Discover your calling in physical education teaching

Are you passionate about the health and wellness of children and adolescents? A major in physical education teaching prepares you to teach K-12 physical education in public and private schools.

As one of the oldest and largest physical education teaching programs in the Midwest, preparing PE teachers is part of UNI’s legacy. With small class sizes, superb facilities for activity classes and labs, and the in-depth field experience you can expect from UNI Teacher Education, you will feel fully supported as you work to achieve your degree. Not to mention, PE teachers are in high demand!

PE teaching student speaking to students in a gym

Career Placement

This career path is in high demand. In fact, our graduates have recently found 100% success in finding a job after graduation.


years of excellence

Become a part of the oldest and largest physical education teaching preparation program in Iowa. 


teaching tech

State-of-the-art labs give you hands-on experience with exercise science-related content. 

Interested in Majoring?

Tell us more and we'll send information on how you can succeed with a degree in physical education teaching from the University of Northern Iowa College of Education.

Contact us directly at:
Department of Kinesiology
WRC 104
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0200

Phone: (319) 273-6854


Undergraduate Majors RFI Form

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Courses and Facilities


Curious about what kind of courses you might be taking as a physical education major? Below is a course sampling to show just a few of the classes you’ll take on the way to your degree.

  • Physical Activity and Nutrition for Health and Fitness
  • Physical Education Teaching Methods
  • Adapted Physical Education
  • Physical Education and Technology
  • Assessment Processes in Physical Education
  • Administration and Curriculum Development in Physical Education

Upon successful completion of your degree, you’ll be recommended for endorsements for physical education K-8 and physical education 5-12.

Plan of Study


The Wellness and Recreation Center (WRC) serves as the primary instructional and research center for the undergraduate physical education program. The WRC contains state-of-the-art spaces designed for research, teaching and public service which include laboratories for exercise physiology, biomechanics, and psychomotor behavior in addition to a full complement of physical activity spaces. 

Kinesiology Labs
Bri Netty
Caleb Barker
Kate Jackson
Tyler Merical

Beyond the Classroom

Get Connected

Joining a student organization can help you get connected with your peers and gain experiences that prepare you for your career. And they look great on your resume! The Physical Education Teaching Club adds to your preparation through: 

  • participating in helpful training sessions,
  • volunteering with local afterschool programs,
  • hearing from experienced individuals in the field
  • engaging in interview preparation with peers

There’s also the College of Education Student Ambassadors (CESA) and plenty of other student organizations across campus to broaden your connections and experiences.

PE Club helps with Waterloo event

Apply Your Knowledge

As with all UNI teaching majors, you’ll find yourself in a school gym or field early in your education. We want you to gain as much real, hands-on experience as possible before you graduate.  You'll progress through diverse and extensive experiences:

  • learning to conduct fitness assessments
  • gaining exposure to adapted physical education for students with disabilities
  • progressing through four levels of classroom placements where you'll observe, create lesson plans, get in-depth in both elementary and secondary settings and finish with student teaching in two schools for a full semester. 
Level 2 field experience

Be Recognized

An array of undergraduate scholarships exists at UNI, including some specific to physical education majors. 

The Betty Swanson Endowed Outstanding PE-Teaching Award is one example. It's a scholarship opportunity for one or two graduating high school seniors who have demonstrated academic excellence and are pursuing a major in physical education K-12 teaching. This scholarship may be renewed if the selected student maintains academic criteria for methods of teaching courses and in activity courses required within the major.  


First day of classes