Top Recreational Therapy Schools

To become a recreational therapist, students must complete a minimum of a four year, bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy. A bachelor’s degree usually takes about four years of full-time study. Certificates and associate degrees can be earned at community and four year colleges. Associate programs generally take two years to complete.

It’s not necessary to have a graduate degree in recreational therapy in order to enter into this field, although you can attain one if you would like to increase your salary and employ-ability. A master’s degree will typically last two years while a PhD requires two additional years beyond the master’s degree.

Associated Therapy School Costs

The average annual out of state cost for two year associate programs in Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy is $18,815 with an average total program cost of $37,630 for a two year program. For a Bachelor’s Program, the out of state cost is an average annual $30,286 wherein a four year degree has an estimated total cost of $121,144. The most affordable bachelor program is offered by Brigham Young University at an annual $12,882 out of state total cost. University of Wisconsin La Crosse is the most popular bachelor program for Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy with 59 degrees awarded per year.

Textbooks and supplies average between $300 and $600 per year. Certification is not a requirement of this field but will increase salary and opportunities. You can take the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) exam for $425 to become certified. Many groups offer scholarships and financial assistance, such as the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA).

All price data are reprinted from the U.S. Department of Education’s 2012-2013 IPEDS Survey. Contact school for most current and specific program pricing.

Most Affordable Four Year Bachelor’s Degrees in Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy

 
College State Major Graduates Out Of State In State
Brigham Young University Provo Utah 44 $12,882 $12,882
Southern University and A & M College Louisiana 25 $14,856 $14,856
University of Wisconsin La Crosse Wisconsin 59 $22,634 $15,061
Winston Salem State University North Carolina 6 $22,797 $13,647
Shaw University North Carolina 2 $23,558 $23,558
Grand Valley State University Michigan 18 $23,868 $19,378
Western Carolina University North Carolina 25 $24,858 $15,261
CUNY Lehman College New York 12 $25,168 $18,958
Hannibal LaGrange University Missouri 6 $25,440 $25,440
University of North Carolina at Wilmington North Carolina 27 $27,625 $15,522
Eastern Washington University Washington 11 $28,140 $17,395
East Carolina University North Carolina 49 $29,131 $15,317
University of Toledo Ohio 16 $29,333 $20,213
University of Southern Maine Maine 12 $29,620 $18,908
Alderson Broaddus College West Virginia 1 $30,776 $30,776
Longwood University Virginia 9 $31,978 $20,338
Eastern Michigan University Michigan 13 $32,792 $17,810
Central Michigan University Michigan 24 $33,046 $20,326
Unity College Maine 1 $33,314 $33,314
Indiana Institute of Technology Indiana 5 $33,530 $33,530
Temple University Pennsylvania 41 $35,564 $25,738
Catawba College North Carolina 2 $36,580 $36,580
Ashland University Ohio 3 $39,260 $39,260
Springfield College Massachusetts 5 $43,270 $43,270
Utica College New York 4 $45,632 $45,632
Ithaca College New York 5 $51,805 $51,805

Most Affordable Two Year Associate’s Degrees in Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy

College State Major Graduates Out Of State In State
Ridgewater College Minnesota 4 $11,875 $11,875
Genesee Community College New York 2 $13,670 $13,070
Suffolk County Community College New York 24 $16,390 $12,400
Manchester Community College Connecticut 3 $16,464 $10,370
CUNY Bronx Community College New York 7 $19,744 $17,404
Austin Community College District Texas 4 $25,052 $17,672
River Valley Community College New Hampshire 2 $28,512 $19,936

Top 13 Highest Student-rated Recreational Therapy Schools

1. Suffolk County Community College, Ammerman

Selden, New York

 4.0

College degrees offered: Certificate Program, Associates Degree

2. Ithaca College

Ithaca, New York

 4.5

College degrees offered: Certificate Program, Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree

3. Temple University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 4.0

College degrees offered: Certificate Program, Associates Degree, Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree

4. The University of Toledo, Health Science Campus

Toledo, Ohio

 3.5

College degrees offered: Certificate Program, Associates Degree, Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree

5. University of Southern Maine, Portland

Gorham, Maine

 4.0

College degrees offered: Associates Degree, Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree

6. Southern University and A & M College

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 3.5

College degrees offered: Associates Degree, Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree

7. University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Wilmington, North Carolina

 5.0

College degrees offered: Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree

8. Catawba College

Salisbury, North Carolina

 5.0

College degrees offered: Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree

9. Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

 4.5

College degrees offered: Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree

10. Brigham Young University

Provo, Utah

 4.5

College degrees offered: Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree

11. University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

La Crosse, Wisconsin

 4.5

College degrees offered: Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree

12. East Carolina University

Greenville, North Carolina

 3.5

College degrees offered: Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree

13. Benedict College

Columbia, South Carolina

 3.5

College degrees offered: Bachelors Degree

*Rankings are based off student reviews, tuition and certificates and degrees offered

