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School of Education
Physical Education/Physical Education and Health
students running in the gym
School of Education

Physical Education/Physical Education and Health


  • Bachelor of Science
  • Undergraduate

148 credits

required for program

148 credits

148 credits

required for program

Learn from Christian faculty about body mechanics and health to keep youth engaged in sports and help them lead an active lifestyle. The physical education degree equips you to teach fitness to children in grades K-12 within a public or private school setting. This degree also prepares you for further graduate study.

Physical Education may be the right degree for you if you

  • enjoy fitness and health
  • are eager to serve
  • passionate about teaching
  • interested in working in a school setting

Why study physical education at Northwestern?

At UNW you will grow in your faith by working with experienced faculty who have learned to integrate faith and leadership. You will gain an understanding of the human body, how to lead activities, and get equipped to teach children in grades K-12.

Additionally, the School of Education offers you the opportunity to go to Haiti for one week to learn how different education is overseas. This trip will help equip you to teach in diverse communities. You can also study abroad or take part in our international student teaching program.

Northwestern’s School of Education provides four levels of classroom practicum experience:

  • The first level allows you to find your personal "fit" within the teaching profession.
  • The second focuses on developing theory and skills related to diversity.
  • The third engages you to apply methodologies within your chosen field by creating, teaching, and evaluating lessons in a school classroom.
  • The final level is full-time student teaching in a chosen licensure field.

The School of Education provides teacher education programs approved by the MN Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board and as a result meet the state standards adopted for licensure programs as defined in state rule 8710.2000 through 8710.8080. All licensure programs are aligned with INTASC (Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) standards and the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice.

You can also add a licensure in health to your degree with additional credits. The following courses are required for licensure in Health Education.

  • School Health Education Methods
  • Sexuality Education
  • Personal and Community Health
  • Human Nutrition
  • Health Behavior: Theory and Program Planning
  • Health Education Curriculum and Instruction

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Careers in physical education

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in physical education.

What types of work are related to this degree?

  • Teaching in your area of specialty
  • Creating/directing educational programs
  • Curriculum development
  • Instructional design (technology training may be required)
  • Textbook editing
  • Student life/student affairs
  • Adapted physical educator
  • Athletic director or trainer
  • Camp counselor
  • Exercise or fitness specialist
  • Industrial wellness programming
  • Recreation programming/directing
  • Sports store manager
  • Umpire/referee

Who employs people with this degree?

  • Schools of all kinds-public, private, charter, international, government, residential
  • Day care and nursery school
  • Parks and Recreation departments
  • Educational testing companies
  • Curriculum/educational publishers
  • School district offices
  • Educational research firms
  • Industries related to your subject area
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Universities and colleges
  • Employee training programs

Strategies for success:

  • Requirements for certification/licensure vary by state. Multiple certifications will increase employability. A master’s degree will increase earning potential.
  • Be willing to work hard at finding a job and to go where the jobs are.
  • Obtain part-time, summer, internship, or volunteer experience with the age group you intend to work with in various settings: pre-schools, daycares, camps, community agencies, adult centers, YMCA’s, etc.
  • Participate in co-curricular activities and related organizations to broaden skills, interests, and opportunities.
  • Identify transferable skills learned in teaching that are applicable to other careers: written and verbal communication, teaching and instruction, program planning, organization and record keeping, working under pressure and meeting deadlines, motivational skills, creativity, working autonomously, decision-making, problem solving.
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96%

of seniors feel prepared to integrate their faith with their academic field

Program

meets licensure requirements for the Minnesota Board of Teaching

100%

of Northwestern’s education graduates felt professionally prepared

What will I learn?

You will develop valuable skills in creative problem-solving, think deeper, and analyze key concepts.

Still have questions about this program or how to apply?

Our team is ready with answers!

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