Post Baccalaureate Certification Options

  1.  Second Undergraduate Degree
    Physical Education Credits: 80,
    General Education Credits: U.S. Minority Cultures and Human Relations (6 credits), Life and Physical Sciences(6-8 credits), Non-Western History/International Cultures(3 credits), Literature(3 credits), HPR 105(3 credits),
    Must fulfill admission requirements of the undergraduate program in Physical Education            
  2. Master of Science Degree with Certification
    Graduate Credits: 39,
    Undergraduate Level Credits: 47(including student teaching),
    Tuition: Graduate students in PE pay graduate fees for all credits--including those at the undergraduate level.
    Once admitted to the graduate program, must earn passing scores on the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) and hold at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA
    The Master of Science degree in Physical Education requires 32 graduate credits, and students may choose either a thesis or non-thesis option. However, those seeking initial certification to teach PE will take a mixture of graduate and undergraduate courses. You are invited to view the MS degree requirements.

Choosing the Best Option for You

Either option selected will take a full-time student  approximately 2-2 1/2 years to finish--depending on a student's academic background--and there are generally three key factors that lead students to chose one option over the other:

  1. The cost of undergraduate vs. graduate tuition
    Tuition for UW-La Crosse graduate students is approximately $600 more than that for undergraduates. Please logon to the Cashier's Office webpage for current fee information:
  2. Perception of marketability of an undergraduate vs. a graduate teacher certification (for a teacher with no contractual experience in teaching) It is commonly believed that it is next to impossible for a certified teacher to find a teaching position when they have a master's degree and no teaching experience. There is some credence to this belief, as teachers with a master's degree are paid more than those with just a bachelor's degree; there are school districts which make a practice of hiring the least expensive of, otherwise, equally qualified candidates. However, UW-La Crosse's master degree level, initial certification candidates enjoy impressive success in the physical education teacher job market. The latest reports regarding teacher supply and demand in Wisconsin may be viewed at the following site:
  3. Career goals
    Some candidates are considering coaching or teaching at the college/university level, or are interested in some other field related to physical education. For them, the master's degree is often a more attractive option.

Request a Transcript Evaluation

Prospective students are invited to request an evaluation of their transcripts. This will help to determine if any of their prior course work may be applied to the program's requirements. Candidates with a strong academic background in exercise science/kinesiology, and to some degree teacher education, may see a significant reduction in the number of required credits as listed above. You may request a transcript evaluation by sending legible copies of your transcripts and a brief cover letter outlining your career goals to:

Guy Herling, Assistant to the Dean
College of Science and Allied Health
UW-La Crosse
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54604

Unfortunately, faxed copies of transcripts are usually difficult to read, so please send your request through the postal service--thank you.