What will I learn?

Persons seeking graduate level adapted physical education (APE) professional development can pursue the Master of Science degree in physical education teaching with an emphasis in teaching APE. This is a practitioner oriented program for teachers seeking additional expertise, evidence-based content knowledge, technology skills, and clinical experiences in physical education for PK-12 students with disabilities in general and/or specially designed physical education classes.

Students who successfully complete this graduate program are eligible for the Wisconsin add-on teaching license in APE (WI EC-A#860). Graduates of the program are primarily hired by school districts as adapted and/or general physical education teachers. These teachers are often employed as itinerant (traveling) APE specialists within a district and may teach students from grades PK-12 in several schools. Graduates are hired throughout the United States to serve as APE instructional leaders for school districts.

Roles commonly performed in school districts by these APE professionals include:

  • Teaching at early childhood, elementary, middle, and secondary levels
  • Serving as itinerant or traveling APE teachers at several schools within a school district
  • Collaborating with special education and related service personnel
  • Teaching students with disabilities in one-on-one, small group, or large group classes
  • Preparing paraprofessionals/teaching assistants for supervised APE instruction
  • Consulting with general physical education teachers and special education staff
  • Team teaching in inclusive settings while assisting general physical education teachers
  • Assessing physical and motor development for IEP planning and implementation
  • Designing and monitoring measurable IEP goals and objectives
  • Using evidence-based teaching strategies, including instructional technologies
  • Transitioning students from school-based to community-based instruction leading to healthy and active lifestyles
  • Coaching school and community-based sport programs for students with and without disabilities

The APE graduate program can be completed while students are enrolled either full-time or on a part-time basis. There is much flexibility for currently employed teachers who only desire additional certification, not a graduate degree. The purpose of the certification-only program is to assist general physical education teachers to acquire the knowledge and skills to become highly qualified and effective APE specialists and enable them to be eligible for Wisconsin APE teaching licensure. This certification-only program can be completed in 2-3 summers and during the academic year depending on course loads and course availability. Clinical experiences are part of this program.

Which department am I in?

College of Science and Health

Study options

Full Time (36 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$20,039.00 per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

Expected May 2022

Start date

Expected February, September 2022


College of Science and Health

1725 State Street,



54601, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

A bachelor’s or higher degree from UWL or another approved institution where English is the sole language of instruction may also fulfill this requirement.

For international students

Undergraduate major/minor in physical education and/or sport science/management from an accredited four-year institution.

A bachelor’s or higher degree from UWL or another approved institution where English is the sole language of instruction may also fulfill this requirement.

  • Degree must be earned within two years of expected enrollment at UWL.
  • Applicant must have attended the institution for a minimum of two years.

Applicants for graduate study who are not native speakers of English must meet one of the following for admission:

  • TOEFL score of at least 79 iBT or 550 pBT
  • IELTS score of at least 6.0
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English) score of at least 60

The final application deadline is May 1 of each year for fall semester and November 1 for spring semester.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About University of Wisconsin La Crosse

Experience innovative academics along Wisconsin’s beautiful west coast and see why UWL is so highly ranked.

  • Located in the beautiful La Crosse region
  • 9th nationwide for providing value to international students
  • 96% job placement rate 2 years after graduation
  • More than 200 student clubs and societies