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Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE)

The online Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) master’s program is designed for working physical education professionals. The format allows students to complete online courses during spring and fall semesters and mostly online courses (online and on-campus) during the summers. This format is ideal for teachers and coaches with demanding schedules who need to balance work and family while continuing their education. The WVU MS in PETE program is a non-thesis program; students complete a final teaching practicum that culminates during their third and final summer. 

The curriculum and professional activities empower teachers to examine their current knowledge and teaching practices. A range of current professional topics are covered including physical activity in schools, teaching with technology, use of instructional models, teaching students with disabilities, grant writing and advocacy. Students in the WVU MS in PETE program evaluate their teaching effectiveness using research-informed methods to extend their understanding of school physical activity and physical education for K-adult learners. One signature feature of the program is the cohort structure. These foster professional communities of collaborative, problem-based learning focused on real-world challenges and solutions.

What our alumni have to say:

  • Shelton Stephen

    "Be a Mountaineer wherever you live! As a working professional sandwiched between aging parents and young children, the blended design of the PETE master’s degree program at CPASS was tailor made for someone like me."

    Steve S.

    M.S. PETE, 2010
  • Kelly Lamb

    “My coursework at WVU and classroom experience have enabled me to acquire and be committed to fundamental qualities of teaching and learning, as well as an ability to collaborate and lead.”

    Kelly L.

    M.S. PETE, 2012
  • Ryan Gordy

    "The classes I took and the professors I had without question have helped shape my mindset for what a quality Wellness program should look like. My Wellness program has benefited greatly from the ideas that I have been able to incorporate from those classes and professors.”

    Ryan G.

    M.S. PETE, 2012

What you'll study

The MS in PETE degree is designed for working PE professionals. The program advances one’s skills and knowledge to develop a standards-based physical education program.

The master’s program includes a balance of fully and mostly online courses. Practical application of research-based and developmentally appropriate teaching practices is emphasized through a variety of embedded practicum experiences.

Within this degree program there are multiple options for individuals who wish to pursue their master’s degree in PETE, including:  

View more information on the different curriculum options

Professional Courses

Students enrolled in the WVU PETE master’s program evaluate their teaching effectiveness using research informed methods, examine standards-based curriculum and assessment strategies and explore the possibilities of technology in PE. Students engage with learners with diverse physical, mental and emotional needs, extend their understanding of fitness education for K-adult learners. Additionally, students review significant issues affecting the teaching of physical education such as grant writing, advocacy and career promotion.

Practicum Courses

The MS in PETE program is a non-thesis program. In the final semester students complete a practicum to demonstrate achievement of the SHAPE America Advanced Teacher Education Standards for Physical Education Teacher Education. The four fundamental beliefs and guiding principles underlying these standards are: (a) Focus on learning rather than teaching; (b) Integrated knowledge base; (c) Importance of inquiry; and (d) Role of leadership. 

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
  • 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

The MS in PETE program empowers teachers to examine their current knowledge and teaching practices, with the goal of focusing on the learning experience of children in K-12 schools. Advanced laboratory classes challenge students to apply theoretical concepts (e.g., instructional technology, curricular/instructional models, principles of effective teaching, and motor development in special populations) introduced during summer coursework, into their own classrooms and settings. Students are guided and supported by faculty to accomplish this using problem-based learning and action research.

Alumni Testimonials

“WVU has helped develop my teaching and my programs success tremendously!  The faculty and programs are top notch and are geared toward giving relevant information and training its educators to make changes in our current system.”—Chris A. ‘13

“My time at WVU made me feel like a true professional. To this day, I still feel that way and it is due in a huge part to WVU, the staff and my fellow cohort members.”  –Tai T. ‘11

“I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to learn under dedicated and caring professors as well as being part of an amazing cohort that shared their teaching practices, knowledge, and ideas with me.” – Kelly ‘12

“Working through the WVU program, I was able to grow as a teacher. Listening to lectures and doing research on the best practices in physical education was a great way for me to get a better foundation in the theory. I finally felt like I was growing and learning as a teacher and finally starting to provide my students with a more rewarding/productive physical education experience.” – Michelle B. ‘14

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

  • Steve S., Radford University, Instructor of Health and Human Performance
  • Christopher R., Physical Education Teacher, Eastern Greenbrier Middle School
  • Chris A., Physical Education Teacher, South Jefferson Elementary School
  • Brooke S., Health and Physical Education Curriculum Specialist, Texas 
How To Apply

The Admission Process

How to apply

Applications must be submitted online to the WVU Admissions and Records Office along with your official undergraduate transcripts. Apply online at the WVU Admissions and Records website. Incomplete applications (those without all required materials and documentation) will not be accepted. 

Prerequisites and requirements

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 (4-point scale)
  • Current resume highlighting professional background and qualifications
  • Professional goal statement: 1-2 written pages on professional goals and reasons for seeking admission
  • No GRE scores required

Additional program admission information

Admission application form deadline: Accepting admissions on a rolling basis until May 1 for a summer term start.

During the admission process, preference is given to individuals who are certified teachers or certified eligible. All students need access to groups of school-aged children on a regular basis given the applied nature of many course assignments.

This program does not result in conferral of a WV teaching license. If seeking licensure, please consult with your respective state department of education before applying to determine whether or not the program meets your needs.

Applicants who do not meet the 2.75 GPA requirement may be admitted as a provisional graduate student if their GPA is between 2.50 and 2.74. Once admitted provisionally, students are required to achieve a 3.0 GPA in their first 9-hours of advisor-approved course work to be reclassified as regular status and remain in the program.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.

The previously listed materials are submitted online as part of the WVU Graduate Admission application. Applicants must submit their official copies of transcripts and test scores directly to the WVU Office of Admissions, PO Box 6009, Morgantown, WV 26506.

All graduate students must achieve and maintain a 3.0 GPA or better (4-point scale) prior to graduation.