The goal of the Doctor of Education with specialization in Applied Physiology is to prepare doctoral students to pursue scholarly and scientific work. Students are expected to contribute significantly to the completion of at least one comprehensive research project prior to initiation of their dissertation proposal. The skills developed during completion of this project will enable students to carry out their dissertation projects independently. Students are encouraged to present the work leading up to the dissertation proposal at national meetings and to contribute to the publication of results in peer-reviewed journals. Research may be completed in the applied physiology laboratories at Teachers College or in another clinical/research setting. If the work is completed outside of Teachers College, students are expected to work closely with their advisor and demonstrate that they have contributed significantly to the completion of the required projects. All work (either at Teachers College or outside of the College) must be developed and completed in close conjunction with advisement of Applied Physiology Program faculty. The preliminary work may be published prior to graduation, but the final study may only be published upon completion of the degree. All Ed.D. students are encouraged to write a grant to obtain pre-doctoral fellowship funding to support their research and to provide some training in grantsmanship.
Displaying requirements for the Spring 2024, Summer 2024, and Fall 2024 terms.
* For details about rolling deadlines, visit our admission deadlines page.
Applicants are expected to satisfy the following requirements for admission:
Displaying catalog information for the Fall 2023, Spring 2024 and Summer 2024 terms.
The Applied (Exercise) Physiology concentration involves the study of the integrative physiology of exercise, focusing on the acute and chronic adaptations to exercise across the lifespan. The effects of exercise training on sports performance and physical and mental health are emphasized. The program emphasizes the application of scientific evidence to the practice of exercise physiology. Students in the applied physiology program study physical activity behavior, the physiological and psychological effects of acute and chronic exercise, how exercise influences physical and mental health, sports performance, and the promotion of physical activity in community, clinical, and public health settings. The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) is a full- or part-time program that prepares leaders who are "scholars of practice," able to draw valid applications from research presently available in Movement Sciences and Education. Graduates of the Ed.D. program go on to have successful careers as educators in higher education settings, clinicians, researchers, and administrators.
Doctor of Education in Applied Physiology
The goal of the Doctor of Education with specialization in Applied Physiology is to prepare doctoral students to pursue scholarly and scientific work. Students are expected to contribute significantly to the completion of at least one comprehensive research project prior to initiation of their dissertation proposal. The skills developed during completion of this project will enable students to carry out their dissertation project independently. Students are encouraged to present the work leading up to the dissertation proposal at national meetings and to contribute to the publication of results in peer-reviewed journals. Research may be completed in the applied physiology laboratories at Teachers College or in another clinical/research setting. If the work is completed outside of Teachers College, students are expected to demonstrate that they have contributed significantly to the completion of the required projects. All work (either at Teachers College or outside of the College) must be developed and completed in conjunction with the advisement of Movement Science faculty. The preliminary work may be published prior to graduation, but the final study may only be published upon completion of the degree. All Ed.D. students are encouraged to write a grant to obtain pre-doctoral fellowship funding to support their research and to provide some training in grantsmanship.
Applicants are expected to satisfy the following requirements for admission:
Prior completion of both a bachelor’s and master’s degree program (with a major in movement sciences or closely related field at either or both levels). Students who have deficiencies may be required to take additional courses in addition to the points required for the degree or recommended to apply to the Ed.M. program to make up the deficiencies prior to applying for the doctoral program.
A record of superior academic achievement as evidenced by the grades received in undergraduate and graduate course work.
Letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the candidate’s academic and professional achievements should attest to the applicant’s capability for successful doctoral study.
The applicant’s written personal statement (accompanying the application) should provide evidence of the ability to communicate effectively in writing and should provide an initial indication that the program is compatible with their professional goals. A key part of the admissions process is a research interest compatible with a faculty member in the Program in Movement Sciences.
Each applicant should submit one additional writing sample, such as a term paper, thesis, or published article, so that academic writing skills can be assessed. In cases where a thesis is in progress, a research proposal may be acceptable at the discretion of the faculty in the Program in Movement Sciences. The writing sample should be submitted directly to the Program Director.
