Physical Education

Administrative Information

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Kenneth Torrey, 332 Dodge Physical Fitness Center; 854-3439;

Departmental Office: 336 Dodge Physical Fitness Center; 854-3439

Associate Professors
Kenneth Torrey

Scott Alwin
Kevin Anderson
Nicole Aquila
Michael Aufrichtig
Melissa Bieman
Nicole Blood
Elliot Blount
Virginia Boggess
James Bolster
Brett Boretti
Will Boyland-Pett
Scott Butch
Diana Caskey
Katie Chrest
Werner Dasbach
Derek Davis
Patrick Desir
Jon Debogory
Jonathan Douglas
Howard Endelman
Steven Figueroa
Roman Fleszar
Marybeth Freeman
Carl Fronhofer
Todd Golden
Bid Goswami
Elizabeth Grubb
Adam Hall
Jumpie Harada
Carlin Hartman

Associates (continued)
Matt Herhal
Brian Jines
Maggie Johnson
Ruben Jones
Tara Kalivs
Brie Katz
Liz Kittleman
Gustavo Leal
Peter Maki
Kevin McCarthy
Gaurav Misra
Richard Mueller
Caroline Nichols
Kayla Noonan
Nick Parker
Libby Peters
Ken Pollard
David Poolman
Scott Ramsey
Sheila Roux
Michael Sabala
Daria Schneider
Allison Slater
Gordon Spencer
Jacques Swanepoel
Sara Van Saanen
Ilene Weintraub
Ajaya William
Kari Williams
Jonathan Wilson
Willy Wood
Riza Zalameda
Michael Zimmer

PHED C1001-C1002 is a College requirement that students are advised to complete by the end of the first year. Students may elect to take one or two additional terms of PHED C1001 and/or PHED C1002 for credit. Students receive 1 point of academic credit for each completed term of physical education for a possible total of 4 points.

Medical Conditions

Students who request to have their physical education activities limited or waived because of a medical condition should contact Professor Ken Torrey, chair of Physical Education. In some situations, students may require an evaluation by a clinician at Health Services at Columbia in order to receive a waiver. In consultation with Professor Torrey, students may be instructed to contact Dr. Samuel Seward, medical director of Columbia Health Programs, who facilitates these evaluations.

Swim Test

All students are required to pass a swimming test or take beginning swimming for one semester to fulfill the swimming requirement. The swimming tests are administered in the Uris Pool the first day of classes and are also offered on Wednesdays from 8:30pm-9:30pm, Fridays from 12-2pm and Sundays from  3pm-4pm throughout the semester. The test consists of swimming three laps of the pool (75 yards) without resting, using any stroke or combination of strokes. Those who do not pass are encouraged to take a beginner swimming course at the first opportunity.


The grading in all physical education courses is Pass/Fail. Students who fulfill the attendance and participation requirement receive a Pass. Those who miss more than the permissible number of classes and who do not drop the course by the official drop deadline receive an Administrative Referral (AR). Those who anticipate attendance problems should contact their instructors or the director of undergraduate studies.


The program offers a variety of activities in the areas of aquatics, fitness, martial arts, individual and dual “lifetime” sports, team sports, and outdoor education. Most of the activities are designed for the beginner or intermediate level. However, advanced courses are offered at selected times. The courses are designed to develop and/or improve the student’s fundamental skills and to help realize his or her potential. Activity that promotes one’s fitness level is emphasized. A major goal is to provide a positive, enjoyable experience for students. It is our hope that these activities will contribute to the development of an active, healthy lifestyle.

The majority of the activities are offered in ten time preferences. However, there are early morning conditioning activities, Friday-only classes at Baker Athletics Complex, and special courses that utilize off-campus facilities during weekends and vacation periods. A description of the scheduled activities for each time preference is included in the Department of Physical Education and Intercollegiate Athletics’ website. A list of the activities for the term is included in the Directory of Classes and on the website. College students can select physical education courses during on-line registration. Unless otherwise indicated, the activities are scheduled on a quarterly basis with each quarter lasting approximately seven weeks. At midterm the student selects another activity for the remainder of the term, although in many cases the student has the opportunity to continue the same activity. Students may register for only one section of physical education each term.

Locker and Towel Service

Students have access to a lock/towel service ($18 fee) and, with the exception of tennis, equipment for the activities is supplied by the Physical Education Department.

The Columbia and Barnard Physical Education Exhange Program

The Columbia and Barnard Physical Education Departments have an exchange program. Space is reserved for Columbia College and Engineering students in selected Barnard physical education courses. A list of the Barnard courses offered through the exchange program is available in the Columbia Physical Education Office and the Barnard Physical Education Office, 200 Barnard Annex. Only students who have taken a Columbia physical education course and passed the swimming test are eligible to register for these Barnard courses.

Intercollegiate Athletics

Students who are participating on an intercollegiate team should register for the appropriate team section of PHED C1005—Intercollegiate athletics. Intercollegiate athletes are responsible for taking the swimming test. Student-athletes who cannot pass the test should take beginning swimming at the first possible opportunity. Student-athletes who register correctly and participate on a team receive a Pass; those who drop off a team in midterm and still wish academic credit must notify the Physical Education Office and be placed in an activity to complete the attendance requirement. Otherwise, the student must officially drop Intercollegiate athletics or they receive a mark of AR.