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Physical Education Resolution FAQ

On November 13, 2018, as an information item, the Faculty Senate was presented with a draft resolution that would support an administrative proposal to eliminate the current physical education requirement. On December 11, 2018, the Faculty Senate approved the resolution. Below are anticipated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the resolution and its implications.

  1. What specifically does the resolution call for?
  2. The resolution calls for the elimination of the physical education undergraduate degree requirement. Currently, UMBC undergraduate students are required to take two (2) physical education (PE)-designated courses as part of their bachelor degree requirements.

  3. Why was the resolution introduced?
  4. The elimination of the current physical education requirement further aligns UMBC’s degree requirements with the College and Career Readiness and College Completion Act of 2013 (SB 740) which, among many goals, supports and promotes timely degree completion.

  5. When will the change in the physical education degree requirement go into effect?
  6. The change in the physical education undergraduate degree requirement will go into effect beginning the Winter 2019 term.

  7. I am a currently enrolled student. Will I benefit from this change?
  8. Yes, all currently enrolled and newly enrolled students will benefit from the change in degree requirements. That is, both currently enrolled and newly enrolled students will no longer be required to take physical education courses as part of the undergraduate degree requirements.

  9. May I choose to remain under the existing degree requirements (i.e. complete two (2) physical education courses)?
  10. Yes, while all students’ records will automatically be updated at the start of the Winter 2019 term to reflect the new degree requirements (no required physical education courses), current undergraduate students may “opt out” of the new degree program requirements. Students may visit the Registrar’s Office website for more information about opting out.

  11. What if I’ve already taken physical education courses? Will I still receive credit for these courses?
  12. Yes, students who have previously enrolled in and earned credit for a physical education course(s) will still receive credit for the course(s). The official transcript will continue to reflect the 1.5 credits earned for each course. However, consistent with the existing academic policy, institutional credit, including physical education courses, cannot count towards the 120 academic credits required for an undergraduate degree.

  13. May I apply my previously earned physical education credits toward the 120 academic credits required for an undergraduate degree?
  14. No, physical education courses cannot be applied toward the 120 academic credits required for an undergraduate degree. Physical education courses, as currently designed, focus on health and wellness through physical activity and, as such, carry institutional credit, not academic credit. Institutional credit cannot be applied toward the 120 academic credits required for an undergraduate degree.

  15. Will physical education courses be considered for full-time enrollment status purposes?
  16. Yes, physical education courses will continue to be used to determine full-time enrollment status (12 or more total credits) for enrollment verification purposes and for billing purposes. That is, if a student is registered for a total of 12.5 credits, comprised of 11 academic credits and 1.5 physical education credits, the student will be considered to have “full-time” enrollment status.

    While UMBC will continue to use physical education courses to determine full-time enrollment status for enrollment verification and for billing purposes, students receiving financial aid (need and merit) should read further to understand the implications of physical education course enrollment on financial aid eligibility.

  17. Can physical education courses be considered for financial aid eligibility purposes?
  18. No, physical education courses cannot be considered for financial aid eligibility purposes. The US Department of Education only permits courses that fulfill degree requirements to be considered for financial aid eligibility purposes. Because the resolution calls for the elimination of the physical education requirement and because physical education courses do not carry academic credit (for elective purposes), physical education courses cannot be used for financial aid eligibility. Therefore, a student registered for 12.5 credits, comprised of 11 academic credits and 1.5 physical education credits, would be considered three-quarter-time enrollment status for financial aid purposes and the student’s aid would be packaged accordingly. However, a student registered for a total of 13.5 credits, comprised of 12 academic credits and 1.5 physical education credits, would be considered full-time enrollment status for financial aid purposes and the student’s aid would be packaged accordingly.

    Students are strongly encouraged to confer with their financial aid counselor if they are considering enrolling in a physical education course to ensure continued eligibility for financial aid.

  19. Are financial aid recipients permitted to use financial aid to pay for tuition associated with enrollment in physical education courses?
  20. Financial aid amounts will be based on enrollment that excludes the PE credits. If your enrollment is full time (12 or more credits) when PE credits are excluded, the costs for PE are covered under the flat rate for full time enrollment. For students whose enrollment is less than 12 credits when PE credits are excluded, the aid amount that will apply to your charges will be adjusted to reflect your part time status.

    Students are strongly encouraged to confer with their financial aid counselor if they are considering enrolling in a physical education course to ensure continued eligibility for financial aid.

  21. Will my degree audit be updated to reflect the elimination of the physical education requirement?
  22. Yes. All undergraduate degree audits will automatically be updated to reflect the new degree requirements.

  23. Will physical education courses continue to be offered at UMBC?
  24. Yes, physical education courses will continue to be offered at UMBC. While physical education will be no longer required for the undergraduate degree program, students may elect to take a physical education course for their personal edification and for the health and wellness benefits.

  25. If I have additional questions, who may I contact?
  26. You may send an email to academicpolicyquestions@umbc.edu if you have any additional questions.