Accredited Online Physical Education Degrees
There are many accredited online schools offering physical education degrees at the bachelor's level. We also highlight the 8 best online master's programs in physical education, ranked by tuition and alumni salaries provided by PayScale.
Prospective physical education students should ensure that their programs of choice are regionally accredited. Additionally, students looking to go into teaching will want to make sure that their programs have programmatic accreditation from CAEP to ensure the program meets high standards of academics and professional preparation. Aspiring physical education teachers will also have to check on the specific teacher licensing requirements for their state.
Most Popular Accredited Online Schools for Physical Education Bachelor's Degrees
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition||Recommend Rate|
|# 1||William Carey University||$12,600||100% (2 reviews)|
|# 2||Arkansas State University||$15,297||75% (4 reviews)|
|# 3||Averett University||$23,080||Add Review|
|# 4||Athens State University||$7,968||Add Review|
|# 5||East Central University||$16,020||Add Review|
|# 6||Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus||$8,247||100% (4 reviews)|
|# 7||Eastern Oregon University||$20,739||80% (5 reviews)|
|# 8||Fort Hays State University||$15,210||44% (9 reviews)|
|# 9||University of Wisconsin-Superior||$15,699||Add Review|
|# 10||Wingate University||$33,166||Add Review|
Online Physical Education Degree Overview & Career Information
An online bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement needed to become a licensed physical education teacher. Online master's degree programs are available for those who are already working as teachers and who want to add to their skill set, or for those looking to make a career switch to teaching. If you already have a bachelor's degree and want to go into teaching, an online certificate might be a good option for you.
Online Bachelor's Degrees in Physical Education
Students who are determined to pursue a fully online physical education bachelor's program can expect the program to take four or five years to complete, depending on if the student is enrolled in a program that includes teacher licensure. Credit hours required may be as much as 154. Tuition will vary depending on the program an individual is enrolled in, but students can expect to pay somewhere around $18,000 a year. Admission will often require a high school diploma or GED, SAT or ACT scores, and an application.
The curriculum will be made up of general education courses as well as major-specific courses designed to teach students how to be effective educators. Example classes include Lifespan Motor Development, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Secondary School Physical Education Methods, Elementary School Physical Education Methods, Adapted Physical Education, and Educational Psychology. Student teaching is usually also required. Students may have the option to choose a specialization or minor such as Health and Physical Education, Athletic Coaching, or Physical Activity and Sport Performance. Upon completing their degree graduates will be qualified to teach physical education classes to elementary, middle, and high school students.
One thing that individuals should keep in mind when they are deciding on a school to attend is whether or not the school has been accredited. Accreditation means that an independent, outside organization has looked at the school or program and determined that it meets certain educational standards. Regional accreditation is when one of six regionally-based agencies evaluate a school as a whole to make sure it is living up to certain academic standards. Regional accreditation is offered to non-profit, degree-granting schools. It is important to attend a regionally accredited school for a variety of reasons, including the ease of transferring credits, access to federal financial aid, and increased assurance that the student's money is being spent on an education that will prepare them for their professional future.
Another type of accreditation is programmatic accreditation. Certain fields, such as teaching, have independent agencies dedicated to accrediting programs in that field to help students choose one that will adequately prepare them for the workforce. Students who are interested in teaching at the elementary, middle, or high school level and who are looking at physical education degrees should look for programs that are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This accreditation means the program is academically strong and that students who graduate from it will have the skills needed to be successful teachers.
Careers in Physical Education
The primary career path for those who earn a degree in physical education is that of an elementary, middle, or high school teacher. These professionals work with children and teens of various ages and ability levels to help them learn about exercising, team work, and healthy choices. Like any other teacher, they have to plan lessons and practice classroom management. Other job choices for someone with a physical education background include coaching, athletic training, and fitness training.