Policies & FAQs

Physical Education Policies and FAQ

Physical Education Requirement

To complete the College degree requirement in physical education, a student must earn at least eight (8) physical education credits through physical education classes, varsity athletics, or Club Sports. These credits do not count as academic units toward the degree, but are required for graduation. Students are strongly urged to fulfill the requirement by the end of the sophomore year.

Fulfilling the Requirement

Most students fulfill the PE requirement by taking two or more physical education classes. Students may also earn PE credits for participation on one or more of Wellesley’s 13 varsity athletic teams or for participation in a department-approved, College-sponsored club team. Qualified students may also earn physical education credit for pre-approved independent study programs. 

No student is exempt from the physical education requirement. If a student has a temporary or permanent medical restriction, the student may work with PERA and Health Services to arrange an activity program to serve the student’s individual needs.

Incoming transfer students are awarded partial credit toward the physical education requirement dependent upon year and semester of admission. Students admitted as sophomores will be expected to complete four credits at Wellesley. Students admitted as juniors or as Davis Scholars will be considered as having completed the degree requirement.

A. Physical Education Classes (maximum credit: unlimited)

Physical education activity classes are scheduled either for a semester or a term. Semester courses are worth four credits. Term courses are worth two.

All classes are graded on a credit/non-credit basis:

  • MCR—Credit for course completed satisfactorily.

  • MNCR—No credit for course not completed satisfactorily. Inadequate familiarity with the content of the course or excessive absence may result in an MNCR grade.

Students may take a given physical education class only once for credit. Students are encouraged to enroll in physical education classes after they complete the PE requirement to support their own individual fitness and wellness.

B. Varsity Athletics (maximum credit: unlimited)

The intercollegiate varsity program offers 13 sports for which a student may earn PE credit. Enrollment and eligibility for earning credits for intercollegiate varsity athletics is limited to those students who are selected to the team by the head coach. Notices of organizational meetings and tryouts for these teams are distributed each year by head coaches.

C. PERA-Sponsored Recreation Programs (maximum credit: unlimited)

PERA sponsors eight club sports for which a student may earn up to eight PE credits. 




Students are allowed to miss a maximum of two class meetings in a term course and three class meetings in a semester course.

Repeating Courses

Courses may be taken only once for credit. Students who have already received credit for the semester version of a given class (e.g., Semester Pilates) are not eligible to receive credit for its term version (Term Pilates). However, students who have already earned credit for the term version of a class are eligible to receive credit for its semester version.


If a student drops from a PE course prior to the drop deadline, the course is expunged from the student's record. If the student drops after the drop deadline, the course will remain in the student's Workday record and be tagged as "Withdrawn". Note, however, that PE courses are not included in official transcripts.

Medical Restrictions

Students with medical restrictions must meet with the College Health Services Staff to be placed on the Department’s Medical Restrictions List. Assistance in choosing appropriate courses is available from the Department Health Services Liaison. In cases where appropriate activities are not available in the curriculum, a Modified Independent Program may be arranged individually through the Physical Education Liaison. No student is exempt from the physical education requirement.


Physical Education FAQ

How many PE credits does the College require?

The College requires eight PE credits. Semester classes are worth four credits; term classes are worth two. Students may also earn PE credit for varsity athletics, club sports and pre-approved instructional independent study.

Will PE courses appear in my academic schedule in Workday? Will they appear on my transcript or affect my GPA?

Yes, No, and No. Your PE courses will appear in your academic history in Workday, along side your academic classes. But the only PE-related information that will appear in your degree audit or on your transcript is an indication that you fulfilled the PE graduation requirement.

When do I register for physical education courses?

Visit the Registrar's Page for registration dates and times. 

How do I add or drop a physical education class?

To join or drop class during the PE add/drop period, use the registration and drop buttons in Workday. If no seats are available when you attempt to register, you will be added to the Workday waitlist. If a seat becomes available, Workday will offer you a seat. After the drop deadline, you may use the withdraw button in Workday to withdraw from the course. 

How can I find out what physical education courses are offered and when they meet?

You will find course descriptions and scheduling information for PE classes in the course browser.

May I take more than one PE course per semester/term?

Yes, students may take more than one PE course per semester.