2022 Best Health & Physical Education Schools

663 Colleges in the United States
62,930 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
$29,872 Avg Early-Career Salary
Ranked #11 in popularity, health and physical education is one of the most sought-after degree programs in the nation. This means there are lots of options to choose from when you decide to get your degree.

For its 2022 ranking, College Factual looked at 663 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the best for health and physical education students pursuing a degree. When you put them all together, these colleges and universities awarded 62,930 degrees in health and physical education during the 2019-2020 academic year.

What's on this page:

Choosing a Great Health & Physical Education School

Best Health & Physical Education Schools The phys ed program you select can have a big impact on your future. That's why we developed our collection of Best Schools for Health & Physical Education rankings. In order to come up with a best overall ranking for health and physical education schools, we combine our degree-level rankings, weighting them by the number of degrees awarded at each level.

In order to find the schools that are the best fit for you, you may want to filter to one of the degree levels below.

Pick Your Health & Physical Education Degree Level

Since picking the right college can be one of the most important decisions of your life, we've developed the Best Health & Physical Education Schools ranking, along with many other major-related rankings, to help you make that decision. If you'd like to restrict your choices to just one part of the country, you can filter this list by location.

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

If you want to learn more about how we derive our rankings, see College Factual's Methodology.

Best Schools for Health & Physical Education in the United States

Although we recommend filtering by degree level first, you can view the list below to see which schools give the educational experience for the phys ed degree levels they offer. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

25 Top Schools in Phys Ed

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
34 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

University of Western States is one of the best schools in the country for getting a degree in health and physical education. Located in the city of Portland, Western States Chiropractic College is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population.

There were approximately 34 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at Western States Chiropractic College in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the health and physical education program at University of Western States get $22,228 above the standard college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from University of Western States

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
75 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Columbia University in the City of New York is a great decision for students pursuing a degree in health and physical education. Columbia is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of New York. A Best Schools rank of #22 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Columbia is a great university overall.

There were roughly 75 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at Columbia in the most recent year we have data available. Health & Physical Education degree recipients from Columbia University in the City of New York receive an earnings boost of about $27,128 over the typical income of health and physical education graduates.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from Columbia University in the City of New York

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
324 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor is a good choice for students pursuing a degree in health and physical education. Located in the medium-sized city of Ann Arbor, U-M is a public university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #40 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means U-M is a great university overall.

There were about 324 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at U-M in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the health and physical education major at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor get $9,128 more than the standard graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

#4

Georgetown University

Washington, DC
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
123 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Georgetown University is a wonderful choice for students pursuing a degree in health and physical education. Georgetown is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Washington. A Best Schools rank of #18 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Georgetown is a great university overall.

There were about 123 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at Georgetown in the most recent data year. Health & Physical Education degree recipients from Georgetown University earn a boost of around $19,028 above the typical earnings of health and physical education graduates.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from Georgetown University

#5

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
38 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Evanston, Northwestern is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #14 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Northwestern is a great university overall.

There were about 38 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at Northwestern in the most recent year we have data available. Health & Physical Education degree recipients from Northwestern University receive an earnings boost of around $18,828 above the average income of health and physical education graduates.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from Northwestern University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
10th Most Popular In TX
263 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

UT Austin is a very large public university located in the city of Austin. A Best Schools rank of #52 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means UT Austin is a great university overall.

There were about 263 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at UT Austin in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from The University of Texas at Austin

#7

Elon University

Elon, NC
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
70 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Elon is a medium-sized private not-for-profit university located in the midsize suburb of Elon. A Best Schools rank of #71 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Elon is a great university overall.

There were roughly 70 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at Elon in the most recent data year. After graduating, phys ed degree recipients generally make around $31,100 in their early careers.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from Elon University

#8

Rice University

Houston, TX
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
19th Most Popular In TX
102 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Houston, Rice is a private not-for-profit university with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Schools rank of #25 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Rice is a great university overall.

There were roughly 102 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at Rice in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from Rice University

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
20th Most Popular In TX
99 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

SMU is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Dallas. This university ranks 5th out of 136 schools for overall quality in the state of Texas.

