Department of Physical Education, Health & Kinesiology

Tangible health: We help people live well every day...

We get you ready to serve and lead people in developing healthful lifestyles through exercise, movement skill acquisition, nutrition, and disease prevention.

Why Get my degree at Northwestern?
  • You’ll gain the knowledge, skills and guidance to be a sought after professional in the teaching, health, kinesiology and sports management fields.
  • You will get a diverse field experience and receive extensive interaction with current practitioners in the field.
  • You can join many of our graduates who pursue degrees at the master and doctorate levels in Physical Therapy, Echocardiology, Occupational Therapy, Athletic Training and Chiropractic Medicine.

FIve Tracks to find your passion

Students first enroll in the “Foundations of Physical Education and Kinesiology” course, designed to help you you choose which track that best fits your career goals and personal strengths. Our department offers the following tracks for each major:

  • Health and Fitness
  • K–12 Physical Education
  • K–12 Physical Education and 5–12 Health Education
  • Pre-Therapy
  • Sports Management

We can get you there,  grads to prove it

Graduates of our department are out in the field doing their thing! Maybe you'll have one of these titles someday:

  • Physical Education/Health Teacher
  • Personal Trainer
  • Sports Retail Manager
  • Gymnastics Coach
  • Arthritis Foundation Spokesperson
  • Activities Camp Director
  • Executive Director at YMCA
  • High School or College Coach
  • Physical Therapist
  • Chiropractor
  • Osteopathic Technician
  • Geriatric Researcher
  • Pediatric Echocardiologist
  • Athletic Trainer for NBA
Coaches for life

“The faculty and staff were—and continue to be—a strong source of encouragement in my life. They allowed me to be creative, to not be limited by set curriculum, and to explore the field of study. I carry their encouragement with me today, and I consistently create, push the bounds, and learn more about my professional field.”
Bethany Kelsey ’01, Kinesiology graduate


Majors and Minors

Physical Education
Prepare to teach K–12 physical education in private and public schools, with the option of a licensure in health education (grades 5–12).

Study muscles and movement and develop your knowledge and abilities in the health and fitness field, training and coaching or prepare for further study in a clinical health-related field.

Don't want to major? Don't worry: tailor your education by adding one of these minors:

Now that's a promise...

"Our goal as professors is to nurture your development and help you create lifelong memories and friendships with your fellow students, staff and professors. We are excited to have you join us, and we will work hard to provide experiences that will support the career and calling that God has for your life.”

–Kristine Smith, Ph.D. Professor of Physical Education
Chair, Department of Physical Education, Health & Kinesiology