Requirements: Physical Education and Health Studies

The Kenyon College faculty voted to change from Kenyon units to semester hours. This change will go into effect for all students who start at the College in the fall of 2024. Both systems will be used throughout the course catalog with the Kenyon units being listed first.


Course Offerings

The Department of Physical Education and Health Studies (PEHS) offers both physical education activity courses and courses in health and sport studies.

Goals for physical education and health studies courses include:

  • Engaging in physical activities that maintain and improve personal wellness
  • Fostering an appreciation of physical activities that bring enjoyment and well-being
  • Promoting comprehension of the benefits of physical activity to health
  • Developing practical athletic skills
  • Learning how to maximize the results of physical activity throughout life
  • Developing a broad knowledge base regarding personal health and wellness
  • Developing both knowledge and practical skills in the area of health and sport studies

Physical education activity-based courses, designated PHSD, are offered in four six-week sessions or full-semester sessions. Each six-week course is worth 0.13 units/1 semester hour. Each semester course is worth 0.25 units/2 semester hours. The grading of activity-based courses is pass/D/fail, but these do not count against the limit of three units of pass/D/fail or credit/no credit. PHSD courses may not be repeated for credit. Students may apply a maximum of 0.50 units/4 semester hours of PHSD courses toward the 16.00 units/128 semester hours needed to graduate. Evaluation criteria include attendance, effort, cooperation, written tests, subject knowledge and physical proficiency (where applicable). Courses include:

  • PHSD 110: Personal Fitness
  • PHSD 113: Lifeguard Training
  • PHSD 122: Racquetball
  • PHSD 124: Tennis
  • PHSD 126: Intro to 5K Running
  • PHSD 132: Beginning Weight Training
  • PHSD 136: Golf
  • PHSD 182: CPR and First Aid

Health and sport studies courses (HSPS) are full-semester courses offered on a semester-by-semester basis and are 0.25/2 semester hour or 0.50 units/4 semester hours. These courses receive a letter grade and count toward the student’s grade-point average. Courses include:

  • HSPS 170: Sports Medicine and Wellness
  • HSPS 171: Human and Sport Nutrition
  • HSPS 184: Wilderness First Aid & Outdoor Skills
  • HSPS 188: Topics in Human Performance

Evaluation criteria includes mastery of subject matter, critical and analytical thinking, and comprehension and proficiency in laboratory skills and sessions.

All classes designated as 100-level are appropriate for first-year students. 200-level courses require course work in the natural sciences for success.

There are no limits on the number of HSPS courses that may be taken per semester, but are not repeatable for credit. HSPS courses do not count in the PHSD 0.50 unit/4 semester hour credit limit.

Individual Study Guidelines

Given the nature of physical education and health studies courses, individual studies are only approved in health and sport studies and with extenuating circumstances. They are approved only by a petition to the assistant athletics director for fitness and recreation. Documentation of the circumstances justifying a proposed individual study must be included with the petition. Petitions without documentation are declined.

An individual studies in HSPS is intended to provide the student with the opportunity to pursue an independent investigation of a topic of special interest not covered, or not covered in depth, in the current curriculum. The investigation, which is designed in close collaboration with a current health and sport studies instructor, may be designed to earn 0.13 unit/1 semester hour or 0.25 unit/2 semester hours of credit. Students may receive credit for no more than one individual study within the department, which does not count in the 0.50 unit/4 semester hour PHSD credit limit.

Enrollment and Completion Procedures for Individual Studies

To enroll in an HSPS individual study:

1. Complete the petition process through documentation of need and present the petition to the assistant athletics director for fitness and recreation. After approval, the student must complete the following no later than the fifth day of the semester.

2. Identify a member of HSPS willing to mentor the project. If the student is a varsity athlete, the student's coach or coaches may NOT serve as mentor.

3. Working closely with the mentor, draft a detailed course syllabus, including the following:

  • Individual study title.
  • Topic background information.
  • Desired course outcomes.
  • Specific objectives necessary to achieve outcomes.
  • Weekly topic schedule.
  • Readings: at least one assigned reading per week for the duration of the individual study. Readings must have direct bearing on the topic of the study. The specific readings must be included in the syllabus and have an electronic link to the text in question.
  • Meeting schedule: at least one hourlong meeting with the mentor per week for the duration of the individual study
  • Required assignment set 1: At least one detailed paper of 10 to 12 pages on the assigned topic per 0.13 units/1 semester hour desired for the individual study. Two papers of this length are required for a 0.25 units/2 semester hours individual study. Papers must be fully cited using APA or CSE formatting, and each must include at least eight references from accredited sources.
  • Required assignment set 2: For courses that involve physical activity or internship/coaching/sport management-style activities, as well as, academic components, a complete journal of all daily and/or weekly activities must be included, and must contain, at a minimum:
    • Date
    • Activity completed
    • Specifics of activity
    • Course objectives and/or outcomes met by completion of activity

4. Upon completion of the course syllabus, it must be turned in to the assistant athletics director for fitness and recreation for final topic approval.

5. Upon completion of certain units of the study (at set intervals during the semester) and at the final completion of all individual study courses, the requirements as presented in the course syllabus, as well as copies of all assignments and journals, must be presented to the individual study mentor and the assistant athletics director for fitness and recreation. A timetable for review and submission of these documents will be set by the assistant athletics director for fitness and recreation.

6. The mentor is to forward attendance records and recommended course grades to the assistant athletics director for fitness and recreation.

7. Final course grade will be the result of successful completion of all course requirements as reviewed by both the mentor and assistant athletics director for fitness and recreation. Grading will follow standard College procedures.