Department of
Health, Physical Education, & Recreation

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HPER Graduate Program

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HPER Graduate Program

The graduate program in the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) at Emporia State University was the first Masters degree program in HPER in the United States to be offered completely online. Started in 1996, this program remains one of the most respected and well-known online Masters degree in HPER. 

Students take all course work through web-based classes. Students are never required to come to campus, but are always welcome.  This is a significant benefit for students who have coaching responsibilities, are raising families, or live in areas outside of the region. All courses are taught by faculty members with doctoral degrees and/or by faculty members who are nationally recognized in their fields. Students from all 50 states, as well as several foreign countries have entered and completed this degree program.  

This program is fully accredited through the Higher Learning Commission and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).  Emporia State University is a regional university within the State of Kansas Regents system.  Students completing this program earn a Masters of Science (MS) degree in HPER.

The degree is appropriate for students interested in advancing their education, as well as for those students who need to gain additional course work for tenure or fiscal promotion.  This Masters degree does not lead to initial teacher certification, but has the potential to be used for that purpose. This is dependent upon the state requirements in which the student resides. 

Application Requirements for the MS Program in HPER

To apply for the MS program in HPER, the candidate must:

  • Have a 2.5 overall GPA, as well as a 2.75 GPA in the last 60 credits of college work.
  • Possess a degree in physical education or related field (i.e., health, corporate wellness, athletic training, etc.). 

If the student does not have an undergraduate degree in physical education or related area, the student may be admitted on probation with at least 12 credits of undergraduate work in physical education. These classes must be approved by the HPER Graduate Advisor.

Application Material

In order for a candidate to be considered, all application materials must be completed and received by the Graduate School at Emporia State University.  A student wishing to pursue a Master’s degree in the Department of HPER is required to be admitted to the Graduate School and to the Department of HPER. The steps for applying for admission and the criteria used in determining whether, and under what conditions, a student is admitted include:

  1. The student must complete an application and send in the application fee. The applicant should complete the online application at
  2. International students must complete a different application for graduate school.  This application may be found at
  3. An official copy of ALL transcripts must be sent to the Emporia State University Graduate Office at Emporia State University.
  4. A resume or vita must be submitted to the Graduate School at Emporia State University.
  5. Two letters of recommendation addressing the candidate’s ability to complete graduate level work must be submitted. You will be able to email your chosen references a link to the reference form when you complete the application.  The reference email can be access directly through the Supplementary items in the Graduate Application PortalIf desired, instead of the online form, letters of reference may be written and sent to the Graduate School at Emporia State University. 

All application material should be submitted directly to the ESU Graduate School:

Graduate School
Box 4003
Emporia State University
1 Kellogg Circle
Emporia, KS 66801

If you are having difficulty with the application process, you can watch the video below. 

If you need a quick tutorial on sending references and viewing Supplementary Items watch the video below

HPER Information for Prospective and Current Students

Contact HPER Graduate Advisor

Dr. Vicki Worrell
Phone: 620-341-5993
Fax: 620-341-6400

Graduate Handbook

The HPER Graduate Handbook provides a detailed overview of the Master of Science degree in HPER
HPER Graduate Handbook

Degree Plan

After a student is accepted into the Masters degree program, he/she is sent a degree plan.  This plan indicates the classes in which the student will be required to enroll, as well as the indication of electives. 

Non-Thesis Option

Thesis Option

Course Sequence

Graduate Course Descriptions

These are the graduate level courses offered through the Department of HPER at Emporia State University.
Master level courses

HPER Graduate Program FAQ

Please visit this page to look through commonly asked questions. HPER Graduate Program FAQ