WCIDWMM - Theraputic Recreation

What Can I Do With a Major in Theraputic Recreation


Through educational and practical experiences, the Therapeutic Recreation program prepares graduates to be competent entry-level Therapeutic Recreation Specialists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behaviour) learning domains. Graduates of the program will be prepared to successfully meet the requirements to complete the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) exam and become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). The program is the first of its kind in Alberta and one of only eight degree programs leading to therapeutic recreation certification in Canada.


Therapeutic recreation uses functional intervention, education and recreation to help those with cognitive, physical, emotional and social limitations gain independence and reduce barriers to wellness and activity. It engages persons based upon their abilities in planned recreation and related experiences, promotes and educates persons in health and wellness, and reduces or eliminates activity limitations to achieve optimal health and well-being.

Students interested in [Major] can complete:

  • Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation


For more information contact the Faculty of Health Sciences: https://www.uleth.ca/healthsciences/tr



  • Application of Service Models, Theory, and Philosophy
  • Assess & Plan
  • Attention to Detail
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical & Analytical Problem Solving
  • Ethical and Professional Conduct
  • Formulate Criteria, Evaluate & Make Decisions
  • Gather Data
  • Implement & Evaluate
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Interpret & Explain Results
  • Knowledge of Anatomy, Physiology, and Psychology
  • Locate, Gather & Organize Information
  • Problem Solving
  • Respect for Diversity
  • Set Priorities & Handle Multiple Assignments and Tasks
  • Teamwork
  • Understanding of Individual Differences

Work Environment 

Graduates of the Therapeutic Recreation major pursue careers as certified therapeutic recreation specialists in a variety of settings including long term care, acute care, day programs, rehabilitation, youth-at-risk, community centres, and mental health and addictions. Graduates may also choose to pursue graduate studies in the Health Sciences of Population Studies programs at the University of Lethbridge.


Key Areas of Specialization:

Long Term Care, Acute Care, Day Programs, Rehabilitation, Youth-At-Risk, Community Centres, and Mental Health and Addictions.

Career Possibilities 

These jobs are normally intended for new graduates and require 0 to 2 years of experience. It is important to note that many entry level positions require some related experience or demonstrated ability to perform job-related tasks. Even those positions that do not require experience will still prefer an experienced candidate, if one is available.

  • Chiropractor Assistant
  • Community Disability Services Practitioner
  • Community Health Representative
  • Health Coach
  • Life Skills Coach
  • Mental Health Aide
  • Occupational Therapist Assistant
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Recreation Co-ordinator
  • Recreation Facility Operator
  • Recreation Therapist
  • Recreation Therapy Aide
  • Reflexologist
  • Speech-Language Assistant

These jobs generally require extensive, relevant work experience and/or further education

  • Acupuncturist
  • Addictions Counselor
  • Athletic Therapist
  • Chiropractor
  • College, Technical, or Vocational Instructor
  • Family Physician
  • Gerontological Specialist
  • Health Care Aide
  • Infection Control Professional
  • Kinesiology
  • Massage Therapist
  • Mental Health Worker
  • Occupational Health Nurse
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Psychologist Recreation and Sport Administrator
  • Speech-Language Pathologist
  • University Professor
  • Youth Case Manager

On average, people change their careers three to five times in their lifetime. So, no matter what major you choose, you may still be interested in opportunities totally unrelated to your program of study. We encourage you to be open to all possibilities! Your undergraduate degree can be a springboard for other educational pursuits, and your transferable skills and experience can prepare you to work in a multitude of settings.

  • Coach
  • Creative Arts Therapist
  • Educational Counsellor
  • Group Exercise Leader
  • Health Information Management Professional
  • Health Service Administrator
  • Herbalist
  • Homeopath
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Medical Transcriptionist
  • Naturopathic Doctor
  • Occupational Health and Safety Advisor
  • Occupational Hygienist
  • Outdoor Sport and Recreation Guide
  • Patient Advocate
  • Personal Trainer
  • Special Needs Teacher
  • Sports Instructor
  • Sports Officer
  • Training and Development Professional

Useful Resources


Add Value to Your Degree

The more you do to differentiate yourself, the more likely you are to succeed in building a fulfilling career path for yourself. It takes more than just attending classes to stand out amongst other students and new graduates. Become an explorer! Try new things, challenge yourself, build unique skills, and connect with diverse people.

