CORNELL PHYSICAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
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All undergraduate students admitted to Cornell as freshmen are required to take physical education in each term of their freshman year. Circumstances permitting exemption from, or postponement of, those requirements are outlined below.
Accommodation, Postponement, or Waiver of Requirements
A WAIVER of the Physical Education or swim test requirement may be granted if the student has a disability certified by a competent medical authority,
which precludes ANY participation in physical education activity. The department
will adapt a physical education program and/or the swim test to the individual
needs of a student with a physical disability whenever possible. The department
offers a wide array of alternative classes where the level of physical activity
is less strenuous than most of the classes. All requests for accomodations to the Physical Education or Swim Test requirement due to disability must be made through the office of Student Disability Services before any substitution, accommodation or
postponement will be considered.
A POSTPONEMENT of the Physical Education requirement may be granted if the student is committed to twenty hours or more of employment per week. The Director of Financial Aid must issue the request for postponement, certifying the necessity for such employment obligations. A postponement request would only be accepted for the term in which the student is employed 20+ hours per week. The student must provide documentation at the end of the semester of the 20+ hours of work per week throughout the semester. The Physical Education requirement must still be fulfilled in another term in which the student is employed less than 20 hours per week. If a student has been granted a postponement in all of his or her semesters of enrollment, then the student may petition in the second semester of their senior year to have the Physical Education requirement waived. A waiver petition will only be considered if there has been a postponement petition granted in each of the student's enrolled semesters.
Permission for substitution, accommodation or postponement from the physical education requirement due to any non-disability related issue must be granted by the University Faculty Committee on Physical Education or the Director of Physical Education. Final authority for interpreting and ruling on requests for substitution, accommodation or postponement rests with the committee. top
Students who transfer to Cornell from another college or university will be awarded one term of physical education credit for each full term of academic transfer credit they are granted by Cornell. Transfer students entering Cornell as sophomores or juniors are not usually required to take physical education classes for credit. Each student should clarify his or her transfer status with the appropriate college office. Transfer students subject to the credit requirement must take the swim test before signing up for an elective. top
The University Faculty Committee on Physical Education has established a basic swimming competency requirement for all entering freshman undergraduates. The test is normally taken as part of their fall orientation process. The test consists of entering the deep end of the pool with a feet-first jump and making a continuous seventy-five-yard swim using front, back, and optional strokes. Any student who cannot pass the swim test is required to include swimming in his or her program of physical education before choosing electives.
If a student does not pass the swim test in his/her first Beginning Swimming PE class, then the student must take a second Beginning Swimming PE class. Successful completion of two Beginning Swimming classes (based on attendance requirements) with the instructor's recommendation will fulfill the University's swim test requirement.
Students unable to meet the swim requirement because of disability or other reasons acceptable to the University Faculty Committee on Physical Education will be required to take one of the following Physical Education classes: Wellness and Fitness (PE1265) or Wilderness First Responder (PE1626) as an alternative to the swimming requirement. All requests for accommodations to the Physical Education or Swim Test requirement due to disability must be made through the office of Student Disability Services. There are also some exceptions for transfer students. top
Information about fees for physical education courses is available at course registration and on our web site. Normally fees are billed through the bursar's office. Non-student participants in courses that charge fees usually must pay when they register. Only the person paying the fee will be allowed to use the participation time allotted by the fee. Course fees will be refunded only in the following cases:
1. The participant
withdraws from the course prior to the stated drop deadline of the course.(The
withdrawal must be made at the physical education office in 305 Helen Newman Hall);
2. The participant fails to pass preliminary course requirements; or
3. The participant accumulates a significant number of medically excused absences from the course. (The director or assistant director of the physical education program will make the decision in this situation).
All fees charged for the Greek Peak ski programs are subject to the regulations outlined in the respective program brochures and information. Please refer to the information sheet supplied by Greek Peak. top
Physical Education credit is granted for
1. satisfactory completion of a course offered through the physical education program;
2. satisfactory participation on an intercollegiate team as a competitor or manager;
3. satisfactory participation in the marching band (fall term only);
4. satisfactory participation in approved ROTC courses;
5. satisfactory completion of a physical education course, previously approved at a recognized institution. A written request to enroll must be submitted to, and approved by the Director of Physical Education at Cornell. Also, a transcript of the in-absentia credit must be forwarded to the Physical Education Office at Cornell. This option is only available to Cornell undergraduate students who still need to complete a Physical Education credit, have completed all other undergraduate requirements and have left the University.
Students receive credit for only one course per term. If a student enrolls in more than one course per term, credit will be given only for the first course the student has enrolled in as recorded in the Physical Education office. top
1. Each Physical Education course has a published drop deadline ( these may be found in the Physical Education Website and the University Course and Room Roster). THIS DEADLINE SUPERCEDES THE UNIVERSITY DROP DEADLINE. The deadline is also announced in the class itself. It is the student's responsibility to withdraw from the class prior to the drop deadline to avoid any course fees, late fees, or penalties.
2. If a student withdraws after a published Physical Education course deadline, the student is responsible for the course fee and a late drop fee. If the student drops the course prior to the University Course Drop Deadline, the course will not appear on the student's transcript. If a course is dropped after the University Course Drop Deadline, a W will appear on the student's transcript. top
1. Students enrolled in Physical Education are allowed four absences without penalty in each twelve-week course meeting twenty-four times per semester. Proportional adjustments will be established by the instructor for courses that meet for more than forty-five minutes at each session or meet over a period of less than twelve weeks. Absences for medical, religious, academic (ie., field trips), and personal reasons are included in the maximum number of absences, not in addition to the maximum number of absences. It is the student's responsibility to carefully manage his or her absences so as not to exceed the maximum. If there are extenuating circumstances affecting class attendance and the maximum number of absences permitted, the student must discuss this in person with the instructor immediately. A student exceeding the maximum number of medical absences permitted in one term may receive a medical drop through the Physical Education Department. Call 255-4286 to make an appointment.
2. If a student enrolls in a PE course after the first meeting, the student must count those absences as part of the allotted absences for that class. If a student enrolled in and attended a PE class and then transferred to another class in the same semester, the previously attended classes shall transfer to the new class. top
Graduate students are allowed to register for Physical Education classes in the same way as undergraduates. In some cases (e.g. beginning swimming), undergraduate students will be given priority in registering for classes so that their physical education requirement can be fulfilled. In these cases, graduate students will not be allowed to pre-register for the class during the pre-registration period in the preceding semester. Graduate students will be allowed to register once the add/drop period for the semester begins. top
Greek Peak Skiing
Students enrolled for credit in the Greek Peak ski program will be permitted to make up only one absence; six attendances are required to receive credit for the program. The allowable absence must have been made up by the program's ending date. top
of Requirements Transfer
Students Swimming Requirement
Course Fees Credit Absences Elective Enrollment HOME