2020 Most Affordable Online Master's in Physical Education Programs

By the OnlineU team | Updated 8/12/2021
2020 Most Affordable Physical Education Masters Degrees Badge
By the OnlineU team | Updated 8/12/2021

This list highlights 23 schools, all of which offer affordable online master's in physical education programs. Ranked #1, the University of North Georgia charges $4,545 per year for their Master of Science in Kinesiology - Health and Physical Education. Available courses include Advanced Exercise Prescription & Program Design, Analysis of Motor Skills, Applications of Qualitative Research in Physical Education, and Trends and Issues in Health & Physical Education. The University of the Cumberlands, ranked #2, has an annual tuition rate $4,725 for their Master of Arts in Education - Teacher Leader: Health & Physical Education.

You can read more about our ranked schools below or browse our rankings of the most affordable online master's programs. View our methodology or learn more about OnlineU.

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Rank School Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 University of North Georgia $4,545
# 2 #2 University of the Cumberlands $4,725
# 3 #3 Valdosta State University $4,981
# 4 #4 Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville $5,097
# 5 #5 Northwest Missouri State University $5,525
# 6 #6 North Dakota State University - Main Campus $5,993
# 7 #7 Emporia State University $6,393
# 8 #8 Georgia Southern University $6,444
# 9 #9 Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus $7,006
# 10 #10 Gardner Webb University $7,035
# 11 #11 University of Arkansas $7,321
# 12 #12 West Virginia University $7,635
# 13 #13 Auburn University at Montgomery $7,650
# 14 #14 University of Wyoming $7,776
# 15 #15 University of Arkansas at Monticello $7,819
# 16 #16 Jackson State University $8,316
# 17 #17 SUNY College at Brockport $8,475
# 18 #18 University of South Carolina-Columbia $8,583
# 20 #20 University of Nebraska at Kearney $8,892
# 21 #21 University of Idaho $9,876
# 22 #22 University of Memphis $10,455
# 23 #23 University of South Florida Online $11,586
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $4,545
Annual Tuition: $4,545
Annual Tuition: $4,545
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 31%
  • Acceptance Rate: 78%
  • Average SATs: 1025 -1230
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 940
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 279
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Administration of HPE Programs in Schools, Advanced Exercise Prescription & Program Design, Analysis of Motor Skills, Applications of Qualitative Research in Physical Education, Obesity Prevention in Children and Youth, Trends and Issues in Health & Physical Education

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Kinesiology - Health and Physical Education
#2
#2

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg (KY)
Annual Tuition: $4,725
Annual Tuition: $4,725
Annual Tuition: $4,725
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 33%
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Average SATs: 995 -1180
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,072
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 5,401
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (606) 549-2200

Example Classes: Applied Sports Medicine, Best Practices for Coaching and Mentoring Teachers, Current Issues in Health Promotion, Health and Fitness Psychology, Health Promotion through Physical Activity, Youth Health and Fitness

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Education - Teacher Leader: Health & Physical Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching - All Grades (P-12) Art, Health, Music, Physical Education
#3
#3
Annual Tuition: $4,981
Annual Tuition: $4,981
Annual Tuition: $4,981
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Average SATs: 1000 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,131
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,871
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (229) 333-5800

Example Classes: Assessment and Technology in Physical Education, Human Kinetics, Physical Education for Exceptional Learners, Physical Education Pedagogy, Program Development I (Games, Sports & Fitness), Program Development II (Gymnastics & Dance)

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Teaching in Education with a Concentration in Health and Physical Education
  • Master of Education in Health and Physical Education
#4
#4
Annual Tuition: $5,097
Annual Tuition: $5,097
Annual Tuition: $5,097
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Acceptance Rate: 90%
  • Average SATs: 1010 -1220
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 591
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 363
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (888) 328-5168

Example Classes: Analysis of Research in Physical Education and Coaching, Analysis of Teaching Behaviors in Sport and Physical Education, Behavioral Analysis of Exercise, Diversity in Physical Education and Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Education in Kinesiology - Physical Education and Coaching Pedagogy
#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $5,525
Annual Tuition: $5,525
Annual Tuition: $5,525
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Average SATs: 976 -1193
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 193
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 743
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (660) 562-1212

Example Classes: Curriculum in Health and Physical Education, Grantsmanship, Improving Instruction through Systematic Observation, Sports and Exercise Nutrition, Strategies and Interventions for Health Behavior Change

