Future undergraduate students

University of Waterloo Recreation and Leisure Studies students participating in the Waterloo West Neighbourhood Fest

Each fall our first-year Recreation and Leisure Studies students put theory into action by hosting 250+ children at the Waterloo West Neighbourhood Fest.

Shape the future of recreation and leisure

Recreation and Leisure Studies represents one of the world's largest and fastest growing industries. If you think about it: anything that you are doing outside of work, school, and sleeping, is some form of recreation and leisure.

Here at the University of Waterloo you'll learn from world-class professors how you can influence, encourage, and provide programs and services that help people maximize their quality of life. Whether you're into sports marketing, ecotourism, therapeutic recreation, or event management, the opportunities are endless.


  • Apply to Recreation and Leisure Studies (co-op or regular) and then choose one of the majors as your "subject of major interest". You'll be admitted to Recreation and Leisure Studies, and then be placed into the major you selected on your application when you start your studies in the fall. 

Learn more about:

Graduate success

Over the past few years, here’s what our Recreation and Leisure Studies grads have been up to one year after their graduation:

72% Starting a career

  • Recreation therapist, Valleyview Home
  • Manager player development, Western Hockey League
  • Logistics coordinator, Pan/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee
  • Relay for Life program specialist, Canadian Cancer Society

23% Professional or graduate programs 

  • Education (teacher's college)
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master's programs: Tourism and Policy Planning, Recreation and Leisure Studies
  • Occupational Therapy
5% Job searching or travelling

Your first year

The courses listed below will give you an idea of what your first year in Recreation and Leisure Studies at Waterloo is going to look like. First-year Recreation and Leisure Studies students can expect 15 hours of class per week. 


REC 100 » Introduction to the Study of Recreation and Leisure

REC 101 » Introduction to Recreation and Leisure Services

REC 120 » Program Management and Evaluation

AHS 107 » Sociology of Activity, Health, and Well-being

PSYCH 101 » Introductory Psychology


Starting right from the winter term of your first year you will start taking courses specific to your chosen subject of major interest:

  • Recreation and Leisure Studies
  • Recreation and Sport Business
  • Therapeutic Recreation
  • Tourism Development

See major-specific winter term courses.


#1in North Americafor Recreation Department research

The Jackson Report

50 yearsof excellenceOne of the first Recreation Departments in Canada and the first to offer co-op.
#1in Canadafor Hospitality and Leisure Management

QS World University Subject Rankings 2018

Make a living doing what you love

Jeff Payne

From varsity soccer to a position in Corporate Partnership with Toronto FC, Jeff Payne's passion for soccer paved the way for a rewarding career.