Distance Learning Physical Education Degree Programs

Research online physical education courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

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Essential Information

Distance learning physical education (also known as P.E. or phys ed) programs are usually offered at the master's degree level as a Master of Science, Master of Education or Master of Arts. These programs are usually intended for certified P.E. teachers who need a master's degree to fulfill requirements for professional advancement. Some programs offer thesis or research options, while others offer neither. A few programs expect students to spend some time on campus, and others require an internship.

General Topics of Study

Classes that some universities include as part of the core curriculum are considered electives at other colleges. However, topics that are common to many programs include:

  • Curriculum design for specific content
  • Issues and trends in physical education
  • Measurement and assessment
  • Physical education teaching methods
  • Research design and reporting
  • Supervision in physical education

Specializations

Most distance learning programs are basic P.E. programs, but some offer specializations. The latter cover much of the same material as basic programs, but also require courses in the chosen area of the specialization.

Coaching

These programs generally have several objectives. The most obvious is to help those who are already coaching build new skills to become more effective. Another common objective is to teach coaches to investigate coaching strategies and communicate them to others. Some common courses in this specialty include:

  • Coaching techniques
  • Legal issues
  • Research methods
  • Sport psychology
  • Training and conditioning

Exercise Science

Although exercise science programs are planned with the school teacher in mind, this focus can prepare them for other careers as well. These include athletic trainer, aerobics instructor, exercise physiologist, biomechanist and specialist in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. Specific courses may be:

  • Concepts of motion
  • Exercise physiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Motor learning
  • Teaching lifetime fitness

Adapted Physical Education

Many distance learning physical education degree programs offer a course in adapted physical education since most teachers will at some point work with a student who has a disability. Students who opt to pursue a full specialty in this area likely will be required to complete an internship or field practicum, in addition to taking courses like the following:

  • Adapted physical education
  • Assessments of movement
  • Disability sports
  • Exercise science
  • Professional and family liaisons in special education

Studies in physical education at master's levels are available in the distance learning format. Students can study coaching, exercise science or adapted physical education online, sometimes with the additional requirement of an internship.

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