BS in Recreational Therapy

Recreational Therapy


Do you have an interest in working with people who have a disability, are recovering from a serious illness or accident, or are struggling with mental health issues? Do you have a calling that is urging you to reach out to those who are dealing with physical, social, emotional, or cognitive challenges to help them reach a better quality of life?

Students studying recreational therapy learn the skills needed to work with people in allied health-care settings such as hospitals, psychiatric clinics, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation clinics, substance abuse centers, and similar settings. You might work with returning injured service-members, seniors, children, adolescents, and individuals from all walks of life. The BS degree in recreational therapy at ECU has a strong clinical focus, which means that graduates will work side-by-side with physicians, occupational and physical therapists, nurses, and other members of an individual's treatment team wherever they work. The goal is always to help the patient/client achieve the highest level of functioning possible so as to experience life to the fullest. ECU recreational therapy students learn in the classroom, through practicum experiences, and they spend 15 weeks in a full-time internship where they learn to work with a variety of clientele in various settings. Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for the national certification exam and become credentialed to work in the field. In North Carolina, both national certification and state licensure are required to practice recreational therapy.

Admission Requirements

Any student wishing to declare a major in recreational therapy (RT) must, at the time of entrance into the curriculum, possess a minimum 2.5 GPA; have completed ENGL 1100, ENGL 1200; MATH 1065 or MATH 1066 or MATH 1067 or MATH 2127; and BIOL 2130, BIOL 2131 or BIOL 2140, BIOL 2141; have submitted an application; have a personal interview with a RT faculty member; and have completed a sequencing form (timetable) in consultation with a RCTX advisor in the HHP Advising Center and their RT faculty advisor.


Program Requirements

Required Courses

Four Year Plan

Prior to registering for 4000 level RCTX courses, all RT students are required to complete the recreational therapy fieldwork experience. This requires a minimum of 25 documented hours of directed experience in recreational therapy programs and recreation-based activities for individuals with disabilities.

Click here for RT Field Work Experience Documentation

Admission to recreational therapy is competitive and limited due to space availability. Majors must maintain a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA and a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA in all cognate courses to remain in good standing. Majors must earn a minimum grade of C (2.0) in all required RCLS and RCTX courses.

Delivery Methods

This program is only offered in an on-campus, Face to Face format.

Accreditation Information

The recreational therapy (RT) program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) through the Committee on Accreditation for Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE).

National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification School Report

2017-2018 ECU Clinical Performance Outcomes

Institutional and Professional Licensure Disclosures for Enrolled and Prospective Students

All applicable ECU academic programs prepare students to sit for licensure in North Carolina. In order to comply with NC-SARA and the U.S. Department of Education regulations regarding distance education and professional licensure ECU is required to make the following disclosure with respect to professional licensure outside the state of North Carolina:

If you are considering an academic program that leads to a professional license, please be aware that ECU may or may not be able to confirm whether a particular program meets requirement for professional licensure outside the State of North Carolina.  ECU highly recommends that you contact the academic program for assistance with professional licensure questions and enrollment options.  SARA does not provide reciprocity for state professional licensing requirements.  Academic programs and individual graduates must meet standards set by that state’s licensure requirements in order to be eligible for a license.  Please explore this link to learn about the appropriate licensing or certification organizations and their requirements.