Physical Education & Swim Requirement

Physical Education Requirement

All incoming first year students are required to take two credits (two courses) of Physical Education, one credit each semester of the first year on campus.  Registered participants in Cornell Athletics may receive PE credit. There are some exceptions for transfer students. All requests for accommodations to the Physical Education or Swim Requirement due to disability must be made through Student Disability Services.

Swim Requirement:

The University Faculty Committee on Physical Education has established a basic swimming competency requirement for all entering first year undergraduates. The requirement is normally taken as part of the Fall orientation process and is required to be completed in the student's first year. To meet the swim requirement, students must enter the deep end of the pool with a feet-first jump and make a continuous seventy-five-yard swim using a stroke or strokes of the student's choice. There is no required stroke or time limit. Any student who cannot pass the swim requirement is required to include Beginning Swimming in their program of physical education.

If a student does not pass the swim requirement in their first Beginning Swimming PE class, then the student must take a second Beginning Swimming PE class (1100 or 1101). Successful completion of two Beginning Swimming classes (based on attendance requirements) with the instructor's recommendation will fulfill the University's swim requirement.

How to meet the Swim Requirement for free:

1. Complete it during the Fall Orientation period or at any of the listed make-up days during the student's first year.

2. Pass it during a Beginning Swimming Physical Education course.