Program description

Recreational Therapy

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences offers a 15- to 16-week Recreational Therapy Internship at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, that provides comprehensive knowledge and skills to enable you to perform recreational therapy evaluations, treatments and clinical activities.

Your education prepares you to treat adult and pediatric patients with medical diagnoses such as stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cancer, cardiac conditions and neurological impairments. You learn to utilize adaptive physical activities, specialized equipment, training videos and other resources designed to assist those with physical impairments to maintain or find quality of life.

The Recreational Therapy Internship takes place in a hospital-based environment, where you learn and practice:

  • Treatment that utilizes physical activity to promote the individual's functional skills
  • Skills that patients need to successfully live in their communities, including exploration of accessibility to buildings and return to past leisure and social activities
  • Leisure education as a means to acquire skills and develop knowledge of new activities
  • Recreational activities that promote patient mental and physical well-being and independence


See accreditation information for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.


The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation offers comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation care for both inpatients and outpatients at Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester.

The site for this internship is Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, Saint Marys Campus. You train primarily on the rehabilitation unit, except when you are assisting patients with community-based educational opportunities and activities.

Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, includes an extensive outpatient complex, Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, and substantial research and education facilities. This Mayo Clinic site is among the largest, most advanced medical centers in the world.

Graduation and certification

Recreational Therapy interns graduate from their respective colleges or universities upon successful completion of their internship. They are then responsible for scheduling and completing their certification tests through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification. Those who pass the test are awarded the title of certified recreational therapist.


For the majority of the internship, your learning schedule includes eight-hour days, five days a week. Hours may vary and weekend days may be included. While the regular workweek is usually 40 hours, additional projects, patient activities and homework may be assigned.

Class size

Each year, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences admits up to two students to the Recreational Therapy Internship. This ensures you receive a comprehensive educational experience with one-on-one instruction.

July 25, 2017