Recreation Management and Policy Major: Therapeutic Recreation Option (B.S.)

Recreation Management and Policy Major: Therapeutic Recreation Option (B.S.)

UNH Recreation Management and Policy students partake in a sporting event with members of Northeast Passage

What is therapeutic recreation?

Therapeutic recreation is rooted in the belief that purposeful activities can improve the well-being of people of all ages who are facing physical, mental, cognitive or emotional challenges. Working in this rewarding field, you may find yourself helping others through activities as varied as outdoor excursions, sports, arts and craft projects, dance or community events. The therapeutic recreation degree program at UNH will prepare you for work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, schools, mental health programs, and community-based recreation programs that serve children and adults with disabilities.

Why study therapeutic recreation at UNH?

You’ll have unique opportunities for fieldwork and research in the therapeutic recreation program at UNH. Our faculty is nationally recognized,and the curriculum places an emphasis on observation and applied experiences, including a full-time clinical internship. You’ll also have opportunities to work with Northeast Passage, UNH’s therapeutic recreation program. After completing the program, you’ll be prepared to take the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification examination to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. The therapeutic recreation program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education and received the 2017 American Therapeutic Recreation Association Excellence in Education award.

Potential careers

  • Adaptive sports specialist
  • Assisted living activities coordinator
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) director
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Public parks and recreation
  • Recreational therapist
  • Schools
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Veteran services provider
  • Youth program coordinator


Matthew Frye

Phone: (603) 862-6173
Office: Recreation Management & Policy, Hewitt Hall Rm 132, Durham, NH 03824
Department of Recreation Management & Policy
Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2391

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Curriculum & Requirements

Therapeutic recreation utilizes recreation to assist people with disabilities or illnesses to develop and use their leisure in ways that enhance health, independence, and well-being. Therapeutic recreation recognizes the importance of quality of life and uses activities to remediate or rehabilitate functional abilities. Therapeutic recreation services are provided in a variety of settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, residential treatment facilities, schools, home health care, community recreation, correctional facilities, rehabilitation centers, camp and outdoor education centers, and adult day programs. Observation and applied experience is a component of several courses. Students complete a 14-16-week full-time clinical internship under the supervision of a certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS). The Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational outlook reports the "employment of recreational therapists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boom generation ages, they will need recreational therapists to help treat age-related injuries and illnesses, such as strokes. Recreational therapists will also be needed to help patients manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity (Bureau of Labor Statistics). A CNN Money report identifies recreation therapy among the top ten "best jobs for saving the world." In particular, they note the profession's high benefit to society and high personal job satisfaction (CNN Money Magazine). On the job front, interested readers may also wish to review an article on Recreational Therapy published on at (2015).

Upon successful completion of this option, students are prepared to meet sitting requirements for the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification Examination. Students/graduates who pass the NCTRC exam and attain the CTRS are eligible to seek licensure to practice in the state of New Hampshire.

Students may be required to submit to a criminal background check.

Core Requirements

All majors must complete a core curriculum of seven courses.

RMP 490Recreation & Tourism in Society 14
RMP 501Recreation Services for Individuals with Disabilities4
RMP 557Program and Event Design4
RMP 563Recreation Management and Policy Practicum2
RMP 654Professional Development and Ethics2
RMP 724Grantsmanship, Evaluation, and Research4
RMP 764Internship 210-16

Therapeutic Recreation Option
Course Requirements:

RMP 500Therapeutic Recreation Methods in Physical Rehabilitation Settings1
RMP 502Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation4
RMP 503Therapeutic Recreation Rehabilitation Principles & Interventions4
RMP 504Therapeutic Recreation Mental Health Principles and Interventions4
RMP 505Therapeutic Recreation: Aging Services Principles & Interventions4
RMP 612Therapeutic Communication and Facilitation Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation4
RMP 613Interventions and Documentation in Therapeutic Recreation3
RMP 614Assessment and Treatment Planning in Therapeutic Recreation4
RMP 615Clinical Lab in Therapeutic Recreation2
RMP 705Management and Policy in Therapeutic Recreation4
TR Elective: Select one of the following4
RMP 720
Adaptive Sports and Recreation Facilitation
RMP 740
Therapeutic Recreation Service Delivery in Community Settings
RMP 750
Advocacy, Aging, and Active Living
Or other TR related courses as approved by Academic Advisor or Faculty Mentor
Required Support Courses
BMS 507Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BMS 508Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
HDFS 525Human Development4
PSYC 561Abnormal Behavior4
Statistics - Select one of the following:4
PSYC 402
Statistics in Psychology
SOC 402
Total Credits92-94

Professional Internship

A supervised internship RMP 764 is required of all majors and serves as their major capstone requirement. The internship is designed to create a bridge between theory and practical application. Students, working with their advisers and the internship coordinator, select an appropriate setting based on their professional and career interests. They must register for a 14-16 credit full-time internship that ranges from 14 to 16 weeks and is under the supervision of a qualified professional. Specific requirements are identified in the Internship Manual available from the Department of Recreation Management and Policy.

Explore Program Details

Broadly, the Department of Recreation Management and Policy's (RMP) mission is to advance the intellectual and professional development of students, and to promote health, quality of life, and sustainable environments through excellence in teaching, research, and public service. This aspect of our mission encompasses both the program administration and the therapeutic recreation options.

Further, the central mission of the therapeutic recreation option at UNH is to develop competent RT/TR clinicians for the 21st Century health care. We are committed to ensuring that our students develop not only knowledge, skills, and abilities that ensure competent practice, but also to inculcate our graduates with an ethos of commitment to collaboration, mentoring, and advancement of the profession.

Central Mission of the TR Option:
Develop competent RT/TR clinicians for 21st Century Health Care
In so doing, we strive to:

  • Prepare competent entry-level recreational therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains
  • Sustain a network of exemplary clinicians committed to service, mentoring and teaching
  • Promote the enculturation of students and alumni in an ethos of working together

take the next step

student posing in doorway on campus


Thompson Hall


student at Career Event