The Requirement

Fulfilling the Requirement
Grading and Attendance Policy
Students with Disabilities

Fulfilling the Requirement

One Physical Education course is required and must be completed by the end of the First Year. One point will be earned for this one course. Students in the Barnard/JTS dual program must complete one Physical Education course by the end of the Junior Year.  One additional point of elective Physical Education may be counted towards the 122 points required for graduation. Transfer students must complete one semester of Physical Education by the end of the Junior Year and are not eligible for the second point of credit.  One-point studio courses in the Dance Department also fulfill the Physical Education requirement.

Students may take a dance technique course to fulfill the Physical Education requirement. Interested students should consult the Dance Department as registration procedures differ per class. Spaces are not always assured.

The Physical Education requirement may be fulfilled through satisfactory participation on an intercollegiate athletic team (including the cheerleading and dance teams). A student participating on an intercollegiate team must put the team course number on her program whether or not she is taking it for fulfillment of the Physical Education requirement. Students interested in participating on intercollegiate teams should contact the Dean of Studies for information. In general, it is difficult to "walk on" to teams.  

Grading and Attendance Policy

GRADING: Grading in Physical Education courses is based on attendance and participation. The attendance policy applies to all students enrolled in a course whether required or optional. Failure to adhere to the attendance policy will result in a grade of F.


  • To be counted as present at a class meeting, a student is required to participate fully in all exercises and activities of the class during that meeting.
  • Each student is allows six (6) absences without penalty. These include absences for illness and any other reason, including religious absences.
  • A student is considered late up to 5 minutes after the scheduled starting time. No one will be admitted thereafter.
  • It is the student's responsibility to keep track of personal class attendance.
  • In order to participate in a course, students must be officially registered through eBear.

ELECTIVES: If space is available, a student may enroll in a course after completing the one semester Physical Education requirement. These elective students will receive one point of credit for their second course. Subsequent Physical Education courses may be taken for zero point credit as an optional course. Transfer students may only receive one point of Physical Education credit. Only one Physical Education course may be taken per semester (required, elective or optional).

DEFERMENTS: Deferments are given to students with compelling medical or academic circumstances. Once a deferment is granted, students must adhere to its time frame to avoid penalties. Contact the Department Chair for more information.

Students with Disabilities

Both disabled and non-disabled students at Barnard are expected to complete the one semester physical education requirement by the end of the first year. As stated in the Barnard Catalogue, "students with permanent or temporary disabilities will be individually advised and placed in a suitable activity, based upon the recommendations of the Director of Health Services or Disability Services."

Prior to Physical Education course registration, students with disabilities are encouraged to discuss their needs with the Director of the Office of Disability Services or Chair of the Physical Education Department. Priority registration may be offered on a case-by-case basis to students who need to enroll in a particular class for disability-related reasons.

All students with disabilities should self-identify to their Physical Education instructors during the first week of class and discuss any disability-related needs they may have. Please remember to complete in full the Physical Education Health Questionnaire, and to register with ODS is you have not previously done so. You may also want to consult with your private clinician and/or a clinician from the Student Health Service regarding your particular situation.

All Barnard students are expected to follow the Physical Education Department attendance and lateness policy, including the maximum of six absences per term. If you anticipate needing more than six absences, it may be wise to discuss the possibility of a deferral of your Physical Education class until the following semester with the Chair of the Physical Education Department. In addition, if you reach several absences early in the term and feel you may be unable to complete the class, please speak to your instructor and keep him/her informed of your situation.