There were about 99 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at SMU in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from Southern Methodist University

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In WV
576 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

American Military University is a very large private for-profit university located in the fringe town of Charles Town. This university ranks 1st out of 31 colleges for overall quality in the state of West Virginia.

There were roughly 576 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at American Military University in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from American Public University System

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
156 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

UMass Amherst is a fairly large public university located in the suburb of Amherst. This university ranks 17th out of 72 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were about 156 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at UMass Amherst in the most recent data year. Health & Physical Education degree recipients from University of Massachusetts Amherst get an earnings boost of around $9,128 over the average earnings of health and physical education majors.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from University of Massachusetts Amherst

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
383 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill is a public university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #63 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means UNC Chapel Hill is a great university overall.

There were about 383 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at UNC Chapel Hill in the most recent data year. Students who graduate with their degree from the phys ed program state that they receive average early career earnings of $26,300.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In TX
534 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Texas A&M College Station is a very large public university located in the midsize city of College Station. A Best Schools rank of #81 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Texas A&M College Station is a great university overall.

There were roughly 534 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at Texas A&M College Station in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from Texas A&M University - College Station

#14

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
180 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the midsize city of Syracuse, Syracuse is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 15th out of 160 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were roughly 180 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at Syracuse in the most recent data year. Graduates who receive their degree from the phys ed program earn an average of $26,500 in their early career salary.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from Syracuse University

#15

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In VA
300 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the small city of Harrisonburg, JMU is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 5th out of 73 colleges for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

There were about 300 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at JMU in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from James Madison University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In SC
282 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the midsize city of Columbia, UofSC is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 3rd out of 50 schools for overall quality in the state of South Carolina.

There were approximately 282 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at UofSC in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from University of South Carolina - Columbia

#17

University of Dayton

Dayton, OH
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
$25,250 Median Student Debt

Located in the city of Dayton, UDayton is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 7th out of 108 colleges for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

There were roughly 30 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at UDayton in the most recent data year. Those health and physical education students who get their degree from University of Dayton make $4,428 more than the typical phys ed student.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from University of Dayton

#18

University of Georgia

Athens, GA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
316 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

UGA is a very large public university located in the city of Athens. This university ranks 3rd out of 80 schools for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

There were about 316 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at UGA in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the health and physical education program at University of Georgia earn $3,528 above the typical college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from University of Georgia

Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
89 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Raleigh, NC State is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 6th out of 113 schools for overall quality in the state of North Carolina.

There were approximately 89 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at NC State in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the health and physical education program at North Carolina State University earn $3,928 more than the average graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from North Carolina State University

#20

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In VA
95 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the small suburb of Charlottesville, University of Virginia is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #38 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means University of Virginia is a great university overall.

There were about 95 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at University of Virginia in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from University of Virginia - Main Campus

#21

Endicott College

Beverly, MA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
91 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the suburb of Beverly, Endicott is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 23rd out of 72 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were approximately 91 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at Endicott in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the health and physical education degree program at Endicott College get $6,528 more than the standard college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from Endicott College

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
244 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the large suburb of College Park, UMCP is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #74 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means UMCP is a great university overall.

There were approximately 244 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at UMCP in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the health and physical education program at University of Maryland - College Park get $3,728 above the standard college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from University of Maryland - College Park

#23

William & Mary

Williamsburg, VA
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In VA
129 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

William & Mary is a moderately-sized public school located in the suburb of Williamsburg. This school ranks 4th out of 73 colleges for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

There were approximately 129 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at William & Mary in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from William & Mary

#24

Augustana University

Sioux Falls, SD
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In SD
48 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Augustana Sioux Falls is a small private not-for-profit university located in the city of Sioux Falls. This university ranks 1st out of 15 schools for overall quality in the state of South Dakota.

There were about 48 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at Augustana Sioux Falls in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from Augustana University

#25

Emory University

Atlanta, GA
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
6th Most Popular In GA
76 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded

Emory is a large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Atlanta. A Best Schools rank of #66 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Emory is a great university overall.

