From visionary beginnings in 1968 and buoyed by a consistent record of innovation, the Department's reputation for excellence places it among world leaders in the field.
The University of Waterloo offered one of the first undergraduate degree programs in recreation and leisure studies including the first co-operative education program, as well as the first MA and PhD programs in recreation and leisure studies in Canada.
Discover our programs
Our students are mentored by leading experts and have the opportunity to apply theory to practice as they are introduced to the study of recreation and leisure as a phenomena as well as the planning, delivery and evaluation of recreation and leisure services.
Through focus on community, environment, health and well-being, identity and diversity, and service and policy, our research strives to critically evaluate leisure in its diverse forms with a goal of enhancing quality of individual and collective lives.
Explore faculty, research and postdoctoral positions in the Faculty of Health, including the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.
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Commitments to anti-racism
The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies (RLS) has a responsibility to pay attention to past and current injustice and racism, to confront it, and to actively participate in the creation of a more fair and equitable society.
Learn more about our commitment and access anti-racism resources →
More to explore
Faculty of Health Convocation - Spring 2023
Convocation is a special time for our graduates to celebrate their achievements with family and friends. University of Waterloo's Spring Convocation ceremony for the Faculty of Health takes place Tuesday, June 13 at 10 a.m.
Distinguished Teaching Award winner recognized in Recreation and Leisure Studies
Congratulations to Zara Rafferty for being awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award, 2023!
Students who played sports before the pandemic did better during lockdowns
Researchers at the University of Waterloo found that participation in activities such as fitness classes and intramural and drop-in sports before the pandemic was linked to lower levels of stress and higher levels of perceived competence to handle challenges and master school workload during the lockdown.
How new multi-sport facilities can be used after major events
Researchers found that factors such as the location and design of the facility, the formal agreements between operating groups and the breadth of sport and recreation programming offered at the facility all contributed to promoting a legacy of participation post-event.