Recreational Therapy (RecTx) 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 and chronic conditions.
The recreational therapy major is a four-year academic curriculum plus one semester of internship leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Graduates are prepared to meet consumer health needs in a dynamic and culturally diverse world by completing a comprehensive curriculum that includes theoretical and practical experience and application. Students need to be able to use clinical reasoning skills such as problem solving, formulating concepts, making judgments, analyzing behaviors and tasks, and determining appropriate intervention.
The Master of Science in Recreational Therapy (M.S.R.T.) focuses on advanced-practice issues and competencies to enhance the recreational therapist's skills to meet increasingly complex consumers in a variety of settings. The MSRT is offered as a hybrid program, with the majority of coursework online and one to three in-seat classes per semester. It is a 33 credit, one-year master's degree program for those who have a bachelor's degree and are a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).
Qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the program and obtain both the B.S. and M.S. in recreational therapy within an accelerated time frame. Students interested in the Recreational Therapy B.S. & M.S. combined degree program follow the undergraduate curriculum for recreational therapy, and apply to the graduate program during their first year of undergraduate recreational therapy coursework. (120 undergraduate credits, 24 graduate credits)
Undergraduate (B.S.) Application Deadline: February 15. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all seats are filled.
Graduate (M.S.) Application Deadline: February 1. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all seats are filled.
Why Study Recreational Therapy at Grand Valley?
- The program meets the standards of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).
- Nationally recognized curriculum with a small, welcoming program.
- Students and alumni are active in local, state, and national professional organizations.
- Diverse opportunities for employment after graduation.
- Service learning is integrated throughout the curriculum.
- Faculty members assist students in worldwide networking.
- 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.
- Grand Valley’s Recreational Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (https://www.caahep.org/Students/Find-a-Program.aspx ).
- Students spend two years completing general education and prerequisite courses.
- Students should meet regularly with their academic advisor to confirm their specific academic plan.
- Upon completion, or with the planned completion by the program's fall start, of all prerequisites and requirements, applicants submit all admissions materials. Priority Application Deadline is February 15.
- This is a competitive secondary admission program. Successful candidates will be notified of provisional admission into the program and will meet with a RT faculty advisor to register for the first semester of RTX coursework.
- Upon successful completion of the first semester's courses (80% competency/B- in each course), students will be granted full admission into the Recreational Therapy program.
- After admission to the program, students complete two years of full-time professional coursework.
- The GVSU Recreational Therapy 1-Year track Master's program requires the completion of a Recreational Therapy or Therapeutic Recreation undergraduate degree.
- Students interested in the combined degree program will follow the undergraduate curriculum for recreational therapy, and will apply to the graduate program during their first year of undergraduate recreational therapy coursework. Students interested in the combined degree program should meet with their advisor regularly to confirm their specific academic plan.
- Applications and required documents are submitted through the Graduate Admissions portal. The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to Grand Valley State University. Priority Application Deadline is February 1.
- Admission into the program is competitive. Applications are reviewed by the Recreational Therapy faculty and ranked on a total score basis. The top 20 candidates are offered seats in the program. If any original candidate declines admission, an alternate candidate will be selected based on their total application score.
- Successful candidates will begin the three semester, full-time program in fall.
Students interested in pursuing the COMBINED DEGREE, Recreational Therapy B.S. + M.S. should work closely with an advisor. The combined degree application process includes:
- Complete prerequisites and meet application requirements for the undergraduate degree, then submit the Recreational Therapy B.S. program application. Priority deadline: February 15. (See above for more details)
- Application for the Recreational Therapy M.S. Combined Degree is due during the first year of the undergraduate Recreational Therapy coursework. Priority deadline: February 1. (See above for more details)
- Application requirements for the combined degree include:
- Demonstrate the potential to succeed in the combined program based on a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher.
- Earn a grade of C or higher (or CR or X) in each undergraduate non-recreational therapy course attempted.
- Earn a B- or higher in recreational therapy courses.
- Provide a letter of intent to pursue the combined degree.
- Have the recommendation of GVSU Recreational Therapy faculty members based on course performance.