Dance Education EdD

Doctor of Education in Dance Education

Ed.D. Student Susan Pope; Photography by Jaqlin Medlock

Ed.D. Student Susan Pope, Photography by Jaqlin Medlock

Prepare to Lead the Future of Dance Education

The EdD in Dance Education program prepares doctoral students as teacher educators and researchers with leadership roles. Our courses in Embodied Learning, Dance and Human Development, and Historical Foundations develop content knowledge while facilitating opportunities to examine critical gaps in the field where innovations have the potential to rapidly advance how we prepare future dance educators, classroom teachers, educational administrators, and policymakers. Charged with a responsibility to inform and educate adults who make critical decisions about dance education, a series of courses prepare students to develop effective leadership strategies in a chosen sector, such as PK-12 schools, private studio settings, university contexts, consultancies, and cultural organizations. These courses, including Advanced Curriculum Design, Teaching and Leadership, Praxis Project, Internship Seminar, and Studio Seminar, enhance content knowledge while providing opportunities to design adult learning and engage in the vibrant dance and arts communities in NYC and beyond as they refine their research ideas.

Students also select a specialization area and 6 credits of out-of-program courses to deepen the breadth of a chosen area of inquiry: 

    • Teacher Education – Breadth in shaping pedagogical content knowledge, supervising student teachers, and coaching educators.
      • Leadership and Policy – Breadth in leadership skills, program management, cultural policy, or educational administration.
        • Movement Sciences – Breadth in the pedagogical application of motor learning, anatomy, physiology and biomechanics.
          • Interdisciplinary – A self-designed track to provide breadth into combined inquiries or a specific alternate inquiry such as neuroscience, Afro-centric education, instructional technology, spirituality, creativity, peace education, visual art, music, literature, philosophy, human development, or cognition for example.

          The program is committed to preparing today’s master dance educators as tomorrow’s dance education researchers. We believe that the multiple ways of knowing that are embedded in dance practices can serve as the bedrock for developing a research identity and for conducting multi-modal research that is convincing and transformative. Through a series of communal doctoral and dissertation seminars, students are supported in preparing an original, self-designed, empirical research study and written dissertation. The Introduction to Doctoral Inquiry course orients students to scholarly skills and resources that are the foundation of research. During Doctoral Seminar 1 students develop a preliminary literature review and research proposal. Subsequently, during Doctoral Seminar 2, students prepare their advanced literature review as well as a pilot study toward completion of the doctoral exam. During Dissertation Seminar 1, students finalize their research proposal and present it during a public hearing. Finally, during Dissertation Seminar 2, students are supported while they collect their research data, write and prepare to defend their dissertation. Disbursed throughout this sequence, students select from a wide variety of research methods courses offered at the college to tailor their research visions. Each doctoral candidate works closely with a program faculty member who serves as the dissertation advisor and the culminating dissertation committee includes dance education faculty as well as college-wide faculty selected for related field expertise. The optional course, Writing for Journal Publication, prepares students to disseminate their discoveries. Furthermore, the Arnhold Institute for Dance Education Research, Policy and Leadership provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn from professional research associates within a dynamic research community while participating in symposiums, institute research projects, and professional learning events.

          Degree Progress

          Beginning in Autumn 2021, International students must enroll in the program on a full-time basis (9 credits per semester) during both the Autumn and Spring semesters. U.S. students may complete the degree full-time (9 credits per semester), part-time (3 to 8 credits per semester), or modulate between full-time and part-time enrollment during both the Autumn and Spring semesters. U.S. students may also optionally complete out-of-program courses during summer semesters. For students employed in full-time jobs, TC recommends enrollment in no more than six credits per semester. The major degree advisor is available for individualized meetings to help students tailor their plans to meet their personal and professional needs. 

          Students may transfer up to 25 eligible graduate credits into the doctoral program, reducing it from a 75-credit to a 50-credit degree track. U.S. and International students who transfer 25 credits and attend full-time can expect to complete coursework in three years. An additional one-year duration is standard for completing the dissertation research study and writing as well as defending the dissertation.

          Scholarships & Fellowships

          Incoming students are considered exclusively for the following opportunity:

          • TC Doctoral Fellowships: This fellowship offers four years of tuition remission as well as a stipend. These fellowships are awarded by the college to incoming students only and are highly competitive. 

          New, as well as current students, are considered annually for multiple funding opportunities:

          • Arnhold EdD Scholarships: These partial scholarships are awarded annually by the program in consultation with the Office of Financial Aid. All applicants and students are eligible and considered.
          • Ballet Hispanico TC Dance Education Scholar in Residence: Every two years
            students may apply for this position, where they work closely with the BH
            professionals on-site to conduct research into BH culture and professional work, community engagement programs and collaboration on professional
            development initiatives, focusing on aligning BH’s community engagement to DEI. This opportunity is announced via students’ TC email.
          • Arnhold Institute Graduate Research Assistant: These positions are open to all students and posted annually in June. Successful applicants can select between 5 or 10 hours per week collaborating with faculty and affiliated scholars on institute research and projects. This opportunity is announced via students’ TC email.

