Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy

Alexis McKenney, Ed.D., CTRS
Professor and Recreational Therapy Program Director
Temple University
1700 N. Broad Street
Suite 304
Philadelphia, PA 19122
215-204-1387
mckenney@temple.edu
https://cph.temple.edu/rs/academics-rehabilitation-sciences/therapeutic-recreation

About the Recreational Therapy Major

The Recreational Therapy Program offers two degrees:

  • B.S. in Recreational Therapy
  • M.S. in Recreational Therapy

Additionally, the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences offers a +1 undergraduate/graduate accelerated program which provides the opportunity for qualifying students studying recreational therapy as an undergraduate to begin taking graduate level courses within their undergraduate curriculum and therefore complete the M.S. in Recreational Therapy typically within a year after completing the B.S. in Recreational Therapy.

Recreational therapists use a systematic process involving play, recreation, and leisure activities as a means to promote psychosocial adaptation, health, rehabilitation, community engagement, and life quality for children and adults of all ages who have illnesses and disabilities. The curriculum primary goal is to prepare competent entry-level recreational therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains to enable them to function as recreational therapists in traditional and emerging service delivery settings. Alumni of Temple's recreational therapy (formerly therapeutic recreation) degree programs can be found in a wide range of health and human services agencies. They are employed in diverse settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, schools, and community recreation agencies. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment opportunities are expected to increase approximately 17% over the next ten years, as fast as the average for all other occupations. A growth in employment opportunities will be most prevalent in the areas of aging/nursing care facilities, working with students with disabilities in schools, and outpatient medical facilities versus inpatient care.

Mission of the Program

The Recreational Therapy Program strives to be a world-class academic and research unit committed to advancing the role of play, recreation, and leisure opportunities in health promotion, rehabilitation, and disease prevention for diverse individuals with chronic illnesses and disabilities across the life span. The program provides exceptional educational experiences, conducts discipline-expanding research, and contributes to society via programs that explore and test evidence-based innovations in practice and policy. The program's mission includes:

  • instilling knowledge, values, ethics, and skills that will guide students in their future academic pursuits and their professional practice in recreational therapy at the local, national, and international levels;
  • being a leading contributor to the ever-changing knowledge base in health, leisure, and disability studies through research and other scholarly activities;
  • providing innovative and responsive educational opportunities, research, and service in collaboration with local, regional, and national agencies and organizations; and
  • fostering interdisciplinary collaborations to promote a better understanding of the importance of physically and socially active lifestyles to health, well-being, and quality of life.

Central to the overall mission of the Recreational Therapy Program is a commitment to access and diversity. This is realized through a commitment to ensuring equal access to all qualified applicants and a commitment to promoting equal access to recreation and leisure opportunities for all people regardless of age, economics, race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, religion, or abilities. 

Accreditation

The Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)/Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE).

Certification

Following satisfactory completion of all coursework and internship requirements, graduates with the Bachelor of Science degree in Recreational Therapy should be eligible to sit for the national certifying examination in therapeutic recreation administered by Prometric and the National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).

A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Recreational Therapy is awarded to students upon satisfactory completion of a minimum of 121 semester hours of credit with a minimum GPA of 2.00 overall and a minimum GPA of 2.5 for classes in the major. Students completing this degree are eligible to sit for the national credentialing examination for recreational therapists. 

Summary of Requirements

University Requirements

  • All students are required to complete the General Education (GenEd) curriculum. Please note that the University GenEd curriculum has specific rules regarding the completion of this university requirement (for example, the number of courses a student may take in one department to satisfy GenEd Requirements), so careful review of the GenEd section of this Bulletin is encouraged. 
  • MATH 0701 (4 credits) and/or ENG 0701 (4 credits), if required by placement testing. 
  • All Temple students must take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses as part of the major. Writing Intensive classes in Recreational Therapy include:
    THRC 3096Assessment and Documentation in Therapeutic Recreation3
    THRC 3196Research and Evaluation in Therapeutic Recreation3
    THRC 4196Therapeutic Recreation Clinical Procedures3
  • Students are also encouraged to review university requirements for successful progression through their academic careers. Knowledge of course repeat policies, including the withdrawal policy, academic standing, and rules on taking courses elsewhere can be found in the Academic Policies section of this Bulletin.

College Requirement

All College of Public Health undergraduates must successfully complete the College Core Course, HRPR 1001 Public Health: The Way We Live, Work and Play.

Clearance Requirements

Please note the Recreational Therapy program requires students to complete clinical/field education experiences at facilities both on and off the University campus. These placements will require criminal background checks, Act 33/34 clearances and perhaps a drug screen. Placements may also require the student to maintain personal health insurance and/or submit a physical and immunization records. The results of these requirements may limit and potentially eliminate placement options which can, in turn, result in an inability to meet graduation requirements. Additionally, conviction of a misdemeanor, felony, or felonious or illegal act may prevent you from becoming credentialed and/or licensed to practice in recreational therapy. Please see www.atra-online.com/what/certification-licensure for more information about certification and licensure.

