The School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services (HPELS) is one of the oldest programs in the United States. Physical Education courses were offered in 1878 and a Department of Physical Culture was established in 1896. In 1978, HPELS was established, combining the Men's and Women's Physical Education, Health, and Recreation programs and today has five academic divisions: Athletic Training, Health Promotion and Education, Leisure, Youth and Human Services, Physical Education, and Liberal Arts. The School enrolls about 1,300 majors and minors and offers undergraduate and graduate majors in health promotion, health education teaching, physical education teaching, movement and exercise science, athletic training, leisure, youth and human services.
Major facilities include a nationally award winning Wellness Recreation Center (WRC) and Richard O. Jacobson Human Performance Center (HPC). Resources include five aerobic/dance studios, six racquetball courts, two multipurpose courts, 1/10th mile jogging tack, fitness/conditioning area, leisure pool, instructional pool with seating for 300, 40-ft climbing wall, and eight seminar and classrooms. Laboratories include athletic training, biomechanics, exercise physiology, psychomotor behavior, and strength & conditioning. The center also houses the Elinor A. Crawford and William R. Thrall Hall of Excellence, computer instructional laboratory, student computer center, rhythm and movement studio, and wellness resources laboratory. The HPC promotes a unique public/private partnership and includes space dedicated to sports medicine and youth development.