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Recreational Therapy, B.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
Cullowhee, NC, United States
Recreational Therapy students at the Western Carolina University learn how to use recreation and other active treatment interventions to help people recover or strengthen physical and cognitive abilities; reduce depression, stress and anxiety; build confidence; or interact socially.
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Key facts:

  • Recreational Therapy is the prescribed use of recreational and other activities as treatment interventions to improve the functional living competence of persons with mental, emotional, and/or social disadvantages.
  • Recreational therapists often work as part of a clinical treatment team in hospital settings, though others may work in areas such as day treatment, adventure-based therapy, or therapeutic recreation sections of parks and recreation departments. Treatment interventions may include areas such as physical activity, stress management and relaxation therapies, community integration, assertiveness, or pain management. Western Carolina University was the first accredited university in the country to offer a bachelor of science degree specifically in recreational therapy, and was the first to obtain CAAHEP accreditation through the Committee for the Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education.
  • Students take courses from faculty members who are experienced, certified and licensed recreational therapists. Basic coursework includes courses on assessing clients, writing treatment plans and learning documentation, and understanding treatment modalities. In addition, several upper-division courses include service-learning practice in areas such as older adults, adventure-based therapy, and behavioral health. To fulfill their degree programs, students complete full-time internships under the supervision of licensed recreational therapists at a wide variety of hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and long-term care facilities. In addition, WCU's Recreational Therapy Association hosts special events, service learning projects, guest speakers and field trips to exemplary recreational therapy programs in the region. Students also attend professional conferences hosted by organizations such as the North Carolina Recreational Therapy Association.
  • Graduates of WCU's program exceed all necessary requirements to sit for the exam leading to national certification and North Carolina licensure in recreational therapy. Employing recreational therapists are psychiatric hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, wilderness therapy programs, physical rehabilitation hospitals, adult day care center, prisons and juvenile care facilities and schools. Undergraduates in WCU's program are sought after by clinical agencies interested in hiring them to be work as 1:1 supports and in direct care positions; graduates are employed by hospitals and treatment centers throughout the region and across the nation.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    120 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Recreational Therapy curriculum include:

  • Foundations of Recreational Therapy
  • Recreational Therapy and People with Physical Disabilities
  • Recreational Therapy Processes and Techniques
  • Recreational Therapy Services for Older Adults
  • Methods in Recreational Therapy
  • Pre-lnternship Seminar
  • Client Assessment in Recreational Therapy
  • Recreational Therapy in Behavioral Health
  • Administration and Advancement of Recreation Therapy Services 
  • Adventure-Based Recreational Therapy
  • Recreational Therapy Clinical Internship
  • Recreational Therapy Clinical Internship
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology 

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

General Requirements

  • Be sure that you complete the correct application. Be sure to be truthful, accurate and thorough. 
    • Application fee: This required, nonrefundable processing fee should be submitted at the time of application. The online application provides information about electronic submission of the application fee.
    • A majority of first-year prospective students submit an application prior to high school completion. An official high school transcript (or its equivalent) showing work completed to date is required at the time of application and prior to application deadlines. 
    • First-year applicants are required to submit official SAT I or ACT scores. Applicants are encouraged to take the same type of test at least twice (once in the spring of the junior year and once in the fall of the senior year) and may consider taking both the SAT I and ACT based upon score results.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    10902 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 5451 USD per semester and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    10902 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 5451 USD per semester and a duration of 48 months.
  • In-State

    6902 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 3451 USD per semester and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Cullowhee

  • 900 - 1400 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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