Adapted Physical Education Concentration


Blind Sports Camp

Admissions requirements

  • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV).
  • Three professional recommendations.
  • Written statement summarizing your experience in academic, professional, research, creative, or scholarly activities, and how these experiences make you an ideal candidate for graduate study. 
  • Official transcript from the institution from which you received your bachelor degree is required, as well as a transcript from the institution(s) where any additional graduate level courses or degrees have been taken/completed.

Program overview

This program is offered online.

This 36-credit program is designed to prepare physical education teachers in providing quality adapted physical education for school children with disabilities in the least restrictive, most appropriate, and most inclusive environments. Program graduates will gain knowledge, skills, and experience in teaching students with disabilities fundamental motor skills and patterns, physical and motor fitness, as well as skills in aquatic, dance, individual and group games and sports, and leisure and recreational skills.

This online program for the master’s degree or state approval in adapted physical education delivers all courses online. Tuition for non-resident and resident students is the same.

Why adapted physical education at Western Michigan University?

  • Program completion leads to a Master's Degree and eligibility for State of Michigan K-12 P.E. for Students with Disabilities (SP) Endorsement (View the check-list here).
  • Students are encouraged to pursue additional educational opportunities through one of our many excellent study abroad programs, such as Discover Croatia and Venice, Italy: Educational System, Sport and Culture and Education and Health in China and Korea.
  • We are the only institution in the U.S. that includes an optional co-curricular designation known as the WMU Signature. Pathways include: Teaching & Student Success, Leadership, Health & Wellbeing, Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice, and more! 

Who should apply?

  • Current physical education teachers looking to provide adapted physical education for school children with disabilities in the least restrictive, most appropriate, and most inclusive environments. 
  • WMU has a new online graduate application system that allows all students (domestic and international) to submit required information into one system. General application information for the University, as well as specific requirements for individual programs, are captured into this system. 
  • Applicants are asked to include some program-specific information for the Master of Arts in physical education (adapted physical education concentration). Applicants are encouraged to bookmark this information for quick reference while working through the graduate application process.

Notes regarding out of state endorsements

  • For students who are non-Michigan residents, approvals for teaching adapted physical education classes may be accepted by their states. They should ask their state Department of Education or check these certification requirements for other states before applying for this program.
  • Prepares educators to collaborate and engage in dialogue with content-area and general education colleagues to better serve the academic and linguistic needs of ESL students.

Career opportunities

The shortage of professionals in Adapted Physical Education, including school teachers and college professors, has been chronic and significant for many years. This shortage has been documented not only based on the number of professional positions funded by schools and universities, but also based on the number of students with disabilities who need adapted physical education services. The further information concerning this shortage can be found in the following research articles completed by the Director and advisor of this federally funded online master’s degree program.

  • Work with individuals with disabilities who want to engage in physical activities.
  • Develop and manage programs for patients with disabilities who require specialized activities. 
  • Successfully include children with disabilities in general physical education classes.

Cost & Funding

Helpful links


Dr. Jiabei Zhang, Program Coordinator