There are two main areas of online doctoral degrees in education: a Ph.D., which focuses on research methodology for college or university instruction, or an EdD, which is more concerned with building skills and foundational knowledge to address organizational, leadership, and educational issues in real-world experiences.

The BLS lists the job outlook for these types of professionals at around 10% over the next 8 years, which is faster than average. The median annual salary is about $80,560 per year for post-secondary teachers, with the highest 10% earning upwards of $179,540 annually.

Table of Contents

Methodology

These 20 Best Doctoral Degrees in Education Online Programs are offered by some of the most prestigious institutions in the world, in more flexible and approachable formats, that sacrifice none of the excellent features of each program. The schools chosen were cross-referenced with other rankings and lists to ensure their credibility and popularity.

The below schools were chosen for several reasons that put them ahead of other distance education institutions, which included:

  • Student satisfaction according to acceptance and retention rates, as well as, recommendations from reliable academic resources,
  • The breadth of curricula and coursework; providing comprehensive Education training in all age groups and Special Education, in addition to, Education Administration & Leadership,
  • 100% Online, Blended or Hybrid Availability; often requires some on-campus attendance,
  • Provides in-depth research and practical application opportunities,
  • Promotes a positive online learning experience designed to teach leadership, problem-solving, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills needed to help students transition into college,
  • Financial Aid opportunities, as well as, affordable online tuition,
  • Ease of Transfer Credits and helpful Online Student Services Access,
  • Properly Accredited.

Please see our Methodology page to learn more.

Additional Information:

Best Online Doctor of Education (Ph.D. and Ed.D.) Programs Online

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

Johns Hopkins University

Program Standouts:
Johns Hopkins University is one of the country’s premier academic institutions and has built a reputation that spans the world over. JHU offers a doctoral education program that is designed to prepare an exceptional corps of practitioner-scholars. Coursework sets the bar for transformational leadership in education through professional development and networking.

Campus Location: Baltimore, MD

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education; National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher,
  • a current résumé or CV, a personal statement,
  • three letters of recommendation,
  • and a completed disposition survey.
  • All applicants must complete an admissions interview.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education
  • Mind, Brain, and Teaching
  • Urban Leadership

Degree Outcomes:
Graduates have the necessary knowledge, experience, and skill to build successful scholastic programs that nurture the development of young minds.

Alumni utilize the best theories and practices available to approach complex issues involving students, teachers, and parents, and how to appropriately accommodate various learning styles.

LEARN MORE ABOUT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF EDUCATION EDD DEGREE PROGRAM.

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UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA LINCOLN

Program Standouts:
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a nationally recognized, research 1, land-grant institution that has been educating students for nearly a century and a half! The doctoral education curricula provide numerous and highly refined pathways through which one can earn an impressive and renowned online degree in this discipline—both degree programs offer additional specialization options.

Campus Location: Lincoln, NE

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education; Teacher Education Accreditation Council

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution,
  • and GRE scores.
  • TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language.

Program Options:

  • Educational Leadership and Higher Education
  • P-12 School Leadership

Degree Outcomes:
Students in this program undergo training to land the highest positions of responsibility in all types of school systems—elementary, high school, and college-level programs.

Having learned from experienced administrators, curriculum specialists, and college administrators, alumni have a dense network of colleagues and professors to rely on throughout their careers.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN’S ONLINE PH.D. IN EDUCATIONAL STUDIES WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND HIGHER EDUCATION.

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UNIVERSITY OF CUMBERLANDS

UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS 2

Program Standouts:
Glowing student recommendations endorse the doctoral education programs from the University of the Cumberlands, as one of the most flexible, accommodating, and reputable degrees available.

The coursework involves research, professional activity, public service, and implementation of the curriculum. The faculty extends their mastery level research and its application to strategic problem-solving.

Campus Location: Williamsburg, KY

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher,
  • GRE scores,
  • three letters of recommendation,
  • a successfully completed background check,
  • and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Administrative Leadership
  • Professional Research
  • Specialty Area

Degree Outcomes:
Depending on the area in which a student chooses to specialize in their degree, they will end up in different areas of employment. The education applies to many different areas of learning, rather than just scholastic and academic areas.

Graduates can go on to fill positions in businesses and organizations that support education-based programs.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS’ ONLINE EDD DOCTORAL OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP DEGREE PROGRAM.

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NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY

New Mexico State University

Program Standouts:
New Mexico State University offers two outstanding online doctoral degrees in education, both of which present unique ways to earn the highest diploma in this discipline. The Curriculum and Instruction program is designed to guide students in developing a sound theoretical background in the development of curricula. The Educational Leadership degree focuses on social justice and border issues and provides experiences in support practice.

