Bryn Mawr's Physical Education curriculum is designed to provide opportunities to develop lifelong habits that will enhance the quality of life. From organized sport instruction, to dance, lifetime sport skills, and a wellness curriculum, the Department provides a breadth of programming to meet the needs of the undergraduate student. The physical education and dance curriculums offer more than 50 courses in a variety of disciplines and ability levels.

Registration - Students register for physical education courses during the first week of classes of each semester.

PE Requirements for 2015/2016/2017


McBride and Transfer Students


Physical Education Requirement for Class of 2015, 2016 and 2017

Core Requirements – Core Requirements are mandatory for all students matriculating at Bryn Mawr College. The Core Requirements at Bryn Mawr College are designed to cover a variety of topics and to develop a certain level of skills for all students during their Freshmen year at Bryn Mawr College.

1. Swim Proficiency Requirement (1 Credit)
a. Pass the swim
b. Take 1 Beginner Class (if test cannot be passed)

2. Wellness Class (2 Credits)
Students must complete the Wellness Class during their first semester of Freshmen year at Bryn Mawr College. If an exceptional situation prevents a student from completing Wellness in her freshmen year she must complete the course in its entirety during the sophomore year.

Core Requirements Credit Total: 3 Credits

General Electives – Students are required to accrue a minimum of 3 credits through General Elective opportunities. Students are encouraged to explore a wide variety of opportunities available to them in the completion of the General Elective requirement.

1. PE Classes (1-2 Credits)
Credits determined by the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation

2. Dance Classes (Credit Varies)
Dance classes may be used for academic or Physical Education credit but not both. Classes are awarded PE credit on a quarter or semester basis.

3. Bi-Co/Tri-Co PE Classes (Credit Varies)

4. Varsity Athletics and Club Sports (combined max 2 credits/year)
a. Varsity Athletics - Maximum of 2 Credits/Year
b. Club Sports - Maximum of 1 Credit/Year

A student may only earn 2 credits in a single academic year from the combined category of Varsity Athletics and Club Sports if she has competed in a Varsity Sport. Also, No student may earn more than 2 credits in single academic year from the combined category of Varsity Athletics and Club Sports, no matter how many different programs she participates.

5. Independent Study - must be preapproved (max 2 credits)
As an undergraduate a student may earn a maximum of 2 credits through the completion of Independent Study.                                               

6. Special Offerings (Credit Varies)
Condensed department sponsored recreational classes that fall outside of traditional academic time blocks (i.e. Wilderness First Aid, Lifeguard Certification, RAD).

General Requirement Credit Total:  3 Credits


General Policies and Procedures

  • Bryn Mawr College recognizes that the Physical Education requirement is essential to a student’s introduction to health and well-being at the College. As such, students are expected to complete the Physical Education Core Requirements during their freshmen year and complete all Physical Education requirements by Spring Break of their sophomore year.
  • Students, who do not complete their Physical Education requirement by the Thursday prior to spring break, will be relegated to a last place room draw until their PE requirements are met. Students are permitted to submit a petition to the Physical Education department showing they have made sufficient progress towards completing the requirement. The petition must show completion of the core requirements, and that they are on pace to complete six Physical Education credits by the end of the sophomore year.
  • Students planning on going abroad their junior year (fall, spring or full year) must complete the Physical Education requirement by the abroad deadline of February 10. Failure to fulfill the Physical Education requirement by this date may affect eligibility for study abroad. Those students enrolled in Physical Education class second semester of their sophomore year may submit a petition by the deadline, showing that they are on pace to complete the Physical Education requirement by the end of the year.
  • All petitions must be submitted to the Athletic Department by the Thursday prior to Spring break.

Physical Education Requirements for McBride and Transfer Students

  • McBride Students are not required to take Wellness. Any introduction to the college, if deemed appropriate, will be handled by the college and not considered part of the PE requirement.
  • McBrides entering with freshman or sophomore status will be treated as sophomore transfer students (see below) for the purpose of the determining their PE requirements.
  • McBrides entering with junior status will be treated as junior transfer students (see below) for the purpose of determining their PE requirements.

Transfer Students Students entering as juniors: (2 credits)

  • Will be expected to fulfill the swim requirement during their junior year - 1 Credit
  • Will be expected to fulfill 1 Credit of PE General Elective - 1 Credit

Students entering as sophomores: (4 credits)

  • Will be expected to fulfill the swim proficiency requirement - 1 Credit
  • Will be expected to fulfill a minimum of 3 credits of PE General Elective - 3 Credits

Physical Education Requirement for Students with Disabilities/Significant Chronic Medical Conditions

Students with diagnosed disabilities/significant chronic medical conditions that limit their participation in Physical Education are advised to complete as many PE credits as possible through courses such as Freshmen Wellness, AHA or ARC CPR/AED/First Aid, Personal Finance, and/or pre-approved Independent Study options. In addition, students are encouraged to work with PE faculty and their physicians to explore whether there may be modifications to other PE courses that would enable them to participate safely.  If it is not possible for students to complete the required credits with appropriate coursework, they may request modification of the requirement.

To request modification of the Physical Education requirement, including swimming, students should contact the Coordinator of Access Services and submit the required documentation as early as possible.  The documentation must be a written report of an evaluation by an appropriate professional (i.e., medical doctor, physical therapist) relating the current impact of the condition to the request for modification of the PE requirement.  At a minimum, information about the following must be included:

  • Nature and severity of the condition and date of the most recent evaluation
  • Diagnostic tests (if any), methods, and criteria used to make the diagnosis
  • Current manifestations of the condition that cause significant limitations to participation in Physical Education including swimming if necessary
  • The expected duration or progression of the condition
  • Recommendations for reasonable modifications related to the Physical Education requirement

Students who receive a medical exemption from the swim test are required to take AHA or ARC CPR/AED/First Aid to fulfill the requirement, if possible based on the impact of the disability.  This course is available through the Bryn Mawr College Physical Education department, or the student may complete the course at her own expense through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.

Students should note that only CPR/AED/First Aid courses offered by ARC, AHA, or through the Bryn Mawr College Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation will be considered for Physical Education credit..