Physical Education

The Physical Education – Teacher Education Program (PETE) at the University of Central Arkansas has an excellent reputation and longstanding history of preparing outstanding physical educators and health educators for P-12 public or private schools throughout Arkansas and across the nation. Graduates of the program are eligible for an all-level Arkansas teaching license and with two additional courses, can even achieve a coaching license through the Arkansas Department of Education.

Our comprehensive program is comprised of physical education, health education and fitness, including courses in lifetime health and fitness, and teaching team sports. The curriculum integrates scientific courses such as anatomical and mechanical kinesiology and exercise physiology with courses in teaching methodology, program planning an evaluation, adapted physical education, mental health, drug education, and human sexuality and is founded on the guidelines of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Our program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) ensuring your faculty are at the top of their field. The program meets the highest standards in the discipline, and you will be favorably considered for employment opportunities and graduate and professional schools.

As a Physical Education – Teacher Education major at UCA, you’ll have access to all of the distinct advantages that make the UCA experience special. Just a few of the benefits of our program include:

  • Expert Faculty with diverse academic specialties, such as sport performance, curriculum and instruction, measurement and evaluation of performance and learning, coaching, biomechanics, and fitness and exercise prescription mentor students both inside and outside of classes. PETE faculty members having extensive teaching experience in the public schools from pre-kindergarten through high school as well as the collegiate level. They are active in professional associations at the local, state, national, and international level within the discipline.
  • Hands-On Learning begins in the public schools with acceptance into the program. Majors complete practicums each term, culminating with a 16-week student-teaching internship during the final semester in the program. Student teachers are supervised by full-time Physical Education – Teacher Education faculty, never outsourced to part-time faculty. Our instructors have cultivated an intensive applied learning environment and provide individual attention, mentoring, and connections with professionals in the local school system.
  • Research Opportunities with peers and faculty often lead to presentation and participation in local, regional, and national conferences – like the annual UCA KPED Student Research Symposium or the Arkansas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Convention which allow students to contribute to the professional community and interact with other students, faculty, and experts in the field.
  • Professional Development is an integral part of the PETE program with three service learning activities required outside of class each semester. These professional activities provide PETE majors opportunities to work with public and private school physical educators and health educators on a variety of projects such as pre-and post-fitness assessments, tutoring individuals or small groups of students, designing and updating websites, assisting with enrichment day programs, PTA programs, track and field meets, and creating instructional materials which provide our majors with the experience of managing a classroom, designing fitness and health curriculum, and interacting with diverse student populations. The UCA Kinesiology and Physical Education Majors club provides students with participation and leadership opportunities at the local, state and national level.

To learn more about the exciting opportunities for personal and professional development available to you through the Physical Education major at the University of Central Arkansas, visit