Physical Education Major

Join our winning team by becoming a part of one of the best and most highly regarded physical education programs in the nation. Always dreamed of educating students but in an active way? At Cortland, you will integrate physical education theory with hands-on practice, utilizing a range of teaching styles and instructional strategies. This major leads to New York state certification to teach physical education to grades K-12.

Physical Education Careers

  • K-12 physical education teacher
  • Adapted physical education teacher
  • Adapted physical education specialist for hospitals, children’s centers and community- based programs
  • Educator at an outdoor center

What Will I Learn?

  • Leadership and practical skills needed to effectively implement physical education curriculum in schools
  • Effective teaching, curriculum and assessment practices
  • A broad spectrum of fitness, sports and lifelong physical activities
  • Certification to coach interscholastic sports

Concentration Options

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Special Features

  • Early field experiences in schools
  • Specialized indoor activity areas include ice arena, Olympic-sized pool, two dance studios, gymnastics gymnasium, four all-purpose gymnasiums, including one with a ropes course/climbing wall, squash/racquetball courts and a wrestling room
  • Specialized outdoor activity areas include a field house with a synthetic floor surface, tennis courts, softball field, baseball field and a multipurpose athletic complex that includes two turf fields suitable for soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and football, as well as an eight-lane all-weather 400 meter track with multiple runways and pits for jumping events.
  • Two-week long outdoor education program in the Adirondacks
  • Opportunities to be teaching and research assistantsProfessor Tim Davis with children

Get Involved

College is more than a classroom. Enhance your experience with extracurricular opportunities such as studying abroad, collaborating with professors, attending state and national conferences, and fulfilling your student teaching requirement, possibly even in Australia.

“The vigorous physical education program here is beyond any expectation I ever had, and I am confident that I will graduate extremely prepared for my profession and be able to positively impact many students’ lives through the use of all the comprehensive knowledge I have gained in my program at SUNY Cortland.”
- Brian Renta, physical education major

Student Clubs

Next Steps

Contact Us

Office: Park Center, Room 1126
Phone: 607-753-5577
Fax: 607-753-5975

Fast Facts

  • SUNY Cortland’s Physical Education department is one of the best and most highly regarded in the nation.
  • SUNY Cortland has one of the nation’s largest and oldest undergraduate programs in physical education.

Type of Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Credit Hours: 126


We recognize excellence in our students with awards and scholarships.

  • NYSAHPERD J.B. Nash Award
  • Department Majors of the Year
  • SHAPE Outstanding Major of the Year Award
  • Portfolio Showcase
  • Dorothy Arnsdorff Award
  • Bessie L. Park 1901 Award
  • Francis J. Moench ’16 Award
  • Fred Holloway Award
  • Fred “Prof” Holloway Award
  • Undergraduate Research Assistantship
  • Graduate Research Foundation Award

See all scholarship opportunities

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