Academic Catalog

School of Health Sciences and Human Performance

Christina Moylan, Interim Dean

Julie Dorsey, Associate Dean

Jana Waller, Associate Dean

Our Mission

Programs in Health Sciences and Human Performance utilize experiential learning to integrate theory and scholarship with professional practice to foster life-long learners who demonstrate integrity and are committed to improving the quality of life for individuals, groups, and populations.

We meet this mission by:

  • fostering interdisciplinary collaboration within and between academic and professional settings.
  • using experiential learning as a means to integrate theory and scholarship with professional practice.
  • using scholarship, in all of its forms, to advance knowledge and practice.

Career Opportunities

Students who graduate from our degree programs have career opportunities including rehabilitating people in clinical, employment, school, or home-based settings; coaching athletes; designing fitness programs for individuals or within corporate settings; working within a sport organization, government health agency, or community setting; managing hospitals and long term care facilities; and supporting public health activities in government, nonprofit, or global settings to improve population health.

Hallmarks for Student Success

Wide Choice of Programs

The School of Health Sciences and Human Performance (HSHP) currently enrolls more than 1,000 full-time students across both undergraduate and graduate programs.  In addition, students can choose from a variety of minors and concentrations within some of the undergraduate majors. The wide breadth of programs ensures that students can find a major in HSHP that will meet their life goals. Upon graduation, students interested in developing further depth in an area can advance to graduate studies in many departments.

The HSHP Pre-Health Professions Program is available for first- and second-year students who are interested in health and human performance careers but are uncertain of the professional major they want to pursue. Students receive intensive guidance and academic advisement concerning program choices before declaring a major.

Faculty as Advisers, Mentors, and Research Partners

The strength of an HSHP degree emerges from a dedicated faculty who believe in and practice their areas of expertise and engage in scholarship and research with their students while fully supporting the integration of the liberal arts and sciences into their professional programs.

National Academic Reputation

HSHP students consistently perform above national averages in all programs that require licensure or certification exams. We strive to produce highly prepared entry-level professionals.

Alpha Eta National Honor Society

In March 2009, the Departments of Exercise Science and Athletic Training, Health Promotion and Physical Education, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from the School of HSHP at Ithaca College applied for and received a charter for a chapter of the Alpha Eta Society (AES). Founded in 1975 at the University of Florida, this national scholastic honor society for the allied health professions was formed to promote and recognize significant scholarship in, leadership in, and contributions to the field. Active membership in the Ithaca chapter of the society consists of candidates for a baccalaureate or a graduate degree in an allied health program, candidates for postdegree certificates in allied health programs, faculty in allied health programs, and alumni of such programs.  For more information, visit the Alpha Eta National Honor Society website.

Hands-on Learning

Students in HSHP have myriad opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills developed in the classroom. The importance of experiential learning is demonstrated by our affiliation with over 1,200 sites and organizations, located throughout the United States and abroad, where our students complete fieldwork and internships. In addition, the school houses a faculty/staff wellness clinic, an occupational/physical therapy clinic, the Sir Alexander Ewing Speech and Hearing Clinic, athletic training facilities, healthcare simulation lab, and the Center for Life Skills (a center emphasizing an interprofessional team approach to health care). Each year more than 700 HSHP students complete field experiences as part of their academic program. Annual faculty-led short-term study abroad opportunities offer students an optional global experience.

Employment in One’s Chosen Field

Over 90 percent of HSHP graduates find employment in their field or a related field or are accepted into graduate schools of their choice within one year of graduation. 

Ithaca Seminar

The Ithaca Seminar (4 credits) is required for all incoming first-year students. See Integrative Core Curriculum for details.

International Study

HSHP students are encouraged to pursue international study. One option is the Ithaca College London Center. Students should consult with their faculty advisers well in advance to ensure that study abroad is scheduled as compatibly as possible with their professional courses at Ithaca and that they have established an adequate foundation for it through their Ithaca work. Depending on the academic year, faculty in HSHP do offer short-term international study opportunities.  The availability of these opportunities is known well in advance for student planning.  Also, the staff of the Office of International Programs and Extended Studies, Job Hall 2nd Floor, is available to assist students in their planning.

Internships and Experiential Learning

All of the programs in HSHP have degree requirements in which students must complete one or more field-based experiences. In all instances, students will work with a faculty member to select and arrange appropriate experiences. Students are responsible for the cost and arrangement of transportation and housing associated with their placement. The Office of Experiential Learning serves to coordinate contractual arrangements with sites, as well as insurance billing. Specific departmental requirements can be found on the Office of Experiential Learning website.

