Cornell University


Cornell University

Ithaca, NY


Physical Education, Recreation, and Outdoor Education are essential organizations within the Cornell Community, with a focus on fostering student physical and mental well-being through movement-based activity and outdoor experiences. In this inclusive environment, we strive to provide progressive opportunities for all students, to encourage a sustainable and healthy lifestyle, teamwork, leadership and growth.

Cornell Physical Education, Outdoor Education, and Recreation encompasses Physical EducationCornell Fitness Centers, Cornell Outdoor EducationHelen Newman Bowling Center, Helen Newman Hall Recreation Center, Intramural Sports, Noyes Community Recreation CenterCornell Community Sailing and the Cornell University Wellness Program.


The Cornell Physical Education, Recreation and Outdoor Education Department has several facilities across campus and our challenge course and sailing center are within a close drive. Cornell has five fitness centers—including a functional training center, a 16-lane bowling alley, five group fitness studios, three indoor basketball/volleyball/badminton courts, two 25 yard pools, a therapy pool and three game/program areas. Outdoor opportunities include various outdoor basketball and tennis courts, three club fields and four IM fields. Additionally, we have a sailing center with a fleet of 15 small boats (420s/lasers), eight medium boats (Hunters/Mariners) and a variety of large boats that the community can take out on the lake as well as a boathouse with two classroom spaces. Cornell Outdoor Education facilities include the Phillips Outdoor Program Center for outfitting, training, offices and trip prep; the 170 x 4foot Lindseth Climbing Wall that is finishing its $847,000 renovation in coming days; and the Hoffman Challenge Course with 50 elements. 


Physical Education, Outdoor Education and Recreation serves diverse programming needs for the Cornell Community.  Recreation offers Intramural sports (over 30 leagues a year); Group Fitness (over 100 classes a week); Physical Education (over 250 PE classes a semester; a faculty/staff wellness program that offers free wellness information to all faculty and staff as well as webinars, podcasts, videos and in office programming. Additionally, members of the Wellness program have access to nutrition counseling, life coaching, personal training and various special events and programs. Wellness also has a vast retirees programs with daily programming for retired Cornell employees. Cornell Outdoor Education (COE) offers over 130 courses, teambuilding, adult and youth programs, and an Outdoor Odyssey program that takes incoming freshmen into the wilderness for the four to eight days prior to them starting orientation.


  • We offer PE classes unlike any other institution: surfing, caving, handguns, tree climbing, ice climbing, Bahamas scuba diving and more.
  • Over 480,000 swipes into the fitness centers in 2015-2016.
  • Our app has a button that allows members to see how busy the fitness facilities currently are.
  • All five fitness center have been renovated in the last year.
  • COE has over 10,000 pieces of rental gear.
  • COE has over 20,000 participants a year and 37,000 participant days.
  • As a whole, the department hires over 500 students.
  • The faculty/staff Wellness Program won the 2016 American Heart Association Fit Friendly Worksite — Gold.
  • Cornell was ranked in the top 10 colleges for outdoor enthusiasts.


Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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