Recreation and Sport Business

Be a leader in the multi-billion-dollar sport and recreation industries

Students in the Recreation and Sport Business program at the University of Waterloo.

In an upper-year advanced seminar, students visited Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) LaunchPad in Toronto.

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.

Program highlights

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 field trips and experiential learning, you’ll have lots to add to your resume by the time you graduate.


Offers of admission

If you're admitted to the program, your Offer of Admission will be to Recreation and Leisure Studies. Once you accept your offer, you’ll be enrolled in Recreation and Sport Business and start that major in September.

Discover if Recreation and Sport Business is right for you.


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.

What will you learn?

First-year courses

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.

Learn about courses you'll take for your Recreation and Sport Business degree.

Customize your degree

Add areas of expertise to your degree by pursuing areas of focus, like Event Management 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, Communication Studies, and Human Resource Management.


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Sign up for insider advice that can help you now and in the future.

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

Waterloo's co-op program, the largest in North America, is an amazing way to explore potential careers, learn to interview for jobs, graduate with up to two years of valuable experience – and make money!

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

Co-op work-study sequence

Starting in second year, you'll normally alternate between school and work every four months, integrating your classroom learning with real-world experience. You can return to the same employer for a couple of work terms to gain greater knowledge and responsibility or work for different employers to get a broad range of experience.

Year September to December (Fall) January to April (Winter) May to August (Spring)
First Study Study Off
Second Study Co-op Study
Third Co-op Study Co-op
Fourth Study Co-op Study
Fifth Co-op Study -

Your first work term will be halfway through second year (January to April 2026).

Learn more about co-op →



megaphone icon"We have the best professors who care about you and what your interests are beyond the classroom. I’m grateful for the office hour chats and advice they gave me over the years; I regularly leverage the different techniques I learned in class in my job."Katie, fifth-year Recreation and Sport Business student (co-op)
megaphone icon"Every university experience is different, but if you want to make the most out of your time here at Waterloo, make sure that you get involved! There are so many things that you can do on campus that can make your experience here so great!"Lauren, second-year Recreation and Sport Business student
megaphone icon"Going into the community and getting to experience and see first-hand the impact recreation and leisure has on people’s lives is incredible. On campus, it's comforting to have approachable professors who are always willing to help students."Sarah, fourth-year Recreation and Sport Business student
megaphone icon"My co-op position turned into a full-time job! Now, I'm the General Manager of an athletics facility. It requires a number of different skills. I’m confident the things I learned in class are what prepared me to be successful in this field."Bryce, Recreation and Sport Business 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)

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.

Headshot of Clare Stevens


Discover if Recreation and Sport Business is right for you.


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