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Movement Science and Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Frequently Asked Questions > General Program Questions

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General Program Questions

Masters Degree

Is it possible to work full-time and obtain my MA?

Yes, it is possible to work. Most MA students currently work full or part time. Most courses are offered after 4 pm, although some courses may meet earlier in the day.Physical and Occupational therapists may wish to consider the clinical traineeships, which provide tuition and expenses in exchange for part-time work.

How long does it take to get my MA if I study part-time vs. full time?

This answer depends on how many courses are taken each semester. The MA degree requires 32 credit hours and completion of a master's project. Part-time study generally is 3-6 credits a semester. Students can also take credits over the summer. Summer school has two sessions during which students can take classes. Full time study is generally 11 credits a semester. Full time study with attendance during summer session is approximately 15 months in length.

Can I transfer in previous graduate work toward the MA degree?

Only graduate courses taken at Teachers College (8 credits) can be applied toward the MA. Up to 30 relevant graduate credits can be transferred in toward the Ed.M., and 45 credits toward the Ed.D.

Do I need to specialize in Applied Physiology, Motor Learning and Control or Physical Education for the MA degree?

No, students may develop a flexible Masters degree curriculum in consultation with their advisers to cut across all areas of the Movement Sciences.

Can I take course work outside of the program?

Yes. Electives in and outside of the program are allowed. See the specific program of interest for more details.

What can I do with an Masters degree in Movement Science?

See Specializations.

Is a project required above and beyond the course work?

Yes, MA students must complete a project in order to graduate. The project may be a research study, a literature review, an integrative paper or professional experience, a clinical or fieldwork experience, or a final comprehensive exam.

Doctoral Degree

What is the difference between the EdD and PhD programs?
The EdD focuses field-based research and application of knowledge to educational and clinical curricula. Ninety credits are required, with some course work focusing on higher education, adult education or administration. This degree is recommended for students seeking employment in teaching-based Colleges and Universities or other clinical or educational settings.
The PhD is a research degree. Research is onsite under the direct apprenticeship of faculty. Admission is contingent on demonstration of research capability (usually a published paper) and sponsorship by a faculty member prior to applying. The PhD requires full-time study (and funding). Typically a series of original research projects is required, and the research preparation is designed to enable students to work in top research-focused Universities.

Can I be a part-time doctoral student?
For the EdD, doctoral students (and Ed.M. students wishing to pursue the doctorate) must be in the labs conducting research at least two days per week, and demonstrate continuous progress in research. They must also be available to attend research training seminars on Thursday afternoons, as well as other course work as required. However, part-time employment is acceptable.
For the PhD, only full-time study is allowed. Students may study part-time until formally accepted into the program.

How long does it take to complete the doctoral degree?
It takes a minimum of 3 years (post Masters degree) of full-time (40-50 hours per week) study to complete the doctorate. It will obviously take longer for students who are unable to commit to full-time studies.

Is their financial aid, scholarships, etc.?
Yes, see funding opportunities.

When should I choose an adviser?
Students begin to work with a faculty member whose research is most compatible with their research interest immediately upon entering the program. Students may subsequently change advisers or seek co-advisement.

Can I transfer in previous graduate work toward the Ed.M. and Ed.D. degrees?
Up to 30 relevant graduate credits can be transferred in toward the Ed.M., and EdD and 45 credits toward the Ed.D.

Do I need to specialize in Applied Physiology, Motor Learning and Control, Occupational Therapy or Physical Education for the Ed.D. degree?

Yes, specialization is required for advanced degrees. However, research projects may cut across areas via dual advisement.

Should I complete most of my course work before I begin my research projects?
Since the doctorate is a research degree, students should begin working with an adviser on a research project shortly after beginning in the program. Otherwise, the duration of study will be considerably longer if research and course work are completed sequentially.

How many research studies are required?
For the EdD, one project (after completion of a preliminary or pilot project) is required. The number of studies for the Ph.D. varies depending on the size and scope of the projects. However, generally a minimum of 3-4 projects are expected.