College Bulletin - Course Catalog 
    Dec 03, 2021  
College Bulletin - Course Catalog

Physical Education and Athletics



KAREN BORBEE, Professor, Interim Director of Athletics
VALERIE GÓMEZ, Associate Director of Athletics/Senior Woman Administrator
TOBIN ADAMS, Assistant Director of Athletics for Internal Operations
MAXWELL MILLER, Assistant Athletic Director for Recreation, Wellness, & Physical Education
JASON BOX, Head Coach/Instructor
TODD ANCKAITIS, Head Coach/Instructor
PETER CARROLL, Head Coach/Instructor
HARLEIGH CHWASTYK, Head Coach/Instructor
KARIN COLBY, Head Coach/Instructor
MELISSA FINLEY, Head Coach/Instructor
PAT GRESS, Head Coach/Instructor
HANNAH R. HARRIS, Head Coach/Instructor 
LANDRY KOSMALSKI, Head Coach/Instructor
JEREMY LOOMIS, Head Coach/Instructor
MATTHEW MIDKIFF, Head Coach/Instructor
CANDICE SIGNOR-BROWN, Head Coach/Instructor
ERIC WAGNER, Head Coach/Instructor
JIM HELLER, Head Coach (part time)
STEPHIE BERMAN, Administrative Coordinator


The aim of the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation is to contribute to the total education of all students through the medium of physical activity. We believe this contribution can best be achieved through encouraging participation in a broad program of individual and team sports, aquatics, physical fitness, and wellness. The program provides an opportunity for instruction and experience in a variety of activities on all levels. It is our hope that participation in this program will foster an understanding of movement and the pleasure of exercise and will enhance, by practice, qualities of good sportsmanship, leadership, and cooperation in team play. Students are also encouraged to develop skill and interest in a variety of activities that can be enjoyed after graduation.

The Intercollegiate Athletics Program is comprehensive, including varsity with teams in 22 different sports: 10 for men and 12 for women.

Ample opportunities exist for large numbers of students to engage in intercollegiate competition, and those who qualify may be encouraged to participate in regional and national championship contests. Several club teams in various sports are also organized, and a program of intramural activities is sponsored.

Requirements and Recommendations

The Physical Education (PE) Requirement:
Students are encouraged to enjoy the instructional and recreational opportunities offered by the department throughout their college careers. As a requirement for graduation, all nonveteran students, not excused for medical reasons, are required to complete 4 units of physical education by the end of their sophomore year. In addition, all students must pass a survival swim test or complete one-quarter of aquatics instruction. The course schedule for physical education can be found at this webpage through the Registrar’s Office

Click here for the registrar’s guide to the PE requirement

For information regarding the Physical Education program, please contact:
Max Miller
Assistant Athletic Director for Recreation, Wellness, & Physical Education
Office: (610) 690-6845

Physical Education (PHED or PE) courses:
The department offers a broad curriculum in physical education. The course offerings include sport classes, fitness and recreational activities, swimming and life skill programs. A detailed course description of the PE classes can be found here.

PE Dance courses:
The Dance Program offers a wide variety of technique courses in African, Ballet, Contact Improvisation, Flamenco, Kathak, Modern, Taiko, and Tap. Dance classes may be used for academic or PE credit, but not both. Classes are awarded PE credit on a semester basis.

Intercollegiate Athletics:
The Intercollegiate Athletics Program is comprehensive, including varsity with teams in 22 different sports: 10 for men and 12 for women. Members of Swarthmore College intercollegiate athletic teams are eligible to earn 2 PE units per traditional season of competition as awarded by the Head Coach. PE credit is awarded after the completion of the traditional season. No PE credit is awarded for non-traditional seasons, ie. spring soccer. Click here for the intercollegiate athletics teams.

