Recreation Therapy, BS

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Become a recreational therapist and make a difference in the lives of individuals living with illness and disabling conditions. Using activity-based therapeutic interventions, enjoy a rewarding career and empower people to live a healthy leisure lifestyle while working with human service and recreation programs in the community.

The BS program in recreational therapy prepares students to apply for eligibility to take the national professional certification through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification: https://nctrc.org/about-certification/ctrs-the-qualified-provider.

The program prepares competent, entry-level recreational therapists with the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities needed to improve functional outcomes and increase participation in life activities for individuals experiencing health conditions. It is designed for students who want to learn to conduct assessments, develop service plans, implement therapeutic interventions, and evaluate and document outcomes of care. They gain skills to effectively provide comprehensive therapeutic recreation services that include program design and evaluation, individual and group service provision, and advocacy. The required fieldwork component of the program facilitates the development of competencies to provide quality recreational therapy services.

Students who choose this degree program are committed to improving people's lives and contributing to their communities. This degree program is one of two such programs in Arizona, both offered by the School of Community Resources and Development. This program has a heavier emphasis on healthcare settings such as hospitals and human service agencies while the Bachelor of Science in parks and recreation (therapeutic recreation) prepares students to provide recreational therapy services in community settings such as youth programs, adaptive sports, or parks and recreation.

At A Glance

Recreation Therapy, BS

Required Courses

A major map outlines a major's critical requirements, courses, and optimal course sequence and aids students in remaining on track to graduation.

While circumstances vary between students and their paths towards graduation (utilizing placement testing to fulfill required math or foreign language courses, fulfilling multiple General Studies requirements with one course, etc.), completing the courses listed in a major map fulfills all of the requirements for graduation.

Application requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements:

Affording college

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WUE eligible program
Undergraduate students from western states who enroll in this program are eligible for a discounted tuition rate.

Financial Aid
ASU has many financial aid options. Almost everyone, regardless of income, can qualify for some form of financial aid. In fact, more than 70 percent of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year.

Career outlook

Recreation therapy is a rapidly growing field, given the rising number of returning veterans and an aging population. Graduates are prepared for work in a wide variety of clinical settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers and extended care facilities. Graduates also are qualified to work in community settings such as parks and recreation departments.

Example careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:


Career*growth*median salary
Adapted Physical Education Specialists 9.8%$54,800
Art Therapists6.5%$47,680
Health Educators 14.5%$53,940
Coaches and Scouts 12.9%$32,270
Community Health Workers 18.1%$38,370
Medical and Health Services Managers 20.5%$98,350
Recreational Therapists6.5%$47,680
Rehabilitation Counselors 12.7%$34,860
Social and Community Service Managers 18%$64,100

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

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