Chair: Laura Masone (Senior Associate)

Senior Associate: Lisa Northrop

Associate: Melanie Rodriguez

Term Associate: Cindy Lanzas

Adjunct Associates: Stephen Shulman, India Choquette, Talese Hunt, Eliana Laessig, Selma Trevino

Degree Requirement

One Physical Education course is required and must be completed by the end of the first year. One point will be earned for this one course. Students in the Barnard/JTS dual program must complete one Physical Education course by the end of the junior year.  One additional point of elective Physical Education may be counted towards the 122 points required for graduation. Transfer students must complete one semester of Physical Education by the end of the junior year and are not eligible for the second point of credit.  One-point studio courses in the Dance Department also fulfill the Physical Education requirement.

Students with Disabilities:

Both disabled and non-disabled students at Barnard are expected to complete the one semester physical education requirement by the end of the first year. Students with permanent or temporary disabilities will be individually advised and placed in a suitable activity, based upon the recommendations of the Director of the Center for Accessibility Resources and Disability Services (CARDS).

Prior to Physical Education course registration, students with disabilities are encouraged to discuss their needs with the Director of the Center for Accessibility Resources and Disability Services (CARDS) or Chair of the Physical Education Department. Priority registration may be offered on a case-by-case basis to students who need to enroll in a particular class for disability-related reasons.

All students with disabilities should self-identify to their Physical Education instructors as soon as possible in the semester and discuss any disability-related needs they may have. Please register with CARDS if you have not previously done so. You may also want to consult with your private clinician and/or a clinician from the Student Health Service regarding your particular situation.

Curriculum: The curriculum is organized and administered by the faculty of the Department of Physical Education. Instruction is offered in the areas of  fitness, mind/body, and self-paced courses. Courses are designed to promote the development and enjoyment of lifetime motor skills, which will afford opportunities to realize one’s potential and to provide vigorous exercise to release tensions often generated by strong academic commitments and intense urban life.

Extracurricular Fitness: Recreational use of the Barnard Fitness Center and Fitbear group fitness program is encouraged. All Barnard students, faculty, and staff are eligible to use these programs.
The Barnard Fitness Center is under construction and will be closed for the 2023-2024 academic year.  Please check membership at Dodge Fitness Center.

Intercollegiate Athletics: The Barnard/Columbia Athletic Consortium provides the opportunity for eligible undergraduate women to compete together as members of University-wide athletic teams. Sixteen varsity sports are currently sponsored: archery, basketball, crew, cross country, fencing, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, squash, swimming & diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track & field, and volleyball. Governed by NCAA and Ivy League rules, all teams are Division I. Competition is scheduled with teams from the Ivy League, the metropolitan area, and the eastern region. In addition, students are eligible to qualify for regional and national championships. Physical Education credit may be earned through satisfactory participation on a varsity team.

Registration: Registration takes place during assigned Registration window. Information is available in the Registrar's Office or web site. Students should include the Physical Education course by number, section, title, and I.D. number on final programs filed with the Registrar.

Cross Registration: Barnard students may receive credit for a Columbia Physical Education course. Admittance is at the discretion of the Columbia Physical Education Chair.



A survey of group fitness techniques taught with choreography and music. Three-week modules in the following disciplines: Cardiovascular Fitness (Aerobics, Step, Kickboxing), Body Sculpting, Pilates, and Yoga.



This is a beginning level Pilates mat course adapted to an at-home practice format.  A combination of online resources in Panopto/Canvas and in-person meetings will be used to track student practice and progress.   Regular home practice will teach students to make exercise a part of their regular routine despite time constraints.  It will teach them the confidence to incorporate exercise into their lives without being dependent on a group class.


This series of classes will provide the practice of T'ai Chi Chuan as a moving meditation and health maintenance exercise. This process involves both physical and nonphysical work and introduces T'ai Chi as an exercise of consciousness. There will also be recommended reading selections in the history and philosophical underpinnings of T'ai Chi. No pre-requisite for this course. Each class will consist of physical practice of the T'ai Chi sequence of movements / postures, also discussion including history of and principles of T'ai Chi.


 An introduction to Hatha Yoga focusing on the development of the physical body to increase flexibility and strength. Breathing practices and meditation techniques that relax and revitalize the mind and body are included.


Instruction in beginning levels of Hatha Yoga postures, with greater attention on breath work and concentration, to prepare for sitting meditation. Every class will eventually include 5-19 minutes of silent contemplation.



A combination of Pilates-based mat exercises class to strengthen core and sculpting techniques for entire body using various equipment. Emphasis on proper breathing and alignment.


Muscle definition exercises using weights, bands and bars for the whole body, set to music.

Functional Fitness (PHED BC1535)

A fitness course focused on multi-joint full body exercises to increase one’s functional capacity in daily life. Movement patterns such as the squat, hip hinge, push, and pull will be covered. Exercises are performed in all planes of motion with equipment such as kettlebells, sandbags, TRX bands, and medicine balls. This course is designed for all fitness levels and will gradually progress all students to reach an increased level of strength.

Total Body Fitness (PHED BC1515)

A fitness course to increase total body fitness through cardio and strength training. Course includes proper form and usage on all types of cardio equipment including treadmills, ellipticals, arc trainers, stationary bicycles, and rowers plus a variety of muscular strength exercises. This course is designed for all fitness levels with variations and progressions so that all students can safely move through classes which will have both a cardio and strength component.



This course is designed to teach students the process of identifying, setting, and achieving a specific health behavior change goal within the Wheel of Health. The course will consist of short lectures, discussions, and individual health coaching sessions. Action steps towards the health goal will be expected each week outside of class meeting times.


Hybrid course including instructional group training and self-paced individual workouts using both the Barnard Fitness Center and Studio. All areas of physical fitness are included: cardio, core, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. Students in this course meet with an instructor once per week. The second workout is completed individually. Requires self-motivation and focus.


This fitness course is held completely outside ... uses no electricity or technology ... and highlights the outdoor experience to promote good health, improve brain function, focus and memory, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem and resilience.  Students experience green space and nature with an immediate lowering of stress hormones thus boosting mood and happiness.  This course is designed to provide the right amount of technique and motivation for every fitness level by combining light cardiovascular and muscular endurance exercises in an outdoor setting.  Students must be willing to workout in public spaces.


Enrollment in a college-level course of instruction. Individual workouts or classes, and/or participation in club sports do not qualify. A written proposal must be approved prior to the first day of the Physical Education registration period.

Cross-Listed Courses

There are currently no cross-listed courses for your department.