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Health and Exercise Physiology (formerly Exercise and Sport Science)

Professors Borsdorf, Engstrom (Chair); Associate Professors Chlad, Wailgum; Assistant Professor Feairheller;Lecturers Paisley, Vande Berg, Wright.

The Department of Health and Exercise Physiology offers a comprehensive curriculum focused on the study of the human body (e.g., pre-physical therapy, pre-nursing, pre-physician assistant, pre-occupational therapy pre-athletic training, corporate fitness, and graduate school preparation in exercise physiology and health sciences) and Pennsylvania teacher certification (K-12) in Health and Physical Education.

HEP majors gain valuable clinical experiences working in a variety of exercise related settings (e.g., athletic training room, fitness center, and intramural sports program.)

The educational goals of the department are to introduce students to current concepts in the fields of Health and Exercise Physiology Sciences, to expose them to a variety of work-related experiences, and to involve them in various aspects of research. These experiences will foster a sense of responsibility and develop critical, independent thinking consistent with the objectives of a liberal arts education.

Requirements for Majors

Students majoring in the HEP Department must take the following courses:

I. Required Courses

All HEP majors must complete the following HEP courses: HEP-100, 202, 205, 206 (prerequisites: BIO-102Q or permission of the instructor), 334, 351, 352, and MATH/STAT-141Q.

II. Capstone Courses

All HEP majors must complete a capstone experience which includes an oral presentation by taking HEP 446 or HEP 447 or 491W, or the combination of HEP 465W and EDUC 405.

III. Elective Course Requirements

A. Health Science (HS) Concentration

All HS students must complete HEP-261W and four of the following courses, one of which must be at the 400 level.

  • HEP-232W, 278, 300, 333, 340, 360, 446, 447, 452, 464, or 491W
  • It is highly recommended HS majors select three of the following HEP courses: any 209, any 210, 240, 247, 270, any Dance course, or any Aquatics course

It is highly recommended that students research their individual prerequisite needs for graduate school no later than the end of their sophomore year and meet with their adviser to discuss them. Students seeking admission to graduate allied health programs need to elect to take two or more upper level BIO courses (300/400 level); CHEM-105/105L, 106/106L or 206/206L; MATH-111 and/or MATH/STAT 141Q; PHYS-111Q, 112; and various courses from the Humanities and Social Science Divisions.

B. Teaching Concentration (TC)

All TC students must complete the following courses:

  • HEP courses: HEP-220, 232W, 333, 355, 356, 446, and 464
  • HEP courses: HEP-235
  • HEP/DANC-200, HEP-209 or 224, 223, and 245

Note: Students wishing to obtain PA teacher certification for grades K-12 must take: EDUC-210, 265, 320, 360, 375, 405, and 406. In addition, students must successfully complete the appropriate PAPA (Reading, Writing and Math) as well as two Praxis II examinations.

Students must earn a cumulative 3.0 GPA (Pennsylvania Department of Education Standard) and a 2.8 GPA within the HEP Department to receive the departmental recommendation to be eligible to student teach. Students and their advisers should consult the Education Department Program Guide on the Ursinus College website for further information.

Requirements for Minors

A minor concentration in coaching consists of HEP-100, 220, 278, 365, 366W; select two of the following courses: 223, 224, 225, 226 or 234; HEP-270 is strongly recommended (23 credits).

A minor concentration in wellness education consists of HEP-100, 220, 340; select three of the following courses: 300, 333, 334, 446, 447, 464; HEP 209 and 270 are strongly recommended (23 credits).

A minor concentration in human performance assessment consists of HEP-100, 334, 351, 352, 452 (20 credits).

Activities Courses

Students may elect activity courses listed at the 000 level. Students wishing to elect activity courses may not register for more than one activity course in any given semester and no more than 3 hours of activity courses may count toward the 128 semester hours required for graduation. The intent of activities courses will be to develop basic skills, improve fitness, foster the concepts of wellness, provide enjoyment, and develop recreational and social competencies through participation in lifetime sports and leisure activities. Analysis and movement courses are designed for HEP majors and will focus on movement analysis and teaching progression. Non-HEP majors may elect to take these courses with the permission of the HEP Department.

HEP-007. Basic Swimming Faculty

Course is designed to meet the needs of the non-swimmer and the beginning swimmer. Emphasis will be on skill development and the ARC Basic Water Safety program. Graded S/U. One semester hour. (Offered occasionally.)