Campus Location: Las Cruces, NM

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing an exemplary GPA,
  • and at least three letters of recommendation.
  • TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language.

Program Options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership

Degree Outcomes:
Despite their program of choice, these two degrees lead to superlative career paths that demand large amounts of responsibility and leadership capabilities. Graduates of either doctorate go on to design and guide academic institutions all across the world to greatness and success!

LEARN MORE ABOUT NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY’S DOCTORAL DEGREES IN EDUCATION.

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UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

Program Standouts:
The University of Arkansas is building a strong reputation as one of the country’s finest purveyors of online programs and offers graduate-level students a Doctor in Educational Leadership that has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report. The classroom is a rigorous and relevant experience that bridges theory and practice to respond to the needs of policymakers and practitioners.

Campus Location: Fayetteville, AR

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution,
  • GRE scores,
  • letters of recommendation,
  • a statement of purpose,
  • and a current résumé or CV.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Problems of Practice
  • Educational Policy and Change
  • Statistical Literacy for Educational Leaders

Degree Outcomes:
Graduates of this curricula exit the program to join an extensive network of K-16 partners throughout the state, including alumni in key leadership positions throughout the country. The coursework provides professional preparation for students pursuing careers as:

  • principals,
  • administrators,
  • supervisors,
  • super indents,
  • federal and state governmental agency officials, and more!

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS’ ONLINE DOCTOR OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP DEGREE PROGRAM.

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

university of florida

Program Standouts:
The University of Florida is one of the finest and most popular online schools in the country and offers four unique doctoral degrees in education that provide outstanding resources and superlative coursework. UF Online has been included on innumerable lists and indexes of the best programs in America, and these education degrees provide rich and fulfilling academic experiences.

Campus Location: Gainesville, FL

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution,
  • letters of recommendation,
  • and GRE scores.
  • TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language.

Program Options:

  • Curriculum, Teaching, and Teacher Instruction
  • Educational Leadership
  • Educational Technology
  • Higher Education Administration

Degree Outcomes:

Depending on an individual’s program of choice, the coursework will lead them to various exciting positions of employment within school systems everywhere.

Whether students are seeking a career in administration and management, or a stronger curriculum structure overall, these four degrees will give graduates the knowledge, experience, and prestige to enter into fantastic careers.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA’S ONLINE Ed.D. IN CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN TEACHERS, SCHOOLS, AND SOCIETY (TSS) DEGREE PROGRAM.

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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

liberty university

Program Standouts:
Liberty University is another of the country’s most popular and successful distance education institutions. Offering coursework with a Christian foundation, LU has many different education degrees that explore the limits of the discipline in many different ways.

Campus Location: Lynchburg, VA

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing an exemplary GPA,
  • federal student aid documentation,
  • a statement of purpose,
  • and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Program Options:

  • Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling
  • Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership
  • Doctor of Education

Degree Outcomes:

The classes in all three of these programs give students a great ethical base upon which to design and implement extensive educational programs in various areas of specialization and employment.

Students of strong faith will find a supportive home at Liberty University in particular, and when they exit their program of choice, they remain a part of a nurturing community.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LIBERTY UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE PH.D. IN THE EDUCATION DEGREE PROGRAM.

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TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

TEXAS AM UNIVERSITY 1

Program Standouts:

Texas A&M University is well-known and very popular with students and offers an online Doctor of Education that prepares students for direction in curriculum, instruction, and instructional assessment in P-12 environments. Emphasis is placed particularly on developing educational leadership knowledge and skills to expand mid-career individuals’ experiences.

Campus Location: College Station, TX

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing an exemplary GPA,
  • GRE scores, departmental essays,
  • a writing sample,
  • and at least 3 letters of recommendation.
  • TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Educator as Learner
  • Qualitative Methods in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Grant Writing for Professional Development

Degree Outcomes:
This curriculum will drastically enhance the knowledge of current educators and will widen their opportunities to include:

  • leadership roles in school change and improvement initiatives,
  • school or district curriculum leadership,
  • professional development of colleagues,
  • and other such areas that require a high level of power and responsibility within the system.

LEARN MORE ABOUT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE EDD IN CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION DEGREE PROGRAM.

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NORTHWEST NAZARENE UNIVERSITY

northwest nazarene university

Program Standouts:
Northwest Nazarene University has been recognized for its distinction as a nonprofit comprehensive Christian university that has been educating students since 1913. Today, NNU offers a state-of-the-art online doctoral degree program in education with Christ-centered coursework.

Campus Location: Nampa, ID

Accreditation: National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher,
  • three letters of recommendation,
  • a completed Educational Leadership Evaluation Form,
  • a 3-5 page statement of purpose,
  • a writing sample,
  • and a current resume or CV representing relevant work experience.
  • TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language.

