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Recreation Major: Therapeutic Recreation Concentration, B.A.; B.A.A.; B.S.


Therapeutic Recreation Concentration

B.A. degree; B.A.A. degree; B.S. degree

Major Map

The goal of the Therapeutic Recreation (TR) concentration is to prepare students to serve as competent practitioners in the role of Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS). Students in this program develop skills to work with individuals with disability and chronic illness in diverse health care settings. In addition to structured coursework a strong emphasis is placed on practical training via numerous volunteer placements and a full-time clinical internship under a CTRS. Upon completion of all coursework and professional internship, the student is eligible to sit for the national certifying examination administered by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). Academic advisors work closely with students in the selection and scheduling of courses to assure timely completion of degree and major requirements. Academic advisors also provide Therapeutic Recreation advisement for pre-graduate programs in selected allied areas (i.e. Occupational Therapy).

Admission Requirements, Admission and Termination Standards

Enrollment in the TR program is competitive, admitting a maximum of 30 students per semester. Students are encouraged to meet with a TR advisor before pursuing this program. Application instructional packets are available on the Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services Administration (RPL) website. Once admitted to the program students will enroll in courses with members of their cohort group.

Phase 1: Pre-admission / Selection criteria

  1. Completion of 40 semester credit hours.
  2. Completion of or current enrollment in the following pre-professional coursework:

    RPL 118 (2)

    RPL 210 (3)

    HDF 100 or PSY 220 (3)

    HSC 211 or a college level natural science course (refer to pre-requisite for HSC 214) (3)

  3. Practical experience:

    Completion of a minimum of 40 volunteer or related work hours in therapeutic recreation or in recreation with individuals with special needs.

  4. Application packet downloaded from the RPL website.

    Submit by:

       March 1 for Fall semester enrollment

       October 1 for Spring semester enrollment

    Must include all of the following to be considered:

    • Submission of a candidate statement
    • An official copy of student’s transcripts
    • Professional reference
    • Evidence of current CPR / First Aid certification
    • Completed application form
  5. Admission notification - Students will be notified of their admission status by:

       March 17 for Fall semester enrollment

       October 17 for Spring semester enrollment

    Students must be formally admitted to the program before taking any diagnostic or intermediate level coursework in therapeutic recreation (i.e., RPL 340, RPL 341, RPL 342, RPL 345, and others).

  6. Students must achieve a C or better in all courses required for program admission and all required courses to graduate with this major.

Required Courses I (42 hours)

HSC 214Human Anatomy


HSC 215Human Physiology


PSY 250Abnormal Psychology


RPL 118Introduction to Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services


RPL 210Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation


RPL 310Pre-Internship in Leisure Services


RPL 340Therapeutic Recreation: Developmental Disabilities


RPL 341Therapeutic Recreation: Physical Disabilities


RPL 342Therapeutic Recreation: Behavioral Health


RPL 345Therapeutic Recreation: Gerontology


RPL 349Facilitation Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation


RPL 351Pharmacology for Therapeutic Recreation


RPL 518Research & Philosophy in RPL


RPL 580WIProgramming for Therapeutic Recreation


RPL 581Therapeutic Recreation: Management Issues


Required Courses II (3 hours)

Select one of the following:

HDF 100Lifespan Development


PSY 220Developmental Psychology


Required Courses III (15-30 hours)

RPL 320Professional Internship in Recreation


Note: RPL 320 - Students seeking a B.S. or B.A. degree will complete a one semester 15 credit hour internship in a clinical setting. Students seeking a B.A.A. degree will complete a 30 hour internship (in two unique settings, one of which must be clinical).

Total: 60-75 semester hours