Club Sports:
Swarthmore offers many opportunities for students to participate in a variety of sports at a competitive level through club sports. A club sport is a chartered student organization that is run by students who have a common interest in a particular activity for competitive, recreational, or instructional purposes. Team captains/club sport leaders are responsible for articulating guidelines and requirements as detailed in the club sports handbook, including petitioning for PE credit. Click here for Club Sports Handbook. All inquiries about the Club Sports Program should be directed to Max Miller, Assistant Athletic Director for Recreation, Wellness, & Physical Education. There will be no retroactive PE credit given for club sport participation. Seven groups currently maintain club sport status:

  • Men’s Badminton
  • Men’s/Women’s Fencing
  • Men’s/Women’s Rugby
  • Men’s/Women’s Ultimate Frisbee

Student Activity Groups (SAG):
A student activity group is a student-run organization supported by Student Government Organization and the Dean’s Office. Student activity group leaders are responsible for articulating guidelines and requirements, as directed by the Assistant Athletic Director for Recreation, Wellness, & Physical Education, to certify the group’s eligibility for PE credit. All inquiries about student activity groups and PE credit should be directed to the Assistant Athletic Director for Recreation, Wellness, & Physical Education. There will be no retroactive PE credit given for student activity group participation. The following chartered student activity groups are eligible for PE credit in an academic year:

  • Capoeira
  • Coed Outdoor Volleyball
  • Folk Dance
  • Men’s Soccer
  • Squash
  • Swing Dance
  • Tango
  • Wing Chun Self-Defense Club

Physical Education (PHED) courses are in the Course Schedule (under “P” for Physical Education) and PE Dance are in the Course Schedule (under “D” for Dance). You register for these like any other course. Note that the add/drop period for PHED courses is only the FIRST week of the semester. 

Each student is expected to regularly attend and actively participate in class as well as keep the instructor informed in matters related to attendance. Each student is expected to wear proper attire when participating in physical education classes, including, but not limited to the following: sneakers, socks, and proper athletic attire. 

“1” = 1 PE unit is awarded for a quarter course completed satisfactorily.
“2” = 2 PE units are awarded for semester course completed satisfactorily.
“0” = no PE units awarded; the student has exceeded maximum allowed absences.

Modification to the PE Requirement:
To request a modification of the PE requirement students should contact the Office of Student Disability Services ( and submit the required documentation as early as possible. Assistance in choosing appropriate courses is available and in cases where appropriate activities are not available in the curriculum, a modified program may be arranged individually through the PE Coordinator.

Independent Study
Independent study for physical education is not permitted.

Physical Education and Athletics Courses


  • Advanced Weight Lifting
  • Aerobic Fusion Fitness
  • Bowling
  • Cardio Tennis
  • Core Ball Training
  • Fitness Training
  • Swimming for Beginners
  • Swimming for Fitness
  • Swimming for Intermediates
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Intermediate Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Walk, Jog, Run
  • Wellness Seminar


  • Advanced Weight Training
  • Aerobic Fusion Fitness
  • Badminton
  • Bowling
  • Core Ball Training
  • Fitness Training
  • Pilates
  • Swimming for Beginners
  • Swimming for Fitness
  • Swimming for Intermediates
  • Tennis
  • Walk, Jog, Run
  • Wellness Seminar
  • Yoga

PE Dance Courses

These courses are offered through the Dance Department. See the Music and Dance: Dance  section of the course catalog and the Swarthmore College Schedule of Courses and Seminars for fall and spring PE dance course offerings.

Intercollegiate Athletics


  • Men’s Cross Country
  • Women’s Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • Men’s Soccer
  • Women’s Soccer
  • Women’s Volleyball


  • Badminton
  • Men’s Basketball
  • Women’s Basketball
  • Men’s Swimming
  • Women’s Swimming
  • Men’s Indoor Track
  • Women’s Indoor Track


  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Men’s Lacrosse
  • Women’s Lacrosse
  • Softball
  • Men’s Tennis
  • Women’s Tennis
  • Men’s Outdoor Track
  • Women’s Outdoor Track