The field of recreational therapy combines health care, counseling and rehabilitation. Programs for individuals who want to go into this field can be found at 4-year colleges and universities.
Recreational Therapy Programs
The following 4-year schools offer recreational therapy degrees:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Brigham Young University-Provo||Provo, UT||4-year, private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$5,150|
|University of North Carolina Wilmington||Wilmington, NC||4-year, public||Bachelor's||$6,691 (In-state) $20,557 (Out-of-state)|
|CUNY Lehman College||Bronx, NY||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's||$6,760 (In-state) $13,870 (Out-of-state)|
|Temple University||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's||$15,188 (In-state) $25,494 (Out-of-state)|
|Indiana Institute of Technology||Fort Wayne, IN||4-year, private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$25,600|
|Ithaca College||Ithaca, NY||4-year, private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$40,658|
|Texas State University||San Marcos, TX||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's||$9,348 (In-state) $20,268 (Out-of-state)|
|Southern University and A&M College||Baton Rouge, LA||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's||$7,346 (In-state) $17,696 (Out-of-state)|
|Grand Valley State University||Allendale, MI||4-year, public||Bachelor's||$11,363 (In-state) $16,044 (Out-of-state)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Students looking for recreational therapy programs should consider the following:
- Upon graduation, recreational therapy majors must take national and state licensing exams, so students should look for schools recognized by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC), whose curriculum is aligned with exam topics and who have a record of high passing rates.
- Students seeking a specialization may look for schools offering an emphasis in pediatric care, therapeutic arts or recreation administration.
- Graduate students may become recreational therapy research assistants during their studies, working with professionals in the field. Therefore, students may want to consider programs with former recreational therapists as professors.
- Some schools may offer extracurricular recreational therapy organizations, which can benefit students by sponsoring workshops and helping students with career planning.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
A Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy degree is offered at some colleges and universities. This degree program may require 71 hours specifically in recreational therapy courses, including clinical training and an internship. Other degree program options for aspiring recreational therapists include a bachelor's degree in recreation with an option to specialize in recreational therapy. This program may have more of a focus on leadership and group management. A similar option is a Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Sports Management with a concentration in recreation therapy.
Master's Degree Programs
Master of Science in Recreational Therapy degree programs are available for aspiring recreational therapists as well as working professionals who wish to continue their education. Many programs require students to complete an evidence-based therapy project or a written thesis as a graduation requirement. An internship or practicum is also typically required.
Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in recreational therapy are available at 4-year public and private schools. Future students may want to consider things like program specializations, extracurricular organizations and more during the selection process.