The program information below is valid for the fall 2021 term (September 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021).
The Graduate Studies Academic Calendar is updated 3 times per year, at the start of each academic term (January 1, May 1, September 1). Graduate Studies Academic Calendars from previous terms can be found in the archives.
Students are responsible for reviewing the general information and regulations section of the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar.
Length of program
- Normally the doctoral program will be three-four years (9-12 terms), which is consistent with other PhD programs in the Faculty of Health. The University time limit for completion is four years (12 terms). Students must obtain permission from the Department Graduate Committee and the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, to continue registration beyond this 12 term limit.
- Study option(s)
- A Master of Arts (MA) degree, (or its equivalent) in Recreation and Leisure Studies or related field, with a minimum 75% average in master's level coursework.
- Completion of an MA thesis.
- Each applicant must submit a written statement outlining their research interests.
- Students seeking admission to the PhD program should indicate in the letter of application who would be appropriate as a faculty advisor. Based on student and faculty research interests and availability, each student will be assigned an interim advisor when first admitted. This interim advisor, in consultation with the Graduate Officer, will assist in determining an individualized program of study for the student. The interim advisor may become the supervisor for the comprehensive examination and for the doctoral thesis.
- Résumé/Curriculum vitae
- Indicating past academic and professional experience.
- Supplementary information form
- Writing sample
- Students must submit a copy of previous academic work, such as a term paper, published manuscript or master's thesis.
- Résumé/Curriculum vitae
- Number of references: 3
Type of references:
English language proficiency (ELP) (if applicable)
- Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
- Doctoral students are required to take a minimum of 9 graduate courses (0.50 unit weight) beyond the Honours Bachelor of Arts (BA) level. These must include:
- Students entering the PhD program following completion of the MA degree in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo, or its equivalent, will usually have already completed 5 of the 9 required courses, and therefore will need a minimum of 4 additional (0.50 unit weight) graduate courses. If students have not previously taken REC 600; REC 700; one of REC 772 or REC 773, or their equivalents, these courses would take precedence over elective courses. Elective courses can be taken either within or outside the Department, and can be at either the 600 or 700 level.
- Link(s) to courses
- PhD Research Seminar
- This seminar is a forum for doctoral students, faculty, and invited guests to present topics related to their research or professional development. Attendance at the seminar is normally completed within a student’s first two years in the doctoral program. A range of topics will be addressed in the seminar crossing all areas of investigation in the program. Grading will be on a credit/no credit basis.
- Research Presentation
- All PhD students in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies in their second year or later must deliver a public research presentation to faculty and students during their doctoral program. Forums at which this milestone can be completed are the PhD Research Seminar or an independently arranged departmental seminar (excludes conferences and symposia). Supervisor approval/confirmation of completion of this milestone is required.
- PhD Comprehensive Examination
- Students are required to meet the University-level PhD Comprehensive Examination minimum requirements outlined in the “Minimum requirements for the PhD degree” section of the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar (GSAC), with certain noted differences that are specific to the Faculty of Health Comprehensive Examination minimum requirements:
- Comprehensive examination purpose: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements. Note: In the Faculty of Health, the novel research topic is tested through a separate thesis proposal process.
- Timing: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements.
- Committee: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements with the exception that in the Faculty of Health, the composition of the comprehensive examining committee will be approved by the Associate Chair or Director, Graduate Studies for the student’s Department/School, as delegated by the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies.
- Who Chairs an examination: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements.
- Format / Content: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements.
- Academic integrity: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements.
- PhD Thesis
- A PhD thesis proposal is required of all PhD students after passing the comprehensive examinations, and before proceeding to data collection. The proposal should contain a detailed statement of the research problem and its significance for a body of leisure-related theory, a precise account of the methodology or research techniques to be employed, plus a detailed outline of the proposed data analyzes. The candidate will be required to present and defend this proposal before the thesis committee. The final thesis report based on the completed research must also be successfully defended to satisfy the thesis requirement. The PhD thesis advisory committee is normally comprised of a minimum of three members including the supervisor, one faculty member appointed in the student's department, and one other member from either the student’s department or from another department within the University. Normally, any additional members of the advisory committee must have academic appointment. The thesis advisory committee must be approved by the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies. The proposal will be defended before the thesis advisory committee. Upon completion of the thesis, the final document will be defended before a five person Examination Board made up of the supervisor, three other members of the University community (two of whom are normally the advisory committee members and one other individual from outside the home department), and an external examiner.
- Student evaluation: a review of each student's progress takes place during the month of May each year. Students are evaluated on several criteria, i.e., coursework and resulting grades, progress with regard to the comprehensive examination and thesis work and, where appropriate, reports submitted by the students regarding their research and teaching assistantship activity. A grade average of at least 75% must be maintained.