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Recreation Therapy, B.A. Details

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Priority deadlines for applications are September 15 for Spring semester admission and February 15 for Fall semester admission. Please apply by the priority deadline for full consideration. Historically, applicants have been required to have 50 hours of experience with individuals with disabilities, disabling conditions, or illnesses. However, given the barriers associated with the pandemic, applicants who do not yet have 50 hours are still encouraged to apply.

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Recreation Therapy, B.A. + Applied Gerontology, M.S.

The combined Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation Therapy and Master of Science degree in Applied Gerontology program offers an accelerated path toward a Master of Science degree that prepares graduates to work in healthcare and community-based settings serving older adults. Graduates from this program are also trained to be leaders in the intersections of recreation therapy, gerontology, and wellness.


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NCTRC Pass Rates
Year UNCW Pass Rate National Average Pass Rate
2022 92.1% 84.5%
2021 95.2% 84.5%
2020 96% 85.3%
2019 94.3% 88.9%
2018 92% 86.5%
2017 96.6% 86.8%

Get Involved

A big part of an well-rounded, successful and fun college experience happens outside the classroom. Participating in student organizations gives you the chance to get to know your classmates, explore new interests and discover who you are.


Assistance Dog Training Minor

  • Gain a sense of pride knowing they have trained a dog to help someone who needs assistance. 

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Community Partnerships

UNCW degree programs satisfy the professional licensure and/or certification requirements in North Carolina and prepare students to sit for applicable exams. However, requirements in other states may be different. If you are considering a degree program that in order to qualify for a professional license and/or certification, please note that at this time UNCW may or may not be able to advise whether the program meets requirements outside of North Carolina. Prior to enrolling, please discuss this important topic with your program of interest.

Assistance Dog Training

The first-of-its-kind, UNCW's Assistance Dog Training Program focuses on integrating assistance dogs into clinical & educational practice. Gain experience with 24/7 care & training of a Service & facility Dog. Complete the program & receive your Assistance Dog - Public Access Trainer certification!

Service dog assists student at graduate by holding their temporary diploma.

Service Dogs Help

Service dogs help with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and behavior disorders, primarily in children, veterans & wounded warriors, and individuals with physical disabilities.

Service dog assists athlete in wheelchair

4 Courses

The Assistance Dog Training Program is a sequence of four courses. Students must complete the courses in sequential order. Students are selected for the last 2 classes based on their academic performance in the previous courses.

Service dogs graduate from training with the their student trainers by their side.

Optional Course

Our program provides an optional, in-depth course to learn about Facility Dogs. It will inform their future professional practice as recreation therapists, social workers, mental health practitioners, health care providers, and teachers.

Service dog being pet by students

Get a Minor!

Our minor in assistance dog training prepares students to be dog trainers and use animal-assisted interventions in various settings, such as schools, hospitals, and long-term facilities. In addition, coursework requires field experience working with assistance dogs in training and individuals with disabilities.

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Contact the Recreation Therapy Program

Brent Hawkins, Ph.D. | Program Coordinator & Associate Professor

For questions regarding admissions, advising, transfers and program of study, please contact the CHHS Student Success Center at (910) 962-3208 or