2020 Most Affordable Online Master's in Physical Education Programs

By the OnlineU team | Updated 10/27/2021
2020 Most Affordable Physical Education Masters Degrees Badge
By the OnlineU team | Updated 10/27/2021

An affordable online physical education master's degree may suit someone passionate about sports, fitness, and wellness. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), fitness trainers and instructors can work in a variety of industries, including fitness and recreational sports centers, health clubs and spas, educational services, and social organizations. After our rankings list of the 22 most affordable online PE master's programs, we provide some useful information about this degree.

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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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
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
# 19 #19 University of Nebraska at Kearney $8,892
# 20 #20 University of Idaho $9,876
# 21 #21 University of Memphis $10,455
# 22 #22 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: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Acceptance Rate: 78%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1190
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,138
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 311
  • 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: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,640
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 7,852
  • 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: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,107
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,886
  • 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: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Acceptance Rate: 90%
  • Average SATs: 1020 -1220
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 622
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 647
  • 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: 52%
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Average SATs: 998 -1240
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 271
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 959
  • 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: 60%
  • Acceptance Rate: 92%
  • Average SATs: 1040 -1265
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 354
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 238
  • 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: 50%
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1055
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 178
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,070
  • 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: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Acceptance Rate: 68%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,088
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,619
  • 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: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Average SATs: 900 -1110
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,514
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 917
  • 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: 56%
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Average SATs: 970 -1180
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 563
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 552
  • 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: 76%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Average SATs: 1120 -1300
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 934
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,578
  • 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: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Acceptance Rate: 72%
  • Average SATs: 1030 -1230
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,272
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,453
  • 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: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Average SATs: 920 -1150
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 378
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 264
  • 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: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Acceptance Rate: 97%
  • Average SATs: 1060 -1280
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,006
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 682
  • 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: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 29%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 219
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 184
  • 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: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Acceptance Rate: 72%
  • Average SATs: 883 -1080
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 773
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 647
  • 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: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Average SATs: 1010 -1190
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 366
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 409
  • 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: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 77%
  • Acceptance Rate: 72%
  • Average SATs: 1180 -1370
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 454
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,462
  • 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
#19
#19
Annual Tuition: $8,892
Annual Tuition: $8,892
Annual Tuition: $8,892
  • Online Degrees: 5
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Acceptance Rate: 82%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1168
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 487
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,643
  • 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)
#20
#20

University of Idaho

Moscow (ID)
Annual Tuition: $9,876
Annual Tuition: $9,876
Annual Tuition: $9,876
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Acceptance Rate: 73%
  • Average SATs: 1010 -1240
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 431
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 590
  • 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)
#21
#21

University of Memphis

Memphis (TN)
Annual Tuition: $10,455
Annual Tuition: $10,455
Annual Tuition: $10,455
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Average SATs: 1010 -1230
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,009
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,332
  • 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
#22
#22
Annual Tuition: $11,586
Annual Tuition: $11,586
Annual Tuition: $11,586
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 75%
  • Acceptance Rate: 45%
  • Average SATs: 1170 -1330
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,135
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,739
  • 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

Overview of Affordable Online Physical Education Master's Degrees

A graduate degree in PE from an accredited program provides learners with a solid foundation in various health topics, including the theories behind physical activity as well as related practices. Programs prepare graduates to work with diverse athletic abilities. Classes may include pedagogy, adapted PE, sport skill assessment, and sports psychology, to name a few. Graduates gain the necessary skills to coach others about the importance of building healthy lifelong habits, physical activity's impact on well-being, and working in teams to achieve common goals.

An online program can be an affordable way to gain these invaluable skills. Remote classes are often conducted asynchronously, where lectures are prerecorded and students engage each other through an online learning platform. This format provides some scheduling flexibility. However, some graduate schools still have in-person requirements that are more rigid, which may include fieldwork or a student teaching internship.


Online PE master's degree programs are usually 30-40 credit hours, and among our list of the 22 most affordable options, annual tuition ranges from $4,545 to $11,586. Most online learners take two years to complete this program, though some are able to finish in just one year.



Funding an Online Master's in Physical Education Degree

Like their on-campus counterparts, students enrolled in an accredited online program 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. Federal student loans become available through this process, and they typically offer lower interest rates and better repayment plans than private loans. For additional information on financial aid programs, enrollees should check with their graduate school's financial aid office.


