Selecting Courses

All waitlisted students are encouraged to attend the first class session to determine if there is space available in the class. Registered students and waitlist students who do not show for the first class will be dropped from the class list. Some courses (pilates, yoga, tia chi, fencing) have fees so that we can offer a wider range of activities for students, including those our faculty do not have expertise in. Classes taught by qualified people who are not on our faculty have a fee.

Your first class

  • What to wear: At the beginning of each semester, all physical education classes meet for the first class in the gymnasium. During this first meeting, instructors will inform students of all class policies and proper dress, equipment, etc. Students do not need to dress for activity for this class. For all six-week physical education classes that begin mid-semester, students are expected to dress appropriately and come ready to participate in the first class session.
  • Lockers: Most students do not need lockers in Kendall as most students come dressed for class or bring their activity gear with them to class. For those students who want a locker, contact the Kendall front desk worker after the first week of classes.

Grading and Credits

  • All physical education classes are graded pass/fail based on attendance and active participation in the class. You are allowed four absences, of which two must be made up for full semester courses. For half-semester courses, two absences are allowed and one must be made up. 
  • You have to be enrolled in a physical education class at Mount Holyoke or another similar college or university for a physical education credit. 
  • You cannot receive 1 PE credit for half of a semester class.
  • At Mount Holyoke, students must take at least 4 PE units in order to graduate; but may take even more.
  • Most PE courses meet two hours a week for one semester, for 2 PE units. Some meet for half a semester, for 1 PE unit. 
  • Fees are indicated where required. Students who do not feel safe in deep water are encouraged to take a beginning level swim course.

First-Year Students

First-year students may consider enrolling in any 100 level course or above if qualified. Courses include canoeing, golf, hiking, self-defense, squash, swimming, table tennis, tennis, riding, ultimate frisbee, and weight training to name a few.

See the Physical Education chapter of the course catalog for more information.

All students who are interested in trying out for an athletic team should contact the coach directly. Students should realize that there will be tryouts and selection at the beginning of each sports season. All teams practice five days per week. Practices are generally held 4:30-6:30 pm Monday through Thursday and 3:30-5:30 pm Friday. If you have not yet been in contact with the fall sports coach, please do so as soon as possible because you must be invited to preseason training by the coach. Preseason begins the end of August for fall sports.

PE 195 Outside Instructional Study

In special cases, students may request permission to take courses off campus to meet the physical education requirement. These cases will be considered on an individual basis and require prior approval from the Coordinator of Physical Education. There is no guarantee that off-campus courses will be approved.

Students seeking approval must provide the following materials to the Coordinator of Physical Education: class syllabus (including course description), class schedule, and attendance policy. When such cases are considered, the following policies will be in effect.

  • Students must complete a minimum of 2 physical education units at MHC.
  • With prior approval from the Coordinator of Physical Education, students may take up to 4 physical education units from an approved program of study at one of the institutions in the Five College Consortium.
  • With prior approval from the Coordinator of Physical Education, students may take up to 2 physical education units from an approved program of study at another college or university