Is there a reason why PE classes are different from other classes when it comes to pre-enrollment?

Date: November 2021



I was quite disappointed to learn about the new policy preventing graduate students from pre-enrollment in PE classes. Is there a reason why PE classes are different from other classes when it comes to pre-enrollment?

Thank you,

Questioning PE Policy


Dear Questioning PE Policy,

I’m glad to hear that you are planning ahead for your physical wellness in the spring. It’s sometimes hard to stay active in the cold winter months and a physical education (PE) class can be excellent motivation to move, sweat, or try just something new. The enrollment process for PE classes has always differed slightly from regular course offerings but you are correct that there are recent changes to the pre-enrollment policy. 

To gather more information I reached out to the Graduate School Registrar, Brenda Wakoff. She explains, “During Fall 2021 pre-enrollment, many PE classes were filled before first year undergraduate students could enroll. Because undergraduate students are required to have PE credit to graduate, the Physical Education Department made the policy change to prioritize pre-enrollment in PE classes for undergraduate students to address the issue. They are working to increase the amount of courses offered in the future and stated that graduate students can still enroll in PE courses during the spring open enrollment period. You can contact Pat Ackley at or 607-255-4286 if you have questions or encounter any issues”.

In addition to Brenda’s comments, the January open enrollment period is staggered and opens for graduate/professional and seniors on January 18, before opening for juniors, sophomores, and first-years over the following three days. This should still give you an opportunity to enroll in PE classes for spring. We have also observed that graduate students drop PE classes at a relatively high rate. I’m sure this is because graduate students are eager to enroll (sometimes in multiple PE courses) but often find that it’s hard to make time for non-essential courses and are forced to drop them. This is understandable, but has prevented students who need the classes to graduate from registering. Then, the spots are empty once the student drops them. I think the new policy aims to strike a balance between several competing priorities.

I hope this info is helpful!


Jason Kahabka
Associate Dean for Administration