A student being superimposed in front of a sage-green background showing a student teacher leading a group of children in activities in a gym.

Teaching Children How to Be Healthy and Active

Regular physical activity as children will help kids be happier, healthier adults. You want to teach kids to be healthy and stay healthy. In IUP's K–12 Teacher Education BSEd in Health and Physical Education, you'll learn how to develop and strengthen children's bodies inside and out.

Why Major in K–12 Teacher Education in Health and Physical Education at IUP?

As a K–12 health and physical education (HPE) teacher, you'll play a critical role in improving the overall well-being of children. You'll teach them the skills and information they'll need to lead healthy lives.

In IUP's K–12 teacher education program, you'll benefit from:

  • Faculty with years of experience who are leaders in the field.
  • A health and physical education program that's among the top in the state and the region.
  • A strong alumni network of HPE teachers across the country who can help open doors for networking and job opportunities.

And IUP health and physical education students consistently win state-level awards as future professionals in health and physical education.

Our program will prepare you to teach both health and physical education in grades K–12. Wherever your career takes you, this bachelor's degree from IUP will give you the foundation to be a successful health and physical education teacher.

Imagine Your Future

Pennsylvania Teacher Certification is accepted in nearly every state. This means you can look for a K–12 teaching position anywhere in the country. Stay local. Or experience somewhere different.

The bachelor in K–12 teacher education in health and physical education leads to two separate teacher certifications:

  • Health Education certificate
  • Physical Education certificate

To be even more marketable, earn an additional certification. Add the safety education/driver’s education teacher certification to your teaching license. IUP is the only university in Pennsylvania that offers you this certificate opportunity.

Some of the fields outside of the classroom that want your expertise include:

  • Adapted physical activity
  • Adventure tourism
  • Aquatics
  • Coaching
  • Community outreach
  • Parks and recreation
  • Wellness
  • Women’s health

General teaching salary

$48,132 to $70,183

Classes and Requirements

Your classes and student teaching experiences will get you ready to teach both health and physical education.

Classes are designed to be taken in a specific order—each class is a step toward your next class. The background and skills you'll learn will help you become a high-quality teacher candidate.

Practical application of what you're studying and experiential learning opportunities make sure you're ready to start teaching.

Student teaching in other territories and countries can be a great, eye-opening experience. The health and physical education program's most recent partnership is with Puerto Rico. If you are a student teacher in Puerto Rico, you'll teach at a school on a US military base.

Teacher Certification Requirements

All students seeking teacher certification must meet the requirements of the Three-Step Process for Teacher Education.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Ashley McAteer

Ashley McAteer ’13, Health and Physical Education

IUP was the best overall fit for me academically and athletically. The professors are very knowledgeable, passionate, and genuinely care about their students.

4+1 and Early Admissions for Your MEd in Health and Physical Education

The 4+1 Health and Physical Education MEd program lets you start your master's degree while you're working on your bachelor's degree.

Once you're accepted into the 4+1 graduate program in health and physical education, you can

  • Take up to four graduate classes that will also count as undergraduate credits.
  • Save on tuition because you'll pay undergraduate tuition costs instead of graduate tuition for those four classes.
  • Get your bachelor's and master's degrees in five years.

You're automatically eligible for the 4+1 program as a freshman if you have at least a 3.5 high school GPA and an SAT math score greater than 600.

To remain eligible, you'll need a minimum 3.0 GPA after you earn your 60th undergraduate credit.

As a current IUP undergraduate, your graduate application fee of $50 can be waived.

Student Teaching Abroad

If you're interested in what it's like to teach outside of the 50 states, you can pursue student-teaching experiences in other territories and countries.

The health and physical education program's most recent partnership is with Puerto Rico, where you'll student teach at a school on a US military base.

Join the IUP HPED Majors Club

Are you interested in activities that add to your health and physical education studies? As a student member of the HPED Majors Club, you'll have the chance to

  • Volunteer
  • Participate in fundraising
  • Travel to state and national conferences where you can meet peers and network with people in the field

IUP HPED students recently participated and presented at educational events in Nashville, Salt Lake City, Boston, and Tampa.

These experiences make great additions to your résumé.

Clubs and Activities

Health and physical education/K-12 Teacher Education majors can engage in activities outside of the classroom, deepening their commitment to an area of expertise.

Sport Management Club

The Sport Management Club sponsors various events that help students improve their skills and understanding of the field.

The Exercise Science Club

The Exercise Science Club gathers students engaged in this track to support their studies and help them learn about professional trends.

The Health, Physical Education, and Sports Majors Club

The Health, Physical Education, and Sports Majors Club helps majors with their studies by inviting professionals to speak.

Health and Physical Education Living-Learning Community

The Health and Physical Education Living-Learning Community is ideal for students who live on campus. By sharing the Suites on Maple East with fellow health and physical education majors, you can form friendships and easily collaborate on projects.

James G. Mill Center for Health and Fitness

Here is where you can keep yourself fit. Enjoy the personal and clean atmosphere, work with accommodating staff, and experience the biomechanically-correct equipment.

Add Teacher Certifications

The health and physical education program works with other IUP degree programs to give you opportunities to earn additional certifications.

Common add-on certifications include:

  • Safety Education/Driver's Education
  • Special Education

Driver Education Certificate

Candidates for the driver education certification must possess, or be a candidate for, a valid Pennsylvania certificate in any area of certification.

Students must request the certificate in driver education when they apply for graduation. For students who have already graduated, contact the Office of the Dean, College of Education and Communications, for correct procedures.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this certificate.

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