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Therapeutic Recreation Concentration

CMU's therapeutic recreation program is designed to provide you with the knowledge, skills and practical experience necessary to become a nationally certified therapeutic recreation specialist.​ In our major, students will learn how to provide functional treatment services and recreational activities for those within a community with intellectual disabilities, emotional impairments, physical disabilities, chemical dependency or seniors with disabilities.

Highlights about this program

  • Receive your degree from one of the most successful programs in the United States, with our program ranking as one of the top five programs in the nation for number of certified therapeutic recreation specialists.
  • Finish up your academic career with a 15- or 30-week clinical internship.
  • Learn from faculty, all of whom have professional therapeutic recreation experience and are all nationally Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists.
  • Graduates of this program are passing the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) examination at a rate higher than the regional and national norms.
Application Process

Enrollment in the Therapeutic Recreation is competitive.  Students are encouraged to meet with a Therapeutic Recreation advisor before pursuing this program. Download application using the link below.  Applications are due March 1 for fall semester admission and October 1 for spring semester admission.  Submit applications to Finch 214. 

There are 3 phases to this program.

Phase 1:  Pre-admission

  • The completion of 40 semester credit hours to include; RPL 118 (2), RPL 210 (3), HDF 100/PSY 220 (3), and HSC 211 or a college level natural science course (refer to pre-requisites for HSC 214) (3).
  • Verification of the completion of 40 volunteer hours in therapeutic recreation/special populations.
  • Professional reference.
  • Submission of a candidate statement.
  • Submission of transcripts.
  • Evidence of current CPR/First Aid certification

Phase 2: Core coursework

  • The completion of three semesters of advanced course work as follows;

            Semester # 1                           Semester # 2                           Semester # 3

            RPL 340 (3)                              RPL 341 (3)                              RPL 349 (3)

            RPL 345 (3)                              RPL 342 (3)                             RPL 518 (3)

            HSC 214 (4)                             HSC 215 (4)                              RPL 580 (3)

            PSY 250 (3)                             RPL 310 (1)                                RPL 581 (3)

                                                             RPL 351 (2)

Phase 3: Clinical internship

  • The completion of a clinical internship.  The affiliation will  meet the qualifications established by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification and RPL's Center for Leisure Services.


Check out therapeutic recreation course list.



Apply to CMU
College of Education and Human Services | Central Michigan University | ehs@cmich.edu | 195 Ojibway Ct | EHS 426 | Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859 | (989) 774-3079

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