Physical Education

Physical education is the instruction of motor skills, games, and lifelong physical fitness. Physical education in K-12 schools also includes the teaching of social and personal skills related to participating in a lifetime of physical activity.

Why Choose Physical Education?

Certification & Accreditation

Manhattan’s physical education program is approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). It leads to New York State teaching certification in physical education K-12, allowing you to be a P.E. teacher in primary or secondary schools. The program is also accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), a top mark of distinction for teacher preparation programs.

The Curriculum

The professional curriculum in the physical education major, combined with courses in liberal arts and sciences, is designed to prepare teachers and leaders for elementary and secondary schools. You will learn about the scientific principles of human movement, as well as how to become an effective teacher.

In addition to your coursework, all physical education majors must complete a total of 100 hours of fieldwork in K-12 schools, which can include serving as a teacher’s assistant, as well as planning and presenting physical activities to students. After you finish your fieldwork, you will complete an additional 60 full-time days of supervised student teaching prior to graduation.

Co-Curricular Experiences

The Manhattan College campus and our local community provide numerous opportunities for hands-on learning, including:

Manhattan College Games: Each spring, the Kinesiology Department and its honor society, Phi Epsilon Kappa, host a day of physical activities for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Kingsbridge Heights Community Center: Students can help provide recreational programming for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.

Manhattan College Fitness Center: The campus fitness center provides work-study opportunities reserved for physical education students to work as fitness attendants and personal trainers in the JasperFit program.

  • Meet a Physical Education Major: Josh Binfield
    Physical Education Student

    "I first became interested in Manhattan because I wanted to play soccer in a NCAA Division 1 program. I previously attended IMG Academy, an athletic training institute in Bradenton, FL, which led me to only apply to schools in that state. My coach there knew Jorden Scott, the men’s soccer coach here, though, so I came for a visit with my mom. He showed me around and called an hour later, asking if I wanted to be on the team. From then on, this was the choice.

    "I was initially a communication major at the College but wasn’t completely happy. Plus my goal is to become a professional soccer coach, so it just made sense when my girlfriend said to me, ‘Why not consider Kinesiology and become a physical education major?’ This made sense to me. After all, the best teachers always make the best coaches.

    "My favorite part about Manhattan has been the professors. Professors Deborah Adams, Ted Keating, Shawn Ladda, Lisa Toscano and Jeff Cherubini have been incredible. I can go into their offices anytime I need to and have a conversation about anything.

    "It might sound cliche, but because of the small network of people at the greater New York City area, I’ve gotten to meet so many different kinds of people in the coaching world and physical education. On the side, I also coach tennis at the Riverdale Country Day School to 9th and 10th graders.

    "If I could give a piece of advice to an incoming freshmen, I’d say this: ‘Get involved. The more you’re involved in school, the more it gives to you.’

    “Next year I’ll be attending Springfield College, where I’ve been accepted into their Physical Education M.S. program. I’ve always wanted to be a coach soccer-- even more than I’ve wanted to play.”

What Will You Learn?

You will graduate from this program with an ability to understand the scientific foundations of physical education including:

  • the science and profession of teacher methodology
  • assessment/curriculum development
  • motor learning
  • adapted physical activity
  • exercise physiology
  • anatomical kinesiology
  • biomechanics

You will also learn about the cultural, historical, and philosophical dimensions of physical education, and the relationship between physical activity participation and health, wellness and quality of life.

See the Degree Requirements

What Will You Do?

Our physical education program has a well-earned reputation for producing excellent physical educators who teach across a broad spectrum of schools in both urban and suburban districts.

When I started teaching adapted physical education at the Rebecca School in New York City, where I work with people ages 4-21 who have developmental disabilities, I picked up on a sense of family there that was similar to what I felt at Manhattan. The second I got there, I felt safe.

Caitlin Sweetapple ’12, Adapted Physical Education Teacher at the Rebecca School