Therapeutic Recreation

Recreation management students in the therapeutic recreation emphasis learn how to use recreation as a treatment modality to help people with illnesses and disabilities improve functional behavior and quality of life while developing skills and abilities related to leisure and well-being. They accomplish this through therapeutic interventions using arts and crafts, outdoor recreation, sports, games, dance, drama, music, or community outings. Therapists also help integrate people with disabilities into society by teaching them how to use community resources and recreational activities. The foundational business courses provided by the therapeutic recreation program in the Marriott School prepare students for upward mobility into leadership positions, providing a unique competitive advantage over other programs across the country.

Since 2005, the National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) has ranked BYU’s therapeutic recreation program one of the top programs in the country in its preparation of students to pass the national certifying exam. This program fully prepares students to become Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS).

Therapeutic recreation students:

  • Develop a strong understanding of and belief in the power of therapeutic recreation to bless the lives of people with illnesses and disabling conditions.

  • Promote social understanding and accessibility by creating programs that make all people full and equal partners in meaningful, wholesome, lifelong recreation.

  • Understand the human body, mind, and spirit, with a special understanding about the impact of illness and disability on the individual.

  • Successfully enter the profession by passing the NCTRC exam after completing all major coursework and a 480-hour internship with a CTRS-certified clinical supervisor.

Graduates in the therapeutic recreation emphasis enjoy careers as recreation therapists in a variety of settings including centers for mental, behavioral, emotional or physical rehabilitation, assisted living centers, wilderness and adventure therapy programs, parks and recreation programs, schools, community centers, long-term care facilities, youth programs, and community-based recreation programs for people with disabilities.