We talk about the science departments, the liberal arts departments, etc. etc. but I think that one of the most underappreciated departments in Cornell is Physical Education. There are so many options that most of us have never even heard of for PE classes. While our PE requirement only involves taking two classes, I think you may be inclined to take more after hearing about the plethora of classes to choose from. Not only that, but within each category of physical education, there’s a variety of types, skill levels, and time commitments. Check these out:

1Your ~Aqueous~ Options


If watching the waterfalls around Ithaca doesn’t help you fulfill that water fix, try any of these classes that let you spend time in the water! Try not to think about running from Helen Newman to your dorm in a wet bathing suit and towel in Ithaca’s January though- I’m sure it won’t be too bad!

  1. PE 1100-Beginning Swimming (& PE 1101- Advanced Beginning Swimming)
  2. PE 1105- Introduction to Springboard Diving
  3. PE 1145- Bahamas Dive Trip

I know, it’s crazy! This class is a scuba trip to a beachy location where scuba conditions are optimal! The locations change each year, but who wouldn’t want to take a trip to the Bahamas for a scuba adventure?

2Your ~Dance~ Options


Are you like Hannah Montana and the Hoedown Throwdown is your kind of dance? Are you looking to perfect the art of ballroom dancing? Maybe you just want to find a tango partner! Either way, there is guaranteed to be a PE dance class for you…

  1. PE 1150- Ballroom Dancing
  2. PE 1155- Introduction to Belly Dancing (& PE 1156- Intermediate Belly Dancing)
  3. PE 1162- Salsa
  4. PE 1167- Introduction to Tango
  5. PE 1170- Introduction to Swing Dance (& PE 1171- Intermediate Swing Dance)

This class teaches you both East Coast Swing (also called Jitterbug) danced to Big Band, Swing, and Rock-n-Roll, as well as West Coast Swing, a contemporary dance for a wide range of music, from Michael Jackson to hip hop. The class works on developing techniques that create “good physics” of dance, such as footwork, timing, and more.

3Your ~Yoga~ Options


I know what you’re thinking, how many different types of yoga classes could Cornell offer? That’s already pretty specific. Well, think again!

  1. PE 1430- Introduction to Yoga (& PE 1431- Intermediate Yoga)
  2. PE 1702- Outdoor Yoga (bring a sweatshirt, maybe?)
  3. PE 1237- Yasaride

I didn’t know what this meant either. It’s a combination of yoga and indoor cycling! The yoga portion focuses on parts of your body that would specifically need more attention after the cycling, such as your hamstrings, hips, and spine. Participants also work on breath and mindfulness as well.

4Your ~Nature~ Options


Here are some ways to stay active outside- either in the snow or by the lake- and get in touch with beautiful Ithaca (I’ve heard it’s gorges!). You’ll also pick up a new skill in the process.

  1. PE 1330- Beginning Downhill Skiing (& PE 1331- Intermediate Downhill Skiing)
  2. PE 1332- Beginning Snowboarding (& PE 1333- Intermediate Snowboarding)
  3. PE 1311- Fly Tying and Fishing

This class covers the basics of fly fishing including fly tying, knots and rigging, casting, and presentation. The class will take field trips that offer students the chance to try to catch fish like landlocked Atlantic salmon, bass and panfish.

While these fit nicely into categories, there are also some amazing PE courses that are their own categories. Be sure to consider these too:

PE 1300- Introduction to Bowling

The next time you and your friends hit the lanes, you’ll be sure to impress them with your new spin moves.

PE 1340- Juggling

Because who doesn’t want their fun fact to be “I can juggle”?

PE 1345- Introduction to Boxing

Wouldn’t it just be cool to know how to box?

PE 1347- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Fundamentals

PE 1395- Self Defense and Personal Safety in the Modern World

PE 1410- Introduction to Massage

As you can see, the list goes on and on…

So here’s looking at you Physical Education department- we see your breadth of options and we appreciate you and thank you!!



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