Reed College Catalog

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):

archery rowing
backcountry navigation rugby
bike clinic running club
bouldering sailing
bowling self-defense theory & fitness
dance skiing
     ballet*      cross-country
     contemporary*      downhill
     folk dance: classical Greek to modern Israeli      Nordic
     hip hop*      snowboarding
     tango*      telemark
first aid/CPR/AED soccer
fly-fishing softball
hiking squash
intro to outdoor activities strength training
juggling swimming
kayaking      fitness
lifeguard training      instruction
lower body and abs tai chi
meditation ultimate Frisbee
outdoor leadership skills weight room confidence
Pilates white-water kayaking
raft, sea kayak, and canoe yoga
rock climbing Zumba
     indoor climbing skills


*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 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); b) by completing community engagement activities (students must register after securing permission from the SEEDS staff); or c) through experiential learning. The remaining four credits must be completed in instructional PE 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 PE class per quarter, students will receive PE credit for only one PE class, community engagement activity, or for experiential learning activity 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.