Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Slippery Rock University

Recreational Therapy, Bachelor of Science (BS) / Pre-Physical Therapy (SRU) (3+3)


  • Degree Program Writing Competency: Upon completion of the degree program RT students will write professionally and effectively, according to expectations of the Recreational Therapy profession. 1) UG 1 - Act as an effective communicator
  • Life-Long Learning: Recognize the importance of lifelong learning and demonstrates responsibly for self-assessment and growth.  This ability is evident through the demonstration of self initiating behaviors, anticipating and responding to changes in a productive manner, assuming responsibility for continuous self reflection assessment of strengths and limitations and in seeking out information from a variety of resources in an independent manner. 1) UG 5 - Develop as a whole person
  • Methodological Proficiency: Upon completion of the degree program RT students will use an analytical framework to facilitate the Recreational Therapy process to meet the needs of individuals. The abilities developed include a solid knowledge of the RT process, assessment methods, planning skills, intervention, techniques and strategies, and evaluation skills. 1) UG 3- Develop scientific literacy, 2) UG 4 Apply quantitative reasoning in appropriate contexts
  • Professional Decision Making: Analyze and synthesize complex information to make sound clinical decisions.  This ability is inclusive of areas such as problem solving, critical thinking, evaluation and organization with application to clinical and non clinical areas. 1) UG 2 Apply critical thinking to argument and problem-solving.
  • Professional Interactions: Effectively communicates with people in a variety of professional contexts including assisting clients in confronting and coping with life challenges, collaborating on teams and presenting information in oral and written formats. The abilities developed include striving to maintain objectivity, tolerating ambiguity, appreciating diversity and adhering to conventional standards of expression. 1) UG 5 Develop as a whole person, 2) UG 7 Become civically engaged
  • Valuing Ethical Responsibilities: Act with professional values in all situations.  These skills include maintaining appropriate humane and ethical treatment of individuals as well as upholding the professional code of ethics. This expertise includes formulating value judgments reflecting a respect for dignity and individuality of every person. 1) UG 8 Act Ethically

What are your options?

Pre-Physical Therapy SRU 3+3: Earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy in six years rather than seven. In the first three years, you complete your major courses and prerequisites for the SRU DPT program. During your third undergraduate year, you apply for admission into the SRU DPT program. If accepted, your first year in the SRU DPT program meets the remaining requirements for your undergraduate degree. If not accepted, you continue to complete your undergraduate degree and can reapply to the program. The accelerated option is for incoming freshmen only.

Pre-Physical Therapy (SRU Traditional): Complete the requirements for your major and the prerequisites for the SRU DPT program and apply to the SRU DPT program in your senior year.


Recreational Therapy - Pre-Physical Therapy, BS Program Page

Recreational Therapy Department Page

Professional Licensure/Certification Page



1st Major: Recreational Therapy

  • Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher
  • Major GPA includes Major Requirements: 2.0 or higher

2nd Major: Pre-PT SRU 3+3 Recreational Therapy

  • Overall GPA: 3.00 or higher


Rock Studies 2 Requirements44
Other Basic Requirements0-3
Computer Competency0-3
Major Requirements42
NCTRC Certification Requirements6

* All undergraduate degree programs require a minimum of 120 credits. Some courses meet multiple requirements, but are only counted once toward the 120 credit total required to graduate. However, because this is a pre-professional program, credits taken during the 1st year of the graduate program are applied toward the undergraduate credit hours to meet the 120 credits required for your undergraduate degree.


The Rock
SUBJ 139Foundations of Academic Discovery 13
ENGL 102Critical Writing3
ENGL 104Critical Reading3
STAT 152Elementary Statistics I3
Select one of the following:3
Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice
Ethics and Civil Discourse
Civil Discourse and Democracy
Integrated Inquiry
Creative and Aesthetic Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Humanities Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Social Science Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Natural and Physical Sciences Inquiry
PHYS 201Elements of Physics I with Lab4
BIOL 209Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
Thematic Thread
Required Thematic Thread Coursework: 212
Introduction to Psychology
Medical/Health Care Ethics
Medical Terminology
Additional 300-400 Level Course
Total Hours44

Course offered in multiple subjects; cannot take course in first major subject.


