The primary mission of the Department of Movement Studies and Wellness Education (MSWE) is to provide quality academic professional preparation for undergraduate students in areas related to the study of human movement, especially as it supports the pursuit of lifelong physical activity and well being (ie. health & fitness education, recreation, exercise science, pre-physical therapy, preathletic training and health & fitness promotion). We strive to prepare future leaders who will positively impact the health behaviors and physical well being of individuals and of society through the education and promotion of life-sustaining and life-enhancing pursuits. The successful completion of our majors demands a strong integration of the liberal arts and sciences with thorough professional preparation in light of respective state and national standards, accrediting bodies and certification programs. Internship experiences are an integral and required element of all majors in the department and allow for students to further develop and apply their education and training in real world, professional settings.
The Major and Minor Programs
The department offers three degree programs from which students can choose. While each share common elements and a commitment to promoting health and well being, each is unique in its course offerings and potential career opportunities.
The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physical Education (BAPE w/ Certification) prepares and certifies successful students to be Health & Fitness teachers in Washington state.
The Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education (BSPE) offers four different pre-professional concentrations: Health & Fitness Promotion, Exercise Science, Pre-Physical Therapy and Pre-Athletic Training. Each of these concentrations is designed to prepare students for required graduate study (Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Athletic Training, Sport Psychology) or to begin a career in personal training, corporate fitness, public health & fitness, etc.
Students in all majors participate in a semester long internship or student teaching experience in public schools, government agencies (such as Pierce County Parks & Recreation and Pierce Country Health Department) or private corporations and agencies (such as the YMCA, hospitals, fitness centers, professional athletic teams etc.). In addition, five distinct minors can be used to compliment majors within the department, or can be pursued by majors outside the department in areas of personal or professional interest. These minors are Coaching, Fitness & Wellness Education, Personal Training, Sport & Recreation Management and Sport Psychology.
Additional Opportunities for MSWE Majors
In addition to the professional degree programs, the Department of Movement Studies & Wellness Education provides a diverse array of physical activity instruction for students as part of the General University Requirements (GUR) of the university. All students are encouraged to try new activities and to begin or continue a lifetime commitment to active living.
Activity instruction is provided in over 30 different activities spanning from traditional fitness activities such as aerobics, weight training, and yoga to an array of sports such as basketball, tennis, bowling and badminton, to a variety of activities uniquely suited to the Pacific Northwest such as mountaineering, sailing and scuba diving as well as a variety of dance courses. The goals of these classes are to 1) develop in each student a fundamental respect for the role of physical activity in living, including the assessment of physical condition and the development of personally designed, safe, effective and functional fitness programs with attention to lifetime activities and 2) to expose students to a diversity of physical activities and experiences in a manner which enhances understanding of their educational, social, spiritual, ethical and moral relevance. The program provides opportunities for all participants to develop and apply a knowledge base regarding physical activity, psychomotor and behavioral skills, which encourages the development of lifelong health and wellness.