Health Sciences - Physical Education, Bachelor of Science in Education

Department of Health Sciences

College of Health and Human Services

The Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd) degree has been a part of NAU’s heritage from its earliest years. Those who earn this degree will be ready to launch and/or sustain a career teaching physical education to youth in Pre K-12 schools. Teachers are an essential part of school, community, and country. We aim to guide young people to become and remain physically active and healthy throughout life.

This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

This program is nationally recognized by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America, formerly the National Association for Sport and Physical Education).

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's diversity, liberal studies, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • 64 units of major requirements including 17 units of fieldwork experience - PE 450, PE 495C and PE 498
  • 15 units of Foundations in Teaching requirements

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements.

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units.

Candidates in this program are required to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skills, professional knowledge, and professional dispositions to be eligible to enter student teaching or internship placements.

Content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge or skills, professional dispositions are demonstrated through candidate performance on key assessments embedded in the following course(s):

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA 2.5
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching Required
University Honors Program Optional
AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A Recommended
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan

This program may lead to licensure.

Purpose Statement 

The Bacholor of Science in Education in Health Sciences - Physical Education program allows candidates to become a certified Physical Education teacher in the state of Arizona. Through the program students are exposed to robust field experiences where active learning and student engagement occurs. Candidates are immersed in rich methods courses and then apply what they have learned in K-12 schools. Candidates are exposed to content progressions; understanding how a skill or concept can be taught various ways depending on the skill level of the individual. Candidates learn a multitude of teaching strategies. Candidates develop lesson plans and lesson objectives. Candidates apply the Arizona Physical Education State Standards and national standards to lesson objectives, lesson plans, unit plans and unit objectives. The program delivers a quality focus on curriculum development, assessments, application of assessments, data literacy strategies, technology integration, classroom management strategies and solid pedagogical knowledge. The Physical Educator trained at Northern Arizona University understands the importance of teaching and demonstrating movement concepts and skill themes when educating a child to become physically active for a lifetime. 

Student Learning Outcomes based from the 2017 National Standards for Initial Physical Education Teacher Education.
Outcomes align with Standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium.
Standard 1: Content and Foundational Knowledge
Physical Education candidates demonstrate an understanding of common and specialized content, and scientific and theoretical foundations for the delivery of an effective preK-12 physical education program.
Candidates will:

  • 1a- Describe and apply common content knowledge for teaching preK-12 physical education.
  • 1b- Describe and apply specialized content knowledge for teaching preK-12 physical education.
  • 1c- Describe and apply physiological and biomechanical concepts related to skillful movement, physical activity and fitness for preK-12 students.
  • 1d- Describe and apply motor learning and behavior-change/psychological principles related to skillful movement, physical activity and fitness for preK-12 students.
  • 1e- Describe and apply motor development theory and principles related to fundamental motor skills, skillful movement, physical activity and fitness for preK-12 students.
  • 1f- Describe historical, philosophical and social perspectives of physical education issues and legislation
Standard 2: Skillfulness and Health-Related Fitness*
Physical Education candidates are physically literate individuals who can demonstrate skillful performance in physical education content areas and health-enhancing levels of fitness.
Candidates will:
  • 2a- Demonstrate competency in all fundamental motor skills, as well as skillful performance in a minimum of four physical education content areas (e.g., games and sports, aquatics, dance and rhythmic activities, fitness activities, outdoor pursuits, individual-performance activities).
  • 2b- Achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of fitness throughout the program.
Standard 3: Planning and Implementation
Physical Education candidates apply content and foundational knowledge to plan and implement developmentally appropriate learning experiences aligned with local, state and/or SHAPE America National Standards and Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education through the effective use of resources, accommodations and/or modifications, technology and metacognitive strategies to address the diverse needs of all students.
Candidates will:
  • 3a- Plan and implement appropriate (e.g., measureable, developmentally appropriate, performance-based) short- and long-term plan objectives that are aligned with local, state and/or SHAPE America National Standards and Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education.
  • 3b- Plan and implement progressive and sequential content that aligns with short- and long-term plan objectives and that addresses the diverse needs of all students.
  • 3c- Plan for and manage resources to provide active, fair and equitable learning experiences.
  • 3d- Plan and implement individualized instruction for diverse student needs, adding specific accommodations and/or modifications for all students.
  • 3e- Plan and implement learning experiences that require students to use technology appropriately in meeting one or more short- and long-term plan objective(s).
  • 3f- Plan and implement learning experiences that engage students in using metacognitive strategies appropriately to analyze their own performance results.
Standard 4: Instructional Delivery and Management
Physical Education candidates engage students in meaningful learning experiences through effective use of pedagogical skills. They use communication, feedback, and instructional and managerial skills to enhance student learning.
Candidates will:
  • 4a- Demonstrate verbal and nonverbal communication skills that convey respect and sensitivity across all learning experiences.
  • •4b- Implement demonstrations, explanations and instructional cues that are aligned with short- and long-term plan objectives.
  • 4c- Evaluate the changing dynamics of the learning environment and adjust instructional tasks as needed to further student progress.
  • 4d- Implement transitions, routines and positive behavior management to create and maintain a safe, supportive and engaging learning environment.
  • 4e- Analyze motor skills and performance concepts in order to provide specific, congruent feedback to enhance student learning
Standard 5: Assessment of Student Learning
Physical Education candidates select and implement appropriate assessments to monitor students’ progress and guide decision making related to instruction and learning.
Candidates will:
  • 5a- Select or create authentic, formal assessments that measure student attainment of short and long-term objectives.
  • 5b- Implement formative assessments that monitor student learning before and throughout the long-term plan, as well as summative assessments that evaluate student learning upon completion of the long-term plan.
  • 5c- Implement a reflective cycle to guide decision making specific to candidate performance, student learning, and short- and long-term plan objectives.
Standard 6: Professional Responsibility
Physical Education candidates demonstrate behaviors essential to becoming effective professionals. They exhibit professional ethics and culturally competent practices; seek
opportunities for continued professional development; and demonstrate knowledge of promotion/advocacy strategies for physical education and expanded physical activity opportunities that support the development of physically literate individuals.
Components – Candidates will:
  • 6a- Engage in behavior that reflects professional ethics, practice and cultural competence.
  • 6b- Engage in continued professional growth and collaboration in schools and/or professional organizations.
  • 6c- Describe strategies for the promotion and advocacy of physical education and expanded physical activity opportunities.
Health Science - Physical Education BSED.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • To be eligible for admission to the program, candidates must receive Professional Education Programs (PEP) approval:

