Be a leader in the multi-billion-dollar sport and recreation industries
Go beyond a typical sports management degree by focusing on sports and recreation! Gain transferrable business skills combined with expertise in planning, managing, and evaluating sport and recreation programs and events. Why is this good for your future? It opens the door to exciting jobs in many different industries.
Whether you dream of managing a city’s community recreation programs, working for a major league hockey team, organizing music festivals, developing a marketing program to attract new audiences, or running your own athletic gear startup, you’ll be prepared for it all.
- Sports + recreation + business. Along with courses focused on organizing and managing recreation and sport programs and events, you'll gain valuable business skills in marketing, communications, finance, and human resources that apply to any industry.
- Real-world experience. From industry case studies and projects to practicums and experiential learning, you’ll learn from experts in the field.
How to apply
You'll apply to Recreation and Leisure Studies and then choose Recreation and Sport Business as your major.
- Available as a regular or co-op program
- Graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Sport Business
- Offered by the Faculty of Health
Discover if Recreation and Sport Business is right for you.
Hands-on experience through paid co-op terms
What will you learn?
You'll have a mix of electives from different subjects along with gaining the foundations for your upper-year classes. After first year, about half of the classes you’ll take will be Recreation courses.
Customize your degree
You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular choices include Event Management, Communication Studies, and Human Resource Management.
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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.
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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.
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.
Learn about Katie's co-op experiences in Recreation and Sport Business.
Sample co-op job titles
- Recreation program assistant
- Promotions & events coordinator
- Tournament operations assistant
- Marketing outreach events associate
- Outdoor education assistant
- Athletics and recreation sport marketing
- Community recreation facilitator
- Sports management coordinator
What careers can you pursue with a Recreation and Sport Business degree?
With such a huge range of skills, our graduates pursue careers in a variety of areas related to sports, recreation, and business. This includes marketing and communications, game operations, event management, facilities management, human resources, and more.
Graduates work for sports and entertainment companies, professional sports teams, non-profit organizations, community organizations, and large for-profit companies.
- President of Hockey Operations & General Manager – Edmonton Oil Kings
- Communications Manager – Pretty River Sports & Entertainment
- Coordinator, Game Operations – Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
- Defensive, Special Teams Quality Control Coach – Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club
- Recreation Facilitator – Revera
- Club Support Coordinator – Kin Canada
- Membership Director – YMCA
Learn about what some graduates are doing with their degree.
Learn more about the future of careers in business.
Read profiles and view videos about the path Recreation graduates took to pursue their career.
Common questions about the program
What’s the difference between this program and sport management or sport administration programs at other universities?
While there are always subtle differences between similar programs at different universities, Waterloo’s program is comparable to programs called Sport Management or Sport Administration at other universities and can lead to similar careers. However, in addition to learning about how to apply business skills in community and professional sport settings, you’ll also learn about the broader recreation industry, opening doors to additional career options. Plus you'll have the advantage of exploring careers and gain relevant work experience through North America's largest co-op program or the EDGE certificate program for students not in co-op.
Is this program available online?
No. While you may be able to take some courses online, most courses required for the degree are available through in-person classes only.
How long does it take to complete this program?
- It takes four years to complete this program as a full-time student through the regular system of study in which you’ll take courses between September and April each year and have your summers off.
- You can also choose the co-op system of study where you’ll alternate between full-time studies and full-time jobs relating to your program. A co-op program takes five years to complete – and you’ll graduate with nearly two years of paid work experience.
- You can complete over a longer period as a part-time 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)
Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements for Recreation and Leisure Studies (RLS). You'll apply to RLS for the Recreation and Sport Business major.
How to apply
Apply to Recreation and Leisure Studies and choose Recreation and Sport Business as your major.
Connect with us
Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?
Please contact Clare Stevens, our Faculty of Health recruitment co-ordinator who can answer any questions you have.
Not sure which Recreation major is right for you?