Use the ideas listed below to help you brainstorm experiences to add value to your degree. For more ideas on experiential opportunities at the University of Lethbridge, view the Student Experience Transcript. 

Making connections with others is one of the best ways to learn about the world of work and gain access to career-building opportunities. Making meaningful connections with people is often called building a network.  Building these connections can give you access to jobs before they are posted, or to jobs that are not publicly posted. Employers like to hire people they have already built relationships with, and are more likely to hire people who have been recommended by trusted colleagues and friends.

Start building your network by attending Career Fairs and other on-campus recruitment events found on the Career Services Events page within the Career Bridge portal. Get introduced to career professionals in a welcoming and approachable way through uLethbridge Connect at Ten Thousand Coffees. Consider joining a professional association to help you find opportunities to meet experienced professionals in your field, find training opportunities, be paired with a mentor, or get involved in committees or other volunteer positions.

Co-operative Education allows you to earn income through real-world work experience that is related to your academic studies. Completing a co-op work term provides you with an opportunity to build your skills in a practical work setting, network with employers, and increase your marketability after graduation.


Co-operative education is available to undergraduate and graduate-level students within a variety of programs in the Faculty of Arts & Science, Dhillon School of Business, Faculty of Fine Arts, and Faculty of Health Sciences. Learn more about eligibility requirements and how co-op works here.

The Applied Studies program offers you the opportunity to earn academic credit for learning gained through employment or volunteer experiences. Placements provide skill development and experiential learning related to your studies by integrating principles learned in the classroom with practical situations encountered on the job.

Participating in clubs and running for student government are great ways to build employability skills, learn how to work with others, and demonstrate your leadership abilities.

The University of Lethbridge Students’ Union is committed to building a rewarding and enriching experience for undergraduate students. They have positions for Executive Council members and General Assembly members, as well as an extensive list of ratified clubs, offering opportunities to get involved in areas of interest and in leadership positions.

The Graduate Students’ Association’s mandate is to identify and advocate for graduate student needs. They have GSA Executive positions, GSA Council positions, and a mentorship program for incoming students.  


The University of Lethbridge provides many different opportunities to gain research experience in addition to the required courses in your degree program.

An independent study is a chance for you to design your own research project for course credit under the supervision of a professor of your choice. Course work usually requires independent library research and/or field work and/or a major term paper. For more information, meet with an Academic Advisor and the Department or Faculty member under whom you wish to pursue an Independent Study.

You can also opt to complete an Undergraduate Thesis Course. This will allow you to earn an “Honours Thesis” designation on your degree and is a great springboard into graduate studies and professional programs. Fourth-year standing and a cumulative GPA of 3.30 is required to complete an Honours Thesis; it is also helpful to have previous research experience like Independent Studies. For more information, contact the Department or Faculty member under whom you with to pursue your Honours Thesis.

The Office of Research and Innovation Services has a wealth of information on additional research opportunities for students, including Student Funding, Student Research Positions, AGILITY, and events. The School of Graduate Studies has information on Research Opportunities/Graduate Student Positions and GA/Co-op/Internship Opportunities. If you are interested in building your research portfolio, do not miss out on these opportunities!

International experience builds valuable employability skills like adaptability, multi-cultural awareness, and the initiative to take on new challenges. Gain an international perspective by participating in Education Abroad opportunities like semester exchanges, study tours, field studies, work-study tours, internships, and more.  Learn about international careers and resources through MyWorldAbroad (available within the Career Bridge portal). 




Volunteerism is an excellent way to demonstrate your current skills, build new skills, and grow your network. If you are not sure where to get started, connect with UVolunteer, the University of Lethbridge’s partnership with Volunteer Lethbridge. If you already volunteer, UVolunteer can provide you with a framework to organize and document your volunteer work. If you are not sure how or where to get involved, UVolunteer can help you find volunteer opportunities that meet your needs and the needs of your community. Also consider volunteering with a local Board, Commission, or Committee