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Master of Science in Recreation and Leisure Services - Therapeutic Recreation


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Educational Goals

Graduates with this advanced degree will be prepared to develop and manage therapeutic recreation services directed at improving the health-related quality of life of persons with physical, psychological, and intellectual disabilities. Students will gain advanced clinical skills to provide recreation interventions based on assessment data and record client outcomes using appropriate medical language and documentation styles. Graduates will understand current evidence upon which to base services and have a basis to collaborate on the establishment of new evidence. Students pursuing the thesis option will develop the skills to conduct original research.

Employment Options

Certification is an expectation for employment in therapeutic recreation. The national  level certification, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) governed by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC), is the most recognized credential. In Texas many agencies also recognize the Therapeutic Recreation Specialist/Texas (TRS/TXC) governed by the Therapeutic Recreation Consortium of Texas.

Recreation therapists work in a variety of facilities and services such as rehabilitation hospitals, mental health programs, veteran’s affairs facilities, nursing care facilities, camps, and community-based service agencies. Person’s with a master’s degree may work in direct client care or supervisory and management roles.

NCTRC NEW STANDARD CHANGE: The standard change and further information is on under new applicants. All applications submitted on or after January 1, 2022 will be required to meet the new standard to be eligible to sit for the NCTRC exam. The standard pertaining to the required number of therapeutic recreation content courses will read as follows:

  • **Effective January 1, 2022, a minimum 18 semester hours of TR/RT content coursework will be required for eligibility of the NCTRC exam and certification. A minimum of six (6) courses in RT/TR is required and each course must be a minimum of three (3) credit hours. The 18 semester hours six (6) courses MUST be taken prior to the internship course (the internship is NOT part of the 18 hours of required coursework, it is in addition to the 18 hours).