Course Offerings

In addition to the courses listed in this catalog, others may be offered on an experimental basis. Details of such courses are given in the Undergraduate Course Offerings for the semester in which they are offered. Students should consult the registrar’s website for specific information on the schedule of all courses each semester.

Unless otherwise designated, courses are open to all Ithaca College students on a space-available basis, provided that the prerequisites and restrictions for the course are met.

Professional Eligibility

Many of the programs in HSHP provide the foundational coursework and fieldwork experience to prepare students to sit for professional licensure and/or certification exams. In most cases, licensure and/or certification is not awarded as part of the degree. Licensure and/or certification is typically required in addition to ​graduation from an appropriate degree-bearing program in order to practice. Because these credentialing processes are designed to protect the public from practitioners who are unqualified, unscrupulous, or unable to perform professional services adequately, credentialing agencies may bar individuals from subsequent credentials and/or practice. Activities that may exclude students from licensure and/or certification include, but are not limited to,

  1. conviction of, plea of guilty to, or plea of no contest (nolo contendere) to a felony or misdemeanor related to professional practice or public health or safety; or
  2. any physical, mental, or dependency condition that will or may interfere with the ability to practice the designated specialty.

It is the responsibility of the student to check with the relevant licensing or certifying agencies for requirements in this area early in their academic careers.

Graduate Programs

In addition to the undergraduate degree programs offered by its academic departments, the school offers a variety of graduate opportunities.

  • The five-year program in athletic training awards both a B.S. degree in exercise science pre-athletic training and an M.S. degree in athletic training. The fourth year of study will include the final year of undergraduate coursework and the first year of the professional/graduate-level coursework phase of the program.
  • The six-year program in clinical health studies/physical therapy awards a B.S. degree in clinical health studies at the end of the fourth year and a doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T.) at the end of the sixth year.
  • The graduate curriculum leading to an M.S. degree in exercise and sport sciences with programs in human performance and mental performance is offered as a 1.5 or two-year program for students with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. Students in the mental performance program complete the prerequisite coursework for the Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPS) exam.
  • The six-year program in occupational science/occupational therapy awards a B.S. degree in occupational science at the end of the fourth year and a doctor of occupational therapy (O.T. D.) at the end of the sixth year.
  • The 27-month physician assistant program awards an M.S. degree in physician assistant studies. The program includes 15 months of didactic classroom work and 12 months of supervised clinical experiences in health care facilities. The didactic phase includes education in the basic science understanding of each organ system, exposure to patients in clinical settings, and simulated practice in the Clinical Learning Center and Simulation Lab. The clinical phase includes seven required rotations, two electives rotations, and a transition to clinical practice course.
  • Speech-language pathology majors may apply to continue their studies beyond the B.S. degree through the department’s M.S. degree programs in speech-language pathology.

For more information regarding these programs as well as the College’s other graduate programs, consult the Ithaca College graduate catalog.

Physical Activity, Leisure, and Safety Program

Patrick Lewis, Program Coordinator

The physical activity, leisure, and safety (PALS) program provides diverse, skill-oriented physical activities as part of a general education program promoting the physiological development of students, improving their fitness and motor skills, and enabling them to maintain a suitable recreation program of their choice during and after college. The PALS program offers a variety of activities in the areas of aquatics, individual and dual sports, team sports, and physical fitness. CPR and first aid courses are also offered in the PALS program.

A maximum of 6 credits in PALS courses, taken as open (free) electives, may be counted toward graduation. Each school or department determines the number that may be counted toward graduation. PALS courses are offered on a pass/fail basis only.

Activity Course Registration Information

Students must register online for activity courses. In order to do so, students must select the appropriate block: block 1 (first 7 weeks of the semester) or block 2 (last 7 weeks of the semester). Students risk being automatically dropped from the course if they do not attend the first class meeting. The only exception to this rule will be with prior notice of the absence. A student who is dropped for nonattendance may apply to be added at the next class meeting. (Note: The instructor is not obligated to drop a student; students who decide not to take the course must follow the regular drop procedures.) All persons who participate in activity courses must have a health clearance on file in the College’s health center.

Some of the courses require the student to pay an extra fee to cover various instructor, equipment, and materials costs. The costs associated with these courses are noted in the course descriptions when students register.

