About the Program

UW-La Crosse has been a state and national leader in preparing physical education teachers for decades. Our graduates, certifiable to teach kindergarten through high school, teach in all 50 states and several foreign countries. Study is broad based, with emphasis on motor skills, fitness, scientific principles, teaching strategies, and program development. The UW-L program balances traditional, individual and fitness activities with non-traditional physical education activities such as backpacking, ropes courses, and rock climbing. This balance provides students with numerous experiences to enhance their professional development. Because of its exceptional quality, the UW System has identified this program as a Center of Excellence, a designation reserved for high quality undergraduate programs.


Our vision is to be the preeminent national leader in the preparation of physical education teachers in a society where all persons enjoy, regularly participate in, understand the benefits of, and advocate for physical activity for lifelong healthy living.


We strive to achieve our vision by … preparing reflective physical education teachers who integrate their content knowledge with an understanding of developmental characteristics in all learning domains to create, organize, manage, improve, and assess learning for diverse groups of students, and to communicate, motivate, and advocate for lifelong physical activity for healthy living.  These globally responsive professionals are leaders in their communities who bridge the gap between theory and evidence-based practice through extensive clinical preparation in partnership schools.  They are personally committed to physical activity in their lifestyles, partake in continuous professional development, and collaboratively plan and implement standards-based physical activity interventions using a variety of pedagogies and technologies that are learner-centered.

Career Opportunities

Numerous career options are available for graduates of the Physical Education Teaching Program. Public and private school teaching and coaching positions are the primary employment options for graduates. Business organizations and the U.S. military also employ physical educators. Our bachelor’s degree provides a solid foundation for graduate education and advanced work in physical education and other related fields.


Our placement record has been excellent. Even during periods of oversupply, UW-L graduates have experienced greater success in the job search than those from other schools. Our graduates are highly regarded by school districts and placement has been outstanding throughout the past decade.