Bachelor of Science in Physical Education

If you're passionate about helping K-12 students develop the skills, habits and attitudes necessary to promote lifelong health and wellness, check out our experiential and research-informed program in physical education. You'll connect current educational theories and research to real-world, contemporary experiences. We recommend a minor or endorsement in a second teaching area; many physical education majors complete a minor in health education. The College of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation to offer teacher education programs which are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Innovative Experiences

We embrace a holistic approach in physical education that focuses on "the whole child," preparing our graduates to impact the social and emotional development, as well as the cognitive and behavioral changes of their students. KNPE 466 (Field Experience at Outdoor Environments), for example, transports our P.E. majors to our Lorado Taft Field Campus, one of the premier outdoor education facilities in the country, for an experience as outdoor educators for elementary school children. This unique experience builds our students' confidence and bolsters their résumés.

  • If you are admitted to NIU to pursue the B.S.Ed. degree in physical education then you will enter directly into the major program.
  • Admission to teacher education and retention in this major requires a university GPA of 2.75 or above.
  • Grades of C or better are required in specific major courses.
  • Successful completion of the ILTS Test of Academic Proficiency (or acceptable ACT/SAT waiver) is required prior to enrollment in professional coursework.

The NIU College of Education embeds diverse, real-world learning opportunities in physical education programs, offering you valuable experiences you won't get anywhere else.

  • You can implement programs specially designed for K-12 students with unique needs in our Celebrating Abilities in physical education community outreach. The program promotes healthy lifestyles through gross motor development, physical fitness, lifetime sports, play-social skills, aquatics and dance-creative movement.
  • If you choose to live in Stevenson Towers' Sport, Recreation and Wellness Community, you can participate in intramural leagues, weekend trips and monthly workshops which will enhance your personal wellness as well as connect you with other students who share your interest in sport and recreation.
  • Our Educate and Engage Program provides hands-on experiences close and far from home.
    • Educate Global sends selected students to China and Taiwan to teach English.
    • Educate U.S. allows selected students to travel to the Houston Independent School District in Texas for an all-expenses-paid week during which they practice their skills and broaden their perspectives.
    • Educate Local provides opportunities to volunteer, observe and participate in various campus, community and educational settings.

  • KNPE 200 Introduction to Teaching physical education (2)
  • KNPE 203 Practicum in physical education (1)
  • KNPE 235 Fundamental Sport Skills (3)
  • KNPE 302 Assessment in physical education School Settings (3)
  • KNPE 303 Clinical Experience in physical education II (1)
  • KNPE 335 Developmental Skill-Based Approach to Teaching (3)
  • KNPE 340 Growth and Motor Development (3)
  • KNPE 343 Elementary School physical education/ Methods and Field Experience (3)
  • KNPE 344 Field Experience in the Elementary School (1)
  • KNPE 348 Educational Dance for Children (2)
  • KNDN 351 Multicultural Dance (3)
  • KNPE 364 Fitness Education Methods for K-12 Students (3)
  • KNPE 365 Introduction to Adventure Education (3)
  • KNPE 368 Sport Education (3)
  • KNPE 421 Curriculum Designs in Middle and High School physical education (2)

NIU's annual Educators' Job Fair brings school districts from throughout the state and around the country to interview for teaching positions. Our students and alumni are admitted free and are offered an extended open session time with recruiters. It's a great way to practice your professional communication skills and learn about employment opportunities, with the possibility of invitation-only interviews at the event.


Triston Kelley

My professors are setting me up for success and making me feel like I'm at home. They give me so many opportunities to prepare myself in a school environment, to learn from physical education teachers in the DeKalb area and allowing me to become more comfortable and confident when I introduce content to my students and peers. Practice makes perfect!

Triston Kelley, physical education major
Kirstin Dore

The NIU College of Education and the amazing professors are so invested. They really care about students and want to see you succeed. They are always willing to help because they want you to be your best.

Kirstin Dore, physical education major

Contact Us

Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Anderson Hall 221
DeKalb, IL 60115
P: 815-753-1407
F: 815-753-1413

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