Program Options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Education
  • Doctor of Education

Degree Outcomes:

With a Ph.D. or an EdD from NNU, graduates have extensive knowledge and training for K-12, higher education, and educational research, which allows them to navigate their career path in the direction of their choosing.

Both programs are focused in educational leadership, and alumni have the understanding to pass any certification examinations required within their state.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NORTHWEST NAZARENE UNIVERSITY’S EDUCATION DOCTORATE PROGRAMS.

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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

university of southern california

Program Standouts:
The University of Southern California is a well-respected online school that has received glowing recognition for its achievements in academia. The two education programs are unique in that they are centered more on executive training and leadership, rather than scholastic education. These excellent programs include coursework focused on influencing systemic change in organizations and businesses of all varieties.

Campus Location: Los Angeles, CA

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges; Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing an exemplary GPA,
  • and GRE or GMAT scores.

Program Options:

  • Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Global Executive

Degree Outcomes:
Graduates from either one of these fantastic programs enter into positions of executive leadership. Coursework teaches students to motivate and supervise teams of employees and foster a supportive and profitable spirit within their place of business. Professionals like these are needed in an innumerable amount of areas throughout the job market.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S ONLINE DOCTORATE OF EDUCATION DEGREE PROGRAM.

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BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Ball State University has been represented on a great many lists of the nation’s top online programs, and the Doctor in Educational Administration and Supervision provides high-quality instruction of state-of-the-art methods. Students can complete the challenging curriculum at their leisure and have access to outstanding support services.

Campus Location: Muncie, IN

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing an exemplary GPA,
  • GRE scores, letters of recommendation,
  • a platform statement of educational philosophy and beliefs,
  • a C.V.,
  • and five references.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • The Educational Administrator and Public Relations
  • Fiscal Management of Educational Agencies
  • Superintendent Internship

Degree Outcomes:
This curriculum prepares graduates to complete certification examinations for the superintendency, however, the flexibility of the program aligns well with individual students’ needs. Alumni enter into positions of high responsibility within all levels of education systems everywhere.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BALL STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION DEGREE PROGRAM.

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NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

Nova Southeastern University

Program Standouts:

This impressive online college offers four unique doctoral programs in education that explore the vastness of the discipline, providing successful methods for solving the myriad of challenges students will approach in the future.

These strong programs are supported by brilliant faculty members who lead individuals into a wide variety of career paths in the highest level of education.

Campus Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • and official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing an exemplary GPA.

Program Options:

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Reading Education
  • Special Education

Degree Outcomes:

Students exiting NSU enter into the educational system with various skills that apply to their particular field. Despite their concentration option, alumni are steeped in critical thinking, applied research, continuous improvement, and problem-solving.

Alumni can rely on their alma mater for support throughout their professional careers through the Career Services Department, and the strong connections made through their program.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF EDUCATION DEGREE PROGRAM.

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UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO-DENVER

Program Standouts:
The University of Colorado Denver provides a rigorous online Doctor of Education, Leadership for Educational Equity program that will strengthen a student’s knowledge of leadership in school systems. The curriculum provides contexts including P-20 schools, community colleges, public/private universities, and educational non-profits.

Campus Location: Denver, CO

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher,
  • a CV representing five or more years of relevant work experience,
  • a written statement,
  • and three letters of recommendation.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Equity and Diversity
  • Leadership and Learning
  • Specific Concentration Areas

Degree Outcomes:
This coursework is designed to enhance the knowledge of students with 5+ years of experience in a school environment. Individuals exit the program with highly sharpened techniques in educational leadership, and the school provides excellent networking opportunities.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER’S ONLINE DOCTORAL DEGREE PROGRAM.

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NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY

NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY 1

Program Standouts:
Northcentral University is a highly reputed online school that has been recognized with innumerable awards and certificates. Offering both a Ph.D. and a Doctorate in Education, students learn either research or practical applications of the job. Each of the programs offers astounding opportunities in PK-12, postsecondary, and adult learning environments.

Campus Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Accreditation: Western Association of Colleges and Schools

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing an exemplary GPA,
  • and a current résumé or CV.

Program Options:

  • Ph.D. in Education
  • Doctor of Education

Degree Outcomes:
Each of the programs offers 16 unique specialization options that vastly expand one’s scope and perspective in education. The doctoral degrees emphasize the learning experience in different ways that either allow students to enter into classrooms as educators, or to refine the education field in a more practical and theoretical way.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN EDUCATION DEGREE PROGRAM.

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REGENT UNIVERSITY

REGENT UNIVERSITY name

Program Standouts:
Regent University’s online programs are some of the most celebrated in America, and students can major in one of over a dozen different doctoral degrees in education that span a huge field of different specializations. The curricula are founded on the tenets of Christianity, so students can rely on an academic environment centered strongly around faith.

