Department of Health, Physical Education & Recreation

About Us

What majors and minors are offered?
Why should I major in health, physical education or recreation? 
Why should I choose this program?
Are your programs accredited?
What type of graduate degrees have your graduates pursued?
What are the admission requirements for the program?
As a high school student, how should I prepare for a health, physical education or recreation degree?
What type of student succeeds in this field?
What is the typical class size?
How do students work together with faculty?
What student organizations are available?
What type of awards have your faculty and students received?

What majors and minors are offered? The department offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education with three options: Health and Exercise Science, Physical Education General and Teacher Education in Physical Education. The department also offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Sport Management, where students choose one of two emphases: Recreation Management or Sport Management.

The department offers minors in Recreation Sport Management, Athletic Coaching, Wellness, Gerontology/Aging or Childhood Studies; and certification in Health Education.

Why should I major in health, physical education or recreation? If you want to be a part of the solution to improve health, fitness and quality of life for youth and adults, you should consider a major in health, physical education or recreation. The field offers a wide variety of fun and diverse careers.

Why should I choose this program? If you choose Missouri Western’s program, you can expect supportive professors who are willing to meet with you to provide individualized instruction, if needed, or help with course decisions and career goals. The professors and instructors offer a broad background of experiences, ranging from parks and recreation, health, to coaching and teaching; and these experiences are shared in the classroom with students.

Class sizes are small and there is a lot of interaction among students and professors. Students work on a variety of hands-on projects that make the coursework more interesting.

Are your programs accredited? The Health and Exercise Science program is accredited by the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

The Physical Education program for teacher certification is accredited by the National Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

What type of graduate degrees have your graduates pursued? Graduates have pursued master’s degrees in administration, physical education or health. Students with Health and Exercise Science degrees have furthered their studies to earn degrees in physical therapy or nursing. A 2004 Sport Management major is a graduate assistant in the athletic department of an NCAA Division I institution.

What are the admission requirements for the program? Admission requirements vary for each degree option. Health and Exercise Science: A cumulative 2.5 GPA in three prerequisite courses. Physical Education Teaching Certification: 2.5 GPA, pass the CBASE with a 235 in each area and a 22 composite ACT score. Recreation Sport Management: Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.2 and 18 or higher ACT score and C or better General Studies category one.

As a high school student, how should I prepare for a health, physical education or recreation degree? If you are interested in a degree in this field, consider volunteering at summer camps, in sports leagues or sports programs. You may also want to volunteer as a coach and/or referee for elementary and middle school events.

Talk to people who have careers in this field. The faculty members in the department are happy to visit with prospective students about career options.

High school courses that would help you prepare for a degree in this field are biology, first aid, psychology, foreign language, nutrition, exercise physiology and business courses.

What type of student succeeds in this field? Successful students are physically fit, believe in good health and physical activity, have good people skills, are able to adapt, care about people, manage their time well and are willing to work hard on every assignment or project.

What is the typical class size? The typical class size for majors ranges from approximately 20 for the Physical Education General or Teacher Certification to 25-30 for Recreation and Sport Management majors, and Health and Exercise Science majors.

Students receive a great deal of individual attention from professors before, during and after classes. Professor are very good about making time for students’ questions, and they are always willing to help outside of class.

How do students work together with faculty? Faculty and students work together on planning and facilitating the weeklong Lifetime Sports Academy for more than 150 youth.

In the techniques courses for Physical Education teacher certification, students prepare lesson plans and instruct portions of the class. Faculty members work closely with the students and provide guidance and feedback.

Students and professors often attend conferences together, also.

What student organizations are available? The department hosts a chapter of Phi Epsilon Kappa, a national honor society for students in Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

What type of awards have your faculty and students received?

  • A faculty member received a Distinguished Service Award from the Missouri Western Alumni Association.
  • Professors have received a Presidential Award and the Robert M. Taylor Award from the Missouri professional association in their fields.
  • Students have received Outstanding Physical Education Major awards at the state and national levels.