The mission of our Doctoral programs is to guide future professionals in becoming knowledgeable and skillful leaders, educators and researchers who will be prepared to assume roles within the fields of physical education teacher education, physical activity and coaching in universities, associated agencies and organizations and in other related settings. Our programs provide a high-quality and meaningful education that will allow each student to succeed in their chosen educational goals and will further promote their abilities in becoming analytical thinkers who are confident in application of the scientific method and who can excel professionally as educators and researchers.

The Doctoral degree in Coaching and Teaching Studies is designed to prepare researchers, teachers and professional leaders to address critical issues in physical education teacher education and sport pedagogy by developing research skills, engaging in reflective teaching and expanding knowledge. Doctoral programs at West Virginia University include a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) and a Doctorate of Education (EdD), both in Coaching and Teaching Studies.

The PhD program of study focuses on developing future professionals who will address critical issues in physical education, physical activity and coaching, and develop focused lines of research. Students will work collaboratively with faculty mentors to enhance their critical thinking, knowledge and skills to succeed as productive researchers within university settings, national sports organizations and other settings.

The EdD program of study prepares future professionals for a productive career as educators in the field of physical education teacher education or sport education (EdD), teaching and research positions in universities, as well as leadership positions in professional associations/agencies. The EdD students are encouraged to select an applied research specialization designed to enhance success as an academic and professional leader. 

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.