The mission of the physical education and wellness program is to improve students’ understanding of the intrinsic value of healthy living by promoting well-being and physical activity. This is accomplished through the Wellness for Life course (PHED 050) and a variety of activity and team courses.

For traditional-age students, the Salem Impact general education program requires the completion of at least two physical education activity courses and a full-term course on wellness. Students registered in a degree program through the Martha H. Fleer Center for Adult Education are exempt from the physical education requirements but may elect to take activity courses on a space-available basis and subject to additional tuition charges.

Traditional-age students are required to complete two activity courses; all students are permitted to enroll in a maximum of four for-credit physical education activity courses, for the equivalent of four semester hours toward graduation. These four semester hours are in addition to the two semester hours of PHED 050 (Wellness for Life) required for traditional-age students. Students are not permitted to repeat for credit an activity course they have already passed. If the student chooses to repeat a PHED activity course, she would need to audit it. Auditing any activity course does not satisfy the general-education activity requirement.

Traditional-age students may substitute one semester of a team sport (PHED 012, 013, 017, 018, 019, 020, 041, or 045) or one dance technique course (DANC 023, 034, 035, 036, 037, 038, or 039) for either of the two required PHED activities. Team sports do not receive course credit, though one semester of team registration could satisfy one activity requirement. A student could, for example, enroll in one team sport and one dance activity course to satisfy the physical education requirement. A student may not substitute two team sports or two dance technique courses for both activity requirements.

The goal of the activity, dance, and team sports courses is to promote physical fitness and well-being, develop motor skills and cognitive strategies, learn rules, and enhance the intrinsic enjoyment of participation in physical activity. A second goal is to provide a breadth of experiences for each student to understand physical activity across the lifespan.