Online Master's Degrees

  • M.S.Ed.: Health & Physical Education
#6
#6
Annual Tuition: $5,993
Annual Tuition: $5,993
Annual Tuition: $5,993
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Acceptance Rate: 92%
  • Average SATs: 1083 -1275
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 502
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 401
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (701) 231-8011

Example Classes: Adapted Physical Education and Sport, Governance in Sport, Positive Youth Development Through Sport, School-Wide Physical Activity Promotion, Sport Revenue Generation, Teaching Concepts-Based Fitness

Online Master's Degrees

  • M.S. in Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Science: Leadership in Physical Education and Sport
#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $6,393
Annual Tuition: $6,393
Annual Tuition: $6,393
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Average SATs: 900 -1178
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 180
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,815
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (620) 341-1200

Example Classes: Analysis of Teaching and Coaching, Art and Science of Coaching, Assessment in K-12 Physical Education., Biomechanics, Exercise Metabolism, Teaching Online Health and PE

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (Non-Thesis)
  • Master of Science in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (Thesis)
#8
#8

Georgia Southern University

Statesboro (GA)
Annual Tuition: $6,444
Annual Tuition: $6,444
Annual Tuition: $6,444
  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Acceptance Rate: 68%
  • Average SATs: 1060 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,168
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,484
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (912) 478-5391

Example Classes: Action Research in Physical Education, Assessment and Technology in Physical Education, Current Issues/Trends in School Health, Fitness and Wellness Education, Prevention, Recognition and Care of Athletic Injuries, Sociocultural Foundations of Sport Coaching

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Teaching - Health and Physical Education
  • Master of Science in Kinesiology - Coaching Education
  • Master of Science in Kinesiology - Physical Education
#9
#9
Annual Tuition: $7,006
Annual Tuition: $7,006
Annual Tuition: $7,006
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 35%
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Average SATs: 860 -1070
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,693
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 979
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (575) 562-1011

Example Classes: Exercise Prescription, Physiological Principles of Training, Program/Curriculum Design, Scientific Principles of Strength & Conditioning, Sport & Recreation Facility Management, Women's Sport/Wellness Issues

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Physical Education - Sport Administration
#10
#10

Gardner Webb University

Boiling Springs (NC)
Annual Tuition: $7,035
Annual Tuition: $7,035
Annual Tuition: $7,035
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Average SATs: 970 -1180
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 544
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 557
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (704) 406-2361

Example Classes: Leadership and Ethics in Sport Pedagogy, Legal Issues in Sport and Physical Education, Scientific Principles of Human Performance, Sport and Physical Education for Diverse Populations, Sport in Society, Supervision and Evaluation of Instruction

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Sport Education
#11
#11

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville (AR)
Annual Tuition: $7,321
Annual Tuition: $7,321
Annual Tuition: $7,321
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 77%
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Average SATs: 1100 -1290
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 887
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,441
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (479) 575-2000

Example Classes: Professional Issues in Physical Education and Sport, Risk Management in Physical Education and Athletics, Sport Psychology, Sport Skill Assessment and Instructional Strategies

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Education in Physical Education
#12
#12

West Virginia University

Morgantown (WV)
Annual Tuition: $7,635
Annual Tuition: $7,635
Annual Tuition: $7,635
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Acceptance Rate: 72%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1240
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,158
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,419
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (304) 293-0111

Example Classes: Diversity Issues in Physical Education/Teaching, Instructional Technology in Sport and Physical Education, Motor Development for Special Populations Advanced Laboratory, Physical Activity in Schools, Physical Education/Teaching Curriculum Development and Evaluation, Theory of Fitness Education

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Physical Education Teacher Education (Non-Licensure)
  • Master of Science in Sport Management - Comprehensive Sport Industry Management
#13
#13
Annual Tuition: $7,650
Annual Tuition: $7,650
Annual Tuition: $7,650
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 371
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 239
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (334) 244-3000

Example Classes: Advanced Methods of Teaching Physical Education, Advanced Motor Development, Advanced Sociology of Sports & Physical Activity, Historical/Philosophical Foundations of Education, Nutritional Basis of Exercise, Psychology of Coaching

Online Master's Degrees

  • Traditional Master of Education in Physical Education
#14
#14

University of Wyoming

Laramie (WY)
Annual Tuition: $7,776
Annual Tuition: $7,776
Annual Tuition: $7,776
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Acceptance Rate: 97%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1280
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 930
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 736
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (307) 766-1121

Example Classes: Analysis and Supervision of Teaching in Physical Education, Curriculum Design in Physical Education, Models of Teaching, Teaching Tactics in Sports-based Physical Education

