Instructor leads a kick box class

As part of the University Core Curriculum for the past 30 years, the Physical Fitness and Wellness course reflects Ball State University’s commitment to positively impacting your quality of life and the University’s mission of students living meaningful lives and thriving in fulfilling careers.

Out of your minimum 120-credit experience at Ball State University, the PFW course you’ll take is an opportunity for you to dedicate two credits to your own self-care and personal wellness. The knowledge and habits emphasized throughout the course assist in building a strong foundation to your lifelong multi-dimensional wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, financial, environmental, occupational, and cultural.

You will complete one PFW course in order to graduate. The PFW course experience focuses on understanding the wide-ranging health and wellness benefits of engaging in routine physical activity, injury prevention, chronic disease prevention, nutrition considerations, and stress management. With the inclusion of physical activity, these courses are all designed to engage you in and educate you about the impact of the five health-related fitness components and their roles in a well-designed exercise program.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Improve cardiorespiratory endurance.
  2. Improve muscular endurance.
  3. Improve flexibility.
  4. Improve body composition.
  5. Demonstrate a higher comprehension of fitness and wellness concepts from Pre to Post Knowledge Assessment.
  6. Improve physical activity self-efficacy.
  7. Improve attitudes toward physical activity.

Course Requirements

PFW courses are two credits. They require two hours of physical activity and one hour of lecture each week.

Students enroll in PFW according to the specific activity they wish to pursue for the entire term.

Activity Courses

The PFW activity experience focuses on self-improvement and addressing body composition through cardiorespiratory endurance while incorporating muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. Faculty members boast a wide range of nationally recognized physical fitness and wellness-related certifications, which assist in creating effective exercise experiences. They meet you where your fitness abilities are and work with you to safely engage in exercise programs that can enhance performance, exercise related self-confidence and self-efficacy.

You may choose from one of the following 12 courses:

*indicates that permission from the program coordinator is required

^indicates that students are required to already know how to swim and are able to comfortably engage in lap swimming

On Campus

Two credit course offerings:

One credit course offerings for Associates or transfer students:


Two credit course offering:

One credit course offerings for Associates or transfer students:


All PFW students attend a common lecture each week. These classes provide a common core of knowledge concerning fitness and wellness, emphasizing an important role exercise has in the prevention and management of chronic health challenges. The relationships of physical activity with injury prevention, nutrition, and stress management are also explored within the weekly lecture series.


For all courses, a final grade of a D- is needed to fulfill the graduation requirement. If you wish to replace a failing grade or improve upon a previous grade, you must complete the same course.

Credit by Exam

Because PFW is part of the Core Curriculum, you may receive credit by exam. In order to earn these credits, you need to pass both a knowledge-based and physical assessment.

If interested, please contact the PFW Program Coordinator for the specific physical assessment standards.

Knowledge-based Assessment

You will need to score a 76% or better on the current cumulative final exam for the course.

Physical Assessment

The physical assessment requires you to pass each of the following assessments with a score of “Good” or better based upon the age/sex standards:

  • a timed mile walk or timed 1.5-mile run
  • perform as many crunches as possible in 1 minute
  • perform as many push-ups as possible in 1 minute
  • perform a standard sit-and-reach assessment for hamstring/low back flexibility


If you have questions about PFW or would like to learn more, please contact program coordinator Kendra Zenisek.

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