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2020 Best Colleges for Health & Physical Education in the Southeast Region

Approximately 63,893 health and physical education degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a challenge finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for Health & Physical Education in the Southeast Region ranking analyzed 121 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in health and physical education. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 18 colleges for Health & Physical Education students in the Southeast Region.

Choosing a Great Health & Physical Education School

Best Colleges for Health & Physical Education in the Southeast Region The phys ed program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality phys ed program can vary widely even among the top schools. When choosing a school we recommend considering some of the following factors:

A Great Overall School

A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

The vast majority of the colleges on this list are in at least the top 23% of our overall quality ranking.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 344 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Above Average Earnings After Graduation

A health and physical education degree from colleges on this list typically translates into above average earnings after graduation. While the average health and physical education bachelors degree from Southeast colleges results in an average starting salary of $26,679, graduates of colleges on this list average $28,200.

Starting Salary  ( 21737 to 31662 )
$0
$37,900

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Health & Physical Education students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other health and physical education students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized health and physical education related accrediting body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Health & Physical Education students in the Southeast Region.

Best Schools to Study Health & Physical Education in Southeast

The following list ranks the best colleges and universities in the U.S. for a Health & Physical Education degree. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 121 schools analyzed, only 18 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 18 Best Phys Ed Colleges in the Southeast Region

#1

University of Georgia

Athens, GA

University of Georgia is a wonderful option for students pursuing a Health & Physical Education degree. UGA is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of Athens. A Best Colleges rank of 137 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means UGA is a great school overall.

There are about 276 health and physical education undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UGA. Graduates from the health and physical education program at University of Georgia earn $2,745 more than the standard college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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#2

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC

Any student who is interested in health and physical education needs to check out Wake Forest University. Located in the city Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 37 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Wake Forest University is a great college overall.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, Wake Forest University also offers a Master's Degree in health and physical education. Graduates of the phys ed program report average early career wages of $26,300.

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It's difficult to beat University of Virginia - Main Campus if you want to study health and physical education. Located in the suburb Charlottesville, University of Virginia is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 33 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means University of Virginia is a great college overall.

University of Virginia - Main Campus is a fairly popular school to study phys ed in Southeast exceeding 110 graduates last year.

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The University of Tennessee - Knoxville is among your best bets if you want to study health and physical education. Located in the medium-sized city Knoxville, UT Knoxville is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 33rd out of 436 colleges for overall quality in the state of Tennessee.

There are roughly 434 health and physical education undergrads enrolled in this program at UT Knoxville. Students who graduate from this degree report average early career earnings of $25,800.

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#5

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA

Located in the small city Harrisonburg, JMU is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 26th out of 436 schools for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, JMU offers a Master's Degree in health and physical education. Health & Physical Education graduates from James Madison University get a earnings boost of approximately $2,145 over the average earnings of health and physical education graduates.

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#6

College of William and Mary

Williamsburg, VA

Located in the small suburb Williamsburg, William & Mary is a public school with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 61 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means William & Mary is a great college overall.

There are about 128 health and physical education undergrads studying this degree at William & Mary. Soon after graduation, phys ed students typically make an average of $24,500 in their early careers.

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#7

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

U of F is a very large public school located in the midsize city of Gainesville. A Best Colleges rank of 73 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means U of F is a great school overall.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, U of F also offers a Master's Degree in health and physical education. Graduates from the health and physical education degree program at University of Florida make $9,245 more than the average college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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#8

Elon University

Elon, NC

Located in the midsize suburb Elon, Elon is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 106 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Elon is a great college overall.

Elon University is a fairly popular school to study phys ed in Southeast exceeding 69 graduations last year. Students from the health and physical education program at Elon University get $2,445 above the typical college grad with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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Located in the small city Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 50 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UNC Chapel Hill is a great school overall.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, UNC Chapel Hill also offers a Master's Degree in health and physical education. Students who complete this degree state that they receive average early career wages of $26,300.

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#10

University of Miami

Coral Gables, FL

Located in the suburb Coral Gables, U Miami is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 66 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means U Miami is a great school overall.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, U Miami also offers a Master's Degree in health and physical education. Grads of the phys ed program state that they receive average early career earnings of $26,300.

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Located in the city Columbia, Carolina is a public college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 29th out of 436 schools for overall quality in the state of South Carolina.

There are about 186 health and physical education undergrads studying this degree at Carolina. Students from the health and physical education program at University of South Carolina - Columbia earn $7,245 above the average college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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#12

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Florida State is a fairly large public school located in the city of Tallahassee. This school ranks 30th out of 436 schools for overall quality in the state of Florida.

There are approximately 181 health and physical education undergraduates studying this degree at Florida State. After graduating, phys ed students usually earn around $29,300 in their early careers.

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#13

University of Mississippi

University, MS

Located in the remote town University, Ole Miss is a public college with a very large student population. This school ranks 54th out of 436 schools for overall quality in the state of Mississippi.

For those interested in something more advanced, Ole Miss also offers 2 different higher degree levels in health and physical education, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the phys ed program make about $22,600 for their early career.

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#14

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Nova Southeastern University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Fort Lauderdale. This college ranks 55th out of 436 schools for overall quality in the state of Florida.

Nova Southeastern University is a fairly popular college to study phys ed in Southeast exceeding 55 graduates last year. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, phys ed students generally earn an average of $18,600 in their early careers.

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#15

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR

UARK is a fairly large public school located in the small city of Fayetteville. This college ranks 58th out of 436 schools for overall quality in the state of Arkansas.

There are about 213 health and physical education undergrads studying this degree at UARK. Graduates of the phys ed program state that they receive average early career income of $29,000.

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NC State is a very large public school located in the city of Raleigh. A Best Colleges rank of 121 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means NC State is a great school overall.

A preferred major for health and physical education undergraduates, there are about 118 individuals studying this degree at NC State. North Carolina State University health and physical education majors make $5,145 more than the typical phys ed graduate.

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#17

Samford University

Birmingham, AL

Located in the large suburb Birmingham, Samford is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. This college ranks 23rd out of 436 schools for overall quality in the state of Alabama.

Samford University is a fairly popular school to study phys ed in Southeast with more than 12 graduations last year. Graduates of the phys ed program earn about $23,100 in the first couple years of working.

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Located in the city Greensboro, UNC Greensboro is a public college with a very large student population. This school ranks 132nd out of 436 colleges for overall quality in the state of North Carolina.

For those interested in something more advanced, UNC Greensboro also offers 2 different higher degree levels in health and physical education, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, phys ed students generally earn about $26,700 in their early careers.

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Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Colleges for Health & Physical Education in the Southeast Region award.

Rank College Location
19 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA
20 University of Louisville Louisville, KY
21 Belmont University Nashville, TN
22 Roanoke College Salem, VA
23 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
24 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
25 Longwood University Farmville, VA

Best Health & Physical Education Colleges by State

Explore the best health and physical education colleges for a specific state in this the Southeast region.

State Colleges Degrees Awarded
Georgia 300 1,643
Florida 291 2,023
Virginia 289 1,353
North Carolina 286 2,828
Tennessee 266 2,265
Kentucky 257 936
South Carolina 254 967
Louisiana 254 734
Alabama 250 569
Arkansas 249 701
Mississippi 239 1,030
West Virginia 222 902

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

Related Major Annual Graduates
Recreation Administration 4,172
Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 3,541
Other Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 275
Outdoor Education 235

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).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Staff Sgt. Michael Ellis.

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