Therapeutic recreation specialists assist persons with disabilities or illnesses to improve their functioning and quality of life. This is achieved through the development of a meaningful leisure lifestyle. Comprehensive recreational therapy services include an approach based on the needs, interests, abilities, and strengths of clients. Services are offered on a continuum of care which includes treatment (which incorporates recreation activities to improve functional abilities and assist in diagnosis), leisure education (which focuses on the acquisition of recreation skills that help attain an independent lifestyle), and recreation participation (which uses recreation activities to enhance health and overall quality of life).
Students learn to develop and implement therapeutic programs using recreational activities such as exercise, horticulture, arts and crafts, games, music, reminiscence, pain management, and stress management. These goal-directed programs help individuals and groups with disabling conditions to learn, adapt and grow through leisure participation.
While most colleges and universities offer a recreation major with a concentration in recreational therapy, UW-La Crosse is one of the few universities in the nation to offer recreational therapy as its own independent major.
Admission to the program
To be considered for admission to the recreational therapy major, the student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0/4.0.
(College of Science and Health)
65-66 credits, excluding general education credits
|General education courses|
|Select one of the following:||4|
|Biology for the Informed Citizen|
|Microbes and Society|
|PSY 100||General Psychology||3|
|PSY 204||Abnormal Psychology||3|
|PSY 212||Lifespan Development||3|
|ESS 205||Human Anatomy and Physiology for Exercise Science I||3|
|or BIO 312||Human Anatomy and Physiology I|
|Professional core requirements|
|REC 150||Leisure, Quality of Life, and Well Being||3|
|RTH 229||Diagnostic Groups in Recreational Therapy||3|
|RTH 250||Introduction to Recreational Therapy||3|
|RTH 319||Recreational Therapy Management and Special Event Planning||3|
|RTH 352||Modality Preceptorship in Recreational Therapy I||3|
|RTH 355||Medical Language and Digital Competencies for Allied Health Professionals||3|
|RTH 376||Assessment and Treatment Planning in Recreational Therapy||3|
|RTH 452||Modality Preceptorship in Recreational Therapy II||3|
|RTH 456||Program Design and Administration of Recreational Therapy||3|
|RTH 470||Recreational Therapy Processes and Facilitation Techniques||3|
|RTH 492||Clinical Education Experience in Recreational Therapy||3|
|RTH 493||Advancing the Recreational Therapy Profession||3|
|RTH 494||Research Methods and Program Evaluation in Recreational Therapy||3|
|RTH 496||Fieldwork Preparation in Recreational Therapy||3|
|RTH 498||Internship in Recreational Therapy||12|
|Select a minimum of two to three credits from the elective list.||2-3|
|Animal Assisted Therapy|
|Recreational Therapy and Adaptive Sports|
|Recreational Therapy for Youth and Adolescents|
|Nature and Forest Therapy|
|Recreational Therapy and Mental Health|
|Recreational Therapy for Physical Disabilities|
|Recreational Therapy for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities|
|Recreational Therapy for Older Adults|
|Workshop in Recreational Therapy|
|Independent Study in Recreational Therapy|
|Special Projects in Recreational Therapy|
To be admitted to RTH 498 Internship in Recreational Therapy, students must achieve a 2.5 cumulative and major GPA and have successfully completed all program course work with a grade of "C" or better.
All students must complete the general education, college core (waived for therapeutic recreation majors), major/minor, and university degree requirements in order to qualify for a degree. The easiest way to track all of these requirements is to refer to the Advisement Report (AR) found in the Student Information System (WINGS) Student Center. All enrolled students have access to the AR.
Baccalaureate degree requirements
Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degrees must accomplish the following:
- Fulfill the general education requirements.
- Complete at least one ethnic studies (diversity) course.
- Complete the courses prescribed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for the degree desired in the respective school or college.
- Earn a minimum of 120 semester credits with at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA.1, 2
- At least 40 credits must be earned in 300/400 level courses. Transfer courses earned or transferred at the 300/400 level apply to this requirement.
