Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy

The Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy at Temple’s College of Public Health prepares you to become a recreational therapist trained to work in a range of environments, including healthcare and community-based settings. Recreational therapists use a variety of techniques—such as adapted sports, expressive arts and life skills—to treat and maintain the emotional, psychological and physical health of patients with illnesses or disabilities.

You will be trained to assess people’s physical and mental needs, plan and implement specific interventions to meet treatment goals, and document and evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions. Students in the Recreational Therapy Major develop a thorough understanding of

  • foundations of recreational therapy;
  • how to lead a variety of structured recreation activities, including adaptive sports, animal-assisted therapy, aquatic therapy, social skills training and stress management;
  • patient assessment and health documentation;
  • related clinical procedures, including client intake and treatment planning; and
  • clinical research and evaluation methods.

Learn more about the profession of recreation therapy.

What sets apart our Recreational Therapy Major?

  • An innovative approach to health promotion: Recreational therapists work with individuals with disabilities, health limitations or illnesses, helping them lead active, engaging and meaningful lives through the use of activity-based interventions designed to enhance health and rehabilitation.
  • A dynamic urban environment: Our students capitalize on Temple’s urban, multicultural environment, and the program’s learning technologies to become better recreational therapists.
  • A renowned program: Our recreational therapy program has a strong reputation and is one of the oldest programs of its kind in the country.

Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Program

The College of Public Health offers the option of earning both a BS and an MS in Recreational Therapy in five years, rather than taking the typical six years to complete both degrees.

High-performing undergraduate students can apply for admission to this accelerated program at the beginning of their junior year. They begin taking graduate-level courses in senior year and can typically complete the MS in Recreational Therapy within a year after graduating from the BS program.

Learn more about the 4+1 Recreational Therapy Major/Recreational Therapy MS program.

Program Format

Students in the program complete 121 credits, including 39 credits of recreational therapy courses; six credits of health-related professions courses; and 21 to 23 credits of courses in human anatomy, motor behavior and physiology, and psychology.

See a full list of program courses.


Earning your Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy prepares you to take the exam to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, a national certification employers often require before hiring candidates in this field.

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, the Bachelor of Science offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. You can view the full Cost of Attendance breakdown on the Student Financial Services website.

These tuition costs apply to the 2023–2024 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $21,816.00 per year
Out-of-state: $37,896.00 per year


Additional Program Information