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Master of Science in Recreation with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation Online

Broaden your expertise and follow your passion into therapy for adults and children in a variety of settings.

02/24/23 Next Application Due Date
03/13/23 Next Class Start Date


Discover the NWMSU Online Therapeutic Recreation Degree

Prepare for leading roles in recreational therapy with the real-world abilities you'll gain in the M.S. in Recreation – Therapeutic Recreation online program from Northwest Missouri State University. Develop a well-rounded background applicable to adaptive youth sports, adult therapies, care agencies—and more.

$10,500 Total Tuition
As few as 12 months Program Duration
30 Credit Hours

In this online recreation master's program, your studies will includes strength-based practices and interventions, psychological theories in recreational therapy, and managerial functions. Our core coursework covers broader topics such as data analytics, risk management, grant writing, and human resources.

Our curriculum is aligned with the requirements for Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist® (CTRS) certification, which is essential for high-level employment in the industry. Plus our online students may join campus associations and student organizations, such as the Health Science and Wellness Future Professionals, to broaden networking opportunities with peers.

Therapeutic recreation job opportunities:

  • Recreational Therapist
  • Wellness Coordinator
  • Activities Director
  • Specialty Camp Director/Manager

Have questions or need more information about our online programs?

Also available

Northwest offers a variety of specialized online degree options. Check out our other online graduate programs.

Tuition and Fees

Pay for Your Online Program by the Course

Our M.S. in Recreation online programs offer affordable, pay-by-the-course tuition, which is the same for in-state and out-of-state students. All fees are included.

$350 Per Credit Hour
$10,500 Program Tuition*

View full tuition breakdown

Program Per Credit Hour Per Course Per Program
M.S. in Recreation – Therapeutic Recreation $350 $1,050 $10,500

Important Refund Information

2nd day of class Last date for 100% refund for dropped course
4th day of class Last date for 75% refund for dropped course
6th day of class Last date for 50% refund for dropped course
8th day of class Last date for 25% refund for dropped course

*Tuition and fees are subject to change. Current amounts are based on 2020-21 tuition rates. Textbooks and laptops are not included with tuition.

Northwest Missouri State University is ranked #1 among the "Best Online Colleges in Missouri" by SR Education Group (2019).


See the Important Dates for Our Students

Northwest online programs are delivered in an accelerated format ideal for working professionals, conveniently featuring multiple start dates each year.

02/24/23 Next Application Due Date
03/13/23 Next Class Start Date

View full calendar

Term Program Start Date Application Deadline Document Deadline Registration Deadline Payment Due Last Class Day
Spring 1 01/11/23 01/03/23 01/03/23 01/04/23 01/06/23 03/03/23
Spring 2 03/13/23 02/24/23 03/01/23 03/07/23 03/08/23 04/28/23
Summer 1 05/09/23 04/25/23 04/28/23 05/02/23 05/04/23 06/23/23
Summer 2 06/26/23 06/09/23 06/14/23 06/16/23 06/21/23 08/11/23
Fall 1 08/21/23 08/07/23 08/10/23 08/14/23 08/16/23 10/06/23
Fall 2 10/16/23 10/02/23 10/05/23 10/09/23 10/11/23 12/01/23

Ready to take the next step toward earning your degree online from Northwest?


Find Your Fit for Our Online Program

At Northwest, we've streamlined the admission process to help you get started quickly and easily. Please read the requirements for the M.S. in Recreation – Therapeutic Recreation online program, including what additional materials you need and where you should send them. The requirements include:

Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
Official transcripts from all institutions attended

View all admission requirements

To apply for this program, you must meet these requirements:

  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.75 on the undergraduate transcript from a regionally accredited institution OR an undergraduate overall GPA of 2.50 to 2.74 from a regionally accredited institution and a 3.0 GPA on six hours of required graduate coursework at Northwest in the major program where admission is requested.
  • Documentation of ONE of the following:
    • Score of 280 or higher on GRE combined score
    • OR

    • 3.0 Overall undergraduate GPA
    • OR

    • Two years of documented full-time employment (minimum average 30 hours per week) in the field of study
    • OR

    • Successful completion of another master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with at least a 2.75 GPA

If you are a non-Missouri student, you should determine whether this program fits the certification requirements for your state.

Official transcripts can be emailed to [email protected]. To submit official documents by mail, send them to:

Graduate Records Specialist
Northwest Missouri State University
800 University Drive
Maryville, MO 64468-6001

Have a question? Call us at 844-890-9304 844-890-9304.

Click here for State Authorization information.


The Degree Plan for Our Therapeutic Recreation Online Master’s Program

For the M.S. in Recreation – Therapeutic Recreation online program, the curriculum is comprised of 10 courses (30 credit hours), including 18 credit hours of core courses and 12 credit hours of emphasis courses.

Expand All [+]

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Familiarizes the student with appropriate assessment/evaluation techniques as they are utilized in various leisure service settings. Techniques related to the delivery of recreation programs, park and recreation resources, and personnel are reviewed. Emphasis is placed on those assessment/evaluation skills used by leisure professionals to determine the extent to which programmatic and organizational goals and objectives have been achieved.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Designed to familiarize students with tasks common to mid-level managers in the field. Offers opportunities to confront ethical issues and discuss possible solutions in the context of information learned in the course.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

An introduction to present-day methods and techniques of research, applicable to the fields of health, physical education and recreation.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Basic foundation of data analysis covering descriptive and inferential statistics and how to use these to improve practice and research and to appropriately assess findings. Covers both parametric and nonparametric applications to the health, physical education, recreation and dance fields.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Designed to give students a basic understanding of their legal responsibilities as teachers, coaches, trainers and recreation professionals to provide a safe environment for those they serve and to develop an understanding of the law and how it may apply to the rights of students, special populations, women and coworkers.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Acquaints students with the vocabulary, concept and practices in the study of grants administration and management. Enables practicing the skills necessary in obtaining outside funding and provides awareness of the individual roles and agencies within public funding.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

The course is designed to promote the exploration of therapeutic recreation practice from a strengths-based approach. Practice models, theories, and the therapeutic recreation process will be examined from the strengths perspective. Implications related to a paradigm shift from traditional medical models toward the strengths approach will be explored. Practical application will be the focus of discussion assignments, weekly written assignments, and exams. Students will also examine implications for their own professional development, their personal philosophy for practice, and future professional goals.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to familiarize students with existing trends in therapeutic recreation programming, to discuss current legal issues, current societal attitudes toward individuals with disabilities, trends within the healthcare delivery system and other current trends and issues related to therapeutic recreation.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course provides an introduction to general managerial functions and useful theories in administration of Therapeutic Recreation programs. Major topics include financial management, personnel (including volunteers and interns) management, quality improvement, and marketing.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed for graduate-/advanced-level students studying Therapeutic Recreation. In Psychological Aspects of Therapeutic Recreation, various psychology-based theories and frameworks relevant to the application of therapeutic recreation practice and interventions will be explored. Students will develop a detailed understanding of presented theories and apply this knowledge as they develop therapeutic recreation interventions that are intended to enhance the psychological well-being of clients.

Still undecided?

Check out our other online programs.

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