Undergraduate Academic Programs

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Recreation (BSR), Recreational Therapy Major

Description of Program

The recreational therapy major prepares students to assume positions as recreational therapists. All students graduating from this program are eligible to sit for the National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) examination.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics describes the field of recreational therapy as follows: “Recreational therapists, also referred to as therapeutic recreation specialists, provide treatment services and recreation activities for individuals with disabilities or illnesses. Using a variety of techniques, including arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, dance and movement, drama, music, and community outings, therapists improve and maintain the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their clients. Therapists help individuals reduce depression, stress, and anxiety; recover basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively so that they can enjoy greater independence and reduce or eliminate the effects of their illness or disability. In addition, therapists help people with disabilities integrate into the community by teaching them how to use community resources and recreational activities. Recreational therapists are different from recreation workers, who organize recreational activities primarily for enjoyment. In acute healthcare settings, such as hospitals and rehabilitation centers, recreational therapists treat and rehabilitate individuals with specific health conditions, usually in conjunction or collaboration with physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and physical and occupational therapists. In long-term and residential care facilities, recreational therapists use leisure activities—especially structured group programs—to improve and maintain their clients' general health and well-being. They also may provide interventions to prevent the client from suffering further medical problems and complications.”

Admission

Apply online for undergraduate admission to Indiana University at http://admissions.indiana.edu/.

A newly admitted freshman pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Recreation degree with a major in recreational therapy will receive an offer of direct freshman admission to this program if he or she meets both of the following criteria:

  1. Entrance Test Scores: The applicant must have earned one of the following minimum standardized test scores:
    • a combined critical reading and math score on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) of 1290. --or--
    • a composite score on the ACT (American College Test) of 27.
  2. Academic Performance: The applicant must either:
    • possess a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.5. --or--
    • rank in the top 12 percent of his or her high school graduating class.

Before entering the School of Public Health - Bloomington as a recreational therapy major, all other students begin studies in the University Division, and then subsequently certify into this program as soon as they satisfy the following two admission criteria:

  1. successful completion of at least 30 credit hours.
  2. minimum 2.3 cumulative grade point average (GPA) at Indiana University.

Students in the University Division must also declare their intention to major inrecreational therapy to the University Division Records Office. If a student earns less than 2.0 semester GPA for the term before entering the School of Public Health-Bloomington, the student may be admitted on academic probation as long as the student has completed 30 credits and has at least a 2.3 cumulative GPA.

International applicants for admission to a second undergraduate degree program in the School of Public Health - Bloomington, whose primary language is not English, must satisfy one of the following criteria before being considered for admission directly into one the School's degree programs:

  • submission of a minimum score on the Test Of English As a Foreign Language (TOEFL), of 550 on the paper-based test, or 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 on the Internet-based test.
  • submission of a minimum score of 7 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • proof of completing at least three full years of secondary school in a predominantly English speaking country.

For students from countries where the TOEFL and the IELTS are not available, other evidence of English proficiency may be considered.

All entering international students whose primary language is not English will be required to take a special examination in English with IU prior to registering. Prepared by IU and designed to test a student’s ability to use English in an academic setting, the exam consists of three parts: an essay on a general topic, a listening comprehension exercise, and a grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension section. There is little that one can do to prepare for this exam other than to continue using written and spoken English at every opportunity. Appropriate remedial English courses may be prescribed on the basis of the results of this test.

International students whose primary language is not English must agree to take any English language courses prescribed from the results of this examination. Fees for special part-time English courses are the same as for other courses; however, credits earned do not meet degree requirements. If the results of the proficiency examination indicate that full-time work in English is required, the student will be assigned to the Intensive English Program (IEP).  

Students enrolled in IEP do not take academic courses until they achieve adequate English proficiency. If a student has serious doubts about English ability and is not financially prepared to undertake the additional time and expense of an intensive English program here, the student should consider completing English study in the student’s home country. In addition, the student may consider delaying admission to a future session.

