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Master’s Degree in Physical Education

Physical education is an incredibly important part of schools in the United States. With obesity rates increasing all over the country, particularly in children, it is crucial for kids to get plenty of physical activity at school. As a physical education teacher, you may be able to help kids develop healthy habits, learn to enjoy exercise and harness their energy in a creative way. A master's degree in physical education may provide you with the advanced knowledge needed to teach children of different ages.

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Requirements for Master's Degree Programs in Physical Education

To qualify for admission to a physical education master's degree program, you must have a bachelor's degree. Many schools require a bachelor's degree in education or physical education, but some schools will accept students from other fields. Between theory learning and classroom experience, you can plan on spending about two years earning this degree.

To start your master's degree, you may take a set of core advanced education courses. These courses include Advanced Teaching Methods in Physical Education, Analysis of Curriculum and Teaching and Authentic Assessment in Physical Education. You may also take other courses that focus on the health and wellness aspects of your education. Courses in this category include:

  • Controversial Issues in Health Education
  • Leadership in Physical Education and Athletics
  • Social Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity
  • Performance Enhancement & Interventions

In the final semester of your graduate program, you may gain experience in a physical education setting. You also may spend time in elementary, middle and high schools, allowing you to apply your knowledge in many different ways.

There are numerous employers and organizations that offer scholarships and grants to students studying physical education at an advanced level. The Tobin Sorenson Physical Education Scholarship is worth $1,000, and this competitive scholarship is awarded to outstanding students who want to pursue physical education at the K-12 level. Communities, Adolescents, Nutrition, and Fitness (CANFIT) Scholarships are awarded to Californian students in various fields that promote physical health, including physical education. If you also decide to work at a public school after graduation, you may be able to get some of your student loans forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Career and Salary Outlook

With a master's degree in physical education, you may be able to work at several different levels of education. Whether you work at an elementary school, middle school or high school depends on what kind of experience you gain while earning your degree. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, elementary school teachers earn an average salary of $56,900 per year, while middle school teachers bring in an average salary of $57,720 per year (2018). High school teachers make the most yearly salary, bringing home an average of $59, 170 (BLS, 2018). Positions teaching in each level is expected to increase at the national average for all occupations, which is around 7-8 percent (O*Net, 2018).

If you're ready to take your passion for health to the next level, a master's degree in physical education could be the right choice for you. Contact graduate programs in physical education today to get started.