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Harvard Swim test???

confusionboundconfusionbound Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
Does Harvard currently make you do a swim test and fulfill physical education requirements? If there is one, what's the swim test like?

I did some online research and could not find anywhere that Princeton requires a swim test. Naturally, I thought they don't have one but I was talking to a student currently studying there and they took a required swim test last semester. So it would be great if a current Harvard student or recent graduate would answer versus a googler.

Replies to: Harvard Swim test???

  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,612 Senior Member
    edited February 2
    There are no physical education requirements at Harvard, nor is there is a swim test. Ditto with Yale.
  • HamurtleHamurtle Registered User Posts: 1,710 Senior Member
    edited February 2
    Supposedly Columbia requires you to pass a swim test.
  • Momma2018Momma2018 Registered User Posts: 408 Member
    edited February 2
    Harvard used to have a swim test but it was eliminated (I think some time in the 80s). There was a myth that it was a requirement of a donation by Eleanor Elkins Widener because her son Harry had died on the Titanic but that was just an urban legend. Harry did die on the Titanic and she did endow the Widener Library but there was no swimming stipulation.

    MIT does require a swim test.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 40,141 Super Moderator
    So it would be great if a current Harvard student or recent graduate would answer
    Don't need to be a Harvard student to answer; @gibby is correct; there is no swim test at Harvard.
    I was talking to a student currently studying there and they took a required swim test last semester.
    They were yanking your chain; Princeton also has no swim test.
    Supposedly Columbia requires you to pass a swim test.
    For Columbia College; it's not a requirement for engineering. Apparently, they can just build a boat if the campus floods.

    Cornell also has a swim test requirement.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,168 Senior Member
    Seriously?

    skieurope love the thing about engineers building a boat...presumably they could even build an ark and save those who fail the swim test :)
  • astute12astute12 Registered User Posts: 604 Member
    Cornell has one! Found out when my son applied last year.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 18,070 Senior Member
    The University of Chicago had a three-part fitness test including a 100-yard swim, strength elements. and cardio elements, that it eliminated in 2012 (not so long ago). In order to graduate, students either had to pass all elements of the test or take a one-quarter phys ed course addressing each area of weakness.

    As of a few years ago, Washington & Lee still had a swim test.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,168 Senior Member
    Were students with disabilities exempted? I imagine so. In this day and age, these fitness tests could be a problem in terms of inclusiveness. And what was the purpose? It's not like students are joining the Marines.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,616 Senior Member
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 4,139 Senior Member
    Yes, Cornell still has a swim test....and a PE requirement. It can be fun :)
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