          • Arnhold Institute Administrative Fellow: These positions are offered occasionally and typically require up to 20 hours of work each week supporting programmatic administration and collaborating with faculty and affiliated scholars on institute projects. As such, students who are available during day-time hours are given priority consideration for these opportunities. Prior administrative experience is required. AFs may not hold a full-time job in addition to their Institute position. The AF positions offer partial tuition remission each semester. When available, this opportunity is announced via students’ TC email.

          • Community-Based Programming: Students may propose community-based classes that serve a variety of learners across the TC, Columbia, Barnard campuses and the Morningside and Harlem neighborhoods. Calls for proposal are announced via students’ TC email.

          • Special Topics Courses: Students may propose to adjunct instruct for-credit
            special topics courses in dance education that are offered to the general student population of Teachers College, Columbia University and Barnard College. Calls for proposals are announced via students' TC email.

          • EdD Program Stipends: The Dance Education program offers stipends to support doctoral study endeavors, such as conference presentations, dissertation research travel, and leadership initiatives that enhance the community of TC.
          • Zankel Urban Fellowships: Managed by TC’s Office of School and Community Partnerships, students may apply annually for a host of projects that serve work with disadvantaged inner-city youth. Information is available here.
          • College-wide and External Scholarships: The Office of Financial Aid provides resources for additional funding opportunities that may be found here.
          • College-wide Research Grants: The college offers a number of student research grants. Students are encouraged to check their TC email for announcements.
          • College Stipends: The Office of Doctoral Study as well as many of the student organizations and other TC units offer student stipends related to study activities. Students are encouraged to check their TC email for announcements.

          Students are encouraged to check the employment websites of Columbia University, Barnard College and Teachers College for part-time or full-time employee positions offering tuition remission.

          All students are encouraged to develop a plan for funding their doctoral study, including external scholarships offered by employers or cultural institutions. Resources for additional college as well as external funding options may be found here.

          Please be aware that the catalog information displayed below is for the academic year 2023-2024. Beginning in academic year 2024-2025, the EdD degree is a 75-point degree.


          Teachers College Building
          A graduate student listens to a student in her cohort.

          Admissions Information

          Displaying requirements for the Spring 2024, Summer 2024, and Fall 2024 terms.

          Doctor of Education

          • Points/Credits: 75
          • Entry Terms: Fall

          Application Deadlines

          Entry Term AvailablePriority DeadlinesFinal DeadlinesExtended Deadlines
          FallDecember 1, 2023May 1, 2024May 15, 2024

          Select programs remain open beyond our standard application deadlines, such as those with an extended deadline or those that are rolling (open until June or July). If your program is rolling or has an extended deadline indicated above, applications are reviewed as they are received and on a space-available basis. We recommend you complete your application as soon as possible as these programs can close earlier if full capacity has been met.

          Application Requirements

           Online Degree Application, including Statement of Purpose and Resume
           Transcripts and/or Course-by-Course Evaluations for all Undergraduate/Graduate Coursework Completed
           Results from an accepted English Proficiency Exam (if applicable)
           $75 Application Fee
           Two (2) Letters of Recommendation
           Academic Writing Sample
           Portfolio required (included in online application)
           Must hold Master's degree
           Academic background in dance (undergraduate and/or graduate degree) or professional dance performance/teaching experience required

          Requirements from the TC Catalog (AY 2023-2024)

          Displaying catalog information for the Fall 2023, Spring 2024 and Summer 2024 terms.

          View Full Catalog Listing

          Minimum point requirement: 90 

          Required Dance Education Courses: (16 points)

          • A&HD 5040  Dance and Human Development (3 points)

          • A&HD 5044  Embodied and Motor Learning for Dance (3 points)

          • A&HD 5046  Historical Foundations and Contemporary Issues in Dance Education (3 points)

          • A&HD 6000  Advanced Curriculum Design in Dance Education (3 points)

          • A&HD 6001 Teaching and Leadership of Dance Education in Colleges, Cultural Institutions, and Communities (3 points)

          • A&HD 6482  Praxis Project Seminar: Teaching and Leadership in dance Education (1 point)

          Required Dissertation Seminar Sequence in Dance Education: (17 points)

          • A&HD 6049  Introduction to Doctoral Inquiry in Dance Education (3 points)

          • A&HD 6501  Dance Education Doctoral Seminar 1 (3 points)

          • A&HD 6502  Dance Education Doctoral Seminar 2 (3 points)

          • A&HD 6999  Studio Seminar: Performance Presentation (2 points)

          • A&HD 7501  Dance Education Dissertation Seminar 1 (3 points)

          • A&HD 7502  Dance Education Dissertation Seminar 2 (3 points)

          • A&HD 8900  Dissertation Advisement in Dance Education (0 points)*

          *Note: A&HD8900: Registration for doctoral dissertation advisement is required for all doctoral students who have either been recommended for doctoral certification (advanced to candidacy) or have an approved dissertation proposal on file. Registration is required each Autumn and Spring term unless a student is registered for a 3-point TC course. There is no course syllabus as students are completing individualized dissertation research.       

