Undergraduate Degree Pathway for Recreation Professionals

Go back to school? Stay at your job? Now you don’t have to choose.

The Recreation and Leisure Studies program at Brock University offers a degree pathway program for recreation professionals.

Courses are taught on weekends in a blended learning format of online plus face-to-face classes. Classes meet once a month, in locations in Toronto. All courses count toward a Brock University degree.

The best of both worlds. Engaging classroom learning with other experienced recreation practitioners plus the flexibility to learn on your own schedule.

Complete your degree at the pace that works for you.


This program is designed for working professionals who are unable to commit to attending courses during the regularly scheduled weekday classes at Brock. Many of our students require a degree to be considered for advancement. Other individuals are exploring options to complete professional credentials.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Our goal is for students to complete the program on a 2-3 year timeline. Students have the option of extending their degree completion timeline but may end up having to enroll in courses at Brock.

What degree will I obtain?

The Recreation and Leisure Studies program offers two B.R.L.S degrees: a Pass degree (15 credits) and a 20-credit Honours/Majors degree with concentration (in community, outdoor, or therapeutic recreation). The Professional Degree Completion Program is designed in such a way that its course offerings align with the requirements of both of these degrees. However, students wishing to obtain an Honours/Majors degree with a concentration will need to complete additional courses in their area of concentration.

When can I enter the program?

Students can enter the program in any year. The program starts each year in January. The research stream will be offered in even-numbered years (e.g., 2020, 2022, 2024) and the theory stream in odd-numbered years (e.g., 2021, 2023, 2025). For example, if you start the program in 2021, your first year will be the theory stream and your second year in the research stream.

Can I complete the program completely online?

No. For students interested in earning a Degree, there is an in-class / face-to-face requirement in Winter semester and Fall semester.

YEAR 1: Research Stream YEAR 2: Theory Stream
January – April

Face-to-face classes, one weekend day / month + one online course

Research Stream Part 1

1.0 credit

Theory Stream Part 1

1.0 credit

May semester Research Stream Part 2

.5 credit

Theory Stream Part 2

.5 credit

June – August
September – December


Face-to-face classes, one weekend day / month + one online course

Research Stream Part 3

1.0 credit


Speciality stream course A

(face-to-face) .5 credit


Specialty stream course B

(online), .5 credit



Theory Stream Part 3

1.0 credit


Speciality stream course C (face-to-face) .5 credit


Specialty stream course D (online), .5 credit



Total credits: 3.5 3.5


How much classroom time is involved in the program?

The program involves online and blended courses. Online courses are fully online. Blended courses have online and face-to-face components. The blended classes are taught in the winter semester (January – April) and fall semester (September – December). Each semester with blended classes with a full weekend of face-to-face class time (Saturday and Sunday, 8am – noon and 1pm – 5pm) and then one day of face-to-face classes each month. The first weekend meeting of the semester is held at Brock University campus. The remaining meetings are held at different locations in the GTA (location tbd). Therefore, in each year of the program the class meetings follow this format:

January: Saturday + Sunday, 8am-12pm + 1pm-5pm (classes held at Brock University campus, St. Catharines)

February: Saturday or Sunday, 8am-12pm + 1pm-5pm (classes held in GTA)

March: Saturday or Sunday, 8am-12pm + 1pm-5pm (classes held in GTA)

April: Saturday or Sunday, 8am-12pm + 1pm-5pm (classes held in GTA)

September: Saturday + Sunday, 8am-12pm + 1pm-5pm (classes held at Brock University campus, St. Catharines)

October: Saturday or Sunday, 8am-12pm + 1pm-5pm (classes held in GTA)

November: Saturday or Sunday, 8am-12pm + 1pm-5pm (classes held in GTA)

December: Saturday or Sunday, 8am-12pm + 1pm-5pm (classes held in GTA)

Total face-to-face class time per year: 80 hours

  • The blended learning model consists of both online and monthly in-person classes which take place at the Centennial College, Progress Campus in Scarborough.
  • These take place one weekend per month (No holiday weekends).
  • Parking at the Centennial College Progress Campus is FREE on Saturdays & Sundays.
  • Classes begin in May of each year.
  • Two year diploma in Recreation and Leisure Services, Recreation Therapy or a related field (Fitness & Health, etc.) with a cumulative 75% or higher average. Students may be prior graduates of any college or university.
  • Three years of full time (or a minimum of 6000 hours of part time) paid, non-seasonal employment in a recreation related profession.
  • Letter of employment verification from employer(s)

Tuition fees for the program are based on the total number of credits needed. Each half credit course at Brock costs approximately $700.00. A minimum of 5.0 full credits (or 10 half credits) are required to be awarded a Brock degree. Textbooks and travel costs are additional expenses.

Textbooks and travel costs are additional expenses.

Students may apply for the program through the Ontario University Application Centre website (www.ouac.ca) or directly through Brock University (please contact the university for more details).

Will I need to take other courses than the ones listed above to earn my Brock degree?

Yes. Every student’s requirements are different, depending on their educational credentials. Prior to registering, our Academic Advisor will review your credentials and tell you exactly what you need to take to earn your Brock degree.

For example, Brock University requires all student to complete at least 1.0 credits of courses in each of the Faculty of Math & Sciences, the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the Faculty of Humanities. Most students in the Degree Completion for Professionals Program fulfill these requirements through online courses.

Can I take other Brock courses if I want?

Yes, you may. You have been accepted to Brock University, which entitles you the opportunity to take Brock courses in the same way as any Brock student! Many students in the Degree Completion for Professionals Program register for courses offered by other Departments, both online and on campus.

To sit for the NCTRC Certification Exam, I need to take courses in Anatomy and Physiology and Abnormal Psychology. Are these courses offered as part of the Degree Completion Program?

Eligibility for the NCTRC Certification Exam is predicated on both education and work experience. Students in the professional pathway would have options to complete selected non-recreation and leisure studies courses (i.e., abnormal psychology) as an online course.

I am currently working in the field and already possess an undergraduate degree, can I take some courses from the program without applying to the program?

It depends on the course. The face-to-face courses in the Research Stream and Theory Stream are reserved exclusively for the students in the Degree Completion for Professionals Program. The face-to-face and online courses in the Specialty Streams may be offered to non-degree seeking students.

If you are seeking certification through NCTRC and do not need the practicum component (internship) to meet your certification requirement then you may enroll in applicable TR content courses with permission of the department.

What are the Specialty Courses about?

The program incorporates courses in two specialty areas: Therapeutic Recreation and Community Recreation. Below are examples of specialty courses. The specialty courses are considered ‘electives’ for students working toward obtaining the Pass degree and are requirements for students working toward the 20-credit Honours/Majors degree with concentration. The specialty courses also count toward the Certificate in that specialty area.

Examples of Specialty Courses

Therapeutic Recreation: TR assessment, TR program planning, TR facilitation, TR and behavioural health, TR and physical health, professional issues

Community Recreation: Community development, financing community recreation, community planning, strategic management

“Having core classes in person one weekend a month allowed for connection with other professional students which allowed for very vibrant discussion about the content of classes.  Because of this group of people on the weekends being mainly professional with more experience the content was very relatable and useful.”

-Blair Chard, Recreation Therapist, The Royal Mental Health Centre, Brockville ON

Recreation and Leisure Studies

Mike Fawkes
Undergraduate Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor
Office: STH 329
905-688-5550 X 4098