Physical Education—Teacher/Coach

Scott Gajos 09
To read alumnus Scott Gajos' story, click here.


Program description

The physical education program, offered at Western Michigan University's Department of Human Performance and Health Education, provides an articulated curriculum that incorporates effective instruction, extensive professional field experiences in area schools, state-of-the-art technology and academic resources. The goal of providing this type of program is to develop lifelong learners who possess the skills, knowledge and personal-social attributes to competently assume professional roles in a culturally diverse, highly technical society.

In order to be eligible to seek a Michigan K-12 teaching certificate in physical education, students must also complete a minor that is appropriate for a secondary education teaching certificate.


The physical education program is recognized as an approved program by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Admissions and professional program requirements

All physical education students are coded pre-physical education upon admission to the University. Candidates may apply for advancement to the physical education professional curriculum after 35 credits earned toward their degree. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 must be attained for advancement from the pre-physical education curriculum to the professional physical education curriculum. Pre-physical education students are not permitted to enroll in upper-level professional education courses until admission requirements are met and application is approved.

A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 must be attained for enrollment in intern teaching and for a recommendation for the teaching certificate. In addition, students must attain a “C” or better in HPHE 1500, 2400, 2430, 3460, 4470 and 4480. Each of the courses listed is a pre-requisite for the course(s) that precede it. Students must re-take pre-requisites in the event a “C” is not earned.

WMU academic policy limits enrollment in a specific class to three separate attempts. Students are required to apply for intern teaching one full year prior to placement. All academic requirements must be completed prior to intern teaching. Students must attain a 2.5 overall GPA and a “C” or better in all required HPHE department and College of Education and Human Development courses (HPHE 1500, 2400, 2430, 3460, 4470, 4480, ED 3050 and ES 3950), provide proof of personal insurance and a negative TB test.


  • Community program director
  • Personal trainer
  • Physical education teacher/coach


Successful completion of the physical education (teacher/coach) major makes a student eligible for K-12 certification for the teaching of physical education in Michigan.


For class listings, program guides, four and five year suggested degree progression plans and other resources, visit the advising page for the physical education: K-12 teacher/coach major.



Applications are distributed through the Office of Field Placement. All prospective interns must attend an orientation meeting and are interviewed by faculty to review placement procedures and expectations of the intern. Students must hold a valid CPR and first aid certification prior to placement in a school setting. Students are placed and supervised by health and physical education and recreation personnel. During intern teaching, students enroll in HPHE 4100 and 4750. An exit interview is conducted at the conclusion of the semester. Academic counseling is available through the Office of Admissions and Advising and in the department throughout the career of the student.