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Movement Science and Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Frequently Asked Questions > Applied Exercise Physiology Specialization Questions

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Applied Exercise Physiology Specialization Questions

Masters Program

How long does it take to complete the program?

The MA program typically is completed in one calendar year, if full time, and about two years if part time. The EdM program can be completed in two years if full time and three-four years part time, depending on your time commitment.


I am interested in both exercise physiology and nutrition--how do I decide which program is right for me?

The Applied Physiology program is right for you if you are primarily interested in exercise as you can take 2-3 nutrition courses as electives. If Nutrition is your primary interest and you are interested in possibly becoming a registered dietician, then the Exercise Physiology and Nutrition program would be the best choice for you.


Are there any course pre-requisites needed before applying to the program?

No, there are no specific course requirements for admissions, although we recommend taking an undergraduate course in Human Anatomy and Physiology or self-study prior to starting the program.


I do not have any formal background in exercise physiology or the sciences, can I still apply?

Absolutely! We have many students who are changing fields and who come in with  informal training in the exercise sciences or science gained through personal study or work as a personal trainer or exercise instructor.


How can I increase my chances of admission?

We look for strong academic performance in previous undergraduate education, irrespective of the field. As many of our students have completed their undergraduate education a while ago, we place an emphasis on the personal statement explaining the reasons you want to join our program.  Full or part-time work or volunteer experience in an exercise-related field, and excellent letters of recommendations are also important in the admissions process.


Are there any graduate assistantships for Masters students?

Unfortunately, we do not have any assistantship opportunities for Masters students, since we are a graduate school and do not have any undergraduate courses where Masters student might teach.


How many Masters students are accepted each year?

Typically between 15-20 new Masters students are accepted each year.


Can I visit the program?

We encourage you to visit the program and meet with program faculty and students, if you plan to apply to the program. Only in this way can you determine if the program is a good fit for you. When possible, we will arrange for you to sit in on a class.


Doctoral Program

I have a Bachelors Degree--can I apply directly to the doctoral programs?

No--we only accept individuals with a completed masters degree into our doctoral program.  We would recommend applying to our Masters degree programs  first and then applying to the doctoral program.


How long does it take to complete the program?

The doctoral programs are typically completed in four-five calendar year or longer-- depending on your time commitment to the program.


Are there any course pre-requisites needed before applying to the program?

We do not have specific course pre-requisites, but doctoral candidates must have a degree in exercise sciences, kinesiology, movement sciences or a closely-related area to be considered for admissions. For those without a previous degree in these areas, we recommend applying to the Ed.M. program first and then applying to the doctoral program.


How can I increase my chances of admission?

We look for strong academic performance in previous undergraduate and graduate education and excellent letters of recommendation.  We place an emphasis on the personal statement explaining the reasons you want to join our program and how your area of interest fits within the research interest and expertise of current faculty members. Previous experience with relevant teaching and/or research and scientific writing are also important.


Are there any graduate assistantships for Doctoral students?

We have limited teaching and research assistantship opportunities for doctoral students. All accepted students are considered; no special application is required. All doctoral students are encouraged to apply for external fellowships to help fund their education and research.


How many Doctoral students are accepted each year?

Admissions are highly competitive. Typically, only 1-2 doctoral students are accepted each year.


Can I visit the program?

We strongly encourage you to visit the program and meet with program faculty and students, if you plan to apply to the program. Only in this way can you determine if the program is a good fit for you. Coming on a Wednesday afternoon during the fall or spring semester is ideal as you can sit in on the doctoral research seminar.


Can I work full or part time and still get my doctoral degree?

The Ph.D. program is a full-time program and outside work is not possible. The Ed.D. program can be completed part-time, but students are expected to devote substantial effort to the program--typically the equivalent of 2-3 days per week.


Do I need to have completed a Masters Thesis to apply?

Not necessarily. For the Ed.D. program, no previous research experience is required, although it is helpful. For the Ph.D. program, all applicants must have previous research experience as might be gained from a masters thesis or research work completed in a research laboratory as part of your job.