Making Moves as a Physical Education Major

A physical education (PE) major combines the best of interpersonal communication and science. It’s a great choice for anyone with an interest in sports and fitness who likes working with other people, often children or young people. As a physical education major, you’ll learn how to help others improve their relationships with their bodies and exercise by teaching them about safe movement and wellness. 

Of first and foremost importance in the field of physical education is an understanding of how the body moves. Students studying physical education majors should expect to take coursework in subjects such as anatomy, kinesiology, motor learning and physiology. Depending on your chosen career path, you may also study education (for those who want to teach) or sports management and marketing (for those who are interested in administrative jobs). 

JCSU students in gym

Johnson C Smith University

Since physical education is a hands-on discipline, your program may require coursework such as labs, student teaching, or fieldwork at a local school. Many physical education programs also take a more holistic approach to wellness, and it’s not unusual for some institutions to require that students take classes in nutrition and health as well. 

Careers in Physical Education

A physical education degree is a highly versatile one, and can be used in sectors such as education, healthcare and professional sports. Below are a few examples of careers that physical education majors may pursue:

  • Physical education (PE) teacher
  • Personal trainer
  • Sports coach
  • Fitness instructor
  • Physical therapist
  • Kinesiotherapist
  • Athletic director
  • Sports journalist

Want to learn more about this possible career path and college major?
Have questions about which UNCF colleges and universities offer degrees in physical education?
Looking for help with financing this degree? 

Click Here so We can Help You!

spelman tennis instructor and student

Spelman College

How to Prepare for Success

Those interested in pursuing a physical education major should have strong foundations in math and science, particularly anatomy and biology. Coursework or experience in education and communication can also be helpful. 

If exercise science or PE classes are available, these will help prepare future physical education majors as well. Perhaps most importantly, students who intend to study physical education should have a strong interest in athletics, and should participate in sports or recreational exercise themselves. 

UNCF Schools to Consider

A number of UNCF-member schools offer programs in physical education, including: 

Professional Organizations

These organizations and others can provide information about and related to physical education: 

Scholarships Available

Several scholarships are available through UNCF. The UNCF General Scholarship Awards are an excellent opportunity for any student going to a UNCF-member college, regardless of their major. The UNCF/Koch Scholars Program offers scholarships, mentorship, academic support and networking opportunities to undergraduate African American students. The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program awards a $10,000 scholarship to one exceptional HBCU senior each year who has demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to community service and unmet financial need.

Keep an eye on the UNCF website for current scholarship opportunities. Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are scholarships available to study physical education.

Reach out for guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in physical education. Submit the form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!