It’s about more than fun and games. Really.
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. You can also apply your learning to the placements you can get through the co-op stream.
When you graduate, you’ll find plenty of job prospects. Around the world, people spend billions of dollars on recreation, travel, and other leisure activities, making this one of the world's largest industries.
Choose from four majors
You have the choice of four majors within the program. You'll apply to Recreation and Leisure Studies and either keep that as your major or choose from three others. You'll start your major right in first year.
- Recreation and Leisure Studies
- Recreation and Sport Business
Learn from top researchers
We continue to be North America's top-rated leisure department in terms of research.
15 electives = lots of choice
You can easily combine your interests in Recreation with other areas of study or even do a double major degree.
In North America for recreation and leisure research
Take part in a Disney exchange program
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.
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September to December
January to April
- SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology
- Four electives
After first year
About half of the classes you’ll take will be Recreation courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.
View all the courses required for your degree.
Sample upper-year courses
Offered by the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
Apply directly to this program on your application
Earn a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Leisure Studies
Co-op = relevant paid work experience
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 job titles
- Community recreation facilitator
- Recreation therapy intern
- Summer camp counsellor
- Marketing events outreach assistant
- Outdoor education assistant
- Guest services coordinator
Sample co-op employers
- YMCA Canada
- George Brown College
- Tim Horton's Children's Foundation
- City of Markham
- Toronto District School Board
- Waterloo Regional Museum
Customize your Recreation and Leisure Studies degree
You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular areas of focus for recreation students include Psychology, Social Development Studies, and Tourism.
What can you do with a degree in recreation?
Graduates often pursue careers in areas such as event management, program coordination, education, not-for-profit administration, facilities management, and community development.
- Youth Worker – Pioneer Youth Services
- Recreation Coordinator – Town of Halton Hills
- Coordinator, Recreation and Student Life – Wilfrid Laurier University
- Facility Program Supervisor – City of London
- Teacher – Waterloo Catholic District School Board
- Manager Registration and Travel – Tim Horton Children’s Foundation
- Recreation Director – Mid-Sun Community Centre
For more information on potential careers, check out our career page on health and helping professions.
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)
- Education (teacher's college)
- Project management
- Social work
Ready to learn more?
- Visit the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies website
- Email Pamela Hurvid, our Applied Health Sciences recruitment coordinator, who can answer any questions about the program
- Subscribe to our newsletter to get tips and advice from current students
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