All Colleges & Universities with Therapeutic Recreation Programs

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P S U W Y Z

(page updated as of 1-23-14)

A

B

C [Top]

D [Top]

  • Dalhousie U, Halifax, N.S., B3H 3H5 CAN; 902-494-1166, Jerome F. Singleton (jerome.singleton*dal.ca)
  • Douglas College, New Westminster, B.C., Tricia Rachfall, 604-777-6237 (rachfallt*douglas.bc.ca )

E [Top]

F [Top]

G [Top]

  • Gallaudet University, Washington, DC (202) 448-7516, Anne Simonsen (Anne.Simonsen*gallaudet.edu )
  • George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
  • Georgian College, Ontario, Canada 705-728-1968, ext 1560
  • Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA, (912) 871-1931
  • Grambling State University, Grambling, LA 318-274-2294
  • Grand Valley State U. Allendale, MI (616) 331-2735, Teresa Beck (Beckt*gvsu.edu)

H [Top]

I [Top]

  • Illinois State University, Dr. Sandra Klitzing (slklitz*ilstu.edu), (309) 438-8396, Campus Box 5121, Illinois
    State University, Normal, IL 61790-5121
  • Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN, 812-237-2183, Don Rogers, Ph.D., CTRS (derogers*indstate.edu)
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 812-855-4711, Bryan McCormick (bmccormi*indiana.edu)
  • Indiana Institute of Technology, Fort Wayne, IN 260-422-5561 x2328, Beth A. Wiesner (bawiesner*indianatech.edu)
  • Iowa, The University of, Iowa City, IA, 319-335-0172, Ken Mobily (ken-mobily*uiowa.edu)
  • Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, (607) 274-3050, Linda Heyne (lheyne*ithaca.edu)

J [Top]

K [Top]

  • Kean College of New Jersey, Union, NJ, (908) 737-2098/2165, Fran Stavola-Daly (fdaly*turbo.kean.edu)
  • Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn, NY, 718-934-5831, Nick Skirka (nskirka*kbcc.cuny.edu)

L [Top]

M [Top]

  • Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN 507-389-2127, Jim Wise (james.wise*mnsu.edu)
  • Metropolitan S C of Denver, CO, 303-556-4206, Jane Kaufman-Broida (broidaj*mscd.edu)
  • Middle Tennessee State U. (615) 904-8293, Dr. Tara Perry, (tperry*mtsu.edu)
  • Mississippi, University of, Oxford, Mississippi
  • MoHawk College, Ontario, Canada

N [Top]

  • Nevada, U. of, Las Vegas, Nevada (emphasis on Inclusive Recreation/Gerontology) 702-895-4192, Cynthia Carruthers (cynthia.carruthers*unlv.edu)
  • New Hampshire, U. of, Durhan, NH 603-862-2391
  • New York, State U, Brockport, NY
  • New York College at Cortland, State U. of, New York, Cortland, NY
  • North Carolina Central U. (919) 530-7429, Robert E. Stiefvater, Jr (stiefvater*nccu.edu)
  • North Carolina, U. of, Greensboro, NC, Charlsena F. Stone, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS (336) 334-5327 (cfstone*uncg.edu)
  • Northern Iowa, U. of, Cedar Falls, IA 319-273-26 54
  • North Texas, U. of, Denton, TX 940-565-2651, (collins*coe.unt.edu)
  • Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Park Place, Winsted Connecticut 06098.
    H. Clark Schroeder, Program Coordinator and Department Chair, nw_schroeder*commnet.edu.
    860-738-6427
  • Northwest Missouri State University: Maryville, Missouri Contact: Dr. Terry Long (660-562-1706) tlong*mail.nwmissouri.edu

O [Top]

P [Top]

  • Pittsburg State U, Pittsburg, Kansas 620-235-4670 Dr. Chuck Killingsworth, CTRS (ckilling*pittstate.edu) and Dr. Dan Ferguson, CTRS (ferguson*pittstate.edu). 620-235-4911

R [Top]

S [Top]

T [Top]

U [Top]

V [Top]

  • Vincennes University,Vincennes, Indiana 47557, 812-888-5353, Tina Miller (tmiller*vinu.edu)
  • Virginia Wesleyan College, Norfolk, VA, 757- 455-3306, Nancy D. Montgomery

W [Top]

Y [Top]

  • York College of Pennslyvania, York, PA 717-846-7788, Dr. Annette Logan

Z [Top]

In the United States, there are currently 61 accredited Recreational Therapy schools. Programs offered prepare aspiring therapists to use basic leisure activities to promote health and healing in patients with disabilities.

*Source