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Physical Education

The Physical Education program provides opportunities for students to develop their academic background, teaching skills and physical talents, as well as preparing them to enter the work force.

The Physical Education Program 

To be successful in the field, a physical education student must like to work with people, be adequately skilled in physical activities, have a commitment to fitness and be interested in the physical, biological and social sciences.  

The physical education teacher education (PETE) program emphasizes teaching and provides students with skills and techniques necessary to potentially have a successful career in K-12 physical education. The program is aligned with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education's (NASPE) PETE Standards. The courses are strategically structured to be sequential in nature.  

Students start the program in the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences (HNES) and complete their degree requirements through the School of Education (SOE). Application and interviews to the SOE will occur during the spring semester of a student's junior year. Completing the degree requirements for a physical education degree in the SOE certifies a graduate to teach physical education from kindergarten through grade 12.  

The student majoring in physical education will be studying the art and science of human movement, which includes classes in elementary, middle and high school activities; motor learning, physiology and psychology of human movement; the art of teaching and motivating potential of all individuals; and appreciation of the individual differences of all people and their communication skills. 

Students will successfully complete all 100-level courses before advancing to the 200-level courses, etc. The courses provide a firm scientific foundation, while providing vast experience in practice teaching. Students must earn a grade of B or better in all core physical education courses and must keep a 2.75 cumulative grade point average to stay in full-standing in our program. 

A graduate leaves prepared to teach in a professional manner, while demonstrating exemplary ethical behavior, and displays up-to-date best practices; graduates are expected to provide positive role models for K-12 students in the area of physical education, physical activity and sports.

Technology in Physical Education 

Physical education majors at NDSU are taught how to use and apply heart rate monitors and pedometers in activity settings; the TriFIT computer-based health management system which allows for exercise evaluation, nutrition evaluation and health-risk assessments. Students will use video cameras and computer software to analyze sport skills and improve teaching effectiveness, K-12 student accountability and personal reflection. 

Double Major 

Because of No Child Left Behind legislation, it is strongly recommended that physical education majors double major in health education.

School Health Education Major-- For further information about school health education, please refer the Health Education Fact Sheet. 

Career Opportunities

Graduates in physical education find career opportunities teaching in public or private educational settings, coaching within the community, athletic programs including coaching at high-education institutions, community sports positions with parks and recreation facilities, and/or local organizations like the YMCA. If interested in coaching at the higher education institutions, students are encouraged to maintain a 3.0 grade point average to ensure acceptance into the graduate school to pursue the needed master's degree required to coach at this level.


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7474
Campus address: Bentson-Bunker Fieldhouse Room 1 and E Morrow Lebedeff Hall 351
Physical/delivery address: 1310 Centennial Boulevard, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 2620 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Science

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 12:55:20 PM