Future graduate students

Learn why Lindsay Kalbfleisch, MA Recreation and Leisure Studies alumna, chose the University of Waterloo for her graduate program, what her graduate student experience was like, and a little more about her research.

Studying with the best at the graduate level

The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies is an internationally renowned leader for over two decades among some 250 North American programs in the discipline. With a highly diverse range of expertise, our research spans many disciplines and has far-reaching impacts in academia, industry and society. By combining theory and practice, we are deepening our understanding of the positive and negative impacts of leisure, and developing new ways to enhance quality of life for individuals, families and communities.

Innovative approaches to research

Because of the broad spectrum of research interests within the Department, candidates come from a variety of different disciplinary backgrounds including business, geography, kinesiology, health studies, psychology and sociology as well as recreation and leisure studies. You will have an opportunity to interact with faculty members and other students to explore research interests through a variety of lenses and contexts.

Our graduate programs are the first of their kind in Canada and remain the largest. 

Interested in our graduate programs?

Access our Graduate Studies Guide today.

Learn more about our programs, get tips on how to apply, read alumni career stories, watch our latest videos, and more...


"The research interests of faculty members in the department is diverse and interesting. It really is a welcoming community"

- Jaylyn Leighton, PhD Recreation and Leisure Studies candidate

"Recreation and Leisure Studies is a unique department. We have supportive faculty and a really collaborative atmosphere."

- Haley Baxter, PhD Recreation and Leisure Studies candidate

Your future

While some MA graduates proceed to PhD studies, many assume leadership roles working in a variety of sectors as senior analysts, sport and event managers, recreation directors, accessibility co-ordinators, therapeutic recreationists and more.

Read our alumni career stories 

Grad life from a grad perspective: Watch Brandon Pludwinski (MA Recreation and Leisure Studies) as he conducts his research. Brandon investigates our understanding and perception of nature and landscape while canoeing in Algonquin Provincial Park. Watch the series


Why Waterloo? 

Canada's most innovative university for over a quarter of century, the University of Waterloo is a global leader for hands-on, experiential learning and comprehensive research. Our one-of-a-kind entrepreneurship ecosystem is fueled by our creator-owned intellectual property policy and our full spectrum of support.

Learn more about Waterloo campus and city

Waterloo city tour


See our students in action

Bronwen Valtchanov presenting thesis on stage.

Meet graduate students Bronwen and Emily as they present their research with just one slide and three minutes.