Department of Health, Physical Education & Recreation


What can I do with my degree?
Careers in health, physical education and recreation offer opportunities for you to help youth and adults improve their health and help them find fulfilling recreational activities.

Students who choose the Health and Exercise Science option have career options in private fitness specialization, corporate wellness programming, health clubs, and hospital-based cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation. The Physical Education General option provides career opportunities as coaches and sports specialists in a variety of settings. This option also offers a teacher education track that prepares students to earn the education certificate to teach Physical Education in elementary, middle and high schools.

Career opportunities in Recreation Management include intramural recreation, community recreation centers, youth sports, public recreation and aquatic recreation. The Sport Management emphasis provides career opportunities such as a sports information director, athletic director, health fitness club manager, adventure travel and tourism agent, hotel and resort manager, professional sports team promoter, sporting goods marketer or golf course manager.
Is there a demand for careers in this field?
The demand for educating and providing wellness and fitness for youth and adults ensures a great need for teachers in health and physical education. Today, there are endless opportunities for youth and adults to enjoy recreational activities, so there is also a great demand for people with careers in that field.
How does your program prepare graduates for careers in this field?
Students receive hands-on experience through internships and course work which prepares them well for their careers. Recreation and Sport Management majors are involved in a variety of field experiences, which allow them to gain practical knowledge of skills such as event planning, developing mission statements, and conducting needs assessment for program planning that will serve them in their careers.

Majors who are earning a Physical Education teaching certificate gain many hours of experience in area elementary, middle and high schools their sophomore, junior and senior years, culminating in a semester-long student teaching experience. Physical education teacher candidates plan and coordinate track meets and field days for area elementary schools.

For the past 32 years, the department has hosted the weeklong Lifetime Sports Academy for youth, and students are very involved in organizing, participating in and leading the activities.

Professors provide a supportive environment where students are challenged to actively engage in the learning process, develop practical application of skills and knowledge learned in their classes, and develop their critical thinking skills.