The Best Financial Aid Options for Physical Education Students

Online students should first seek out scholarships, fellowships, and grants because they don't have to repay these types of funding from federal, state, private, and school-based sources. Graduate students may also want to investigate work-study programs, which allow them to earn money toward their educational expenses.

Many resources are available for online students studying physical education at the graduate level. Some schools offer specialized scholarships for students enrolled in their graduate programs, such as the following:

Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarships

The Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) awards $1,750 Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarships to full-time master's degree students in accredited health, physical education, recreation, or dance programs. Students must have a 3.5 GPA and be current SHAPE members. Students can sign up to be SHAPE members when applying for the scholarship, and awards also include an additional three-year student SHAPE membership for free.

The Barbara A. Cooley Master's Scholarship

This $1,000 master's scholarship is awarded to one master's level student pursuing a health education program at an accredited school. Students must have a 3.0 GPA to be eligible. The recipient will also get a free one-year SHAPE student membership.

For more information about college affordability, we're compiled resources about financial mistakes to avoid, popular college savings plans, and more.


Common Courses for an Online Physical Education Master's Degree

PE master's degree programs cover standard topics and electives to ground graduates in the knowledge and pedagogical practices associated with athletic training and sport science, such as anatomy and physiology, exercise practices, and nutrition. Coursework covers how to develop a curriculum, teach sports safely, and assess people's physical ability. In addition to taking the core online courses listed below, enrolled students are typically required to complete a practicum. For an advanced degree in PE, a practicum experience may involve participation in real-world settings, such as hands-on activities with youth, but it may only entail observation for some degree programs. Below are some examples of standard required classes for a PE master's program.

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology: Physical educators need to understand the human body's systems and how they interrelate. In this course, students learn the structure and function of these systems, along with common exceptionalities. The curriculum introduces exercise physiology and nutrition, which are topics that students explore further in later courses.
  • Exercise Physiology: Human Anatomy and Physiology is usually a prerequisite to this course, where students explore the effects of physical activity on the human body. The curriculum covers different body systems and how they interact and react to exertion as well as the exercises and activity levels that are appropriate for various age groups.
  • First Aid and Safety: This course covers 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.
  • Nutrition: The faculty discuss different nutrients and how they satisfy human nutritional needs, emphasizing dietary requirements that vary by age group and developmental level. Students also practice sensitivity to the cultural, religious, and moral dietary restrictions they may encounter.
  • 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 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 carefully conduct tests and interpret the measurements they take. Each section also describes the fitness assessments that are mandated in-state.

Is an Online Master's in Physical Education Worth It?

Each prospective student must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of earning a master's degree in PE and doing so through distance learning. While tuition rates for online programs are often cheaper than on-campus degrees, a remote education may not suit every applicant's learning style.

Potential Benefits

  • This degree can lead to a variety of career paths in the fitness and wellness industry. For example, you can enter a career as a fitness and wellness coordinator or a health educator in settings ranging from hospitals and non-profits to government institutions and private businesses.
  • According to CareerExplorer, most occupations in this field tend to have relatively high job satisfaction. For example, coaches rate their experience 3.7 out of 5 stars, placing them in the top 18% of careers. Perhaps this is because a career in fitness allows you to positively impact people's quality of life by lowering their chances of developing health problems.
  • Online education offers increased flexibility. Since many post-baccalaureate students are already entrenched in the workforce, an online degree makes advanced study possible, allowing individuals to study around their current obligations.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Unless you want to pursue a leadership role, acquiring a master's degree in physical education may be an unnecessary step. Many occupations in the field require only a high school diploma or a bachelor's degree.
  • Earning this advanced degree may not significantly improve your financial situation. For example, PE teachers with a master's degree only earn an average of $5,000 more per year than those with bachelor's degrees, whereas other types of teachers can experience a salary jump from $10-20,000. Furthermore, master's graduates of teaching programs take an average of eight years to earn back their educational investment.
  • It may be challenging to form a tight-knit group with your fellow peers and mentors due to the nature of an online degree. Since most online communication is written, you may also lose the chance to fine-tune your proficiency in oration, an essential teaching skill.