Open Calendar
Elementary students doing stretching exercises


Click to print this page

Physical Education

Are you passionate about sports and physical activity? Do you want to share that passion and inspire your students or team players to develop healthy life habits? The University of Central Missouri’s Physical Education programs will prepare you to teach and coach students how to competently engage in physical activity and enjoy playing sports safely in the gym and on the court, field and track. Instill in your students a lifelong love of movement and physical activity with a degree from UCM’s Physical Education programs. 

UCM’s Physical Education programs prepare you for exciting careers.

  • Physical education teacher: For over 150 years, the College of Education has helped aspiring teachers and coaches reach their highest potential, whether in the classroom or the gym. We give you the expertise and experience to approach physical education holistically — involving the mind, the heart and the body. Thanks to the hands-on training we provide our students, we boast a 90% job placement rate for K–12 physical education teachers.
  • Adapted sports and physical education: There should be no boundaries for physical education. That’s why we offer an Adapted Sports Education program that prepares students to work as K–12 paraprofessionals or with individuals who have disabilities and want to engage in physical activities in recreational programs and other settings.
  • Sports and recreation education: Move beyond the school to teach or coach in a wide variety of settings, including YMCAs, rec leagues and camps. You’ll have the training to coach competitive sports for children, youth and adults and lead outdoor activities — even serving in leadership roles — while making a lasting impact on the lives and fitness of future generations.

3 people, with 1 behind a magnifying glass

90% job placement rate for K–12 teachers

A teacher at a podium

Long legacy of skilled teachers

A networking icon

Experiential learning

CAEP accreditation logo

Fully CAEP-accredited

A teacher in front of a class

Small class sizes

Find your Physical Education future at UCM

UCM’s Physical Education programs offer so many reasons why they stand out among other university programs throughout Missouri and the country:

  • Supportive faculty: Thanks to our small class sizes, you’ll get plenty of academic support from distinguished faculty mentors who have years of experience teaching physical education to K–12 students. Faculty carefully design your courses so that you’ll benefit from their lessons learned throughout their careers.
  • Hands-on learning: We believe in learning by doing. That’s why many of our faculty replace lectures with real-world experiences, such as practicums in diverse settings, including rural, urban and suburban school districts. This experience will prepare you to teach and coach wherever you’re needed and adapt to your students’ backgrounds and learning styles.
  • Commitment to equity: Physical education is about so much more than the body. From emotional well-being to cultural awareness, our graduates are trained with a focus on addressing social justice issues both in and outside the classroom. Our students are exceptional teachers, but they are also dedicated agents of change, leaders and advocates.


What can you do with a degree in one of UCM’s Physical Education programs?

Earning a degree from one of UCM’s Physical Education programs opens the door to many exciting and impactful careers in teaching, coaching, leadership and advocacy. Because of the exceptional training they receive, our graduates are in high demand throughout Missouri. In fact, over 75% of school districts in MO have UCM alumni teaching K–12 physical education and other subject areas.

Our programs prioritize career preparation, which is why we teach students to design standards-based physical education curriculum around both the Missouri Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs) and the SHAPE America Grade-Level Outcomes (GLOs). With experience using GLOs, our graduates are equipped to teach physical education not just in Missouri but across the country.

In addition to teaching and coaching, our programs also prepare you to become a leader in education and policy. Many of our graduates sit on the boards of regional, state and national physical education organizations, such as the Missouri Society of Health and Physical Educators (MOSHAPE), Missouri Healthy Schools and SHAPE America — and many more.

A degree in Physical Education from our programs will prepare you for a rewarding career in:

  • Physical education
  • Adapted sports and physical education
  • Sports and recreation



Multiple Degree Options to Choose From

Elementary-Secondary (K-12) Certification Education

Why Elementary-Secondary (K-12) Certification Education?

By pursuing Elementary-Secondary (K-12) Physical Education Certification, you will be prepared to teach children in kindergarten through 12th grade from diverse backgrounds with unique learning strengths and challenges. With a focus on helping children and young adults prepare for a lifetime of participation in the physical activities they enjoy, you will learn how to effectively implement instruction using a wide variety of approaches. You also will learn how to use technology to enhance teaching and learning. You will become a part of the next generation of proud UCM physical educators who are highly sought out by school districts as the best prepared teachers in the field.

Click here to learn more!

Adapted Sport Education

Why Adapted Sport Education?

By pursing a major in Adapted Sport Education, you will be prepared to work in areas dealing with teaching and coaching of adapted sports. Many graduates of this degree choose to further their education through graduate studies in a variety of fields. Become a member of one of the largest growing fields in movement education in the world today. 

Click here to learn more!

Sports & Recreation Education

Why Sports & Recreation Education?

By pursing a major in Sports & Recreation Education, you will be prepared to work in areas dealing with teaching and coaching in recreational sports environments. You will also gain the opportunity to go on to further education by pursuing a graduate degree. The world of recreational adult and youth sports continues to grow across the country. You will be trained to work in these areas and be able to have a career making a difference in the world.

Click here to learn more!

Physical Education, MS

Graduate Degree in Physical Education

In addition  to offering options within the undergraduate degree, our Phsyical Education program is please to announce that our graduate degree has been renamed and now has two options of its own. To learn more about our MS in Physical Education, please visit the link below.

Click here to learn more!


Request Info   Visit   Apply Today!




  • facebook
  • twitter
  • youtube
  • linkedin
  • instagram