Campus Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing an exemplary GPA,
  • a writing sample,
  • a current résumé,
  • and an admissions survey.
  • All applicants must complete an admissions interview.

Program Options:

  • Ed.D. – Adult Education
  • Ed.D. – Advanced Educational Leadership
  • Ed.D. – Character Education
  • Ed.D. – Christian Education Leadership
  • Ed.D. – Curriculum & Instruction
  • Ed.D. – Educational Psychology
  • Ed.D. – Educational Technology & Online Learning
  • Ed.D. – Exceptional Education Executive Leadership
  • Ed.D. – Higher Education
  • Ed.D. – Higher Education Leadership & Management
  • Ed.D. – K-12 School Leadership
  • Ed.D. – Special Education
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership – Adult Education
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership – Advanced Educational Leadership
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership – Character Education
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership – Christian Education Leadership
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership – Curriculum & Instruction
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership – Educational Psychology
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership – Educational Technology & Online Learning
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership – Exceptional Education Executive Leadership
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership – Higher Education
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership – Higher Education Leadership & Management
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership – K-12 School Leadership
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership – Special Education
  • Ed.S. in Leadership in Mathematics Education
  • Ph.D. in Education – Adult Education
  • Ph.D. in Education – Advanced Educational Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Education – Character Education
  • Ph.D. in Education – Christian Education Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Education – Curriculum & Instruction
  • Ph.D. in Education – Educational Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Education – Educational Technology & Online Learning
  • Ph.D. in Education – Exceptional Education Executive Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Education – Higher Education
  • Ph.D. in Education – Higher Education Leadership & Management
  • Ph.D. in Education – K-12 School Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Education – Special Education

Degree Outcomes:

The vast array of majors makes for a yet even more wide choice of career paths for Regent University alumni, all of whom possess the knowledge, skill, and fortitude to affect positive change in educational environments of all kinds.

With a background in Christian-based education, graduates have the added benefit of entering into programs of a religious nature with greatness and aptitude.

LEARN MORE ABOUT REGENT UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF EDUCATION DEGREE PROGRAMS

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UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

Program Standouts:
This prestigious and globally renowned university offers two distinctive online programs in education: Nurse Education and Higher Education Administration, both highly specialized degrees. The programs offer various methods of delivery to meet individual students’ needs and schedules, while still providing the same excellent coursework.

Campus Location: Tuscaloosa, AL

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution,
  • a statement of purpose,
  • a current résumé,
  • contact information for recommenders,
  • and admission test scores.
  • TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language.

Program Options:

  • Instructional Leadership – Nurse Education
  • Higher Education Administration

Degree Outcomes:
Upon exiting the Nurse Education program, graduates will have the understanding to enter into educational and medical environments to teach various areas of the discipline. The Higher Education Administration prepares alumni for careers such as superintendent and otherwise high-ranking positions in the educational system.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA’S ONLINE EDUCATIONAL DOCTORAL DEGREE PROGRAM.

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INDIANA UNIVERSITY BLOOMINGTON

INDIANA UNIVERSITY BLOOMINGTON

Program Standouts:

The Indiana University System online is one of the most popular in the country, and the Bloomington campus offers two online doctors of education degree programs that rival nearly all others.

The Instructional Systems Technology program applies research findings to build and test educational and training-based processes, products, and services. The Literacy, Culture, and Language Education program utilizes a holistic and integrative focus on preparing practitioner leaders in literacy and language.

Campus Location: Bloomington, IN

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and School

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution,
  • a personal statement, and letters of recommendation.

Program Options:

  • Literacy, Culture, and Language Education
  • Instructional Systems Technology

Degree Outcomes:
These two very different programs send graduates on a variety of career paths. Instructional Systems Technology prepares leaders in instructional design, performance technology, and workplace learning and performance improvement.

Literacy, Culture, and Language Education alumni become leaders in adult literature, ESL/EFL education, and various world languages.

LEARN MORE ABOUT INDIANA UNIVERSITY BLOOMINGTON’S MANY ONLINE DOCTORAL DEGREE PROGRAMS.

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SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY

Sam Houston State University

Program Standouts:
Sam Houston State University is a popular and supportive online school that is celebrated by U.S. News and World Report as one of the finest in 2017. The two educational programs are designed for students seeking administrative positions in schools, organizations, and businesses alike. Coursework is taught by talented and innovative faculty members through state-of-the-art learning technologies.

Campus Location: Huntsville, TX

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Retention Rate: 80%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher,
  • three letters of recommendation,
  • a personal essay,
  • a current résumé or CV,
  • and GRE scores.
  • TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language.

