Skip to navigation menu

Skip to main content

Nutrition
Teachers College, Columbia University
teachers college logo columbia univertsity logo

Nutrition
In the Department of Health and Behavior Studies

Graduate Degrees > Doctor of Education

Site Navigation

Learn More

Doctor of Education

The Doctor of Education is offered in two areas of specialization: Nutrition Education and Nutrition and Public Health. 

With the increasing appreciation of the importance of nutrition for health promotion and disease prevention and the widespread interest in the safety and sustainability of the food system, there is a need for highly qualified nutrition professionals who are able to develop appropriate policies and programs. The two doctoral specializations prepare graduates for a variety of leadership positions in policy-making, education, and administration in schools and colleges/universities, in media organizations, hospitals, the workplace, and in government, community and public health, and other service agencies as well as serve as faculty members in colleges and universities. The program’s goal is to turn out graduates capable of (a) initiating needed action and responding positively and creatively to the clearly inevitable changes of the coming decades in the physical, intellectual, and political environments in which the food, health, and educational systems operate and (b) conducting research and evaluation studies using appropriate designs and data collection and analysis methods.   

The Nutrition Education specialization focuses on leadership roles in many settings, such as colleges and universities, health promotion and disease prevention programs, voluntary health agencies, government and international agencies, businesses, hospitals, and food advocacy organizations, where they work with individuals, groups and communities, and serve as faculty members, program developers, and evaluation and research specialists. 

The Nutrition and Public Health specialization focuses on leadership roles in colleges and universities and in government, community, health care, and public health agencies, carrying out a variety of tasks related to health promotion and disease prevention. These include community and individual nutritional assessment and evaluation; program planning and management; coalition building; participation in multidisciplinary health teams to provide programs to meet public needs; and conducting research and evaluation studies. 

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Ed.D. program involves completing the application form available online and submitting all regular admission materials, such as transcripts from all institutions attended, three letters of recommendation, GRE scores, personal statement, and a writing sample, which can be a thesis or substantial paper.

Program of Study

The general requirements for the Doctor of Education include a minimum of 90 graduate credits, of which at least 45 must be taken under Teachers College registration. Overall, students will be expected to develop competence in nutrition science, behavioral science, methods of empirical research and data analysis, critical thinking and analysis, and broad areas of scholarship, in addition to developing special skills and knowledge appropriate to their chosen degree in nutrition education or public health nutrition. Students will also be expected to pass a certification examination, usually after the completion of 60 points and Research Seminar in Nutrition (HBSV 6550-6551), and to conduct original research that culminates in the production of a dissertation.

Students will be expected to take courses in the following categories: 

  1. Major field and specialization: 50-60 points
  2. Research and evaluation: 12-18 points
  3. Broad and basic areas of professional scholarship: 15-24 points

The specific courses selected will depend on the student’s particular background, interests, and goals. In consultation with a faculty advisor, students should develop a program plan early in their course of study to provide a rational basis for their course selection. (Visit the website for the Program in Nutrition for more detailed descriptions of the doctoral degree requirements.)