Enhancing the quality of individual and collective lives

From visionary beginnings in 1968 and buoyed by a consistent record of innovation, the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies has long enjoyed a reputation for excellence placing 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.

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.

Woman curling at community rink.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.

Interested in working with us? See positions available for current openings.


  1. Jan. 9, 2020RLS Alumnus Named One of Canada's Top Fitness Instructors of 2019
    Rosalie Brown

    Fitness Instructor, Rosalie Brown (BA '85) adds another award to her trophy case as she has been named as one of IMPACT Magazine's Canada's Top Fitness Instructors of 2019

  2. Dec. 17, 2019Study identifies way for employers to retain casual workers
    Instructor demonstrating swimming to children.

    Job enrichment may be an important tool for retaining seasonal frontline staff, according to a new University of Waterloo study.

  3. Nov. 4, 2019Larissa McLeod receives U SPORTS Gail Wilson Award
    Larissa McLeod with her award

    Fourth-year Recreation and Sport Business student and varsity field hockey player Larissa McLeod received the U SPORTS Gail Wilson Award last Thursday, October 31 at the U SPORTS Field Hockey award gala in Victoria, B.C. This award is given to a player who has contributed greatly to her sport, academics and greater community.

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  1. Mar. 27, 2020High School Sport Management Case Competition
    UW Case Competition Logo

    The Sport Management Case Competition will bring teams of high school students interested in sport, business, and leadership together to work to find solutions to a “real life” managerial issue facing a sport organization.

    Details about the case and the organization of focus will be made available in the new year. 

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