    • Be a declared Secondary Education major in this program.
    • Complete EDF 200 with a Grade of "C" or better.
    • Complete the program’s mathematics foundations requirement with a grade of “C” or better.
    • Complete the English foundations requirement (ENG 105 or equivalent) with a minimum GPA of 3.0. (If your English GPA is below 3.0, you may take an approved writing course to achieve the 3.0 GPA).
    • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
    • Complete and submit your IVP Fingerprint Clearance Card; Youth Suicide Prevention Training; Professional Dispositions Modules; Equity Survey; and a Professional Responsibility Statement. Your State-approved Identity-Verified Print (IVP) fingerprint clearance card is obtainable through the Arizona Department of Public Safety (602-223-2279).
Major Requirements
  • This major requires 79 units distributed as follows:

    • Content Major Coursework: 17 units
    • Content Knowledge of Physical Education: 6 units
    • Physical Education Methods: 12 units
    • Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Physical Education: 12 units
    • Fieldwork in Physical Education: 17 units
    • Foundations in Teaching Requirements: 15 units

    Take the following 79 units. A minimum NAU cumulative GPA of 2.5 is required, and a minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for all Content Major Coursework. For all major requirements, a passing grade is required and a Grade of "C" or better is required for courses evaluated on an A-F scale.

    Content Major Coursework (17 units)

    Content Knowledge of Physical Education (6 units)
    • FIT Credit. These may include the following (3 units):
      • Strength Training Program Design (1 unit)
      • Mind Body Instruction (1 unit)
      • Group Exercise Instruction (1 unit)
    • PE 210 (3 units)
  • Physical Education Methods (12 units)
    Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Physical Education (12 units)
    Fieldwork in Physical Education (17 units)
Teacher Preparation
  • Teacher education programs require a student teaching or internship experience. A minimum number of practicum units are also required, which involves supervised field experience with a practicing teacher. These required experiences are embedded in the major requirements courses.

    Before being accepted for student teaching, the following criteria must be met:

    • Admission to the Professional Education Programs (PEP)
    • GPA and course grade requirements for degree program as stated in Additional Admission and Major Requirements
    • Complete all plan requirements 
    • All major coursework, with the exception of EDF 200, must be completed within the six years prior to student teaching 
    • Successful completion of required state and university training modules
    • All candidates must demonstrate professional and ethical standards of practice as described in the Model Code of Ethics for Educators and adhere to NAU’s and PEP’s Student Code of Conduct as well as adequate physical health for teaching
    • All outstanding PEP Alerts must be resolved per improvement plan
    • Attend mandatory Student Teaching Orientation
  • Arizona Teacher Certification

    In order to obtain an Arizona teaching certificate you must pass the National Evaluation Series Secondary Assessment Professional Knowledge Exam.

  • Student Teaching in Physical Education (PE 495C) is the capstone experience for this degree plan. Student teachers will be assigned to placements in the Flagstaff area by the Physical Education Teacher Education faculty. In special circumstances, where students cannot be accommodated appropriately locally, placements will be determined based on the best educational situation available. Only students who have demonstrated academic excellence throughout their academic career will be placed in approved Health Sciences clinical sites outside of the Flagstaff area.

    You must complete all student teaching prerequisites by the end of the fall or spring term directly preceding your student teaching experience. Please be aware that if you complete your coursework during the Summer sessions, you will not be considered for a student-teaching placement for the following Fall Semester.

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.

    You may take these remaining courses from any of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Additional Information
  • Arizona state teacher certification requirements leading to an Institutional Recommendation may change at any time, and may impact program of study requirements.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information, see course information contained in the catalog or your advisor.