Chair: Laura Masone (Senior Associate)

Senior Associate: Lisa Northrop

Associate: Melanie Rodriguez

Term Associate: Cindy Lanzas

Adjunct Associates: Stephen Shulman, India Choquette

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.

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.


Combination class combining cardiovascular workouts with muscle-toning workouts performed to a variety of music.


 Self-Defense (PHED BC1690)

Introduction to the essentials of street self-defense; physical activities and mental preparation.


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.

Yoga (PHED BC1693)

 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.


This is a beginning level traditional Hatha Yoga 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.  


A combination of muscle toning and yoga for greater strength and flexibility.  Basic yoga postures and relaxation are taught in addition to Body Sculpting with weights and bands.



Participation in fitness activities addressing cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and muscular endurance.

Core Strength (PHED BC1532)

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.


Introduction to principles of weight training. Use of Cybex resistance machines and free weights. Programs tailored to individual needs.

Bodyweight Training (PHED BC1520)

A fitness course to build full-body strength and endurance. No equipment is required. All moves will be done only using body weight with focus on proper form. Includes squats, lunges, push-ups and other basic body weight conditioning for the lower body, upper body, and core. This course is designed for all fitness levels with variations offered to increase and decrease the challenge.


Health Coaching (PHED BC1105)

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.

Fitness Outside (PHED BC1550)

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.


Prerequisites: Requires a pre-test at the beginning of semester. Participation in fitness activities addressing cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and muscular endurance. Pre-tests: 1.5 Mile Run, 3min Step Test, 1RM Chest Press, 1RM Leg Press, Crunches/minute, Pushups/minute.

Advanced Running (PHED BC2512)

A self-paced fitness course specifically designed for experienced runners. Students will focus on working towards a running goal of improving running time and/or completing a 5K, 10K or half-marathon. All runs and workouts will be tracked by using a fitness app that tracks mileage, pace, heart rate, and route and shared by the student in Courseworks for review by the instructor.  Students must complete and submit a minimum of 2 runs per week on non-consecutive days. There will be three touch points throughout the semester where the instructor will go over strength training for runners and other topics such as hydration, nutrition, and running etiquette (day and time TBD). Students will have the opportunity to participate in a fun run at the end of the semester led by the instructor.

Independent Study (PHED BC2799)

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.