Program Options:

Developmental Education Administration In both programs, students gain an in-depth understanding of relevant theories and systems within several departments that encourage the success of their place of employment.

Graduates have the ability to design and implement programs for businesses (I.T.) or for underprepared community college and university students (D.E.A.)

LEARN MORE ABOUT SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF EDUCATION DEGREE PROGRAMS.

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SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:

Southeastern University offers extensive, professional, and Christ-centered coursework to the doctor of education students who is seeking positions of high responsibility and command within school districts of all levels, particularly Christian-based organizations and institutions.

The coursework integrates principles of faith, learning, and service into the lives of students, and is taught by superlative faculty and staff members.

Campus Location: Lakeland, FL

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher,
  • a current résumé or CV representing at least three years of relevant work experience,
  • a Christian faith statement,
  • two letters of recommendation,
  • a background check,
  • and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Principles of Leadership and Ethics
  • Learning, Mentoring, and Cognition
  • Historical and Social Foundations of Organizations

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates from Southeastern’s Doctor of Education are prepared for careers including a superintendent, principal, curriculum specialist, Christian education director, business trainer, and more!

The curriculum offers two concentration options that lead students on two very different career paths: either toward business and corporate education, or scholastic instructional design.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF EDUCATION DEGREE PROGRAM.

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UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA

UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA

Program Standouts:

Each of the three doctors of education degrees at the University of West Georgia is designed for three distinct types of students. Two of the programs are centered around health education and teach students practices and theories based on nursing or counseling.

The School Improvement coursework includes focuses on administration, instructional design, and a student-designed area of concentration.

Campus Location: Carrollton, GA

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit:

  • a completed online application,
  • the nonrefundable application fee,
  • official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution,
  • a successfully passed graduate entrance exam,
  • GRE scores,
  • three letters of recommendation,
  • a current résumé or CV,
  • and a personal essay.

Program Options:

  • Nursing Education
  • Professional Counseling and Supervision
  • School Improvement

Degree Outcomes:

Depending on their Doctor of Education program of choice, students will enter into vastly different areas of education. However, they are all equally supported by a strong UWG student and alumni resources. The intricate network of alumni, employers, and faculty members gives individuals excellent access to their area of choice.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA’S ONLINE PH.D. AND EDD DEGREE PROGRAMS.


The Advantages of Getting an Online Doctoral Degree Program

These days, joining an online program is normal for professionals and students all across the globe. Because the convenience online students get thru virtual learning has significantly improved over the years, more students are now inclined to get online doctoral programs. Below are some of the best things you can get when going for an online doctoral degree.

Getting online doctoral programs easily fit your schedule.

Are you always busy with your schedule? Then getting an online doctoral program is a perfect choice. When you study online, you can have the flexibility seldom seen in a traditional few campus-based institutions.

For prospective students and working professionals, especially those planning to enroll in online doctoral programs, your options are endless. There are so many schools today offering online doctor of education programs that will surely work within your schedule.

And because you have total control of your own time, you can plot your schedules to fit in your personal and professional life. You can balance your college education around your present job, your family commitments, and even your hobbies.

And with numerous online library resources, it’s a lot easier for you to study, research, or complete your tasks based on a timetable that will work best for you.

Online doctorate provides a more personalized education.

While so many people thought an online doctorate is nothing but a series of pre-recorded lectures for everybody, similar to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), there are still so many advanced online doctoral programs you can find.

In fact, most online learning modalities offer programs where you get to choose your research methods and topics according to your preference and time.

Because online learning has successfully produced thousands of graduate students, school administrators and systems today offer different methods of online learning. The best, and probably the easiest one is via a one-on-one student approach.

Schools that offer this method usually start by matching you with a specific professor responsible for overseeing your online education program, and another one to handle your program evaluation.

Your master’s degree supervisor will choose relevant topics and help you go through web portals, online library resources, and research portals.

Getting online doctoral programs boosts your profile.

Many online doctoral degree students initially have this misconception that because the class is 100% online, they won’t have in-person experiences.

However, most online universities today come with so many opportunities where students can attend and join international conferences and field trips overseas.

Thru these opportunities, you also build a solid network with people you meet who share the same field as you.

Online education doctorate programs help minimize the cost of higher education

Gone are the endless commutes and the sudden cravings to binge out. An online school will not only allow you to keep your current job but also helps you save a lot of money.

After all, you will no longer have to worry about moving to a new city or finding new accommodations. These translates to reduced expenses and stress levels!

And just because you will enroll in online classes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy federal financial aid from top institutions. There are so many colleges and universities that still offer scholarships and tuition discounts in every online program. Some even have monthly installment plans.

