How to Apply

The application deadline for the Master of Science in Recreational Therapy is March 1 for a fall admission.

Applicants are encouraged to connect with the Academic Advisor and/or Director of Graduate Studies to discuss the application process and determine the academic path (thesis vs. non-thesis) that best meets their career goals.

Application Overview

Applicants for MS RT admission must apply through Apply Yourself. Please review the information found on the Graduate School admissions page prior to submitting your application. Under the Program Information section on the AY application, choose your program of interest, “Recreational Therapy MS”.

Requirements for admission include:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Applicants will need to upload copies of official transcripts from all universities attended
  2. An overall undergraduate grade point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or an average of at least 3.0 for no less than 9 semester credits of graduate study
  3. GRE or GMAT Scores
  4. English Proficiency (Only if English is not the applicant’s first language)
    • TOEFL-Students must achieve a score of at least 90-91 (Internet based). You may contact the University of Utah Testing Center
    • IELTS-Students must achieve a score of at least 7.0.
    • Applicants who have received a US degree and have not left the country for more than two years since receiving the degree may use the degree as proof of English proficiency.

Under the Academic Interests and Background section you will need to upload the following:

  1. Personal statement of purpose that addresses the question: “Why am I seeking a master's degree in recreational therapy?” Statement should be 2-3 pages in length.
  2. Scholarly writing sample of no more than three pages that must include citations for any references used in the paper.
  3. Current curriculum vitae or resume.
  4. Two letters of recommendation attesting to your ability to successfully engage in and complete graduate level work (e.g., critical thinking, communication skills, ability to use therapy literature to guide practice), capacity to be a leader in the profession, and ability to work collaboratively to achieve professional outcomes. The letters must be signed and dated, and letterhead should be used when available. References may be from a supervisor, a colleague, or a professor.

Under the Post Submission section you will need to upload the following:

  1. For applicants with a background in RT/TR: Copy of initial certification from the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) and/or current recreational therapy license within a jurisdiction in the United States (if applicable). 
  2. For applicants without an undergraduate background in RT/TR: Documentation of 100 hours of experience working with individuals with disabilities is required for non-CTRS applicants.

Additional Requirements for Non-CTRS Applicants

Applicants who do not currently hold national certification as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), are required to complete additional requirements as part of the application process.

The following prerequisite courses will need to be completed with grade of C or better and must be completed by the end of the spring term (April or May) prior to the fall semester for which individuals are applying. Prerequisite courses may not be taken the summer immediately preceding the start of the program. CLEP and AP credit may not be used to fulfill a prerequisite course.

  • Human Anatomy - (3.0 credits)
  • Human Physiology - (3.0 credits)
  • Human Development through Lifespan or Developmental Psychology through the Lifespan – (3.0 credits). *Must cover entire lifespan.
  • Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology - (3.0 credits)
  • Foundations of Recreational Therapy - (3.0 credits)
  • Assessment, Documentation, and Evaluation in Recreational Therapy – (3.0 credits)

The following courses are not required, but are recommended.

  • Kinesiology or Biomechanics – (3.0 credits)
  • Statistics – (3.0 credits)

In addition to the coursework listed above, applicants must have a minimum of 100 documented hours of experience working with individuals with disabilities. This experience must be direct client/participant services through employment or volunteer work.

Admissions Process

Application files are first screened to determine eligibility. Applicants meeting eligibility will then have their application reviewed and evaluated by the Admissions Committee in the Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies.

The Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies at the University of Utah is committed to policies of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, age, or status as an individual with a disability in all of its programs and activities, including but not limited to, student admissions and student financial assistance. Reasonable prior notice is needed to arrange accommodations.

College of Health Commitment to Inclusive Excellence in Admissions

The University of Utah, College of Health strives to promote diversity and inclusion among its students, faculty, and staff with the realization that diverse perspectives and life experiences strengthen our academic community in multiple ways. By creating a welcoming and supportive environment that encourages academic excellence and diverse perspectives, we work toward the creation of opportunities for all to learn from one another by sharing our wealth of talents and histories. Each of our departments offer degrees in professions focused on health, wellness, and research. With the increasingly rich complexity of our population, we recognize the need for our graduates to reflect the diversity of our community. Furthermore, we also recognize the strong and positive impact a diverse collective of faculty, staff, students, and alumni can have on issues of health equity and the valuable role our College can play in reducing health disparities for all populations.

Admission Offer

When a student is offered admission, the actual acceptance of those students selected for the next fall semester is contingent on the following:

  • Admission to the University of Utah Graduate School.
  • Verification of completion of all prerequisite courses and bachelor's degree.
  • Completion a criminal background check through CastleBranch. The cost of which is the responsibility of the student.
  • Proof of immunizations. Submitted to CastleBranch.
  • Completion of CPR certification from the American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers 1 & 2-Rescuer CPR and AED for adult, child and infant is universally accepted and is now the is the only CPR program accepted for the University of Utah Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies. We do not accept CPR from the American Red Cross. The skills practice and Skills testing portion must be done in the classroom, NOT online. Proof of current certification needs to be submitted to CastleBranch prior to the start of the MS RT program.
  • Proof of health insurance coverage prior to participating in clinical experiences.

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