Question: Are there any online Doctor of Education (EdD) programs in Kinesiology?

Updated: May 4, 2023

Answer: Yes, there are two schools that currently offer online EdD programs with a specialization in Kinesiology. These doctoral programs provide students pursuing a terminal degree in kinesiology with a more flexible and convenient alternative to traditional, campus-based EdD in kinesiology programs. Students in these programs learn about the professional practice of kinesiology and study contemporary research in exercise, movement, and human health without having to commute to a campus for instruction.

Doctor of Education (EdD) programs confer a terminal scholar-practitioner degree in education and related fields such as kinesiology. The EdD and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) represent the two highest-level academic degrees available in the field of Education. The EdD’s scholar-practitioner model focuses more on applied skills and proficiencies than the PhD degree, which is typically geared more toward academic research. (For additional details on the differences between EdD and PhD programs, refer to our FAQ on EdD vs. PhD degree programs.)

What is Kinesiology?

Kinesiology is the study of how the human body moves and the evidence-based practices that emerge from our scientific understanding of the anatomical, biomechanical, neuropsychological, and physiological dynamics of human movement and its relation to health and wellness. As a field of inquiry, kinesiology provides a scholarly foundation for exercise science, orthopedics, sport psychology, strength and conditioning coaching, and physical and occupational therapies. In practice, kinesiology has applications in clinical settings, at schools, throughout the health and recreation industries, and in other fields which require evidence-based knowledge of health, movement, and the science of physical fitness.

One of the primary applications of kinesiology is in teaching and developing physical education programs at schools, in communities, or in private practice. Assessing and improving existing exercise and wellness programs for public schools, community centers, healthcare organizations, and private businesses are common practical applications of kinesiology. Coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, and sports managers typically rely on the principles and practices of kinesiology. Research in the field of kinesiology also informs the design of orthopedic devices, exercise equipment, and recreational gear.

Online EdD in Kinesiology Program Curriculum

The curricula for EdD programs with a specialization in kinesiology vary by school and by program. However, the broad goal of these programs is the ethical application of kinesiology research to solving practical problems and the use of advanced exercise and sports science principles in promoting health and wellness.

Students in online EdD programs learn about educational and organizational leadership strategies, scientific research methodologies, and pedagogical principles as applied to kinesiology. In addition, EdD programs in Kinesiology provide specific training and instruction in topics such as healthcare ethics, exercise science, sports psychology, and the biomechanical, neuropsychological, and/or physiological foundations of human movement.

The list below offers a representative overview of common doctoral-level courses in kinesiology:

  • Kinesiology Program Leadership
  • Research Methods in Kinesiology
  • Professional Ethics in Kinesiology
  • Physical Activity and Health
  • Teaching and Learning Physical Skills
  • Curriculum Development in Kinesiology
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Statistical Methods for Kinesiology
  • Applied Measurement and Evaluation in Kinesiology
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Sports Psychology
  • Biomechanics of Exercise

In addition to didactic coursework, students in EdD programs may have the option of earning credits for internships and field practicums, and some programs may have fieldwork requirements. EdD programs also require students to complete a doctoral dissertation or an applied capstone project prior to receiving their doctorate degree.

Online EdD in Kinesiology Programs

As noted above, there are currently two accredited universities that offer online EdD programs with a specialization in Kinesiology.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNC Greensboro) offers an online EdD program with a specialization in Kinesiology through its School of Health and Human Sciences’ Department of Kinesiology. This is a 54-credit, cohort-based program that takes four years to complete. The program requires a 12-credit dissertation and three campus visits. Applicants are required to have a master’s degree and four years of professional experience in kinesiology or a related field. Students begin the program with an on-campus orientation session and return to campus in year three and year four to work on and present their dissertation. For more information on the program, visit UNC Greensboro’s Department of Kinesiology at

Concordia University, St. Paul offers an online EdD in Kinesiology through CSP Global, the university’s distance-learning division. This program is 100% online and does not require any campus visits. Students are required to complete 49 credits of coursework and a dissertation that confers 12 credits. To be eligible for the CSP Global online EdD in Kinesiology, applicants must hold a master’s degree or higher with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. To learn more about the program, visit CSP Global at

Advantage of Online EdD in Kinesiology Programs

Online EdD in Kinesiology program are designed for a broad range of students and mid-career professionals who would prefer the flexibility and convenience of a learning experience that does not require attending in-person classes at a campus location. They also provide professionals who do not live within commuting distance to a school that offers a doctoral program in kinesiology with an opportunity to pursue a doctorate degree without having to relocate. These programs provide the same level of training and instruction in kinesiology as their campus-based counterparts but do so using distance-learning technologies that deliver live-streamed and/or pre-recorded lectures and class materials.

Students in an online program are typically able to communicate with instructors and administrators through a program’s learning management system (LMS), which is an internet-based platform that supports video, audio, and text-based interactions. Some online programs utilize synchronous instruction, which is the term for live-streamed sessions that take place in real-time and thus require students to be logged on to a program’s LMS at specified times (typically in the early evening or on the weekend to accommodate working professionals). Other programs rely solely on asynchronous instruction, which encompasses a broad category of learning experiences that do not have a real-time component, such as a prerecorded lectures and class modules that students can access at their convenience.