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Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management

Recreational Therapy Concentration

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Our Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Recreational Therapy program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE), through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

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Program curriculum was also designed to meet standards set by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).


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Focus your career on improving health, wellbeing and quality of life.

Recreational therapy students learn to create recreation services that improve participants’ health, leisure experiences, quality of life and functional capabilities.

You will explore how to use active treatments such as leisure, sport, play and community participation to increase the well-being and functional outcomes for individuals with varying disabilities or health conditions.

Our Recreational Therapy undergraduate degree program has a high success rate, with 100% of our students passing the NCTRC exam on their first time in 2020, exceeding the national average of 85%!

  • Overview

    The goal of the undergraduate CURT (Clemson University Recreational Therapy) program is to prepare competent, entry-level recreational therapists with requisite cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behaviors) learning domains to improve functional outcomes and increase participation in life activities for individuals with varying disabilities or health conditions.

    Students who complete the B.S. program will be eligible to sit for certification from the NCTRC to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).

  • What is Recreational Therapy?

    Recreational therapy is a cost-effective healthcare profession that uses active treatments such as recreation, leisure, sport, play and community participation to increase the well-being and functional outcomes for individuals with varying disabilities 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, recreation, sport, play, and community participation. Recreational therapists are nationally certified and use the clinical process of assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation. 

    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!)
  • Admission Requirements

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

  • Program Requirements

    Recreational Therapy program goals are met through the following course work:

    • PRTM 2600 Foundations of Recreational Therapy Practice
    • PRTM 2650 Terminology in Recreational Therapy Practice (online course)
    • PRTM 3220 Facilitation Techniques in Recreational Therapy
    • PRTM 3230 Professional Preparation for Recreational Therapy Practice
    • PRTM 3240 Assessment and Planning in Recreational Therapy
    • PRTM 3260 Recreational Therapy Implementation and Evaluation: Physical Health Conditions
    • PRTM 3270 Recreational Therapy Implementation and Evaluation: Mental Health Conditions
    • PRTM 3280 Preceptorship in Recreational Therapy
    • PRTM 4220 Management of Recreational Therapy Services
    • PRTM 4230 Adaptive Sports and Recreation (elective)
    • PRTM 4240Evidence-Based Lifestyle Interventions for Older Adults (elective)
    • PRTM 4250 RT Internship
    • PRTM 4260 Trends and Issues in Recreational Therapy

    Download the undergraduate program map for details.

    Course selections must be made in consultation with your academic advisor. Visit the Course Catalog for details about program requirements.

  • CURT Program Learning Outcomes

    Upon graduation from the CURT Program, students will be able to ….

    • Identify and describe the recreational therapy process (assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation).
    • Demonstrate skills related to implementation of the recreational therapy process (assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation).
    • Describe the roles and scope of practice of recreational therapy within an interprofessional treatment team.
    • Demonstrate professional behaviors appropriate for a variety of health and recreation settings.
    • Demonstrate knowledge and skill related to inclusive excellence by being effective advocates for the profession of recreational therapy and the clients we serve.
    • Understand intersectionality and cultural competence as they relate to recreational therapy practice.
    • Demonstrate broad understanding of various client populations and service settings.
    • Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and abilities that are integral to the utilization of evidence- and theory-based practice.
  • Internships

    All undergraduate recreational therapy students are required to complete two practicums, a preceptorship (i.e., RT clinical rotations) in health care and human service agencies in the Clemson/Anderson/Greenville area, and a 14-week, 560-hour internship under a certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS).

    Our interns are well-prepared when they go on internship. Our recent interns scored 3.57/4 on overall professionalism and competency on their final internship evaluation. In fact, 100% of internship supervisors reported they would hire their CURT intern if they had an opening.

    Learn more about Recreational Therapy program internships, including requirements and forms.

  • Links of Interest
  • Find Out More

    For more information about the recreational therapy track, please contact:

    • Jasmine Townsend, Coordinator, Recreational Therapy Program (for RT undergraduate program questions)
    • Carmen Hawkins, Program Internship Coordinator (for RT internship questions)
    • Daniel Anderson, Advisor/Coordinator, Undergraduate Student Services
    • Lauren Duffy, Coordinator, PRTM Undergraduate Program (for curriculum questions)

Are You a Program Graduate?

If you are a graduate of the Recreational Therapy program at Clemson University , please take 3-5 minutes to let us know how you're doing and ask your supervisor/manager/administrator to complete a survey as well. All of the information you provide is anonymous. We collect this data to improve our program and to maintain our CAAHEP/CARTE Accreditation.

RT Graduate Survey RT Employer Survey
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Graphic that says 100% pass rate.

100% of our students passed the NCTRC exam on the first try!

We're excited to share that 100% of our spring 2020 students who took the NCTRC Certification Exam passed, far exceeding the national average of 85%! We're so proud of our students!

About the NCTRC Exam

Clemson RT Program Gives, Receives Help from Upstate Leisure Program

Pressures brought on by COVID-19 have led to an innovative partnership that is providing a lasting impact for both Clemson University Recreational Therapy program students and an Upstate organization that serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Read the story
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Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management | 170 Sirrine Hall