Physical Education K-12

Department Chair: Diane Burr,, (701) 845-7242
Faculty Contact: Diane Burr,, (701) 845-7242
Department Office: 149 Gaukler Wellness Center, (701) 845-7580
Schedule a Visit:, (701) 845-7101 or (800) 532-8641, ext. 7101


The Physical Education major is designed to prepare students for teaching physical education, grades K-12. Students will engage in content that includes the study of human anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, outdoor recreational pursuits, motor skills, and activities for the physical educator. At Valley City State University, our goal is to produce great physical educators who will make a difference in the lives of the students they will teach. This goal is accomplished by providing students ample opportunities to practice and develop key teaching skills while engaging in the physical education content.  Students will become competent in the use of technology and will be able to demonstrate its application in the educational setting. Throughout the curriculum, learners will work with master teachers who will prepare the student to effectively teach in today's physical education classroom.  

  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)


The VCSU SHAPE Club provides students in physical education and health education opportunities to discuss current topics in their respective profession and collaborate to provide community outreach programs. On campus, there are many organizations for students to join, including Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) and Student North Dakota United (SNDU).

Teacher Education Requirements

Students are typically admitted into Teacher Education during their sophomore year or beginning of their junior year of college. This program requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher and successful completion of the Praxis I test. Additional criteria for Admission to Teacher Education can be found at the following website:

“I really respect the way the faculty model the ideals of what a physically active person should be.  And I’ve taken a lot of those ideals and will apply them into my own future career as an educator.” —Jace Ruby ’14, Little Falls, Minn.; PE teacher, Little Falls, Minn.

“Being in the VCSU Physical Education major has made me more than excited to be a future educator. The great teachers here have prepared me tremendously and have helped me realize I am in the right career path. At Valley City State I have never felt like a number but felt like an individual that matters. Every day in this program I know I am in the right place.” —Adam Krueger, Rosholt, S.D.

“Once I got to VCSU, the positive atmosphere only grew, and I could see how much the staff, faculty, and other students cared about my well-being. I wasn't a number on a class list, but rather a face that got recognized and a name that was remembered.” —Kaitlyn Heuring, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

“Why did I choose the VCSU Health Education and Physical Education majors? These majors at VCSU offer a variety of classes and practicum experiences that give students a great opportunity to become excellent educators in the future. The professors here take extra time to get to know you personally and guide you through your experiences at VCSU to become the best person and teacher you can be.” —Danny Hangaard, Hankinson, N.D.


General Education Requirements 

English Composition
Select one of the following:6
College Composition I
College Composition II 1
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition II 1
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition III
Speech Communication
Select one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Finite Mathematics
Calculus I
Elementary Statistics
Lab Science
Select two of the following:8
Concepts of Biology
General Biology I
General Biology II
General Zoology
Introductory Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry II
Introduction to Earth Science
The Earth Through Time
Concepts of Physics
Introductory Astronomy
Introductory College Physics I
Introductory College Physics II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Introduction to Psychology Lab (Corequisite: PSYC 111 Introduction to Psychology) 3
Technology, Engineering, and Design
HPER 100Concepts of Fitness and Wellness2
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Computer Information Systems
Introduction to Programming in Java
Introduction to Structured Programming I
Discovering Computing
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Film
World Literature I
World Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Civilization, Thought, and Literary Heritage
Ethics and Philosophy of Science
1st Year Spanish I
1st Year Spanish II
2nd Year Spanish I
2nd Year Spanish II
Introduction to Theatre Arts
Acting One
Art and Music
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to the Visual Arts
Fine Arts and Aesthetics
Music Appreciation
Music Fundamentals
World Music
History of Rock and Roll
Social Science
Select two of the following:6
Understanding Media and Social Change
Human Communication
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Human Geography
United States to 1877
United States to Present
World Civilizations to 1500
World Civilizations since 1500
Environmental History
Native American Studies
American National Government
State and Local Government
Introduction to Psychology 2
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
Additional Humanities or Social Science
Select one additional course from Humanities or Social Science or select from the following:2
Drawing I
Ceramics I
Survey of Geography
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Concert Choir
Athletic Band
Concert Band
Planetarium Science
Theatre Practicum
Total Credits39

