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Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE)

Physical educators make an impact on the health, well-being, and quality of life of future generations. The Physical Education Teacher Education program at WVU prepares students to teach, motivate, and shape the lives of Pre-K through adult learners in physical education, movement, wellness, and sport-based environments. 

Students in the PETE program learn to use and integrate technology into their classwork, gain hands-on, real world experience, and learn how to design and deliver physical education programs. Upon program completion, graduates are eligible for certification in PreK-adult Physical Education and may pursue a certification in Health Education. 

Program graduates are physical activity and wellness leaders in their school, communities, and states who promote healthy, active lifestyles for children and adults alike. The WVU PETE faculty is proud of the strong undergraduate PETE program that is nationally accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and SHAPE America.

What our alumni have to say:

  • Melissa B

    "The WVU PETE program involved us in all aspects of teaching from content knowledge to professional development. When you complete the program you are immediately ready to get out into the real world and will have no surprises."

    Melissa B.

    B.S. PETE, 2011
  •  Guy 2

    “The program also has an excellent student to professor ratio due to the small cohorts, which allows for a comfortable, family atmosphere. These small cohorts also allow you to build relationships, network, and collaborate with other future professional educators in your field of study.”

    Daniel L.

    B.S. PETE, 2011
  •  Justin Isberg

    "The PETE program provides numerous student teaching experiences, consist's of unique yet meaningful courses and includes a classroom health component, all of which made me more marketable and helped me to achieve my dream career!"

    Justin I.

    B.S. PETE, 2011

What you'll study

Students are exposed to the core courses such as principles of effective teaching, school-based physical activity and fitness education, adapted physical education, curriculum, teaching team and individual sports, and technology in sport and physical education. PETE students also take general education courses (GEF) in communication, basic math and science, english, social sciences, and humanities.

Foundation courses

The pre-PETE courses are prerequisite courses required for admittance into the PETE Program. These courses provide an introductory understanding of human structure and movement, motor skills development across a lifespan, and characteristics of individuals with disabilities. These concepts and principles serve as the building blocks for designing and delivering developmentally appropriate movement-based learning experiences for individuals of any age and ability.

Professional courses

Prepare for a career in physical education with a new perspective on what quality physical education entails. Students enjoy hands-on opportunities working with Pre-K through adult-aged learners in movement, physical activity, sport, and physical education settings. Through these experiences, students learn what it takes to be an effective teacher and instruct using research-based curricular and instructional models to motivate learners to be physically active and fit for a lifetime.

Student teaching internship

Students are required to complete a two 7-week student teaching internships at two developmental levels (elementary, middle school and/or high school). Placement support is available through the physical education faculty.

Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's program

The newly developed Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s program in PETE gives undergraduate students the opportunity to work toward both a B.S. and M.S. degree simultaneously. This accelerated approach makes graduate study more cost-effective. With the addition of two summer sessions, students can earn both degrees within four years. The benefits include tuition savings, improved marketability, enhanced networking opportunities and the potential for a higher starting salary.

Find out more
Program faculty

Who you'll learn from

  • Taliaferro

    Andrea Taliaferro

    Professional Highlights

    • Research interests include the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in physical activity with an emphasis on physical educator/instructor preparation and self-efficacy toward teaching students with disabilities, adapted aquatics, motor skill assessment, and community based physical activity. 
    • NCPERID Nationally certified adapted physical educator (CAPE)
    • Director of the Friday Adapted Physical Education Program
    • Teaches courses related to adapted physical education, motor development, and effective teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • Towner, B

    Byron Towner

    Professional Highlights

    • National Board Certified Teacher, Early and Middle Childhood Physical Education
    • Teaches PCK courses in the middle and secondary blocks in the PETE program
  • Emi Tsuda portrait

    Emi Tsuda

    Professional Highlights

    • Research focuses are in (a) examining a role of motor skills to facilitate physical activity engagement in early to middle childhood and (b) investigating a role of content knowledge of teachers to develop their task selection and instruction skills. 
    • Teaches classes in elementary and early childhood physical education methods. 
    • Has done 20 international and national presentations. 
  • bulgerBulger

    Sean Bulger

    Professional Highlights

    • Research interests include school based physical activity and professional issues
    • An author on more than 40 publications and 100 professional presentations
    • Collaborates with a multi-disciplinary team that has generated over $1 million in grants/contracts
    • Teaches courses related to children’s physical activity at the undergraduate and graduate levels
    • Certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS)
Beyond The Classroom

Field Experiences and Research


Students design movement education programming for early childhood and preschool age children from a local day care facility.

School-based Field Experiences

Watch and learn teaching theories and principles in the field. WVU’s PETE program partners with local schools to provide more than 100 hours of hands-on experience which students complete throughout their plan of study.

Diverse Learners

Children with various disabilities and special needs visit the WVU campus each Friday for 10 weeks to interact and engage in developmentally appropriate physical activities in the motor skill and aquatic settings. PETE students serve as teachers who plan and implement lessons and activities for these learners.

Technology Action Based Research Projects

During the BIP placement at the university, students integrate different educational technologies into their PE units and, with assistance from faculty, assess and report the impact of this technology on student learning.

Career Preparation

After Graduation


Commonly sought research focuses among alumni

  • Designing and implementing comprehensive school physical activity programs
  • Evidence based curricular and instructional models in physical education and sport
  • Physical activity programming for school-aged children with special needs
  • Instructional technology and its place in the gymnasium, classroom, and sports arena
  • Physical activity and youth sport

Example employers and job titles of graduates

  • Craig G. - Physical Education teacher, Washington, D.C.
  • Jack W. - Physical Education teacher, Arizona
  • Kelyn E. - Physical Education teacher, Delaware
  • Christopher R. - Physical Education teacher, West Virginia
  • Scott T. - College Professor, North Carolina
  • Jesse R. - Special Education teacher, West Virginia
  • Zach B. - Strength & Conditioning coach, Florida
  • Brooke S. - Health and Physical Education Curriculum Specialist, Texas
  • Tim S. - University-level Track and Field coach, North Carolina
  • Jordyn F. - Physical Education teacher, New Jersey
How To Apply

The Admission Process


How to apply

  • Apply to WVU: WVU Admissions Application
  • On your WVU Admissions materials indicate Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) as your major of interest.

Prerequisites and requirements

  • Overall GPA 2.5 or higher
  • A grade of C or higher must be earned in all probationary PET courses (or currently enrolled in the class at time of admission): PET 124, PET 125, PET 167, PET 175, PET 244, PET 276
  • Fewer than 10 hours left in GEC requirements for first three semesters
  • Passing scores on PRAXIS I, now named Core Academic Skills for Educators, on all three sub-tests
    • Reading (CDT Code 5712) with score of 156 or higher
    • Writing (CDT Code 5722) with score of 162 or higher
    • Mathematics (CDT Code 5732) with score of 150 or higher
    NOTE: The Praxis I requirement is waived for individuals who have achieved one of the following scores: 25 or higher on the American College Testing (ACT), 26 or higher on the enhanced ACT, or 1170 or higher on the SAT combined Critical Reading and Math beginning March 2005

Additional program admission information

Admission application form deadline: October 1

Current WVU students who meet the program admission requirements above can apply for admission to the PETE program in the fall semester.  Applications are due by October 1. From the applicant pool, the 27 students with the highest GPA’s are admitted to the PETE program and granted access to the C&I Theory Block. 

Students not granted admission may reapply the following year with the same procedure in effect. Applications are reviewed in October.

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