Can graduate students take PE classes over the summer?

Date: May 2023


Hi Deans,

I am writing to inquire about the possibility of enrolling in a PE class over the summer as a graduate student. Specifically, I am wondering if I would be able to enroll in a class by just paying the PE class fees (usually between $100-$300) like in the fall/spring semester.

I understand that academic year awards and tuition do not cover summer/winter sessions. However, as there are separate fees for PE classes, I was hoping to clarify whether I would be charged summer tuition if I enroll in a PE class.

Physical education classes have been an excellent way for me to stay active, and I would like to continue to pursue this interest during the summer session. However, I am hoping to avoid any tuition charges that may amount to thousands of dollars.

~Trying to make the most of Ithaca summer within a grad student budget


Dear “Trying to make the most of Ithaca summer within a grad student budget,”

Thank you for your question! It is wonderful that you are prioritizing your health, and pursuing physical education classes to stay active is a wise decision. When you enroll in for-credit courses over the summer, there is a tuition charge of $1,680 per credit, so most graduate students plan to enroll in PE or elective courses during the academic year when there are no additional tuition charges, only course fees. To enroll in a PE class this summer, you would enroll through the School of Continuing Education.

Funding for graduate students doesn’t typically include summer session tuition, so if you enroll in summer courses, you will be responsible for the full cost.

Cornell students have many free/limited-cost summer fitness opportunities on and off campus. All students can check out rackets/balls to play on the tennis and basketball courts. The gymnasiums and pools are also free for students. Fitness center summer membership is $60, including all group fitness classes and access to all the fitness center facilities. See Fitness Center hours.

Ithaca offers many free/low-cost options for summer activities in the area, from the many trails within the Cornell Botanic Gardens to hiking along the Cascadilla Gorge Trail. See more information about free walks!

I hope this information serves as a launching pad for your summer activity in Ithaca.


Janna Lamey
Senior Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Life

Angela Yantorno
Graduate Student Life Advisor