In most cases, an interview will be required to clarify any unresolved issues related to the applicant’s qualifications and interests; and to make certain that the area of study is compatible with the applicant’s professional goals, and that the area of research interest can be supported by a faculty member in the Program in Movement Sciences. In instances where applicants are a long distance from campus, telephone interviews, videoconferences, or interviews at professional meetings may be scheduled.
Former Teachers College doctoral students who have not registered in the last five years must apply for readmission through the Office of Admission. Applications for re-admission follow the same processes and standards as those for initial admission. If readmitted, current degree requirements must be satisfied.
Advisement And Program Planning
Prior to registration, newly admitted students meet individually with their faculty advisor to plan the initial phases of their programs of study. A tentative plan for the first year or two of study is developed—subject to change as the need arises. Part-time and full-time programs are arranged depending on the student’s circumstances. At an early stage in the planning process, students develop a written “plan for meeting program objectives” that allows adequate time for graduate study during each semester of enrollment and provides for meeting all program requirements within a reasonable period of time. Individual advisement meetings are scheduled frequently throughout the student’s tenure in the program and may be initiated by either the student or faculty member. These meetings may be used to plan programs, provide feedback, review past work, deal with school-related problems, discuss research, or discuss other issues.
Program of Study
Doctoral study is a multifaceted undertaking. It includes: course work, field and/or laboratory projects, tutorial conferences, informal seminars and colloquia, apprentice research, peer analyses and review, independent library and laboratory research, and informal interchanges among students and faculty. The Ed.D. program in Movement Sciences/ Kinesiology is flexible, allowing students to develop skills that will help them reach their career goals. Each student develops competencies in Movement Sciences/Kinesiology and in research methods and includes Teachers College courses in programs outside of the movement sciences (such as nutrition education, health education, and other programs).
Ed.D. Program Requirements
The following Doctor of Education in Applied Physiology program description concentrates on describing course requirements. It is important to recognize that these are only the more formal and identifiable features of the program. A minimum of 90 credits of relevant graduate coursework is required for the degree, 45 credits of which must be completed at Teachers College or Columbia University. Students who complete a master’s degree at another university normally transfer approximately 20-30 credits and therefore enroll for approximately 60 credits of coursework at Teachers College during their doctoral program. Students should check with the Office of Doctoral Studies periodically to ensure they are meeting all College-wide requirements for the degree. In addition, students should be familiar with the most recent version of the document entitled, “Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education" for additional college-wide requirements (available at: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/doctoral/requirements/).
Courses are chosen in consultation with an advisor. Previously completed graduate course work may be substituted, as appropriate, for the recommended experiences listed below when approved by the advisor. Each student and the advisor develop a program that will help the student meet his or her goals and successfully complete the dissertation.
Students are required to be in continuous enrollment for a minimum of 3 points of Teachers College course credit or for dissertation advisement, in each fall and spring term, starting with the term following successful completion of the certification examination, or following the term in which the dissertation proposal was approved in a departmental hearing, whichever comes first, and continuing until all requirements for the degree are met. If registering for course work to meet the continuous registration requirement, students normally will register for the research seminar in applied physiology. Certification examinations are not given in the summer except in exceptional circumstances, and students who take the examination in the summer term are not usually evaluated by program faculty until the fall term. Consequently, these students will not be obligated for continuous enrollment until the following spring term. The obligation to register continuously ends after the dissertation has received final approval. The following is a list of the minimal requirements for the Ed.D. degree in Applied Physiology.
Required Core Courses (minimum of 15 points)
Students are required to complete the core courses required of M.A. and Ed.M. students or the equivalent in previous graduate studies with a grade of B or better. Students who earn grades B- or below will need to retake those courses or an alternate course with approval of the program director and will incur additional tuition charges.
