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Master of Science - Health, Physical Education & Coaching

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Master of Science - Health, Physical Education + Coaching

The Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation offers graduate work leading to the Master of Science degree for students interested in advancing their education and opportunities in the areas of teaching, health promotion, and research. This unique program was the first fully accredited distance learning master’s degree program in the United States. Since its beginning in 1996 through today, this program is one of the most respected, affordable, and well-known online master's degrees in health, physical education and coaching.

Additional Information

Program Description

The master’s degree program offered through the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation may be completed entirely online.

While students are never required to come to campus they are always welcome. The online format is a significant benefit for students who have coaching responsibilities, are raising families, or live in areas outside of an easy drive to Emporia. Students from all 50 states, as well as several foreign countries, have entered and completed this degree program.

All courses are taught by faculty members with doctoral degrees and/or by faculty members who are nationally recognized in their fields.

The objective of this program is to build upon a well-rounded health and/or physical education foundation and a specialized knowledge of concepts and methods in teaching and coaching, which will enable the student to pursue a productive career in teaching health or physical education and/or coaching various sports. The program also provides students, who have appropriate undergraduate preparation, the expertise for employment in wellness and fitness programs. Responsibility for a student's program is vested in an advisor charged with arranging the student's course work and supervising research activities.

Students must present an acceptable undergraduate background in health, physical education, or coaching/recreation representing a breadth of preparation comparable to that required for an undergraduate concentration in HPER at Emporia State University. Students lacking some prerequisites in their undergraduate preparation may be required to complete additional courses as prescribed by the advisor and committee.

The degree is appropriate for those interested in advancing their education, as well as for those who need to gain additional course work for tenure or fiscal promotion.

Note: This program was previously called the master's in health, physical education, and recreation and appears as such in the 2022-23 ESU Catalog; there may be some course titles in the catalog that do not match with information on this web site. Please contact the graduate advisor ( with any questions you may have.


This program is fully accredited through the Higher Learning Commission. This master's 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 teaches.

The Master of Science in HPEC from ESU is not an approved teacher preparation program and does not lead to teacher licensure in Kansas. As such, we will be unable to provide an approved program verification to any state department of education to facilitate obtaining a teaching license in that state.

Before choosing this program, ensure that your state would accept it, even though it is not a program approved for teacher licensure. Emporia State University faculty and staff are not able to make that determination.


To apply to the program, you need to have a 2.5 overall GPA, as well as a 2.75 GPA in the last 60 credits of college work and possess a degree in physical education or related field (i.e., health, corporate wellness, athletic training, etc.)

If you do not have an undergraduate degree in physical education or related area, you may be admitted on probation with at least 12 credits of undergraduate work in physical education, health, and/or coaching. These classes must be approved by Graduate Advisor.

All application materials must be completed and received by the Graduate School at Emporia State University to be considered as a candidate for the program.

Required application materials

Application Process

Graduate School Application

Upon filling out the application, one has the choice to choose a concentration to supplement their Master's Degree. If one does not desire to choose a concentration, then leave that section blank on the application.

Copy of government-issued ID

Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended

Submitting Application Materials

The following items must be provided/completed at the time of application submission through the Application Portal:

*Unofficial bachelor's degree transcript

*Copy of government-issued ID

Official transcripts

Students must submit official bachelor’s degree transcripts containing at least 60 credit hours of coursework and final grades. Any additional transcripts from college credit accumulated after the bachelor’s degree MUST be submitted if you will be using these credits for transfer credit or for last 60 GPA. Transcripts are considered official when they arrive in the Graduate Office in a sealed envelope from the issuing institution or are received through a secure electronic transcript service to

If the transcripts need to be mailed, send to:

Emporia State University
Graduate School

Campus Box 4003
Emporia State University
1 Kellogg Circle
Emporia, KS 66801-5415

Emporia State Health, Physical Education & Recreation student practicing physical training exercises


At Emporia State University, you can build on your undergraduate education and gain specialized knowledge of concepts and methods in teaching and coaching such as technology integration, sport and exercise psychology, social and political influence of sport, ethics in wellness education and more.

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Apply to the Emporia State University Graduate School.

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Tape used for Athletic Training practice

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Athletic Training is a program within Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in The School of Applied Health Sciences at Emporia State University.

Contact the Department of Health, Physical Education, + Recreation

Phone + Email

fas fa-phone-alt 620-341-5926

Please contact the graduate advisor, Dr. Joan Brewer,, with any questions you may have.

Address + Location


HPER Room 219

Mailing Address

1 Kellogg Circle
Box 4050
Emporia, KS 66801