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School of Education—Department of Health and Physical Activity

 

The Department of Health and Physical Activity (HPA) focuses its academic, research, and service efforts on promoting physically active lifestyles and other health-related behaviors to prevent disease and enhance quality of life across the lifespan. HPA's expertise has attracted research funding in the areas of physical activity behavior and epidemiology, obesity prevention and treatment, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, fitness training, and health promotion.

The faculty expertise combined with collaboration with other entities with the University of Pittsburgh such as the School of Nursing, the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Public Health, the school of Health and Rehabilitative Sciences, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Hospital network provides for a state-of-the-art and innovative academic, research and clinical experience.

• Contact Information

Graduate Coordinator
Department of Health and Physical Activity
140 Trees Hall
412-648-8320   
Fax: 412-648-7092
E-mail: hpa@pitt.edu
www.education.pitt.edu/hpa

• Admission

Admission Inquiry

Application for Admission

Applicants to programs in the Department of Health and Physical Activity must meet all of the requirements in addition to specific departmental requirements.  Application material should be directed to the University of Pittsburgh, Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services, 5500 Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, PA  15260 or telephone 412-648-2230.

The programs in Health and Physical Activity have a rolling admissions policy that assures that all completed applications will be reviewed regularly. However, priority for admissions and financial aid decisions will be given to those applications that are sent in by established deadlines. The department may admit students only for the summer or fall term to allow for appropriate sequencing of courses depending on the undergraduate training of the applicant.

• Financial Aid Information

The Department of Health and Physical Activity offers financial aid in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and tuition scholarships. Applicants may apply by calling the department at 412-648-8320 or via e-mail at hpa@pitt.edu. Additional information on admissions, financial aid, registration, and other student services may be found at Admissions and Enrollment Services.

Program Information

Degree and Certification Requirements

For detailed degree requirement information for the below degrees, refer to the school section on Master’s Degree Requirements or Doctoral Degree Requirements.

The department offers Master of Science degrees in health and physical activity and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in health and physical activity with specializations (areas of concentration) as noted below. 

• Master of Science Degree

(Health and Physical Activity)

The following three areas of concentration are offered in health and physical activity:

Developmental Movement

Provides training in the area of control and learning of motor skills, the underlying neurological correlates, and the sociological context of human movement.  Students select either a Clinical/Practitioner or Research Focus, with each focus area requiring 36 credits. Additional prerequisite credits may be required by the department based on the undergraduate training of the applicant.

Health, Physical Activity, and Chronic Disease

Provides training in the area of the prevention and treatment of chronic disease with an emphasis on physical activity and health.  Students select either a Clinical/Practitioner or Research Focus, with each focus area requiring 36 credits. Additional prerequisite credits may be required by the department based on the undergraduate training of the applicant.

Health and Fitness

Provides training in the promotion of optimal health and fitness through physical activity. Students select either a Clinical/Practitioner or Research Focus, with each focus area requiring 36 credits. Additional prerequisite credits may be required by the department based on the undergraduate training of the applicant.

The following two areas of focus are available with each of the above options:

Research Focus

The coursework and related experiences are tailored to prepare a student to pursue a doctoral degree or to seek employment in an academic or research setting.

Clinical/Practitioner Focus

The coursework and related experiences are tailored to prepare a student for employment involving health, physical activity, and fitness program implementation.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

(Exercise Physiology)

This degree requires a minimum of 90 graduate credits, and the faculty may require additional coursework beyond this minimum credit requirement. These credits are distributed as:

  • A minimum of 30–36 credits in core courses in the major field of study
  • A minimum of 9–18 credits in a collateral area with credits outside of the School of Education
  • A minimum of 9 credits in Research Methodology,
  • A minimum of 12 credits in Statistical Analysis
  • A minimum of 6 credits in Research Practicum
  • Variable credits in electives
  • 18 credits of dissertation research

A maximum of 30 credits from the master's degree may be applied to the doctoral plan of studies, and any of these credits taken at an institution other than the University of Pittsburgh must be officially transferred to the University of Pittsburgh prior to the approval of the Doctoral Plan of Study.

Department of Health and Physical Activity Courses

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