ESHE Major: Physical and Health Education Concentration

Give Shape to an Active Future!



Radford University’s Physical and Health Education Teacher Education (PHETE) undergraduate program  — a concentration within the Bachelor of Science in Exercise, Sport and Health Education (ESHE) — combines traditional classroom learning with hands-on, experiential training to prepare future educators for careers in pre-K-12 physical and health education. Through partnerships with various schools in Southwest Virginia, PHETE students get direct experience observing and teaching children and adolescents in preschool, elementary, middle and high school settings, as well as program extensions on Radford’s campus. Successful completion of all PHETE requirements leads to teaching licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Radford University Physical and Health Education


The Physical and Health Education Teacher Education (PHETE) curriculum’s main focus is preparing students for pre-K-12 teaching positions. Students earn required certifications in first aid, CPR and AED, and many further enhance their job candidacy by pairing their degree with a minor in a relevant academic discipline. Additionally, they can pursue an optional endorsement in driver education to increase their marketability.  Students are required to complete core curriculum requirements and major requirements for the bachelor of science degree.

The student teaching placement during the final semester includes an internship that spans both the elementary and secondary levels. PHETE interns receive mentorship from an experienced physical and health education teacher as well as their university supervisors. Admission in the College of Education and Human Development’s Teacher Education Program is required before being approved to complete the student teaching experience.

Teacher Education Program

After being admitted as a full-time student at Radford University, students must maintain a 2.5 grade point average or greater and are required to pass the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) and Praxis II: Health and Physical Education assessments prior to being admitted into the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) Teacher Education Program during their senior year. Upon admission, students complete their student teaching experience which concludes all program requirements leading to teaching licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Career Options

Due to alarming increases in sedentary behavior and childhood obesity rates, there has never been a more exciting or important time to pursue a career in physical and health education teaching, youth sports and athletic coaching. Physical and health education continues to be a top 10 critical shortage teaching endorsement area in Virginia; therefore, the demand for qualified PHETE professionals who can teach, motivate and shape the lives of young people is high.

Many graduates find teaching positions in public and private schools as well as community-based physical activity programs. PHETE teachers often supplement their careers with positions as coaches, driver education teachers and/or directors of intramural activities. Some graduates pursue advanced degrees in physical education teacher education, athletic coaching, educational leadership and more.

Extracurricular Highlights

Beyond the required coursework, students enjoy opportunities to enhance and supplement their learning with participation in a variety of organizations and activities, including:

  • Membership in the Virginia Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (VAHPERD).
  • Travel to the VAHPERD state convention each November.
  • Attendance and participation in national professional development workshops led by award-winning physical educators on campus.
  • Leadership roles during the annual “Physical Exercise and Activity for Kids” camp for children on campus.
  • Opportunities to present at “Family Fitness and Wellness Nights” in local schools.

Transfer Students

Students interested in transferring to Radford University in PHETE Teaching from a Virginia Community College (VCCS) school are strongly encouraged to complete as many of the courses below (with a grade of C or better) to accelerate their progression in the program toward graduation.

Radford University
Course Number

Radford University
Course Title

VCCS Course Number

ENGL 111 (3)

Principles of College Composition

ENG 111

ENGL 112 (3) Critical Reading & Writing in the Digital Age
ENG 112

MATH 100 (3)

Quantitative Reasoning 

MTH 154 or higher

PSYC 121  (3)

Introductory Psychology

PSY 200 or 201

HLTH 200 (3)

Wellness Lifestyle

HLT 116 or 160 or 110 with add. activity class

EDEF 320 (3)

Educational Foundations

EDU 200

EDSP 361 (3)

Intro Diverse Learners & Spec Education

EDU 250

EDUC 370 (3)

Multicultural Education

EDU 204

BIOL 310 (4) Human Structure & Function I BIO 141, 145, 231 or NAS 171
*STAT 130 (3) Understanding Statistics in Society MTH 155
*STAT 200 (3) Introduction to Statistics MTH 245

*Students may choose between STAT 130 or 200


The Physical and Health Education Teaching program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) AmericaEDU 200.

News Archives

  1. Radford University faculty member named Virginia Physical Educator of the Year 2019 »


    Radford University Health and Human Performance Instructor Steve Shelton ‘91 has been awarded the Virginia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (VAHPERD) College/University Physical Educator of the Year for 2019.

  2. Student teaching, coaching keeps Wade moving »


    Between student teaching and coaching cross country and track at her high school alma mater, Amanda Wade has a hectic schedule. That's putting it lightly.

  3. PEAK Program is getting kids moving on Saturday mornings  »


    School children ages 5-11 are invited to spend Saturday mornings in February running, jumping and playing in the Peters Hall gymnasium at Radford University.

  4. Radford University senior receives prestigious health and physical education award »


    Radford University senior Rachel Dixon has been honored with the Frances A. Mays Outstanding Student Award from the Virginia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

  5. Radford University welcomes physical education professionals and students for 10th annual VAHPERD workshop »


    Health and physical education professionals from regional K-12 schools and a group of Radford University physical and health education teaching majors recently participated in the VAHPERD workshop on campus. 

  6. Education students awarded Hattie Strong scholarships »


    Six students in Radford University’s College of Education and Human Development teacher preparation program have each been awarded $5,000 scholarships from the Hattie M. Strong Foundation.

  7. Radford University welcomes physical education professionals and students for annual VAHPERD workshop »


    Each year, Radford University’s Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP) hosts a regional workshop designed to offer professional development to physical education and health educators from around Virginia and provide undergraduate students an opportunity to learn from veteran teachers.

  8. Physical education workshop comes to campus »


    Health and physical education professionals from regional K-12 schools and a group of RU physical and health education teaching majors recently participated in the regional VAHPERD workshop on campus.


What Alumni Say

“The Radford PE program helped me prepare for my career greatly as our classes went over not just what to teach, but also how to teach and how to handle students' behavior. I felt confident in my first year as a PE teacher because of all of the teaching experiences I had at RU. I learned how to self-reflect on my teaching which has helped me improve every single class period. Radford has helped me exceed the expectations of my co-workers and my administration in my first year of teaching, and I'm looking forward to many more!”

Rachel D. '18

“I left Radford University feeling more prepared for the profession than I have for anything else in my entire life. The professors were positive role models who embodied the positive energy, relationship building, organization and preparedness necessary to excel in this career. Because of this program, I am able to live out my dreams and impact the lives of others daily. I will always be grateful for my time at RU.” 

Jesse W. '17

“Radford did an amazing job preparing me for my job as an educator! From the hands-on experiences in classes to the top notch professors! My classes prepared me to be able to give effective instruction in the gym and in the classroom when I teach health. I cannot say enough about the fabulous professors. They were there for us every step of the way! I will always be thankful for the ESHE program at Radford!”

Judy H. '15

Contact Information