One course from each category; six credits must be 300-level or above; no more than 4 credits from one subject area; specific courses required in first major, regardless of prefix of course, cannot be used to satisfy thread requirements; any course with same prefix as first major cannot be used to satisfy thread requirements, even if it is not a course in the first major.

Basic Math Requirement

Check with your adviser or a current degree audit report to see if you have been exempted from this course. The credit earned in this course will not be counted toward the 120 credit hour minimum needed to earn a degree.

Complete one of the following:0-3
Meet required minimum SAT or ACT math score OR
Beginning Algebra
Total Hours0-3

Computer Competency

Demonstrate "computer competency" by one of the following:0-3
Pass Computer Competency Exam OR
Select one of the following at SRU or another post-secondary institution:
Introduction to Computing for Liberal Arts
Computer Concepts
Introduction to Computing and Programming
Technology for Wellness
Total Hours0-3


Students must take and pass a course with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) designation prior to graduation.  Students can meet this requirement by taking any DEI - designated course in any program at any time during their undergraduate career. 


  • If you choose to pursue Pre-Physical Therapy SRU 3+3 Recreational Therapy and are not accepted into the DPT program, then additional coursework is required to complete a first major of Recreational Therapy. Please refer to the Recreational Therapy Curriculum Guide.
Recreational Therapy Courses
Must earn a “C” or better in all of the following RCTH courses:
RCTH 120Disability, Community Inclusion, and Diversity 13
RCTH 220Recreational Therapy Services 13
RCTH 232Recreational Therapy for People with Physical Disabilities 13
RCTH 233Recreational Therapy for People with Psychosocial and Mental Disorders 13
RCTH 314Clinical Aspects of Recreational Therapy 13
RCTH 317Organization and Management of Recreational Therapy Practice 13
RCTH 319Client Assessment in Recreational Therapy 13
RCTH 320Recreational Therapy Program Design 13
RCTH 420Recreational Therapy for Older Adults 13
RCTH 422Leisure Education and Counseling 13
RCTH 450Internship 112
Total Hours42

Course counts for 50% of Major requirements and Major GPA


Some courses may require pre-requisites. Please see course descriptions to determine if there are any pre-requisites for that specific course.


These courses must be completed by the student in order to be eligible to take NCTRC Certification Exam

PHIL 325Medical/Health Care Ethics3
PSYC 276Introduction to Abnormal Psychology3
Total Hours6


BIOL 209Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIOL 309Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
CHEM 107General Chemistry I3
CHEM 108General Chemistry II3
CHEM 111General Chemistry I Lab1
CHEM 112General Chemistry II Lab1
PHYS 201Elements of Physics I with Lab4
PHYS 202Elements of Physics II/ Lab4
PSYC 244Developmental Psychology3
STAT 152Elementary Statistics I3
Total Hours30


Students are encouraged to explore additional curricular and co-curricular opportunities. There is a strong correlation between long-term student success and participation in the following types of programs and activities:

  1. High-Impact Practice (HIP) designated classes
  2. Student-faculty research
  3. Student leadership development
  4. Service-learning classes
  5. Internships
  6. Volunteering

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Prerequisite Admission Requirements – Pre-Physical Therapy SRU 3+3

For Application Requirements

Please refer to Slippery Rock University’s Physical Therapy (Doctor of Physical Therapy) website for requirements:

