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Academic Majors


Physical Education

The physical education teacher education (PETE) program provides opportunities for students to become critical thinkers, creative planners and effective practitioners.

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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 PETE program emphasizes teaching and provides students with skills and techniques necessary to begin a successful career in K-12 physical education. The PETE program is aligned with the National Standards Guidelines for Physical Education Teacher Education. The courses are strategically structured to be sequential in nature.

Students initially take courses through the Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences (HNES) and complete their degree requirements through the School of Education (SOE). Students are admitted upon meeting the criteria established by the SOE. Completing the degree requirements for a physical education degree in the SOE prepares a graduate to become certified to teach physical education from kindergarten through grade 12.

Students 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 the psychology of human movement; the art of teaching and motivating students; and an appreciation of the individual differences of all people.

Students must earn a grade of B or better in all core physical education courses and must maintain at least a 2.75 cumulative grade point average to stay in full-standing in the program.

A graduate leaves prepared to teach in a professional manner, while demonstrating exemplary ethical behavior and displaying current best practices. Graduates are expected to be 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 North Dakota State University are taught how to use and apply heart rate monitors and pedometers in activity settings. The TriFIT computer-based health management system 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

It is recommended that physical education majors obtain a degree enhancement through licensing, certification or a double major. The physical education curriculum has been structured to allow PETE students to obtain a health education major during the same four year time frame. The acquisition of additional credentials helps to prepare future professionals, giving them a broader area of expertise and making them more marketable. For further information about school health education, please refer to 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 higher education institutions, community sports positions with parks and recreation facilities, and/or local organizations like the YMCA. If interested in coaching at higher education institutions, students are encouraged to maintain a 3.0 GPA to enhance their possibility for acceptance into graduate school to pursue the necessary master’s degree required to coach at this level.

Sample Curriculum



General Education 
    First Year Experience
1     HD&E 189 - Skills for Academic Success
3     COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking
3, 3     ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II
3     ENGL 358 - Writing in Humanities and Social 
3   Quantitative Reasoning
10   Science & Technology
6   Humanities & Fine Arts
    Social & Behavioral Sciences
3     PSYC 111 - Introduction to Psychology
3     SOC 110 - Introduction to Sociology
3     HNES 217 - Personal and Community Health
-   Cultural Diversity
-   Global Perspective
41   Total
Credits   College/Department Requirements
1   HD&E 320 - Professional Issues
1   Total
Credits   Teaching Specialty Requirements
3   HDFS 230 - Life Span Development or
     PSYC 250 - Developmental Psychology
3   HNES 110 - Introduction to Health, Physical 
    Education, and Sport Management
3   HNES 154 - Professional Preparation in Elementary 
      School Activities
3   HNES 254 - Curriculum, Standards and Assessment 
        in Physical Education
3   HNES 255 - Professional Preparation in Middle School
       Physical Education
3   HNES 256 - Professional Preparation in High School
       Physical Education
3   HNES 301 - Motor Learning and Performance
3   HNES 336 - Methods of Coaching
3   HNES 350 - Fitness Education Activities and Materials
3   HNES 353 - Adapted Physical Education
3   HNES 367 - Principles of Conditioning
3   HNES 461 - Administrative and Social Aspects of
       Physical Education and Athletics
13   Electives
49   Total
Credits   Professional Education Program
3   EDUC 321 - Introduction to Teaching
3   EDUC 322 - Educational Psychology
3   EDUC 451 - Instructional Planning, Methods
     and Assessment
3   EDUC 481 - Classroom Practice Methods of Teaching
      I: (PE)
1   EDUC 485 - Student Teaching Seminar
3   EDUC 486 - Classroom Management of Diverse
9   EDUC 487 - Student Teaching
3   EDUC 488 - Applied Student Teaching
3   EDUC 489 - Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds
31   Total
122   Curriculum Total

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Bentson/Bunker Fieldhouse
Room 1

The Bentson/Bunker Fieldhouse is located on the corner of Centennial Boulevard and University Drive (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Robert Dirk, Academic Advisor
College of Human Development and Education
North Dakota State University
Dept #2600, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-9848


Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences
North Dakota State University
Dept #2620, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 5810-6050

Tel: (701) 231-5687

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 09, 2016 4:40:52 PM
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