This major is a professional option for students interested in pursuing a career in the field of physical activity without pursuing a teaching option. Graduates will have the foundational knowledge to prepare for certifications and careers in fields such as fitness, recreation, wellness programming, and coaching. The option also provides those in the teaching major who decide after time not to pursue a teaching degree.

Those who have become a Physical Activity Specialist:
  • Have a genuine interest in physical, emotional, and social health
  • Are able to combine interest and knowledge in fitness, sports, and games to developmental needs of persons of all ages
Who hires Physical Activity Specialists?
 Colleges & Universities
 Day Programs & Outpatient Services
 Hospitals & Healthcare Facilities
 Hotels & Resorts
 Long-term Care & Assisted Living Facilities
 Municipal Government Departments
 Non-profit Organizations (such as Boys and  Girls Clubs)
 Private Community-based Agencies
 Recreational & Fitness Facilities
 Rehabilitation Centers

Types of Careers for a Physical Activity Specialist:
Athletic Coaching
Corporate Wellness
Nutrition
Physical Activity Director
Physical Education
Sport/Recreation Camps
Strength and Conditioning

Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards:
  1. Students seeking this major must successfully complete the Sport Skill Competency Assessment Program. This assessment program is competency based and required before enrolling in PES 315. Additional information concerning this program can be obtained from the departmental office.
  2. At least 15 hours of this major must be completed at CMU.
  3. Up to 3 hours may be taken as credit/no credit.

Program Requirements

Required Courses I (13 hours)

​Covers basic structure and function of the human body. Prepares non- science majors and health profession students to take advanced human anatomy and physiology courses. Recommended: Successful completion of a college level science course or a strong background in basic sciences, i.e. high school biology or chemistry. 

Credits 3(3-0) 

Contact Hours (3-0) 

Course Syllabus

​Overview of physical education history, profession, sub-disciplines, professional organizations, and preparation for the skills test required by the physical education teacher preparation program. 

Credits 2(2-1) 

Contact Hours (2-1) 

Course Syllabus

Comprehensive study of motor development across the lifespan as a change in functional capacity from prenatal development to elderly adult movement patterns. 

Credits 2(2-0) 

Contact Hours (2-0) 

Course Syllabus

​Designed to enable lifetime fitness for individuals from all backgrounds. Study and demonstrate physical fitness concepts; develop and implement personal fitness program. Quantitative Reasoning. 

Credits 3(3-0) 

Contact Hours (3-0) 

Course Syllabus

​Components of successful motor performance. Theories of learning, nervous system, methods of practice, teaching methodology, and various psychological concepts related to physical education and athletics. 

Credits 3(3-0) 

Contact Hours (3-0) 

Course Syllabus

Required Courses II (23 hours)

An interdisciplinary approach to the study of aging with a focus on the normal changes that occur as one ages physically, mentally and socially. May be offered as writing intensive. This course may be offered in an online format. (University Program Group III-A: Behavioral Sciences).

Credits 3(3-0) 

Contact Hours (3-0) 

Course Syllabus

Includes CPR and first aid care. American Red Cross certification for first aid and CPR can be earned. 

Credits 2(1-2) 

Contact Hours (1-2) 

Course Syllabus

An overview of exercise psychology, introducing a broad base of knowledge of how to alter exercise-related behaviors and understand psychological outcomes of physical activity. Recommended: HSC 106QR or PED 186 or PES 186QR or PSY 100. 

Credits 3(3-0) 

Contact Hours (3-0) 

Course Syllabus

​Comprehensive study of problems involved in organizing and coaching youth sports. Investigation into coaching youth athletes of diverse backgrounds. Course may be offered in online format. Recommended: PSY 100 or SOC 100 or SOC 201. (University Program Group IV-A: Studies in Discrimination).

Credits 3(3-0) 

Contact Hours (3-0) 

Course Syllabus

​A broad spectrum of methods used in K-12 programs. Emphasis on teaching and development of reflective teaching practices including assessment of teaching performance. Prerequisites: PES 215; Passing Score on the PES Department's Sports Skill Competency Assessment. 

Credits 3(3-0) 

Contact Hours (3-0) 

Course Syllabus

​An integrated study of human movement including principles and assessment of applied human movement, and mechanical principles and movement patterns related to sport skills. Prerequisite: HSC 211.

Credits 3(3-0) 

Contact Hours (3-0) 

Course Syllabus

​Presents the basic methods used in teaching current group fitness techniques. Prerequisites: HSC 211 or HSC 214, 215; One of: PED 186, PES 186, HSC 106. 

Credits 2(2-0) 

Contact Hours (2-0) 

Course Syllabus

Physical education majors plan for and teach selected sports skills to prospective physical education majors/minors seeking to pass required sports skills competencies. Prerequisites: PES 315; Passing Score on SSCAP Test. 

Credits 2(1-1) 

Contact Hours (1-1) 

Course Syllabus

Opportunity to work in the area of classroom experience, extra class activities, interscholastics, clubs, and organizations. CR/NC only. Prerequisites: application to the department chairperson must be made in the semester prior to the one in which affiliation credit is earned. 

Credits 1-3(Spec) 

Contact Hours (Spec) 

Course Syllabus

Electives (12 hours)

​Principles of normal nutrition as related to the health of all age groups. This course may be offered in an online format. May be offered as Writing Intensive. (University Program Group II-A: Descriptive Sciences). 

Credits 3(3-0) 

Contact Hours (3-0) 

Course Syllabus

​Methods and techniques for teaching swimming courses as well as emergency water rescue. There is a $10 aquatic fee. Prerequisite: Ability to swim 100 yards. Highly recommended: CPR and First Aid. 

Credits 3(2-2) 

Contact Hours (2-2) 

Course Syllabus

​Methods and applications of planning and teaching elementary physical education including individual and group activities, fitness activities, modified sport and precursors to lifetime activities. Prerequisites: PES 215. 

Credits 2(2-0) 

Contact Hours (2-0) 

Course Syllabus

​Emphasis on the development and use of skills and strategies in lifetime team sports. Methods for teaching skills and strategies are a major emphasis. Prerequisites: PES 105, 115; successful completion of departmental Sports Skill Competency Assessment Program (SSCAP).

Credits 2(2-0) 

Contact Hours (2-0) 

Course Syllabus

The development of skills and strategies used in competitive environments in individual and team sports. Key elements of form, teaching progressions and effective drills are emphasized. Prerequisites: PES 105, 215; successful completion of departmental Sports Skills Competency Assessment Program (SSCAP). 

Credits 3(3-0) 

Contact Hours (3-0) 

Course Syllabus

Enable students to plan and implement effective rhythmic movement experiences for students across the K-12 curriculum. Prerequisites: PES 215. 

Credits 2(2-0) 

Contact Hours (2-0) 

Course Syllabus

​Physical needs of the atypical individual, ameliorative effects of physical activity, school programs appropriate for exceptional children. Prerequisite: PES 315. 

Credits 3(3-0) 

Contact Hours (3-0) 

Course Syllabus

Selection, criteria, methods, and procedures used in assessing the psychomotor, cognitive, affective, and health-related physical fitness domains in K-12 physical education. Prerequisite: PES 215. 

Credits 2(2-0) 

Contact Hours (2-0) 

Course Syllabus

​Techniques of teaching traditional outdoor recreation pursuits (archery, fishing, canoeing, map and compass). Emphasis on assisting people to develop lifetime outdoor recreation skills. 

Credits 3(3-0) 

Contact Hours (3-0) 

Course Syllabus

Total: 48 semester hours

For additional questions, please contact the PES Department at 989-774-2026.