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2024 Best Health & Physical Education Schools

540 Colleges in the United States
67,146 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
$31,386 Avg Early-Career Salary
If you pursue a degree in health & physical education, you won't be alone. The field of study is the #11 most popular program in the country. This means there are lots of options to choose from when you decide to get your degree.

For its 2024 ranking, College Factual looked at 540 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the best for health & physical education students pursuing a degree. When you put them all together, these colleges and universities awarded 67,146 degrees in health & physical education during the 2020-2021 academic year.

What's on this page: * Degree-Level Rankings

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. We derive our Best Overall Health & Physical Education School rankings by rolling up our degree-level rankings after weighting them by the number of degrees awarded at each school.

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

Associate Degrees in Phys Ed
Bachelor's Degrees in Phys Ed
Master's Degrees in Phys Ed
Doctor's Degrees in Phys Ed

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

1
Rice crest
Rice University
Houston, TX
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
104 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
1.9% Growth in Graduates

Rice University is a wonderful option for students pursuing a degree in health & physical education. Located in the large city of Houston, Rice is a private not-for-profit university with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of #16 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means Rice is a great university overall.

There were about 104 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at Rice in the most recent data year. Health & Physical Education degree recipients from Rice University receive an earnings boost of about $6,846 over the typical income of health & physical education majors.

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

2
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
326 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
0.6% Growth in Graduates

It is hard to beat University of Michigan - Ann Arbor if you wish to pursue a degree in health & physical education. Located in the medium-sized city of Ann Arbor, U-M is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #29 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means U-M is a great university overall.

There were roughly 326 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at U-M in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the health & physical education program at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor make $7,706 above the average college grad in this field when they enter the workforce.

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

3
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
71 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
$60,701 Median Starting Salary

Columbia University in the City of New York is a good choice for students interested in a degree in health & physical education. Columbia is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the city of New York. A Best Colleges rank of #14 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means Columbia is a great university overall.

There were roughly 71 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at Columbia in the most recent data year. Those health & physical education students who get their degree from Columbia University in the City of New York earn $29,315 more than the typical phys ed graduate.

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

4
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
313 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
16.0% Growth in Graduates

The University of Texas at Austin is a great choice for students interested in a degree in health & physical education. UT Austin is a fairly large public university located in the large city of Austin. A Best Colleges rank of #36 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means UT Austin is a great university overall.

There were about 313 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at UT Austin in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the health & physical education degree program at The University of Texas at Austin get $4,612 more than the average graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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

5
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
566 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
5.7% Growth in Graduates

Texas A&M College Station is a fairly large public university located in the medium-sized city of College Station. A Best Colleges rank of #44 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means Texas A&M College Station is a great university overall.

There were roughly 566 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at Texas A&M College Station in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the health & physical education program at Texas A&M University - College Station get $8,125 above the average graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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

6
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
148 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
27.0% Growth in Graduates

UW - Madison is a very large public university located in the city of Madison. A Best Colleges rank of #30 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means UW - Madison is a great university overall.

There were approximately 148 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at UW - Madison 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 $27,879.

More information about a degree in health & physical education from University of Wisconsin - Madison

7
Emory crest
Emory University
Atlanta, GA
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
91 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
16.5% Growth in Graduates

Emory is a large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Atlanta. A Best Colleges rank of #28 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means Emory is a great university overall.

There were roughly 91 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at Emory in the most recent data year. Health & Physical Education degree recipients from Emory University receive an earnings boost of around $3,900 above the average income of health & physical education majors.

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

8
Iowa crest
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
622 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
$31,109 Median Starting Salary

Located in the city of Iowa City, Iowa is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 2nd out of 40 schools for overall quality in the state of Iowa.

There were about 622 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at Iowa in the most recent year we have data available. Students who receive their degree from the phys ed program make around $31,109 in their early career salary.

More information about a degree in health & physical education from University of Iowa

9
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
62 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
37.1% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city of Evanston, Northwestern is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #5 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means Northwestern is a great university overall.

