Physical Education Requirement

Students are required to complete 2 credits of physical education (Phys Ed) during their first year. Students may not take two Phys Ed classes in the same semester for credit without approval by Phys Ed; however, the same Phys Ed course (with the exception of marching band) may be taken for credit two semesters in a row. It is the student’s responsibility to sign up for Phys Ed classes during university registration periods. Be sure to check add/drop deadlines for Phys Ed classes, which often are different from the normal university course add/drop deadlines.

Transfer students who have completed two or more terms of full-time study elsewhere, regardless of whether those terms included Phys Ed courses, do not need to take Phys Ed or complete the swim test at Cornell. Transfer students who completed only one term elsewhere must take one term of Phys Ed, and complete the swim test at Cornell.

For further information regarding Cornell Physical Education and requirements, please visit

Note: The credits of Phys Ed are not included in the 120-credit graduation requirement or in the minimum 12-credits-per-semester requirement.