Recreation and Leisure Studies

Create experiences that improve health and build communities

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.

In one of North America’s top-rated leisure departments, learn to enhance people’s quality of life by improving physical, social, and mental health opportunities. In Recreation and Leisure Studies, you’ll discover how well-designed recreation programs can foster inclusivity and strengthen the cultural fabric of a community.

Thanks to field trips and practicums, your learning goes way beyond the classroom. Gain industry-related experience in your courses, through paid co-op work terms, or in a 105-hour practicum. 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.

The recreation, leisure, and travel sector – one of the world's largest industries – provides lots of exciting and rewarding career opportunities within Canada and globally.

Choose from three majors

You have the choice of three 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 to major in Recreation and Sport Business or Therapeutic Recreation.

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

Program highlights

  • Help people live their best lives. You’ll learn how to design and deliver experiences that enhance health and well-being.
  • Tailor your degree. Use the program’s flexibility to make your degree your own. Choose a joint major or minor in another subject you’re passionate about.


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.


What will you learn?

First-year courses

You'll take a mix of Recreation courses and electives to give you an abundance of choice while providing the foundations for your upper-year classes. After first year, about half of the classes you’ll take will be Recreation courses.

Learn about courses you'll take for your degree.

Customize your degree

You can add additional areas of interest and expertise by including one or more of the areas of focus within the program.

  • Event Management
  • Tourism

You can also pursue a double degree, joint honours degree, or one of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular areas of focus for recreation students include Psychology, Social Development Studies, and Tourism.

 

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

Questions? Ask a student!

Connect with a current 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

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)

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.

How to apply?

Apply directly to this program on your application.

Connect with us

Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?

Contact our Faculty of Health recruitment co-ordinator, who can answer any questions you have.

Clare Stevens