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.
Description - 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.
Graduation Requirement - Undergraduates must complete eight units/credits of physical education, successfully pass the swim proficiency and complete the wellness seminar. To meet the College degree requirement students are urged to complete the credits by the end of their junior year. These credits do not count as academic credits toward the degree, but are required for graduation. Credit is awarded for successfully completing courses offered in the physical education curriculum, intercollegiate participation or by meeting a specified standard of participation in a club sport. Students may also earn up to two credits for a pre-approved independent study. Students may enroll in courses offered at Bryn Mawr, Haverford or Swarthmore College. Physical Education courses completed at another institution are eligible providing the student submits written verification contained in either a transcript or letter from the Department Chair.
- 8 credits total
- Pass swim proficiency requirement - 1 credit if completed before the completion of the junior year
- Complete Wellness Seminar (2 credits)
Wellness Seminar - The Department of Physical Education in conjunction with Health Services, Student Life and the Dean’s Office offers an eight week Wellness Seminar that focuses on a variety of issues confronting college women. The course is mandatory for all first year students and fulfills two physical education credits. The topics are generally not part of any academic discipline or lend easily in a Customs Group meeting. The Wellness curriculum is designed to be relevant, interesting and provide a base of knowledge that will encourage students to think about their well being as an important partner to their academic life. Download syllabus
Swim Proficiency Requirement - All members of the Class of 2013, 2014 are required to complete this requirement by the end of their junior year. There are three options:
- Earn one P.E. credit for completion of the swim test which includes: 10-minute continuous swim in the 25-yard pool showing proficiency in one or more strokes, 1-minute treading water in deep end and 1-minute floating on back in deep end, OR
- Earn one P.E. credit for completion of a beginners’ swimming class (one quarter class) and complete swim test, OR
- Earn two P.E. credits for completion of two beginners’ swimming classes (one quarter classes).
Physical Education Classes - The College offers a broad curriculum in physical education. The instructional offerings include sport classes, fitness and recreational activities, dance, swimming and life skill programs. For a detailed description of classes offered click here.
Intercollegiate Athletics - Members of Bryn Mawr College intercollegiate athletic teams are eligible to earn physical education credit towards completing the eight-credit requirement. Each Head Coach distributes notices of organizational meetings and subsequent tryouts each year. Only students selected to the team by the Head Coach are eligible for physical education credit. Click here for the athletic teams
Club Sport Credit - PE credit may be awarded for Club Sport participation. Clubs must register annually with the Jill Breslin, Club Sport Coordinator. Club organizers will be responsible for articulating guidelines and requirements and providing a list each semester of students awarded PE credit. Click here for club sports
Independent Study (IS) - Independent Study Physical Education supports students who choose to engage in an activity/course that Bryn Mawr’s Department of Athletics and Physical Education does not offer and/or is a class or activity that is performed during the summer or while a student is studying abroad. The IS opportunity does not include activities that students engage in as a part of a regular lifestyle or fitness routine. A self-paced work-out proposal will not be accepted. Classes must be instructor based with documentation of participation. The goal of the IS option is to enhance the current physical education curriculum by encouraging students to learn an activity that is not offered as part of the curriculum or accommodate a special circumstance. Students may earn up to 2 PE credits total for an independent study project. Prior to the start of the IS project the student must complete an IS proposal request to Deb Charamella for approval. Appropriate documentation is required for credit to be awarded. More information for IS and/or application
Registration - Students register for physical education courses during the first week of classes of each semester. Visit the Course Description page.
Grades and Attendance
- Attendance in one of the first two classes in mandatory. If a student misses both of these classes, she will not be admitted into the class.
- Each student is expected to wear proper attire when participating in physical education classes, including, but not limited to the following: sneakers, socks, proper athletic shorts/pants and proper athletic tops.
- Semester long class: Each student is expected to actively participate in class. To earn credit a student is permitted no more than 4 missed classes. No partial credit is given for PE classes.
- Quarter long class: Each student is expected to actively participate in all classes. To earn credit a student is permitted no more than 2 missed classes.
- Making-up Missed Classes: The student must make-up any missed classes by the end of the period (either quarter or semester). Make-ups can be completed in two ways: the instructor holds one make-up class at the end of the period or the instructor gives the student an assignment in order to complete the class. A student may not substitute one activity class for another activity class in order to make-up the incomplete. Fit Club classes do not qualify for a makeup.
- Pass: A student successfully completes the class if she actively participates in the required number of classes required. Generally, 10 classes are required for a quarter course and 20 classes for a semester course. Specific requires will be communicated by the course instructor.
- No Credit: A student will receive a grade of “No Credit” on the day that she has missed her 4th class during a quarter class or her 6 th class during a semester class. Please refer to class syllabus.
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
a. Pass the swim
b. Take 1 Beginner Class (if test cannot be passed)
2. Wellness Class (2
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
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
TOTAL CREDITS TO FULFILL PHYSICAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS: 6 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.
- 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..