Intercollegiate Athletic Course Registration Information

Students participating on an intercollegiate athletic team can register for intercollegiate athletic course credit during the course registration process. Students who do not make the team or who discontinue participation for any reason must drop or withdraw from the course online. Intercollegiate athletic courses are offered on a pass/fail basis only. Credit is granted either in the fall or the spring for any given sport. No late requests for credit will be honored.


Teacher Education Program


For more information, see the Ithaca College graduate catalog.

HSHP Pre-Health Professions Program — First- and Second-Year Students Only

As an alternative to being directly admitted to one of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance (HSHP) professional majors, a student may be admitted to the HSHP Pre-Health Professions Program. The Pre-Health Professions Program is offered for students who are interested in careers related to health, health care, exercise, leisure, health or physical education, or wellness but are uncertain of the professional major they want to pursue. Students enrolled in the program must participate in mandatory advising prior to course registration each semester and complete a course in the Fall semester of the first year which provides an introduction to the health professions. The program is not degree bearing; it is a temporary classification only. After one semester in the program, students are free to apply for transfer to professional majors in HSHP or another school of the College. Transferring into any major is not guaranteed and depends upon capacity, student academic performance, and other department-specific transfer requirements. Students are expected to apply for transfer to a major by the conclusion of their fourth semester or by the time they have earned 60 credits. They must be admitted to a major at the College before their junior year. To ensure meeting these deadlines, students should begin their efforts to decide on a major by spring of freshman year and no later than fall of sophomore year. For more information visit the HSHP Pre-Health Professions Program website.

Minors and Concentrations


Please note that space in minors may be limited due to course availability 

Coaching — For majors in all disciplines. See Department of Health Sciences and Public Health.

Communication Disorders — For majors in all disciplines except speech-language pathology. See Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

Deaf Studies — For majors in all disciplines. See Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

Exercise Science — For majors in all disciplines except exercise science and athletic training. See Department of Exercise Science and Athletic Training.

Health — For majors in all disciplines except public and community health. See Department of Health Sciences and Public Health.

Nutrition Promotion — For majors in all disciplines except health sciences - food and nutrition emphasis. See Department of Health Sciences and Public Health.

Sport and Exercise Psychology — For majors in all disciplines. See Department of Exercise Science and Athletic Training.


  • Medical Sciences - Open only to exercise science majors
  • Sport Sciences - Open only to exercise science majors
  • Strength & Conditioning for Performance and Wellness - Open only to exercise science majors

See Department of Exercise Science and Athletic Training.

Requests for the minors and concentrations listed should be made through IC Workflow. Students who have majors in the school and are interested in completing any of these programs should work closely with their adviser and department chair to ensure timely graduation. Students considering a minor or concentration must abide by College policies and regulations for these programs. Students may only select ONE minor in the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education. Departments reserve the right to limit enrollment in minors.

In accordance with College regulations that relate specifically to minors, all departments in HSHP have determined that a course that is a requirement in a student’s major and also a requirement in one of the above minors may count for credit to meet the requirements of both the major and the minor. However, departments do have the right to place limitations on how much overlap between major and minor coursework is permissible. Students should work with their faculty adviser or minor adviser to determine which courses can be counted as both major and minor courses.

Dean’s List

At the end of each semester, students who show outstanding academic achievement are placed on the dean’s list. To be included on the dean’s list in HSHP, a student must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. earn a minimum grade point average of 3.70,
  2. complete a minimum of 15 credits, of which at least 12 are graded (not pass/fail or Satisfactory/D/F option), and 
  3. have no final grades of D, F, or I (incomplete).

HSHP Undergraduate Course Grade Appeal Policy

HSHP follows the general Ithaca College policy on grade disputes and students’ right to petition, described in the “Academic Information” section of this catalog. See Credit and Grade Information and Academic Affairs Information.

Each student assumes responsibility for presenting all the facts and circumstances concerning a grade appeal. For the procedures for an HSHP undergraduate course grade appeal, see the policy on the “For Current Students” section of the school’s website.

Academic Status Policy

The general academic status policy of HSHP follows the College guidelines for good standing, warning, suspension, and dismissal, set out in the “Academic Affairs Information” section of this catalog.

