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Master of Science PRTM (online, non-thesis)

Image of National Park Services Geoscientists-in-the-Parks program participant

Image used with permission from the National Park Services Geoscientists-in-the-Parks program

The M.S. (online, non-thesis) is offered as an entirely online graduate degree program with an emphasis on the student who is already a practitioner in the field. 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. 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
  • Two letters of reference
  • A résumé
  • A personal statement indicating your interests, background, intent for pursuing a master's degree and how it will advance your career 

Course work is offered through a combination of weekly evening synchronous meetings through Zoom and asynchronous delivery methods using Canvas. Courses will be offered in six-week time intervals. We encourage (but do not require) students to begin the program during the fall semester.

  • Application Deadline

    Applications are taken on a rolling basis, allowing you to start your program in either the spring or fall semester.

  • Curriculum

    The M.S. non-thesis in PRTM consists of 30 credit hours of online coursework. The M.S. non-thesis contains seven core classes, two concentration classes, and a three credit hour course that applies learning outcomes from the program to current PRTM issues and organizations. The four concentration areas that will be offered for the M.S. online, non-thesis degree are travel and tourism, parks and conservation area management, community recreation management and recreational therapy. 

  • Core Classes

    Earn 24 credits, or 15 credits for Recreational Therapy (RT) students, in: 

    PRTM 8010 – Philosophical Foundations of Recreation and Park Administration - Current theories and philosophies in recreation as they are influenced by and have influence on leisure and the changing environment in America. Students develop their own professional philosophies of leisure.

    PRTM 8030 – Seminar in Recreation and Park Administration - Case problems relating to administration of a park, recreation or tourism agency (not required for RT students).

    PRTM 8080 – Behavioral Aspects of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management - Behavioral aspects of recreation, focusing on the social and psychological dimensions of the recreation experience in a variety of environments and activities.

    PRTM 8110 – Research Methods in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management - Principles, methods and strategies for planning, designing, evaluating and applying studies of recreation.

    PRTM 8220 – Strategic Planning in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management Organizations - Overview of strategic planning geared towards public sector and nonprofit leisure service agencies including strategic planning models and approaches, developing organizational vision and mission, data gathering and analysis, identifying and understanding stakeholders, and implementation, assessments and revision of strategic plans (not required for RT students). 

    PRTM 8230 - Operating in Political Environments in the Public and Non-Profit Sectors - Understand governance structures as they relate to the public and non-profit sectors and how maximize their ability to improve the quality of life for stakeholders (not required for RT students).

  • Concentrations

    Parks and Conservation Areas Management

    • PRTM 8070 – Human Dimension of Outdoor Recreation and Public Land Visitation - Social, psychological and environmental influences on human behavior; identification of theoretical perspectives to explain behavior and to resolve problems in recreation resource management.
    • PRTM 8440 – Outdoor Recreation Resource Management and Planning - Explore issues relating to planning and development of natural areas for recreation purposes.

    Travel and Tourism Management

    • PRTM 8400 – Tourism Planning - Tourism planning procedures and techniques; planning process and associate concerns such as market, facility, infrastructure, environment, culture and economics.
    • PRTM 8420 - Understanding the Discipline of Tourism - An introduction to the field of tourism research, the cooperative and dynamic nature of decision making in tourism; the contributions made by various disciplines towards understanding the consequences of tourism trade and activity; and identification of critical issues in the study of travel and tourism.

    Community Recreation Management

    • PRTM 8240 – Enterprise Development in the Public and Non-Profit Sectors - Students gain an understanding of and the ability to develop innovative, creative and sustainable business/enterprise plans related to the public and non-profit sectors for mission-focused and driven agencies, organizations and individuals.
    • PRTM 8250 – Understanding Populations in PRTM - Development of a conceptual understanding about the leisure patterns and constraints of people of diverse populations and across the lifespan. Populations might include ethnic and racial minorities, people with disabilities, people with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, status, gender and people with alternative cultures and beliefs.

    Recreational Therapy*

    • PRTM 8710 – Applied Research in Recreational Therapy Practice - This course provides the information and tools required to develop a thorough understanding of common research methods and skills used in recreational therapy practice (e.g., outcome measurement, literature reviews, knowledge translation plans, etc.). Through this course, students will develop the skills necessary to conduct a thorough literature review of a specific topic, develop a knowledge translation plan and identify appropriate outcome measures to use in research with a specific population.
    • PRTM 8720 – Advanced Facilitation Techniques in Recreational Therapy - This course will address advanced concepts, methods and techniques associated with the selection and implementation of therapeutic facilitation techniques and interventions used in recreational therapy practice. In addition, the course will introduce evidence-based research and practice-based evidence in relation to therapeutic facilitation techniques and interventions.
    • PRTM 8730 – Advanced Theory and Application in Recreational Therapy - This course explores the social psychological and disability theories that most influence contemporary recreational therapy practice. These theories help to describe social, psychological, environmental and internal influences that impact the experience of having a chronic disease or disability, and provide foundation intervention choice for recreational therapy practice.
    • PRTM 8740 – Management of the Clinical Process in Recreational Therapy - This course is designed to enhance the student’s ability to effectively and efficiently manage the clinical process in recreational therapy as an advanced-level professional. Students will gain knowledge and skills in managing recreational therapy staff, overseeing and evaluating the quality of recreational therapy programs and developing overall leadership skills in the field. Students will apply class content as they manage groups of undergraduate students in PRTM 3280 or work with managers in the field to assist in supervising staff in recreational therapy and related positions.
    • PRTM 8750 – Program Planning and Consulting in Recreational Therapy - The focus of this course is on theory and techniques related to consultation, program development and program evaluation in recreational therapy. This class is for individuals who already hold, or are eligible for, the CTRS credential.

    *A current CTRS credential is required for the Recreational Therapy concentration. Some courses are substituted for RT students.

  • Clemson University Employee Tuition Assistance Program (ETAP)

    Clemson University's Employee Tuition Assistance Program (ETAP) was expanded to permit employees who are accepted to Clemson online programs (employees must go through the same rigor and process as any other student), the ability to utilize the full ETAP benefit. This change now allows these accepted employees/students to be afforded the same benefits as employees/students
    who were pursuing non-online degrees. The benefit allows eligible employees the ability to have up to 6 credit hours waived per semester. For up-to-date information, please visit

For more information

Please contact the coordinator of graduate studies at or call (864) 656-2708 for more information. The fax number is: (864) 656-2226.