CMU’s therapeutic recreation concentration, the first nationally accredited program in Michigan, prepares you for certification through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification. You’ll train under the guidance of nationally certified faculty and gain the skills that lead to work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric agencies or long-term care facilities. A culminating clinical internship will complete your training in the delivery of functional and recreational programs for geriatric clients or individuals with emotional/behavioral impairments, physical disabilities or intellectual disabilities.
Put Your Degree to Work
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data
|Job||Median Pay||Job Growth through 2022|
|Recreational therapist||$42,280 per year||13% (2,700 more jobs)|
|Rehabilitation counselor||$33,880 per year||20% (23,400 more jobs)|
The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.
(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)
Recreation Major: Therapeutic Recreation Concentration
The goal of the Therapeutic Recreation (TR) concentration is to prepare students to serve as competent practitioners in the role of Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS). Students in this program develop skills to work with individuals with disability and chronic illness in diverse health care settings. In addition to structured coursework a strong emphasis is placed on practical training via numerous volunteer placements and a full-time clinical internship under a CTRS. Upon completion of all coursework and professional internship, the student is eligible to sit for the national certifying examination administered by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). Academic advisors work closely with students in the selection and scheduling of courses to assure timely completion of degree and major requirements.
Total: 60-75 semester hours
Required Courses I
A comprehensive course in the structure of the human body organized by systems. Laboratory work includes identification of fundamental anatomical structures on models and cadavers. Prerequisites: HSC 211 or 12 credit hours completed with one course in BIO or CHM or PHY.
A comprehensive course that studies the function of the organ systems of the human body. Laboratory work in fundamental physiological principles is included. Pre/Co-Requisite: HSC 214.
Nature, causes, and treatment of mental disorders. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. Prerequisite: PSY 100.
Introduction to Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services
The nature, scope, and significance of recreation, parks, and leisure in today's world. A survey of professional opportunities.
Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation
An introduction to the use of recreational activity as a therapeutic or treatment intervention for individuals with chronic health issues or disability. Recommended: RPL 118.
Pre-Internship in Leisure Services
Preparation for participation in the internship experience. Should be taken two semesters prior to internship. CR/NC only. Prerequisites: RPL 216 or 222.
Therapeutic Recreation: Developmental Disabilities
Assessment, planning, and therapeutic recreation programming for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Prerequisite: RPL 210; Admission to the therapeutic recreation program.
Therapeutic Recreation: Physical Disabilities
Assessment, planning, and therapeutic recreation programming for individuals with physical disabilities. Prerequisite: RPL 210; Admission to the therapeutic recreation program.
Therapeutic Recreation: Behavioral Health
Assessment, planning, and therapeutic recreation programming for clients with behavioral health impairments. Prerequisite: RPL 210; admission to the therapeutic recreation program.
Therapeutic Recreation: Gerontology
Assessment, planning, and therapeutic recreation programming for individuals with age related disabilities. Prerequisite: RPL 210; Admission to the therapeutic recreation program.
Facilitation Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation
An in-depth review of the unique facilitation techniques, interventions, or modalities implemented by the recreational therapist. Prerequisites: RPL 118, 210 and two of the following: RPL 340, 341, 342, 345.
Pharmacology for Therapeutic Recreation
Essentials of pharmacology for therapeutic recreation and other allied health professions. Prerequisites: Two of the following: RPL 340, 341, 342, 345.
Research & Philosophy in RPL
Exploration of the philosophical and social foundations, benefits, and application of recreation and leisure services. Develops skills for research and evaluation in leisure service settings. Prerequisites: 14 credits in RPL or graduate status.
Programming for Therapeutic Recreation
Clinical programming techniques for therapeutic recreation. Writing intensive. Prerequisites: RPL 210 and any two of the following: RPL 340, RPL 341, RPL 342, or RPL 345.
Therapeutic Recreation: Management Issues
Current issues in the administration of therapeutic recreation services including: credentialing, accreditation, coverage, budgeting, quality assurance, risk management, marketing, human resource management, and professional advancement. Prerequisites: RPL 118, 210; two of the following RPL 340, 341, 342, 345. Pre/Co-requisites: RPL 349, 351, 580.
Required Courses II
Select one of the following:
Study of the basic principles of human development and their relation to family interactions throughout the lifespan. This course may be offered in an online format. May be offered as Writing Intensive. Recommended: Students who have taken EDU 280 or PSY 220 should seek departmental advice prior to enrollment. (University Program Group III-A: Behavioral Sciences)
Research-based findings on the development of human behavior from conception through late adulthood. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. Prerequisite: PSY 100.
Required Courses III
Note: RPL 320 - Students seeking a B.S. or B.A. degree will complete a one semester 15 credit hour internship in a clinical setting. Students seeking a B.A.A. degree will complete a 30 hour internship (in two unique settings, one of which must be clinical).
Professional Internship in Recreation
In-depth, capstone internship experience in commercial, community, therapeutic, or outdoor recreation. Prerequisite: RPL 310.