Physical Education

A physical education background prepares our graduates to develop and lead physical activity programs for youth and adults in community-based fitness or recreational settings, including health and fitness centers, and outdoors.

Our faculty is highly committed to our students, reaching out when you first arrive on campus to help you learn about the UVM and Burlington communities. They will work closely with you as caring advisors as well as experienced teachers in classrooms, learning labs, and in the field.

You declare your intent to be a Physical Education major at the time you apply to UVM. At the end of your first year, you formally apply to be admitted into the professional course work leading to an educator's license to teach PreK-12.

As a Physical Education major, you will acquire a thorough understanding of the effects of physical activity on the human body and the ways in which we learn movement skills. You will acquire a strong academic foundation and practical knowledge of human movement. Your core course work will include: Exercise Physiology; Movement Skill Learning and Control; Kinesiology; Sport in Society; and Physical Education Pedagogy.

Beginning in your second year, you will have a variety of field-based experiences--working with children in the public schools, coaching youth involved in sports organizations, and assisting individuals in special physical activity or fitness programs. You will spend a minimum of 60 hours in elementary and secondary settings before enrolling in a teaching internship. You also will gain experience throughout your academic program in other field settings, such as Special Olympics, adapted aquatics, Boys and Girls Clubs, summer camps, and sports rehabilitation programs.

You will also take a series of professional physical activity courses to develop instructional experiences in an activity setting. Courses include racquet sports, outdoor pursuits, team and individual sports, and others.

Additionally, all students in the program complete a 30-credit liberal arts and sciences concentration. You will be able to choose from 30 areas, including Exercise and Sports Science.

The program is approved by the Vermont State Department of Education, which has reciprocity with many states and the District of Columbia and is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Successful program completion leads to licensure and an endorsement to teach Physical Education (PreK-Grade 12).