Do what you love, and help others do the same. In Recreation and Leisure Studies at Waterloo, you’ll learn how to design, implement, and improve recreation and leisure resources in the community.
Of course, helping people make the most of their leisure time is about more than fun and games. You’ll learn how to enhance quality of life by improving physical and mental health. You’ll also learn how well-designed recreation programs can foster inclusivity and strengthen the cultural fabric of a community.
You’ll be studying with the best: our program is consistently rated as the top in North America and was the first in Canada to offer a co-op stream. It also continues to be North America’s top-rated leisure department in terms of research.
The program's flexibility means you can easily combine your interests in recreation with other areas of study. Meanwhile, field trips and practicum placements mean you’ll get lots of opportunities for hands-on learning.
You’ll find plenty of job prospects when you graduate. Around the world, people spend billions of dollars on recreation, travel, and other leisure activities, making this one of the world's largest industries.
Majors within Recreation and Leisure Studies
You have the choice of 4 majors within the program. You'll apply to Recreation and Leisure Studies and select either Recreation and Leisure Studies, Recreation and Sport Business, Therapeutic Recreation, or Tourism Development as your subject of major interest. You'll start your major right in first year.
About the program
Apply directly to this program on your application
Earn a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Leisure Studies
- Ontario students: 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
- Any Grade 12 U English - (final grade of 70% is required)
- Admission average: Low 80s (co-op and regular)
- An Admission Information Form is strongly recommended.
- Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements database.
September to December
REC 100 - Introduction to the Study of Recreation and Leisure
REC 101 - Introduction to Recreation and Leisure Services
REC 120 - Program Management and Evaluation
AHS 107 - Sociology of Activity, Health, and Well-being
PSYCH 101 - Introductory Psychology
January to April
REC 105 - Interdisciplinary Approaches to Leisure
SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology
Choose 2 courses from:
• REC 151 - Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation
• REC 200 - Play, Creativity and Child Development
• REC 215 - Marketing Recreation and Sport Services
• REC 280 - Introduction to Tourism
Plus 1 elective
After first year
View all the courses required for your degree.
Customize your degree
You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor/minors as part of your degree.
By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.
Sample co-op positions
- SHARKS Program Coordinator, YMCA Canada
- Community Support Worker, Hutton House
- Recreation Therapy Intern, West Park Healthcare Centre
- Program Coordinator, Power Play Centre
- Athletics Coordinator, George Brown College
- Summer Camp Counsellor, Tim Horton's Children's Foundation
- Marketing Analyst, Evantage
Recreation and Leisure Studies graduates have rewarding careers in a wide range of areas such as event management, program coordination, education, not-for-profit administration, facilities management, and community development.
- Teacher, Bluewater District School Board
- Camp Manager, YMCA
- Competitions Officer, Water Ski & Wakeboard Canada
- Wellness & Vitality Manager, Amica Mature Lifestyles Inc.
- Marketing & Activity Director, Waterloo Heights Apartments
- Owner/Researcher, Advantage Research and Consulting
- Recreation Therapist, Brantford General Hospital
While the full range of further education depends on your individual interests, these are common areas where graduates pursued a master's, PhD, or other professional program.
- Business administration (MBA)
- Project management
- Social work
- Contact Pamela Hurvid, our recruitment co-ordinator, who can answer any questions about the majors in Recreation and Leisure Studies
- Visit the Recreation and Leisure Studies website
- Request a Faculty of Applied Health Sciences brochure
- Related Programs: Honours Arts