or out-of-state; you do, however, pay about $1,060 per semester in various fees. All graduate students are required to have health insurance. If you are not already covered by another health insurance plan, one is available through the university with rates dependent upon number of family members covered.)

  • Do I have to pay for health insurance?

    Health insurance is mandatory for all on-campus graduate students. Waivers are available if you have another approved policy. Further information is available at

  • Whom can I contact for more information?

    You may contact the graduate program coordinator at (864) 656-3400 or email

  • What is the cost of housing in Clemson?

    The cost of living in Clemson is low compared to most university towns. For example, a two-bedroom apartment or a small house can be rented for between $400 and $600.

  • What is the city of Clemson like?

    Clemson is a vibrant university community. To find out more, visit