• 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

The PETE program emphasizes teaching and provides teacher candidates with skills and techniques necessary to begin a successful career in K-12 physical education. The 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.

Teacher candidates majoring in physical education will study the art and science of human movement, including 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. These courses are taught by the Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences (HNES). Teacher candidates also complete professional education courses through the School of Education (SOE).

Teacher candidates 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 grade point average overall 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.

Technology in Physical Education

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 K-12 student progress towards meeting standards and outcomes, and reflect on their teaching effectiveness, K-12 student accountability, and personal reflection.

Double Major

It is recommended that physical education majors obtain a degree enhancement through 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 the health education major, please refer to the Health Education Fact Sheet.


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

Teacher candidates leave 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.

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.