Recreational Therapy Program Requirements

Students must complete a set of specific courses in the major, including Health Related Professions Core, Cognate Core, Recreational Therapy major courses, and two credit-earning field-based clinical internships (THRC 3185 and THRC 4185). Students must also complete other non-credit earning requirements as part of the major, including 70 hours of professional development / volunteer experiences relevant to the major, criminal and child abuse clearances, health immunization and physical documentation, and certification in First-Aid/CPR.

All Recreational Therapy courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher. 

Health Related Professions Core 1
HRPR 1001Public Health: The Way We Live, Work and Play3
SBS 2103Health Psychology and Human Behavior3
Cognate Core 1
KINS 1223Human Anatomy and Physiology I 23-4
or KINS 1221 Principles of Anatomy and Physiology I
KINS 1224Human Anatomy and Physiology II3-4
or KINS 1222 Principles of Anatomy and Physiology II
KINS 2204Motor Behavior3
PSY 1001Introduction to Psychology3
PSY 1003Statistics for Psychology3
or SOC 1167 Social Statistics
PSY 2301Foundations of Developmental Psychology3
PSY 2201Foundations of Psychopathology3
Lower-Division Recreational Therapy Coursework
THRC 1102Adapted Sport, Recreation and Inclusive Leisure Services3
THRC 2103Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation Practice3
Upper-Division Recreational Therapy Coursework
THRC 2104Therapeutic Recreation Modalities3
THRC 3096Assessment and Documentation in Therapeutic Recreation3
THRC 3103Professional Seminar II3
THRC 3111Health Promotion through Leisure Education3
THRC 3196Research and Evaluation in Therapeutic Recreation3
THRC 4111Administration of Therapeutic Recreation3
THRC 4196Therapeutic Recreation Clinical Procedures3
Internship Experience
THRC 3185Internship I3
THRC 4185Internship II12
Recreational Therapy Electives
Select four of the following:12
Therapeutic Recreation and Developmental Disabilities
Assistive Technology in Recreation
Adventure Challenge/Programming
Therapeutic Recreation and Mental Health
Therapeutic Recreation in Geriatric Service Settings
Therapeutic Recreation and Physical Disabilities
Therapeutic Recreation and Pediatric Healthcare
Total Credit Hours81-83

Suggested Academic Plan

Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy

Requirements for New Students starting in the 2018-2019 Academic Year

The following academic plan displays required courses. Please note that, unless specified otherwise, students may select from a number of university-approved courses in the various areas of the GenEd curriculum.

Year 1
FallCredit Hours
ENG 0802, 0812, or 0902Analytical Reading and Writing4
HRPR 1001Public Health: The Way We Live, Work and Play3
THRC 1102Adapted Sport, Recreation and Inclusive Leisure Services3
GenEd Breadth Course3
GenEd Breadth Course3
 Term Credit Hours16
Spring
IH 0851 or 0951Intellectual Heritage I: The Good Life3
GenEd Quantitative Literacy Course [GQ]14
PSY 1001Introduction to Psychology3
GenEd Breadth Course3
THRC 2103Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation Practice3
 Term Credit Hours16
Year 2
Fall
IH 0852 or 0952Intellectual Heritage II: The Common Good3
KINS 1223 or 1221Human Anatomy and Physiology I23-4
SBS 2103Health Psychology and Human Behavior3
PSY 2301Foundations of Developmental Psychology3
GenEd Breadth Course3
 Term Credit Hours15-16
Spring
KINS 1224 or 1222Human Anatomy and Physiology II23-4
GenEd Breadth Course3-4
Elective3
PSY 2201Foundations of Psychopathology3
Select one of the following:3
Social Statistics 
Statistics for Psychology 
 Term Credit Hours15-17
Year 3
Fall
THRC 3096Assessment and Documentation in Therapeutic Recreation33
THRC 2104Therapeutic Recreation Modalities3
Elective3
KINS 2204Motor Behavior3
Select one of the following:43
Therapeutic Recreation and Developmental Disabilities5 
Assistive Technology in Recreation5 
Therapeutic Recreation and Mental Health5 
 Term Credit Hours15
Spring
THRC 3103Professional Seminar II3
THRC 3111Health Promotion through Leisure Education3
THRC 3185Internship I3
Select two of the following:46
Therapeutic Recreation in Geriatric Service Settings6 
Therapeutic Recreation and Physical Disabilities6 
Therapeutic Recreation and Pediatric Healthcare 
Adventure Challenge/Programming 
 Term Credit Hours15
Year 4
Fall
THRC 3196Research and Evaluation in Therapeutic Recreation73
THRC 4196Therapeutic Recreation Clinical Procedures33
Select one of the following:43
Therapeutic Recreation and Mental Health 
Therapeutic Recreation and Developmental Disabilities5 
Assistive Technology in Recreation5 
Elective3
Elective2-3
 Term Credit Hours14-15
Spring
THRC 4111Administration of Therapeutic Recreation3
THRC 4185Internship II12
 Term Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours: 121-125

Note: Students may lighten their academic load in the fall and spring semesters by taking classes during the summer sessions. Please see a departmental advisor to explore summer course offerings and suitable options.