Two terms of physical education (PHED UN1001 or PHED UN1002) are a degree requirement for Columbia Engineering students. No more than 4 points of physical education courses may be counted toward the degree. The physical education requirement can be fulfilled with Barnard dance studio/ technique courses. A student who intends to participate in an intercollegiate sport should register for the appropriate section of PHED UN1005: Intercollegiate athletics. Intercollegiate athletes who attend regularly receive 1 point of credit up to a maximum of 4. Student-athletes who leave the team in mid-term but still wish to receive academic credit must notify the Physical Education Office and be placed in another physical education activity to complete the attendance requirement. Students who are advised to follow a restricted or adapted activity program should contact the Director of Physical Education and Recreation. The physical education program offers a variety of activities in the areas of aquatics, fitness, martial arts, individual and dual sports, team sports, and outdoor education. Most activities are designed for the introductory/ beginner levels. Intermediate/advanced courses are indicated on the schedule.

The majority of the activities are offered in ten time preferences. Additionally, 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. The courses offered by the department for each term are included in the online Directory of Classes, and a description of the scheduled activities for each time preference is posted on the website. Students may only register for one section of physical education each term.