Gain High-demand Skills from a National Leader in Physical Activity Leadership 

You can put yourself at the forefront of an emerging trend by earning a master’s degree in Sport and Exercise Science with Sport Pedagogy emphasis. This innovative degree program prepares you to lead efforts to integrate physical activity with broader learning outcomes throughout your school or district. 

One of the first universities to offer a master’s degree focused on physical activity leadership, UNC is a national leader in this fast-growing discipline. You’ll work with exceptional faculty who’ve conducted groundbreaking research in the field, while developing highly marketable skills for an expanding segment of the educational job market. With this specialized sport and exercise science master’s degree, you can give your career an immediate boost and improve your potential for long-term advancement.

Degree Details

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Degree Option

M.S. in Sport and Exercise Science: Sport Pedagogy

UNC’s Master of Science in Exercise Science (Sport Pedagogy emphasis) meets the standards of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE). You’ll master advanced techniques in pedagogy, assessment and programming that equip you to promote physical fitness in multiple learning contexts (including the classroom). The program totals 33 credits and can be completed with either a professional research project or thesis based on original research.

Take the next step! Explore courses, contact information and admission requirements.

Greeley Campus Program

Your Future in Sport Pedagogy

The last decade has witnessed a broad increase in the uses of physical activity as an educational strategy. First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move! Active Schools” program has enlisted more than 17,000 schools across the country, and participation has been accelerating. Demand for physical activity leaders is on the rise, as individual schools and whole districts learn about the benefits of integrating physical activity into classroom settings, before- and after-school programs, and other contexts.

Consider UNC's M.S. in Sport Pedagogy if you want to:

  • Develop educational programs and curricula that integrate physical activity into classrooms, physical education programs, before/after school programming, and other settings.
  • Place yourself at the forefront of an emerging nationwide educational trend.
  • Help fellow educators implement new teaching techniques and strategies.
  • Experiment with new models, evaluate outcomes, and influence the direction of this emerging movement.

You’ll learn:

  • How to align physical activity programming with broader educational goals
  • Methods for assessing effectiveness and outcomes
  • Advanced teaching techniques
  • Management and coordination strategies to implement programming across multiple schools and contexts

Sample courses:

  • Assessment in Sport Pedagogy
  • Instructional Strategies for K-12 Physical Education
  • Perspectives in Sport Pedagogy
  • Introduction to Research in Sport and Exercise Science
Megan Babkes Stellino


Megan Babkes Stellino, Ph.D.

Moving to Address Childhood Obesity

Taking a close look at the factors surrounding childhood obesity and its stigmas, UNC researchers like Megan Babkes Stellino, Ph.D., are taking steps to help children get fit. Read more in UNC Magazine.

Learn More

Beyond the Classroom

Colorado ranks among the most physically active states in the nation. As a result, you’ll find a wealth of opportunities for research partnership and community involvement at UNC. Our faculty and graduate students tap into an extensive network of relationships with school districts, nonprofit organizations, community health agencies and other organizations that teach and promote physical fitness and overall health.

Where can your degree take you?

  • Physical activity leader
  • District-wide physical activity coordinator
  • Professional development instructor for teachers and physical educators
  • Researcher in program assessment and learning outcomes

Current Research in Sport Pedagogy

Making the Case for a School-wide Movement: The Science Behind Physical Activity and Learning in Schools

Nationally known expert Russell “Russ” Carson, Ph.D., studies and advocates for physical activity in schools, and is associate professor of Sport and Exercise Science at UNC.

Read full article

Making a case for a schoolwide movement

What You Need to Know Right Now