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Information for

Therapeutic Recreation

Student volunteer working with a child at an inclusive summer camp.

If you love to work with people, and want to help individuals overcome barriers and get the most out of life, consider Therapeutic Recreation (TR).

What will I get out of the program?

  • Learn how to plan recreation activities for, and contribute to the inclusion of special populations, such as persons with physical or developmental disabilities, older adults, youth-at-risk, and those living with mental health challenges.
  • Take part in practicum and internship placements to learn how to assess the needs of clients and deliver customized programming in both clinical (e.g., long-term care facilities) and community settings.
  • Be eligible for registration with Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO) and certification with the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).

Sample courses

  • Therapeutic Recreation: Developmental and Emotional Disabilities
  • Therapeutic Recreation: Physical Disabilities
  • Therapeutic Recreation Facilitation Techniques
  • Leisure and Well-being

Refer to the Undergraduate Calendar for a full list of courses in this major.

How do I choose this major?

Apply to Recreation and Leisure Studies (co-op or regular) and choose Therapeutic Recreation as your subject of major interest. This will become your major from day one!

How can I prepare?

In addition to your required English course, you may also wish to take Biology or Exercise Science in high school. Students in the Therapeutic Recreation major will take AHS 150: Foundations of Human Anatomy and Physiology after first year. AHS 150 is designed for students without a biology background, but taking those courses in high school might help you prepare. Please note that Biology or Exercise Science are not required courses for admission to Recreation, so you don't have to take them to get into Recreation at Waterloo.