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Physical Education Handbook

Colgate's recognition of the importance of personal wellness and physical fitness is fostered through its required physical education program.  This handbook outlines the programs policies and procedures.

Physical Education Graduation Requirement

Two (2) PHED units or credits of class or activity as specified are required. Students are strongly encourages to complete the requirement by the end of sophomore year. Students are welcome to take courses for their own enrichment after their requirement is reached. Courses are available through the standard 5-week PHED program and the Outdoor Education PHED courses.

The requirement may be met by participating in the following:

  • Varsity Athletics (one full year of participation earns a student one credit).
  • Club Sports or CLSI recognized Dance Clubs (30-hours of participation in one academic year earns a student one credit).  Limit one credit per club/sport.
  • Participation in a 5 or 10-week physical education activity or wellness course.
  • Participation in one of the PHED Outdoor Education courses.
  • Participation in the Physical Education Passport Program.
  • Participation in Pep Band, SOMAC/EMT Certificate Training, Hamilton Fire Department Training, Wilderness First Responder Training.
  • Rehabilitation and adaptive physical education programs are options for students with the University Physician’s approval.
  • Independent Study Abroad course option.  This must be approved in advance by the Chair of Physical Education and may include a physical activity or wellness course at another institution or participation in a club sport/dance group.
  • Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education break trips may earn students one PHED credit.  This must be approved in advance by the Chair of Physical Education.
  • Wilderness Adventure Pre-Orientation trip may earn students one PHED credit.

Course Credit

Classes normally meet over a five week unit and earn one PHED credit per unit. Attendance is required. Credit will be granted at the end of each session based on fulfillment of the courses attendance policy. Grades appear on the transcript as an O for other. If you do not see your course listed, please contact the PE department. No medical excuses (i.e. colds, flu) will be accepted for missed classes, unless the medical exemptions or waivers is authorized by the Health Center.

Transfer students

Sophomore transfers are required to complete two units. Junior transfers are required to complete one unit.

Student appeals

Student Appeals for PHED credit will be considered for no longer than 60 days following the end of the respective semester by the Chair of Physical Education, so it is essential that students verify their credits on there transcripts and contact with any questions.

Off-campus study groups

Students may complete one (of two) PHED credits through an approved study abroad physical education course.  If a student wishes to participate in a course or activity while abroad for Colgate PHED credit they must have approval by the Chair of Physical Education in advance of participation.   The Physical Education Department hopes that this will give students the opportunity to experience activities in different cultures and expand their perspectives on lifetime physical activity and personal well-being.

Physical Education Registration 

Course offerings are listed on the Colgate Physical Education website. Students should register for both units (Fall I and II) or (Spring I and II) during the registration period at the beginning of each semester. Course descriptions and dates are available here. Registration Information is emailed to each student every semester.

Philosophy of Physical Education 

Colgate University’s recognition of the importance of personal health and well-being as it relates to the liberal arts education is fostered through the Physical Education requirement. The Department of Physical Education offers a variety of programs and courses that directly reflect Colgate’s commitment to every student’s physical, social, mental and environmental well-being.

The Department of Physical Education takes a holistic approach to curriculum development through collaboration with offices and departments across campus. The requirement can be met through a variety of programs and courses that include varsity and club level athletics, dance, outdoor education, volunteerism and five-week courses in health, fitness, positive sexuality, stress management, and many more.

Colgate Physical Education aims to make their programs inclusive and accessible to every Colgate student. We encourage all students to enroll in the PHED courses and/or programs that interest them regardless of any financial limitations. Students can apply for financial aid through the Physical Education Department, for more information on available aid, please contact the Chair of Physical Education, Katie Kammerdiener,


The goal of this requirement is to encourage students to establish life long healthy habits, expand student perspectives on personal and community well-being, and better inform Colgate students of the departments and resources available to them on campus.


Students are expected to dress appropriately for each activity. Appropriate dress for most classes consists of sneakers, shorts, t-shirt and/or sweat pants. Exceptions to this will be determined by the activity instructor.


Most equipment required for instructional use is provided. To secure equipment, students submit their Colgate student identification card at the Huntington Gym Equipment Issue Room. In certain activities, like scuba, equipment should be supplied by the student or rented as part of the course fee.

Extracurricular Credit 

Physical Education credit may be granted for participation in a varsity sport, a club sport and/or another selected pre-approved activity, if attendance requirements are met. Students should contact the Physical Education Office with any questions.

