Why study Recreation (Therapeutic) at Dal?

A one-of-a-kind opportunity to improve quality of life

Learn how recreation and leisure experiences can be used to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, illnesses and other limitations.  Therapeutic Recreation specialists are allied health professionals who design and implement purposeful and meaningful recreation and leisure programs and interventions for holistic health and wellbeing. Dalhousie’s Therapeutic Recreation program is the first to be accredited in Canada by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and graduates are prepared to write the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation exam to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).

Degree overview

Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Science Recreation, BScR-TR
Faculty: Faculty of Health
Department: School of Health and Human Performance
Campus: Studley Campus, Halifax
Program Length: 4 years
Program Start: September

What will I learn?

The Therapeutic Recreation Program prepares competent recreation therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behaviour) learning domains, to work in a variety of settings as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).  Class sizes are small, so you have the opportunity to work closely with fellow students and faculty.

In first year, you’ll take introductory leisure studies courses as well as some courses in other areas such as sociology, psychology, anatomy, and physiology.  In upper years, your courses will include specific courses in Therapeutic Recreation along with other required courses in health, and also some electives where you can choose courses to fit your interests.   Some examples of courses you will take include:

  • Inclusive Recreation Service Delivery
  • Counselling Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation
  • Leadership and Group Dynamics
  • Administrative Concepts in Therapeutic Recreation
  • Therapeutic Recreation for Mental Health and Wellbeing

In the final year of the program, a 16-week internship, under the supervision of a CTRS, takes you out of the classroom and provides you with hands-on work experience that enhances your studies and prepares you for work in the field.  

Visit the Academic Calendar to view degree options and course details.

Careers and future study

Dalhousie students regularly achieve higher than the national average of pass rates on the NCTRC exam.  Therapeutic Recreation is a rapidly growing field and new career opportunities are constantly being created.  You’ll be well prepared to start a rewarding career as a member of an interdisciplinary team within the healthcare and recreation sectors.  Some settings where graduates may find employment include:

  • Mental health and addictions
  • Rehabilitation
  • Municipal recreation and community centres
  • Long-term care
  • Outdoor recreation

Future studies can include programs at the graduate level in health or business administration.

Admission requirements

Undergraduate admission requirements vary based on your previous education and your intended program of study at Dalhousie. Learn about our admissions requirements, book a campus tour, or connect with an advisor if you have questions about your eligibility for admission.

View admission requirements

Ready to apply?