Physical Education

Bachelor of Science, Teacher Licensure

Degree Type

Minor, Emphasis, K-12 Licensure


Recreation, Exercise & Sport Science (RESS) Department

Physical education is critical to the development of motor skills and reinforcing the importance of physical health. This knowledge has the potential to positively influence the lives of children, teens and adults as they make decisions about food, exercise, health and well-being.

Program Overview

Inspire students to adopt healthy lifestyles.

If you aspire to teach physical education in a school setting, the K-12 Physical Education emphasis is designed for you. In the program, you will learn and develop pedagogical best practices through research-based instruction and experiential learning, all while developing your expertise in exercise science. In collaboration with our Education program, you will complete a yearlong student teaching internship and sit for the K-12 physical education teacher licensure exam. Through community partnerships, you’ll have the opportunity to work with children and teachers in local schools and at the Gunnison Recreation Center. The Physical Education minor allows you to develop your health and physical activity teaching skills without requiring a student teaching internship or teacher licensure exam.

Teaching healthy movement

Physical Education students learn and develop pedagogical best practices through research-based instruction and experiential learning, all while developing their expertise in exercise science.


Code Title Credits Description
EDUC 410 K-12 Student Teaching 3 View
ESS 181 Foundations of Exercise and Sport Science 3 View
ESS 185 Lifetime Wellness 3 View
ESS 201 Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology (with Lab) 4 View
ESS 275 Motor Development and Learning 3 View
ESS 290 Curriculum Development and the Learning Environment 3 View
ESS 320 Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 3 View
ESS 330 Exercise Physiology 3 View
ESS 331 Exercise Physiology Lab 1 View
ESS 350 Assessment & Technology in Physical Education 2 View
ESS 353 Coordinated School Health and Physical Activity Programs 2 View
ESS 363 Inclusive Physical Activity 3 View
ESS 380 Biomechanics 3 View
ESS 392 Methods of Secondary Activities 3 View
ESS 395 Methods of Elementary Activities 3 View
ESS 396 Methods of Alternative Physical Education 3 View
ESS 410 Assessment and Exercise Prescription 3 View
ESS 490 Sociology of Sport and Physical Activity 3 View
ESS 495 Senior Seminar in Exercise and Sport Science 3 View
ESS 498 Internship in Exercise and Sport Science 3-12 View


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant. For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Make your education a life changing experience.

A college education is so much more than just taking classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field.

  • Community Partnerships: Many classes involve working with children and teachers in local schools and working with the general population at the Gunnison Recreation Center.
  • Future Educators of America: Students in this club engage in volunteer work and professional development opportunities along with other like-minded students.
  • Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE): SHAPE is a national organization of professionals involved in physical education, physical activity, dance, school health and sport. SHAPE promotes research and provides support and resources to professionals to further the health and well-being of the American public.
  • Association for Students of Exercise Sports Science: This club is specifically tailored to ESS majors. Outings and events provide social support, professional development and networking opportunities.

Working with the community

Many Physical Education courses involve working with children and teachers in local schools and working with the general population at the Gunnison Recreation Center.

Department Chairperson

Lance Dalleck, Ph.D.

Professor of Exercise & Sport Science

Administrative Assistant

Terri Stinson

Administrative Assistant

Contact Information



Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Paul Wright Gym 209
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231