Health and Wellness Studies

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Mission and Vision

The Division of Health and Wellness Studies empowers Binghamton University students to make informed decisions and inspires them to pursue life-long wellness. Through the study of health and wellness science, students will acquire the knowledge and develop the motivation necessary to achieve constructive health behaviors and enhanced functional capacities. Our mission is to integrate the foundations of wellness, including but not limited to: proper nutrition, stress management, emotional and physical health. Students will develop critical thinking skills to evaluate the maze of conflicting health information. The overall goal is to promote academic and personal success and to maximize positive health outcomes.

Some of our goals are to:

  • stay sensitive to the diversity of culture, knowledge base and physical ability in our student population,
  • cultivate a comfortable yet challenging learning environment in each class,
  • offer sound guidance through the maze of conflicting contemporary fitness and health information,
  • model positive attitudes, and help students to overcome fears and misconceptions,
  • inspire students to discover and continue to practice enjoyable and effective activities,
  • stimulate students to become proactive regarding their health and wellness.

We offer a variety of credit courses that satisfy the undergraduate General Education requirements of Activity (Y), Wellness (S) and/or Both (B). These requirements enable us to introduce fundamentals and new experiences to those students who otherwise might not seek them out and to encourage higher-level skill development and depth of knowledge for more experienced students.

Students may satisfy this two-credit Physical Activity/Wellness requirement in any of the following ways:

  • 2 credit B course
  • 1 Y + 1 S
  • 1 B + 1 Y
  • 1 B + 1 S
  • 1 B + 1 B

With the intent of making it easier to fulfill the graduation requirement, most of these credits are offered through the Division of Health and Wellness Studies in the form of a 2 credit “B” course. These course offerings can be found under the Health and Wellness Studies (HWS) rubric when searching for courses.

There are differences in the application of elective credits that may be applied toward the degree among the five schools. Please contact your school academic advising office for more information.

Graduate students may audit HWS courses on a “space available” basis and are not allowed to advance register.

Transfer credits may be accepted from other academic institutions if the course is equivalent in contact hours and content to that which is offered at Binghamton University. Credits may not be transferred from non-academic agencies such as health spas, fitness clubs, karate schools, dance schools, etc. Students intending to take a health and/or physical education course at another institution during the summer should receive prior approval from both their academic advisor as well as the Division of Health and Wellness Studies. A course description, contact hours and credit value for the course are needed to determine if the course credit is transferable.

Teaching assistantships, internships and independent study opportunities (for variable credit) are available through the Health and Wellness Studies Department faculty.

Students with temporary or permanent physical disabilities, after being examined by the University physician, may be assigned to the ACR (adaptive, corrective, rehabilitative) program or request to have the requirement waived. Waiving the credit does not grant credit for courses not taken, nor does it reduce the credit hours required for graduation.

Students are encouraged to begin fulfilling the requirement early in their academic career. Postponing may cause scheduling difficulties in the senior year, and the requirement will not be waived because of schedule conflicts when previous opportunities to fulfill the requirement were not used. The requirement may not be fulfilled by taking the same course more than once.

Physical activity courses are at the beginner skill level unless otherwise specified. Intermediate and advanced courses that do not have specific prerequisites do require some mastery of knowledge and skills. Students should realistically assess their skill level before registering for a course beyond the beginner level. Instructors should be consulted if students are unsure of their qualifications. Students can be dropped from a course by the instructor if their skill level is not appropriate to the class.

Some courses may meet for half the semester only. It is the student’s responsibility to know the start and end dates as listed on the BU Brain. If a course is restricted on BU Brain, students may attend for the first several class meetings, and instructors will add students through the petition process as vacancies occur through drops or “no-shows.”

Most courses are held in the West Gym while some are held in other buildings on campus. Students should note the location of the class when they register. All students registered for a "Y" or "B" HWS class as of the first day of classes are liable for a fee that is non-refundable once classes begin. In other words, students who advance register for a course must drop it before classes begin if they do not intend to take the class. Students are entitled to a locker and towel service in the West Gym; however, failure to obtain a locker does not relieve the student of financial responsibility for the fee. Some courses, such as scuba, have additional fees that are specific to the course. Please refer to the University policy on tuition and fee refunds at the following website for additional refund information:

All Health and Wellness Studies courses have attendance requirements. It is the policy of the Health and Wellness Studies Department that any registered student who does not show up for the first two class meetings can be officially dropped from the course by the department at the discretion of the instructor. For more information about Health and Wellness Studies courses offered please visit

Instruction is offered in the following areas:

ACR: adaptive, corrective and rehabilitative exercise and recreational activities within the individual’s limitations, as determined in consultation with the University physician.

Aquatics: beginning and intermediate swimming, scuba, swimming for fitness, aquatic fitness, and Red Cross certification courses in lifeguard training and water safety instructor training.

Health and Wellness Cognitive Based Courses: contemporary health issues, human sexuality, nutrition, health, human behavior and society, stress management, men’s wellness, women’s wellness, women’s body image (Love Thyself), pathophysiology of nutrition-related diseases, care and prevention of athletic injuries, sport and society, psychology of sport and exercise, and substance abuse in contemporary society.

Health and Wellness Activity Based Courses: aerobic exercise, running, karate, physical fitness and wellness, psychophysiological awareness, classical pilates, rape aggression defense for women (RAD), self-defense for women, taekwondo, tai chi, triathlon training, marathon training, weight training, cycling, yoga, healthy weight/healthy you, science and application of exercise.

The Division of Health and Wellness Studies offers students from all schools on campus the opportunity to declare a minor in Health and Wellness Studies. Decker nursing students also have the option of completing a concentration in Health and Wellness Studies. Please see the requirements below and check with your school's advising office as to how the credits apply toward your graduation requirements.

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Health and Wellness Studies Minor

The Health and Wellness Studies minor is designed to complement and enrich interdisciplinary learning at Binghamton University. Students will critically evaluate scientific literature and research related to health, wellness, and disease prevention. This knowledge will be applied to effectively assess, plan, motivate and implement health-promoting behaviors, and cultivate lifelong wellness for diverse populations. These educational experiences provide students with the understanding to integrate core concepts and to pursue careers in health and wellness. Our mission is to provide a broad foundation in the concepts of health promotion and wellness education to encourage healthy living both personally and professionally.

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Minor Requirements:

Core Courses (14 cr. total)

  • HWS 233/NURS 220: Stress Management (2 cr.)
  • HWS 331/NURS 311: Contemporary Health Issues (4 cr.)
  • HWS 332/NURS 312: Nutrition (4 cr.)
  • HWS 336/NURS 313: Science and Application of Exercise (4 cr.)

NOTE: Nursing students have the option of fulfilling the core requirements with either Science and Application of Exercise (HWS 336/NURS 313) or Human Sexuality (HWS 330/NURS 310).

10 credits of elective HWS courses

  • No more than 2 courses can be designated as a “B” Gen Ed

NOTE: Nursing students may fulfill electives with any of the following courses:

  • NURS 332: Holistic Health Practice
  • NURS 335: Forensic Health Essentials
  • NURS 342: Global Healthcare Strategies in Nursing
  • NURS 345: Care of Children in Community
  • NURS 356: Spirituality and Healing
  • NURS 370: Disaster Preparedness
  • NURS 392: Palliative Care

Total credits required = 24 credit hours

For more information or to apply for the minor, please visit

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