Typical online master's degree programs in physical education are geared toward working professional physical education teachers with bachelor's degrees who want to upgrade their knowledge and teaching acumen. These programs typically require a teaching certificate and bachelor's degree as prerequisites. Online courses differ from their on-campus counterparts in how they are delivered, but the degree awarded is usually the same. While some are available entirely online, other programs may be offered in a blended format with in-person fieldwork requirements.
Online graduate physical education classes can be taught via one-way or multiple-way Internet communication tools like streaming audio and video, live discussion boards, Web conferencing and e-mail.
Many of the required course topics are the same or very similar at each school and can include:
- Psychology of physical education
- Sports culture
- Learning assessment in physical education
- Educational research methods
- Health and society
- Coaching theory
- Curriculum and teaching analysis
- Motor development
The following discusses specific programs available at two institutions offering distance learning graduate studies in physical education.
University of South Florida
University of South Florida's online Master of Arts in Physical Education program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Students can earn their degree 100% online through project-based assignments. USF offers two plans of study for the physical education degree: one for certified teachers and one for non-certified students.
Although courses are delivered online, some of them require students to complete fieldwork in a K-12 setting; students who are not currently working as teachers must secure an approved location to complete these projects. USF's distance learning physical education graduate program requires a total of 30 credit hours and takes approximately two years to complete. University of South Florida has 42,067 students, and its tuition for in-state students for the 2015-2016 school year was $6,410.
Based in Buffalo, New York, Canisius College offers a Master of Science in Advanced Physical Education degree program designed for professionals already in possession of a teaching certificate in the subject. With no residency requirements, the graduate physical education program can be completed entirely online. It includes a capstone course requiring a comprehensive exam and a professional portfolio. The college's Master of Science in Advanced Physical Education degree program is accredited by the NCATE and requires 30 credit hours for graduation.
Canisius College has 3,900 students, and tuition for full-time undergraduate students was $34,690 for the 2015-2016 school year.
Online master's degree programs in physical education are typically targeted toward teachers who want to learn more about their field. Available entirely online or in blended form, these programs cover topics like coaching theory and psychology of physical education.