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

Why Therapeutic Recreation at UNH?

A two-time winner of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s “Excellence in Education Award”, the Therapeutic Recreation (TR) option at UNH prepares students for success across the entire spectrum of the profession. Graduates are fully prepared and eligible to take the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist exam and do so with pass rates consistently above the national average. Thanks to a unique partnership with Northeast Passage, students receive hands-on learning opportunities from one of the most renowned Therapeutic Recreation organizations in the nation while engaging in a curriculum that covers the breadth and depth of TR practice.


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 recreational 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.


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. Our curriculum prepares students for success in a variety of professional settings, including the opportunity to focus on non-traditional treatment settings like schools and community wellness programs. You’ll also have opportunities to work with Northeast Passage, UNH’s award-winning 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.


  • Adaptive sports specialist
  • Assisted living activities coordinator
  • Morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) director
  • Recreational therapist (physical rehabilitation, mental and behavioral health, schools, skilled nursing facilities, public parks and recreation)
  • Veteran services provider
  • Youth program coordinator

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

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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 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is much 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).

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.

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: No

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

All majors must complete a core curriculum of seven courses.

Core Requirements
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 724Research, Evaluation, and Data-Driven Decisions4
RMP 764Internship 28-12

RMP majors cannot count RMP 490 Recreation & Tourism in Society toward the University Social Sciences requirement.


All RMP students must complete an 8 or 12 credit hour internship.

Therapeutic Recreation Option 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 663Management and Finance in the Experience Industry4
TR Elective: Select one of the following 34
RMP 720
Adaptive Sport Facilitation for Recreation Therapy and Related Professions
RMP 740
Therapeutic Recreation Service Delivery in Community Settings
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

Or other TR related courses as approved by Academic Advisor.

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 an 8 or 12 credit full-time internship that ranges from 14 to 16 weeks and is under the supervision of a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Specific requirements are identified in the Internship Manual available from the Department of Recreation Management and Policy.

  • Students will integrate an understanding of history, service models, theory/philosophy, ethics, credentials, professional conduct, evidence-based practice and professional development with Recreational Therapy (RT) practice.
  • Students will develop competence to individually screen, assess and systematically collect comprehensive and accurate data about patients/clients in an efficient and effective manner and to analyze the data collected to determine the course of actions subsequent to an individualized treatment/program plan.
  • Students will develop competence in the planning and development of individualized treatment plans that identify functional outcome goals, modalities, facilitation techniques and interventions based on assessment data collected and evidence regarding the diagnosis and treatment of specific medical, psychiatric and other disabling conditions.
  • Students will know how to use structured, systematic and evidence-based treatment interventions and facilitation techniques to improve patient/client functioning and independence in life activities.
  • Students will develop competence to implement the individualized treatment/program plan using appropriate evidence-based treatment interventions and programs to restore, remediate, or rehabilitate patient/client functioning as well as to reduce or eliminate the limitations to participation in life activities resulting from medical, psychiatric or other disabling conditions.
  • Students will acquire specific modality/skills and facilitation techniques used as treatment interventions in Recreational Therapy practice.
  • Students will systematically conduct evaluation and research to determine the effectiveness of treatment interventions and programs used to reach patient/client outcomes.
  • Students will develop the competencies to manage a Recreational Therapy practice, department, and staff.
  • Students will develop an understanding of human anatomy and physiology, growth/development, psychology, functioning in life activities and an understanding of health care services to serve as a foundation for Recreational Therapy practice.
  • Students will develop entry-level clinical proficiency and professional behavior through field-based clinical opportunities in accordance with professional standards of practice in Recreational Therapy

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