Skip to Navigation
  • Alumni
  • Parents & Families
  • Business & Community
  • On Campus Visitors
  • Lock icon Inside Davidson
    Davidson College
  Jul 25, 2017
Skip Navigation

Physical Education

Return to: Academic Departments and Interdisciplinary Minors

Athletic Director: Jim Murphy
Director of Physical Education and Recreation: Sandor Helfgott

Graduation Requirements

The college maintains a physical education requirement for graduation; however, the program carries no academic credit.  A total of four courses are required: Davidson 101 (required of all students, including transfers, during their first semester at Davidson); Two (2) Lifetime Activity credits (2**, 3**, and 5** level courses) and one team sport credit (PE 4**).  The Davidson 101 requirement must be completed in the first semester of the first year at Davidson.  Students are encouraged, but not required to complete the physical education requirement by the end of their sophomore year. 

Effective August 2011, students are not required to take a beginning swimming class in order to complete their Physical Education requirement. Students that wish to take an aquatics PE course will need to demonstrate swimming proficiency as will students that plan to compete as members of the following club teams: Crew, Sailing, and Water Polo.

The Director of Physical Education certifies completion of requirements in Physical Education. Upon completion of all Physical Education requirements, the following transcript notation is entered: “PE Requirements Completed.”

Davidson 101

Required of all first-year and transfer students during the first semester at Davidson.

A twelve-hour course offered in the fall of each year.  Students who do not complete all of the required core hours in their first year will be required to repeat the entire course their sophomore year.  The core topics consist of: Alcohol and Drugs (3 hr. online course); Career Services; Diversity - The Multicultural Campus; Library Information Literacy; Realizing Your Risk; Sexuality; and Student Counseling Center.

Lifetime Activity Requirement

Two courses required. Students enrolled for credit are required to attend 90% of the class sessions. Each absence exceeding the allowed number must be made up. 

While students are encouraged to continue with a subject or activity they enjoy, a class may be taken only one time for credit

200-level courses are designed to provide a foundation for a healthy, physically active lifestyle helping students to find a balance between work and recreation.

300-level courses are aquatics courses designed to fulfill a lifetime requirement upon successful completion of a swim evaluation.

500-level courses are offered in partnership with Davidson Outdoors. Note: not all Davidson Outdoors’ activities meet the PED Lifetime Credit criteria; please verify compliance before taking a course for credit.

Varsity Athletes: Effective July 2013, students who complete four years as a varsity athlete will be awarded two lifetime credits and their team sport credit. Athletes that compete for less than four years will receive one lifetime and one team credit and are responsible for completing the second lifetime credit.


Team Sport Requirement

One credit required.

Students can fulfill their team sport requirement through varsity athletics, club sport, or intramural participation. Varsity athletes must be listed on the team’s official roster, while club sport and intramural athletes are required to participate in 75% of the scheduled games and/or practices.

For specific information on sport offerings contact the Director of Clubs and Intramurals.

Additional Information Regarding Physical Education Requirements

Independent Study Programs

Independent Study Physical Education supports students who choose to engage in an activity/course that Davidson’s Department of Physical Education does not offer and/or is a class or activity that is performed during the summer or while a student is studying abroad. The IS opportunity does not include activities that students engage in as a part of a regular lifestyle or fitness routine. A self-paced work-out proposal will not be accepted. Classes must be instructor based with documentation of participation. The goal of the IS option is to enhance the current physical education curriculum by encouraging students to learn an activity that is not offered as part of the curriculum or accommodate a special circumstance. Students may earn up to 2 PE credits total for an independent study project. Prior to the start of the IS project the student must complete an IS proposal request to the Director of Physical Education and Recreation for approval. Appropriate documentation is required for credit to be awarded. Credit will not be awarded retroactively.

Varsity Athletes

Students who complete four years as a varsity athlete will be awarded two lifetime credits and their team sport credit. Athletes that compete for less than four years will receive one lifetime and one team credit and are responsible for completing the second lifetime credit.

Students with Special Needs

Students with special needs are welcomed by the Department of Physical Education and Recreation. Students with special needs who plan to enroll in a PE class should notify the Director of Physical Education prior to the time of registration, and if necessary, request special assistance.

Return to: Academic Departments and Interdisciplinary Minors