Are you physically active with a passion to help others be active and value the benefits of an active lifestyle? Do you have an interest in a career that will have a positive lifelong effect on children?

The bachelor of science in physical education degree at East Carolina University is a teaching licensure program intended to prepare tomorrow's physical educators to teach fundamental motor skills, movement concepts, and health-related fitness concepts in elementary, middle, and high-school settings. The program combines rigorous academic course work with carefully designed clinical experiences to produce highly competent educational leaders with the knowledge, skills, and commitment to promote lifetime physical activity and fitness and empower learners to develop their full potential.

The program provides students the opportunity to learn discipline specific content such as: biomechanics, children's movement patterns, sport and games, dance, elementary gymnastics, motor behavior and exercise physiology. The content knowledge is applied in a variety of specific teaching practicum and clinical settings including peer teachings, adapted physical education, and elementary, middle, and high school instruction within the local school systems. The program concludes with a student-selected fifteen week internship placement within the thirty-six school district Walter and Daisy Carson Latham Clinical Schools Network. Upon completion of the program and satisfactory accordance with East Carolina University and North Carolina Department of Public Instruction requirements, students will receive a four year degree and a North Carolina Teaching License in Health and Physical Education.

ECU Advantage

The physical education program is offered through the Department of Kinesiology within the College of Health and Human Performance. The Department of Kinesiology was deemed exemplary in 2012 for faculty excellence in teaching, scholarly activity, and collegiality. The Physical Education program also maintains a collegial relationship with the East Carolina University College of Education, which is recognized as the leading institute for teacher education and placement in North Carolina public schools.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Jeff Pizzutilla (14-A Minges Coliseum; 252-737-2394; pizzutillaj@ecu.edu)

A minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA, documented scores for Praxis I Series (PPST, CBT or documented scores on SAT/ACT), successful completion of the KINE majors' fitness test, and successful completion of the computer competency requirement are required to declare a major in the BS in physical education degree. A minimum grade of C is required in all KINE courses and HLTH 4323 for successful completion of the degree. A minimum grade of C (2.0) for interdisciplinary human studies concentration courses is required for licensure. See Colleges/Schools and Associated Programs, College of Education, Licensure, for NC teacher licensure requirements.

Minimum degree requirement is 126 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education and special requirements for students preparing to teach and for certification including those listed below - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

  • BIOL 1050 - General Biology
  • BIOL 1051 - General Biology Laboratory
  • or
  • BIOL 1100 - Principles of Biology I
  • BIOL 1101 - Principles of Biology Laboratory I

  • PHYS 1250 - General Physics I
2. Core - 37 s.h.
  • KINE 2000 - Introductory Exercise and Sport Science
  • KINE 2122 - Motor Development
  • KINE 2202 - Motor Learning and Performance
  • KINE 2600 - Movement Education
  • KINE 2850 - Structural Kinesiology
  • KINE 2900 - Teaching Skillful Movement
  • KINE 3000 - Curriculum in Physical Education
  • KINE 3500 - Secondary Content in Physical Education
  • KINE 3540 - Fitness Education
  • KINE 3805 - Physiology of Exercise
  • KINE 3850 - Introduction to Biomechanics
  • KINE 3900 - Elementary School Instruction in Physical Education
  • KINE 3906 - Physical Education for Special Populations
  • KINE 4804 - Measurement and Evaluation in Exercise and Sport Science
3. Cognates - 8 s.h.
  • BIOL 2130 - Survey of Human Physiology and Anatomy
  • HLTH 4323 - Health Education Methods for Middle and Secondary Grades
  • PHYS 1251 - General Physics Laboratory I
4. Professional studies - 29-30 s.h.
  • EDTC 4001 - Technology in Education
  • EDUC 3002 - Introduction to Diversity
  • EDUC 3200 - Foundations of American Education

  • EDUC 4400 - Foundations of School Learning, Motivation, and Assessment or
  • PSYC 4305 - Educational Psychology

  • KINE 2123 - Early Experiences for the Prospective Teacher
  • KINE 4323 - Middle and High School Instruction in Physical Education
  • KINE 4324 - Internship in Exercise and Sport Science
  • KINE 4325 - Internship Seminar: Issues in Physical Education

  • READ 3990 - Teaching Reading in the Content Areas in the Secondary School or
  • READ 5317 - Reading in the Junior and Senior High School

  • SPED 2000 - Introduction to Exceptional Children
5. Interdisciplinary human studies academic concentration - 18 s.h.

(A maximum of 6 s.h. may count toward general education requirements.)

Courses required for licensure:

  • HLTH 2125 - Safety Education and First Aid
  • HLTH 2126 - Safety Education and First Aid Laboratory
  • HLTH 3020 - Health Disparities
  • NUTR 2105 - Nutrition Science
  • 9 s.h. electives to complete Interdisciplinary Human Studies Concentration (See College of Education
For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

Careers With This Degree

Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

  • Physical Education Teaching and Coaching
  • Education Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Ed
  • Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Ed
  • Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors
  • Restaurants, Hotels and Hospitality
  • Coaches and Scouts
  • Physical Education Teaching and Coaching

Career Opportunities

ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

NC Tower

This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

  • Self-employed;
  • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
  • Work outside of North Carolina.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

Degree-specific internships

For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.