Physical and Health Education

Living a healthy and active lifestyle is more than just working out at the gym or playing a sport. Healthy habits that stick with us into our adult years are formed when we’re young. Physical and health education teachers have the ability to make lasting lifelong impressions on the students they teach. If you enjoy health, fitness and sharing your knowledge with children and young adults, or aspire to a career as an athletics director or administrative role in a high school setting you should consider a physical and health education major.

“I chose to major in physical and health education because I’m passionate about sports and helping people.”

— Ellie Walecka '21

Read Ellie's story

About the Physical and Health Education Major

Do your fondest memories of school include fitness tests, playing sports and games, or learning about healthy eating and nutrition? Are you interested in positively impacting the lives of children and young adults? If so, this program may be for you.

As a physical and health education major you’ll take courses to prepare you to teach physical education, health education and adapted physical education to students in grades Pre-K-12. Because of the requirements for the program, all physical and health education majors also pursue a major in secondary education. You’ll study exercise physiology, fundamental motor development, team sports and officiating, nutrition and community health, which will prepare you for licensing by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. When you complete our program you’ll also have all of the licenses required to be successful in your career as a teacher.

You’ll gain skills through a wide variety of experiences, including education classes that feature activities such as hiking, archery and indoor rock climbing. Every season in Wisconsin offers an opportunity to build your fundamental knowledge as you explore the Waukesha area, from Lapham Peak State Park to Retzer Nature Center.

You’ll gain practical understanding when you work in groups to create lesson plans for sports and games, which you’ll then share with classes. You’ll also observe and participate in physical and health education classes at local schools, leading physical education classes or presenting lessons on health topics such as alcohol education and bullying prevention. These assignments will help you build a set of lesson plans to work from before you begin your student-teaching hours.

Effective teachers are highly sought after by school administrators and at the end of our program you’ll be prepared to apply for positions in desirable school districts.

Students must also successfully receive their water safety instructor or lifeguard certification on their own before completing the program and earning their licenses.

Emphases / Minor

Although not required, physical and health education majors may choose to further specialize their study through one of the following emphases. Carroll also offers a coaching minor that complements many areas of study.


We help you build real world experience, explore careers and network with professionals through internship opportunities and student teaching placements. Recent placements include the following:

  • Waukesha School District
  • Kettle Moraine School District 
  • Mukwonago School District
  • West Allis-West Milwaukee School District


College is a big investment in a bright future. Learn more about the industries and careers our majors pursue, and the workplaces and experiences of the alumni from our program. See where yours may take you.

Career Insight

More Resources

“My courses have given me a lot of insight into how to teach physical education.”

— Linda Hensel '21

Read Linda's story

Meet the Faculty

Panoramic View of campus