To meet minimum College academic standards, a student must maintain at least a 2.00 GPA, earn and pass at least 24 credits of coursework in any consecutive 12-month period. Students enrolled full-time must also complete 12 credit hours in a semester. This policy applies to all students in the school, in addition to other standards specifically established by individual programs, except that the requirement of 24 credits with a passing grade in a consecutive 12-month period does not apply to part-time students. Special academic status policies exist for most majors in HSHP.

Academic Warning

A student who fails to meet any of the minimum GPA and credit-hour standards stated above and who is not suspended or dismissed will be placed on academic warning. Any student returning to the College after suspension or dismissal for academic reasons will also have this warning status for the first semester of reinstatement.

A student on warning must earn removal from this status by meeting all of the minimum requirements at the end of the following semester. Where a grade deficiency exists, the student must attain a semester GPA sufficiently above the 2.00 standard to result in a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 by the end of the following semester.

Suspension and Dismissal

Failure to meet the standards necessary for removal from warning after one semester will render the student subject to suspension or dismissal from both HSHP and Ithaca College.

After an official warning, a student may be dismissed from a degree program for failure to make satisfactory progress toward degree completion. Such a student may be admitted to another degree program in the school or College and will have one semester in which to become enrolled in another major or be subject to suspension from the College.

A student will be suspended (rather than dismissed) only when it appears reasonably likely that previous weaknesses will be remedied and minimum requirements will be attained through the student’s successful completion of prescribed remedial measures during suspension. A suspended student is eligible to resume academic work in the school only at the time and under the conditions specified in their letter of suspension.

A student who is dismissed by HSHP will not be readmitted to one of the school’s programs under any circumstances.

Attendance Policy

The College’s policy regarding attendance applies to students’ class absences in HSHP. Professors, however, have discretion in interpreting and implementing this policy. Students who wish to participate in extracurricular or cocurricular activities that may necessitate absence from class should discuss the possibility of absences with their instructor at the beginning of the semester. The course syllabus should be consulted for the attendance policy of a particular class. Students should be certain that they fully understand each instructor’s position on absence from classes. For more information see the College’s attendance policy in the “Academic Information” section of this catalog. See the "Registration and Course Information" section of this catalog.

Transfer into the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance

Both internal and external transfer applicants are selectively admitted into HSHP. All students intending to transfer should first contact the department in which their intended major is offered. Those transferring from another Ithaca College department must meet with the appropriate HSHP department chair or designee. Students from other institutions are encouraged to call ahead to arrange for a similar meeting when they visit the College. Satisfactory academic performance is the major requirement for acceptance. On request, a list of courses recommended for potential transfer students is available from the chair of each department or the transfer coordinator for the Department of Physical Therapy.

General Requirements for Internal and External Transfer

The following requirements must be met by students transferring from within Ithaca College. Students transferring from other institutions must satisfy these requirements in addition to the requirements for admission to Ithaca College.

  1. The professional requirements in most programs in HSHP demand a precise sequencing of courses. For this reason, early transfer into a program is encouraged. A late transfer may require a student to attend summer sessions or defer graduation. Ithaca College students who wish to transfer into any particular department may complete a change of major/concentration form on IC Workflow. Submitting a change of major/concentration form does not guarantee admission into a degree program.
  2. To be admitted to a degree program in HSHP, it is generally required that the student have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 and have completed at least 24 credit hours in the preceding 12 months. However, most degree programs are much more competitive than this and may have other requirements that students must meet, aside from GPA, to be considered for admission.

Specific Departmental Transfer Requirements

Specific departmental transfer requirements for the following programs exceed the general requirements.

Pre-Athletic training: For the pre-athletic training major, a minimum GPA of 3.00 overall, and a 3.00 GPA in the specific requirements of the major is required.  Additionally, selected courses need to be completed by that time, with no grade below C- in any of those courses. Transfer into pre-athletic training is limited to available openings and is highly competitive.

Occupational therapy: Internal and external transfer applicants are considered for entry after the first semester of the first year and as late as the end of the second semester of the sophomore year when space permits. Applicants seeking transfer into the occupational science/occupational therapy (OT) program should have a 3.0 minimum GPA and grades of C or better in all required prerequisite courses, including biology and chemistry. They should have completed a total of 57 credits applicable to the occupational science degree or be in a position to do so by the end of the fourth semester. Early transfer is encouraged. Students transferring at the end of the sophomore year must have completed all coursework and be eligible to register for the required junior-level courses outlined in the program curriculum guidelines. Students interested in transferring into the department are encouraged to contact the department for an advising appointment as early as possible to receive a list of specific prerequisite courses and assistance in academic planning.  Students interested in transferring should refer to the transfer application process outlined at "Transfer Opportunities". Transfer into the occupational therapy program is limited to available openings.

