Office of Student Affairs

Athletics and Physical Education

1202 Alumni Gymnasium
(413) 542–8266

Don Faulstick, Director of Athletics and Chair of the Department of Physical Education and Athletics

Intercollegiate Athletics

Amherst College has one of the oldest and finest athletic traditions in the country, extending back to 1859.

The College fields varsity teams in 27 intercollegiate sports.

The College assumes full control of and responsibility for its intercollegiate athletic program. Administration of the intercollegiate program is supervised by the chair of the Department of Physical Education and Athletics.

Sports Medicine

All candidates for intercollegiate teams must have certificates of medical fitness from the Keefe Health Center before engaging in active training and are required to be on the College-sponsored health insurance program or one of comparable coverage. (See the section on Student Health for more information.) The Sports Medicine facilities in the Alumni Gymnasium and the Fieldhouse at Gooding and Pratt Fields are staffed with state-licensed and nationally certified athletic trainers who are charged with providing injury prevention and emergency care, as well as treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries and related illnesses. The Sports Medicine staff works closely in conjunction with the health practitioners at the Keefe Health Center, who are also available for the treatment of injuries sustained while participating in the intercollegiate, club sport or intramural programs.

NCAA and NESCAC Rules

Amherst College, as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the New England Small College Athletic Conference, is subject to their rules and regulations. A list of these rules may be obtained from the Department of Physical Education and Athletics in 1202 Alumni Gymnasium.

Eligibility Rules

For Students in General

All full-time students at Amherst College are considered eligible to participate in the extracurricular activities of the College, unless barred from such participation by the dean of students for academic or disciplinary reasons.

No graduate of Amherst College or of any other college or university may represent Amherst in intercollegiate athletics.

For Transfer Students

Transfer students will be subject to NCAA rules.

Academic/Athletic Conflicts Policy

  • Academic commitments should always take priority over athletic participation.
  • Classes, meetings or examinations should not be missed for scrimmages or practice.
  • Because intercollegiate schedules are established before academic registration, conflicts will be evident before classes begin. Should students decide to explore the possibility of missing a class, absence must be resolved with the faculty member. Depending upon the circumstances, instructors may be willing to work out a solution, but in those instances when this is not possible, the academic commitment must always take precedence. All such discussions should take place at the earliest possible moment in the semester and, whenever possible, in the office hours of the faculty member. It is unacceptable to leave the request of absence until the day of the game.
  • When establishing academic schedules, students should give consideration to athletic participation but should never avoid taking a course simply to avoid conflicts with a sport.
  • Please remember that this is the Department of Physical Education and Athletics’ policy and thus may not always conform to faculty members’ policies for their classes.

Physical Education Program

Wellness, Lifetime Fitness and recreational opportunities are provided by the Department of Athletics and Physical Education and are available to all Amherst College students and members of the College community. The courses are elective and carry no academic credit, but a notation is entered on the transcript for successful completion of a course. 

The program is flexible, robust and designed to meet the needs and interests of individuals. There is a variety of offerings that provide fitness and well-being opportunities for the entire community. There are three areas of course offerings:

  1. Wellness classes are offered throughout each semester. These classes include, but are not limited to, yoga, tai chi, meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), Pilates and Zumba.
  2. Lifetime Fitness classes are offered throughout each semester. These classes emphasize individual instruction in activities that have a carryover value for lifelong recreational pursuits. Classes include, but are not limited to, tennis, golf, swimming, running, squash, physical conditioning and fitness.
  3. The recreational program, which includes skating, squash, swimming and tennis, is available to all members of the Amherst College community.

A detailed statement concerning the department’s program and listing the semester’s course offerings is available online. Courses are offered four times during the academic year, in four-week sessions, and are posted on the Athletic Department’s website.

Peter Robson is the director of the physical education program and can be reached at (413) 542–5757. His office is located in 2202 Alumni Gymnasium. Chris Paradis coordinates the Wellness Program and can be reached at (413) 542–8136. Her office is located in 1211 Alumni Gym.

Club Sports

Club sports are conducted under the supervision of the Department of Physical Education and Athletics and operate under budgets authorized yearly by the student government’s Budgetary Committee. There are many club sports organizations. Contests are arranged with other colleges and universities or amateur clubs with the approval of the Department of Physical Education and Athletics. For more information, contact Billy McBride, assistant director of athletics, at (413) 542–7947. His office is located in 1204 Alumni Gymnasium.

Intramural Activities

Intramural activities are elective programs conducted within the framework of the Department of Physical Education and Athletics. These activities are supervised by the department and managed by Assistant Director of Athletics Gregg DiNardo and undergraduate representatives. Among the more popular sports offered are softball, soccer, basketball, dodgeball and volleyball. Individual sports are often conducted on a tournament basis.