What is a Physical Education Degree?
The Bachelor of Science in Physical Education degree program offered by Grand Canyon University is a collaborative initiative from the College of Education and the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. This physical education degree attracts teacher candidates who possess an enduring love of sports, physical fitness and wellness. Physical education teachers can serve as powerful role models and motivators for the next generation as they strive to make healthy choices and reach their full potential.
Earn Your Bachelor of Science in Physical Education at GCU
GCU offers a modern curriculum that is fully aligned with Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) principles. All coursework adheres to the national standards for Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) as established by SHAPE America, which is the national organization for physical educators.
This BS in Physical Education enables teacher candidates to develop these core competencies:
- Create a safe, positive learning environment
- Meet the diverse needs of students with varying abilities
- Empower students to thrive physically, and stay active in and out of school
While you earn your Bachelor of Science in Physical Education at GCU, some of the topics you study may include:
- Human development and function
- Fitness development and assessment
- Biomedical principles
- Techniques and best practices for safe movement
- Physical education for students with disabilities
- Instructional technology
- Teaching methods for individual and team sports
All teacher candidates are required to complete a student teaching experience. Under the supervision of a certified, experienced physical education teacher, teacher candidates apply their knowledge to the classroom.
What Is the Role of a Physical Education Teacher?
Physical education teachers fulfill several roles within a school system. They assess and guide the physical development of students, provide nutritional guidance and inspire enthusiasm for healthy exercise. Many physical education teachers also coach one or more school sports teams. Some of the responsibilities of a physical education teacher can include:
- Developing a well-rounded curriculum
- Organizing activities
- Preparing and maintaining gym equipment
- Teaching students how to play sports and other physically active games
Additionally, physical education teachers can guide the socio-emotional development and ethical awareness of their students. They seek to instill values such as good sportsmanship and teamwork. Physical education instructors can help students work toward a love of healthy competition, tempered by the humility to gracefully accept a loss.
Are Physical Education Teachers in Demand?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth for high school teachers from 2016 to 2026 is 8 percent. During this period, it’s expected that a substantial percentage of teachers will retire, creating new opportunities for teacher candidates. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the demand for a similar occupation, fitness training and instruction, is expected to grow by 10 percent from 2016 to 2026. This growth in demand is faster than average.
Job Opportunities with a Physical Education Degree
A BS in Physical Education allows you to turn your passion for fitness and sports into a rewarding career inspiring students. Graduates may pursue job opportunities as instructors in elementary, middle or high school physical education programs. Other career possibilities that may be related to this degree include:
- Physical activity director
- Sports team coach
- Fitness trainer
- Athletic director
- Community recreation director
- Strength and conditioning coach
The Bachelor of Science in Physical Education degree program at GCU leads to initial teacher licensure. Teacher candidates are responsible for obtaining all necessary certifications required by the state in which they wish to teach.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.