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Kinesiology and Health - Physical Education Teaching Only (Non-Thesis Option)
#15
#15

University of Arkansas at Monticello

Monticello (AR) (and 1 other)
Annual Tuition: $7,819
Annual Tuition: $7,819
Annual Tuition: $7,819
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 25%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 202
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 166
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Advanced Exercise Physiology, Coaching Methodologies, Problems and Trends in Physical Education, Psychology of Sports in Physical Education, Risk Management and Legal Issues in Sports, Strength and Conditioning

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Teaching - K-12 Art, Music, Physical Education, and Foreign Language
  • Master of Physical Education and Coaching
#16
#16
Annual Tuition: $8,316
Annual Tuition: $8,316
Annual Tuition: $8,316
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 70%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Acceptance Rate: 72%
  • Average SATs: 850 -1068
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 738
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 656
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (601) 979-2121

Example Classes: Advanced Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, Organization and Administration of Physical Education In Two and Four Year Colleges, Principles and Problems of Coaching, Theory and Practice of Coaching Track and Field

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Physical Education
#17
#17

SUNY College at Brockport

Brockport (NY)
Annual Tuition: $8,475
Annual Tuition: $8,475
Annual Tuition: $8,475
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Average SATs: 1020 -1180
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 298
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 267
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Phone #: (585) 395-2361

Example Classes: Analysis of Teaching Physical Education, Behavior Management in Physical Education, Curriculum Design in Physical Education, Diversity in Education, Qualitative Research Methods in PE

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Education: Physical Education/Teacher Education
#18
#18
Annual Tuition: $8,583
Annual Tuition: $8,583
Annual Tuition: $8,583
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 77%
  • Acceptance Rate: 72%
  • Average SATs: 1190 -1360
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 140
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,469
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (803) 777-7000

Example Classes: Action Research Project in Adapted Physical Education, Legal Issues in Special Education, Psychological Aspects of Athletic Performance and Injury Rehabilitation, The Art and Science of Coaching, Theories and Principles of Growth and Motor Behavior, Theories and Principles of Motor Learning and Control

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Adapted Physical Education
#20
#20
Annual Tuition: $8,892
Annual Tuition: $8,892
Annual Tuition: $8,892
  • Online Degrees: 5
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Acceptance Rate: 82%
  • Average SATs: 935 -1120
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 376
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,621
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (308) 865-8441

Example Classes: Administrative Problems in Physical Education, Facilities for Sports and Recreation, Physical Education for Persons with Severe Disabilities, Physical Education for Students with Developmental Disabilities, Physical Education for Students with Disabilities, Sociology of Sports Activities

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Education - Physical Education Master Teacher
  • Master of Arts in Education - Physical Education Master Teacher: Pedagogy (Non-Thesis Option)
  • Master of Arts in Education - Physical Education Master Teacher: Pedagogy (Thesis Option)
  • Master of Arts in Education - Physical Education Master Teacher: Special Populations (Non-Thesis Option)
  • Master of Arts in Education - Physical Education Master Teacher: Special Populations (Thesis Option)
#21
#21

University of Idaho

Moscow (ID)
Annual Tuition: $9,876
Annual Tuition: $9,876
Annual Tuition: $9,876
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Acceptance Rate: 73%
  • Average SATs: 1010 -1220
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 441
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 563
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Phone #: (888) 884-3246

Example Classes: Contemporary Issues in Health and Activity, Ethical Practice and Communication in Physical Activity, Experience and Event Management in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism Management, Healthy Active Lifestyle Assessment and Intervention, Pedagogy Applied to Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, School Health Education Methods and Administration

Online Master's Degrees

  • M.Ed. in Physical Education & Physical Activity Pedagogy - Idaho K-12 Certification (Non-Thesis Option)
  • M.Ed. in Physical Education & Physical Activity Pedagogy (Non-Thesis Option)
#22
#22

University of Memphis

Memphis (TN)
Annual Tuition: $10,455
Annual Tuition: $10,455
Annual Tuition: $10,455
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Average SATs: 970 -1210
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,871
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,196
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (901) 678-2000

Example Classes: Curr & Instr Model in PETE, Instructional Models/PETE, Issues In Urban PETE

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Physical Education Teacher Education
#23
#23
Annual Tuition: $11,586
Annual Tuition: $11,586
Annual Tuition: $11,586
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Acceptance Rate: 45%
  • Average SATs: 1170 -1330
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,049
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,419
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (813) 974-2011

Example Classes: Adapted Physical Education, Clinical Supervision in Physical Education, Grant Writing in Physical Education, Instructional Design and Content: Dance and Gymnastics, Learner Assessment in School Based Physical Education, Reflective Teaching in Physical Education

Online Master's Degrees

  • M.A. in Physical Education

Common Master's in Physical Education Courses

Physical education master's degree programs must cover certain topics to ground students in the knowledge and pedagogical practices needed in the profession, such as anatomy and physiology, exercise practices, and nutrition. Below are some of the common courses that will help future educators develop a curriculum, teach sports safely, and assess students' physical ability.

