Ed.D. in Dance Education

Prepare to lead the next generation in dance education


Teachers College is accepting applications for fall 2019 admission. The deadline to apply for fall 2019 is January 2nd.

Watch the Dance Education Informational Webinar

Individuals can apply for financial assistance through the Arnhold Fellowship, named for program benefactors Jody Gottfried Arnhold (M.A. ’73) and her husband John. To be considered for a program fellowship, please complete the Scholarship Application located in the Application for Admission.



Why Teachers College?

As the nation’s premier institution in the teaching of teachers in all fields, Teachers College is the ideal place to build a doctorate program in dance education to cultivate the next generation of leaders in the field.

The field of dance education was conceived at Teachers College in 1916 by Margaret H’Doubler, a visiting biology doctoral student from the University of Wisconsin at Madison who studied with John Dewey, TC’s iconic philosopher.

H’Doubler came to New York at the behest of her departmental boss to find ways to expand physical education for women. She connected with TC faculty member Gertrude Colby and Carnegie Hall instructor Alys Bentley. Both rejected the prevailing method of copying the masters. They offered instead a vision of creative dance, in which each person becomes a “creative dance maker.”  

TC operated a dance education master’s degree program until 2005, producing leaders in dance such as:

Building on that legacy, we’re positioned to create a highly distinctive new doctoral program in dance education.

Program Structure and Coursework

Combining the best of dance practice and pedagogy, Teachers College’s new doctorate in dance education aims to cultivate the next generation of leaders in the field.  Master dance educators—teachers of aspiring dance teachers—dance researchers, and policy experts will prepare together to advocate for dance in all education contexts.

The program offers foundational coursework in dance education and research methods as well as specializations in:

Students also have the option of crafting their own interdisciplinary specialization that draws on the breadth and depth of TC’s renowned programs.

The doctoral program will bring together faculty from across the College as well as the rich and extensive dance education community in New York City and beyond.

The length of the Ed.D. program is dependent on several factors:

Minimum point requirement: 90

Required Dance Education Courses: (17 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   Teaching and Leadership of Dance Education in Colleges, Cultural Institutions and Communities: Internship and Seminar (1 point)
  • A&HD 6999   Studio Seminar: Performance Presentation (1 point)

Required Dissertation Seminar Sequence in Dance Education: (10 points)

  • A&HD 6049   Introduction to Doctoral Inquiry in Dance Education (2 points)
  • A&HD 6501   Dance Education Doctoral Seminar 1 (2 points)
  • A&HD 6502   Dance Education Doctoral Seminar 2 (2 points)
  • A&HD 7501   Dance Education Dissertation Seminar 1 (2 points)
  • A&HD 7502   Dance Education Dissertation Seminar 2 (2 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)
  • ORLD 4051    How Adults Learn (3 points)

Research Methods Courses(12 points)

  • A&H 5001      Research Methods in Arts Education (3 points)
  • Three (3) additional courses in research methods chosen in consultation with the major advisor (9 points) 


Interdisciplinary Specialization (15 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&T4051 Guided Practice (Supervision): Elementary and Secondary Teachers (3 points)
  • C&T5025 Teacher Education in the US: Histories, Curricula, and Current Issues (3 points)
  • C&T6525 Learning to Teach and Teacher Education (3 points)
  • C&T6025Teacher Educator as Researcher: Inquiry in Teacher Learning (3 points)
  • CCPJ5020 Racism and Racial Identity in Psychology and Education (3 points)


  • CCPJ6574 Multicultural Perspectives in Psychology and Education (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)
  • Advised/Selected Leadership and Policy Specialization courses (3 points)


(C)  Movement Sciences Specialization

  • BBSR4054Human Anatomy and Physiology (3 points)
  • BBSR4060 Motor Learning (3 points)
  • BBSR4095 Applied Physiology I (3 points)
  • BBSR4005 Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics (3 points)
  • Advised/Selected Movement Sciences Specialization courses (3 points)


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

Possible Advised/Selective Course Topics:

  • 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)                          

Coursework 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. 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, A&HA 6510 Advanced Seminar in Art Education Research)
  • 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. program for transfer credit (up to 30 points total).

Application Requirements


Part-time and full-time applications welcome. The deadline to submit all required items for Fall 2019 admission is January 2nd

Financial assistance is available through the Arnhold Fellowship, named for program benefactors Jody Gottfried Arnhold ('73) and her husband John. To be considered for a program fellowship, please complete the Scholarship Application located in the Application for Admission. For additional funding opportunities, please visit the Financial Aid Sources Page.

Visionary Benefactor

Jody Gottfried Arnhold (M.A. ’73)

‌Jody Gottfried Arnhold (M.A. ’73) (Photo Credit: Deborah Feingold)Jody Gottfried Arnhold and her husband John have given $4.365 million to Teachers College to establish an innovative and unique dance education doctoral program. The focus is on preparing master dance educators – the teachers of aspiring dance teachers – along with dance researchers and policy experts who will advance Arnhold’s ultimate goal: making dance education a staple in American public schools.  

Dance – meaning not just technique, but also improvisation and choreography –fosters “collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, citizenship,” Arnhold says. Beyond its practice by supremely gifted dance artists, she sees dance as a medium for developing understanding of the world, as John Dewey, TC’s iconic philosopher, argued that education must be. “I really believe that (dance) will help foster world peace,” says Arnhold.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, which offered the nation’s first dance education program, and of Teachers College, where the field of dance education was conceived, Arnhold taught dance in the New York City public schools for 25 years. She has since led a major expansion and improvement of dance instruction in New York. With Joan Finkelstein, she founded 92Y Dance Education Laboratory (DEL), which provides teacher training and professional development. She was Chair of Ballet Hispanico for 15 years and is now Honorary Chair. In 2012, she endowed the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College. In 2005, together with Finkelstein (then Director of Dance for the New York City Department of Education) and Tina Ramirez, Ballet Hispanico’s Director, Arnhold led development of the city’s Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance, Pre K-12.

In 2015, Arnhold teamed with director Nel Shelby and Finkelstein (now Executive Director of the Harkness Foundation for Dance) as executive producer to create the documentary PS DANCE!, narrated by veteran TV journalist Paula Zahn. The New York Emmy-nominated film offers an exuberant look at the teaching of dance in five New York City public schools. Airing on WNET/THIRETEEN in New York and on public television stations nationwide, PS DANCE! was created to promote Arnhold’s mission, “Dance For Every Child.” 


News and Resources

Watch Livestream of launch of new doctoral program for dance education at Teachers College.

The Dance Maker: Alumna Jody Gottfried Arnhold champions dance education as a Deweyan medium for learning

“The Godmother of Dance Education”: TC alumna and donor Jody Gottfried Arnhold is the focus of a Wall Street Journal profile

A Stepwise Process: A TC committee is shaping the new dance education doctoral program

Watch PS DANCE!, the New York Emmy-nominated documentary film about dance education in public schools

A $4.36 Million Gift to Boost Dance Education

A Donor’s Vow: To Place a Certified Dance Teacher in Every NYC Public School

Jody Gottfried Arnhold Takes Dance Education to the Next Level

Gift Leads To Doctoral Program In Dance Education