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About Recreation and Leisure Studies

The University of Waterloo's internationally renowned Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017-2018. There are more than 3,580 alumni, including 54 PhD graduates employed in teaching and research positions at universities around the world.

Leaders in the field

The department is proud to have been identified as the highest ranking leisure studies department amongst the top 200+ North American institutions in terms of research publications.

"Little needs to be said by way of commentary on the data, except to note that the University of Waterloo is the top ranking department of leisure studies in North America," noted University of Alberta scholar, Ed Jackson, author of the study published in Leisure Sciences."

Nearly a decade later, a follow-up study concurred. Walker & Fenton, also of the University of Alberta, wrote that, "The University of Waterloo maintained its number one ranking in North America."

The University of Waterloo has also been ranked in the top 10 of the world's tourism researchers. A recent ranking of academic performance among tourism researchers placed the University of Waterloo eighth in the world from over 200 institutions based on publishing of related research.

All academic rankings, whether published in Macleans, the Journal of Leisure Research, Leisure Sciences, or posted on a tourism studies listserv, are subject to criticism and scrutiny. They provide, at best, a limited snapshot of specific indicators from a specific point in time. Inclusions and exclusions, or differential weighting of those and other indicators may well change the ranker’s conclusions; so none of these studies are perfect. Nevertheless, the collective weight of those just listed sources lead to an inevitable conclusion – that the University of Waterloo is a great place to “do leisure studies!”

Inspiring mentors

Faculty members in the department are active scholars in terms of the high quality and quantity of their published work, success at obtaining research funding, involvement in leadership roles in professional organizations, and review board activities for the major journals in the field and for granting agencies.

This unusually high level of quality research productivity means that students benefit from the latest research in their courses and independent research supervision.

Innovative programming

The University of Waterloo offered one of the first undergraduate degree programs in recreation and leisure studies including the country's first co-operative education program in the field.

We further advanced scholarship in the discipline with the development of the first MA and PhD programs in recreation and leisure studies in Canada. Our program remains one of the largest leisure programs in the country.

Inquiries

Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario
Canada N2L 3G1

Telephone: 519-888-4567, ext. 36344
Fax: 519-746-6776
​Email: Sandy Heise (Department Administrator)

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