Physical Education

The Physical Education major is a teacher certification program in physical education (K-grade 12). The department recommends that candidates interested in teaching obtain dual certification in physical education and health, but this major may be of interest for candidates only interested in teaching physical education.

Teacher Certification Options

The teacher preparation program strives to develop a liberally educated individual who has special knowledge and skills in the areas of movement and sport and their interrelated disciplines. Major emphasis is placed on the development of educational and performance foundations which will prepare an individual to teach in kindergarten through grade 12 or to pursue professional growth through further study and/or graduate work.

Candidates enjoy a continuous and extensive program of clinical and laboratory experiences at the college and through our collaboration with our professional development schools which provide opportunities for in-school observations, micro-teaching, teacher assisting, and large-group instruction. These experiences help to insure that the program remains responsive to the needs of the candidates, students and the profession. Candidates pursuing the Physical Education Teacher Certification Option complete a total of 100 hours of practicum experiences in two different courses (PED 311 and PED 441) before student teaching.

This program of instruction incorporates the standards established for physical education at the local school district level, the New York State learning standards for physical education, National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) beginning teacher standards. The teacher certification option culminates with a 14week student teaching experience in the K-12 schools. Each student teacher is given the opportunity to experience the privileges and responsibilities of a full-time teacher on both the elementary and secondary levels. An individual choosing to graduate without completing student teaching must fulfill this credit requirement in consultation with his/her advisor.

Academic Criteria for Endorsement and Completion of Program

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Grade of ‘C’ or higher in major courses
  • Satisfactory performance in field placements
  • Successful portfolio review

Courses & Curriculum

1. Core Requirements
View complete information about the Core Curriculum

2. Major Requirements
Major Sequence Coursework
Physical Education Teacher Certification Curriculum (K - grade 12):


PED 203 Net, Target, and Fitness Activities 3 credits
PED 204 Invasion Games 3 credits
PED 207 Dance & Gymnastics 3 credits
PED 305 Cooperative Activities & Outdoor Curriculum 3 credits
PED 311 Movement Ed. & Elementary Act (30 hours if applicable) 3 credits
PED 351 Coaching Theory & Techniques 3 credits
PED 354 & Lab  Adapted Physical Education (30 hours if applicable) 3 credits
PED 355 Disability Sports 3 credits
PED 360 Human Growth & Motor Development (30 hours if applicable) 3 credits
PED 371 Assessment in PE 3 credits
HHP 235 Kinesiology 3 credits
BIO 114 & Lab Human Biology: Intro. to Human Anatomy and Physiology 4 credits
BIO 115 & Lab Musculoskeletal Anatomy & Physiology 4 credits
HED 205 Wellness and Fitness 3 credits
HED 321 Lifeguard, CPR, First Aid, WSI 3 credits
HED 337 Exercise Principles  3 credits
HED 461 Health Psychology 3 credits
  50 credits
Pedagogical Core: 36 credits
EDU 122 Technology in Education 3 credits
EDU 250 Foundations of Education 3 credits
PED 372 Seminar in Teaching PE 3 credits
PED 380 Concepts of Teaching Sports Skills(30 hours if applicable) 3 credits
PED 441 Teaching Methods in PE 3 credits
PED 441Lab Teaching Methods Lab (W/R/F hours in school) 0 credits
PED 493 Student Teaching: PE/Health 12 credits
EDU 495 Child Abuse Seminar 0 credits
EDU 496 Prevention of School Violence Seminar 0 credits
EDU 497 Dignity for All Students (DASA) 0 credits
EDU 498 Student Teaching Seminar 3 credits
KIN 494 Capstone in Kinesiology 3 credits
SPE 341 Inclusive Strategies 3 credits
  36 credits
Free Electives to get to 120 or more credits  
Total 129 or more credits

Certification Requirements

To obtain initial teacher certification, candidates must pass the examinations required by the New York State Education Department. These include the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST), the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) and the appropriate Content Specialty Tests(s) (CST). The LAST should be taken in the sophomore year or early in the junior year, the CST(s) in the senior year, and the TPA will be completed during student teaching.

Candidates must be cleared by the New York State Education Department through a fingerprint-supported criminal history background check.

Candidates in teacher certification programs are required to take three credits of foreign language to meet New York State certification regulations. Canisius College accepts high school foreign language study for the foreign language proficiency requirement for those candidates successfully completing the appropriate Regents Exam with a grade of 85% or higher. For students who graduated from high schools outside New York state, three or more full year courses in a foreign language with grades of ‘B’ or higher are acceptable for the foreign language proficiency. Your proficiency will be evaluated during freshman orientation by the Director of Advisement. Candidates may also demonstrate the foreign language proficiency requirement by passing the appropriate CLEP test. Candidates that do not meet the foreign language proficiency through high school study are required to take a three credit foreign language course at the college level. Candidates that have no prior high school foreign language experience, should register for a 103 level foreign language course. Candidates that have prior high school foreign language experience, may register for a 115 level foreign language course.