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Physical Education

Department of Physical Education, Health, and Sport
Physical Education Complex 218-755-2940
Fax: 218-755-3898


Dr. Donna Palivec (Chair;, Mr. Edward Belisle, Mr. Brent Bolte, Mr. Matthew Bowen, Mr. Wayne Chadwick, Mr. Mike Curfman, Dr. Eric Forsyth, Mr. Bertrum Gilling, Dr. Muriel Gilman, Mr. Craig Hougen, Mr. Rich Jahner, Dr. B. Christina Kippenhan, Dr. James Mastro, Dr. Karl Salscheider, Mr. Tom Serratore, Mr. Steve Sertich, Mr. James Stone, Mr. Jeff Tesch, Mr. Shane Veenker, Dr. James White

Areas of Study

See additional departmental offerings under "Health" and "Sport Management" listings.

The vision of the Department of Physical Education, Health, and Sport is “preparing and empowering future professionals to promote physical activity, health, and sport.”

The mission of the Department of Physical Education, Health, and Sport is "to provide students with opportunities to excel through purposeful experiences resulting in skills, including leadership, communication, use of technology, and appreciation of individual differences. Through our programs, students develop an appreciation of the contributions of physical activity, wellness, and sport to society.”

The Physical Education teacher licensure program, Minnesota Board of Teaching approved, leads to licensure for teaching physical education in K-12 schools. It also prepares students for graduate school. The curriculum includes studies in the basic and exercise sciences, methods and activities, curricular development, and assessment as well as professional education. Hands-on learning is emphasized in laboratory and methods classes and includes teaching experiences in the field.

The Exercise Science program prepares students for graduate work in exercise science–related areas, as well as in areas such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, medicine, chiropractic, and other allied health fields. Students entering the job market with an undergraduate degree in exercise science generally work with corporate and community fitness programs, health clubs, and similar fitness-related industries. The program may also be chosen by students who are interested in coaching but do not wish to teach in public elementary or secondary schools.

The Department of Physical Education, Health, and Sport offers several minors and specialist programs that provide students with the skills and expertise to work in health clubs, coach teams, or teach special needs students. Also, in addition to offering a variety of activities classes that enhance students' liberal education, the department works with Campus Recreation and Athletics to offer a broad range of learning experiences.


See Section II, Enrollment for required high school preparation.

Recommended High School Courses
Exercise Science
Life Sciences
Physical Education

Second Majors and Minors

Students are encouraged to discuss with their advisor the option of a second major or minor that might strengthen or complement their major. For example, an additional major or minor in health education or developmental adapted physical education may be beneficial in expanding employment opportunities.

Career Directions

Aquatic Specialist
Athletic Coaching
Developmental Adapted Physical Education Teacher
Industrial Fitness
Personal Trainer
Physical Education Teaching
Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Also: Graduate Study and Professional Programs

Credit Requirement

Transfer Students: At least one-third of the credits to be included in the major must be successfully completed at Bemidji State University.

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