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Recreation and Leisure Studies - PhD at Waterloo

Program information

Department/School Recreation and Leisure Studies 
Faculty Faculty of Health
Admit term(s)

Fall (September - December)

Application and document submission deadline(s)

May 1 (for admission in September)

Delivery mode On-campus
Program type Doctoral, Research
Length of program 48 months (full-time)
Registration option(s) Full-time, Part-time
Study option(s) Thesis

Watch the How to apply to Waterloo graduate studies video

Considerations for international students before submitting an application:

While the Faculty of Health at the University of Waterloo values international students in our graduate programs, we can only accept a small proportion of these students. 

Guaranteed funding packages may not be able to cover all tuition and living expenses incurred during a graduate program and students are encouraged to understand more about the cost of completing their graduate program before applying.

What does it take to get in?

Minimum admission requirements

  • 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.


Application material

  • Resume/Curriculum vitae
    • Indicating past academic and professional experience
  • Supplementary information form (SIF)
    • The SIF contains questions specific to your program, typically about why you want to enrol and your experience in that field. Review the application documents web page for more information about this requirement
    • If a statement or letter is required by your program, review the writing your personal statement resources for helpful tips and tricks on completion
  • Transcript(s)
  • Writing sample
    • Students must submit a copy of previous academic work, such as a term paper, published manuscript or master's thesis
  • References
  • Proof of English language proficiency, if applicable
    • TOEFL 100 (writing 26, speaking 26), IELTS 7.5 (writing 7.0, speaking 7.0)

How much will it cost?

What can you expect at Waterloo?

This program page is effective September 2023; it will be updated annually.  Any changes to the program page following this date will be indicated with a notation. 

We strive to provide you with the necessary information on each of our program pages.  Was there something you found helpful?  Was there anything missing?  Share your thoughts.

Program Contact

Nilay Guler
519-888-4567, ext. 41156