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Online Master of Science in Recreational Therapy

The online Master of Science in Recreational Therapy at Temple’s College of Public Health is designed for individuals who want to practice evidence-based recreational therapy within healthcare and human services. The program will prepare you as a recreational therapist with expertise in

  • an area of specialization (including physical rehabilitation, behavioral/mental health, pediatrics, geriatrics and at-risk youth) with guidance from a faculty member;
  • assessment of participants’ needs;
  • documentation of participants’ progress;
  • evaluation of evidence-based treatment outcomes; and 
  • administrative and managerial skills necessary for career advancement.

Recreational therapy is a healthcare-related profession that utilizes structured, evidence-based recreation and leisure activities to improve the lives of people with disabilities or health-related limitations. Students who do not have an academic background in recreational therapy may use the program to meet eligibility requirements for the national credentialing examination for recreational therapists. Learn more about the profession of recreational therapy.

Graduates find practice-based clinical or management roles as professional recreational therapists in a wide range of settings, including

  • rehabilitation facilities,
  • hospitals,
  • community settings providing specialized services to individuals with disabilities,
  • nursing homes, and
  • assisted living facilities.

Read FAQ about the Recreational Therapy MS program

What sets apart our MS in Recreational Therapy?

  • A renowned program available nationally and internationally: Our recreational therapy program has a top-tier reputation and is one of the oldest in the country. We welcome students from different countries, as well as from across the United States.

  • A dynamic online environment: Students capitalize on the program’s cutting-edge online learning technologies to hone the skills they need for today’s healthcare and human services settings.

  • A diverse student body: Recreational Therapy students come from a wide range of academic and employment backgrounds, including communications, psychology, nursing and special education. This enriches the quality of classroom discussions as well as the hands-on, practice-oriented portions of the curriculum.

Online Program Format

This 36-credit program is offered entirely online with a combination of synchronous components (web conference–based, live class discussions; chat rooms; and video meetings) and asynchronous components (discussion boards and other assignments that students complete on their own time). It can be completed full time in two years (including summers) or part time. 

While this program does not require prerequisite courses to qualify for admission, students may be required to take additional courses necessary for national certification. These courses are listed in the coursework section as leveling courses. 

See a full list of program courses.

As an exit requirement, all MS students must successfully complete an evidence-based recreation therapy project. Explore our frequently asked questions page for more information about the project.

Toward the end of the program, students who are not certified recreational therapists will complete a 600-hour field placement at an approved agency site.

Learn more about fieldwork in the recreational therapy program:


Student Organizations

You can engage with peers and find leadership opportunities in student-led clubs and organizations at the College of Public Health. Learn more about student clubs and organizations here. 

Academic Advising

The College of Public Health offers personalized advising services to students in each department. Master’s students can seek program support from the program coordinator.

Gena Vargas, Graduate Program Coordinator
Phone: 215-204-7010

Tuition and Fees

The MS in Recreational Therapy program offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency and more. Learn more about our tuition and fees.