Physical Education (B.S.Ed.)

Why Study Physical Education at NIU?

Want to help future generations develop the skills, habits and attitudes necessary to promote lifelong health and wellness? Our physical education program prepares you to teach at the elementary, intermediate or secondary level.

You’ll take courses linking current educational theories and research to real-world, contemporary experiences in K-12 schools. Our program focuses on "the whole child" to ensure that you will impact the social and emotional development, as well as the cognitive and behavioral changes, of your students.

We recommend a minor or endorsement in a second teaching area; many Physical Education majors complete a minor in Health Education.

Careers with a Physical Education Degree

Upon graduation, you’ll be qualified to apply for Illinois licensure and be eligible to teach in public and private schools, kindergarten through 12th-grade.

Physical Education Faculty

We provide an inclusive, engaging and supportive environment that inspires excellence. Our faculty prepare students to succeed and lead in their careers and communities through programs grounded in engaged learning experiences. Our innovative and effective instruction addresses the changing educational and professional needs of our students. Physical Education faculty research includes:

  • Positive youth development
  • Social and emotional learning
  • Sport for development
  • Adventure-based learning
  • Policy and program evaluation as it relates to youth sport and physical activity

Hands-on Learning Opportunities

You’ll get hands-on experience teaching at both the elementary and the secondary levels. These varied settings provide a rich and diverse 16-week teaching experience.

For unparalleled exposure to the classroom, check out our "Educate" series: Our Educate Local, Educate U.S. and Educate Global programs transport students throughout the northern Illinois region, across the country and around the world to observe, learn, teach and participate. You can apply what you have learned while we support your transition from student to professional.

You can implement programs specially designed for P-12 students with unique needs in our Celebrating Abilities in Physical Education community outreach. The program promotes healthy lifestyles through gross motor development, physical fitness, lifetime sports, play-social skills, aquatics and dance-creative movement.

You can gain experience in delivering outdoor education through working with fifth-graders at NIU’s Lorado Taft Field Campus.

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