Health education is a subject equally important, or even more important, than other subject areas. It is critical to students’ education and development, and is a foundation for their success in all endeavors in school and life.

The Health Education minor at UW-Madison prepares individuals to teach health as a separate course or as an integral part of other subject areas. Students are also trained to assist school administrators and teaching staff in developing a broad school health program, engaging many aspects of the school and community at large.

The curriculum for the Health Education minor is varied. At its foundation lies health-related content. Building on that foundation, students are taught a skills-based approach to teaching health, which empowers youth in schools to make wise health-related decisions. Student teaching in a middle school or high school health classroom is the culmination of the Health Education minor.

We are committed to providing quality health instruction to our students, and ultimately to developing health-literate students in schools. To that end, the Health Education minor includes:

  • Standards-based curriculum
  • Skills-based approach to teaching health education
  • Placements in urban/suburban/rural, inclusive, and multicultural settings
  • Small class sizes and advising groups
  • Instruction within the nationally ranked UW-Madison School of Education

Students in physical education teacher education or teachers already licensed to teach at an appropriate level in Wisconsin are eligible to complete the Health Education minor.

Graduates are eligible to apply for a Wisconsin teaching license in Health at the Kindergarten through Grade 12 level.

Upon admission into their teacher education degree program in the School of Education, students should meet immediately with the Health minor coordinator to develop a course completion schedule. 

Students should meet with the Pre-Declaration Physical Education Advisor to declare the Health Education minor; see Contact Information for details.

Complete a minimum of 23 credits to include all coursework below. A minimum 2.75 GPA is required, based on all UW–Madison coursework included in the minor requirements.

Students may wish to consult with the Health minor coordinator or advising staff in the School of Education Student Services office, 139 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1651.

Upon acceptance into a major program in the School of Education, students should meet immediately with the Health minor coordinator to work out a schedule for required courses.

Core Requirements (23–24 credits)

KINES 116 First Aid and Basic Life Support 12
ANAT&PHY 235 Human Physiology and Health4
or ANAT&PHY 335 Physiology
KINES 501 Theory-Based Health Education and Health Promotion Programs3
KINES 547 Skills for Health: Methods and Practicum of Teaching Health3
SOC WORK 453 Substance Use Disorders3
Take one of the following: 3-4
Human Sexuality: Social and Psychological Issues
Human Sexuality
ED POL 677
KINES 566 Promoting Health in the Community3
KINES 568 Student Teaching in Health Education 22
Total Credits23-24

Students may exempt from KINES 116 First Aid and Basic Life Support by completing American Red Cross First Aid AND either American Red Cross Basic Life Support or American Red Cross CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers. 

If a student wishes to request that a different course (or courses) be considered, contact the Department of Kinesiology undergraduate office PRIOR to enrolling. 

Documentation of current certification must be presented to the Health Education program advisor. If the certification equivalent is used, the minor will require 24 credits.


Eligibility for student teaching requires the completion of all courses required for the minor with a minimum GPA of 2.75. Students must also meet the content knowledge requirements for Health Education. A meeting with the Health minor coordinator is required before submitting a student teaching application. Students should bring a current transcript to this meeting. Special arrangements can be made for teachers seeking add-on certification in Health Education.