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Physical Education Teaching

Adapted Physical Education emphasis overview

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Physical Education Teaching with Adapted Physical Education emphasis (MS)

The Physical Education Teaching with Adapted Physical Education (APE) emphasis (MS) is a practitioner oriented program designed for teachers seeking additional expertise in a number of areas:

  • Evidence-based content knowledge
  • Technology skills
  • Clinical experience in PK-12 physical education for students with disabilities in general and/or specially designed classes

Our graduates are equipped to perform consultation, leadership and supervision roles in APE for school districts and other agencies. Graduates of this program have also progressed on to doctoral study and become faculty at higher education institutions.

Youth on slide with instructors


Program overview

What does an APE professional do?

APE professionals provide an important area of expertise for the school districts in which they work. Here are just a few of the contributions our students make in the professional world.

Professional contributions:

  • Serve as traveling APE teachers 
  • Collaborate with special education personnel and educational staff
  • Teach PK-12 students with disabilities
  • Assess development for IEP implementation & evaluation
child in tunnel
Funding opportunities

There are a number of funding opportunities available to provide financial assistance for graduate students. Find out more about these options on our program's financial aid information webpage.


Child in pool with student
Options for program completion

There are a few different approaches a student may take when progressing through this program.  

  • Full-Time, On Campus - Academic Year and Summer Terms
    • 12-14 credit hours - Fall and Spring semesters
    • 6-9 credit hours - Summer semesters
    • Program runs: Summer, Fall, Spring, Summer
    • Allows for degree completion and eligibility for employment within one year of program start
  • Part-Time, On-Campus - various terms
    • Attend part-time on an intermittent basis in various semesters
    • Degree completion over a span of 3-5 years
Program curriculum

Our 36 credit program curriculum combines advanced study of general physical education with specialized APE course work. 

Course content includes:

  • Assessment and program evaluation
  • Instructional models & teaching strategies
  • APE leadership development
  • Disability impacts on physical & motor performance

Students entering our program with an existing Wisconsin teaching license have the option of adding on the 860 supplementary teaching license. Contact Dr. Brock McMullen if you are interested in this option.

Child biking with student
Practicum experience

School-based practicum/clinical experiences
Prepare graduates to provide leadership for PK-12 APE service delivery.

Center on Disability Health and Adapted Physical Activity (CDHAPA) program
Our graduate students obtain additional practical experiences working in the on-campus CDHAPA program serving persons with disabilities. 

Students helping youth on bike
Student project profiles

Our students select a thesis or non-thesis option. Thesis students complete courses in research methods and statistics along with a thesis project. Students choosing the non-thesis option complete courses in research methods and assessment in addition to completing a project. The work of a few of our students is highlighted below.

Graduate Project

Lauren Bach

Modifications and Adaptations for Successful Inclusion in Aquatics for Individuals with Visual Impairment

Graduate Project

Rhyanne Hartwig

Implementing Self-Protection Units in Adapted Physical Education

Graduate Project

Quinton White

Parent perceptions of extracurricular sport programs for high school students with disabilities.

Contact our Adapted Physical Education Teaching emphasis coordinator

Brock McMullen  Profile of Brock McMullen

Assistant Professor
215 Mitchell Hall

Specialty areas:

Adapted Physical Education and Physical Education Teacher Preparation