Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies

BS in Recreation and Leisure Studies - Therapeutic Recreation Concentration

The purpose of therapeutic recreation is to promote development of functional independence and to facilitate development, maintenance, and expression of an appropriate leisure lifestyle for persons with mental, physical, emotional, or social limitations. Accordingly, this purpose is accomplished through provision of educational and participatory services in both treatment and non-treatment settings. These services assist clientele in eliminating barriers to leisure, developing leisure skills and attitudes that meet their needs, and optimizing their leisure involvement. Therapeutic recreation professionals use leisure and recreation to enhance each client's health status and leisure lifestyle, both of which are imperative to the development of human potential. Minimum number of credits needed for the degree: 121.

Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student may seek employment as a recreation therapist, recreation staff in a variety of municipal or nonprofit environments, activity coordinator, or recreation generalist. Students who complete internships under the supervision of a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist will be eligible to sit for the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification examination.

In addition to the University Core Curriculum requirements, the four-year program in recreation and leisure studies consists of the following courses leading to the B.S. degree. The curriculum is subject to change as a result of faculty evaluation.


Required Recreation Core Courses (51 cr) Credits
REC 110 Foundations of Recreation and Leisure Studies 3
REC 121 Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation Services 3
REC 216 Emergency Response 3
REC 219 Lifetime Physical Fitness and Wellness 3
REC 224 Inclusive and Special Recreation 3
REC 241 Recreation Leadership 3
REC 311 Psychosocial Interventions for Older Adults 3
REC 332 Methods in Therapeutic Recreation Program Design 3
REC 353 Implications of Disabling Conditions for Therapeutic Recreation 3
REC 382 Assessment and Documentation in Therapeutic Recreation 3
REC 383 Facilitation Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation 3
REC 494 Professional Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation Practice 3
REC 495 Internship 12
REC 498 Management and Professional Development in Therapeutic Recreation 3
Electives (6 cr)


HIH 288 Reiki


REC 223 Introduction to Nature Tourism


REC 231 Expressive Arts Programming


REC 285 Perspectives on Animal Assisted Therapy


REC 314 Wellness Education and Counseling


RHF XXX Two 1.5-credit health fitness courses


Required foundation courses (24 cr)  
BIO 111 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 3
BIO 112 Practical Human Anatomy and Physiology I 1.5
BIO 113 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 3
BIO 114 Practical Human Anatomy and Physiology II 1.5
HRD/SBS 200 Multicultural Human Development 3
PSY 101 General Psychology I 3
PSY 102 General Psychology II 3
PSY 233 Psychopathology 3
SBS 343 Substance Abuse OR SWO 388 Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Issues 3
Total credits (with Core) 121

People who choose Therapeutic Recreation as their profession have a passion for helping people with all abilities, want a rewarding career that increases the physical well-being of others, wish to make difference in the lives of others by using nonpharmacological interventions with a focus on recreation and nature, and want hands-on learning experiences. In this program, students will be engaged with a variety of hands-on learning experiences both inside and out of the classroom. The Recreational Therapy curriculum will prepare students to work with children, adolescents, and adults with physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities in a variety of settings and specialty areas.

Recreational therapists assist clients in developing skills, knowledge and behaviors for daily living and community involvement in a variety of settings: long-term residential care, hospitals and clinics, community park and recreation departments, residential group homes, school systems, correctional facilities, home health care, outdoor treatment programs, mental health and substance use programs, respite and hospice centers, veteran services, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities.

For more information, visit the American Therapeutic Recreation Association, Maine Recreational Therapy Association, and the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification.