Motor Learning EdD

Doctor of Education in Motor Learning & Control

Program Overview

Motor Learning & Control focuses on the behavioral, biomechanical, and neural bases of development, acquisition, and performance of functional movement skills. Acquisition of skill is examined over the life span in typically developing children and adults and individuals with movement disorders. Movement analysis is used to elucidate the neuromotor control processes underlying skilled performance in everyday functional behaviors. The teacher or therapist’s role in facilitating skill learning and performance is emphasized. 


This specialty has five components:

  • Substantive study of theory and research as embodied in lecture and laboratory courses.
  • Development of clinical or educational skills in laboratory and fieldwork courses.
  • Research training to enable students to read and interpret original research and to carry out educational, clinical, or laboratory research.
  • Seminars to discuss theory and research, identification of research problems, and clinical/educational applications.  
  • Elective courses to meet specific student needs which may be taken throughout the College and University in such areas as Anatomy, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Computer Science, Health Education, Higher and Adult Education, Neurosciences, Nutrition, Physiology, Psychology, and Science Education. A list of recommended elective and related courses is available to students in the Movement Science office. 


In the preparation of doctoral students, the goal is to develop those competencies necessary to pursue scholarly and scientific work and to formulate strategies to enhance professional practice. The focus of the Ed.D. program is to prepare leaders of applied research for clinical and educational practice. Graduates often assume positions in clinical academic departments or teaching universities.


Research Training

Research training uses an apprenticeship model. Students work closely with faculty throughout their preparation: initially as apprentices with access to considerable advisement, subsequently as collaborators, then progressing to a position as independent researchers. Typically, the dissertation research is an extension of one or two prior studies. Often, research leading up to the dissertation is presented at national meetings or is published in professional journals. Doctoral students are required to be engaged in research at least three weekdays per week (on- or off-site) and be available for advisement at least two mornings or afternoons. Part-time paid research or laboratory assistantships may be available for students in their middle to advanced stage of study.


Teaching Assistantships 

Program faculty believe strongly in the value of assistant teaching (TA). Being a TA can provide students with valuable opportunities to learn new material, review material previously acquired and obtain teaching skills and materials. The objective of the required teaching assistantship is to provide Ed.D. students with a quality learning experience that will benefit them regardless of whether they pursue academic or nonacademic careers. Doctoral students are required to serve as a teaching assistant for one Masters level course before graduating (whether in a paid or non-paid capacity). Every effort will be made to match student preferences with available opportunities, but students should expect that they may not always receive their first preference. Beyond this, additional teaching assistantship opportunities may be available for more advanced courses.

A graduate student studies in the TC library using a book and her laptop.

Admissions Information

Doctor of Education

  • Points/Credits: 90
  • Entry Terms: Spring/Summer/Fall

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: November 1
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): January 5
  • Summer/Fall (Final): Rolling
* For details about rolling deadlines, visit our admission deadlines page.

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

  • None

Course Requirements

Course Work

Students are expected to design an individual program representing their research area and professional concerns. Such preparation requires a significant commitment to graduate study. 

For the doctoral program with specialization in Motor Learning, specific course requirements (or equivalents transferred from prior graduate study) are: 


Substantive Study (23 Credits)

BBS 5060 Neuromuscular response and adaptation to exercise (2 points)

BBS 5068 Brain and Behavior I: Communication in the nervous system (2 points)

BBSR 5055 Bases of motor control systems (3)

BBSR 5582 Research design in the movement sciences (3 points).

BBSR 4060 Motor learning (3) *

BBSR 4161 Motor learning laboratory (2 with co-requisite BBSR 4060) *

BBSR 4151 Laboratory methods in biomechanics (3)

BBSR 5028 Motor development across the lifespan (3 points)

BBSR 4050 Biomechanical analysis of human movement (3 points)

BBSR 5151 Introduction to the analysis of biomechanical signals (3)

BBSR 5504 Research Training Seminar (Section 02) (2-3 points each semester, continuous enrollment required until completion of degree requirements, typically 18 points)


Four courses (12 points) selected from: 

BBSQ 4047 Early motor behaviors in children:  normal and abnormal

BBSR 4055 Neuromotor processes (3)

BBSR 4070 Introduction to Psychosocial Aspects of Sport/Exercise

MSTC 5000 Neurocognitive models of information processing (1-3)

BBSR 5050 Neurophysiology of motor control and electromyography (3)

BBSR 5057 Movement disorders (3)

BBSR 5251 Fieldwork seminar in motor learning and motor control (1-2)


Three topical seminars (9)

BBSR 5596 Topics in applied physiology (3)

BBSR 6563 Seminar in neuromotor processes (3)

BBSR 6564 Advanced topics in neuromotor processes (3)

BBSR 6565 Seminar in motor learning and motor control (3)

BBSR 6571 Research seminar in the psychosocial aspects of human movement (3)


Statistics sequence minimum (9)

HUDM 4122 Probability and statistical inference

HUDM 5122 Applied regression analysis

HUDM 5123 Linear models and experimental design


Two courses in educationally-relevant areas must also be selected from available coursework throughout the college (6)


Individual program and electives (17)

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