2022 Best Online Master's in Physical Education
The following list presents the best online master’s degree in physical education in terms of alumni's annual salary rate. Prospective students have a variety of specialties to choose from, such as physical education, kinesiology, and dance education. A master’s in physical education prepares students for a career teaching others about the lifelong benefits of physical activity in schools, fitness centers, and other group fitness settings. Some programs also tailor their coursework to meet the requirements for taking state licensing and certification exams. Graduates are prepared to enter the workforce in engaging, hands-on positions, including roles in schools and various agencies. For those wanting to take a different route than teaching, a master’s degree in physical education can prepare them for a career as an exercise physiologist, which has an annual salary of $47,940.
2022 Best Online Master's in Physical Education
|Rank||School||Salary Score||Median Starting Salary|
|# 1||Ohio University - Main Campus||$51,871|
|# 2||Central Washington University||81||$47,842|
|# 3||Canisius College||79||$47,188|
|# 5||Georgia Southern University||77||$45,899|
|# 6||University of South Florida Online||74||$44,824|
|# 7||University of Northern Colorado||73||$44,599|
|# 8||University of Wyoming||72||$44,149|
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2022 Online Colleges Offering Master's Degrees
#1 Ohio University - Main Campus
Ohio University (OU) is a large, public institution offering a Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Sciences, Coaching Education. Totaling a minimum of 30 credits hours, this program is designed for students interested in coaching careers, such as teaching youth sports, intercollegiate athletics, or even Olympic sports. Some of the core courses students take during the program include Coaching Symposium, Foundations of Coaching, Ethics and Diversity, and Injury Prevention and Risk Management. In addition, to complete the program, students are required to complete a coaching performance evaluation portfolio for their capstone project.
OU hosts nearly 8,000 fully online students. Online students at OU utilize the Blackboard digital learning platform to engage in discussion forums and complete assignments. The coursework is asynchronous, which means that students can set their own study schedules.
#2 Central Washington University
Central Washington University (CWU) offers an online Master of Science in Health and Physical Education for educators looking for a flexible program to fit their schedules. The program lasts for two years (or five quarters), with 45 credit hours. Students can expect to take courses like Psycho-Social Perspectives in Health & Physical Education, Skills-based Health Education, Program Promotion & Grant Writing in Health & Physical Education, and Instructional Models in Physical Education.
CWU's program is facilitated in an asynchronous format on Canvas, a digital learning platform, with students required to take at least two classes each quarter. Applicants must apply to CWU’s graduate school and possess a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field to enroll.
#3 Canisius College
Canisius College is a small, private nonprofit offering an online Master of Science in Physical Education and Athletics. This program, housed within their School of Education & Human Services, offers two paths for prospective students: (1) Physical Education - Professional Certification for those wanting to receive a certification and (2) Physical Education & Athletics. Each program is 30 credit hours with part- and full-time options available. Students must complete a physical education portfolio, mission statement, updated resume, sample lesson plans, and all assignments to receive a degree at the program's culmination.
Students in the program will take online courses through the instructional program, Desire2Learn. Online students at Canisius can use this integrated learning platform to interact with their professors and peers through discussion boards, collect and turn in assignments, and see their grades.
#5 Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University (GS) — a public institution — offers two online degree programs relating to physical education: (1) a Master of Science in Kinesiology and (2) Master of Arts in Teaching Health and Physical Education Grades P-12. The Master of Science in Kinesiology is a 36-credit-hour program offered online, and it's designed for physical education teachers who want to renew their teaching certificate in Health and Physical Education. GS's online Master of Arts in Teaching Health and Physical Education is a 36-credit-hour program that meets all requirements for a Georgia T-5 Health and Physical Education Certification (P-12). While the program is entirely online, students must complete internship and teaching requirements in Georgia.
At GS, the entire graduate program is fully online. And similar to traditional, in-person programs, graduate students are offered advisement from faculty.
#6 University of South Florida Online
The University of South Florida (USF) is a large, public institution that offers a fully online Master of Arts in Physical Education. The program requires 30 credit hours, which includes six core courses, 18 content specialization courses, and six elective courses. Some of the program’s courses include Foundations of Measurement, Clinical Supervision in Physical Education, Sport Psychology, and Analysis of Research in Physical Education. At the program’s completion, students will be required to take a comprehensive exam in order to graduate.
The courses for this degree program at USF are 100% online through the learning management system called Canvas. This digital tool promotes online collaboration between students and professors. Additionally, online students can access tutoring services, test preparation resources, career services, and the counseling center.
#7 University of Northern Colorado
The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is a medium-sized, public institution offering two programs related to physical education: (1) a Master of Arts in Dance Education and (2) Master of Arts in Physical Education/Physical Activity Leadership. The Master of Arts in Dance Education is a 33-credit hour program requiring a thesis. Students will learn instructional methods for choreography, dance performance, and injury prevention. In addition, two in-person workshops on UNC’s campus are required during the summer semesters. UNC’s Master of Arts in Physical Education/Physical Activity Leadership is a 30-credit-hour program lasting 18 months. Coursework includes Assessment in Sport Pedagogy, School-based Nutrition and Wellness, and others.
Even online students must spend two weeks on UNC’s campus during the program. Each program requires two short face-to-face summer workshops. For dance master's students, the workshops delve into choreography and learning dance forms, while PE leadership students will continue to learn about advanced pedagogy techniques and physical activity promotion.
#8 University of Wyoming
The University of Wyoming (UW) offers an emphasis for distant learners in their online Master of Science in Kinesiology and Health division: Physical Education Teacher Education. This program is designed for teachers who have already obtained a bachelor’s degree and licensure for physical education. The program, which is a minimum of 30 credit hours, requires a culminating paper or case study presentation before a student can graduate with their degree. Prospective students must find a graduate faculty member to act as their academic advisor before applying to the program.
At UW, online degree options cater to working professionals with full-time schedules, allowing for maximum flexibility through an asynchronous format.