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EdM in Physical Education

The School of Education no longer admits students to the master’s in Physical Education. Students who are continuing in this program should note the following degree requirements.

The graduate program in Physical Education attracts candidates interested in pursuing licensure to teach physical education, candidates who already hold licenses, and candidates who do not wish to be licensed but are interested in physical education. A variety of courses are offered, including: educational theory, research design, curriculum design, adapted physical education, motor development, sociology of sport, and analysis of teaching.

The program has two separate tracks: the licensure track and the non-licensure track. Coursework will vary depending on which track students pursue.

Licensure Track

The licensure track is for those who know they want to teach in public schools. Upon completion of the program, students will meet the requirements for an initial license to teach physical education at either the elementary or secondary level. Students may pursue dual licensure in physical education in both the elementary and secondary levels.

Incoming students are not required to hold an undergraduate degree in health or physical education. However, if they have not already done so prior to admission, they are required to complete anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, and exercise physiology prior to graduation.

Physical Education Core Coursework

  • SED PE 506 Motor Development: Considerations for Planning Movement (4 cr)
  • SED HE 722 Curriculum for Health, Movement, and Wellness ( 4 cr)

Field of Knowledge and Pre-Practicum Coursework

  • SED ED 500/501 Foundations of Educational Practices/Lab (6 cr)
  • SED RS 600 Introduction to Research (4 cr)
  • SED HE 720 Selected Problems in Health Education (4 cr)
  • SED PE 502 Movement and Physical Activity in Schools (2 cr)
  • SED PE 513 Practical Applications for PE and HE—Pre-Practicum (4 cr)

Practicum (8 cr)

The practicum experience is a full semester of student-teaching physical education in a public school with a licensed supervising practitioner. Boston University enjoys longstanding relationships with many urban and suburban school systems in greater Boston. Students select one practicum experience from the options listed below.

If opting for dual licensure, students will enroll in an additional practicum (8 cr) in either the pre-K–8 or 5–12 level.

  • SED PE 580 Elementary Licensure Practicum, Pre-K–8 (8 cr)
  • SED PE 582 Secondary Licensure Practicum, 5–12 (8 cr)

Non-Licensure Track

The non-licensure track is designed for those who already attained licensure or who want the flexibility to design a program around individual interests and educational goals. The majority of the coursework will be elective courses chosen in consultation with students’ academic advisors.

Core Coursework (12 cr)

  • SED PE 710 Sports Theory and History (4 cr)
  • SED PE 705 Analysis of Sports and Teaching (4 cr)
  • SED RS 600 Introduction to Research (4 cr)

Elective Coursework (24 cr)

Students complete a minimum of six elective courses for a total of 24 credits. The following courses are approved as elective courses. However, this is not a complete list; students will work with an academic advisor to determine appropriate electives.

  • SED PE 501 Methods of Coaching (4 cr)
  • SED PE 505 Foundations of Sports Science (2 cr)
  • SED PE 513 Practical Applications for PE and HE—Pre-Practicum (4 cr)
  • SED PE 515 Institute on Physical Fitness (4 cr)
  • SED PE 506 Motor Development: Considerations for Planning Movement (4 cr)
  • SED PE 703 Management of Athletics and Physical Education (4 cr)
  • SED PE 720 Seminar in Kinesiology (2 cr)
  • SED HE 522 Community Health (4 cr)
  • SED HE 523 Applied Nutrition (4 cr)
  • SED HE 720 Selected Problems in Health Education (4 cr)
  • SED HE 722 Development of the Health Curriculum (4 cr)
  • SED HE 724 Sexuality, Culture, and Development (2 cr)
  • SED CT 524 Institute on Values in Physical Education and Sport (4 cr)

Physical Education

Physical education is all about developing a healthy, active approach to life. Whatever the activities involved – from rugby to rhythmic dance, trampolining to table-tennis and hill-walking to the 100 metre sprint – it’s designed to foster enjoyable participation in exercise and training. At the same time, it helps each individual reach their full potential by providing background knowledge about health, effective training and safe performance.

Aside from the obvious benefits to health and general fitness levels, regular physical activity promotes mental and social well-being too. Playing a sport isn’t just playing a sport; it can also be developing motor skills, self-esteem, ability to form strategies and play by the rules, creative thinking, leadership abilities and other interpersonal skills, including teamwork and sense of fair play.

The goal of physical education is to instil a lifelong enthusiasm for sustaining a healthy lifestyle. In a society where obesity levels are rising fast and the temptation to slump into a sedentary lifestyle is increasingly hard to avoid, it provides the tools to help swim against the tide.


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