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Recreational Therapy

College of Health


Class Size


Getting Started

Begin required prerequisite courses:

  • PSY 1010 - General Psychology
  • BIOL 1210 - General Biology
  • Complete AI, WR2, & QA requirements in the first year
  • Familiarize yourself with Canvas

Making Progress

Find classes that fulfill U graduation & RT requirements:

  • H EDU 5300 - Diversity & Health
  • ANTH 4110 - Women Cross Culturally
  • FSC 3770 - Parenting Across Cultures

Enhance knowledge of specific populations, groups, or disabilities:

  • CSD 4100 - Understanding Children with Autism and their Families
  • PSY 3700 - Drugs & Behavior
  • H EDU 5350 - Eating Disorders: Prevention & Treatment
  • PRT 5730 - Program for Positive Youth Development

Finishing Up

  • Finish RT courses
  • Meet with your advisor to ensure you're on track for graduation
  • Find & complete an RT internship


Getting Started

Making Progress

Finishing Up

Knowledge & Skills

Getting Started

  • Complete a personality profile
  • Visit your advisor to explore Gen Ed courses that complement RT
  • Strengthen your writing skills by visiting the Writing Center

Making Progress

  • Join the RT research lab
  • Consider adding a minor focused on your intended practice area
  • Evaluate your interests to better determine the population or conditions you would like to explore
  • Develop your communication skills by taking a COMM course
  • Seek clinical experiences to advance your career goals

Finishing Up


Getting Started

  • Meet with your advisor & customize your undergraduate experience to meet your goals
  • Attend PlazaFest or visit the ASUU website to explore clubs on campus
  • Form study groups

Making Progress

Finishing Up

  • Become an advocate for RT services by maintaining your membership in the ATRA & URTA
  • Participate in the University & College of Health graduation ceremonies


Getting Started

  • Join the URTA
  • Map out your academic plan

Making Progress

  • Participate in the College Council
  • Actively engage with your professors - attend office hours & RT events
  • Attend the URTA internship fair & URTA annual conference
  • Visit a Career Coach to find summer jobs or part-time work in health care
  • Visit the Bennion Center to explore volunteer opportunities

Finishing Up

  • Complete a community service project
  • Form professional relationships with individuals at your internship site


Getting Started

  • Meet with a Career Coach to identify your strengths, interests, personality, & values
  • Activate & customize your Handshake account

Making Progress

  • Learn how to develop your resume
  • Practice interviewing skills with a Career Coach
  • Explore internship opportunities
  • Find a part-time job to build your professional skills
  • Network at your clinical rotation sites
  • Use career events (Career Fairs/Meet & Eats) & resources (Handshake/Forever Utah) to get connected

Finishing Up

Start Your Career Journey

Find support at the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC)

Visit cpdc


About the Major

If you are interested in helping individuals with injury, illness, and/or disability improve their overall well-being and quality of life, a Recreational Therapy major at the U is a great fit for you! Recreational Therapy (RT) is a health and human service profession that promotes individuals' physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual well-being through individual and group counseling techniques combined with recreation-based activities. You will learn about intervention activities such as creative expression with art, music, and dance; physical activity through sports, recreation, and games; challenge/ropes courses; experiential learning; and therapeutic education group processes such as stress management, problem solving, and social skills.

The RT program at the U addresses all the requirements for the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) and prepares you for the exam. Coursework covers knowledge of the body and its systems, health, psychology, recreational therapy assessment, and interventions and techniques for working with individuals with a variety of conditions. In addition to coursework, you'll gain first-hand clinical experience with four condition-specific clinical rotations culminating in a 14-week internship. You will acquire the theoretical and practical skills necessary for a career in recreational therapy and be able to support clients in developing skills, knowledge, and behaviors to promote overall well-being and life satisfaction.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain health conditions common to clients receiving recreational therapy services, including those that impact cognitive, physical, sensory, and/or psychological functioning.
  • Accurately assess client treatment needs using various assessment procedures and instruments relevant to recreational therapy practice.
  • Design and facilitate individual and group treatments that meet the assessed needs of clients using evidence-based recreation and leisure interventions.
  • Communicate treatment outcomes both orally and in writing.
  • Create written reports justifying staff, programs, and quality assurance/improvement initiatives in recreational therapy using outcome data and research evidence.
  • Discuss the professional role of recreational therapists and the requirements for gaining and maintaining credentialing as a recreational therapist.

Plan & Prepare

At the U, we plan for our students to have an exceptional Educational Experience identified by four broad categories we call the Learning Framework: Community, Knowledge & Skills, Transformation, and Impact. This major map will help you envision, explore, design, and plan your personalized Exceptional Education Experience with the Learning Framework at the core. In addition to assisting you in planning your coursework and navigating the requirements of your major, this map will help you incorporate other kinds of experiences to expand your knowledge, support your development, and prepare you for the future you want.

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Last Updated: 4/12/22