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Online Physical Education Diploma & Certification Programs

Get info about online programs in physical education. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

Essential Information

Some online graduate certificate programs in physical education can be completed entirely online, but others are hybrid programs that have minimal in-person requirements. In addition to a minimum of a bachelor's degree, eligibility requirements for state licensure typically include completion of an approved teacher training program and supervised teaching experience. If students plan to later earn a master's degree, some or all credits from some certificate programs may be applied toward their master's degree.

Graduate Certificate in Physical Education

Physical education teachers at the middle and high school levels work with students to help them develop physical endurance and stamina through exercise, in addition to providing them with a basic knowledge of good nutrition. Online graduate certificate programs in PE are dominated by courses covering theories of physical education and coaching, as well as development and implementation of best practice techniques. A bachelor's degree is generally a prerequisite for such a program.

Information and Requirements

Distance-learners are generally able to complete online graduate certificate programs in PE in 6-12 months. These programs are largely self-directed and allow students to work at their own pace. Instructors blend traditional texts with audio and video presentations to give students a well-rounded experience. Online PE students need a computer with high-speed Internet access. Communication with instructors and classmates typically is conducted by e-mail.

List of Physical Education Courses at the Graduate Certificate Level

Physical education curricula on the graduate certificate level cover PE research and theories, basic health and nutrition, coaching and contemporary teaching methods.

Coaching Method Basics

This course covers the fundamental principles and unique challenges of coaching various team and individual sports for men and women. Topics of special interest include offensive and defensive mental strategy, motivation and scouting.

Nutrition Basics

Students get a comprehensive overview of the basics of proper nutrition as it applies to schools and community agencies. Some topics covered include health education, public health issues and nursing education.

Physical Education Curriculum and Special Methods

Students look at different variables in society and education that are associated with successful physical education programs. Special attention is paid to current trends in physical education curricula and course construction.


Career Information

Generally, individuals who pursue a graduate certificate in physical education are current middle or high school PE teachers or those looking to launch a coaching career. As of October 2016, PayScale.com reported that physical education teachers had a median annual salary of $41,994. Coaches and scouts made significantly less, earning a median salary of $31,000 per year as of May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For the decade spanning 2014-2024, the BLS predicted a 6% increase in job opportunities for middle and high school teachers in general, as well as for coaches and scouts (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education

Requirements for teaching licensure vary from state to state but generally include a minimum of a bachelor's degree, student teaching experience and passage of one or more exams. PE teachers and coaches interested in furthering their education can seek a master's degree or Ph.D. in physical education or a related field, such as kinesiology.

Students can find graduate certificate programs in physical education available in hybrid and fully online formats. Typically, credits earned from these programs can be transferred and applied toward master's degree programs if students ever wish to obtain a further degree.

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