Students in Therapeutic Recreation Walker TR Lab 0305

Therapeutic Recreation

About This Program

You’re a people person. You’re energetic and feel happiest when you’re on the move. You thrive when you can help others achieve their goals. Therapeutic recreation may be the major for you.

Why Utica College

One of only a handful of programs in the discipline nationwide, the Therapeutic Recreation major at Utica College combines liberal arts learning with professional training and real-world experiences, helping students develop the in-depth technical and theoretical skills necessary for entry level competence in this growing profession.

Taught by an accomplished faculty with extensive experience in the field, the program prepares students to use recreation to improve or maintain physical, intellectual, emotional, and social functioning and to optimize independence for people with disabilities.

Contact Information

Office of Admissions

(315) 792-3006

Kirstin Walker

Department Chair
(315) 792-3250

General Information


  • Major


  • B.S.


  • Utica Campus
Utica Excellence, Utica Value

Therapeutic Recreation at Utica

Hours of internship experience in a professional setting as part of this program


Median annual pay for recreational therapists


Estimated job growth


Career Opportunities

Therapeutic Recreation graduates work in a variety of fields, including:
    • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    • Mental/Behavioral Health
    • Nursing Homes and programs serving older adults
    • Residential Care for people with develeopmental disabilities
    • Youth Programs
    • Community-based programs for people with and without disabilities
Rising Arrow Job Outlook 364x200

On the Rise

With an aging baby-boom generation, employment of recreational therapists is projected to grow 7 percent through 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What You'll Learn

Year 1

  • WAE 143 - Adventure Programming and Basic Group Facilitation (3)
  • PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology (3)
  • ENG 101 - Written Communication I (3)
  • ENG 102 - Written Communication II (3)

Year 2

  • PSY 237 - Group Dynamics - Introduction to Group Development & Group Process (3)
  • TRC 302 - Leisure and Wellness Education (3)
  • TRC 203 - Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation (3)
  • TRC 356 - Leadership, Analysis and Modification of TR Interventions (0, 4)

Year 3

  • TRC 352 - Assessment and Documentation (3)
  • TRC 304 - Program Design & Evaluation (3)
  • TRC 406 - Organization, Administration, and Advancement of the Therapeutic Recreation Profession (3)
  • TRC 323 - Therapeutic Recreation and Medical Conditions (3)
  • PSY 354 - Cognitive Psychology (0, 4) OR EDU 201 - Applied Educational Psychology (3)

Year 4

  • TRC 413 - Advanced Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques (3)
  • TRC 469 - Internship and Examination Preparation (1)
  • TRC 470 - Therapeutic Recreation - Internship (12)

**Four-Year Overview highlights program-specific courses and does not include core curriculum & electives.**

Utica College offers one of the very few programs in the nation that issues a Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation (instead of a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a specialization or concentration in Therapeutic Recreation) so students have greater preparation. The major is unique in its focus on the clinical-medical aspects of the discipline as well as the philosophical foundation of recreation. Students participate in fieldwork through area agencies, conduct projects, and are involved in organizing interventions for various populations. The curriculum includes a 560+ hour internship experience that may be completed in professional settings across the United States.

Kayaking Paddling Canoeing generic

Therapeutic Recreation Faculty

Therapeutic Recreation Adjunct Faculty

A Degree That Works

Graduates of this program meet the requirements of the National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) and are eligible to take the certification examination and become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). Therapeutic Recreation graduates work in physical medicine and rehabilitation, mental/behavioral health, nursing homes and other programs serving older adults, residential care for people with developmental disabilities, youth programs, as well as community based programs for people with and without disabilities.

UC therapeutic recreation alumni have taken leadership positions at:

  • The Root Farm (Sauquoit, NY)
  • St. Luke's Home (Utica, NY)
  • Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center
  • Masonic Care Community (Utica, NY)
  • Upstate Cerebral Palsy
  • St. Lawrence NYSARC
  • MaineHealth
  • Beckwith Health Care (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Bergen Regional Medical Center (Paramus, NJ)
Utica College - DePerno Hall
Jessica Leclerc

Official Success

In February 2018, Jessica Leclerc ’09 was one of only four American women (19 women total) to officiate the women’s ice hockey tournament during the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The Maine native, former UC hockey captain, and graduate of UC’s Therapeutic Recreation program has been officiating since she was 12.


At Utica College

Academic Quad at Utica College

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