HEP-008. Intermediate Swimming Faculty

Course is designed to meet the need of the intermediate level swimmer. Emphasis will be on skill development and the A.R.C. Emergency Water Safety program. Graded S/U. One semester hour. (Offered occasionally.)

HEP 050. Special Activities Staff

This course will focus on an activity not included in the current curriculum. Two hours per week. Graded S/U. One semester hour. (Offered occasionally.)

Theory Courses

HEP-100. Concepts of wellness and FitnHEP Dr. Engstrom, Prof. Vande Berg

An exploration of the various dimensions of wellness. Emphasis will be on the concepts of total fitness and wellness. wellness/fitness self-testing, self-evaluation, and self-care skills will be examined. (Offered spring and fall semesters.) Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

Note: This course should be completed by HEP majors in either the freshman or sophomore year.

HEP/DANC-200. Fundamental Dance Technique Faculty

An introduction to dance and movement techniques. The class will focus on the basic principles of dance movement, including alignment, coordination, musicality, and locomotion through space. Students will develop increased body awareness, flexibility, strength, and ease within a broad movement vocabulary. This class is designed for students with no previous experience in dance technique. Students may take this course twice for credit. Four hours per week. Two semester hours. (A; may be used to partially fill requirement.)

HEP-202. Concepts in Public Health Dr. Feairheller

This course will introduce the major concepts of public health, will provide students with an understanding of the competencies needed to enhance the health of the community, and introduce the theoretical foundation of community and population based health promotion. The value of evidence-based programs and policies in public health settings, the organization and financing of health services in the United States, along with the current strategies for advancing public health will be explored. Prerequisites: HEP-100 or permission of department chair. (Offered spring and fall semesters.) Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

HEP-205/BIO-205. Human Anatomy & Physiology I. Dr. Wailgum

A study of the structure and function of the tissues and organs that compose the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, and special senses systems. A case study approach will be utilized to explore the homeostatic contributions made by each of these systems under rest, exercise, and disease conditions. This is an approved elective course for the completion of the Biology minor but not the Biology major. Prerequisites: BIO-102; or permission of the department chair. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

Note: Students who have taken HEP/BIO-205 and/or HEP/BIO-206 may not receive credit for completing BIO-305.

HEP-206/BIO- 206. Human Anatomy & Physiology II. Dr. Wailgum

A study of the structure and function of the tissues and organs that compose the endocrine, pulmonary, cardiovascular, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. A case study approach will be utilized to explore the homeostatic contributions made by each of these systems under rest, exercise, and disease conditions. This is an approved elective course for the completion of the Biology minor but not the Biology major. Prerequisites: HEP-205 or permission of the department chair. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

Note: Students who have taken HEP/BIO-205 and/or HEP/BIO-206 may not receive credit for completing BIO-306.

HEP-209. Special Topics in Complementary Medicine and Holistic Health Faculty

An examination of a different holistic health or alternative medicine form will be studied each time this course is offered. Emphasis will be given to the relationship(s) between the identified health/wellness topic and traditional Western medical and wellness procedures. Topics may include Yoga, Tai Chi, Accupressure, Accupuncture, Therapeutic Massage. (Offered spring and fall semesters.) Three hours per week. Two semester hours.

HEP-210. Special Topics in Exercise Science Faculty

This course will be periodically offered in an area of special interest to students by a staff member or adjunct professor. (Offered occasionally in fall or spring semesters.) Three hours per week. Two semester hours.

HEP-220. Critical Components of Conditioning Faculty

This course is designed to introduce students to the concepts of conditioning as it relates to muscular strength and endurance as well as various forms of cardiovascular training. The course will emphasize the identification and analysis of the critical elements of weight training exercises, teaching progrHEPions involved in conditioning, and safety and organizational implications of conditioning. Prerequisites: HEP-100 and permission of instructor. (Offered spring and fall semesters.) Three hours per week. Three semester hours.

HEP-223. Teaching Games for Understanding: Team Sports Dr. Engstrom

This course will provide an introduction to teaching team sports. Skill analysis, teaching progressions, coaching strategies, organizational and safety considerations will be emphasized during this course. Lesson plan design and video analysis of performance skills will be utilized to enhance each student’s teaching skills. (Offered spring semesters.) Three hours per week. Two semester hours.

