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  • Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation - Therapeutic Recreation Degree

    Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation - Therapeutic Recreation Degree


Program Code:DTR
Duration:8 Semesters (4 Years)
Start Dates:Fall,
Start dates are subject to change
Credential Awarded:Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation

Program Description

The Therapeutic Recreation Program is a new interdisciplinary degree that provides you with the skills and knowledge you will need to assess, design, implement, and evaluate therapeutic interventions for clients. Therapeutic interventions are activities in recreation, social settings, arts, and crafts that are designed to achieve therapeutic outcomes in the physical, psychological, social, cognitive, and spiritual domains. The activities are purposeful interventions designed to prevent health problems in an individual or group, or to rehabilitate an individual’s or group’s capacity to obtain their full potential. Clients now seek out therapeutic recreation as a therapy of first choice.

Canada’s health care system has moved toward an interdisciplinary–team approach, with professional teams comprised of specialists from a variety of studies – key among them, recreation therapists. As a graduate of the Therapeutic Recreation degree program, you will work collaboratively with doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, clerics, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and other recreation therapists to meet your clients’ needs.

In DTR, you will gain foundational knowledge and expertise in related health disciplines including health sciences, recreation, occupational therapy, social work, physiotherapy, and psychology.

In semesters six, seven, and eight, you will have the opportunity to select one of six employment–enhancement ‘streams‘*. Students may wish to take the interdisciplinary stream, or focus on addictions, community development, mental health, physical rehabilitation, or wellness. These streams allow you to increase your knowledge in a specialized area and gain an added advantage in the workplace.

* The number of streams available to students will depend upon enrollment, sufficient student interest and/or industry demand.

Program Learning Outcomes:

As a graduate, you will be prepared to reliably demonstrate the ability to:

  • Evaluate the appropriateness of specific physical and psychosocial conditions to the scope of practice of therapeutic recreation.
  • Assess the physical and psychosocial needs of clients within the scope of therapeutic recreation.
  • Design and implement individual and group therapeutic recreation interventions to rehabilitate, maintain, or enhance a client’s optimum potential for physical or psychosocial functioning using a variety of practices.
  • Identify and network with both formal and informal community resources.
  • Develop and case-manage therapeutic recreation care plans.
  • Educate, counsel, and train micro, mezzo, and macro level clients in the value and application of therapeutic recreation.
  • Utilize research skills, and demonstrate effective critical thinking and problem solving skills, to identify and evaluate, or to develop, best practices for therapeutic recreation.
  • Budget, procure, and allocate resources for therapeutic recreation interventions.
  • Complete all documentation requirements for therapeutic recreation interventions.
  • Utilize program planning and community development skills to develop effective therapeutic recreation programs.
  • Develop a process to recruit, hire, train and supervise paid and voluntary staff appropriately.
  • Discuss human anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, physical rehabilitation and disease processes as they relate to therapeutic recreation.
  • Discuss the history, theories, principles, scope of practice, ethics and legislation related to therapeutic recreation.
  • Summarize human development and how it affects clients and informs therapeutic recreation interventions at different stages across the age span.
  • Discuss mental health issues, addictions, dementias, intellectual, cognitive, and developmental disabilities as they relate to therapeutic recreation.
  • Discuss wellness and health promotion issues, practices, and resources as they relate to therapeutic recreation.
  • Demonstrate understanding of and sensitivity to human diversity.
  • Work independently, take initiative, multi-task, meet deadlines, utilize appropriate stress reduction practices, and work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrate effective written, oral and visual communication skills.
  • Demonstrate in depth knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the society and culture in the world, genre of a traditional liberal arts education.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Six Grade 12 (U) or (M) courses with a minimum 65% average including:
      • Grade 12 English: ENG4(U)
      • Grade 12 Mathematics: any (U) level Mathematics
  • OR Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the above prerequisite course(s) or their equivalent(s).


  • In accordance with PEQAB requirements, this program has a minimum overall acceptable achievement for progression.
  • Scholarship opportunities are available for candidates with distinguished academic records in their high school careers. A variety of scholarships and bursaries are available to students based on merit and financial needs.

The Importance of Learning Skills:

Student success in college requires well developed learning skills (such as being able to work independently, participate in a team, be well–organized, develop good work habits, and show initiative). These skills are as important as prior academic achievement. While it is expected that applicants would have developed these skills through previous education and life experiences, Seneca offers support to assist students with further development of these important skills. Seminars, workshops and tutoring are available at Seneca's Learning Centres.


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Your Career

Become a recreation therapist. Earn your bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation and your career will include assessing the wellness needs of your clients and then designing, implementing, and evaluating therapeutic interventions for people who need them. You could pursue a career in a number of settings, including hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centres, mental health centres, homes for the aged, community centres, family services centres, correctional facilities, boys and girls clubs, schools, and camps.

