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.

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.

The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies acknowledges that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes ten kilometers on each side of the Grand River. As we continue to work remotely, we acknowledge that individual members of the department may reside on other native lands

  1. Mar. 27, 2020Coronavirus update

    Stay up-to-date with the latest information and advisories on the coronavirus.

    Faculty members are also available to comment in media on various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  2. June 3, 2021RLS Department shines at the 2021 Canadian Congress on Leisure Research
    CALS red maple leaf logo above a photo of Mark Havitz presenting at a podium and a photo of Jaylyn Leighton holding her degree

    Former professor and Department Chair, Mark Havitz, and PhD Candidate and Lecturer, Jaylyn Leighton, were honoured with prestigious awards at the 2021 Canadian Canadian Congress on Leisure Research (CCLR)


    Professor Mark Havitz recieves th

  3. May 17, 2021Sherry Dupuis appointed University Research Chair
    Sherry Dupuis

    Sherry Dupuis, a professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, has been appointed a University Research Chair (URC), effective July 1, 2021. The University established the title to recognize faculty members for exceptional achievement in a particular field of knowledge.

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