EdD in Health and Physical Activity

Responding to the needs of individuals looking to advance their careers, the University of Pittsburgh School of Education offers a Doctor of Education (EdD) program that serves professionals from various fields through interdisciplinary and practical experiences.

The Health and Physical Activity major is focused on training students to prepare for public health, health-related, community-based, school-based, or government/policy opportunities related to health and physical activity based on improvement science. Specifically this degree program will prepare students for leadership positions related to development, implementation, evaluation, or policy of evidence-based initiatives related to health and physical activity. 

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration:  3 years over 10 terms of study
  • Time Commitment: Part time
  • Term of Enrollment: Summer 
    • The first summer term includes a week-long on-ramp experience, plus four Saturday classes spread across the summer months.
  • Course Requirements: 84 credits, including 24 credits transferred from relevant graduate work
  • Application Deadline: February 1
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE Exam Not Required

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Program Details

The program accommodates the schedules of working professionals and combines an online learning environment with monthly Saturday in-person sessions. There is a hybrid course delivery model, including a one-day welcome and information event, a week-long intensive on-ramp experience in the first summer, cross-disciplinary practitioner inquiry and foundations courses, and an internship.

The EdD helps graduates advance within their professional areas of practice. This is in contrast to our PhD, which is a full-time program that helps to prepare graduates for research-oriented careers and/or working as faculty within research and doctoral granting universities.

Health and Physical Activity - Within this major, students will utilize evidence-based methodology to engage them in training experiences, including: 

  • Designing, implementing and evaluating evidence-based physical activity and nutrition programs for diverse priority populations in workplaces, communities, schools, and healthcare institutions;
  • Analyzing the impact of legislation, judicial opinions, regulations, and policies on individuals’ and populations’ physical activity and nutrition;
  • Synthesizing information from multiple sources for research and practice and evaluating the performance and impact of health programs, policies, and systems;
  • Obtaining skills in funding and resource development to provide higher quality, more efficient and less expensive health promotion and health care to populations.


Lauren Wheeler student photo testimonial

Degree Requirements

EdD students complete 10 requirements that are embedded in coursework, including a practitioner inquiry project. 


The EdD program at the Pitt School of Education requires applicants to have 24 credits of relevant graduate work to transfer from a source institution with a B (3.0) or higher according to University policy.

Additionally, applicants must demonstrate the following:

  • Completion of a related degree and/or course work that are foundational to health and physical activity,
  • Completion of a Master’s level degree
  • Professional experience in this area of study
  • A desire to pursue applied doctoral training in an area of study that is matched to the focus of graduate faculty in the department who may serve as their mentor

Faculty Advisors

Career Pathways

  • Public health careers related to health and physical activity. 
  • Health-related careers related to health and physical activity (medical centers, health-insurers, etc.). 
  • Community-based organizations related to health and physical activity. 
  • School-based opportunities related to health and physical activity. 
  • Government and policy agencies related to health and physical activity.