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A park with lake and walking trail.


Pursuing a recreation degree is ideal if you want to improve lives and communities through inclusive and therapeutic recreation.

What is Therapeutic Recreation?

Therapeutic recreation is a health care profession that promotes health and quality of life for individuals facing disease and disability.

The treatment and services provided by recreational therapists improve and maintain the physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and leisure functioning for those individuals served.


Once you have progressed through entry-level coursework, you will complete three practicum experiences and an internship placement. These experiences will help you develop the skills and confidence necessary for professional practice.

Curriculum is designed to prepare you for the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) exam, to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).

Degree Options

There is one Bachelor of Science (BS) degree available with this major.

More about this Major


Recreational therapists who have graduated from Southern Miss are employed in a variety of settings, often in leadership roles.

Recreational therapists may work with individuals in medical centers, behavioral health, community recreation programs, pediatric and geriatric facilities, physical rehabilitation and numerous other settings.

Some examples of where our graduates are currently employed include the City of Hattiesburg Parks and Recreation, the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System, and Memorial Hospital at Gulfport Behavioral Health.

20+ internship locations throughout Mississippi and the U.S.
The classroom experiential learning techniques, along with the practicum and internship requirements, gave me the hands-on experience I needed to apply what I learned in the classroom to various work settings.

Courses You Might Take

KIN 200: Recreation and Leisure in Society

Students participate in a recreational activity.

A study of the significance of play, recreation and leisure in contemporary society and the evolution of organized leisure service programs

KIN 322: Recreation Program Planning

Students organize a recreation program.

Procedures and methods in planning and organizing a comprehensive recreation program

KIN 350: Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation

Participants play wheelchair basketball.

An overview of the therapeutic recreation profession, including historical development, professional competencies and standards, and applications across a variety of settings and populations

KIN 451: Assessment and Documentation in Therapeutic Recreation

A student works with a client to create a therapeutic program.

Procedures for conducting needs assessments and individualized assessments, and procedures for writing program plans, selecting interventions and documenting client progress

Meet Some of Your Professors

Dr. Rick Green


Favorite Course: KIN 351: Inclusive Recreation and Sport for a Diverse Society

Megan Marlowe

Visiting Instructor

Favorite Course: KIN 200: Leisure and Recreation in Society

Earnie Pheal

Visiting Instructor

Favorite Courses: KIN 323: Recreation Leadership and KIN 411: Adaptive Activities and Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation

Take the Next Steps

Let's Connect

Get in touch so we can share the information you need to learn more about your future at Southern Miss.

Come See Us

Visit our beautiful Hattiesburg or Gulf Park campuses. Seeing for yourself is a great way to get to know us better.

Apply to Southern Miss

Be aware of our deadlines, $40 application fee and other items on our checklist. Admission requirements vary for freshmen, transfers, prospective Honors College students and others.

Southern Miss undergraduate degrees are available online, at the Hattiesburg campus, at the Gulf Park campus, and/or through a hybrid delivery that includes both online and on-campus courses.