Rock Studies 2

Prerequisite Courses - SRU Physical Therapy
Select one of the following:6-8
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II
Vertebrate Anatomy with Lab
and Animal Physiology with Lab
CHEM 107
CHEM 111
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
CHEM 108
CHEM 112
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Lab
Select one of the following:8
Elements of Physics I with Lab
and Elements of Physics II/ Lab
University Physics 1 with Lab
and University Physics 2 with Lab
STAT 152Elementary Statistics I3
or BIOL 325 Biostatistics and Experimental Design with Lab
PSYC 105Introduction to Psychology3
PSYC 244Developmental Psychology3
or PSYC 276 Introduction to Abnormal Psychology
Total Hours31-33

Requirements for Pre-Physical Therapy SRU 3+3

If any of these requirements are not met, the 3+3 designation will be removed from the student’s record:

  1. A 3.0 or higher overall GPA must be maintained by the student.
  2. The student can only be enrolled in the Pre-Physical Therapy SRU 3+3 program for a maximum of three (3) years, full-time continuous enrollment (fall/spring).


Should a Pre-Physical Therapy SRU 3+3 student be unsuccessful in completing the 1st two semesters (fall or spring) of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and wants to complete the original undergraduate degree, it is solely up to the discretion of the undergraduate program Department Chair to determine which, if any, Physical Therapy courses will count toward the completion of his/her undergraduate degree. In addition, students must complete any unfulfilled requirements of their undergraduate major. Students may still apply to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program with an earned Bachelor’s degree.

Important Curriculum Guide Notes

This Curriculum Guide is provided to help SRU students and prospective students better understand their intended major curriculum. Enrolled SRU students should note that the My Rock Audit may place already-earned and/or in progress courses in different, yet valid, curriculum categories. Enrolled SRU students should use the My Rock Audit Report and materials and information provided by their faculty advisers to ensure accurate progress towards degree completion. The information on this guide is current as of the date listed. Students are responsible for curriculum requirements at the time of enrollment at the University.

PASSHE - Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Institutions

PRE-PT SRU 3+3 (63P2)
This program is effective as of Summer 2022
Revised 02.24.23
UCC 02.14.23


Plan of Study Grid
First Year
RCTH 120 Disability, Community Inclusion, and Diversity 3
ENGL 102 Critical Writing 3
ESAP 101 FYRST Seminar * 1
PHYS 201 Elements of Physics I with Lab 4
PSYC 105 Introduction to Psychology 3
SUBJ 139Foundations of Academic Discovery 1 3
RCTH 220 Recreational Therapy Services 3
RCTH 232
Recreational Therapy for People with Physical Disabilities
or Recreational Therapy for People with Psychosocial and Mental Disorders
ENGL 104 Critical Reading 3
PHYS 202 Elements of Physics II/ Lab 4
PSYC 244 Developmental Psychology 3
Creative & Aesthetic Inquiry 3
Second Year
RCTH 232
Recreational Therapy for People with Physical Disabilities
or Recreational Therapy for People with Psychosocial and Mental Disorders
CHEM 107
CHEM 111
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
PSYC 276 Introduction to Abnormal Psychology 3
STAT 152 Elementary Statistics I 3
Select one of the following: 3
Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice
Ethics and Civil Discourse
Civil Discourse and Democracy
Humanities Inquiry 3
Declare a Thematic Thread 2
RCTH 314 Clinical Aspects of Recreational Therapy 3
RCTH 317 Organization and Management of Recreational Therapy Practice 3
BIOL 209 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
CHEM 108
CHEM 112
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Lab
Social Science Inquiry 3
Third Year
RCTH 319 Client Assessment in Recreational Therapy 3
RCTH 320 Recreational Therapy Program Design 3
RCTH 420 Recreational Therapy for Older Adults 3
RCTH 422 Leisure Education and Counseling 3
BIOL 309 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
RCTH 450 Internship 12
PHIL 325 Medical/Health Care Ethics 3
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
 Total Hours**109

Course offered in multiple subjects; cannot take course in first major subject.


Work with your Academic Adviser to declare a Thematic Thread by the end of your fall semester in your second year.


Students are encouraged to take ESAP 101​ as a Free Elective.

Major code: 63P2
Revised: 06.01.2023