A doctoral degree gives you the chance to earn a better salary

For the past decade, an online master’s degree program is very popular among working professionals, especially during the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Over the years, more and more employers have recognized and embraced the importance of online learning.

For education professionals, for example, having a Ph.D. attached to your name is probably the most distinctive credential you can ever earn.

An online doctorate in education sets you apart from other candidates when you apply for a new role. This also gives you leverage especially when you are trying to negotiate for a raise.

The Value of Earning a Doctorate in Education

As you move forward in your career track, there will come a point when you finally weigh the decision of earning an Ed.D. or Ph.D. in education.

Before you decide to enroll in an online doctor of education program, you need to examine first the differences between the Ed.D. and the Ph.D., as well as their advantages in achieving different roles in the education sector, or in nonprofit and government agencies.

Ed.D. and Ph.D.: The Differences

There are two types of doctoral degrees for teachers: the Doctor of Philosophy in Education degree (Ph.D.) and the Doctorate in Education degree (Ed.D.); both are recognized as equal in academic standing and rigor.

In terms of requirements, Ed.D. degrees and Ph.D. education programs are the same, primarily needing a master’s degree from applicants.

At the PhD level, Education students are also taught to present their research at conferences, publish those findings in academic journals. Most of them will also learn to secure the requirements for grant funding as they work their way to becoming members of the faculty.

Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.)

If you plan on becoming a university professor, an applied educational researcher, or a school superintendent, an Ed.D. is perfect for you. Ed.D. is usually the ideal qualification for most mid-career working professionals. These professionals usually have a master’s degree but opt to continue their doctoral degrees.

Career outcomes for EdD include positions where they make informed decisions to resolve issues and improve practices within their area of study. EdD graduates often become highly skilled instructors, managers, and administrators in the academic, private, public, and civil service fronts.

Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.)

If you are more interested in getting an academic research role, like a teacher educator, a policymaker, or a university educational theorist like a language education and literacy academic specialist, the Ph.D. in Education is a good choice.

The PhD in Education program devotes itself to research for the mastery of, and the approaches to extend, a subject. In this research-intensive doctorate program, students must complete a dissertation project.

Education Ph.D. programs strongly focus on the development of different education theories via research methods, and they come up with existing or generate new knowledge.

As opposed to leading, managing, or overseeing groups and applying their specialized skills, PhD in Education students and professionals contribute educational theories and knowledge in their area of expertise to help drive change.

Doctorate Education Programs: How Long They Usually Take to Complete

It usually takes three years to complete a Doctorate in Education, although others may need four or even five years. The length of your doctorate degree will depend on various circumstances, and whether you go for the conventional on-campus program or the online method.

Good thing, thankfully, that you can find so many accredited online doctorate programs today. Since these online doctorate programs are becoming more common, you can easily find the right program that will best fit your needs and your time.

Your overall online education program coursework will normally take two years to finish. By the third year, you should be doing in-depth research and creating your dissertation.  

Doctorate in Education Programs: The Specializations

If there is a particular field in education that you are very passionate about and you know how you can make a huge difference, it’s best to specialize in a doctoral program in that area.

There are fields of specialization that align with academia and research-oriented Ph.D., and there are those that are more practitioner-focused.

Some fields of specializations in a doctor of education program that you might want to try include:

  • Curriculum and Instructional Technology
  • Higher Education Leadership Specialization
  • Organizational Research and Assessment
  • Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Education Technology
  • Reading Literacy and Assessment
  • Learning, Instruction, and Innovation
  • Subject Matter Education (Math, Science, English, and many more)
  • Statistics Educational Leadership

Doctorate in Education Program: The Types of Curriculum

The curriculum will largely depend on the field of specialization you choose. In most cases, students usually focus on the area of Curriculum and Instruction. The coursework in this area has the following types of classes:

  • Foundations of Research in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Professional Development and Teacher Learning
  • Perspectives in Curriculum, Teaching and Teacher Education
  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Foundations of Education
  • Issues in School Improvement
  • Online Teaching Pedagogy
  • Issues in Teacher Education
  • Teacher Learning and Socialization in Poverty Schools
  • Research Methodology
  • Dissertation Hours: Advanced Research, Dissertation Research, Language and Literacy Education, Education Technology, and many more

Doctorate in Education Program: Salary Information

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, education Ph.D. holders have a relatively lower unemployment rate. Education professionals, as their degree attainment increases, also earn better.

Take a closer look at the weekly salary rates of holders of these degree types and higher educational levels as of 2020:

Weekly Salary Rates Based on Degree Completed 2020

For the median annual salaries, below is a statistical report by the US Labor Statistics for education career professionals who have earned a doctorate degree:

  • School Principal – $98,490
  • Education Administrator- $97,500
  • School Psychologist – $79,820
  • College Teacher – $80,560
  • Curriculum and Instructional Coordinator – $66,970
  • College Academic/Data Researcher – $126,830     

Online Doctorate in Education Degree: What You Should Look For

Today, there are so many available online education programs. Deciding on the best online doctor program one tends to get overwhelming. Below are some helpful tips to get you started.