Minimum attendance requirements must be met for students to earn credit.

Student Appeals

Student appeals for Extracurricular Credit PHED credit will be considered for no longer than 60 days following the end of the respective semester by the Chair of Physical Education, so it is essential that records be kept carefully and completely.

Varsity Athletics and Cheerleaders

Varsity athletes and Cheerleaders and  may earn up to one credit per year of participation. To do so varsity athletes must be listed on NCAA squad list for the school year. All credits earned will count toward the PE graduation requirement.


Rehabilitation and Adaptive Physical Education programs are available for credit with approval in advance from the Physical Education Department and with supporting documentation from Health Services or Sports Medicine.

Pep Band

After one year of memberships in Pep Band, students become eligible for PHED credit after meeting participation requirements. Pep Band Leaders will track and submit students for credit.

Colgate-approved Club Sports, SGA Dance Clubs, SOMAC\ EMT Certification Course and Hamilton Fire Department

Participants in may earn one PHED credit per club. Only one credit will count for each club toward the 2 credit PHED requirement. Students are responsible for following the procedures below to earn credit. Students must have at least 30 hours of recorded participation during the school year to qualify for credit.
  1. Register Online through the PHED Registration for your Club at the beginning of your participation.

  2. Log Participation hours after each club activity session using the Google form.
    • Hours may only be logged after a student has registered for this program.
    • All PE Log ins Must be within 48 hours of Club Activity to be valid.
    • All activity hours logged by a club member will be verified by the Chair of Physical Education with the club's practice schedule and event schedule.
    • Credits will be submitted to the Registrar at the end of the semester, once 30 hours is reached.  Students have 1 academic year to reach the required 30 hours.
    • Students may get updates on their completed hours by contacting
    • Violations of this process and/or falsely logging hours are a direct violation of the Academic Honor Code.

Intramural Participation

Physical Education credit is NOT available for intramural participation.

Physical Education\ Athletic Facilities

Huntington Gymnasium
1st Floor:
  • Equipment Sign-out Room (Cage): 315-228-7620 
  • Lineberry Natatorium (Pool): 315-228-7449
  • Locker rooms 
  • Physical Education Office Room 102, 228-7613
  • Squash Courts 
  • Wooster Room (110 & 111 Class Rooms)
2nd Floor:
  • Gym (Basketball/Volleyball Courts)
  • Martial Arts / Fitness Loft
  • Spinning Room
3rd Floor Studios  (stairwell by Squash Courts or Gym)
  • Multipurpose Rooms 301 & 303 
3rd Floor Courts (stairwell by RM 111)
  • Climbing Wall
  • Racquetball Courts
  • Ping Pong Tables
Reid Athletic Center
  • Cotterell Court 
  • Starr Rink
  • Ticket Office: 315-228-7600
Tennis Courts (Outside-behind Reid)

Sanford Field House: 315-228-7792
  • Four-Tennis Courts/Two-Hundred meter track and Artificial Turf Surface 
Outdoor Education (Base Camp - behind Hunt Gym): 315-228-7972
  • Outdoor Education Rental Center (OERC): 315-228-7971
Cross Country Ski and Walking Trails (Top of Ski Hill)

Seven Oaks Golf Course Clubhouse: 315-228-1432

J.C. Colgate Bldg (Student Union)
Clark Room (2nd Floor)

Trap Range (Bonney Hill RD)

Boat House (Lake Moraine): 315-228-1118

Affiliated Programs

Intercollegiate Athletics

The program, initiated in 1886, offers varsity competition in twenty-five sports for men and women. Cheerleaders also follow the varsity athletics procedures to earn credit. 

Club Sports

Club teams are student-directed with overall program responsibility falling under the supervision of the office of Recreational Sports. Club competition is less formalized than the intercollegiate level and offers opportunities to compete in many sports not offered in the varsity program.  Students must followed procedures outlined above to earn a credit.

Pep Band, SGA Dance Clubs, SOMAC and Hamilton Fire Department

Pep Band, SGA Dance clubs, SOMAC and Hamilton Fire Department are similar to club sports. Participants may earn one credit for 30 hours of recorded participation. Students must followed procedures outlined above to earn a credit.


Rehabilitation and Adaptive Physical Education programs are available for credit with approval in advance from the Physical Education Department and with supporting documentation from Health Services or Sports Medicine.