Physical therapy: Internal transfer applicants are considered for entry after the first semester of the first year and as late as the end of the second semester of the junior year when space permits. Applicants seeking to transfer into the clinical health studies/physical therapy program (D.P.T.) should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 and a 3.00 or better in natural science coursework. If student is being considered for entry into the program during the junior year, student must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better by the end of the spring semester.  Students must be in a position to complete all specified prerequisites by the end of the sixth semester. Applicants must also be in a position to complete all Integrative Core Curriculum (ICC) requirements and a minor before entering the professional phase of the program. Specific information on transfer admission requirements — including requirements relating to nonnative speakers, letters of recommendation, and clinical experience — is available from the Office of Admission or the physical therapy department website

Speech-language pathology and audiology: Students who are currently enrolled at Ithaca College are welcome to transfer into the speech-language pathology major. It is recommended, but not required, that students transfer prior to beginning the sophomore year. Transferring after the second semester of the first year may extend the student’s program of study by at least one year. Requirements for transfer into this department include a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 and no grade below C- in any speech-language pathology and audiology course completed. In addition, students must meet all college and departmental requirements for satisfactory academic standing.

Transfer Credit for Occasional Study at Another Institution

HSHP students may take courses at another accredited college or university for transfer credit, provided prior written permission for the credit has been obtained. Petition forms for transfer credit are available on IC Workflow and must be fully completed, submitted, and approved to secure such credit. For regulations on transfer credit, see the "Credit and Grade Information" section of this catalog.

Students who consider taking courses elsewhere should be aware of the Academic Residency Requirement-"To be eligible to earn an undergraduate degree at Ithaca College, a minimum of 48.0 semester credits must be completed and applied to the degree at Ithaca College.  A minimum if 50% of the required course credits for a major must be earned at Ithaca College."

Additional Costs

The curricula of most degree programs in the school involve expenses not covered by tuition for the academic year. These may include the cost of summer tuition, liability insurance, books, off-campus housing, transportation, and equipment. At a minimum, such costs apply to summer internships or placements and clinical education as follows:

  • Athletic training majors must pay for malpractice liability insurance as sophomores, juniors, and seniors, as must some interns in the clinical exercise and wellness, and strength and conditioning concentrations.
  • Exercise science students are responsible for transportation, housing, and all other costs associated with their fieldwork and internship placements. Depending on the scope and nature of the placement, some students must also pay for malpractice liability insurance.
  • Clinical health studies/physical therapy (D.P.T.) majors must pay tuition and other expenses associated with 7 credits of coursework during the summer prior to the senior (fourth) year. They must pay additional tuition for 4 credits of clinical affiliation during the summer following graduate year 1 and 6 credits of clinical affiliation during the summer at the end of the final year, in addition to other associated costs for each clinical affiliation (room, board, transportation, and liability insurance).
  • Heath care management majors must pay tuition, room, board, and other expenses associated with the internship credits if they are taken over the summer following the junior year.
  • Health sciences and public and community health students must pay room, board, and other expenses associated with fieldwork and internships.
  • Occupational science/occupational therapy majors must pay tuition for 5 credits of coursework, room, board, and other expenses during the summer following the junior (third) year. Occupational therapy majors must pay additional tuition for 6 credits of fieldwork during the summer before and 10 credits of fieldwork following coursework in the graduate year, and they are responsible for associated room, board, book, transportation, liability insurance, and other expenses. They are also responsible for the cost of transportation and liability insurance during practicums in their last two undergraduate years and during their graduate study and fieldwork.
  • Speech-language pathology and audiology majors are responsible for the cost of malpractice liability insurance, transportation costs associated with off campus clinical placements, a one-time fee for registering for clinical hours database software, and a subscription to clinical simulation software.

For more information see “Expenses” in the “Financial Aid” section.To be eligible to earn an undergraduate degree at Ithaca College, a minimum of 48.0 semester credits must be completed and applied to the degree at Ithaca College.  A minimum of 50% of the required course credits for a major must be earned at Ithaca College.To be eligible to earn an undergraduate degree at Ithaca College, a minimum of 48.0 semester credits must be completed and applied to the degree at Ithaca College.  A minimum of 50% of the required course credits for a major must be earned at Ithaca College.