Bachelor of Science in Physical Education

The core of the Bachelor of Science in Physical Education degree emphasizes the broad fundamental principles of physical education, including scientific foundations, psychological and cultural aspects, assessment and testing methods, trends, and leadership development in a variety of physical activities. Students may choose to pursue study in one of two emphasis areas within the degree: Health and Fitness Leadership or Outdoor Leadership and Administration.

The Health and Fitness Leadership and the Outdoor Leadership and Administration emphases prepare students for professional positions in rapidly growing fields. Each emphasis focuses on developing leadership expertise as well as the knowledge, physical skills and technical competencies to prepare graduates for the job market. The Health and Fitness Leadership emphasis readies students for employment in hospital-based health education and fitness programs, community or public health/fitness programs, private health clubs and fitness facilities, corporate fitness/wellness programs, military fitness centers, as personal trainers, or helps them prepare for further education in physical therapy or physical education teacher preparedness. The Outdoor Leadership and Administration emphasis readies graduates for employment with youth or recreational programs, adventure tourism, guide services, camps, schools, or a host of experiential education opportunities.

Admission Requirements

  • Satisfy the Application and Admission Requirements for Baccalaureate Programs.
  • Completion of BIOL A111 and PEP A181 with a grade of C or better.
  • Meet with a Health, Physical Education and Recreation advisor regarding program requirements and development of a program of study.
  • The degree requires computer competency which may be demonstrated by:
    • successful completion of an approved university computer course,
    • work-related experience requiring computer competency as approved by faculty or major advisor, or
    • demonstrated computer competency as approved by faculty or major advisor.


All students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor each semester for the purpose of reviewing their academic progress and planning future courses. It is particularly important for students to meet with their advisor whenever difficulties arise.

See a Health, Physical Education and Recreation advisor for information on a recommended course sequence.

Academic Requirements

A grade of C or higher in all PEP courses and an overall GPA of 2.75 is required. A grade of B or better is required in the internship (PEP A495).

Graduation Requirements

Major Requirements

Required Support Courses *
BIOL A111Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIOL A112Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
DN A203Nutrition for Health Sciences3
or DN A215 Sports Nutrition
HS A220Core Concepts in the Health Sciences3
PSY A111Introduction to Psychology3
or PSY A150 Lifespan Development
Core Courses
PEP A181Introduction to Health, Physical Education and Recreation3
PEP A182Technology in Health, Physical Education and Recreation1
PEP A183Wellness Principles1
PEP A184Fundamental Motor Skills1
PEP A280Leadership in Health, Physical Education and Recreation3
PEP A281Leadership in Activities for Diverse Populations2
PEP A282Leadership in Initiative Activities2
PEP A284Leadership in Fitness Activities2
PEP A382Kinesiology and Biomechanics4
PEP A383Movement Theory and Motor Development3
PEP A384Cultural and Psychological Aspects of Health and Physical Activity3
PEP A385Physiology of Exercise4
PEP A486Standards and Assessment in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation3
PEP A487Administration and Supervision in Health, Physical Education and Recreation3
Complete two courses from the following:4
Leadership in Team Activities
Leadership in Individual and Dual Activities
Leadership in Outdoor Recreation Activities
Leadership in Rhythmic Activities
Total Credits56

Some of the courses may be used to satisfy the General Education Requirements.

Complete one the following concentration areas: Health and Fitness Leadership or Outdoor Leadership and Administration.

Health and Fitness Leadership Concentration

BA A151Business Foundations3
PEP A251Prevention and Care of Activity-Related Injuries3
PEP A454Exercise Testing and Prescription4
PEP A455Cardiac Rehabilitation and Special Populations4
PEP A456Contemporary Personal Health Issues3
PEP A495Internship6
Choose one of the following options:20
Exercise Management Option
Fundamentals of Supervision
Marketing Practices
Health Education: Theory and Practice
Selected Topics in Health, Physical Education and Recreation
Health Promotion
Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences Option
Lower Body Injury Assessment Skills
Upper Body Injury Assessment Skills
Science and Rehabilitation Core: Complete courses from at least two of the following prefixes in consultation with the faculty advisor: BIOL, CHEM, DN, PEP, PHYS, PSY
Total Credits43

Outdoor Leadership and Administration Concentration

BA A151Business Foundations3
PEP A262Foundations of Outdoor Recreation3
PEP A264Recreation Program Planning and Evaluation3
PEP A363Natural History Interpretation and Environmental Education3
PEP A365Outdoor Leadership Theory and Practice3
PEP A464Outdoor Recreation Administration3
PEP A467CLand-Based Outdoor Leadership2
PEP A467DWater-Based Outdoor Leadership2
PEP A495Internship6
PER A169Four-Season Backpacking3
PHIL A303Environmental Ethics3
Choose a minimum of 6 credits from the following:6
Beginning Rock Climbing
Beginning Ice Climbing
Beginning Indoor Sport Climbing
Water Safety and Rescue
Beginning Canoeing
Beginning River Rafting
Beginning Sea Kayaking
Skiing Alaska's Backcountry
Avalanche Hazard Recognition and Evaluation
Crevasse Rescue Techniques
Intermediate River Rafting
Intermediate Sea Kayaking
Total Credits43

Students who choose this concentration must also possess a current Wilderness First Responder Certification from a recognized institution at the time of completion.

A minimum of 120 credits is required for the degree, of which 42 credits must be upper division.

Honors in Physical Education

Students majoring in physical education are eligible to graduate with departmental honors by satisfying the following requirements:

  1. Meet the requirements for Graduating with Honors.
  2. Meet the requirements for a BS in Physical Education.
  3. Earn an overall GPA of 3.50 or higher.
  4. Complete the BSPE research PEP A490 with a grade of A.

Students should notify their faculty advisor, in writing, of their intention to graduate with honors before submission of the Application for Graduation.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Physical Education will have demonstrated:

  • Knowledge of physical education concepts as well as concepts related to a specific area of emphasis.
  • Competency in many activity forms and proficiency in a few.
  • Ability to apply established national standards in the field(s).
  • Proficiency in entry-level discipline specific administrative skills.
  • Proficiency in general and discipline-specific technologies.
  • Effective leadership skills, including the abilities to:
    • evaluate and direct/re-direct skillful movement,
    • lead a variety of activities,
    • use appropriate motivational strategies,
    • employ appropriate safety and prevention techniques,
    • exercise sound judgment and good decision-making skills, and
    • communicate effectively.