RECREATION AND LEISURE STUDIES
Learn how to design, deliver, and manage the programs and services that help people live happier, healthier lives. There are three majors (or areas of focus) to choose from within this program.
What IS Recreation and Leisure Studies?
Playing intermural sports with your friends. Watching a live hockey game. Hiking in a conservation area. Working out at your local gym. Meditating quietly in your living room. Anything you do in your free time that isn’t work or school. These all represent recreation and leisure activities. And they’re probably some of the things that bring you the most joy in your life. Did you know they’re also an important part of what makes you and your community healthy - physically, socially, and emotionally?
The best part? There are thousands of jobs centered around organizing, programming, and managing these types of activities. Jobs where you get to make peoples' lives better - while also pursuing a career path you'll love.
Our program gives you the knowledge and hands-on experience you need to become a leader in a variety of industries.
There are three majors to choose from within Recreation and Leisure Studies.
A major is an area of specialization that your studies focus on.
Help people and communities live happy, full lives by planning recreation activities that are accessible to everyone. For example, learn how to develop programming for people with disabilities, older adults, and those living with a mental health diagnosis. Common career paths include Recreation Therapist and Occupational Therapist.
RECREATION AND LEISURE STUDIES
Study how individuals and communities experience recreation and leisure activities in their lives, and why these activities are so important to human health. Then, learn how to plan, deliver, and evaluate recreation and leisure services (like concerts, camps, travel, vacations, sporting events etc.). Common career paths include manager of recreation facilities, recreation programmer, and teaching.
RECREATION AND SPORT BUSINESS
Combine recreation with sport. Gain essential business knowledge (like accounting, human resources, and marketing) and learn how to apply it to any business setting. Although there is a focus on sport, the business skills you'll learn in this program can lead to careers in event management, municipal recreation, tourism, and many other industries.
You'll choose a major right away when applying on the Ontario Universities' Application Center (OUAC). Then, you’ll automatically be placed in the major you chose in first year.
Graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Available with co-op and without
73 questions with a Waterloo Recreation and Leisure Studies student
Meet Lauren, a Recreation and Leisure Studies student who has lots to share about her experience in the program so far.
What's special about our Recreation and Leisure Studies program?
This program isn't offered at many other universities in Canada. If you want to formally study recreation and leisure and get ready for a career in this field, our program could be a great option for you.
HANDS ON LEARNING
Lots of hands-on learning opportunities built right into your degree - both inside and outside of class. For example, in our REC 420 class, you'll conduct a real accessibility assessment on campus or in a public building! This is A) an awesome experience, and B) helps get you career ready.
LOTS OF CAREER OPTIONS AFTER YOU GRADUATE
Because “recreation” is a part of each major, this broadens your possible career outcomes rather than limiting you to only a few. For example, as a Recreation and Sport Business graduate, you could work for a municipality, a community, a parks and recreation organization, or a professional sports team.
Lots of flexibility to take the courses you want to take. So you can customize your degree and fit in any necessary pre-requisites for graduate school (like occupational therapy).
The majors allow you to focus your studies and hone in on the things you love right from first year.
LARGEST CO-OP PROGRAM IN NORTH AMERICA
If you choose the co-op program, you’ll have access to more jobs, more employers, and more opportunities than any similar co-op programs on the continent.