Choose the right concentration.

If you go for an online doctoral degree with a specialized concentration, it will be easier for you to stand out among all other applicants when you apply for a leadership career in education.

With that, go for programs that offer the specific field you need, and avoid enrolling in a generic degree.

For instance, if you plan on working in secondary school leadership, choose a program that has a K-12 concentration. If you think working in higher education is what you’re good at, enroll in a post-secondary concentration.

Look for experienced and skilled professors.

An online doctorate degree program should have top-notch professors. Online students must settle for no less than postsecondary teachers with an online doctorate in Education.

While scouting for your preferred online doctorate program, make sure to go through the school’s list of professors that will handle the class. Note their academic achievements, published work, and experience in educational settings.

Read reviews.

Whether they come from the school’s websites or from previous students, you can find several reviews that will make or break your decision on the online program you wish to enroll in.

Previous students are probably your best source for accurate and credible reviews because they are the ones that can provide an in-depth representation of the experiences they had in the program. 

You can also approach the school’s admissions counselors and ask them to connect you with the school’s alumni who are willing to discuss with you their experience in their online education doctorate program.

Consider your finances.

Before enrolling in an online doctorate program, know your budget first. Go for a program that you know will fit within your budget. When you determine the budget that you can set aside for your schooling, this gives you a better idea about the time you should spend with the program.

If you have a very tight budget, there are several affordable online doctoral programs you can consider. There are also schools that provide federal financial aid, scholarships, and private grants.

When making a budget, include your living expenses, income, savings, and the extra money you can spare for your doctorate program. Check also whether you will go for student loans or not.

After you find out what you can actually spend, it will be easier for you to narrow down your options and find the right school that will fit within your budget.

Choosing Between Ph.D. and Ed.D

To help you find out which doctoral degree is perfect for you, here are eight helpful tips.

Always follow your passion.

Stop focusing on the degree title you wish to earn and you dreamt about putting right after your name. Instead, think about the things that motivate you in educational settings. Why did you enroll in an education degree in the first place?

Do you plan to excel in teacher leadership jobs or are you looking at the bigger picture and plan to join in leadership positions? Do not assume that one degree is better than the other. Rather, choose a program that will give you personal and professional satisfaction relevant to your career goals.

Explore potential career choices with a Ph.D. in Education.

When you earn a Ph.D. in education, this makes you a desirable applicant for a wide range of research-based positions. Your capacity to study research and submit recommendations are valuable skills to different organizations.

People with a Ph.D. in education usually end up as:

  • University Administrators
  • University Professors
  • Educational Directors
  • Policy Researchers
Explore potential career choices with an Ed.D. in Education.

With an Ed.D. degree, you can easily get senior positions. You are qualified for leadership roles in educational leadership and administration. Plus your high-level skill-set is a perfect advantage to certain businesses and nonprofits as well.

Some of the position titles an Ed.D. degree holder can have include:

  • superintendent
  • dean
  • college or university president
  • public school principals
  • development manager
  • curriculum developer
Visualize your day-to-day.

Getting a doctorate program in education, whether it is Ph.D. or an Ed.D. will require a substantial time investment. If you’re still confused about which of these degrees will give you more rewards, try to visualize what your usual daily life will look like in every program. 

A Ph.D. program is more on research, and your classes will mostly include exploring theories and research methods. On the other hand, Ed.D. programs will have research applications. A huge chunk of your professional time is spent solving challenges.

Compare the coursework of Ph.D. and Ed.D.

Both programs of the doctor in education are challenging, time-consuming, and difficult. While they are both established in research, their paths vary. The Ph.D. program coursework highlights quantitative and qualitative research methods and provides you with the right tools required to do your own research. You also need to take written and oral examinations, plus you must work on your dissertation.

Additionally, those who take the Ph.D. route can work one-on-one with a research member to help them with their research methods.

Ed.D. courses are more on educational leadership training where you will learn how to look at the usual problems in education from several perspectives. During the earlier part of the program, the courses will push you to use research as your ultimate tool in providing the most practical solutions to every problem. As you go along, you will learn how to take actionable steps in dealing with problems.

Consider online Ed.D or Ph.D. programs.

Most students with a doctoral degree are education professionals, and some are even education faculty members. As working professionals, it’s easy to get caught up in a dilemma the moment you decide to consider enrolling in doctoral programs.