  • Exercise Physiology: Students explore the effects of physical activity on the human body. The curriculum covers the different body systems and how they interact and react to exertion, and the exercises and activity levels that are appropriate for various age groups. Human Anatomy and Physiology is usually a prerequisite to this course.
  • First Aid and Safety: This course teaches the fundamentals of first aid. Students learn to assess injuries, safely handle potential biohazards, and recommend further medical intervention if necessary. Most sections include a CPR certification or recertification module.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology: Physical educators must understand the human body's systems and how they interrelate. Students learn the structure and function of these systems, along with common exceptionalities. The curriculum will introduce exercise physiology and nutrition, topics that will be explored further in later courses.
  • Nutrition: Faculty discuss the different nutrients and how they satisfy human nutritional needs. Emphasis is given to nutritional requirements that vary by age group and development level. Students will practice sensitivity to the cultural, religious, and moral dietary restrictions they might encounter in their profession.
  • School Health Education: PE teachers are often assigned health classes to teach young learners about physical and mental health. This course covers the latest research into human health, along with methods and best practices for teaching this subject. Topics usually include exercise, psychological well-being, nutrition, human sexuality, and first aid.
  • Testing and Measurements: This course teaches methods for assessing various indicators of student health. Students learn how to sensitively conduct tests and interpret and explain the measurements they take. Each section also describes the fitness assessments that are mandated in the state where the student will be certified to teach.

Funding an Online Master's in Physical Education

Like their on-campus counterparts, students enrolled in accredited online master's degree programs in physical education are eligible for financial aid. To determine whether they're qualified for different types of aid and the amounts of aid available, students should submit a Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) form. Both the federal government and the schools themselves use this information to make financial aid decisions. For additional information on financial aid programs, enrollees may want to check with the financial aid office at their school.

Online master's in physical education students should seek out scholarships, fellowships, and grants. These types of funding from federal, state, private, and school sources don't have to be paid back. Students may also want to look into work-study programs, which allow them to earn some of their educational expenses while attending school. Federal student loans are also available, which typically offer lower interest rates and better repayment plans than private loans.

There are also many resources available specifically for those studying physical education at the master's level. Several schools, such as San Jose State University, Montana State University, and Northern Illinois University, offer scholarships for students enrolled in their graduate programs. Other opportunities include:


Is a Master's in Physical Education Worth It?

Enrolling in a master's degree can be costly, so it's natural to wonder whether the investment will pay off. For PE teachers, the answer isn't straightforward: school districts often give a pay bump to teachers who earn a master's degree, but most students take on debt to attend the program and don't necessarily become more effective teachers. PE teachers who are passionate about improving the physical and mental health of students may feel that the rewards of earning a master's in physical education are worth the cost.

Potential benefits

  • Teachers with a master's degree earn an average of $5,000 more per year than those with bachelor's degrees, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that the median annual salary for elementary, middle school, and high school teachers is roughly the same at $61,000-$63,000.
  • A master's degree and teaching license is the typical entry point to the PE field for professionals transitioning careers.
  • PE teachers can lower students' chances of developing health problems by helping them exercise and instilling healthy habits.

Potential drawbacks

  • It takes an average of eight years for master's graduates to earn their investment back, so they may feel compelled to stay in the job despite the potential for burnout.
  • Flat demand for teachers will lead to steady but unspectacular 4% job growth across K-12 levels through 2029, with most opportunities in rural and urban districts.

Each prospective student needs to weigh the pros and cons of earning their master's degree online. Although teaching PE requires personal interaction, learning to teach the subject can be accomplished in an asynchronous online environment in which students work independently.

Online students may miss out on some of the informal networking opportunities that happen spontaneously on campus, but they'll have opportunities to forge relationships during student teaching placements. Distance learning also may not suit the applicant's learning style, so decide whether the convenience of remote coursework is worth the potential drawbacks.