United States Physical Education & Coaching Degrees
Physical Education and Coaching Degree programs teach methods aimed at enhancing the physical health of students. This could involve taking courses in sport psychology, physiology, and injury prevention. Additionally, some courses in Physical Education Graduate Programs may address top topics in nutrition and other health-related fields.
Depending on your degree choice, you may also have the chance to develop new physical education methods based on your own research. Additionally, some courses may cover coaching techniques as well as how to best instruct others in physical practices.
Masters in Physical Education Programs
Masters in Physical Education programs are typically two year programs which award a Master of Science (MS) degree. However, MA physical education masters programs may also be available.
Some masters in physical education programs offer an opportunity to select an emphasis. This may allow students to focus on a particular area of interest and take additonal elective courses. Examples include Human Performance and Wellness, Adapted Physical Education, Coaching and Sports Administration and Applied Kinesiology.
Applicants to masters in physical education programs may need a bachelor's degree in a related area, or some amount of relevant coursework. Otherwise, programs may request students complete additional coursework. Schools may also request references and a minimum GPA. Requirements, timelines and available concentrations vary.
Masters in Physical Education Curriculum
Classes within a masters in physical education program teach how to monitor and enhance the long-term health of others. This could require taking a look at many different factors like diet and physical exercise. Then, masters in physical education programs offer opportunities for students to apply that knowledge and design action plans. These exercise and wellness programs could be customized to address the health issues of men and women of many different ages.
While earning your masters degree in physical education, you could have the chance to study some of the following topics.
- Health, Sport & Movement Psychology
- Exercise Physiology
- Physical Health Statistics
- Sport Ethics
- Teaching & Coaching
- Wellness & Prevention Strategies
While courses may primarily focus on the active body, masters in physical education programs may also focus on subjects like nutrition and supplementary ways to keep the body functional. When researching programs, keep your eyes out for Health, Physical Education, and Research (HPER) programs. These are holistic masters programs that spend more time covering alternative health matters.
Courses often vary by school. Contact potential schools for more information.
Graduate Certificate in Physical Education
A graduate certificate in physical education is typically a succinct program that focuses on methods to effectively coach a team of athletes. Certificate programs may be a great fit for students looking to expand their current PE career. Students who are looking for additional professional coaching opportunities might also be interested.i
First, courses focus on the principles associated with training as a team. This includes workout techniques as well as team bonding. In addition, you could have the chance to study ways to reduce or avoid sports-related injuries. This could include subjects like scheduling methods, proper cooldowns, and methods to assess fatigue.
After studying these general techniques, students may then have the chance to take part in a sport practicum. During the practicum, students coach a team in their preferred sport. This gives students a chance to apply their new knowledge and experience in a real-world scenario.
PhD in Physical Education
Other physical education graduate programs focus on students designing fitness plans, but the PhD in physical education places more emphasis on student research. The aim of classes is to help students better research wellness topics. Using their collected data, students could potentially create new ways to combat current physical health concerns. The end goal of students of these programs is to publish works to enhance current physical education practices.
Students pursuing a PhD in physical education may also be able to further concentrate their knowledge to a specific area of research. For example, students could have the chance to study some of the following.
- Exercise Science
- Leisure Studies
Classes may differ by school. Check with possible schools for more information about their course offerings.
PhD in Physical Education Dissertation
Like many other doctoral programs, a PhD in physical education program generally requires students to complete a dissertation to graduate. In this case, students could conduct PE research either during their classes or as part of an independent study. Then, they could present their data and conclusions in their dissertation. In order to complete this requirement, students may have to defend their dissertation to the department faculty.
When researching physical education graduate programs, you may want to consider those that are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The CAEP strives to enhance teacher education programs by encouraging higher learning institutions to cover new teaching techniques. To do this, the CAEP constantly evaluates schools’ progress and programs to see if they reflect current practices and technology.
By choosing a program accredited by the CAEP, you could have the chance to participate in a program that strives to be at the forefront of the physical education field. Programs could include recent findings in nutrition, training, and coaching techniques.
Physical Education Graduate Program Types
Physical education graduate programs are offered as on-campus, online, and hybrid programs. While each program covers the core material discussed above, they each offer unique ways for students to experience their education. Below are a few examples of physical education program types. Programs offered may vary by school.
On-Campus Physical Education Graduate Programs
On-campus physical education graduate programs may provide more access to practicum classes. This is because they may have more access to training facilities like gyms and sports fields. More practicum classes could be a chance to test out physical education methods on actual people. These courses might also be a great way to receive direct feedback about your training experience from participants and professors.