Major Requirement

Required Courses
HPER 109Exercise Techniques and Program Design3
HPER 206Fundamentals of Teaching Health and Physical Education3
HPER 207Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries2
HPER 208Introduction to Physical Education2
HPER 210First Aid & CPR1
HPER 220Practical Application of Fitness Education3
HPER 258Applied Anatomy, Physiology, and Human Performance3
HPER 259Applied Anatomy, Physiology, and Human Performance3
HPER 314Activities for the Physical Educator3
HPER 325Instructional Methods in the Elementary Physical Education Classroom3
HPER 385Introduction to Adapted Physical Education3
HPER 388Outdoor Pursuits for the Physical Educator2
HPER 410Organization and Adminstration of Physical Education and Sport2
HPER 490Methods of Teaching K-12 Physical Education3
Swimming Requirement: The student majoring in Physical Education is required to pass a proficiency test in swimming. This test is given during the final exam week of each semster.
Total Credits36

Total General Education 39 Hrs
Total Major Requirement  36 Hrs
Total Professional Education Sequence 31-32 Hrs
Total Credits Needed to Graduate 120 Hrs

Professional Education Sequence

Professional Education Sequence
EDUC 240Educating Exceptional Students3
EDUC 250Introduction to Education3
EDUC 283Understanding Cultural Diversity in Education3
EDUC 300Educational Technology2
EDUC 351Secondary Practicum and Classroom Management1
EDUC 352Culturally Diverse Practicum1
or EDUC 464 Practicum in the ELL Classroom
EDUC 375Teaching Reading in the Content Areas2
EDUC 400Educational Psychology 22
EDUC 450Trends in Assessment and Educational Issues2
EDUC 480Student Teaching (Secondary) 210
PSYC 250Developmental Psychology3
Total Credits32

For degree and graduation requirements, visit degree requirements and graduation requirements.


Plan of Study

First Year
English Composition (Gen Ed)3HPER 2072
HPER 1093HPER 2203
HPER 2101ENGL 125 (Gen Ed)3
Lab Science (Gen Ed)4MATH 103 or 104 (Gen Ed)3
Technology (Gen Ed)3PSYC 111 (Gen Ed)3
UNIV 1501Speech Communication (Gen Ed)3
Wellness (Gen Ed)2 
 17 17
Second Year
Credits towards minor2Additional Humanities or Social Science (Gen Ed)2
EDUC 2503Art and Music (Gen Ed)3
HPER 2082Credits towards minor3
HPER 2583EDUC 2403
Lab Science (Gen Ed)4HPER 2063
Social Science (Gen Ed)3HPER 2593
 HPER 3143
 17 20
Third Year
Credits towards minor3Credits towards minor6
HPER 3253EDUC 3002
HPER 3853EDUC 4002
EDUC 3521HPER 3882
EDUC 2833PSYC 2503
Literacies (Gen Ed)3 
 16 15
Fourth Year
Credits towards minor 5EDUC 4502
HPER 4102EDUC 48010
HPER 4903 
EDUC 3511 
EDUC 3752 
 13 12
Total Credits 127

Please note:  This plan is intended for general information only.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor each semester before registration.

Learning Outcomes

  1. The teacher candidate will demonstrate an understanding of and be able to apply discipline-specific scientific concepts as related to the physical education major.
  2. The teacher candidate will demonstrate the ability to apply the concepts of fitness into the physical education lesson.
  3. The teacher candidate will demonstrate the ability to provide for reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.
  4. The teacher candidate will demonstrate the ability to plan, implement, evaluate, and reflect age-appropriate physical education content in the communication of written lesson plans.
  5. The teacher candidate will demonstrate the ability to effectively manage and transition in the physical education classroom.
  6. The teacher candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the importance and the ability to assess and provide for a safe learning environment.
  7. The teacher candidate will demonstrate proficiency in first aid, CPR, and AED.
  8. The teacher candidate will demonstrate an understanding of and be able to apply discipline-specific activities as related to the physical education major.