If you are too busy with work and you can’t find the luxury of time to go to a physical campus while earning your degree, your best option is an online doctorate program for higher education. These online doctorate programs will still cover the same coursework as their face-to-face and on-campus counterpart.

However, check the school first if they are offering an online program. And if they do, are the classes held live? Meaning, will you still be required to join your classes at a specified time and date?

Assess the Ed.D. and Ph.D. specializations in different Schools.

 Go for a university, whether online or in-campus, that is parallel with your interests. You can review the school’s mission statements to start. Is the school principle-driven? Do you feel like they can usher and help you throughout the whole program?

Check also the fields of concentration for each program offered by each school. Go for a program that will let you discover the challenges and issues that matter most to you. 

Every university offers different concentrations. For instance, some concentrations include educational leadership in K-12 programs; others offer higher education or educational psychology. Schools near cities also offer specific concentrations that let you explore urban education settings.

Check the dissertation requirements for each Doctor of Education program.

Part of obtaining a Ph.D. in education is the dissertation requirement. While these requirements vary by school and program, these dissertations include thorough research, a thorough study of a specific topic from various angles, and a final exam to defend your dissertation after it’s completed.

By contrast, only a few Ed.D. education program requires a dissertation in practice. Instead, you are expected to use the research methods you learned in the program in resolving issues in education that deal with access and equity.  Ed.D. students also work with an advisor and co-enrollees in discussing a problem.

However, keep in mind that some schools may require different dissertations; usually, one that lets you explore an issue that will fall within the school’s core and philosophical focus.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Ph.D. in Education worth It?

 For prospective students planning to further their education by getting a Ph.D. in education, you may wonder whether this doctorate program is indeed worth your effort and time. The short answer is “yes”.

A Ph.D. in education is considered one of the most recognized and respected credentials in the field of education.

This terminal degree is the highest you can get in the field of education. When you hold a Ph.D. in Education, you are eligible for practically all educational leadership program and opportunities in both the private and public sectors.

Both an online and on-campus Ph.D. program will give you the credentials and expertise necessary to present at conferences and academic findings, print in professional journals, and find the right employment.

Are online Ph.D. degrees esteemed?

The reputation of an online school largely depends on several factors like the admissions process, the quality of its faculty members, and the strength of the degree programs they are offering.

Today, you can find so many well-respected online schools- both public and private, offering top-notch online Ph.D. programs. These institutions offer several programs and have the best professors and faculty to support and guide students during the entire program. These schools offer online programs that are conducive to learning and very user-friendly.

When you scout for an online doctorate in education program, check the application process. A reputable online Ph.D. program must have the same application process as the conventional ones. The school must ask for GED scores and transcripts for admissions.

Each year, the US News and World Report conduct a ranking of online Doctor of Education programs. They asserted that the number of quality online Ph.D. programs is growing each year.

Another factor is your dissertation. You need to write a strong and solid dissertation during your doctor of education classes as this will make you look impressive to your employers—regardless if you are enrolled in an online program or a traditional on-campus class.

The goal is to go to a quality school. Employers can easily recognize a valuable employee who has obtained a Ph.D., whether it is at a traditional or an online school. 

But if you are still hesitant, ask graduate students who have completed their online Ph.D. program. Did they have a hard time securing a job they desired?

Who are best fit to enroll in Online Doctor of Education programs and what career expectations can they set?

Upon completing a Master of Education degree, students may pursue a PhD or EdD. The doctoral degree in Education is designed for both master’s degree graduates and Education professionals who seek to bolster their credentials and land leadership positions in the field.

EdD graduates become instructors or become qualified for consultancy and administrative roles in universities. PhD in Education graduates can use their advanced research skills to become research scholars, policy analysts, policymakers, and curriculum specialists in universities, businesses, private organizations, and public agencies.

What schools should you avoid when looking for an online Doctor of Education program?

For postsecondary teachers, school administrators, or master’s degree holders who wish to pursue their doctorate, it’s important that you check the school’s accreditation. Avoid schools that are not accredited by a governing body. Check important statistics like student reviews or graduation rates. If the numbers are high, then you can consider the program.

While there are quality online Ph.D. programs readily available, there are also scams, so be extremely careful with your assessment.

Key Takeaways

Get the best online Ph.D. or online Ed.D. doctorate toward a research-based career or clinical practice!

Ultimately, if you plan on getting a Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree, there are no reasons why getting them online would raise a concern! As the world is changing, employers are now more understanding and considerate of the fact that not everybody can find the time to enroll in a traditional on-campus university.

When making that choice between the education programs ranked, consider the affordable online doctorates that meet your requirements. Learn about the curriculum and instruction quality, research courses, the university administrators and instructional coordinators, the student services and student affairs promoted by the school administration to advance the interest of graduate students, and accreditation with or membership in a reputable national education association.