Recreation and Sport Business

You love sports. So make it your career.

Canada has a multi-billion dollar sports industry. To excel in it, you need a solid understanding of recreation and the business smarts to develop and deliver successful products or services.

Whether you dream of working for a major league hockey team, bringing recreational programs to low-income communities, developing a sports marketing program to attract new audiences, or running your own athletic gear startup, you’re going to need a strong foundation in business.

Recreation and Sport Business – sometimes known as a sport management program at other universities – provides the opportunity for you to gain nearly two years of paid co-op work experience before you graduate.

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.


How to apply

Apply to Recreation and Leisure Studies and choose Recreation and Sport Business as your major.




First-year courses

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 215 - Marketing Recreation and Sport Services
  • BET 100 - Essentials of Entrepreneurial Behaviour
  • SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology
  • Two electives

After first year

About half of the classes you’ll take will be Recreation and Leisure Studies 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

REC 215 – Marketing Recreation and Sport Services
REC 313 – Mobilizing Resources for Recreation and Sport Delivery
REC 311 – Event Management
REC 405 – Leisure and Well-being


Hands-on experience through paid co-op terms

Jon spent a co-op work term developing marketing, communications, operations, and event planning skills with the Ontario Volleyball Association.

Breif CaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

CapEarn a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Sport Business


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

  • 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

Sample co-op employers

  • St Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
  • Ontario March of Dimes
  • City of Waterloo
  • Golf Canada
  • City of Markham
  • Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group
  • Toronto District School Board
  • University of Waterloo

#1In Canada for hospitality and leisure management research

RibbonOnly Recreation and Sport Business degree in Canada


Customize your degree

You can add areas of expertise to your degree by pursuing areas of focus within the program or by choosing a double major or joint honours. You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular choices include Event Management, Speech Communication, and Human Resource Management.

What careers can you pursue?

Graduates commonly pursue careers in sport management, communications and events management, game operations, and more. They frequently work for sports and entertainment companies as well as professional sports teams. 

Recent graduates 

  • 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 

For more information on potential careers, check out our page on careers in health and helping professions.

Study at Disney World

Pack your sunscreen! Apply for our exchange with the University of Florida and Walt Disney World Resort. Learn about hospitality, marketing, and event management in one of the world’s top tourism destinations.

Build your business expertise

Along with courses from our top-ranked Recreation and Leisure Studies department, you'll gain essential skills in marketing, communications, finance, management, and more.


Ready to learn more?