CHHS Student Success Center

FAQs: B.A. Recreation Therapy

If you have any other questions, please contact Dr. Candace Ashton, LRT/CTRS,

General Questions

1) How do I become a student in your department?

  • Interested students in Recreation Therapy must go through an application process in which they submit an application which includes: student information, previous volunteer experience, two-page essay and a RTH Technical Standards letter of agreement. Following submission of their application, applicants (who are approved by the review committee) will complete an interview with two RTH faculty members. Then an admission decision will be determined.
  • The application can be found here.
  • Interested students may declare Pre-Recreation Therapy through MySeaport upon completion of 24 semester hours with at least a 2.0 GPA

2) What are the prerequisites to apply for your program?

  • 2.5 cumulative GPA.
  • Successful completion of EXS 216/217 or BIO 240/BIO 241 or transfer equivalency is preferred but applicants who have not yet completed these courses will be considered as this prerequisite is waived for admission but required for completion of the major.
  • Minimum of 25 hours’ experience working or volunteering with individuals with disabilities, disabling conditions or illnesses.

3) When should I apply to the RTH program?

  • Applications are accepted at any time, but priority consideration is given to applicants who meet the following deadlines:
    • For fall admission, priority applications are due February 15th.
    • For spring admission, priority applications are due September 15th.

4) Are summer classes available in RTH?

  • RTH 348 (Practicum in RTH) and RTH 497 (Internship in RTH) are offered each summer as well as some Recreation Therapy elective courses such as “Adaptive Sports” as well as “RTH and Child Life with Hospitalized Children”.
  • You may be able to take anatomy and physiology or the required psychology courses during the summer.

5) What can I do with a degree in RTH?

  • When you graduate with a BA in recreation therapy from UNCW you are eligible to take the national certification exam and apply for state licensure. Recreation therapists work in physical rehabilitation hospitals, acute care hospitals, children’s hospitals, behavioral health and psychiatric programs, substance abuse programs, long-term care and assisted living facilities, as well as in municipal parks and recreation agencies.
  • Students who plan on going to graduate school in occupational therapy or physical therapy often choose recreation therapy as their undergraduate major.

6) How employable will I be with a degree in RTH?

  • According the U.S. Department of Labor, the field of recreation therapy is expected to grow at an average rate with other professions. Of course, jobs working with older adults are expected to grow at an above average rate.

7) Is there a particular course sequence I must follow?

  • Foundations of Recreation Therapy (RTH 368) is the prerequisite for all other RTH courses. There is a course sequence that should be followed and it can be found on the RTH website under “Recommended Sequence of Courses.”

8) Does your program offer online classes?

  • The only online course currently available is RTH 384 “Recreation Therapy and Child Life with Hospitalized Children” during the summer which is also sometimes offered as hybrid course (both in class and online).

9) Am I required to complete all University Studies prior to beginning RTH?

  • No but it is recommended.

Transfer Student Questions

10) I am a transfer student. Am I required to take a course at UNCW prior to applying to the RTH program?

  • No, transfer students are eligible to apply prior to acceptance at UNCW. Those applying should have completed/be in the process of completing their application to UNCW as well. Full acceptance to the RT program is contingent on being accepted to UNCW.
  • Should apply to the program the semester prior to attending UNCW.

11) I am a transfer student from an RTH program at another school. Will my courses be transferable to the RTH program at UNCW?

  • You can transfer anatomy and physiology, abnormal psychology, lifespan development and University Studies requirements (provided they transfer as the appropriate courses).
  • Students transferring from another recreation therapy or therapeutic recreation program should contact Dr. Ashton prior to applying to the program to discuss potential transferable major coursework.