Health and Physical Education (B.S.)


If you are interested in teaching physical and health education at an elementary or secondary school, the Health and Physical Education (HPE) major is for you. Upon completion of the program, you will be certified to teach in Rhode Island, as well as most other states. You will learn about cognitive course work, teaching methods, educational foundations, and skill acquisition, and you will also have a variety of practicum experiences in school settings. You will learn how to communicate with students of varying ages, abilities, and backgrounds and to apply scientific knowledge to physical education practice.

Students interested in undergraduate teacher education programs must apply for admission through URI’s Office of Clinical Practice and Partnerships (OCPP). Applications for admission to teacher education programs are normally submitted during the sophomore year. The HPE program is accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP).

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Professional Organizations

  • SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Educators)
  • RIAHPERD (Rhode Island Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance)

Travel and Study Abroad Opportunities

  • Hawaii
    This program will introduce students to a variety of sports/physical activities while teaching them to analyze personal physical activity information collected through the use of technological devices. Students will learn specific exercise physiology and pedagogy applications. They will also complete an ocean therapy portion, teaching children with disabilities and wounded warriors how to surf (no experience necessary).
  • Africa
    The program in Tanzania is multicultural service learning experience, visiting the cities of Arusha, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. The first part of the program will be spent at the Maasai Joy Children’s Centre, where participants will work with students and teachers. The cultural experience will extend beyond the classrooms with an afternoon immersion experience of life in a Maasai village, culminating with an African safari.