What's up with the Wellness Requirement?
by Emi Knape | published Sep. 12th, 2023
Basketball, volleyball and tennis. These may be the first examples that come to mind when you think of the wellness requirement. Some immediately assume they need to take a traditional fitness class, eliciting flashbacks to physical education courses in middle school. However, RIT offers plenty of unique options that extend beyond everyday sports, giving students the chance to explore a new hobby!
WHAT IS A WELLNESS?
Except for varsity athletes, all RIT students are required to take two wellness courses before graduating. They are worth zero credits and may last anywhere from a few days to a whole semester, depending on the class. You can take more than the required two, but you must pay for additional classes as you would for regular coursework. In fact, the record for the most wellness courses taken is currently 38! That student cited dodgeball as being their favorite course.
According to the RIT Wellness Education Page, the eight categories of wellness courses include Health and Wellness, Dance, Fitness, Music, Health and Life Support, Recreation, Martial Arts and, if applicable, ROTC. There are many options to choose from within each category, though some are only offered in specific Fall or Spring semesters. But with the amount of time and flexibility given to complete the requirements, it is easy to schedule them for a semester that fits best with other coursework.
WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?
Now, how can you find which wellness courses are available? While no comprehensive list currently exists, the Wellness Education Page lists the categories of courses and their codes, so that you can easily search for them on the Student Information System (SIS) website. The condensed list below provides examples of courses that might interest you!
Health and Wellness (WHWS): “Financial Fitness” helps students understand personal finance through relevant topics, such as taxes and credit.
Dance (WDAN): “Country Line Dance” gives background to basic techniques and incorporates modern dances such as the Electric Slide.
Fitness (WFIT): “Nerfology” allows students to play games with Nerf Blasters — this is great for students who are interested in Humans versus Zombies!
Music (WMUS): “Steelband Ensemble” helps rookie musicians understand the fundamentals of music using steel drums.
Health and Life Support (WHLS): “CPR and First Aid” trains and certifies students in giving CPR and basic first aid techniques.
Recreation (WREC): “Fly Fishing” exposes students to the sport and how to identify trout species and behaviors.
Martial Arts (WMAR): “Kung Fu” introduces students to martial art techniques.
ROTC (WMIL): “Army Conditioning Drills” trains students to the standards of the Army Physical Readiness Program.
There are many more wellness courses available, but the hardest part is narrowing it down to just two! Whether you have a passion for pickleball or want to try something new, such as Zumba, wellness courses give you the opportunity to take a break from your day-to- day schedule and do something fun!