          Out of Program Courses (6 points)

          • A&H 6010  Writing for Journal Publication in The Arts (3 points)

          • One Adult Learning Course from ORLD (4050,4051,4053,4060,4844) (3 points)

          Research Methods Courses (9 points)

          • A&H 5001  Research Methods in Arts Education (3 points)

          • Two (2) additional courses in research methods chosen in consultation with the major advisor (6 points) 

          Interdisciplinary Specialization (12 points)

          Every student must complete one of the four specializations chosen in consultation with the major advisor. The four options are:

          (A) Teacher Education (Educating Teacher Educators)

          (B) Leadership and Policy

          (C) Movement Sciences

          (D) Interdisciplinary (out-of-program breadth courses)

          (A) Teacher Education Specialization (Educating Teacher Educators)

          • C&T5512 Guided Practice (Supervision) of Elementary and Secondary Teachers (3 points)

          • C&T6025 Teacher Educator as Researcher: Inquiry in Teacher Learning (3 points)

          • C&T6525 Learning to Teach and Teacher Education (3 points)

          • CCPJ5020 Racism and Racial Identity in Psychology and Education (3 points)


          • CCPJ5164  Multicultural Counseling and Psychology (3 points)

          (B) Leadership and Policy Specialization

          • A&HG4013 Cultural Policy (3 points)

          • EDPP5045 Race, Ethnicity, and U.S. Educational Policy (3 points)

          • ORLD4085 Management and Leadership Skills in Practice (3 points)

          • ORLD4091 Somatics: A Mind/Body Approach to Leadership Development (3 points)(C)  Movement Sciences SpecializationBBSR4060 Motor Learning (3 points)

          • BBSR4095 Applied Physiology I (3 points)

          • BBSR4005 Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics (3 points)

          BBSR5028 Motor Development (3 points) (D) Interdisciplinary Specialization (out-of-program breadth course)

          Sample of Possible Advised/Selective Course Topics (by advisement):

          • Cognitive Science

          • History of Education

          • Instructional Technology and Media

          • Leadership and Policy

          • Movement Sciences

          • Neuroscience and Education

          • Philosophy of Education

          • Special Education

          • Spirituality: Mind/Body

          • Teacher Education

          • Urban Education

          Foundation Electives (30 points)  

          A&H 5002 Assessment Strategies for the Arts (3 points)

          Other pre-requisites

          Transfer Credits (up to 30)**

          **Graduate level courses in dance pedagogy, dance studio, choreography, improvisation, production, music, dance history, Laban studies, Anatomy/Kinesiology, education, research, etc.                         

          Coursework or professional experience in all of the foundations areas below is required at either the undergraduate or graduate level to ensure that all students have the necessary background in dance. Graduate level courses in any of the areas below may be accepted for transfer credit to the Ed.D. degree program and will be determined upon admission transcript review.  Accepted students may continue study in the following areas listed below and/or other areas of interest while enrolled at Teachers College. Selection of elective courses is in consultation with the major advisor and at the approval of the College.

          • Studio: Technique, Repertory and/or Somatic Practices

          • Studio: Choreography, Dance Composition and/or Dance Improvisation

          • Dance Production

          • Music for Dance

          • Dance History (performance)

          • Dance in Cultural Contexts

          • Laban Movement Analysis

          • Anatomy and Physiology

          • Biomechanics            

          • Dance Pedagogy/Teaching Methods

          • Assessment in the Arts

          • Graduate Academic Writing

          Elective credits may be completed as follows in consultation with the major advisor and at the approval of Teachers College:

          • Graduate level elective credits completed at Teachers College (Ex: A&H 5002 Assessment Strategies for the Arts)

          • Graduate level elective credits not offered at Teachers College and completed during doctoral study through the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) at IUDC member institutions

          • Graduate courses previously completed at other institutions that have been accepted by Teachers College and the Ed.D. degree program for transfer credit (up to 30 points total).


          Presentation Requirement (0 points)

          • Performance (adjudicated) OR

          • Publication (refereed) OR

          • Conference Presentation (refereed)

          Students are required to complete one of the above presentation formats. The presentation must directly relate to the student’s dissertation research problem and questions. The presentation must be proposed to and approved by the major advisor.


          Praxis Project  (0 points)

          • Teaching of Adults/Teachers 

          • Mentoring of Adults/Teachers

          • Leadership of Adults/Teachers

          Prerequisite: A&HD 6000 and A&HD 6001. Students are required to complete a praxis project  in which they teach, mentor or lead adult learners, the proposal for which is developed in A&HD 6001 and in advisement with, and approval by, the major advisor. The praxis project must relate directly to the student’s dissertation research problem or questions. It may be implemented in conjunction with A&HD 6482.


          Doctoral Certification (0 points)

          • Literature Review

          • Pilot Study

          • Dissertation Proposal & Hearing

          • Completion of at least 60 points

          • Composite grade decile of 6 or above in courses taken before certification

          • Recommendation for certification by the advisor and department

          Back to skip to quick links