Students who pursue a graduate degree in physical education and are also educators could be able to take courses at atypical times. For instance, many classes might take place at night instead of during your school hours. This way, you could pursue your education and profession simultaneously.
Online Physical Education Graduate Programs
Other professionals may find online physical education graduate programs more to their liking. In some cases, you may be unable to attend classes because of other outside obligations. This could include scheduling or location to name a few problems. Online programs could allow you to log into your classes as your time allows. This could make scheduling your classes around your routine more convenient. Additionally, your classroom could be located wherever you have internet access.
Hybrid Physical Education Graduate Programs
Hybrid programs combine the above two physical education graduate programs. The majority of the hybrid coursework is conducted online, much like the online program. This means students could still conveniently log into class from their home computer or another location. But, during a semester, students could have the chance to come onto campus to take part in a practicum class. This way, you could be able to practically apply your skills and knowledge in a real-world setting.
After graduation, many students may choose to pursue a teaching career with the help of their physical education graduate degree. These positions often require students to have earned a bachelors degree in their preferred field in order to pursue entry-level roles. For example, students could consider the following positions after graduation.
- Elementary Teacherii
- Middle School Teacheriii
- High School Teacheriv
It's important to note that teaching positions may require additional licensure before being able to teach. Some states also require students to complete graduate coursework to maintain their licensure.v Your graduate degree in physical education could fulfill this requirement.
Others may choose to pursue a career as a fitness trainer or instructor. While these positions typically require a high school diploma for entry-level roles, earning a graduate degree could demonstrate your in-depth knowledge of physical education.vi
Choosing Between Physical Education Graduate Programs
Physical education graduate programs could be a great opportunity to learn more about the habits and exercises that contribute to maintaining a healthy body. More importantly, that knowledge could help others in their quest for a healthier lifestyle. To continue your search for a perfect program, browse the list of links on this page. Clicking a link provides you with a brief description about the program. To refine this list further, select your preferred degree and program type from the menus on this screen.
[i] bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/coaches-and-scouts.htm#tab-4 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/middle-school-teachers.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm | [v] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm#tab-4
- Buffalo, NYBuffalo, NY
The Canisius College MS in Physical Education leads to initial certification in New York – one of the most rigorous state certifications in the nation.
If you want to help students get moving, choose our online master’s program in physical education. It focuses on K–12 physical education and leads to professional certification for those already initially certified in teaching PE. We designed the progr...
Emporia State University
Master of Science in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (thesis or non-thesis).
- Natchitoches, LANatchitoches, LA
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Overview Sport Administration is an interdisciplinary concentration that includes business related courses such as Budgeting, Microcomputer Applicati...
- Natchitoches, LA
- Miami, FLMiami, FL
The Adrian Dominican School of Education at Barry University offers an educational leadership program that integrates the knowl...
- Bridgewater, MABridgewater, MA
Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater's MS in Physical Education is designed to help students achieve a variety of health fitness-related career goals.
- Norfolk, VANorfolk, VA
Old Dominion University
- Pittsburg, KSPittsburg, KS
Pittsburg State University
The MS program is designed to prepare students for careers in the fields of sport, physical education, wellness and recreation.
- Moscow, IDMoscow, ID
University of Idaho
- Durham, NCDurham, NC
North Carolina Central University
- Normal, ALNormal, AL
Alabama A & M University
- Collegedale, TNCollegedale, TN
Southern Adventist University
Because learning can happen anywhere and anytime, SAU’s Master’s in Outdoor Teacher Education program has been developed to help classroom teachers, o...
University of Northern Colorado - Extended Campus
1st of its kind in the state, the graduate program is designed as a 30-hour online program in response to growing demand in the field, notably as youth sports programs continue to expand.
- Slippery Rock, PASlippery Rock, PA
Slippery Rock University
This certificate is a 12-hour program designed to support reading specialist candidates as they develop the skills needed to be...
North Georgia College & State University
Positioned in the fastest-growing region of the state, UNG develops students into leaders for a diverse and global society.
- Dahlonega, GA
- Brockport, NYBrockport, NY
State University Of New York, College At Brockport
Students select among three concentrations leading to a MSEd in Physical Education: Adapted Physical Education, Athletic Admini...
This graduate online certificate, designed and offered by Boston University School of Education through the Office of Distance Education, provides ins...
- Columbia, SCColumbia, SC
University of South Carolina
- Abilene, TXAbilene, TX
Hardin Simmons University
The Master of Education in Physical Education is designed to further the educational preparation of school teachers, coaches and others interested in...
The MAE-Coaching program emphasizes performance, philosophy and leadership.
- Portales, NMPortales, NM
Eastern New Mexico University
- Tallahassee, FLTallahassee, FL
Florida A And M University / Florida State University