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Recreational Therapy

Availability: Hattiesburg Options

Good job opportunities and a fun working environment.

Recreational Therapy (RT), also known as Therapeutic Recreation, uses recreation and other activity-based interventions to address the needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions to improve health, well-being, and quality of life.

RT is a growing health profession with many outlets for career pursuits. Graduates of the program are working as recreational therapists in long-term care, mental health, and addiction programs, at-risk youth programs, physical rehabilitation, and community and school-based therapeutic recreation.

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 Co-sponsors of the Gulf Coast Recreational Therapy Symposium
 Nationwide internship opportunities
 Pathway to Occupational Therapy

What Will I Learn?

As a future member of a vital health care profession, you will learn…

  • How to assess client functioning.
  • How to select and plan appropriate interventions.
  • How to conduct group and individual interventions.
  • How to evaluate changes to health and well-being.
  • How to become a respected member of a professional health-care community.
  • How to make life better for people in need, especially those who….
    • Have disabling conditions;
    • Are ill; or
    • Are nearing the end of life’s journey.

The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification requires a 560 hour, 14 week internship that qualifies the student to sit for the national certification exam. Interns have multiple internship sites in states all over the U.S. in which to choose. In addition to class work, the internship prepares the student for their career path. The USM program is currently accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE) under the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Faculty Feature: Professor Emeritus Dr. Rick Green, Ph.D., CTRS

  • Has worked in community-based TR programs, residential TR programs, and school-based TR programs.
  • Has worked with over 300 undergraduate students.
  • Has been recognized by the university for teaching excellence.
  • Has been recognized by the university research council for innovative academic partnerships.
  • Has been recognized by the National Institute for Recreation Inclusion for excellence.
  • Has been recognized by the National Therapeutic Recreation Society for Meritorious Service.



Degree Plan Availability
Recreational Therapy BSHattiesburg
Recreational Therapy Minor
  • Hospitals
  • Long Term Care Facilities
  • Behavioral Health
  • Community/School-based Recreation Programs
  • Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation
  • At-Risk Youth Centers
  • Fayla McCoy, 2017,
    Recreational Therapist, Transitional Learning Center - Galveston, TX
  • Erin McKee, 2017,
    Recreation Therapist, Bradford Health Services (Madison, AL)
  • Tyler Edwards, 2013,
    Recreational Therapist, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Margaret Benvenutti, 2018,
    Rehabilitation Therapist, Northeast Florida State Hospital, MacClenny Florida