HEP-224. Theory and Analysis of Teaching Individual/Dual Sports Dr. Wright

This course will provide an introduction to teaching individual/dual sports. Skill analysis, teaching progressions, coaching strategies, organizational and safety considerations will be emphasized. Lesson plan design and video analysis of performance skills will be utilized to enhance each student’s teaching skills. Prerequisites: HEP-100 and permission of instructor. (Offered fall semesters.) Three hours per week. Two semester hours.

HEP-225. Basic Movement Techniques in Individual and Team Sports Faculty

This course analyzes the basic concepts of movement and decision-making that are crucial to athletic success in all the most popular sports. Basic principles such as spatial awareness, timing, visual skills, angles of movement, and reading cues will be thoroughly discussed and practiced. The students will learn the importance of consistently including these concepts when coaching youngsters in drills, small games and full scrimmages and games. The class will equally consist of practical participation, discussions and video analysis. (Offered spring semesters.) Three hours per week. Two semester hours.

HEP-226. Effective Coaching Strategies Faculty

This course is designed to broaden the knowledge of future athletic coaches of all levels. Topics covered include budget analysis, recruitment of student athletes, philosophies of athletic programs, video analysis, and various styles and systems of team sport. Other broad-based topics will also be covered. The class will consist of group work, practical participation, and discussion. Prerequisite: HEP-225 or by permission of the instructor. (Offered fall semesters.) Three hours per week. Two semester hours.

HEP-232W. Current Trends in Health Dr. Engstrom, Dr. Feairheller

This course will focus on the promotion of health education as it relates to the individual and the community at large. Special emphasis will be placed upon family and community health, consumer health, human sexuality and environmental health issues. This course will function as one of the writing intensive courses for students in the HEP Department. Prerequisite: permission of the department chair. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (D.)

HEP-234. Water Safety Instructor Faculty

Course leads to the American Red Cross certification as a Water Safety Instructor (WSI.) (Offered occasionally.) Three hours per week. Two semester hours.

HEP-235. Lifeguarding Faculty

This course leads to certification in American Red Cross standard first aid, CPR for ProfHEPional Rescuers, Lifeguard and Lifeguarding Instructor. (Offered occasionally.) Three hours per week. Two semester hours.

HEP-240. Stress Management Prof. Paisley

Problem-solving principles that underlie stress management will be introduced, coping strategies for managing stress will be explored, and a personal stress management plans for a variety of populations will be developed. (Offered fall semesters.) Two hours per week. Two semester hours.

HEP-245. Leadership in Adventure Activities Dr. Engstrom

Students will learn basic concepts of the leadership role in high-risk and adventure activities. A historical perspective, philosophical background, educational strategies and safety considerations will be discussed. Particular attention is given to the integration of environmental concerns, problem solving activities, group initiatives, and adventure activities in high-risk and adventure programming. (Offered spring semesters.) Three hours a week. Two semester hours.

HEP-247. Body Recall Dr. Borsdorf

The course focus will be on the needs of special populations, especially the needs of elders and the very sedentary. How to develop safe and effective physical fitness programs for the more fragile populations will be explored. Activities will utilize a variety of recreation and physical therapy incentives such as chairs, ropes, balls, music, and wands to enhance muscular strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. Students preparing to work with geriatric populations and other special populations are encouraged to enroll in this course. (Offered occasionally.) Three hours per week. Two semester hours.

HEP-261W. Research Methods in Health and Human Performance Dr. Feairheller

This course will provide an introduction to research methodologies in health and human performance. Research design, problem selection, literature review; and acquisition, analysis, and presentation of data will be explored. Laboratory procedures and protocols will be introduced and explored which involve human performance research study designs. Prerequisite: HEP-100.  Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours.

HEP-270. Ergogenic Aids Dr. Wailgum

The effect of nutritional supplements, performance enhancing drugs, and common over-the-counter/prescription drugs on human performance will be the focus of this course. Students will examine the relationship between an ergogenic aid’s benefits versus its adverse health side effects. Students will also explore the ethical implications pertaining to the use of ergogenic aids in sports. Prerequisite: HEP-100. (Offered occasionally.) Two hours per week. Two semester hours.

