Health Education & Physical Education Dual Degree

A dual-degree program in health education and physical education makes you twice as marketable when it comes time to find a teaching job.

Majoring in both health education and physical education helps you analyze the mind-body connection and gain a holistic understanding of human beings. Skills courses like cross-country skiing and yoga enhance this deeper understanding. Our blend of liberal arts, exercise science, teacher education, and professional theory courses provides you with the depth you need to excel. You will graduate job-ready, as an engaged and effective health and physical education teacher for all students in the 21st century.

Hands-On Practice

A student in a blue shirt is seated at a table in a classroom listening intently to the teacher and writing notes on a piece of paper.

Photo credit: Adam Baker

We start you off with young people right away. In your first year, you will spend time at local schools observing and assisting both health education and physical education teachers. Each year the amount of time you spend working directly with students increases. Because you will work in different schools, you will receive a range of experiences with children of different ages.

Your hands-on work culminates with student teaching in your senior year. Supervised by a master teacher, you will spend an entire semester planning, presenting, and participating in classes. You will spend half of the semester delivering a health education curriculum, the other half delivering a physical education curriculum.

The Department has long-standing collaborative relationships with K-12 schools. These partnerships will provide opportunities for you to complete observation hours as well as student teach. These partnerships span schools that are urban, suburban, and rural in nature as well as schools that serve high-needs students. These schools include the Ithaca City Schools as well as schools in Candor, Groton, Dryden, Binghamton, Horseheads, Newfield, Trumansburg, Owego, Newark Valley, Montour Falls, Watkins Glen, and Elmira.

Teaching Certification

A young child is crawling through a colorful tunnel made of mats in a school gymnasium.

Photo credit: HPPE Department

Our teacher education programs are aligned with New York State standards for teacher education. After finishing our four-year course of study, you'll be eligible for initial New York State teacher certification in both health education K–12 and physical education K–12.

More information about applying for initial teacher certification and New York State teacher certification exams is available on the All-College Teacher Education Committee website.

Our Graduates

Senior Maddy Horowitz, a dual major in health education and physical education, was awarded the prestigious J.B. Nash Outstanding Major Award at the New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NYSAHPERD) 2018 Convention. This award recognizes two New York state undergraduate students for outstanding performance relevant to their preparation for the profession in the areas of Health, Physical Education, Recreation or Dance.  Maddy was also named the NYSAHPERD Department Major of the Year.

Questions?

Department Office
Mary Bennett, Administrative Assistant
G56 Hill Center
Ithaca College
953 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850