- Complete major and minor requirements with at least a 2.00 GPA1, 2 in each major and minor (and concentration or emphasis, if selected).
- A minimum of 30 semester credits in residence at UWL is required for graduation. (See undergraduate resident requirement.)
- Submit an application for graduation via the "Apply for Graduation" link in the WINGS Student Center as soon as the student has registered for his or her final semester or summer term in residence. December and winter intersession graduates should apply by May 1. May and summer graduates should apply by December 1.
Grade point average requirements for some programs will be considerably higher than 2.00. Re-entering students may be required to earn credits in excess of the 120 needed for graduation in any curriculum in order to replace credits earned in courses in which the content has changed substantially in recent years. Each case will be judged on its own merit.
The grade point average recorded at the time the degree is awarded will not be affected by future enrollment.
No degree will be awarded unless all requirements are fulfilled and recorded within 30 days after the official ending date of each term.
Below is a sample degree plan that can be used as a guide to identify courses required to fulfill the major and other requirements needed for degree completion. A student's actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Also, this sample plan assumes readiness for each course and/or major plan, and some courses may not be offered every term. Review the course descriptions or the class timetable for course offering information.
The sample degree plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UWL in the fall term. Students should use the Advisement Report (AR) in WINGS and work closely with their faculty advisor(s) and college dean’s office to ensure declaration and completion of all requirements in a timely manner.
General Education Program
The general education curriculum (Gen Ed) is the common educational experience for all undergraduates at UWL. Sample degree plans include Gen Ed placeholders to ensure completion of the general education requirements. Courses may be rearranged to fit the needs or recommendations of the student’s program of study. Gen Ed courses may be taken during winter term (January between the semesters) and summer to reduce the course load during regular terms (fall and spring). Students should consult with their advisor and/or the college academic services director in their college/school for assistance with course and schedule planning. Refer to the general education requirements for more specific details.
At least 40 credits of the 120 credits required must be earned at the 300/400-level.
Note: New students and transfer students with 15 or fewer credits earned are required to take FYS 100 First-Year Seminar (3 cr.) during one of their first two semesters at UWL.
This sample degree plan does not establish a contractual agreement. It identifies the minimum requirements a student must successfully complete, to qualify for a degree, in a format intended to assist the student in planning their academic career. Actual degree plans may differ.
This major is exempt from the CSH College Core requirement.
|REC 150 (Gen Ed Health & Well-Being)||3||CST 110 (Gen Ed Literacy-Oral)||3|
|ENG 110 or 112 (Gen Ed Literacy-Written)||3||PSY 212||3|
|PSY 100 (Gen Ed Self & Society)||3||ESS 205||3|
|BIO 100, 105, or MIC 100 (Gen Ed Natural Lab Science)||4||Gen Ed Arts||2-3|
|FYS 100 (Gen Ed First-Year Seminar)||3||Gen Ed Math||4|
|RTH 250||3||RTH 319||3|
|RTH 229||3||RTH 355||3|
|PSY 204||3||Gen Ed Humanistic Studies||3|
|Gen Ed Minority Cultures||3-4||Gen Ed World History||3|
|Gen Ed Arts||2-3||Gen Ed Math or Language/Logical Systems||3-4|
|RTH 376||3||RTH 496||3|
|RTH 352||3||RTH 470||3|
|Gen Ed Global Studies||3||RTH 452||3|
|University Elective||3||RTH 456||3|
|University Elective||3||University Elective||3|
|RTH 492||3||RTH 498||12-16|
|Total Credits: 120|
PSY 212, PSY 204, and ESS 205/BIO 312 fulfill, in part, criteria for becoming a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). For any PSY 212, PSY 204, or ESS 205/BIO 312 course substitutes/transfers, students are advised to verify satisfactory content with the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certifications (NCTRC). See the Recreational Therapy Program Director for more information.
Students are required to earn a minimum of 120 credits for a Bachelor's degree.