Undergraduate Degree Programs

The Richard W. Riley College of Education, Sport, and Human Sciences offers a variety of undergraduate degree programs in the areas of teacher education, sport, and human sciences. All programs have rich experiences that prepare students to meet the demands of their chosen profession while developing skills that are transferable across their post-graduation careers. College of Education, Sport, and Human Sciences graduates have the skills necessary to explore their passions, impact their communities, and engage in a diverse global society.


Sport and Human Sciences

Developing from a number of historically well known programs in health, physical education, family sciences, and consumer education, the College of Education, Sport, and Human Sciences offers contemporary programs in a variety of fields that lead to diverse post-graduation opportunities.

Programs are built on a foundation of best practices in the appropriate discipline and provide the knowledge, skills, experiences, and dispositions that allow graduates to impact the health and wellness of communities while preparing to share this knowledge in appropriate venues.

Situated in the vibrant Rock Hill and Charlotte region, programs benefit from family services, sport and recreation industries, sport teams at all levels, non-profit agencies, schools, and much more.

    The B.S. in Educational Studies is not a stand-alone teacher certification program. Instead the program is a pathway for certification at the graduate level. This pathway provides flexibility for individuals that enter as transfer students and those that choose education as a career later in their college journey.

    With a focus on health sciences, the B.S. in Exercise Science provides the grounding necessary for explorations in strength and condition; professional programs such occupational or physical therapy; health promotion; and athletic training certification programs.

    The B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies provides individuals seeking to improve family well-being, support communities, think creatively, problem solve, and work with diverse populations the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to succeed.

    The B.S. in Sport Management is dedicated to preparing leaders in sport and sport management. All graduates represent a commitment to excellence in learning, leadership, stewardship and the effective communication of ideas.


Teacher Certification

Winthrop has a rich heritage in the preparation of educators. Our graduates are consistently recognized with awards and recognitions. School leaders seek to recruit and retain graduates from the teacher education programs as they have been recognized as ready to teach and impact learners.

Our model is recognized regionally and nationally for its partnership with P12 school districts, focus on preparing teachers for the diversity within South Carolina Schools, and use of field experiences as an integral part of the preparation of new teachers.

The teacher education core was established around the themes of differentiation; assessment; cultural competence; and professionalism and perseverance. These four themes serve as guiding principles along with attention to the Unit Standards, dispositions, and resiliency to anchor teacher preparation in the needs of schools today and in the future. 


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    The college houses a B.S. degree leading to certification in grades PK-3. As part of the Curriculum and Pedagogy Department, the program has underlying goals of inspiring, creating and imagining. The curriculum is rich with opportunities to develop the skills and dispositions necessary to meet the needs of young children. The program also benefits directly from experiences within the Macfeat Early Childhood Laboratory School. Students can choose to expand certification through grade 6 with an additional certification test.

    The B.S. in Elementary Education leads to certification in grades 2-6. Housed within the Curriculum and Pedagogy Department, the program mission is focused personalized and challenging educational experiences designed to meet the needs of students who will become teachers in a complex and rapidly changing society. Students can choose expand certification to include grades PK-1 with an additional certification test.

    With a greater focus on content specific explorations necessary for teachers in grades 5-8, the B.S. in Middle Level Education allows students to choose a focus in English/Language Arts, Math, Science, or Social Studies. As a high need area for teachers, there is room to add additional certification areas as well.  Graduates have developed the skills and dispositions to meet the diverse needs of young adolescents and advocate on their behalf through the implementation of curricula grounded in the middle school philosophy. This program is housed in the Department of Counseling, Leadership, and Educational Studies.

    The B.S. in Physical Education leads to certification in grades PK-12. The program includes a rich variety of courses and experiences that prepare graduates to teach students at a variety of levels and physical abilities. Further, graduates have the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in health education and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle.

    The B.S. in Special Education provides teacher candidates with a rigorous, engaging curriculum that is characterized by a series of carefully sequenced opportunities to apply newly gained knowledge and skills within the contexts of PK-12 classrooms. Graduates have the skills, experience, and knowledge to utilize evidence-based teaching strategies, meaningful assessment practices, and effective collaboration skills to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities across a variety of settings. Housed in the Department of Counseling, Leadership, and Educational Studies, the program leads to multi-categorical PK-12 certification with the ability to add certifications in elementary (grades 2-6) and special education - severe.

    Students seeking certification in Dance, Music (vocal and instrumental), Theatre, and Visual Art will major in an appropriate content degree and complete the education core coursework to receive certification. Students in these programs can seek addition certifications and endorsements as well.

    Students can pursue certification to teach Biology, English, Mathematics, and Social Studies in grades 9-12. Further, Winthrop offers certification in Spanish and French for grades PK-12. All candidates in these areas will major in an appropriate content degree and complete the education core coursework to receive certification. Students in these programs can seek additional certifications and endorsements as well.


Minors and Endorsements

Some majors find that adding experiences through a minor or endorsements for teachers is possible while adding to the major program. The following represent options housed within the college; yet many other options are offered throughout the University.

    The minor in coaching allows individuals planning to coach sports at any level the opportunity to explore topics in athletic training; strength and conditioning; organizational leadership; wellness; motivation; and responsibility.

    The minor in educational studies is primarily designed for students in secondary, language, and art programs.  This minor can allow for preparation for the Accelerated M.A.T. program for a pathway that leads to teacher certification at the graduate level with a master's degree in five years total.

    Individuals seeking certification at any level can complete a two-course sequence to receive an endorsement in gifted education. After graduation, individuals with the endorsement can take additional coursework for gifted certification.

    The minor in human development and family studies is an excellent complement to many social science degrees. With coursework that explore family sciences; parenting; stress and resilience; and resource management, students have opportunities to consider work with families and within the community from a variety of perspectives.

    Health minors consider health and wellness within the context of the individual and community. Minors have a common set of courses with additional choices across health, exercise science, biology, nutrition, gerontology, and sociology.