Graduate Programs

The graduate program in physical education at SUNY Cortland educates specialists in Adapted Physical Education (APE), Coaching Pedagogy (COA) or Physical Education Leadership (PEL)  who will be both leaders and advocates of positive change in their fields.

The program emphasizes academic excellence, the pursuit of knowledge, the development of students' critical and analytical abilities, and the application of theory into practice so that the students will assume positions of leadership within the profession.  The program is dedicated to a scholarly environment where students will be able to derive an appreciation of, and an experience in scholarship and service.  Through such an environment, students realize the link between theory, practice, and service.

The Graduate Faculty is dedicated to the delivery of high quality course work informed by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), Adaptive Physical Education National Standards (APENS), and the New York State Learning Standards in Physical Education.  Through the infusion of technology in instruction and the promotion of an academic culture appreciative of diversity and the value of physical well being, faculty seek to prepare individuals who will be on the cutting edge of professional practice.  In addition, it is expected that students will develop the skills necessary to become innovators and change agents for the advancement of the field of physical education.  Finally, the program encourages the development of individuals who value a lifelong love of learning and the process of scholarly inquiry.

Graduate Programs

Physical Education Leadership

The purpose of this concentration is to prepare physical educators to be leaders of, and advocates for, quality physical education programs. The program is designed to meet the NAPSE Advanced Standards for Physical Education Teacher Education through professional knowledge, professional practice and professional leadership. Students will work closely with directors of physical education in public schools to enhance their curricula and program offerings.

This concentration is offered as a one-year program of study. Each student cohort will begin the program in the summer of each academic year.

Master of Science for Teachers in Physical Education

The Master of Science for Teachers in Physical Education program is designed for those who do not possess a teaching certificate in Physical Education or who hold an initial certification in another subject area. Beyond the graduate level core courses in Physical Education, you'll explore topics that provide the knowledge and skills that integrate physical education theory with hands on practice. Those in the M.S.T. Initial Certification program will student teach for one semester after completing their comprehensive exam.

This program is designed to be completed as a full time student in four semesters for students with prior certification.

Master of Science in Education - Physical Education


Adapted Physical Education (currently suspended - not accepting new students)

The purpose of this concentration is to prepare physical education teachers to be specialists in working with individuals with disabilities and their families in a variety of educational and community settings. The program offers comprehensive educational experiences with a primary focus on excellence in assessment, teaching and understanding of movement principles of individuals who demonstrate cognitive, physical, sensory or emotional disabilities. Course work emphasizes mastery of content knowledge specific to Adapted Physical Education National Standards (APENS), as well as the ability to address New York State Learning Standards in Physical Education as they pertain to addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Coaching Pedagogy 

(currently suspended - not accepting new students)

The purpose of this concentration is to enhance the teaching/coaching abilities of physical educators. This concentration builds on the M.S. Ed. in Physical Education core with concepts from advanced study in the areas of motor development, diversity, exercise science, sport psychology, and coaching philosophy and principles. Students will leave the program with the tools to enhance their teaching and coaching abilities through technology and research, including use of Dartfish, a digital video analysis software package. The curriculum utilizes the resources of various recreational and sport activities of the campus and community, blends technology with observation analysis, and incorporates these experiences with student research interests.

This concentration if offered over three summer sessions as a residency-based online program that includes one online course, two hybrid courses (online and on-campus), and one completely on-campus course. 

For more information about any PE graduate program contact: Helena Baert at 607-753-5618.

Be sure to download the Graduate PE Manual.