The University has two requirements for graduation that must be fulfilled by all undergraduate students: the swim test, and physical education courses. A student’s college determines degree requirements such as residency, number of credits, distribution of credits, and grade averages. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the specific major, degree, distribution, college, and graduation requirements for completing his or her chosen program of study. See the individual requirements listed by each college or school or contact the college registrar’s office for more information. For additional information about fulfilling University Graduation Requirements, see the Physical Education website.
*Notice regarding PE Swim Test Requirement for Academic Year 2020-2021:
- In light of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding re-opening of the Ithaca campus:
- Seniors planning to graduate in December 2020 or May 2021 will have their swim test requirement waived; if the swim test requirement for this specific portion of the student body has not already been completed, it will not be required.
- Further, students entering their first year in either the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 term will not have to pay the swim-test fee to take their test at a later date.
All incoming freshmen are required to take two credits (two courses) of Physical Education, one credit each semester of the first year on campus. Exemptions may be made for medical reasons, special circumstances, or by virtue of advanced standing on admission. Transfer students are not held to the Physical Education requirement. Credit in Physical Education may be earned by participating in courses offered by the Department of Athletics and Physical Education , by being a registered participant on an intercollegiate athletic team, or performing in the marching band.
To request a postponement or waiver of the Physical Education requirement, students should see the director or associate director of Physical Education. Students with medical concerns should contact the Office of Student Disability Services. Questionable or unusual cases may be resolved by petition to the Faculty Advisory Committee on Athletics and Physical Education.
The Faculty Advisory Committee on Athletics and Physical Education has established a basic swimming and water safety competency requirement for all entering first-year undergraduate students. Transfer students are not held to this requirement. Normally, the test is given at the Helen Newman Hall and Teagle Hall pools as part of their orientation process. The test consists of a feet-first entry into the deep end of the pool and a continuous 75-yard swim using any stroke or strokes of the student’s choice. Any student who cannot pass the swim test is required to register for PE 1100 - Beginning Swimming as his or her physical education course before electives can be chosen. Any student that does not complete their swim test during their freshman year will have to pay a $100 test fee.
A swim test hold will be placed on the student’s record until he or she has passed the swim test or fulfilled the requirement by satisfactorily completing two beginning swim classes (based on attendance requirements) and having the recommendation of the instructor. Students unable to meet the swim requirement because of medical reasons should contact the Office of Student Disability Services. Students who have religious or other reasons must petition the Faculty Advisory Committee on Athletics and Physical Education for a waiver of the requirement. When a waiver is granted by the Faculty Committee on Physical Education, an alternate requirement is imposed. The alternate requirement substitutes the following courses: PE 1400 - Body-Mind or PE 1626 - Wilderness First Responder for the original swimming requirement.