Career Paths for Physical Education & Exercise Science Majors

Which kinesiology major and minor combination is the best fit for you and your career goals? Navigate the decision diagram below to find the answer.

Goshen College Alumni

Here is a sampling of current positions held by physical education alumni:

  • Director of Athletics
  • Middle School Principal
  • Head Women’s Soccer Coach
  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • Racquetball Center Manager
  • Computer Programmer
  • Massage Therapist
  • One-on-one Special Education Aide
  • Children’s Minister
  • Physical Education Teacher
  • Camp Administrator
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Soccer Coach
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Professor of Physical Therapy
  • Environmental Educator
  • Basketball Coach
  • Wellness Teacher

What can I do with this major?

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education says,

“Physical Education involves teaching…the performance and understanding of basic motor skills, games, and lifelong fitness activities as well as the social and personal skills related to participating in physical activities.”

And Princeton Review says the following about sports management:

“Sports management lets you participate in the exciting world of sports from a business standpoint. In this major, you’ll learn about sports themselves (perhaps focusing on one or two in particular) plus the psychological principles at work behind them and how sports fit into our society….examining how the worlds of business and sports interact and how you can make those interactions more profitable and beneficial for every person and interest involved.”

The kinesiology department is committed to fostering personal, intellectual, spiritual and social growth in all students within the context of human movement. The department accomplishes this mission through curricular and co-curricular programs.

About the Coursework

The physical education major offers four different tracks for students to choose from: general studies, teacher education (with optional health module), sport management, and fitness leadership.

All physical education majors take courses which focus on the scientific study of human movement. These courses include exercise physiology, kinesiology (a.k.a. applied biomechanics) and motor learning. In addition to providing a base of knowledge in the discipline, students are prepared for graduate level work after the successful completion of these courses.

In addition to gaining knowledge and skills in physical education classes, many majors compete in intramural and intercollegiate sports. At the Roman Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center, majors have significant opportunities to work in sports information, athletic training, lifeguarding, leading intramurals, and control desk staff.

Possible courses include:

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Basic Athletic Training
  • Human Nutrition
  • Kinesiology
  • Teaching Sport Skills & Strategies
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Principles of Management
  • Facility Management Practicum

For a full list of requirements and courses, refer to the course catalog.

Possible Career Paths

Physical education graduates are currently teaching and coaching in public and private elementary, middle, and high schools. Successful completion of other programs in this department prepare graduates to work in sport management, retail sales, fitness facilities, athletic programs, municipal recreation, camp settings, boys and girls clubs, and community programs.

The list below provides several career options, but it is not exhaustive. Please note that some positions require additional education.

  • Adaptive Physical Education Specialist
  • Adventure/Outdoor Educator
  • Aerobics Instructor
  • Athletic Coach
  • Athletic Director
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Camp Director
  • College Instructor/Professor
  • Community Sports Director
  • Corporate Wellness Specialist
  • Dance Instructor
  • Director of Intramural Sports
  • Director of Marketing
  • Director of Operations
  • Early Childhood Motor Skills Instructor
  • Education Administrator
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Facility/Venue Manager
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Health/Fitness Consultant
  • Health Promotions Director
  • Health Researcher
  • Human Kinetics Specialist
  • Nutritionist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Personal Trainer
  • Physical Education Teacher
  • Physical Health Advocate
  • Physical Therapist
  • Player Agent/Representative
  • Professional Sports Scout
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Recreation Center Manager
  • Recreation Therapist
  • Referee/Umpire
  • Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Sports Broadcaster
  • Sports Journalist
  • Sports Information Director
  • Sports Marketing Specialist
  • Sports Medicine Physician
  • Sports Nutritionist/Dietitian
  • Sports Psychologist
  • Sports Statistician
  • Strength & Conditioning Coach
  • Tournament Director

Additional Resources