Recreation Therapy, BS

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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:

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.

Program offered

Recreation Therapy, BS

Offered by
Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions


Major map

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Application requirements

Frequently asked questions and certification information

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

The program provides students with a choice of academic pathways in order to customize education with the desired career pathway. Recreational Therapists have the flexibility to work in numerous employment environments with diverse populations.  Graduates of the program work in a variety of settings. 

  • Adapted sport and recreation
  • Adult day health care
  • Assisted living
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Human service organizations
  • Long-term and residential care facilities
  • Private practice
  • Recreation programs
  • Rehabilitation
  • Schools
  • Veteran Health Care
  • Youth programs

Job outlook

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).

  • Bright Outlook
  • Green Occupation

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