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.
In Canada for hospitality and leisure management research
Only Recreation and Sport Business degree in Canada
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.
Hands-on experience through paid co-op terms
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Monthly topics include how to choose a university program, what it's like to be a Waterloo student, the differences between high school and university, and more.
Questions? Ask a student!
Contact a recreation 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.
First-year courses and beyond
September to December
January to April
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
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.
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
Visit our Beyond Ideas website to learn about what recent 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.
Offered by the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
Apply to Recreation and Leisure Studies
Earn a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Sport Business
Ready to learn more?
- Visit the Recreation and Sport Business website
- Email our Applied Health Sciences recruitment co-ordinator who can answer any questions about the program
- Subscribe to our newsletter to get tips and advice from current students
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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.