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Health and Physical Education (PreK-12), B.S.

The B.S. programs in Health and Physical Education prepare graduates to help youth develop their motor skills, understand games, and build lifelong commitment to personal health and physical activity.

These rigorous programs in the Department of Exercise Science, emphasizes physical education, health, wellbeing, and fitness skills on a continuum of ability levels, including children with disabilities, in one of the only dual certification programs in the region. Content closely aligns with NYSAPHERD and SHAPE America standards and guidelines of physical and health literacy, and all students meet the requirements for a New York State temporary Coaching License allowing you to coach school sports for grades 7-12. There are two options for this program:

  • The B.S. in Health and Physical Education leads to dual New York State initial teacher certification in Health Education (all grades) and Physical Education (all grades), and is recommended for employment in most school districts.
  • The B.S. in Physical Education leads to New York State initial teacher certification in Physical Education (all grades) only.

Why Health and Physical Education at Syracuse?

  • 92% of School of Education students are employed or in graduate school within 6 months, and health and physical education students have a 92% pass rate on the New York State edTPA examination.
  • 100+ hours of field placements starting in your first year, including a 2 full-time student teaching experiences in your senior year.
  • Gain your coaching license, allowing you to work as a coach in any public middle or high school athletic program.
  • Explore health education topics and sensitive areas such as decision making and goal setting, interpersonal communication, personal and family health, and injury and disease prevention and safety.
  • An emphasis on multicultural methods and practices in urban and inclusive education settings that reflect an ever-changing world.
  • Diverse, community-based cohorts work and attend classes together and develop lifelong personal and professional connections.
  • Opportunities to join Health and Physical Education related professional organizations, and attend and present at conferences like the NYS Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance for professional development.
  • The campus is your classroom, including the extensive facilities of the Syracuse Recreation Services: four gymnasiums, two pools, dance studios, tennis courts, weight rooms, and various indoor and outdoor athletic fields.
  • Health and physical education students have the opportunity to study abroad for a semester in one of over 60 countries and take part in School of Education short-term study abroad programs. Through the Himan Brown Fellowship, School of Education students are also eligible for exclusive funding to support study abroad experiences.
  • With a Syracuse University bachelor’s degree, you are eligible for the 25% alumni tuition scholarship for a School of Education master’s program.

You’ll receive advising support, career services, and one-on-one mentoring from the School of Education and Health and Physical Education/Physical Education faculty. Our faculty are engaged in the field and hold leadership positions in professional organizations and receive prestigious awards for their leadership, research, and scholarship.

Our graduates are in K-12 schools, community and government organizations, and recreation programs locally and across the country including:

  • Health Teacher
  • Physical Education teacher
  • Coaching and Athletic training
  • Research in physical activity and wellness
  • Developing adapted instruction and pedagogy
  • Further studies in Exercise Science, Teaching & Curriculum, Educational Leadership, Public Administration, or another area of interest.

Program Details

As a student in a Physical Education program, you’ll combine studies in physical education, education methods, classroom practicums, physical activities, and academic requirements from the liberal arts core. You will choose PED activity and liberal arts courses in collaboration with your advisor, allowing you to tailor them to your personal and professional interests. Health and Physical Education students will take additional coursework in health content and education. Sample courses in your program may include:

  • Foundations of Human Behavior
  • Community and Environmental Health
  • Structural Kinesiology
  • Methods of Elementary Physical Education
  • Adapted Physical Education
  • Assessment and Curriculum in Health and Physical Education

Students often use their electives to complete a minor in Disability Studies, Sports Management, Nutrition, or Management. Your first semester will include introductory education, science, statistics, and writing courses, along with several physical activities. More information on academic requirements available in the Syracuse University Course Catalog for Health and Physical Education and Physical Education.

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