• Special Education Aide
  • Youth Sports Coach
  • Health Coach
  • Personal Trainer
  • Behavioral Health Specialist
  • Performance Coach
  • Graduate School
  • Sports Marketing
  • Community Recreation Coordinator

For individuals who

Want to become critical thinkers, creative planners and effective practitioners.

Looking for

Opportunities to work with people, be physically active, and are interested in overall wellness, along with physical, biological and social sciences.

To become

  • Athletic Trainer
  • Wellness Specialist
  • Dance Coach
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Director of Athletics

The Physical Education Program includes two options

K-12 Teacher Licensure Option:

The licensure program prepares students with the skills and techniques necessary to begin a successful teaching career in K-12 physical education. The program is aligned with both the Society of Health and Physical Educators of America Initial Physical Education Teacher Education Standards and the Physical Education standards set forth by the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB). Courses are strategically structured to be sequential in nature. Teacher candidates develop their teaching skills and confidence through a variety of hands-on teaching experiences prior to student teaching. These experiences include our unique NDSU Let's Move in Homeschool physical education program held on campus each fall and spring as well as Adopt-a-School service-learning program.

Students take courses in both the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences (HNES) and the School of Education (SOE). Students are fully admitted into the program when they have met the admission requirements established by the SOE. Coursework concludes with a culminating semester-long student teaching experience and graduates of this option meet the requirements for K-12 physical education licensure.

Teacher candidates in this option may enroll in the 300-level professional education courses before being formally admitted to the SOE. Prior to enrolling in the 400-level EDUC courses, teacher candidates must complete the application for admission to the SOE; earn required grades in all core physical education courses (as specified in the handbook); maintain at least a 2.75 cumulative grade point average in their course work and education courses; and pass the Core Academic Skills for Educators test or meet minimum scores on the ACT+. Requirements for admission can be found on the School of Education website.


Student teaching (clinical practice) is the culmination of the teaching program. During In the clinical practice, teacher candidates apply the knowledge and skills acquired in their college courses to real-world classrooms under the supervision of experienced physical education teachers in elementary, middle and high schools. Faculty members from NDSU conduct regular on-site visits to support, encourage, and evaluate teacher candidates so that they gain the confidence and ability to join the teaching profession after graduation.

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 students to also complete 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 website.


Upon completing this program, teacher candidates are eligible for teacher licensure in physical education in most states. Our PETE program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and approved by the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB).

Coaching and Physical Activity Leadership Option:

This option prepares students for careers in coaching, recreation, and youth physical activity programming. The program is aligned with the Society of Health and Physical Educators of America (SHAPE) National Standards for Sports Coaches and promotes best practices in physical activity settings. Coursework focuses on youth development, injury care and prevention, planning and facilitation of physical activity programming, and instructional strategies for physical activity settings. Students have opportunities to engage in various field experiences prior to the culminating semester-long internship experience . Students must maintain a 2.75 cumulative grade point average in order to graduate.


Physical education majors at North Dakota State University are taught how to use and apply a variety of technologies and software to analyze physical activity skills and strategies, assess student/athlete progress towards meeting standards and outcomes/goals, and reflect on both their teaching/coaching effectiveness and student/athlete progress.

Career Opportunities

Graduates in physical education find career opportunities teaching in both public and private educational settings, coaching within the community, athletic programs including college athletics, community sports positions with parks and recreation facilities, and/or local recreation organizations such as the YMCA. If interested in coaching at higher education institutions, students are encouraged to maintain a 3.0 GPA to increase their likelihood of acceptance into graduate school to pursue the necessary master’s degree required to coach at this level.