Physical Education

The Department of Health, Wellness and Physical Education (HWPE) provides academic opportunities to over 2,400 students a year through a wide variety and diverse collection of course offerings in both activity and lecture based theory classes. Classes are held on both West and East Campuses.

>> The course listing for the semester is available here.
Hit the 'Search' button to view the courses with available enrollment. Deselect the 'Show Open Classes Only' field to see all offerings.

Activity Courses

Activity courses carry a half course credit and are given on a S/U basis. The maximum amount of credit that counts for the undergraduate degree is two different activity courses, but additional courses may be taken without credit toward graduation. Students may repeat activity courses.

Activity courses include:

  • Aikido
  • Basketball 
  • Fencing 
  • Fusion Fitness 
  • Golf 
  • Pilates 
  • Running
  • Tai Chi
  • Standup Paddleboard Fitness 
  • Tennis
  • Walking for Wellbeing
  • Weight Training 
  • Yoga

Lecture Courses

Lecture based theory courses carry one course credit. Taking theory classes does not cancel a student’s ability to take two activity classes for credit towards their undergraduate degree. Theory classes are taken as general electives towards fulfillment of a students degree requirements. We offer a number of lecture courses in the disciples of health, sport studies, ethics and performance.

Lecture courses include:

  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Exercise & Mental Health
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Hot Topics in Health
  • Theory & Practice of Coaching
  • Psychology of Sport & Performance
  • Sport Ethics
  • Sports Finance
  • Sports Leadership
  • Sports Management
  • Sports Marketing
  • Sports Media

Learning Objectives

The Department of Health, Wellness and Physical Education identifies the following learning objectives based on our offerings of activity and lecture courses with the goal that students will:

  • Increase their proficiency of skill through any given activity course.
  • Increase their understanding and application of life-long health and activity based programs that promote a healthy lifestyle.
  • Develop strong leadership skills inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Develop a desire for continued inquiry and development in any chosen area of interest offered through our courses.


Students with health or learning conditions may receive individualized accommodations and are encouraged to confidentially disclose to the instructor any health, learning, or mobility needs that may impact their experience in the class. Where appropriate instructors will offer modified exercises, skills, teaching styles or equipment throughout the semester. The PE administration works closely with Duke Recreation facilities to ensure PE spaces (pool entry, ramps) are accessible and that modified or alternative equipment options are available. Furthermore, instructors strive to fulfill our department mission which includes safety and inclusiveness by creating appropriate workouts and skill sessions for learners of all levels. If you would like more information or have a specific accommodation request, please contact the PE Director of Undergraduate Studies, Kim McNally, EdD.

Duke University Community Commitment 

Because diversity is essential to fulfilling the university’s mission, Duke is committed to building an inclusive and diverse university community.  Every student, faculty, and staff member —whatever their race, gender, age, ethnicity, cultural heritage or nationality; religious or political beliefs; sexual orientation or gender identity; or socioeconomic, veteran or ability status—has the right to inclusion, respect, agency and voice in the Duke community.  Further, all members of the University community have a responsibility to uphold these values and actively foster full participation in university life.