EdD in Health and Physical Activity

Become a leader who promotes healthy lifestyles and practices across all populations.

The EdD in 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.

The major is part of the school’s Doctor of Education (EdD) program, which has a variety of different majors to serve professionals from various fields.

This program will prepare students for leadership positions related to development, implementation, evaluation, or policy of evidence-based initiatives related to health and physical activity.





Program Facts

Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)


84 credits
(24 credits transfer from your previous graduate credits)



Time Commitment



3 years on average

Enrollment Term


Application Deadline

February 1

Admissions Requirements

No GRE Exam is required

Program Overview

The EdD major in Health and Physical Activity is part of the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree program at the University of Pittsburgh Pitt School of Education. The program aligns with School of Education’s mission to prepare students to be scholars, leaders, and change-makers in education and health, with a particular focus on equity and justice.

Evidence-Based Methodology

With the EdD in Health and Physical Activity program, students will gain experience in:

  • 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.

Earn Your Degree While Working

The program accommodates the schedules of working professionals and combines an online learning environment with monthly Saturday in-person sessions.

The Best of Online and Face-to-Face

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.

Built for Professionals

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.


The EdD program is a three-year program that consists of 60 new credits. Students transfer 24 credits from relevant graduate work.


Learning Experiences

The EdD curriculum is delivered in several stages, through a variety methods:

The EdD cohort participates in a full-day, on-campus, orientation in the spring before the summer start of the program.

The day includes opportunities to meet program faculty, EdD program information, and cohort-building activities as well as an introductory session with other students in your academic major.

Orientation typically takes place in March or April.

The EdD cohort will participate in a full-week, on-campus, experience that includes intense work focused on understanding enduring problems of practice in education, health, and human development.

This one-week experience typically takes place in June, and is a component of the first summer courses (Foundations 1 and Practitioner Inquiry 1).

You will experience a hybrid model of education through online course experiences and in-person, once per month (typically on Saturdays) sessions on the Pittsburgh campus.

Attendance at in-person, on campus sessions is required.

Degree Requirements

EdD students at the Pitt School of Education complete 10 requirements that are embedded in coursework, including a practitioner inquiry project.


  1. View all EdD Admissions requirements
  2. 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.
  3. 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

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.