Physical Education - FAQ's

What skills do I need to succeed?

Demonstrating enthusiasm for instilling wellness and physical fitness values, especially to youth in school systems, is paramount for physical education majors. Thus students must develop strong verbal and written communication skills that will enable them to motivate people to embrace fitness and healthy living practices.

A sincere commitment to instructing introductory activities in sport-skilled competencies is vital to the development of motor skills in youth.


What will I learn?

You’ll leave the program with a strong grounding in the essential components of a quality physical education program. You will gain knowledge and proficiency in developing lesson plans to state and national standards, and in developing physical education and health curricula. Graduates of our program will understand the objectives of physical education, exercise science, and sport, and how they contribute to the field of education.

Graduates will also understand the principles and practices of physical and mental health, including personal health habits, nutrition, and stress management. And you will come to know how lifestyle situations contribute to weight gain and loss, including diet, exercise, and emotional factors.

These principles, and many others, are basic components of the physical education major at CMU.


What opportunities are there for internships or other hands-on learning experiences?

Putting theory into practice is an important element of the physical education major. Students may work for the CMU recreation department to officiate, coach, perhaps lifeguard at the CMU pool. Coaching or officiating for parks and recreation departments in area communities, and/or working at fitness/health clubs are among other opportunities.

Physical education majors will student teach, and in some cases substitute teach, in area schools. Off-campus practicum experiences are standard practice at CMU, as are hands-on teaching experiences with peers in CMU classrooms.


What are some possible entry-level careers with a degree in this field?

With childhood health concerns such as diabetes and obesity on the rise, there is a demand for strong physical education and health programs in schools. Society is becoming more aware of the issues confronting our youth, and physical educators can be a key part of the solution to these growing problems. Well-prepared physical educators can inspire children to lead healthier, more active lives – and research shows a strong correlation to higher academic success and better vocational opportunities for those who live a healthy, active lifestyle.


Want more information? Check out the Major Resources provided by the Career Development Center.


What are some CMU graduates with this degree doing?

Physical education graduates are athletic directors, teachers in public, schools, coaches at public school and university, college and university professors, and personal trainers. Other graduates choose to attend graduate school.