The Department of Physical Education offers a variety of programs and courses that reflect Colgate’s commitment to every student’s physical, social, mental and environmental development and well-being.


The Physical Education Handbook outlines all aspects of the physical education program, and its role in the curriculum. Completion of the physical education program as defined below is a requirement for all students to graduate

Physical Education Graduation Requirement

All students must complete two (2) Physical Education (PHED) units or credits in order to be eligible for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged 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.

The requirement may be met by completion of any of the following:

  • Participation in a 5- or 10-week physical education course or Outdoor Education PHED course.
  • Participation in the Wellness Passport Program.
  • 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 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.
  • Off-Campus Independent Study: This course 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 (COVE) 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. 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 Department of Recreation and Physical Education. No medical excuses (i.e. colds, flu) will be accepted for missed classes, unless the medical exemption or waiver is authorized by the University Student Health Center.

Transfer Students

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

Off-Campus Study Credit

Students may complete one PHED credit through an approved off-campus physical education course. If a student studying off-campus wishes to participate in a course or activity for Colgate PHED credit, they must have approval by the Chair of Physical Education in advance of participation. This provides the opportunity to experience activities in different cultures and expand students’ perspectives on lifelong physical activity and personal wellbeing.

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 Department of Recreation and Physical Education with any questions.

Varsity athletes and Cheerleaders may earn up to one credit per academic year of participation. Varsity athletes must be listed on NCAA roster for the school year.  Credits are submitted by the Compliance Office.

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

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

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 one 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 online 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.
    • 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.

Note: Physical Education credit is not awarded for intramural participation.

Student Appeals

Student appeals for PHED credit will be considered by the Chair of Physical Education for no longer than 60 days following the end of a semester. It is essential that students verify all credits on their transcripts and contact the Department of Recreation and Physical Education with any questions.

Physical Education Registration

Course offerings are listed on the Colgate Physical Education Registration Form. Four units of PHED (2 per semester) are offered each year, with registration available prior to the start of each unit. 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 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, Julian Springer, Ed.D or email


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.

Physical Education & Athletic Facilities

Huntington Gymnasium

  • 1st Floor:
    • Equipment Sign-out Room (Cage): 315-228-7620 
    • Lineberry Natatorium (Pool)
    • Locker rooms 
    • Physical Education Office, Huntington 102: 315-228-7613
    • 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

Outdoor Tennis Courts

Sanford Field House

  • 315-228-7792 
  • Four-Tennis Courts/Two-Hundred meter track and Artificial Turf Surface 

Outdoor Education (Base Camp)

  • 315-228-7972
  • Outdoor Education Rental Center (OERC): 315-228-7971

Cross Country Ski and Walking Trails

Seven Oaks Golf Course Clubhouse


James C. Colgate (Student Union)

Clark Room (2nd Floor)

Trap Range

Bonney Hill Rd.

Glendening Boathouse

On Lake Moraine