BBSR 4095 Applied physiology I (3)
BBSR 5594 Applied physiology II (3)
BBSR 4195 Applied physiology laboratory I (3)
BBSR 5194 Applied physiology laboratory II (3)
BBSR 5582 Research Design in the Movement Sciences (3)
Electives in Movement Sciences and Education (BBSR) (minimum of 15 points)
Students are required to take at least five additional BBSR courses (for a minimum of 15 points) in addition to the core required courses. These electives may include, but are not limited to, the following BBSR courses:
BBSR 4054 Anatomy and Physiology (3)
BBSR 4005 Applied anatomy and biomechanics (3)
BBSR 4050 Biomechanical Analysis of human movement (3)
BBSR 4060 Motor learning (2-3)
BBSR 4070 Introduction to Psychosocial Aspects of Sports/Exercise (2-3)
BBSR 4900 Research and Independent Study in Movement Science and Education (1-3)
BBSR 5028 Motor Development (2-3)
BBSR 5055 Basis of Motor Control (3)
BBSR 5057 Movement disorders (3)
BBSR 5095 Exercise and health (3)
BBSR 5096 Advanced Exercise and Physical Activity Prescription (3)
BBSR 5101 Scientific Basis of Exercise and Weight Management (3)
BBSR 5120 Critical issues in Physical Culture and Education (3 credits)
BBSR 5151 Introduction to Programming for Signal Analysis of Biobehavioral Signals (2-3)
BBSR 5200 Fieldwork in Movement Sciences and Education (1-3)
BBSR 5195 Advanced Applied Physiology Laboratory (3)
Research Methods and Statistics (minimum of 12 points)
These courses may include, but are not limited to the following:
HUDM4120 Basic concepts in statistics (if no undergraduate statistics) (3)
HUD 4120 Methods of Empirical Research (3)
HUDM 4122 Probability and statistical inference (3)
HUDM 4050 Introduction to Measurement (3)
HUDM 5122 Applied Regression Analysis (3)
HUDM 5123 Linear Models and Experimental Design (3)
HUDM 5026 Intro to Data Analysis in R (3)
BBSR 4001 Qualitative Research Methods in Biobehavioral Sciences and Education (3)
BBSR 4002 Visual Methods and Education (3)
Other TC/CU graduate research methods/ statistics courses with approval of advisor
Research Seminar (1-3 points each semester)
Registration and attendance at a research seminar is required for all Ed.D. students during all semesters of enrollment, unless there is an approved reason for non-enrollment, such as a course scheduling conflict, with a maximum of 18 points counted toward degree requirements. Students should expect to register in seminars during all semesters for 1-3 points, depending on the proposed work to be completed as agreed with the seminar instructor. Note that if this course is being used to satisfy continuous registration requirements, seminar may be taken for 3 points
BBSR 5595 Research seminar in applied physiology (1-3)
Elective Cognate Courses at Teachers College, Columbia University or through the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium
Students take elective courses in cognate areas to help them develop additional competencies that will help them reach career goals or gain deeper understanding of the theoretical and scientific bases for their dissertation research—there are many hundreds of courses from which to select at Teachers College and Columbia University. In addition, students may take graduate courses at other Universities through the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC). IUDC registration is open to TC doctoral students who are beyond their first year of study. Popular elective courses for students in Applied Physiology have included courses Health Education (HBSS), Nutrition (HBSV), Diabetes Education (HBSD), and Neuroscience and Education (BBSN).
Further information about policies and procedures for cross registration Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) are available at the Registrar’s Office or website:
When students have completed at least 60-65 of the total points required for the Ed.D. degree and have completed a pilot research study and literature review, they are evaluated for "certification," a stage of doctoral study which represents full candidacy for the degree. To achieve certification, the student must complete the certification examination, a literature review, and submit a program plan. A review committee assesses the student’s entire record. The decision of the committee is then forwarded to the Office of Doctoral studies for the Teachers College Ed.D. Committee to take final action on the candidate’s certification. (See “Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education” for more information: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/doctoral/requirements/).
Each student completes a dissertation that focuses on a research question in applied physiology. Through coursework; the research seminar; working as an apprentice in the research of faculty and more advanced students; and pilot studies, students develop the skills to complete the dissertation. Many types of questions and methodologies, appropriate to applied physiology research, may be employed in completing the dissertation. The dissertation research is expected to address a complex research problem and to be of sufficient quality to result in at least three publications to be published in a top journal, one of which may be a systematic review.
Throughout the process, the student works closely with his or her advisor on the design and conduct of the doctoral dissertation. Thereafter the student works under the supervision of a dissertation committee until the dissertation is completed. Once the dissertation is successfully defended, it is expected that students will share what they have learned by presenting at professional meetings and publishing one or more articles.