In keeping with Juvenal’s classic ideal mens sana in corpore sano—or, a sound mind in a sound body—a PE requirement is integrated into the Reed curriculum. The PE requirement is designed to support students in maintaining their physical health, to introduce students to physical education activities, to encourage them to participate regularly, and to encourage them to participate with their peers whenever possible. Student enjoyment, fitness, and skill learning are emphasized; competition is not.
Classes that satisfy the PE requirement may be offered at a variety of levels depending on enrollment and student ability, and are presented in an atmosphere of fun and relaxation. In addition, Reed has organized club sports teams that qualify for PE credit and will challenge students who want competition outside the college in sports such as basketball, rugby, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, fencing, and squash.
Classes are normally held twice a week for one hour. Attendance is required. Please refer to the schedule of classes for more details and information on class fees and trip dates. Classes usually offered (based on interest and time of year):
- backcountry navigation
- bike clinic
- Afro-Brazilian dance*
- folk dance: classical Greek to modern Israeli
- hip hop*
- first aid/CPR/AED
- intro to outdoor activities
- lifeguard training
- lower body and abs
- outdoor leadership skills
- raft, sea kayak, and canoe
- rock climbing
- route-setting indoor climbing skills
- running club
- self-defense theory & fitness
- strength training
- tai chi
- ultimate Frisbee
- weight room confidence
- white-water kayaking
*Some dance classes may be taken for either academic credit (listed in the course schedule under Dance) or physical education credit (listed in the course schedule under Physical Education). Students may not enroll in the same class for both academic and physical education credit. Students registering for physical education credit must enroll for both quarters (the full semester).
PE is administered as a minimal requirement—a student must receive credit for six quarters of physical education over three semesters while enrolled at Reed. Students may receive two of the six credits a) from self-directed classes (independent climbing, meditation, off-campus PE, running club, or swim fitness); or b) by completing community engagement activities (students must register after securing permission from the SEEDS staff). The remaining four credits must be completed in instructional classes. Students are encouraged to complete the physical education requirement during their first two years. Students must secure the approval of the director of athletics, fitness, and outdoor programs before enrolling in off-campus PE. Some courses have an additional fee for use of outside facilities.
Although a student may take more than one class per quarter, students will receive credit for only one class each quarter. Physical education classes must be completed during the Reed academic year. Summer school classes and courses completed while on a leave of absence are not transferable. Physical education credit will not be granted for classes completed outside of the athletics, fitness, and outdoor programs department without prior written approval from the program director.