There were about 76 health and physical education students who graduated with this degree at Emory in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in health and physical education from Emory University

Rest of the Top 50 Best Health & Physical Education Schools

#25

Emory University

Atlanta, GA
#27

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL
#28

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA
#31

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC

#32

Truman State University

Kirksville, MO

#35

University of Miami

Coral Gables, FL
#36

University of Delaware

Newark, DE
#40

St. John Fisher College

Rochester, NY

#41

Towson University

Towson, MD

#43

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX
#44

Seton Hall University

South Orange, NJ
#46

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA
#47

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI
#48

SUNY Cortland

Cortland, NY
#49

University of Mary

Bismarck, ND

Additional Award Winners

This section represents the rest of the colleges awarded a Best Health & Physical Education Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 663 different United States health and physical education schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 Northwestern College Orange City, IA
51 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
52 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
53 Northeastern University Boston, MA
54 Winona State University Winona, MN
55 South Dakota State University Brookings, SD
56 Citadel Military College of South Carolina Charleston, SC
57 Hope College Holland, MI
58 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
59 Concordia University, Irvine Irvine, CA
60 Simpson College Indianola, IA
61 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
62 The University of Tennessee - Knoxville Knoxville, TN
63 Texas State University San Marcos, TX
64 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
65 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
66 DePauw University Greencastle, IN
67 Temple University Philadelphia, PA
68 Miami University - Oxford Oxford, OH
69 Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI
70 Colorado State University - Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
71 Carroll University Waukesha, WI
72 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
73 Pacific Lutheran University Tacoma, WA
74 University of Houston - Clear Lake Houston, TX
75 St Olaf College Northfield, MN
76 Washington State University Pullman, WA
77 University of Wisconsin - River Falls River Falls, WI
78 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
79 Linfield University - McMinnville Campus McMinnville, OR
80 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
81 Mount St Mary’s University Emmitsburg, MD
82 University of Houston Houston, TX
83 Smith College Northampton, MA
84 Xavier University Cincinnati, OH
85 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
86 Norwich University Northfield, VT
87 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
88 University of South Florida - Main Campus Tampa, FL
89 San Diego State University San Diego, CA
90 University of Minnesota - Duluth Duluth, MN
91 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
92 Loras College Dubuque, IA
93 Longwood University Farmville, VA
94 Ohio Northern University Ada, OH
95 University of New Hampshire - Main Campus Durham, NH
96 Coe College Cedar Rapids, IA
97 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
98 Otterbein University Westerville, OH
99 Clemson University Clemson, SC

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for Health & Physical Education students that almost earned our Best Health & Physical Education Schools award.

Rank College Location
100 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA
101 John F. Kennedy University Pleasant Hill, CA
102 Salisbury University Salisbury, MD
103 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
104 The College at Brockport Brockport, NY
105 Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Slippery Rock, PA
106 Canisius College Buffalo, NY
107 Illinois State University Normal, IL
108 University of Vermont Burlington, VT
109 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
110 Baldwin Wallace University Berea, OH
111 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
112 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
113 Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis, MO
114 San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA
115 Cornell College Mount Vernon, IA
116 Berea College Berea, KY
117 Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX
118 Shenandoah University Winchester, VA
119 University of North Texas Denton, TX
120 California State University - Fullerton Fullerton, CA
121 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
122 Seattle University Seattle, WA
123 Ohio University - Athens Campus Athens, OH
124 Saint Mary’s College of California Moraga, CA
125 Georgia College & State University Milledgeville, GA
126 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR
127 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman, OK
128 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
129 Bridgewater College Bridgewater, VA
130 Westmont College Santa Barbara, CA
131 Benedictine College Atchison, KS
132 Springfield College Springfield, MA

Health & Physical Education by Region

View the Best Health & Physical Education Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

View All Rankings >

Health & Physical Education is one of 4 different types of Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies programs to choose from.

Phys Ed Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Exercise Science and Kinesiology 31,077
Sports Management 15,944
Sports Kinesiology and Physical Education/Fitness General 13,814
Outdoor Health & Physical Education/Fitness 1,164
Physical Fitness Technician 484
Sports Studies 447

View All Phys Ed Focus Areas >

Majors Similar to Phys Ed

Related Major Annual Graduates
Recreation Administration 3,440
Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 3,045
Outdoor Education 233
Other Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 149

View All Phys Ed Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Removed schools reflect instances of new data identified post-publication that warrant removal of a school from this year’s ranking.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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