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 degree has been a part of NAU’s heritage from its earliest years. Those who earn this degree will be ready to launch a career in this essential part of community and country—the education of young people, the breath of the future.

This program is nationally recognized by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE).

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

  • 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:

  • 68 units of major requirements including 15 units of fieldwork experience - PE 408 and PE 495C
  • 9 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

Purpose Statement 

The Bachelor of Science in Physical Education 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, develop lesson plans, 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

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. Scientific and Theoretical Knowledge: Physical education teacher candidates know and apply discipline-specific scientific and theoretical concepts critical to the development of physically educated individuals.  Teacher candidates will:
    • Describe and apply physiological and biomechanical concepts related to skillful movement, physical activity and fitness.
    • Describe and apply motor learning and psychological/behavioral theory related to skillful movement, physical activity, and fitness.
    • Describe and apply motor development theory and principles related to skillful movement, physical activity, and fitness.
    • Identify historical, philosophical, and social perspectives of physical education issues and legislation.
    • Analyze and correct critical elements of motor skills and performance concepts.
  • Standard 2. Skill and Fitness Based Competence: Physical education teacher candidates are physically educated individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to demonstrate competent movement performance and health enhancing fitness as delineated in the NASPE K – 12 Standards.  Teacher candidates will:
    • Demonstrate personal competence in motor skill performance for a variety of physical activities and movement patterns.
    • Achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of fitness throughout the program.
    • Demonstrate performance concepts related to skillful movement in a variety of physical activities.
  • Standard 3. Planning and Implementation: Physical education teacher candidates plan and implement developmentally appropriate learning experiences aligned with local, state, and national standards to address the diverse needs of all students. Teacher candidates will:
    • Design and implement short and long term plans that are linked to program and instructional goals as well as a variety of student needs.
    • Develop and implement appropriate (e.g., measurable, developmentally appropriate, performance based) goals and objectives aligned with local, state, and /or national standards.
    • Design and implement content that is aligned with lesson objectives.
    • Plan for and manage resources to provide active, fair, and equitable learning experiences.
    • Plan and adapt instruction for diverse student needs, adding specific accommodations and/or modifications for student exceptionalities.
    • Plan and implement progressive and sequential instruction that addresses the diverse needs of all students.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of current technology by planning and implementing learning experiences that require students to appropriately use technology to meet lesson objectives.
  • Standard 4. Instructional Delivery and Management: Physical education teacher candidates use effective communication and pedagogical skills and strategies to enhance student engagement and learning.  Teacher candidates will:
    • Demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills across a variety of instructional formats.
    • Implement effective demonstrations, explanations, and instructional cues and prompts to link physical activity concepts to appropriate learning experiences.
    • Provide effective instructional feedback for skill acquisition, student learning, and motivation.
    • Recognize the changing dynamics of the environment and adjust instructional tasks based on student responses.
    • Utilize managerial rules, routines, and transitions to create and maintain a safe and effective learning environment.
    • Implement strategies to help students demonstrate responsible personal and social behaviors in a productive learning environment.
  • Standard 5. Impact on Student Learning: Physical education teacher candidates utilize assessments and reflection to foster student learning and inform instructional decisions.  Teacher candidates will:
    • Select or create appropriate assessments that will measure student achievement of goals and objectives.
    • Use appropriate assessments to evaluate student learning before, during, and after instruction.
    • Utilize the reflective cycle to implement change in teacher performance, student learning, and/or instructional goals and decisions.
  • Standard 6. Professionalism: Physical education teacher candidates demonstrate dispositions essential to becoming effective professionals.  Teacher candidates will:
    • Demonstrate behaviors that are consistent with the belief that all students can become physically educated individuals.
    • Participate in activities that enhance collaboration and lead to professional growth and development.
    • Demonstrate behaviors that are consistent with the professional ethics of highly qualified teachers.
    • Communicate in ways that convey respect and sensitivity.

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 meet the following requirements:

    30 units of coursework which includes:

    • EDF 200, MAT 114, PE 315  with a grade of "C" or better in each course
    • 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 GPA of 2.5 in all content major coursework and one of the following:

    • A cumulative 2.5 GPA in Liberal Studies courses
    • A cumulative 2.5 GPA in all courses

  • Additional requirements:

    • Meet expectations of the Introduction to Professional Portfolio key program assessment required in PE 315
    • You must be declared in this major
    • Completion of a teacher-education orientation for Secondary Education
    • Submission of a copy of your State-approved Identity-Verified Print (IVP) fingerprint clearance card, obtainable through the Arizona Department of Public Safety (602-223-2279)
Major Requirements
  • Take the following 68 units with a Grade of "C" or better and a minimum GPA of 2.5:

    Content Knowledge of Physical Education (8 units)
    • PE 316 (3 units)
    • FIT Credit. These may include any combination of FIT 100 courses (5 units):
  • You must also be certified in safety and First Aid - CPR.

    A Fingerprint clearance card is required to enroll in PE 335, PE 345, PE 355, PE 365.

    Foundations in Teaching Requirements (9 units)

Teacher Preparation
  • Before being accepted to student teaching, the following criteria must be met:

    • Admission to the teacher education program
    • NAU GPA must be at least 2.5, with a GPA of 2.5 in all teacher preparation courses, with no grade lower than a "C".
    • Passing score on the required Professional Dispositions Modules
    • Complete all plan requirements.
    • Pass the Arizona Physical Education Subject Knowledge Exam
    • All major coursework, with the exception of EDF 200 must be completed within the six years prior to student teaching.
    • All candidates must demonstrate social and emotional maturity consistent with professional standards of classroom instruction as well as adequate physical health for teaching.

  • In order to obtain an AZ teaching certificate, you must pass the following required Arizona Educator Exams

    • Physical Education Subject Knowledge Exam
    • Secondary Education Professional Knowledge Exam

    • Meet expectations on 80% of criteria in the following key assessments:

    • Health-Related Fitness requirements. See the HS: Physical Education Program website for specific criteria.
    • Portfolio presentation demonstrating evidence of meeting at least 5 of the 6 National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) Initial Teacher Standards.
    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
  • Be aware that Arizona state teacher certification requirements leading to Institutional Recommendations may change at any time, and may impact program of study requirements.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.