Co-operative Education

This program’s co–op work–term is a valuable opportunity for you to practice in the therapeutic recreation field. It's a 14–week placement at an approved site. Your co–op supervisor will help you prepare for, select, and contract with an approved co–op agency, and provide you with support throughout your learning experience in placement.

Field Work

During semesters five through eight, you will complete unpaid field placements of approximately one day per week.

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has the largest number of health and social agencies in Canada, as well as one of the most culturally diverse populations in the world. The diversity of populations in the GTA and the large number of agencies serving their needs provide students of the Therapeutic Recreation degree program with a wide choice of co–op and field placement opportunities.

Diploma to Degree Transfers

If you have already graduated from a program in Recreation and Leisure Services or Social Service Worker – Gerontology, you may be eligible for advanced standing in the Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation program.

Important Academic Dates

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant semester.


Employment Enhancement Stream Options:

The Therapeutic Recreation degree is designed so that the students have a choice of one of six "employment enhancement streams". The six streams are: Addiction, Community Development, Mental Health, Rehabilitation, Wellness and an Interdisciplinary stream.

Five of the streams have a set curriculum, as outlined in the tables below. The sixth stream, the "interdisciplinary" stream, is composed of six courses drawn from any of the other five streams.

Please note that not all streams will be offered at one time. The number of streams available to students will be dependent upon enrollment, sufficient student interest and/or industry demand.

Semester 1 Course Name Hrs/Wk
ENG106 Writing Strategies 3
HSC102 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
HUM109 Survey of Canadian Health and Social Programs 3
REC105 Recreation and Leisure Studies 3
TRC101 The Role of TR in Wellness and Health Promotion 3
TRC103 Professional Ethics for TR Practitioners 3
Semester 2 Course Name Hrs/Wk
HSC203 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
HSC205 Clinical Biomechanics and Kinesiology 3
LSO260 Introduction to Psychology 3
REC208 Introduction to Leadership Theories 2
SWO202 Lifespan Development 3
TRC201 Assessment and Program Planning for Therapeutic Recreation 3
Semester 3 Course Name Hrs/Wk
LSK303 Life Skills 2
LSP320 Interpersonal Communications 3
PHY301 Exercise Physiology 3
PHY305 Disease Process 3
TRC302 Adaptive Recreation and Leisure Activities in TR 3
LSOXXX Liberal Studies Elective 3
Semester 4 Course Name Hrs/Wk
FTR407 Preparing for Field Work and Co-op 3
LSL404 Abnormal Psychology 3
LSO403 Group Dynamics 3
SWO400 Theories of Counselling 3
TRC402 Assessment and Therapeutic Interventions I 3
LSOXXX Liberal Studies Elective 3
Semester 5 Course Name Hrs/Wk
FTR507 Consolidation Seminar / Field Work 7
SCO501 Cognitive and Developmental Disorders 3
SWO504 Understanding Addiction 3
TRC502 Assessment and Therapeutic Interventions II 3
LSO120 Introduction to Sociology 3
CPP600 Co-op Professional Practice 2
Winter Course Name Hrs/Wk
CWT650 Co-op Work Term
Semester 6 Course Name Hrs/Wk
FTR607 Consolidation Seminar / Field Work 7
LSOXXX Liberal Studies Option 3
STRXXX Stream Option 3
STRXXX Stream Option 3
STRXXX Stream Option 3
CPP700 Co–op Integration and Career Planning 1
Semester 7 Course Name Hrs/Wk
REM701 Research Methods and Statistical Analysis 3
FTR707 Consolidation Seminar/Fieldwork 7
LSOXXX Liberal Studies Option 3
STRXXX Stream Option 3
STRXXX Stream Option 3
Semester 8 Course Name Hrs/Wk
FTR807 Consolidation Seminar / Field Work 3
REM801 Applied Research Paper in Therapeutic Recreation 4
TRC803 Business Management for TR Services 3
LSOXXX Liberal Studies Option 3
STRXXX Stream Option 3

Seneca has been granted a consent by the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to offer this degree for a 7-year term starting July 21, 2009. In conformity with the Minister’s criteria and requirements, Seneca will submit an application for the renewal of the consent for this program 12 months prior to the expiration of the consent. Seneca shall ensure that all students admitted to the above-named program during the period of consent will have the opportunity to complete the program within a reasonable time frame.

Contact Us

Admissions Advisors:
Domestic Admissions Advisor: Shelley Ferguson
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55115
International Admissions Advisor: Valentyna Gorodovych
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22432
Registration & Records Advisor:
  Shelley Ferguson
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55115
Program Contacts:
Program Coordinator: Sharon McCleave
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55239
Co-op Coordinator: Victoria Poe
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55801
Program Chair: Mona Nouroozifar
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55010
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