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Everyone must pass two Physical Education (PE) courses to get a Cornell degree, so taking one in your first semester here and one in your second is a great idea. Many students take more than two PE courses! You must also pass a swim test, which you should try to do during Orientation. If you can't pass the swim test, then your first PE course must be beginning swimming.
The PE department offers more than 100 different courses from which to choose. However, PE courses are NOT academic credits and therefore don't count toward the minimum of 12 academic credits required for good standing. Don't be fooled!
Check here for the most up-to-date information on swim tests scheduled for Orientation and fall 2017.
I took a geocaching class, in which several other students and I hiked through the Upstate New York countryside, looking for buried treasure with our phones' GPS. It was a very fun class, and I recommend taking it. - Omar Alam, '17
I enjoyed beginning swimming. Not only was I able to pass my swim test, but I actually learned the basics in swimming enough to be able to swim with my friends last summer. - Tamara Heath, '17
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I add a PE course to my schedule?
Physical Education courses can be added during pre-enrollment, at the same time that you add any other courses to your schedule.
Do varsity athletes need to fulfill the PE requirement?
Participation in a varsity sport can fulfill the PE requirement. Consult your coach for details.