Dartmouth has a PE requirement?
Beginning with the class of 2026, Dartmouth students have a graduation requirement of three physical education and/or wellness courses to be taken throughout their Dartmouth career.
There are a variety of ways that students can complete this requirement. Club sports - such as figure skating or cheer, for instance - count for credit. Around 75% of Dartmouth students participate in sports, whether varsity, intramural, or club. Thus, earning PE credit for a club sport is a really popular way to complete the requirement!
For other, less-athletic students like myself, Dartmouth offers a variety of classes each term. During my first-year winter, I took a downhill skiing course, where I got to practice right at the Dartmouth Skiway (~30 minutes away from campus). I woke up early every Sunday to trek to the bus and practice at the skiway! Never having skied before, I was incredibly nervous, but by the end of my seven classes, I could confidently ski down the bunny hills without falling down. My classes were taught by student instructors and supervised by Dartmouth snowsports supervisors. I found the entire experience to be very positive and rewarding, particularly because I was learning a brand-new skill and using different muscles than I was used to!
Skiing fulfilled one PE requirement. My second credit was from my first-year spring, where I actually earned credit from my dance group, Ujima Dance Troupe (or, more colloquially: Uji). The Dartmouth website for physical education & recreation states that Dartmouth's many dance groups count for PE credit! At the beginning of the term, I just had to indicate that I wanted PE credit for Uji. The only difference is that I had to be a little more on top of attendance and attend practices enough to earn credit, which makes sense since it was now categorized as a course rather than an extracurricular activity. I had an awesome term dancing with my friends and performing for the student body in our shows! (For more information on how much I adore Uji and the dance programs at Dartmouth, see this blog post documenting my love).
For my third and final credit, I decided to take another snowsports class, since I just couldn't get enough of the skiway and discounted ski pass prices. Currently, I am taking a beginner snowboarding class! So far, I've only been to a few classes, but I can confidently say that I am terrible - and that's okay! I have gained so many bruises on my legs from the constant falling, but I enjoy the process nonetheless. Some have equated snowboarding to surfing - which would make sense since I'm from Hawaiʻi, but I still don't know how to surf. Overall, I'm looking forward to the rest of my classes, mostly because they take place on sunny Friday afternoons instead of cold Sunday mornings.
Photos incoming…stay tuned.
If none of these options tickle your fancy, Dartmouth offers countless other options. Some of my friends have taken pilates, ballet, cardio conditioning, swimming, and spin classes for their PE requirements. The PE requirement is often overlooked and forgotten about, but I feel that it provides a great space for us students to take a break from the library grind and be active! Personally, I am so busy in my day-to-day life that I (regrettably) neglect going to the gym so attending my PE class every week gets me out and active, especially during winter.
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Read on to learn about the courses I'm taking this term.