HEP-278. Current Trends in Sports Medicine Faculty

A survey of the various types of injuries/illnesses associated with participation in competitive athletics will be identified by age groups and gender. Current NATA sports medicine treatment standards will be introduced to expand awareness of proper care of athletic-related injuries. Prerequisite: HEP-100 or permission of the department chair. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

HEP-300. Death, Dying, and Grief: Learning to Cope with Life Experiences Dr. Borsdorf

This course will provide students the opportunity to openly examine a variety of grief and loss situations and to learn strategies to better cope with such events. Cross-cultural studies emphasizing non-Western cultures will be utilized to study the various types of decisions healthcare professionals and laypersons choose relative to coping with death, dying, other types of losses, and bereavement. (Offered spring semesters.) Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (G.)

HEP-333. Drugs & Alcohol-Use and Abuse in Modern Society Prof. Paisley

The significance of drug and alcohol use, misuse, and abuse in society is analyzed. Drugs and drug use today are addressed from several perspectives—historical, psychological, physiological, pharmacological, sociological, and legal. Prevention, intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation of drug and alcohol abuse is also discussed. Prerequisite: HEP-100.(Offered fall semesters.) Four hours per week. Four semester hours.

HEP-334. Nutrition Prof. Chlad

The relationship between nutrition, exercise, and weight control will be examined from various perspectives: scientific principles, consumer protection, and holistic health concepts. The course will explore the principles of nutrition and the process of metabolism. Prerequisite: HEP-100 or the permission of the department chair. (Offered both semesters.) Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

HEP-340. Exercise Psychology Dr. Borsdorf

An in-depth examination of methods used when helping people change from sedentary to active living. Topics will include the psychological antecedents and consequences of physical activity relationships, intervention programs for individuals and groups in a variety of settings, gender and age differences in motivation and exercise behaviors, communication skills, goal setting, and addictive and unhealthy behaviors. Prerequisite: HEP-100 or permission of the department chair. (Offered fall semesters.) Three hours week. Four semester hours.

HEP 351. Structural Kinesiology Dr. Wailgum

This course will examine how the neuromuscular and skeletal systems create volitional movement patterns. The execution of various sports skills will be utilized to identify joint motions, patterns of motor unit recruitment, and types of tension generation. Prerequisite: BIO-205 or permission of the department chair. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

HEP-352Q. Exercise Physiology Dr. Wailgum

The study of the physiological alterations and adjustments which occur in response to physical performance to defend homeostasis under a variety of environmental, training status, and nutritional conditions. Prerequisite: BIO-206 or permission of the department chair. (Offered spring semesters.) Three hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS).

HEP-355. Methods of Teaching Secondary Health and Physical Education Dr. Engstrom

This course will examine various philosophies of teaching health and physical education. Students will be introduced to various curriculum models in the discipline. Principles, methods, and strategies of teaching health and physical education at the secondary level will be established. Students will explore assessment strategies, unit and lesson planning, and classroom management intervention. (Offered spring semesters.) Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours.

HEP-356. Methods of Teaching Elementary Health and Physical Education Dr. Engstrom

This course will investigate the history and development of teaching health and physical education. Principles, methods and strategies of teaching health and physical education at the elementary level will be established. This course includes analysis of the fundamental motor skills, examining elementary health issues and establishing developmentally appropriate instructional strategies for elementary games and gymnastics. Students will explore the spectrum of teaching styles, unit and lesson planning, and process-product analysis of learning experiences. (Offered fall semesters.) Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours.

HEP-360. Selected Topics in HEP Faculty

A course offered periodically in an area of special interest to a student by a faculty member or a visiting lecturer. Prerequisite: permission of the department. Three hours per week, plus either intensive writing or three hours of laboratory, depending on the topic. Four semester hours. (LS, if lab associated with course.)

HEP-365. Philosophy and Principles of Coaching Faculty

This course is designed to develop a wholesome and positive philosophy for coaching young players. Students will learn how to teach techniques, tactics and strategies to various age groups. Organizing practices, setting individual and personal goals, evaluating players and basic administrative responsibilities will be covered. Prerequisite: HEP-100. (Offered fall semesters.) Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

HEP-366W. Sport Psychology Prof. Vande Berg

An examination of the critical elements of human excellence and the development of plans for obtaining maximum performance and goals. Topics will include self-perceptions, moral reasoning levels, enhancing dedication, goal setting, stress management, personality, motivation, social relations and group dynamics. Prerequisite: HEP-100. (Offered spring semesters.) Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

HEP-381. Practicum Faculty

A practicum experience in a hospital, business, coaching position, clinic and/or geriatric care center under the supervision of a practicum adviser and an on-site supervisor. An in-service project is required. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the practicum work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the practicum course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Practica undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The student must complete a minimum of 120 hours of work on-site.  Graded S/U. Three semester hours. (I.)

