Health and Physical Education Major (B.S.)

The health and physical education (HPE) major provides a foundation for teaching through a four-year program (BS), or the UNH Department of Education fifth-year program leading to a masters of arts in teaching (MAT). Graduates become certified to teach kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) health and physical education in the state of New Hampshire. This licensure is transferable to all other states in the U.S. Extensive supervised practicum experiences that provide teaching skills, including adaptive physical education programming, offers an excellent foundation for preparing high-quality teachers. The combination of health with physical education and adaptive physical education makes graduates highly marketable.

Internal UNH undergraduate transfer candidates must have a minimum GPA of 2.67 before admission to the major. The coursework for students choosing the four-year or five-year path to teaching certification is exactly the same  until the final semester of the undergraduate program. The culminating experience for students in the four-year teaching program is student teaching (EDUC 694D/HPE 694 Supervised Teaching in Health and Physical Education). Students choosing to do the fifth-year program complete a year-long internship, in lieu of student teaching. Students also have the option of completing a concentration in adapted physical education through additional coursework designed to enhance teaching strategies and the programmatic needs of students with disabilities. 

Admission to the fifth year program requires a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students admitted early to the masters program (required GPA of 3.2 or greater) are eligible for dual credit at the undergraduate/graduate levels for up to 12 credit hours. This enables undergraduates to begin the masters program in their junior or senior year. For questions about the program, contact the undergraduate program coordinator, Holly Alperin at (603) 862-1211, or

Major Requirements

BMS 507Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BMS 508Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
EDUC 605Educational Perspectives in Critical Times4
EXSC 620Physiology of Exercise4
HDFS 746Human Sexuality4
HPE 500Introduction to Health and Physical Education2
HPE 570Elementary Physical Education Practicum4
HPE 600Movement and Gymnastics Exploration4
HPE 601Lifetime Sports3
HPE 603Team Sports3
HPE 610Elementary Physical Education Pedagogy4
HPE 648Current Issues in Teaching Health4
HPE 655Middle School and Secondary Physical Education Pedagogy4
HPE 653BBiomechanics of Human Movement2
HPE 671Health Education Pedagogy4
HPE 675Motor Development and Learning4
HPE 676Adventure Activities3
HPE 702Health Content and Youth Risk Behavior4
HPE 712Health Education Practicum4
HPE 781Inclusion in Physical Education4
KIN 501First Aid: Responding to Emergencies1
NUTR 400Nutrition in Health and Well Being4
PSYC 402Statistics in Psychology4
or SOC 402 Statistics
or HHS 540 Statistics for Health and Human Service Professionals
Senior Capstone Experience
HPE 766Middle School and Secondary Physical Education Practicum4
Total Credits86

Recommended Major Sequencing of Courses

This list only includes major classes. Students should be registered for, and taking an average of 16 credits per semester to be ‘on track’ to graduate in 4 years. In most semesters, this means a student will be taking Discovery or elective courses to meet this 16 credit ‘load’.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
HPE 500 Introduction to Health and Physical Education 2
HPE 600 Movement and Gymnastics Exploration 4
NUTR 400 Nutrition in Health and Well Being 4
1 or 2 Discovery Course  
HPE 603 Team Sports 3
PSYC 402 Statistics in Psychology 4
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing 4
HHS 540
Statistics for Health and Human Service Professionals
or Statistics in Psychology
or Statistics
1 or 2 Discovery Course  
Second Year
BMS 507 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
HPE 610 Elementary Physical Education Pedagogy 4
HPE 648 Current Issues in Teaching Health 4
HPE 675 Motor Development and Learning 4
KIN 501 First Aid: Responding to Emergencies 1
BMS 508 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
HPE 570 Elementary Physical Education Practicum 4
HPE 601 Lifetime Sports 3
HPE 671 Health Education Pedagogy 4
1 Discovery course  
Third Year
EXSC 620 Physiology of Exercise 4
HPE 653B Biomechanics of Human Movement 2
HPE 655 Middle School and Secondary Physical Education Pedagogy 4
HPE 702 Health Content and Youth Risk Behavior 4
1 Discovery course  
HDFS 746 Human Sexuality 4
HPE 676 Adventure Activities 3
HPE 712 Health Education Practicum 4
HPE 781 Inclusion in Physical Education 4
Fourth Year
EDUC 605 Educational Perspectives in Critical Times 4
HPE 766 Middle School and Secondary Physical Education Practicum 4
2 Discovery course  
EDUC 694D Supervised Teaching/Kinesiology 4
HPE 694 Supervised Teaching in Health and Physical Education 6
1 or 2 Discovery Course  
 Total Credits104
  • Apply sound pedagogical practices that enable effective teaching of health education, physical education, and adapted physical education at all levels.
  • Create a learning environment that allows each student to feel safe, challenged and valued by embracing the unique strengths each student brings into the classroom and gymnasium.
  • Integrate foundational skills and knowledge from health and physical education disciplines that enhance teaching practices in the classroom and gymnasium.
  • Design unit and lesson plans within an overall curriculum for health and physical education that supports the development of students’ intellectual, physical, social and emotional well-being.
  • Design and implement authentic assessments for health and physical education that will enhance and inform student learning.