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Therapeutic Recreation

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Therapeutic recreation (TR) is the specialized application of recreation and experiential activities or interventions that help maintain or improve the health status, functional capacities, and ultimately the quality of life for persons with disabilities.

Program Overview

Grand Valley State University's therapeutic recreation major is a four-year academic curriculum plus one semester of internship leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Students need to be able to use clinical reasoning skills to solve problems, formulate concepts, make judgments, analyze behaviors and tasks, and determine appropriate interventions. TR is a secondary admission program. Application information is available at


Students study a variety of topics that include:

  • Foundations of therapeutic recreation
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Interventions in therapeutic recreation
  • Leisure, health and wellness

Career Options

Therapeutic recreation is a diverse field that offers graduates varied career opportunities. TR specialists work in hospitals, acute and subacute care settings, nursing homes, older adult programs, centers for physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatric institutions, substance abuse centers, correctional facilities, juvenile services, public parks and recreation departments, volunteer agencies, after-care centers, and sheltered workshops.

Why Study Therapeutic Recreation at Grand Valley?

  • The program meets the standards of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (N.C.T.R.C.).
  • Nationally recognized curriculum with a small, welcoming program.
  • Students, alumni and faculty are active in local, state, and national professional organizations.
  • Diverse opportunities for employment after graduation.
  • Service learning is integrated throughout the curriculum.
  • Faculty members assist students in worldwide networking.
  • Graduates are prepared to meet consumer health needs in a dynamic and culturally diverse world by completing a comprehensive curriculum that offers theoretical knowledge as well as practical experience and application.


“Through the quality education and amazing support I've received from the professors in the TR program, I have grown not only professionally but personally as well. I have learned so much about the field and feel confident in the knowledge I've acquired.”


View all Academic Programs offered by Grand Valley State University