Other Credit Options

Other Credit Options (2-4 units)

 Independent Study / Recreation and ClubsOther Colleges / MIT / Incoming Transfer Students

Independent Study Programs (2-4 units)

The Physical Education department strongly encourages students to meet the graduation requirement through regular physical education classes, but recognizes the need for an independent study option for students with extenuating circumstances. Specifically, the independent option is for:

  • Students whose level of expertise in an activity is beyond the scope of regular course offerings and who will be training under the guidance of a highly skilled coach/instructor 

  • Students with medical conditions that require modified physical activity. Students with medical restrictions will develop their programs with Niki Rybko, in partnership with Health Services and Accessibility and Disability Resources. Students applying for medical independent study must include medical documentation noting that they are unable to participate in physical activity due to medical restriction/s. This documentation can be from your physician overseeing your care or can be from Health Services.

Student may earn a max of four (4) units of physical education credit through the standard independent option. Students may not receive credit retroactively.


A student must submit a proposal using the form below to Keri O'Meara, Associate Professor of Physical Education, prior to starting their independent program. Deadline for Spring 2022 independent study proposals is February 1, 2022.

All independent study proposals must include:

  • A strong instructional component with clearly outlined learning objectives.
  • Regular supervision/oversight of a recognized (or certified) trainer/coach/instructor.​

To help the PE department make informed decisions about independent study proposals, s​tudents must include as much detail as possible: activity, location, dates, times, instructor(s) qualifications, etc. ​Learning/performance objectives are particularly important, so students must emphasize the educational components of their programs.

If a student's program gains approval, the student will be responsible for weekly or bi-weekly check-ins with the independent study coordinator. At the conclusion of the program, the student will submit an attendance log signed by the instructor.

Independent Study Proposal Form

Independent programs for two PE credits must include at least 10 hours of activity. For four credits, programs must include 21 hours of activity. For additional questions, please contact Keri O'Meara.

Recreation and Club Activities

Students may earn PE credit for participating in college-sponsored recreational programs that include at least 10 hours of physically active, formal, progressive instruction under the guidance of a qualified instructor. This option is available to students only once during their Wellesley career, for a max of two credits, regardless of activity or the number of times a student participates. Participants on PERA-supported club sports may earn a max of four credits. 


  • Students may earn credit if the dance or club has been constituted by Student Involvement and College Government for at least three consecutive semesters.
  • Students’ 10 hours of physical activity can include practices and/or competitions
  • At the conclusion of the semester, the club president must submit an attendance log that includes all the students eligible for credit and the dates and lengths of the practices they attended. Deadline is the last day of classes for the semester for which students are earning credit. No attendance log=No credit 
  • PE credit for club activities is not awarded retroactively.

Recreation programs for credit

PERA-supported Clubs (4cr max) Student Orgs (2cr max)
Archery Aiko
Equestrian Club AscenDance
Ice Hockey Ballroom Dance Team
Rugby Club Belly Dancing Society
Sailing Team Cielito Lindo
Ski Team (Alpine and Nordic) Culture Shows (KSA, CSA, Slater, WASAC)
Ultimate Frisbee FreeStyle
Water Polo GLOW
Wellesley College Dancers Gumboot
Certification Programs (normally 2-4cr max) ITF Taekwon-Do Club
Aerobics instructor (2 cr) Outing Club
Lifeguard certification (2 cr) Quidditch Club
RAD Self Defense (2 cr) WADO
Emergency Medical Team (4 cr) Wushu
MIT ROTC (8 cr max) Yanvalou
  BOW Climbing Club
  Shotokan Karate Club

Recreation programs not for credit:
Walk-in recreation fitness classes
Intramural leagues
One-day recreation programs

Credit for classes at other colleges

Students may earn credit for physical education classes taken at other colleges by asking the host institution’s Physical Education Department to send an email to the Wellesley Physical Education Registrar confirming the students’ satisfactory completion of the class. This policy applies to M.I.T., all schools in the 12-College Exchange and any certified institution of higher learning, provided the courses are part of the host institution’s Physical Education Department’s curriculum and taught by faculty members of that department.

Credit for PE classes at MIT 

Already Cross-registered at MIT? You're eligible to register online for MIT Physical Education courses during the same registration window as MIT students. Confirm with the MIT registrar (physicaleducationandwellness@mit.edu) for eligibility. The MIT PE Online Registration calendar for cross-registered students can be found here

Wellesley students who are not cross-registered: Please follow the registration instructions here. After the close of online registration, MIT Physical Education will post a list of courses with open spots for Wellesley students to consider.

Receiving PE credits at Wellesley: Students should email physicaleducationandwellness@mit.edu to request that confirmation be sent to the Wellesley Physical Education registrar. Include your name and the course you took at MIT (title, course number, section, and day/time of the course).

Incoming Transfer Students

Transfer students are admitted as if they have completed some PE credits in physical education prior to admission at Wellesley. The number of physical education points awarded to a student depends on the number of academic credits they bring from their previous institution. In general, students admitted as first-semester sophomores (with 8 academic credits) receive 4 credits, which means they have fulfilled half the PE graduation requirement and need to earn four more. Students admitted as first-semester juniors (with 16 academic credits) receive 8 credits, which fulfills the requirement. Transfer students may petition the Department for additional credit.