MA in Leisure Studies

Therapeutic Recreation Subtrack
(No longer offered beginning Fall 2015; Please see information about our Child Life MS here.)

This program offers an MA, with or 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.

Required Materials and Apply Online

The MA in leisure studies requires a minimum of 33 s.h. of graduate credit with thesis, and 36 s.h. of graduate credit without thesis. Students choose one of two specialization areas: therapeutic recreation or recreational sport management. All MA students must complete a common group of core courses and work in their specialization area.

Core Requirements

All MA students must take these courses:

  • PSQF:4143 Introduction to Statistical Methods, 3 s.h.
  • TR:5200 Historical and Philosophical Perspectives on Leisure, 3 s.h.
  • TR:5205 Research Methods and Leisure Behavior, 3 s.h.

Therapeutic Recreation Specialization

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.

Graduation with an 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:

  • TR:3160 Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation, 3 s.h.
  • TR:3161 Assessment and Evaluation in Therapeutic Recreation, 3 s.h.
  • TR:3162 Therapeutic Recreation: Clientele, 3 s.h.
  • TR:3163 Concepts and Issues in Therapeutic Recreation: Profession Advancement, 3 s.h.
  • TR:3164 Therapeutic Recreation: Rehabilitation, 3 s.h.
  • Cognate area courses (choose from aging, entrepreneurship, child life, counseling, disability studies), 6 - 9 s.h.

Non-thesis students take an additional 6 s.h. of electives. Thesis students complete 6 s.h. of HHP:7500 Thesis. Students should consult with their advisor to assure they meet TR certification requirements.

Therapeutic recreation students must complete a practicum (TR:7289 Graduate Practicum in Therapeutic Recreation) to sit for the national certification examination.


The program offers a limited number of teaching assistantships; applications should be made directly to the department on or before March 1. Teaching Assistant Application

Please visit the General Catalog for more information.