Frequently Asked Questions
I don't have a background in recreational therapy (RT). Will that be a problem in applying?
No. In fact many students in the master's program are admitted with wide ranging academic and employment backgrounds, including degrees in psychology, special education, communications, accounting, and child and family studies.
Are there prerequisite courses to be taken before I can enroll in the program?
You can begin immediately. However, students who do not have a background in RT will have to take a couple of undergraduate leveling courses in the first few semesters of their graduate program. One of these courses may be an on-line readings course during the summer prior to enrolling in the fall semester.
How large is the graduate program?
Typically, there are 10-15 graduate students in the program at any time. Of course, these students have not all started at the same time and some are part-time. To the extent possible, we'll try to keep you in classes with the same small group of grad students you started with so you can build your own support network of other graduate students. It will be up to you to maintain this network, which can help you feel connected to your program.
How long will it take to complete this degree?
Typically, it takes about 2-2.5 years to complete the program. Some students take a full load of courses each semester (including summers) and can finish within 2 years. Others maintain full or part-time employment, which means the program takes longer to complete, but they are enhancing their learning and building a resume of relevant work experience.
When are classes offered?
Undergraduate leveling classes meet during the day twice per week. Fall and Spring semesters are 15 weeks long, while summer sessions are 6 weeks long.
Do I have to attend full-time?
You can attend full-time or part-time. Often graduate students are already employed and must go part-time, while other grad students who relocate to Philadelphia find relevant employment and choose to attend the program as full-time students.
Is the campus safe, especially during evening classes?
Temple University takes campus safety very seriously and has a very well-lighted campus with safety officers on foot and bike patrol. While everyone needs to use street smarts the campus is safe and the presence of students walking the campus at night is pretty commonplace.
How can I finance my graduate program?
You can contact the Office of Student Financial Services at Temple to explore opportunities for financial aid. Many of our graduate students find employment that is relevant to practicing recreation therapy, which compliments their overall learning experience. Additionally, there are various paid internships and assistantships that you can apply for, which typically pay stipends for 10-20 hours of work per week and provide tuition remission.
Can I meet with other graduate students to get their impressions of the program and of living in Philadelphia?
Great idea! We would be happy to arrange for you to talk with other grad students (past and current). We strongly encourage you to visit campus and even sit in on a course. Contact with other graduate students is also helpful in learning about places to live in and around Philadelphia.
Will I be certified as a recreation therapist once I graduate?
National certification occurs after you pass an examination, which is managed by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (www.nctrc.org). You will work closely with your faculty advisor to make sure you complete all academic requirements needed to sit for this exam.
How well will I be prepared for national certification and employment once I complete the program?
Since 2002, 90% of those completing the graduate program were employed in RT within 2 months of graduation. Of those who have taken the certification exam, 100% have passed.
Bottom line, why should I attend Temple's RT graduate program?
Many reasons, but here are some of the top considerations.
#1. Faculty. You'll study with dedicated faculty who are well known and respected nationally and internationally. The department has an unusual mix of faculty expertise, including a developmental psychologist specializing in aging, a leisure scientist specializing in multicultural perspectives on health and healing, and an array of credentialed recreation therapists (CTRS) with years of practice experience. These faculty often have projects going on and you can get involved with them.
#2. Location. Whatever your interest, the metropolitan Philadelphia area offers abundant opportunities to enhance your learning with hands-on experience in varied settings with wide ranging client populations. Temple's extensive alumni network also provides ready-made contacts for internships and employment. And when you're not working on your grad program, you can take advantage of all that the city offers.
#3. The program. Temple's graduate program has been around for more than 25 years and has graduated some outstanding recreation therapists, many of whom have been leaders in this profession. You'll be prepared for the national credentialing exam, and you'll be marketable.