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Therapeutic Recreation, B.S.

Therapeutic recreation (TR) is the specialized application of recreation and experiential activities or interventions that help maintain or improve the health status, functional capacities, and ultimately the quality of life for persons with disabilities.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

Grand Valley State University's therapeutic recreation major is a four-year academic curriculum plus one semester of internship leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Students need to be able to use clinical reasoning skills to solve problems, formulate concepts, make judgments, analyze behaviors and tasks, and determine appropriate interventions.

TR is a secondary admission program. Application information is available at

Why Study Therapeutic Recreation at Grand Valley?

  • The program meets the standards of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (N.C.T.R.C.).
  • Nationally recognized curriculum with a small, welcoming program.
  • Diverse opportunities for employment after graduation.
  • Service learning is integrated throughout the curriculum.
  • Graduates are prepared to meet consumer health needs in a dynamic and culturally diverse world by completing a comprehensive curriculum that offers theoretical knowledge as well as practical experience and application.
  • The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs ( under the recommendation of the Council on Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE).

Helpful Links

College of Health Professions Department of Diagnostic and Treatment Sciences Therapeutic Recreation
500 Lafayette Ave. NE, Suite 106
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 331-5600

Admissions Office

Location & Format

All undergraduate students begin their academic career on the Allendale Campus. Students in this major continue their upper division studies on the GVSU Health Campus, near the Grand Rapids Medical Mile.

Format: Face To Face


Students study a variety of topics that include:

  • Foundations of therapeutic recreation
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Interventions in therapeutic recreation
  • Leisure, health and wellness

Career Options

Therapeutic recreation is a diverse field that offers graduates varied career opportunities. TR specialists work in hospitals, acute and subacute care settings, nursing homes, older adult programs, centers for physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatric institutions, substance abuse centers, correctional facilities, juvenile services, public parks and recreation departments, volunteer agencies, after-care centers, and sheltered workshops.


“Through the quality education and amazing support I've received from the professors in the TR program, I have grown not only professionally but personally as well. I have learned so much about the field and feel confident in the knowledge I’ve acquired.”