School of Education

Five reasons why you should major in Physical Education and Health

1. Job Security

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for teachers (including physical and health education teachers) ranges from good to excellent. Job prospects will be best in inner cities and rural areas. Employment of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers is expected to grow by 13 percent through 2018.

There is a growing need for qualified and knowledgeable physical education and health education professionals in U.S. schools. A Bachelors of Science degree in Physical Education and Health with Teacher Licensure, prepares professionals for teaching health and physical education.  Elon University graduates look forward to earning licensure in both physical education and health education at both the elementary and secondary levels.  This makes Elon graduates very marketable.

2. Real-world experience

Elon PEH majors put classroom learning to work through participation in practical experience in public schools. Physical education and health education undergraduates begin working with students in local schools during their first year, and continue to do so throughout their four-years, culminating in a semester-long student-teaching experience. Elon University physical education and health students gain experience working with all age groups, and are qualified to teach from K through grade 12 upon graduation.

These are some of the things recent PEH graduates had to say about our program:

“My superintendent stopped by and observed one of my classes, he stayed until the end of the class, gave me a thumbs up and said ‘I would never know you were 22, it looks like you’ve been doing this forever.’”

2009 PEH Graduate

“Having exposure to physical education and health classrooms each semester, beginning freshman year, helped me to build a strong background in classroom management and fine tune my teaching skills each year. By senior year student teaching, I was already steps ahead of previous student teachers from other schools in terms of confidence and core teaching skills because I was able to have so much previous exposure to classroom settings, which many schools do not offer until senior year.”

Katherine Molzon '10

3. Priceless health advantages

Elon University physical education and health students will learn and grow in a unique environment where health, fitness and wellness are integrated into the curriculum and into the lives of all students, faculty and staff.  Elon University embraces its founders' vision of an academic community that transforms mind, body, and spirit and encourages freedom of thought and liberty of conscience.

Upon graduation, physical education and health students continue to learn and share new and improved ways of teaching students to pursue physically active lives through the school system.  Physical education and health professionals will have the opportunity to model healthy choices and behaviors by being physically active in their career and in their community. At no time has physical education, physical activity and other healthy behaviors been more important to children and youth!

“Being a physical education major offers the opportunity to have interpersonal relationships with both your professors and fellow students that are unmatched by other majors. Every professor is genuinely invested in each student as well as the field of physical education. After just one class, I knew physical education and health was the best way for me to both enjoy my time at Elon University and make a difference in the lives of young children for years to come.”

Rob Brown '12     

4. Post-undergraduate opportunities

While a bachelor’s degree is required of physical education and health teachers, some students may choose to continue their education by pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree to advance their knowledge in the field.

About a third of physical education and health alumni choose to attend graduate school for advanced degrees in Physical Education, Athletic Training, Student Life, Exercise Science, and Health Education.  Our students can be found at institutions including the University of Tennessee, Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, University of Alabama, University of Virginia and University of Washington. 

5. World-class faculty

In addition to being knowledgeable about the subjects they teach, teachers must have the ability to communicate, inspire trust and confidence, and motivate students, as well as understand the students' educational and emotional needs. Teachers must be able to recognize and respond to individual and cultural differences in students and employ different teaching methods that will result in higher student achievement (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

One of the most significant assets available to Elon University physical education and health students is a devoted, skilled and supportive team of faculty. A wide variety of pedagogy, activity, sport and health courses will prepare students to be well-rounded physical education and health professionals that employer’s desire. The PEH curriculum focuses on effective instructional strategies and lessons that will guide students to a successful career in a physical education and health field. In addition to an exceptional curriculum, students in the program also benefit from an attractive faculty-student ratio with faculty who serve as outstanding role models and mentors.

"Elon's Physical Education and Health professors are the greatest asset to Elon's program. With so many knowledgeable professors from different backgrounds of expertise and experience, I found I was able to grow into a very well-rounded and effective teacher. Throughout my four years, I was able to establish professional and personal relationships with my professors, who not only took the time to get to know me as a student, and a future teacher, but also a person. While working on my teaching skills and dispositions, my professors always took who I was and my personality into account when providing feedback. Rather than making me conform to their own opinions, teaching styles and ideas; they were able to help me find my own personal teaching style, identify and improve on any weaknesses, and more importantly to foster and enhance my strengths."

Katherine Molzon '10