About the PETE Program


The Physical Education major prepares future physical educators and other physical activity specialists with culturally relevant knowledge, skills, strategies, methods, and philosophies. These attributes enable future professionals to create, organize, manage, facilitate, and assess learning for diverse groups of individuals to promote lifelong physical activity and well-being.


The Physical Education Program provides students with the theoretical knowledge and applied skills needed to succeed as a certified Physical Educator. If you are unsure what a Physical Educator does, please visit the links provided below to gather more information. If you are already up-to-date and interested, please read on and feel free to contact us at any time.

Advising for pre-PETE students is available from the School of Education Academic Services (EAS): Appointments: 608-262-1651 Email: easinfo@education.wisc.edu.

The new Bachelor of Science in Physical Education degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison prepares individuals for careers in a variety of areas. At the heart of the degree is the physical education teacher education program, which has been preparing excellent physical educators since 1911. The Bachelor of Science in Physical Education degree will serve as the key to obtaining physical education teaching positions in Wisconsin, other states, and internationally.


If you are interested in attending the UW-Madison and want to learn more about the PETE Program you are encouraged to take a campus tour,  meet with an PETE Program representative, and if possible sit in on a PETE class.   Contact Cindy Kuhrasch to schedule a meeting and program visit. Students who are currently in high school and are not yet on the UW-Madison campus cannot participate in observation activities are welcome to visit as well.


National Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education

Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans


Overview: Physical Education

Liberal Studies and General Education Requirements

Kinesiology Core and Science Core Courses  

Physical Education Courses and Professional Education Requirements

Additional Graduation Requirements and Degree Audit

Student Testing and Assessment, Portfolio, and Teacher Standards

Application and Admission Information 

For the most up to date
information, check the
undergraduate catalog.


The Bachelors of Science Degree in Physical Education is a professional preparation program in the field of Education. Students completing the program are eligible for certification by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction as a PK-12 Physical Education teacher.

Time to degree completion: The professional program sequence can be completed in four semesters; however the majority of students complete the professional sequence in five semesters. Many factors can influence this decision including, advanced placement credits, humanities and social science electives yet to be completed, and sequencing in the science core. An individualized program plan is completed for each student upon admission to the PETE Program.

GENERAL PROGRAM INFORMATION:                                                                            

The Physical Education Program prepares students as Physical Educators, however, the wide skill set provided by the program prepares individuals for success in a wide variety of fields.  (See our Alumni page)  The program provides students with the theoretical and applied skills needed to succeed as a master physical educator.

The Physical Education program places an emphasis on the basic sciences. The option includes Physical Education courses that focus on the learning environment, management, planning, instruction and assessment of Physical Education.  Students will experience practice opportunities in each semester of the program.

Admission to this program is limited and competitive. Students must meet minimum eligibility requirements to be considered for selection. See more on admissions below.



The 120-credit BS in Physical Education provides rigorous preparation in liberal studies, basic sciences, Physical Education theory and clinical practice, and kinesiology core courses. Students participate in classroom and field experiences as well as a student teaching. The program prides itself on the quality and rigor of the student’s academic and applied experience.

The Physical Education option has five components:

  • Liberal studies and general education courses expose students to a broad range of academic disciplines.
  • Science core course work offers in-depth study of the science behind movement.
  • Kinesiology core courses look at how the body responds and adapts to exercise, the role of psychological factors in sports and exercise, mechanics applied to biological systems, and how movement is controlled, learned, and developed over the life span.
  • Major option course work offers advanced study in the option areas such as health and adapted Physical Education.
  • Methods courses that provide practice opportunities to develop a broad skill set.
  • The program seeks to prepare students for professional practice in Physical Education and other fields as well as providing a foundation for national board certification.

Transfer Students: The PETEAT Program does not accept direct transfer into the Department of Kinesiology Physical Education major. All students must fulfill the admissions requirements and apply to the Physical Education Program major. Interested transfer students should review the University admission information for transfer students and consult with advisors in the School of Education Academic Services office.