The program offers a Master of Arts, with and without thesis, in leisure studies. Undergraduate preparation in leisure studies is not required for successful completion of the graduate program; students from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. However, students may need to fulfill prerequisites specific to their specialization areas. Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College or the Graduate College section of the General Catalog. The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is required for application to the program.
All MA students must take these courses:
The therapeutic recreation specialization prepares students to meet the challenges of outpatient- and community-based health care service delivery. An MA in therapeutic recreation also includes preparation to teach therapeutic recreation in an undergraduate curriculum as an adjunct instructor or lecturer. The program stresses research and business skills that will enable graduates to find the best jobs in the field.
Therapeutic recreation specialists are increasingly called upon to deliver preventive outpatient services, such as programs designed to prevent secondary impairments in persons with disabilities (e.g., arthritis exercise to manage pain, fall prevention for older adults); education for individuals with negative lifestyle habits (e.g., smoking, substance abuse); programs designed to restore meaning and purpose to life following traumatic events (e.g., following a spinal cord injury); and initiatives to help communities and businesses make services accessible to persons with disabilities.
Iowa's therapeutic recreation program emphasizes business skills and innovation in delivery of services. Economics and Financing (169:252) and classes in entrepreneurship and new business formation prepare students to enter the workforce ready to build therapeutic recreation businesses that are self-supporting or profitable. Graduation with a MA in therapeutic recreation can make the student eligible to sit for the national certification examination in therapeutic recreation (a graduate practicum is also required to meet certification sitting requirements).
Students also acquire research skills that they can apply directly to therapeutic recreation practice, for example, to assess the effectiveness of specific interventions or the demand for varied services in a community.
In addition to the MA common core requirements (above), therapeutic recreation specialization students must complete the following:
Non-thesis students take an additional 6 s.h. of electives. Thesis students complete 6 s.h. of 169:398 MA Thesis. Students should consult with their advisor to assure they meet TR certification requirements.
Therapeutic recreation students must complete a practicum (169:289 Graduate Practicum in Therapeutic Recreation) to sit for the national certification examination.
Internships/practicum experiences are available in several areas and are recommended for graduate students without prior experience.
Graduate Student Internship Form
The program offers a limited number of teaching assistantships; applications should be made directly to the leisure studies academic coordinator on or before April 5. Teaching Assistant Application
Please visit the General Catalog for more information.