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 liberal studies, diversity, 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:

  • 67 units of major requirements including 17 units of fieldwork experience - PE 450, PE 495C and PE 498
  • 12 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):

Please note that 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 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 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-12physical 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.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • 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 67 units with a Grade of "C" or better and a minimum GPA of 2.5:

    Content Knowledge of Physical Education (6 units)
    • PE 316 (3 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)
Teacher Preparation
  • In all of our teacher education programs, you are required to complete a student teaching or internship experience. In addition, a minimum number of units of practicum is required, which involves supervised field experience with a practicing teacher.  

    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.
    • 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.
  • Arizona Teacher Certification

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

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

    • Content Progression Project (PE 316)
    • Unit/Yearly Planning (PE 335, PE 345, PE 355)
    • Movement Analysis Project (PE 325)
    • Showcase Lesson (PE 450)
    • Assessment Project (PE 435)
    • 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 Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) 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 academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

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 take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.