HEP-382. Practicum Faculty

A practicum experience in a hospital, business, coaching position, clinic and/or geriatric care center under the supervision of a practicum adviser and an on-site supervisor. An in-service project is required. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the practicum work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the practicum course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Practica undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The student must complete a minimum of 160 hours of work on-site. Graded S/U. Four semester hours. (I.)

HEP-391. Independent Study Faculty

Introduction to fundamental research procedures and data manipulation in Exercise and Sports Science under the direction of a faculty member. This course can be taken more than once. Prerequisite HEP-100 and permission of the faculty supervisor. (Offered spring and fall semesters.) Graded S/U. One semester hour. 

HEP-392. Directed Research Faculty

Laboratory and/or field experiences under the direction of a faculty member and designed to introduce students to fundamental research procedures and data manipulation in the context of an original research project. This course can be taken more than once. Prerequisites: permission of a participating faculty member. Six hours of laboratory per week. Graded S/U.Two semester hour.

HEP-446. Principles and Foundations of Health Fitness Management Dr. Borsdorf

Standards, and guidelines relevant to health and fitness programs will be examined. Emphasis will be placed on identifying the policies and practices that enhance the safety and effectiveness of facilities and programs in allied health, fitness facilities and schools. Topics will include American College of Sports Medicine facilities guidelines, American Disabilities Act implications, marketing strategies, risk management assessments and procedures, facility design and development, and operating policies and procedures. This is a capstone course which requires a written paper and an oral presentation. Prerequisites: HEP-100 or the permission of the department chair. (Offered fall semesters.) Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

HEP-447. Wellness and Fitness Throughout Adulthood Dr. Borsdorf

An analysis of wellness/fitness service techniques used to confront the problems and needs of various adult populations. The course will focus on the adult life cycle and its relationship to physical fitness and other wellness dimensions. Special emphasis will be placed upon identifying alterable psychological, sociological, and physiological aging processes and developing strategies for improving overall wellness during the different stages of adulthood. An oral presentation and a written report will be part of the course requirements. (Offered spring semesters.) Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (D.)

HEP-452. Principles and Practices of Exercise Assessment Dr. Feairheller

This course will explore the role of exercise in wellness programming and necessary exercise testing in both healthy and disease models. Techniques of functional capacity measurements and health assessments will be explored and practiced. Students will develop a strong rationale for the role of exercise, exercise testing, and physical activity in the lives of healthy and diseased people. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO/HEP-206 and HEP-352; or permission of department chair. (Offered spring semester) Four semester hours.

HEP-464. Adapted Physical Education Faculty

An analysis of conditions affecting the development of children with special needs. Methods for selecting and classifying such individuals will be explored, and strategies for adapting activities to meet the needs of differently-challenged individuals will be addressed and experienced. HEP major or permission of department chair. (Offered even year spring semesters.) Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (D.)

HEP-465W. Health and Physical Education Teaching Seminar Dr. Engstrom

Readings, discussions, and individual research focused on pedagogy, measurement and evaluation, or some other facet of teaching health or physical education. At the conclusion of the seminar, students will present a research paper at an open meeting of the department. Prerequisite: This course can only be taken in conjunction with Education 405 and requires permission of the department chair. One hour per week. One semester hour. (I.)

Note: HEP-465W is an elective course taken concurrently with EDUC-405. Students in the teaching track not selecting HEP-465W could complete the capstone requirement by scheduling HEP-446, 447, or 491W.

HEP-482. Internship Faculty

A work-related experience within a Wellness/Allied Health setting, at a staff-approved site. A research paper, one oral presentation, and a minimum of one in-service presentation are required. Each student is expected to be on-site a minimum of 160 hours per semester. Prerequisite: Open to senior HEP majors with permission of his/her adviser. (Offered spring and fall semesters.) Graded S/U. Four semester hours. (I.)

HEP-491W. Research/Independent Work Faculty

This course is open to candidates for departmental honors and to other students with a special interest in the field of exercise and sport science. Prerequisite; HEP-100and the permission of the departmental chair and project adviser. (Offered spring and fall semesters.) Four semester hours. (I.)

HEP-492W. Research/Independent Work Faculty

A continuation of HEP-491. Prerequisite: HEP-491. (Offered spring and fall semesters.) Four semester hours. (I.)