Recreation and Leisure Studies

It’s about more than fun and games. Really.

Students in the Recreation and Leisure Studies progarm at the University of Waterloo.

Recreation and Leisure Studies students gain hands-on experience in their REC 120 - Program Management and Evaluation course.

Discover how to enhance quality of life by improving physical, social, and mental health. In Recreation and Leisure Studies, you’ll learn how well-designed recreation programs can foster inclusivity and strengthen the cultural fabric of a community.

You’ll learn how to plan, manage, and deliver programs for all kinds of people — and thanks to field trips and practicums, that learning goes way beyond the classroom. With 15 elective courses you can choose, you can easily combine your interests in Recreation with other areas of study or even do a double major degree.

In North America's top-rated leisure department for research into leisure, you can apply your learning to the work experience you can get through the co-op stream. When you graduate, you’ll be ready to develop programs and services that help people maximize their quality of life. Around the world, people spend billions of dollars on recreation, travel, and other leisure activities, making this one of the world's largest industries.

#1In North America for recreation and leisure research

Brief CaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

Mickey MouseTake part in a Disney exchange program


Admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of 70% is required)

Admission average: Low 80s (co-op and regular)

We recommend completing the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements

Choose from four majors

You have the choice of four majors within the program, starting right in first year. You'll apply to Recreation and Leisure Studies and either keep that as your major or choose from three others.

Visit our Beyond Ideas website for seven ways to know if Recreation at Waterloo is for you.


Learn from experience

As a first-year Recreation and Leisure Studies student, you'll learn to create recreation programs by participating in a field trip as part of your Program Management and Evaluation course. You'll connect with your classmates while gaining valuable real-world experience, a feature common to many of our recreation courses.

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Monthly topics include how to choose a university program, what it's like to be a Waterloo student, the differences between high school and university, and more.

Questions? Ask a student!

Contact a Recreation and Leisure Studies student ambassador to learn about their experience in the program.

Ask them questions such as why they chose their program, what the classes are like, and how you can get involved on campus.


megaphone icon"I came into university unsure of what I wanted to do. I also wasn’t very good at job interviews. Co-op let me explore my passions and practice my interview skills. Through co-op, I've also learned that you need to love what you do to be happy."Justine, second-year Recreation and Leisure Studies student

AHS brain symbolOffered by the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

ClickApply directly to this program on your application

CapEarn a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Leisure Studies


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