Group of young students. 

Health and Physical Education

Health and Physical Education

The nationally recognized Health and Physical Education major program prepares students to teach in elementary, middle and high schools. Health and Physical Education graduates are dual-licensed to teach in early childhood through adolescence programs. We ARE the ONLY major university in Wisconsin to offer this dual degree where you can graduate with four and a half years of coursework and one semester of student teaching with a Health and Physical Education Major and a minor in Adapted Physical Education. Many school districts now require all three certifications. The major's health emphasis encourages teachers to use a comprehensive approach to health education. Meanwhile, physical education standards from both SHAPE America and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction serve as the foundation for creating developmentally appropriate lessons for instructing students in the pre-K-12 school environment. 

Our Students

  • Have a unique variety of clinical field experiences in rural, urban and suburban schools. 
  • Start immediately in this academically challenging program with clinical field experiences in schools in their first semester and continue throughout the program.
  • Learn through numerous hands-on experiences. Students will teach movement, sport skills, fitness and rhythm activities.
  • Integrate technology with the use of iPads for skill analysis and utilizing various apps related to Health and Physical Education. 
  • Have the opportunity to teach Homeschool students (K-12) on campus in methods and techniques courses as well as teach classes in local partnering public schools.
  • Experience 18 weeks of student teaching, split evenly between elementary and secondary-level classrooms. Our majors will spend that time gaining valuable experience teaching children, adolescents and young adults.
  • Receive regular professional development and networking opportunities by participating in state, national and international conferences.
  • Are prepared for a rewarding career that allows them to help others pursue and practice healthy lifestyle habits.
  • Are licensed as both a Wisconsin DPI 910 Health Professional Educator and 530 Physical Education Professional Educator upon graduation.
  • Are highly encouraged to complete the Adapted Physical Education minor. Not only does the minor make Health and Physical Education graduates more marketable to Pre-K and K-12 schools, it is often required for employment.
  • The Health and Physical Education program has a 100% placement rate the past two years with our recent graduates and over 90% the past five years.
  • Have the opportunity to study in Poland with our partnering university  AWF .
  • Since half our our University of Wisconsin-River Falls students are from Minnesota these students after graduating will need to take the Minnesota MTLE exams for their licensure in Health, Physical Education and Adapted Physical Education. Our graduates are prepared and have success in attaining their Minnesota license if they so choose to receive it.

Transfer Students and Post Baccalaureate Certification Candidates Must:

  • Have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75.  
  • Review course sequence for Health and Physical Education.
  • Meet with the university certification officer to review general education requirements and request an evaluation of transcripts. Please note that all Health and Physical Education methods and techniques courses need to be taken in the UW-River Falls Health and Physical Education program.
  • Pass the  exam or meet the Praxis Core requirements for an ACT composite score of 23. No section score can be lower than 20.
  • Interview with Health and Physical Education faculty.
  • Post Baccalaureate Certification candidates with a strong academic background in exercise science, kinesiology or teacher education will likely see a reduction in the number of required credits.

If you have any questions regarding the Health and Physical Education program contact Dr. Stacy Furness or Kristen Csiacsek.