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Physical Education

At Swarthmore College, students are encouraged to take advantage of the various instructional and recreational activities offered by the department. To graduate, nonveteran students must complete 4 units of physical education unless exempt for medical reasons. It is recommended they complete at least 2 units by the end of their sophomore year. All students must pass a survival swim test or complete one-quarter of aquatics instruction. The course schedule for physical education can be found on this webpage through the Registrar's Office.

Exemptions for Transfer Students - Transfer students can either apply transfer physical education units toward the 4-unit physical education requirement or opt for a reduction in the requirement based on the student’s transfer status, but transfer students cannot both transfer PE units and receive a reduction in the requirement. The optional reduction in units depends on the transfer class of the student. Transfer students who enter Swarthmore as sophomores can opt to complete 3 units of physical education and pass a survival swim test (a reduction of 1 unit). Transfer students who enter Swarthmore as juniors can opt to complete 2 units of physical education and pass a survival swim test (a reduction of 2 units).

The Intercollegiate Athletics Program is comprehensive, including varsity with teams in 22 different sports: 10 for men and 12 for women. Swarthmore College intercollegiate athletic team members are eligible to earn 2 PE units per traditional season of competition as awarded by the Head Coach. PE credit is awarded after the completion of the traditional season. No PE credit is awarded for non-traditional seasons, ie. spring soccer.

At Swarthmore, there are numerous chances for students to engage in various sports at a competitive level via club sports. These sports are managed by student-run organizations that share a common interest in a particular activity for competitive, recreational, or instructional purposes. By participating in club sports, students can earn up to 2 PHED units. If you're interested, you can visit the Club Sports web page by clicking here. If you have any inquiries about the Club Sports Program, please contact Max Miller, Assistant Athletic Director for Recreation, Wellness, & Physical Education.