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Physical Education, Teaching Games for Understanding, MS

Students sitting on floor - Teaching Games for Understanding

The Physical Education, Teaching Games for Understanding, MS cohort program is designed for graduate students to develop a deep understanding of the theoretical, philosophical, and practical dimensions of a constructivist approach to teaching and learning in physical education. Through engagement with the current literature in education, reflection on their own practice, and engagement in the research process, students will explore the impact of applying student centered approaches on teaching and learning in K-12 physical education. 

This Physical Education program is completed part time in two years. The program includes a two-week Summer Institute each year and will include physical education teachers who have completed an Initial Licensure program in physical education.

This cohort will:

  • Provide candidates with knowledge in games, dance, gymnastics, physical activity and adventure education
  • Facilitate close examination of intrinsic values and their relationship to curriculum constructs
  • Prepare candidates to plan, implement and evaluate the impact of student centered approaches in physical education
  • Prepare candidates to think and communicate effectively using appropriate means including writing, speaking, listing, numbers, graphics, electronic technologies, 3D forms and performance
  • Encourage candidates to initiate, understand, and assume responsibility for their own ongoing learning processes.

Program Faculty 

This program will be lead by four esteemed members of our Movement Arts, Health Promotion and Leisure Studies department:

  • Dr. Karen Richardson
  • Dr. Deborah Sheehy
  • Dr. Misti Neutzling
  • Dr. Maura Rosenthal

Graduate Program Coordinator: Dr. Maura Rosenthal

Admissions Requirements 

  • Online application and $50 application fee
  • Résumé
  • Transcripts - Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work
  • Minimum GPA -  Minimum GPA of 2.75 based upon four years of work or a minimum GPA of 3.0 based upon work completed during the junior and senior years
  • Initial Teacher Licensure in Physical Education is required for the Teaching Games for Understanding concentration
    Massachusetts Education Personal ID (MEPID) is required for the Teaching Games for Understanding concentration
  • Letters of Recommendation - Three appropriate letters of recommendation (one from a supervisor)
  • Personal Statement - Prepare a brief, but careful statement regarding the reasons you want to pursue graduate work in this field, your specific interest and experiences in this field, and your career goals

Application Deadline 
May 15th application deadline for a July start.


Summer Institute
PHED 514 - Improving Teaching Effectiveness
PHED 581 - Special Topics in Curriculum & Pedagogy: Teaching Games for Understanding

PHED 534 - Critical Pedagogy in Physical Education

PHED 511- Research Methods in Physical Education

Summer Institute
PHED 513 - Educational Games for Elementary and Middle Level Students
PHED 510 - Concepts of Curriculum Development 

PHED 560 - Adventure Programming
PHED 575 - Educational Dance in the Public Schools

PHED 579 - Qualitative Data Analysis OR
PHED 517 - Experimental Processes in Physical Education (with advisor approval)

Culminating Experience
All students must take the comprehensive examination, or complete an oral defense of a thesis (PHED 502-Research) or an oral defense of a project (PHED 501-Physical Education Project) under the guidance of an adviser.

Total Minimum Credits: 30 (33 with Thesis)

Learning Outcomes

 After completion of the MS in Physical Education, students should be able to:

1. Critically read and evaluate research related to kinesiology.  

2. Apply quantitative or qualitative competencies required to conduct and understand research related to kinesiology.  

3. Apply evidence-based knowledge and skills for assessing client/student needs for designing and evaluating sport and physical activity programs.  

4. Explain concepts of foundational sciences related to the study of kinesiology with a specific focus in a selected area.  

5. Evaluate the psychological, physiological, or sociological strategies and forces that influence the sport/ physical activity experience to determine their impact on performance.  

6. Apply appropriate verbal, non-verbal, and media communication techniques to enhance learning and engagement in physical activity and sport. 

Funding Opportunities 

The College of Graduate Studies provides various opportunities for graduate students to receive funding while working towards their degrees. Appointments are competitive and are determined by undergraduate and/or graduate grade point averages, pertinent experience, educational preparation and interviews. For information on assistantships, fellowships and conference funding awards, please visit our Graduate Funding Opportunities page.

The MS in Physical Education program is eligible for unsubsidized student loans and applicants are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For more specific questions, please visit the Financial Aid Office website or contact them directly at

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Movement Arts Halth Promotion Leisure Studies Classroom
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