Although 100% online graduate courses are convenient and provide flexibility for the student, they are often hard, if not impossible, to locate in many career choices. If you would like to pursue a Doctor of Recreation degree, there is a possibility that you will find several schools that offer an online option, however, they will require some on-campus residency work, as well as, distance learning, making them essentially hybrid programs.

In addition, online classes may be in the synchronous format, therefore, online classes are required at a specific day and time. If you want to continue your full-time employment while earning your degree, make sure that your schedule allows for the required classes.

What will my job require of me with a PhD in Recreation?

The primary focus of a PhD in Recreation suggests that there is a correlation between one’s recreational and leisure time activities and how it impacts our lives. With this distinguished degree, a majority of students go on to conduct extensive research or decide to teach at the university level. If you are interested in working in a specific area, you will gain great knowledge and skills by earning your advanced degree in this field.

If your focus is on therapeutic recreation, you can expect to enter positions within the school system, psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes or juvenile facilities.  A recreational therapist helps children and adults with special needs due to ageing, illness or disease lead a better quality of life.  You will help them build social skills, improve their mobility, as well as, relieve anxiety and depression.  In addition, you may be responsible for organizing music or dance activities, along with, arts and crafts as therapy.  Certification is required in most states.

How do I earn my PhD in Recreation?

PhD programs in this field usually combine several topics into one degree. It is often called the PhD in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management degree (PRTM); and it usually take about four years to complete the program. Earning a supplemental degree in a related field will also increase your career options.

Typically, you will need to enter the doctorate program with your master’s degree transcripts, acceptable GRE scores, in addition to, letters of recommendation and your employment resumé.

Coursework involved within a PhD in a PRTM program may include conducting pertinent research in the field, community recreation, political and legal aspect of recreation services, management of outdoor, sports and game activities, marketing recreation services, leisure in therapeutic recreation, fitness and recreation management, in addition to, tourism behavior, risk and safety management and recreation technology.

In addition, your studies may include outdoor activities such as horseback riding, rock climbing or scuba diving. Other concentrations may include sports related activities such as, tennis, golf or basketball. You will also spend time conducting research for your dissertation.

What kind of salary can I expect with my PhD in Recreation degree?

A Doctor of Recreation degree often suggests a variety of career options such as, a corporate trainer, recreational director, sports manager or health club manager. In addition, you can choose to pursue a management position in the parks and recreation department, hospitality and tourism or in RV park management.

The average salary in the field of recreation can range from between $30,000 and $43,000 annually, however, careers in teaching, research or within government agencies have higher salaries with a doctoral degree.  In the field of recreational therapy, the average salary is $47,680 to upwards of $74,210 annually, depending on experience.

What schools offer Doctor of Recreation degrees?

In this graduate program, most schools offer a PhD in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (PRTM). Clemson University located in Clemson, SC offers an online PhD in PRTM Recreation Therapy. They combine on-campus residencies and synchronous online learning. North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC and the University of Utah College of Health in Salt Lake City, UT offers on campus programs in Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Don’t hesitate to pursue your PhD in PRTM today!