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Bachelor of Education in Sports Coaching, Recreation and Physical Education

Combining your love of physical activity, building relationships and working with children and youth is possible with a bachelor's degree in sports coaching, recreation and physical education. With two specializations, you can become a teacher licensed in Ohio or a specialist who builds unique programs that give children and youth a love of a physically active lifestyle.

The Ohio State University Physical Education Teacher Education program prepared me to be the best physical educator I can by challenging me to be my best, giving me the best resources and facilities and helping me connect with the best PE teachers around. My goal is to inspire others to get America moving and win the battle against the obesity epidemic. The research that OSU does and has done in this area has advanced the physical education profession into the 21st century. Selene Kelley, '99 BS, '04 MA
Physical Education Teacher, Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools


Physical education gives children the skills necessary to lead healthy and physically active lives. Ohio State's bachelor's degree in physical education, sport and physical activity will teach you the skills to help children and adolescents develop fundamental motor, sports and movement skills and the importance of staying active throughout life.

You can specialize as a physical education teacher and earn your license to teach in Ohio, or become a physical activity and coaching specialist to promote and design physical activity programs in non-school settings. 

Physical Education Teacher Education

The physical education teacher education specialization is a competitive program at Ohio State. When accepted, you'll learn the skills required to become a successful physical education teacher with a preschool to 12th grade license.

You'll find out how to develop curriculum based on the age-level of students you teach. This includes motor skills development, a wide variety of physical activities and how the body adapts to physical activity.

Throughout the program you'll learn to how to adapt physical education programs for elementary, middle and high school-aged students and those with disabilities.

Sports Coaching and Recreation

The sports coaching and recreation specialization focuses its emphasis on developing physical activity programming outside of school. You'll establish a foundation that merges your understanding of child and youth development with the knowledge and instructional skills in physical activity and sport.

Completing the sports coaching and recreation specialty will give you the confidence, knowledge and skills to become a physical activity leader in community-based settings.

Both specializations will provide you with extensive field experience opportunities. If you are pursuing a teaching license, you will experience physical education in elementary, middle and high school settings as well as first-hand experience in adapted physical education.

In the physical activity and coaching specialist program, you'll have field opportunities in a variety of settings, largely dependent on your personal interests. Whether your interests lie in parks and recreation departments, after-school programming or outdoor programming, you will have a variety of opportunities to find your passion.

And with an adapted physical activities lab on campus, you'll be able to round out all your field experiences by working with children who have disabilities in our outstanding Ohio State facilities.

By pursuing your degree in sports coaching, recreation and physical education, you will have many opportunities to find a career in sport and physical activity. Combined with excellent instruction from faculty who are world leaders in their field and have real-life experiences in an array of settings creates a well-rounded education you can pass on to the youth you teach. Our graduates are not only well-trained, they are sought after in the work force and excel as professionals.

Ohio State academic programs are designed to prepare students for licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure and certification at

Career Paths

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in sports coaching, recreation and physical education have a variety of professions to pursue. They include:

  • Physical education teacher (teaching license required)
  • Recreation coordinator
  • Field instructor
  • Athletics programmer
  • Community services coordinator
  • Events coordinator
  • After school program specialist
  • Youth program specialist
  • Outdoor school manager


Prerequisites/Pre-major Requirements: 
Minimum 2.75 GPA, completion of years one and two of curriculum plan, activity requirements
Minimum Program Hours: 

Coursework: Lifespan motor development, teaching physical education, program management, concepts of fitness and wellness, adapted physical activity
PDF iconView the complete physical education teacher education curriculum
PDF iconView the complete sports coaching and recreation curriculum
Course requirements: University courses (46-50 hours), major requirements (74 hours)
Academic opportunities: Physical Education Club, Kappa Phi Kappa, Society of Health and Physical Educators, Ohio Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance

View the Curriculum Sheet


Jackie Goodway, PhD, Associate Professor
Samuel Hodge, PhD, Professor
Harry Lehwald, PhD, Senior Lecturer
Weidong Li, PhD, Professor
Sue Sutherland, PhD, Associate Professor
Phil Ward, PhD, Professor


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