Degree Requirements

This is a four-year program leading to the degree, Bachelor of Science in Recreation with a major in recreational therapy. The recreational therapy program prepares students to assume positions as recreation therapy specialists. Using a variety of techniques, including arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, dance and movement, drama, music, and community outings, therapists treat and maintain the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their clients. Professionals assess individuals' needs, plan and implement specific interventions to meet those needs, and document and evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions. All students graduating from the major are eligible to sit for the National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) examination. A minimum of 30 successfully completed credit hours and a minimum 2.3 cumulative grade point average (GPA) are required for admission to this program.  Graduation requirements include:

  • completion of general education requirements.
  • completion of recreational therapy major requirements.
  • a minimum of 120 successfully completed credit hours which count toward the degree program.
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in courses used to complete the major.
  • No Pass/Fail except for free electives.
General Education (20 – 39 credits)

All undergraduate students must complete the IU Bloomington campus-wide general education common ground requirements. Such students must visit the 2016-2017 General Education Bulletin to view these requirements.

Major (68-75 cr.)
Anatomy/Physiology Requirement (3-10 cr.)
This requirement may be met in one of two ways.

OPTION 1: This requirement may be met by completing the following one-course-combination of Anatomy and Physiology:

  • MSCI-M 115 Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology (3 cr.) +(N&M) (3 cr.)

OPTION 2: Alternatively, students may meet this requirement by completing the following individual courses in Anatomy and Physiology:

  • ANAT-A 215 Basic Human Anatomy (5 cr.) +(N&M) --or-- SPH-K 205 Structural Kinesiology (3 cr.)
  • PHSL-P 215 Basic Human Physiology (5 cr.) +(N&M)
Recreational Therapy Specialization (38 cr.)

Complete each of the following courses:

  • PSY-P 101 Introduction to Psychology I (3 cr.) +(N&M)
  • PSY-P 102 Introduction to Psychology II (3 cr.) +(S&H)
  • PSY-P 324 Abnormal Psychology (3 cr.)
  • SPH-F 150 Introduction to Life Span Development (3 cr.) +(S&H)
  • SPH-K 398 Adapted Physical Education (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Y 225 Disability, Health, and Function (3 cr.) (minimum grade of C-)
  • SPH-Y 277 Foundations of Recreational Therapy Practice (3 cr.) (Minimum grade of C- required)
  • SPH-Y 378 Recreational Therapy Assessment and Planning (4 cr.) (minimum grade of C-)
  • SPH-Y 379 Recreational Therapy Facilitation: Techniques and Evaluation (4 cr.) (minimum grade of C-)
  • SPH-Y 397 Recreational Therapy Internship and Professional Preparation (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Y 470 Contemporary Issues in Recreational Therapy (3 cr.) (minimum grade of C-)
  • SPH-Y 472 Recreational Therapy in the Health Care Environment (3 cr.) (minimum grade of C-)

Recreation Core (27 cr.)
Complete each of the following courses:

  • SPH-R 200 (Formerly: SPH-R 110) Foundations of Leisure and Public Health (3 cr.) +(S&H)
  • SPH-R 210 Inclusion in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 311 Management in Recreation, Parks and Tourism (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 314 Data-Based Decision-Making (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 410 (Formerly: SPH-T 410) Event Planning and Program Development (3 cr.)
  • SPH-R 497 Professional Internship (12 cr.)
  • 320 Hours of Field Experience are required.

+ Courses followed by a N&M notation apply toward completion of both the major requirement and the general education, natural and mathematical sciences requirement.

+ Courses followed by a S&H notation apply toward completion of both the major requirement and the general education, social and historical studies requirement.


Special Opportunities

The major in recreational therapy provides students with opportunities for direct experience with clients with disabilities through local agencies. Through class practica, projects, internship opportunities, and field experiences, students learn assessment and evaluation techniques, intervention planning, treatment planning, and intervention techniques. The Recreational Therapy Club is a student club that promotes the professional development and growth of its majors. Students in both undergraduate and graduate programs have opportunities to participate in faculty research.

Careers

Graduates with a B.S. assume positions in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, community settings, residential programs, school settings, adult day care facilities, chemical dependency units, partial hospitalization programs, and others. The largest area of employment is with the Department of Veterans Affairs, psychiatric/behavioral health settings, followed by geriatric settings, physical rehabilitation, and developmental disabilities.

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