Therapeutic Recreation

Program Type
Undergraduate Major
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Mode of Study

Tuition & fees

Costs include tuition, fees, & other costs such as books. New England residents may qualify for a tuition break. See cost details

Financial aid

On average, 92% of enrolled students who file a FAFSA receive an offer. 91% of offers include scholarships, grants, waiver, and/or work-study. Explore aid

Program duration

Typical completion time: 4 years. Flexible options may save time. Explore options


SAT & ACT scores optional. Early action & year-round admissions. View application process & deadlines

Program highlights

  • Learn to plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based treatment programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses.
  • Take part in an internship that will allow you to work in a treatment setting with therapeutic recreation professionals.
  • Hone your practical and technical skills at community-based organizations throughout the U.S. and locally, including the Portland Center for Therapeutic Recreation.
  • Become eligible to sit for the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification examination.
A student intern works with a veteran who is pinball bowling as part of the VAST program.

Career opportunities

Upon program completion, you could seek employment as a recreation therapist, recreation staff in a variety of municipal or nonprofit environments, activity coordinator, or recreation generalist.

An aerial view of the University of Southern Maine Portland campus.

Engaged and dedicated faculty

Our faculty understand what students need to succeed in today’s competitive business environment. They help mentor and create networking opportunities for students from day one.

Two students wearing masks pet a service dog.

Program requirements

Learn to promote the development of functional independence and to facilitate an appropriate leisure lifestyle for persons with mental, physical, emotional, or social limitations in both treatment and non-treatment settings.

A student in a graduation cap and gown gazes upward.

Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships offer valuable financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. You’ll be automatically considered for Merit Scholarships when you apply for admission by the deadline. Additional opportunities are available.

A hand holds an oar in the water on the side of a canoe.


When you complete the internship component of the program under the supervision of a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, you will be eligible to sit for the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification examination.

A recreational leisure student works with a client who is riding a horse as part of therapeutic recreation.

Hands-on learning

The culmination of our program is an internship in a treatment setting. You’ll gain competency in assessing, planning, and implementing evidence-based interventions, leading programs, and working as part of an interdisciplinary treatment team.

You may also be interested in…
Next steps

Our helpful admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services. We also invite you to explore the many ways to visit campus or to engage with us through online experiences.

Get info