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Coaching and Teaching Studies

The Ph.D. program targets the development of a focused line of research that addresses contemporary challenges and issues in the field. Students work collaboratively with faculty mentors to enhance the knowledge, critical thinking, and technical competencies needed to succeed as productive researchers in colleges/universities, national sports organizations, and private sector companies. The Ed.D. program prepares scientist-practitioners for careers as educators and leaders in a range of physical education, physical activity, and sport contexts including colleges/universities, public schools, professional associations/agencies, non-profit groups, and community-based organizations. Students in this program are encouraged by faculty mentors to select an applied research specialization that prepares them to systematically solve practical problems in authentic settings.

There are four doctoral-level seminars required of all students focused on the following forms of scholarship: Discovery (original research that advances knowledge), Integration (synthesis of information), Engagement (sharing of disciplinary expertise), and Teaching and Learning (instructional effectiveness). The remaining plan of study is negotiated by the doctoral student and their committee, including electives in research methods and statistics, cognate area, and research/dissertation. Students also complete required benchmarks throughout the process and engage in multiple related learning opportunities in advance of their dissertation defense. These formative opportunities include supporting faculty research, presenting at conferences, writing grants, teaching college-aged learners, supervising and field placements. Many students work 20 hours/week during the semester as a graduate assistant either teaching, providing a service or conducting research. In return for this service, graduate assistants receive a tuition waiver and stipend.

Career Profile

The degree is designed to educate students to become leaders in specialized areas of the industry (i.e., higher education, educational agencies, sport organizations and in school systems).

Program Application Requirements

Resume/CV, 3 Letters of recommendation, Personal Statement

Program Application Test Requirements


Application Deadlines

Fall Deadline

December 15 - for early admission and scholarship/fellowship consideration, accepting admissions on a rolling basis after that date pending available space. June 1 - International applicants are encouraged to submit their materials no later than June 1 due to increased processing time.

English Proficiency Requirements

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.

Accreditation Information

WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The Physical Education Teacher Education program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE). The Athletic Coaching Education program uses the International Council for Sport Coaching Excellence’s International Sport Coaching Framework (ICSCE) and professional development guidelines from coaching education and coach development industry leaders. WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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