Physical Education

Colgate's recognition of the importance of personal health and well-being is baked into the curriculum through its physical education program.

A student rock climbing

The physical education curriculum offers a variety of programs and courses reflecting the institutional commitment to every student’s physical, social, mental and environmental well-being. A holistic approach to curriculum development entails collaboration with offices and departments across campus, with the resulting curriculum inclusive of everything from group fitness classes, to outdoor excursions, to dance, to Intergroup Dialogue, and more.

Physical education courses include live, in-person courses as well as remote (synchronous and asynchronous) classes, so there are options for all students.

Physical Education Graduation Requirements

Students should attempt to complete this requirement as early as possible in their Colgate career and maximize the number of options and opportunities in this area.

  • First years must complete two units or credits.
  • Sophomore transfers are required to complete two units.
  • Junior transfers are required to complete one unit.
  • Approval of transferred credits toward the Physical Education Graduation Requirement will be reviewed by the Director of Physical Education and Recreation.

Activities That Count Toward the Requirement

  • 5-week PE course, which includes Outdoor Education PHED courses. (1 PE Credit)
  • At least 15 hours in one semester in:
  • SOMAC/EMT Certificate Training
  • Hamilton Fire Department Training
  • Haven Ambassador Training
  • Outdoor Education Staff Training (2 PE Credits)
  • Lifeguard Training/Certification (2 PE Credits)
  • One full year on a varsity athletics team (2 PE Credits or 1 PE Credit per semester)
  • 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 from 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 well-being.
  • Students and faculty may propose other activities to fulfill the PE requirement. These must be approved ahead of time by the Chair of Physical Education.


Note: Physical Education credit is not awarded for intramural participation

Registration and Course Selection

Physical Education Course Offerings 

  1. You must register for PHED 000 during course registration with the registrar during the normal course registration periods during the previous semester.
    1. First-year students in their first semester are automatically registered for a physical education course. This registration is the same regardless of what type of physical education is being completed (PHED 000.) 
    2. Failing to register will, unfortunately, prevent you from receiving credit toward the graduation requirement for that semester. 
  2. All registered students will then receive an email with the PE course selection form immediately after the add/drop period.
  3. Select a course or other PE-approved activity that fits your interests and schedule; this includes varsity and club student-athletes and other sources.
    1. PE courses have limited rosters; selection of courses will occur on a first-come, first-served basis and when the roster limit is reached, the course will close for that semester.
    2. Some courses will occur during the first half of semesters (A courses) and some in the second half (B courses;) It is important for students to note the schedule and be prepared to attend the course when it occurs.
    3. It is the students’ responsibility to complete course selection during this time by selecting a course of interest and ensuring that it fits into their schedule. 
    4. PE course selection will occur for a short time immediately following add/drop each semester. 
  4. Ensure you attend the course and you are all set!
  5. After successful attendance and completion of the course at the end of the semester, the unit will be applied toward the requirement.

Note: Should a student wish to take a physical education course without earning credit toward graduation, then registering is unnecessary. Please contact the PE department ( to arrange these cases.


Additional Information

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.

For assistance visit the Huntington Equipment Room (cage)

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

Outdoor Education (Base Camp)
Outdoor Education Rental Center (OERC): 315-228-7971

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

Glendening Boathouse
Frank Road - Lake Moraine

Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, a full picture of the offerings in PE may not be available until after registration in the prior semester. If you are interested in taking a PE course for credit, then it is best to register for PHED 000 and then examine the offerings as soon as they are available or during PE course selection which occurs immediately following the add/drop period at the start of each semester. Should you decide that the PE offerings do not interest you that semester then the PHED 000 course will be removed from your transcript. You can also add or remove PHED 000 during add/drop periods.

Yes! Register during course registration for PHED 000 and then when you receive the form for PE course selection, select varsity sports as your source to receive credit.

PE offers a number of options to complete the requirement each semester from online work to other wellness options where actual physical activity is not required. If you get stuck trying to find something that works, please contact the PE department for assistance at

Our desire is to create more PE opportunities with instruction for better experience and mirror other academic opportunities. While the Wellness Passport created some attractive flexibility, it was felt that we could offer a better educational experience returning to traditional PE courses.