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Physical Education Concentration

Build foundations for fit and healthy lives.

Studies now show the importance of physical activity in a child or adolescent’s day is even more significant than we ever thought. Teachers in physical education are coming into the profession at a time when the nation continues to struggle with high obesity rates and less activity among children at an even younger age.

It’s in physical education class that a child can build a foundation for a healthy, active lifestyle. Physical activity improves a student’s concentration, memory and classroom behavior. It’s the physical education teacher who not only can instill in a child a love for physical activity and various athletics, but a greater purpose — an understanding of its value to a healthy life.

As a student in the exercise science concentration in physical education, you will learn the differences between health-related and skill-related fitness. You will learn how to create movement-based learning opportunities for students in the areas of motor development, individual and large group activities that are designed to promote a lifelong priority of staying active. You will learn also how to modify lessons to meet the needs of all and how to assess your lessons in order to foster student learning.

Unique opportunities

  • Work with the local preschool and home school associations in teaching physical education skills
  • Get involved with the Missouri Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MOAHPERD) and take advantage of a number of professional development, networking and educational opportunities
  • Attend the MOAHPERD state conference, where William Woods has had two physical education students recognized as Major of the Year in Physical Education
  • Join the Physical Owl Club, which is composed of majors that seek local opportunities to better physical and health education knowledge
  • Join the international honor society in education, Kappa Delta Pi, where teachers and future teachers come together
  • Combine physical education with giving back through service opportunities such as volunteering with the YMCA as well as for the Special Olympics, hosted in Columbia, Missouri
  • Continue your education with a Master’s in Education in Athletics Administration to become an athletic director or in Administration to pursue principal certification, both programs offered by William Woods University

Our Physical Education degree at work 

The physical education degree will thoroughly prepare you to be a physical education teacher in the state of Missouri. Our graduates can be found teaching around the state of Missouri and across the country.

Alumni Perspectives

The faculty and staff in the physical education department made my time at William Woods an enjoyable experience. I was nervous about student teaching in my own physical education classroom, but my professors prepared me. WWU has prepared me for the educational world and I can now go into an interview confident in my abilities as an educator.

— TJ Quick, physical education graduate


The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science degree with a concentration in Physical Education at William Woods University consists of 92 distinct credit hours for graduation — including 37 core exercise science major credits and 56 hours needed for Education Certification.

Courses you may take

ATR100 - Personal Health - 3

This course will provide basic knowledge of current personal health concepts and their application. Students will have the opportunity to discover theoretical and practical perspectives that will affect the quality of life. The students will study potential health problems as well as the steps taken by individual and groups to reduce risk of health problems for individuals, families, and communities.

ATR230 - Prevention and Care of Injuries - 3

Emphasizes the prevention and care of injuries and the use of training room equipment. (Special fee) Prerequisite: PED 205.

ATR231 - Prevention and Care Lab - 1

Lab class taken in conjunction with ATR 230 – Prevention & Care of Athletic Injuries. Hands-on learning in basic athletic training techniques. (Prerequisite: PED205)

EXS103 - Nutrition - 3

This course will introduce nutrient functions and the effects of various supply/demand states on physical well-being. Discussion will include the role of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and hydration on performance.

PED104 - First Aid and CPR - 2

This course is designed around the American Red Cross Responding to Emergencies: Comprehensive First Aid/CPR/AED. In this course the student will be educated on proper Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation for the adult, child and infant. Also, the student will be taught how to identify and care for several sudden illnesses, as well as, proper First Aid techniques and procedures for bodily injuries ranging from minor bleeding to severe musculoskeletal conditions. Upon completion of this course, proper demonstration of skills, and meeting American Red Cross guidelines the student will receive American Red Cross certification in CPR/AED for Adult, Child, and Infant, as well as certification in First Aid. This certification will last for two (2) years. Physical Requirements: The student will also have to perform several skills that will require them to be in a crouched, kneeling, or squatted position for a minimum of five (5) minutes.(Special fee)

PED135 - Team Sports - 1

An activity course to develop an understanding of the strategies, rules, equipment, facility needs, coaching and fundamentals of a variety of team sports.

PED136 - Individual and Dual Sports - 1

An activity course to develop an understanding of the strategies, rules, equipment, facility needs, coaching and fundamentals of a variety of individual and dual sports.

PED137 - Flexibility and Stretching - 1

An activity course to develop an understanding of the strategies, rules, equipment, facility needs, coaching and fundamentals of a variety of team sports.

PED205 - Introduction to Anatomy/Physiology - 3

An overview of the human body and how it functions. Emphasis will be placed on skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, endocrine and digestive systems.

PED215 - Motor Learning - 3

The class will include lecture, laboratory analysis, and application of the basic mechanical principles of daily activities and sports skills in order to understand the most efficient movement.

PED250 - History and Philosophy - 3

Designed to assist students in developing an historical perspective and viable personal philosophy of physical education.

PED307 - Methods of Physical Education Pre K – 4 - 3

This course is a study of teaching methods and techniques unique to children in Pre K – 4 developmental stages of learning. Instructional methodology, curriculum development, lesson planning and implementation and sequential skill instruction will be included in this course.

PED308 - Creative Movement - 3

This course includes lecture, laboratory experiences, experimentation, and research in order to provide the student with a wide variety of knowledge and material for using creative movement.

PED321 - Kinesiology - 3

An application of mechanical principles to human movement. Prerequisite: PED 205

PED322 - Physiology of Exercise - 3

This course is designed to study the responses and adaptations of the functions of the human body during muscular exercises. Material is pertinent to teaching, coaching, and individuals interested in exercise.

PED350 - Adapted Physical Education - 3

Designed to identify exceptional children and to provide a learning environment suitable to their needs and capabilities.

PED405 - Measurement and Evaluation - 3

An examination of the various tools of measurement and an analysis of the purposes, values, and limitations of these tools in relation to objectives. Field experience is included.

PED418 - Methods of P.E. (6-12) - 3

A theoretical and practical study of the teaching of Physical Education at the secondary level. Relevance will be placed on instructional methods and materials used in the teaching field.


Admissions Information

Learn more about undergraduate admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.

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