Doctorate of Education (EdD) | Movement Science and Education | Biobehavioral Sciences

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Motor Learning & Control

Department of Biobehavioral Sciences

Doctorate of Education (EdD)

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 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.

In addition to substantive study and research preparation, students are expected to design an individual program representing their research area and professional concerns. Such preparation requires a significant commitment to graduate study. 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.


Course Work Requirements

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

BBS 5060 Neuromuscular response and adaptation to exercise (2)
BBS 5068 Brain and behavior I: Communication in the nervous system (2)
BBSR 4050 Biomechanical analysis of human movement (3)
BBSR 4060 Motor learning (3)
BBSR 4151 Laboratory methods in biomechanics (3)
BBSR 4161 Motor learning laboratory (2, corequisite with BBSR 4060)
BBSR 5028 Motor development across the lifespan (3)
BBSR 5151 Analysis of biomechanical signals or an approved course in computer programming (3)
BBSR 5504 Research training in motor learning (2-3 points each semester,
  continuous enrollment required until completion of degree requirements, typically 18 points)
BBSR 5582

Research design in the movement sciences (3)

Four courses (12) selected from: BBSQ 4047, BBSR 4055, BBSR 4070, MSTC 5000, BBSR 5050, BBSR 5055, BBSR 5057, BBSR 5251

Three topical seminars (9) selected from: BBSR 5596, BBSR 6563, BBSR 6564, BBSR 6565, BBSR 6571

Statistics sequence minimum (9): HUDM 4122, HUDM 5122 and HUDM 5123


Two courses in educationally-relevant areas must also be selected from the list below or substituted with advisor permission:

C&T 4004 Basic course in school improvement (3)
C&T 4052 Designing curriculum and instruction (3)
C&T 4078 Curriculum and teaching in urban areas (3)
C&T 4114 Multicultural approaches to teaching young children (3)
C&T 4159 Teacher education programs (3)
C&T 5020 The environments of school (3)
ORLD 4010

Purposes and policies of higher education (3)

ORLD 4011 Curriculum and instruction in higher education (3)
ORLD 4040 The American college student (3)
ORLD 4820 Cultural diversity training in higher education settings: Issues and concerns (3)
ORLD 4830 Transforming the curriculum: Theory and practice (3)
Individual program and electives (17)  
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