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Southern Oregon University

The Department of Health, Physical Education, and Leadership


The programs in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Leadership are an integral part of the College of Arts and Sciences. Their function is to prepare professionals for careers in health promotion or fitness and management, teachingphysical therapy and outdoor adventure leadership. For students interested in gaining experience in community-based learning related to exercise and nutrition, we offer the opportunity to participate in a district-wide program in the Ashland school system.

Selected health and physical education courses are open to all SOU students and many special interest courses have been developed for nonmajors and majors alike.

We offer a wide range of sports and fitness classes to students and community members to encourage the essential habit of lifetime fitness, from racquetball to jazz dance and from sport theory to scuba diving. Because Southern Oregon University is located in the heart of the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion, we are able to offer classes that take advantage of our region's unique geographic character, such as rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing, whitewater rafting, and outdoor survival. Additionally, we offer a service program with activity courses for students in any major.

Outdoor Adventure Leadership Major and Minor

HPEL's  Outdoor Adventure Leadership (OAL) consists of a major and a minor. Outdoor Adventure Leadership attracts a great deal of interest on campus and draws students from all over around the country. The majors and minors include students whose academic interests and career goals vary from education to business, from biology to outdoor recreational therapy, and much more. To find out if the program is a good fit for you, check out our OAL page or e-mail OAL instructors Adam Elson or Erik Sol.