Online Masters of Physical Education Degree Program Overviews

Oct 20, 2021

Essential Information

Online master's degrees in physical education are fairly common. Most are Master of Science programs, but there are a few Master of Arts degrees, too, and specialties are available, such as general physical education, a coaching focus, or adapted physical education. Prerequisites for some programs include a bachelor's degree in physical education, exercise science, or at least certain background courses in physical education. Other programs may require teacher certification. Some require both.

These programs are offered both fully online and in blended, hybrid formats--a mix of on-campus and online courses.

General Master's Degree in Physical Education

Online physical education degree programs are usually designed for licensed teachers seeking career advancement. Program requirements range from 29 to 36 semester hours of credit, and most programs can be completed in roughly two years.

Course Topics

In master's-level physical education courses, students may learn to develop advanced lessons and programs for a variety of ages and levels of physical ability. General physical education courses include:

  • Teaching physical education effectively
  • Professional issues
  • Motor development
  • Legal issues in physical education
  • Physical education assessments for K-12
  • Designing a physical education curriculum

Master's Degree Programs with a Coaching Focus

Many teachers who earn an advanced degree in physical education do so because they want to coach a school sports team. Most online physical education master's programs include a course or two in coaching, but a few programs offer coaching as an emphasis.

Course Topics

Some of the specialized coursework in coaching includes:

  • Coaching administration and organization
  • Coaching techniques and skills
  • Growth and development of players
  • Injury prevention and sport safety
  • Physical conditioning and preparation
  • Research methods and analysis

Master's Degree Programs with an Adapted Physical Education Focus

Most physical education teachers will occasionally have students with physical disabilities and must find a way to work with them. Although most physical education programs will have one class in adapted physical education, some teachers want more knowledge and experience than a single course offers. There are occasionally online master's degree programs that focus on adapted physical education.

Course Topics

  • Movement and assessment in physical education
  • Disability sports
  • Adapted aquatics
  • Professional and family relations in special education

Online Learning Details

Master's degree programs in physical education are available in entirely online formats, though some integrate fieldwork experiences. Students use distance learning platforms, such as Blackboard, to access course content, upload assignments, communicate with professors and peers and participate in virtual class discussions. Video conferencing may also be required. Additionally, throughout the course of the program, students may need to access audio, video and PDF files as well as their university's online library in order to complete assignments.

Online master's degree programs in are available both fully online and as hybrids. Students may choose specialties such as coaching or adapted physical education.

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