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.
Get a head start on your career with Recreation and Sport Business (sometimes known as a sports management degree at other universities), which provides nearly two years of paid co-op work experience before you graduate.
- Build your business expertise. Along with courses from our top-ranked Recreation and Leisure Studies department, you'll gain valuable skills in marketing, communications, finance, management, and more.
- Real-world experience. From industry case studies and projects to practicums and experiential learning, you’ll learn from experts in the field.
- 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
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.
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.
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
What careers can you pursue with a sport management degree?
Graduates commonly pursue careers in marketing, game operations, communications and events management, facilities management, and more. They frequently work for sports and entertainment companies, professional sports teams, and non-profit organizations.
- 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.
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?
Contact our Faculty of Health recruitment co-ordinator, who can answer any questions you have.