Recreation and Sport Management: Therapeutic Recreation concentration Major Guide for 2014-2015

What is Recreation and Sport Management: Therapeutic Recreation concentration

A concentration in therapeutic recreation prepares students for employment in management and leadership positions with agencies that deliver health care services and communities that offer therapeutic recreation services. Students will become proficient in using recreation experiences to treat patients with illnesses, disabilities, or social problems, and help them achieve an independent and satisfying lifestyle.

Career Opportunities in Recreation and Sport Management: Therapeutic Recreation concentration

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the leisure services industry will be one of the fastest growing and most stable industries in the near future.  Graduates in therapeutic recreation must fulfill the eligibility requirements for certification by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification which qualifies them to secure employment in physical rehabilitation units, children’s hospitals, public and private schools, nursing homes, independent living centers, psychiatric institutions, drug and alcohol treatment centers, group homes, and community parks and recreation departments.

Salary Trends in Recreation and Sport Management: Therapeutic Recreation concentration

Salaries in the leisure services industry vary greatly depending upon the specific area of the industry as well as the geographic location in which one chooses to work. Other factors which may influence earnings are level of education, experience and the specific occupation in the area. Recreational therapists’ salaries range from $30,000 (entry-level positions) to $65,000 (administrators).

High School Preparation

The best high school preparation involves gaining as much voluntary experience as possible in one’s chosen area of interest in the broad leisure services industry. Students may choose to volunteer at hospitals, nursing homes, or YMCAs, YWCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.  Students should also take the appropriate and necessary courses for admission to the University of Tennessee.  Courses in biology, chemistry, human anatomy and physiology would be helpful to students.

How to Major in Recreation and Sport Management: Therapeutic Recreation concentration

Students must meet all university, college and department requirements and must contact the College of Education, Health & Human Sciences Office of Student Services (865-974-8194) to declare a major in RSM-Therapeutic Recreation. Students must hold a 2.5 GPA in order to progress into a major in RSM-Therapeutic Recreation. Students must also complete English 101-102, RSM 100 and 201, and three hours of Quantitative Reasoning electives.

Requirements for Recreation and Sport Management: Therapeutic Recreation concentration

  • A minimum 2.5 GPA is required for college affiliation and progression to and retention in the major.
  • Completion of English 101-102, RSM 100 and 201, and three hours of Quantitative Reasoning electives.
  • Each student must complete a professional internship with a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).

Therapeutic Recreation students are highly encouraged to take the national certification examination the final semester of their senior year and become recognized as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).  This credential, offered by National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, greatly increases the marketability of the student.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

Students in Therapeutic Recreation are offered many opportunities for experience in the field.  All students must complete two practicums, RSM 290 and 390, which are supervised experiences in approved agencies offering field placements in therapeutic recreation settings. Each hour of credit requires 50 clock hours of work. Students must then complete a professional internship during their senior year. They will experience full-time practice for 12–15 weeks in an approved therapeutic recreation setting with a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). The internship is designed to meet the students’ needs and interests, develop professional competencies, apply concepts and theories, and provide a means of evaluation in terms of professional preparation, goals and aspirations.

Various agencies in the Knoxville area that offer TR students opportunities for internships include:
Boys and Girls Clubs, Knoxville Senior Centers, Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, Peninsula Hospital, and Corner Stone of Recovery.

Highlights of Recreation and Sport Management: Therapeutic Recreation concentration

Students have opportunities to enhance their experience by attending various professional conferences as well as volunteering at various camps for persons with disabilities. Camp Koinonia, a key element of the Therapeutic Recreation program at UT, is a week-long residential outdoor education program for children, ages 7–21, who have a variety of disabilities, including hearing impairment, visual impairment, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and autism. The program is organized, planned, and conducted by 150 University of Tennessee students as part of a course requirement. At camp, the children have the opportunity to participate in many different activities they might not normally have the opportunity to experience, such as horseback riding, swimming, kickball, and ropes courses.  Ropes courses are experiential adventure programs, which offer groups and individuals the opportunity to participate in a series of activities involving mental, physical, and emotional risk taking.  Other camps in which RLS students are able to participate include: Camp Koinonia II, a camp for young adults with disabilities, Camp Clubhouse for children with spina bifida, and Vision Camp for children with visual impairments.

Ready for the World

Recreation and Sport Management is one of the world’s top industries. Everyone, regardless of nationality, has a need to recreate. Our program prepares students with coursework and applied experience in identifying and addressing the needs of diverse learners.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers study abroad programs in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and North America. Program lengths vary from mini-term trips to the entire academic year, and students may choose to fulfill general education requirements, study a foreign language, or take courses within their majors.  Additionally, Recreation and Sport Management majors also have the option to complete their field placements (practicums and internships) abroad.

Consult an academic advisor early in your academic career about the best time for you to study abroad as well as what courses you may need to take. For more information about program options, the application process, and how to finance study abroad, please visit the Programs Abroad Office website.  Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

Academic Plan and Milestones

Following an academic plan will help students stay on track to graduate in four years. Beginning with first-time, first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students entering in the Fall 2013 semester, UT has implemented Universal Tracking (uTrack), an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA.

To see a sample academic plan and milestones for this major, go to

For More Information

Gene Hayes
Recreation and Sport Management

Larry Brown
Internship Coordinator
Recreation and Sport Management


The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.