Online Physical Education Masters Degree

An online physical education degree program teaches ways to enhance the physical and nutritional health of others. To achieve this, students could study how to alter a person’s current diet or exercise plan to address health issues they may have. In some programs, students might go a step further and conduct their own health research.

Popular Online Physical Education Graduate Programs

ProgramInstitutionDegree Awarded
Physical EducationMississippi State UniversityMPEd
Sport Leadership & CoachingMichigan State UniversityN/A
Physical Education PedagogyMinnesota State University – MankatoMEd
Equine Assisted LearningPrescott CollegeMS
Master of Science in Education in Sport AdministrationUniversity of Mary Hardin-BaylorMS
Master of Arts in Education – Physical Education Master TeacherUniversity of Nebraska – KearneyAM
Master of Science in Sport Coaching EducationThe University of Southern MississippiMS
Master of Science in Physical EducationUniversity of West AlabamaN/A
Master of Science in Health & Human PerformanceNorthwestern State University of LouisianaMS
Health, Physical Education, and RecreationEmporia State UniversityMEd
Coaching M.A.E.Greenville CollegeMA
Master of Arts in Education – CoachingGreenville UniversityN/A

In these cases, students might test new or current fitness and wellness theories to see how effective they are.

Online Degree in Education Student Information

And, these classes may be available to you in the comfort of your own home. Online physical education graduate degree program classes could allow you to conveniently access your coursework. Much of the typical physical education graduate degree coursework could be interacted with digitally. This could make it a great choice for students who have other obligations outside of their education.

Online Masters in Physical Education

An online masters in physical education are available for working teachers who would like to advance or those looking to make a career change. Online PE classes could offer ways to better address a person’s nutritional challenges or they could develop students’ understanding of how to create an effective exercise routine.

Usually students have a background in physical education, nutrition, kinesiology or exercise science.

Many online masters programs are offered as part of a health, physical education, and research (HPER) program. These are holistically designed programs that take many different aspects of health into consideration. Subjects include nutritional wellness, physical education, and mental health habits. Speak with potential schools to see if they offer HPER programs. These courses could offer tactics to monitor, stabilize, or enhance the health of others.

Online Masters in Physical Education Classes

Online masters PE courses focus on methods to monitor and potentially enhance people’s long-term health. This could include altering their diet, changing their exercise habits, or creating new physical routines. It may also include ceasing certain behaviors.

As part of this process, students could have the chance to design fitness programs for specific individuals. Under the guidance of professors, you could evaluate the health of a person and then personalize an exercise routine for them to follow. These programs could be designed for both men and women who are on a range of different ages. Online students may have access to mock-clients via their digital classroom. Fitness plans could then be uploaded to the class forum for grading.

As part of a masters program, you could have the chance to take some of the following classes. Courses may vary by school. Contact potential schools for more information about their available classes.

Health, Sport, and Movement Psychology

Health, sport, and movement psychology courses are designed to help students better understand how athletes respond under competitive conditions. Additionally, the classes provide insight into how competitive athletes behave in non-competitive settings like training. By doing this, classes aim to teach methods to channel athlete’s training into their game performance.

Exercise Physiology

Exercise physiology courses focus on understanding how the human body responds to exercise. By studying this, students could potentially create exercise plans that better assist people in achieving their goals. And, these plans could take varying ability and skill level into consideration. These subjects might also instruct how to avoid certain physical injuries or strains.

Sport Ethics

Sport ethics classes teach critical thinking knowledge to evaluate moral sports situations. These courses could cover ethical decision-making, diversity awareness, and social behavior. By studying this, students could be able to take many different factors into account when facing challenges in a competitive, training, or classroom setting.

Teaching & Coaching

Coaching courses cover strategies to effectively communicate with, train, and support athletes. Classes evaluate the theories presented by recent scientific studies to enhance physical performance. These courses build on the physiology fundamentals students have usually already studied in their masters program prior to this.

Wellness & Prevention Strategies

Staying healthy may be as much about avoiding injury than simply exercising. Wellness and presentation strategy classes teach nutritional and physical exercise tactics to mitigate health issues. This class takes recent medical and scientific discoveries into account to be able to better serve athletes.

Online Graduate Certificate in Physical Education

An online graduate certificate in physical education could be a quicker way to concentrate your studies. Typically, these programs focus on one aspect of physical education. This way, students who have previously earned a bachelors or masters in physical education could potentially enhance their current knowledge. This could help them address new obstacles they may find in the field.

Many students choose to pursue a graduate certificate in sports leadership or coaching. Courses in these programs teach methods to lead a sports team or similar group. This includes training, team bonding, and performance. In addition, classes may also include ways to avoid issues that could arise. For instance, you may study sports injury and fatigue prevention. This way, you could potentially lead a team in a way that is healthy and supportive.

These programs might be especially interesting for students who are already in the PE field. They could help enhance students’ current class abilities by refining the knowledge they studied in a bachelors or masters program. Additionally, certificate programs are shorter because of their succinct and focused curriculum. This might make them easy to insert into the busy schedule of a current professional.i

It’s important for online students to know that these programs may require you to take part in an on-campus practicum. These are similar to education concentrations in student teaching. You could have the chance to act as a coach for team. This way, you could practically apply your studies to real-world situations.

