Recreational Therapy, B.S.

Program Information


The recreational therapy major leads to a Bachelor of Science degree. The program offers a highly articulated and sequenced curriculum. All students must seek advising from a program faculty member before embarking on the program. The baccalaureate curriculum provides educational opportunities that prepare students for entry level positions in recreational therapy. 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 following abilities are important for students to possess for the recreational therapy profession: commitment to learning, interpersonal skills, communication skills, effective use of time and resources, use of constructive feedback, professionalism, responsibility, critical thinking, and stress management skills.

Professional Course Sequence

Recreational Therapy Professional Courses: 61- 67 credit hours

Recreational Therapy Interventions

The Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) is involved in providing services which include assessment/diagnosis, treatment/rehabilitation, remediation, education, and recreation participation to promote changes in the client's/patient's physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and leisure behavior. Roles the CTRS may assume in providing services are that of therapist, educator, facilitator, supervisor, and administrator.

The Therapeutic Recreation Specialist uses many different modalities or intervention techniques to help persons achieve their desired outcomes. These interventions include but are not limited to:

  • Aquatic Therapy
  • Therapeutic Use of Horticulture
  • Stress Management
  • Values Clarification
  • Animal Facilitated Therapy
  • Therapeutic Use of Arts & Music
  • Community Reintegration
  • Relaxation Techniques
  • Therapeutic Play
  • Adaptive Sports
Equine Therapy

Career Options

Recreational therapists use a variety of modalities, including arts and crafts, to help maintain or improve a patient’s physical, social, and emotional well-being. 

The median salary for a recreational therapists is $47,710 per year or $22.94 per hour (2020), depending on where you are located in the country and scope of the position. For more information visit, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook


A Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) is the qualified provider of recreational therapy. Individuals seeking certification apply to National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) and must meet established standards that include education, experience, and continuing professional development. The Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential is granted by NCTRC after the specific educational and experiential qualifications are met, eligibility to take the exam is established, and testing is successfully completed. 

Individuals who have been involved in a criminal proceeding or charged with or convicted of a crime may not be eligible for national certification by the NCTRC. Students are strongly advised to work with the NCTRC for pre-application review of eligibility for certification from their website or call 845-639-1439 for more information.  

Page last modified June 27, 2022