With a Physical Education and Sport Studies major at Coker, you can forget about a boring, lecture-based learning process—expect to have an active role in shaping your education.

From day one, you’ll be developing close relationships with your professors, heading over to the gym to see your coursework in action, and discovering how to incorporate cutting-edge technology into the concepts you learn in class.

That’s not to mention the opportunities you’ll have to practice applying your new skills outside of the classroom. Coker students have completed internships at local businesses such as the YMCA, Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center, and Darlington Raceway—many of which have led to full-time jobs after graduation. Plus, professors often take students to attend and present at events like the annual SC AHPERD (Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance) conference.

Within the major, you can choose from one of five concentrations to develop a specialized skillset based on your personal interests and career goals. Combined with a well-rounded liberal arts core, you’ll be equipped with everything you need to build a successful and rewarding career after graduation.



For many athletes, the transition into a coaching career is a natural choice. But while a passion for athletics is a great place to start, coaching is more than calling plays and delivering rousing locker room pep talks. Successful coaches have a number of specialized skills that cover all aspects of managing a team—including ethics, safety and injury prevention, teaching and communication, skills and tactics, organization and administration, and program evaluation. If you want to build a successful, long-term coaching career, this concentration will focus your studies to give you the skills and knowledge you need for all levels of athletics.


How does the human body function? What are the effects of exercise on the body? And how can we use our knowledge to help improve people’s lives? A concentration in exercise science will explore these questions and more to prepare you for advanced study in athletic training, exercise physiology, cardiac rehabilitation, and physical therapy. If you want to use your passion for physical fitness to help people and make the world a healthier place, exercise science could be the right fit for you.


Physical fitness programming is about two things: understanding the latest science of health and fitness, and learning how to translate that knowledge into effective programming that promotes healthy living. This concentration will provide you with the background necessary to build a successful career as a personal trainer, a program coordinator, or an instructor in all kinds of community fitness programs.


The communications industry is evolving and changing faster than ever before, and a concentration in sport communication will teach you not just how to adapt to change, but how to thrive in a fast-paced media environment. Designed for students who are interested in careers involving sport journalism, broadcasting, or sport information, this concentration includes a broad overview of the communications field combined with courses in sport studies to prepare you for a successful career in sport communication.


With an obesity epidemic on the rise in America, we need quality physical education teachers more than ever—knowledgeable and effective teachers who inspire and instill a love of fitness in their students. By collaborating with the Wiggins School of Education, this concentration will meet the requirements for teacher certification in physical education for grades K-12. If you want to share your love of health and fitness by cultivating a passion for athletics in others, this concentration will teach you how.


For a more detailed explanation of requirements, including course descriptions, download the Academic Catalog.

The field of physical education and sport studies has grown tremendously over the past several years, and that trend is only expected to continue. From 2008-2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that job growth in fitness worker fields would increase by 29%—so if you’re looking for a field with varied and numerous job opportunities, you’ve found it. And no matter which concentration you choose, our round-table philosophy based on interactive and discussion-based learning ensures that your coursework will cultivate the crucial leadership, teamwork, and communication skills you need to thrive in any professional environment.

For more information on potential career paths, click here.

Examples of alternate career paths you can follow with your physical education & sport studies degree:

  • Chiropractor
  • Physical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Physical Education Teacher
  • Fitness Specialist–Personal Trainer, Fitness Director
  • Recreation Worker
  • Dance Medicine and Science
  • Geriatric Fitness Specialist
  • Gerontology
  • Athletic Coach
  • Dance Educator
  • Exercise Science / Sports Medicine
  • Sports Management
  • Sports Medicine
  • Health Educator
  • Athletic Director
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Chiropractic Physician
  • Corporate Fitness Director
  • Director of Community Relations
  • Director of Intramurals & Recreation
  • Director of Media Relations
  • Director of Sports Facilities
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Exercise Program Director
  • Exercise Specialist
  • Exercise Test Technologist
  • Fitness Program Coordinator
  • General Manager, Prof. Sports Team
  • Health Club Manager
  • Health/Fitness Instructor
  • Marketing Director
  • Nautilis/Weight Training Instructor
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Operations Director
  • Personal Trainer
  • Physical Education Director
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physician
  • Promotion Director
  • Public Relations Director
  • Publicity Director
  • Rehabilitation Therapist
  • Sporting Goods Manufacturer’s Rep
  • Sports Event Coordinator
  • Sports Information Director
  • Sports Nutritionist
  • Sports Psychologist
  • Strength & Conditioning Coach
  • Ticket Manager
  • Wellness Coordinator
John Jewell

John Jewell, Ed.D.

Professor of Physical Education and Sport Studies

James E. McLaughlin

James E. McLaughlin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physical Education and Sport Studies

Suzanne Parker

Suzanne Parker, Ph.D.

Professor of Physical Education and Sport Studies; Chair of the Department of Physical Education and Sport Studies; Coordinator of the Physical Education and Sport Studies Major and the Teacher Education Concentration

Daniel J. Schmotzer

Daniel J. Schmotzer, M.Ed.

Assistant Lecturer of Physical Education and Sport Studies; Director of Intramurals

David A. Schmotzer

David A. Schmotzer, M.Ed.

Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Sport Studies