There were about 62 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at Northwestern in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the health & physical education degree program at Northwestern University get $17,511 above the average college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

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

10
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
472 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
18.6% Growth in Graduates

Located in the small city of Bloomington, IU Bloomington is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #55 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means IU Bloomington is a great university overall.

There were about 472 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at IU Bloomington in the most recent data year. Those health & physical education students who get their degree from Indiana University - Bloomington receive $6,526 more than the typical phys ed student.

More information about a degree in health & physical education from Indiana University - Bloomington

11
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
347 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
3.7% Growth in Graduates

Located in the town of Oxford, Miami University - Oxford is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 3rd out of 96 schools for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

There were roughly 347 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at Miami University - Oxford in the most recent data year. Those health & physical education students who get their degree from Miami University - Oxford make $3,780 more than the standard phys ed graduate.

More information about a degree in health & physical education from Miami University - Oxford

12
UF crest
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
247 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
34.8% Growth in Graduates

UF is a fairly large public university located in the city of Gainesville. This university ranks 1st out of 77 schools for overall quality in the state of Florida.

There were roughly 247 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at UF in the most recent data year. Those health & physical education students who get their degree from University of Florida make $7,296 more than the typical phys ed graduate.

More information about a degree in health & physical education from University of Florida

13
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
248 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
9.7% Growth in Graduates

Located in the large city of Columbus, Ohio State is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 2nd out of 96 schools for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

There were about 248 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at Ohio State in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the health & physical education major at Ohio State University - Main Campus make $6,092 above the typical college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in health & physical education from Ohio State University - Main Campus

14
JMU crest
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
326 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
8.0% Growth in Graduates

Located in the small city of Harrisonburg, JMU is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 6th out of 63 colleges for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

There were approximately 326 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at JMU in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the health & physical education degree program at James Madison University get $6,205 above the average college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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

15
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
144 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
$39,519 Median Starting Salary

UMass Amherst is a fairly large public university located in the suburb of Amherst. This university ranks 11th out of 63 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were roughly 144 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at UMass Amherst in the most recent year we have data available. Those health & physical education students who get their degree from University of Massachusetts Amherst earn $8,133 more than the standard phys ed student.

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

16
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
373 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
$31,781 Median Starting Salary

Located in the city of Tempe, ASU - Tempe is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 2nd out of 26 colleges for overall quality in the state of Arizona.

There were roughly 373 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at ASU - Tempe in the most recent year we have data available. Students who receive their degree from the phys ed program make an average of $31,781 in their early career salary.

More information about a degree in health & physical education from Arizona State University - Tempe

17
U of U crest
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
306 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
17.6% Growth in Graduates

Located in the medium-sized city of Salt Lake City, U of U is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 3rd out of 13 schools for overall quality in the state of Utah.

There were roughly 306 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at U of U in the most recent year we have data available. Health & Physical Education degree recipients from University of Utah get an earnings boost of around $3,406 above the average income of health & physical education graduates.

More information about a degree in health & physical education from University of Utah

18
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
683 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
14.2% Growth in Graduates

American Military University is a fairly large private for-profit university located in the fringe town of Charles Town. This university ranks 1st out of 28 schools for overall quality in the state of West Virginia.

There were about 683 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at American Military University in the most recent year we have data available. Those health & physical education students who get their degree from American Public University System make $19,483 more than the average phys ed student.

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

19
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
401 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
4.5% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city of Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #43 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means UNC Chapel Hill is a great university overall.

There were about 401 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at UNC Chapel Hill in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the health & physical education major at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earn $5,279 more than the standard college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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

20
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
275 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
$39,920 Median Starting Salary

Located in the city of Columbia, UofSC is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 2nd out of 44 colleges for overall quality in the state of South Carolina.

There were approximately 275 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at UofSC in the most recent year we have data available. Those health & physical education students who get their degree from University of South Carolina - Columbia make $8,534 more than the average phys ed student.

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

21
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
51 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
$42,726 Median Starting Salary

UCONN is a very large public university located in the large suburb of Storrs. This university ranks 2nd out of 28 schools for overall quality in the state of Connecticut.

