Physical Education P-12

General Information

The P-12 Physical Education and Health Teacher Education Program is looking for highly qualified candidates to become physical education and health teachers in the schools. This unique and highly respected program features:

  • Many practical experiences working with youngsters in schools and related settings.
  • Emphasis on the development of motor skills and fitness components in youngsters.
  • Development of teaching skills in practical settings.
  • An innovative curriculum in which students complete the program in a community of learners (cohort group).
  • Encouragement of self directed learning and critical thinking skills.
  • Emphasis on teaching learners of all ability levels — not just elite athletes.
  • Development of skills in a wide variety of movement, fitness, and leisure activities.
  • A supportive community of fellow students, faculty and alumni.
  • Greater access to faculty and comprehensive advising.
  • A variety of learning environments, in addition to the classroom, which can include retreats, field experiences and professional conferences.
  • A high rate of placement in the schools for students who graduate.


Program requirements for the P-12 Physical Education and Health Teacher Education program can be found in the University catalog.

Program Overview

This major provides concentrated study of pedagogy, exercise and sport science, and psychosocial and historical, and health education. Completion of the requirements leads to teacher certification in P-12 physical education and health. This program is special in that it consists of four sequential five-credit blocks with practicum experiences at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. It allows students concentrated time developing teaching techniques while working with youngsters in public schools.

The program consists of two to two and one-half years of coursework and one semester of student teaching. Students begin taking classes in the major fall quarter of their junior year (year 1 of the program). At the same time, students apply for formal admission into both the Woodring College of Education and the Physical Education and Health Teacher Education Program. Students are notified at the end of fall quarter if they are admitted into the program. Once admitted, students continue with the sequence of classes in the block program for the next five quarters.

Are you interested?

If you are someone who is interested in majoring in P-12 Physical Education and Health Teacher Education to become a physical educator, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I love working with all children and youth?
  • Do I want to work in an active and dynamic environment?
  • Do I want to promote lifetime wellness and fitness?
  • Am I a self-directed learner?
  • Do I take initiative and have leadership skills?
  • Am I enthusiastic and willing to learn?

If you can respond to these questions with a "Yes," you are the type of person we are looking for.

Admission to the program

Students interested in the P-12 Physical Education/Health program may be given pre-major status by going to the main HHD office located in Carver 102 to speak with the Administrative Assistant 2, where you will fill out a pre-major declaration form and obtain the application for obtaining major status.

For admission into the P-12 Physical Education and Health program as a major, you must apply concurrently to the Woodring College of Education and the Physical Education and Health program in the fall of your junior year. If you meet the minimum requirements for admission into the Woodring College of Education, including passing all sections of the WEST B exam, your application can be considered for the Physical Education and Health program. This application involves enrolling in the correct classes in the fall, filling out an application, getting three official Reference Letters, providing transcripts, submitting specific writing samples, writing an essay, doing a presentation for Physical Education and Health faculty, and being interviewed by faculty. If you are selected into the program, you will be notified prior to winter quarter registration so that you may enroll in the appropriate classes. If you are not accepted, you cannot reapply to the program until the next fall. You will need to see your advisor for recommendations for alternative classes or programs.

Can I finish the degree in two years?

The P-12 program includes 85 credits of Physical Education and Health classes. In addition, you must also take courses in Biology, Educational Foundations, Educational Psychology, Secondary Education, and Instructional Technology in order to gain a P-12 teaching certification. It is possible to complete all the coursework in two years if you also take classes in the summers. However, this is true only if you have completed all of your GURs and prerequisites for classes in the program prior to entering. Once all of the coursework is finished, you will also need to complete the student teaching internship.