Do Local Colleges Require Gym Credits?

A recent study looks at the number of colleges that require gym classes and the affect of physical activity on education.


According to a recent study by Oregon State University, the number of colleges and universities that require physical education classes is at 39 percent, a historic low.

The study looked at data from 354 randomly selected four-year universities and colleges, beginning in the 1920s when 97 percent of institutions required physical education classes.

"Brain scans have shown that physical activity improves the area of the brain involved with high-level decision making,” said Brad Cardinal, lead author of the study. “In addition, we know employers often are concerned about employee health, in part because physically active employees attend work more and tend to perform better."

Do Philadelphia Colleges Require PE?

Chestnut Hill College requires all first year undergraduate students to complete two semesters of physical education classes and to pass a swim test. 

Bryn Mawr College requires undergraduates to complete eight credits of physical education, pass a swim proficiency test, and take a wellness seminar.

While the majority of Philadelphia area schools encourage their students to participate in sports and the many physical education electives they offer, they are not required for graduation. 

Villanova University, Drexel UniversityNeumann University, Rosemont College, and Saint Joseph's University are among the area institutions that do not have any physical education requirements. 

Do you think physical education classes should be a graduation requirement? Does your alma mater require PE? Let Patch know your thoughts in the comments below. 

ML February 07, 2013 at 09:17 PM
At my university, anyway, there was not dedicated PhysEd staff. Coaches and staff who were already employed by the university "taught" the classes...do other schools employ staff solely for the purpose of teaching PhysEd?
ML February 07, 2013 at 09:20 PM
I agree that college students should be able to make their own health and fitness decisions. However, I think PhysEd classes are a way to help some students socialize and get involved in ways they normally wouldn't. At my university, anyone who was on a sports team or some other active club did not have to take the classes, leaving the rest of the school's population who may have not been as involved in activities. Of course, there were plenty of involved students who didn't play sports, but I don't think that PhysEd classes are purely for health...
marion1 February 28, 2013 at 01:20 AM
Agree with James and ML that by college age, students should be "mature" enough to make their own healthy or unhealthy decisions. But there seems to be another theme of universal healthcare that everyone should be fit so they do not cost the rest of society in medical expenses....i do not subscribe to that thinking but we may see more PE requirements in the future to "teach" healthy choices in food and fitness (ala NYC big gulp, transfat ban).
PRECIOUS AGONSI April 03, 2013 at 09:42 AM
Well i may not know about the health and physical education activities of other schools, but @ my school, UNN, there are specific teachers with the sole responsibilities of trainings in HPE. To see more on this, visit http://unn.edu.ng/department/health-and-physical-education
IGBO-OBIAKOR NCHEBE April 17, 2013 at 09:27 AM
talk about health, well being and sports, the University of Nigeria has it all especially in the health and physical education department. for more feeds check out www.unn.edu.ng


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