What Are the Top Schools with Physical Education Programs?

See how to choose a top school offering physical education programs. Three good schools are discussed in detail below - including programs offered, areas of specialization, and career options after graduation. Schools offering Exercise Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Characteristics of Top Schools for Physical Education?

Before selecting a school, you might want to consider the criteria recommended by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) or evaluations made by the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK). Top schools may have special programs and research laboratories. These programs could lead to a career in public or private organizations or school settings.

What Are Three Top Physical Education Schools?

University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT

In 2016, UConn tied for 57th among national universities in U.S. News & World Report's rankings (www.usnews.com). Its kinesiology doctoral programs were ranked ninth in the adjusted 2015 evaluations made by NAK. You'd have access to the Nayden Rehabilitation Clinic and the Korey Stringer Institute, which researches exertional heat stroke. The 7,800-square-foot Human Performance Laboratory facilitates research on physiology, metabolism, nutrition, strength training and cardiovascular disease risk factors. The following degrees are offered:

  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Athletic Training, Exercise Science, or Strength and Conditioning
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)

University of Maryland in College Park, MD

In U.S. News & World Report's 2016 evaluations, UMD tied for 57th among national universities. Its doctoral program was tied for 16th in the overall adjusted rankings in the 2015 NAK report. Honors students can participate in faculty research.

Kinesiology students prepare for physical therapy, sports professions and other activity-related careers. You could pursue the 13-month K-12 Physical Education Master's Certificate, leading to a M.Ed. and teaching certification. Master's and Ph.D. candidates can focus on exercise physiology, cognitive motor neuroscience or physical cultural studies, each supported by a faculty-led research laboratory. These programs are offered:

  • K-12 Physical Education Master's Certification
  • B.S. in Kinesiology
  • Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) in Physical Activity
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Kinesiology
  • Doctor of Philosophy( Ph.D.) in Kinesiology

University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA

UVA ranked 26th among U.S. News & World Report's national universities for 2016. Its doctoral program in kinesiology tied for ninth in the 2015 NAK report. As a Curry School of Education kinesiology major, you could focus on sports medicine, exercise physiology or adapted physical education. You could earn both undergraduate and master's degrees in five years, with teaching certification. A condensed post-baccalaureate program for teaching certification is offered in addition to a master's program in teaching. You might complete a practicum with the UVA's Athletic Training Clinic, or benefit from resources of the Exercise and Sport Injury Laboratory.

M.Ed. candidates choose among five kinesiology options, including exercise physiology, adapted physical education, pedagogy, athletic training and sports medicine. A special master's in kinesiology program prepares students to teach at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Ph.D. candidates can further pursue most master's level specializations. Youth-Nex, an interdisciplinary center for youth development, physical and health management issues, is one of several Curry research institutes. These degrees are possible:

  • Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) in Kinesiology
  • Master of Teaching in Health and Physical Education
  • B.S.Ed./M.T. in Kinesiology - Health and Physical Education
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Kinesiology
  • Ph.D. in Education - Kinesiology

Ten Schools with Physical Education Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocation
Baylor University 4-year, Private Waco, TX
Eastern Michigan University 4-year, Public Ypsilanti, MI
The Ohio State University 4-year, Public Columbus, OH
Miami University-Oxford 4-year, Public Oxford, OH
Purdue University 4-year, Public West Lafayette, Indiana
Syracuse University 4-year, Private Syracuse, NY
University of Arkansas 4-year, Public Fayetteville, Arkansas
University of Louisville 4-year, Public Louisville, KY
University of Nevada-Las Vegas 4-year, Public Las Vegas, NV
University of Vermont 4-year, Public Burlington, VT

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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