Online PhD in Physical Education

Instead of designing fitness plans, online physical education doctoral programs help students conduct new research to enhance current techniques. Specifically, students could have the chance to test current nutritional and health theories. To do this, online PhD programs offer courses in research methods. Courses could include some of the following.

  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Human Performance Research
  • Current Measurement Issues in Health & Human Performance

Classes differ by school. Check with potential programs for more information on their class offerings. These classes are designed to develop students’ research methods so they could potentially conduct their own research projects. That knowledge could then assist them when working on their dissertation.

Online physical education PhD students may also be able to further concentrate their studies. This is especially important for students who may be considering researching a specific PE topic for their dissertation.

Concentrations could include:

  • Exercise Science
  • Health
  • Kinesmetrics
  • Leisure Studies

Be aware that available concentrations may differ by school. Check with your department for more information.

Online Physical Education Dissertations

As part of your online PhD in physical education, you may be required to write a dissertation. This project typically takes several semesters to complete. These are usually scheduled after completing core courses in your curriculum.

The dissertation could be broken down into three parts. (1) First students create a thesis and design a research study to test this. This could include studying things like how the body responds to new exercises and cross training, how diet and nutrition affects mental health, or assessing the exercise space and equipment for those in the prison system or other institutions. During this time, students collect and analyze data to see if the research proves their thesis.

(2) Next, students document their findings in an extended essay. These pieces usually detail the research process and their findings. In the conclusions, students may proffer suggestions to either improve the study or enhance current physical education practices.

(3) Finally, students present their findings as a presentation to the department faculty. It’s important to note that online students may be asked to come to campus to defend their dissertation. Some schools may allow distance learners to use video conferencing instead.

Before deciding on a physical education doctoral program, be sure you have some idea of what you would like your dissertation topic to be. Think about issues in physical education that interest you. Then, speak with faculty members at potential schools.

In speaking to teachers, you could suss out if any of your prospective professors share an interest in the same subject. They could help guide you through your research project, offer valuable insight, and potentially serve on your thesis defense board. Therefore, making sure the faculty supports your dissertation could be a key step to choosing a program.

Dissertation requirements are not one-size-fits-all. Be sure to speak with the physical education department for more information.

Online Physical Education Graduate Degree Program Accreditation (CAEP)

Online physical education graduate degree programs are commonly accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This is a general accrediting body that focuses on educators from many different fields.

The CAEP pushes online PE degree programs to constantly develop and enhance their offered courses. To be accredited, a school may be required to constantly evaluate its courses to ensure that they’re offering up-to-date material that includes new discoveries in the field.

Why Earn an Online Physical Education Graduate Degree?

Students may be concerned about studying a physical degree virtually, in the digital classroom. But, online physical education graduate degree courses strive to be just as comprehensive and include much of the same material as their campus counterparts. Students could study the same courses in the digital classroom via online learning platforms.

In fact, some courses may also stream lectures from professors. Or, they could provide face-to-face video conferences where you could ask for clarifying questions on subject matter.

It’s important to note that practicum classes may require students to attend class at the school campus. But, in many instances, schools offer many campuses across the country. This way, you could choose a campus to attend that’s close to your home. And, practicum classes are not required every semester. You could choose to take these classes when your schedule allows it. This could include shorter summer and winter sessions.

The online program might also be a great choice for current PE professionals. Most if not all PE teachers teach during the day.ii This could make it difficult to attend daytime classes. But, the online program could allow you to log into classes as your time allows. You could attend class after you’re done teaching, on the weekends, or even on your summer break.

In addition, the online campus might be available wherever you have internet access. All you have to do is walk to your computer, so you won’t waste valuable time commuting to campus.

Potential Online Physical Education Graduate Degree Careers

Many students choose to pursue a career in teaching after earning an online graduate degree in physical education. This could include teaching general PE classes or coaching a school sports team. Entry-level positions in this typically require applicants to have earned a bachelors degree in physical education. But, employers may prefer applicants who have earned an advanced degree. Some see your graduate degree as an indication that you have a better understanding of key concepts like physiology, psychology, and nutrition. You could potentially pursue some of the following PE teaching positions.

  • Elementary Teacherii
  • Middle School Teacheriii
  • High School Teacheriv

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA$111,660240
Kansas City, MO-KS$106,08040
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT$90,000230
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA$87,14090
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ$81,0500

Bureau of Labor Statistics


Be aware that teaching positions may require you to obtain additional licenses before entering the classroom. Licensure requirements vary by state. In addition, some states may also require an educator to take additional graduate-level coursework to maintain a license.ii In these cases, your online graduate degree might already fulfill that requirement. For more information about licensure details, speak with your state’s Department of Education.*

But, other students may choose to pursue a career as a fitness trainer or instructor after earning their degree. These positions have professionals design fitness plans to address a client’s personal health challenges. These roles usually require entry-level applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree in a related field.v But, your online physical education graduate degree might illustrate your in-depth knowledge of the field.

*Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only. Education Dynamics is a private company that is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education or any state Department of Education.

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Top 11 Online Physical Education Graduate Programs Below​

  • Greenville University

  • Ohio University

  • Canisius College

  • Northwestern State University of Louisiana

  • Mississippi State University

  • Michigan State University

  • Minnesota State University - Mankato

  • Prescott College

  • University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

  • University of Nebraska - Kearney