A photo of a young girl working with a University of Maine student on throwing a ball in a gym.

Adapted Physical Education

Graduate Certificate

Program overview

In today’s schools, physical education teachers must have the knowledge, skills and practical experiences to meet the needs of all students. The 15-credit graduate certificate in Adapted Physical Education is designed to address these needs by increasing the number and capacity of teachers with credentials in adapted physical education for students with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. The program — designed for practicing teachers — features a series of courses built to enhance the use of age- and developmentally-appropriate, evidence-based practices for physical education classes. UMaine’s College of Education and Human Development is committed to cultivating a community of educators engaged in meaningful collaboration to support students of all abilities in obtaining the full benefit of a free, appropriate public education, as well as appropriate access to general education programming, as required by federal law.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Adapted Physical Education graduate certificate will:

  • Develop a more robust understanding of legislation directly impacting individuals with disabilities
  • Conduct accurate and comprehensive assessments of motor skill performance
  • Design lessons centered on the principles of Universal Design for Learning
  • Participate in extensive practical experiences by providing direct assessment and instruction to PK-12 students with disabilities

Course sequence

This 15-credit graduate certificate can be completed in as little as two semesters. Coursework includes 6 credits in education, at least 3 credits (with a maximum of 9) in special education, and the option of 6 credits in kinesiology and physical education.

Required Courses

  • EHD 590: Assessment in Adapted Physical Education (3 credits)
  • EHD 657: Practicum in Adapted Physical Education (3 credits)
  • SED 532: Behavior Management and Intervention (3 credits) or SED 563: Positive Behavior Support of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (3 credits)


  • KPE 512: Ethics and Social Justice in Outdoor Leadership (3 credits)
  • KPE 573: Motor Performance and Learning (3 credits)
  • SED 520: Law and Policy Affecting Individuals with Disabilities (3 credits)
  • SED 564: Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology in PK-12 Classrooms (3 credits)


This certificate meets the coursework requirements for the Maine Department of Education’s adapted physical education endorsement (515). For specific information regarding certification in Maine, contact Maine DOE. If you are applying from another state, visit your state’s department of education for certification information. In addition to practicing teachers in PK-12 schools, this certificate may be appropriate for people in careers such as adaptive sports instructors, wilderness therapists, athletic administrators and youth program managers.


Our outstanding faculty have a wealth of research and practical knowledge to help working educators and other professionals address current challenges in education and improve the human condition. Courses in this graduate certificate program are taught by faculty from our School of Kinesiology, Physical Education and Athletic Training and our School of Learning and Teaching.

To apply

Applications must be completed via the UMaine Graduate School’s online application form. New students are accepted on a rolling basis.


Shannan Fotter
Lecturer of Kinesiology and Physical Education