There were approximately 51 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at UCONN in the most recent data year. Those health & physical education students who get their degree from University of Connecticut receive $11,340 more than the typical phys ed grad.

More information about a degree in health & physical education from University of Connecticut

22
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
105 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
5.7% Growth in Graduates

SMU is a large private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Dallas. This university ranks 4th out of 115 schools for overall quality in the state of Texas.

There were about 105 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at SMU in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the health & physical education major at Southern Methodist University make $15,510 more than the standard college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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

23
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
239 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
$30,536 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large suburb of College Park, UMCP is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #42 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means UMCP is a great university overall.

There were roughly 239 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at UMCP in the most recent year we have data available. Soon after graduating, phys ed degree recipients generally earn about $30,536 at the beginning of their careers.

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

24
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
303 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
$29,679 Median Starting Salary

UGA is a very large public university located in the medium-sized city of Athens. This university ranks 3rd out of 68 colleges for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

There were approximately 303 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at UGA in the most recent data year. Soon after graduation, phys ed degree recipients generally earn around $29,679 at the beginning of their careers.

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

25
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
117 Phys Ed Degrees Awarded
18.8% Growth in Graduates

Located in the suburb of Charlottesville, University of Virginia is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #33 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means University of Virginia is a great university overall.

There were about 117 health & physical education students who graduated with this degree at University of Virginia in the most recent data year. Those health & physical education students who get their degree from University of Virginia - Main Campus receive $18,567 more than the typical phys ed student.

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

Rest of the Top 50 Best Health & Physical Education Schools

26
27
Michigan State crest
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
28
29
Georgetown crest
Georgetown University
Washington, DC
30
Temple crest
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA
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36
37
38
Syracuse crest
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY
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Additional Award Winners

This list 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 540 different United States health & physical education schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
52 Towson University Towson, MD
53 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
54 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR
55 Shenandoah University Winchester, VA
56 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
57 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
58 University of Louisville Louisville, KY
59 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
60 Loras College Dubuque, IA
61 Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, TN
62 California University of Pennsylvania California, PA
62 Saint Ambrose University Davenport, IA
63 University of Wisconsin - La Crosse La Crosse, WI
64 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
65 Ball State University Muncie, IN
66 Seattle University Seattle, WA
67 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
68 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
69 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
70 William & Mary Williamsburg, VA
71 University of Mississippi University, MS
72 University of North Carolina at Wilmington Wilmington, NC
73 United States Sports Academy Daphne, AL
74 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
75 Arkansas State University - Main Campus Jonesboro, AR
76 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
77 University of Massachusetts - Boston Boston, MA
78 Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA
79 San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA
80 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
81 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA

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
82 Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL
83 Winona State University Winona, MN
84 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
85 Southern Nazarene University Bethany, OK
86 Xavier University Cincinnati, OH
87 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
87 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
88 California State University - Fullerton Fullerton, CA
89 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
90 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI
91 California State University - Sacramento Sacramento, CA
92 Texas State University San Marcos, TX
93 Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis, MO
94 University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH
95 Springfield College Springfield, MA
96 University of Memphis Memphis, TN
97 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC
98 Lindenwood University Saint Charles, MO
99 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS
100 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
101 Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA
102 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
103 Oklahoma State University - Main Campus Stillwater, OK
104 John Carroll University University Heights, OH
105 Ashland University Ashland, OH
106 Gustavus Adolphus College Saint Peter, MN
107 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
108 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ

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
Other U.S. Territories
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 32,740
Sports Management 16,971
Sports Kinesiology and Physical Education/Fitness General 13,944
Outdoor Health & Physical Education/Fitness 1,441
Physical Fitness Technician 1,436
Sports Studies 614

View All Phys Ed Focus Areas >

Majors Similar to Phys Ed

Related Major Annual Graduates
Recreation Administration 3,122
Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 3,106
Outdoor Education 265
Other Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 174

View All Phys Ed Related Majors >

Notes and References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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