30 Best Online Doctor of Education (Ed. D.) Programs

30-Best-Online-Doctor-of-Education-ProgramsA doctorate of education (Ed.D.) is the terminal professional degree for educational practitioners. Ed.D. degrees are available in a wide range of areas including curriculum and instruction, technology, and leadership (K-12, higher education, or organizational). The Ed.D. differs from a Ph.D. in Education in that an Ed.D. generally prepares degree holders to continue practicing and in many cases advance to higher levels of leadership in their fields. A Ph.D. typically prepares degree holders to hold faculty positions at research-intensive institution and focus on academic scholarship in their field. While an Ed.D. will most likely require a rigorous research component, it melds theory with practice so students can apply their research to their professional setting.


Methodology:
Programs are ranked holistically according to the combined categories of affordability, convenience and reputation. Affordability includes the estimated total tuition and fees, based on rates published on the school’s website. Convenience factors include the percentage of the degree that can be done online, the amount of required campus visits (if any), synchronous coursework versus asynchronous coursework, and the minimum time needed to complete the degree. Reputation factors include the institution’s overall reputation and research classification, the overall graduate education program’s ranking on other national lists, online education rankings, and the percentage of faculty teaching in the program with terminal degrees in their field.

Important Information:
For the purposes of this ranking, to qualify as an online program, the program needs to be identified as such on the school’s publication materials and needs to have the majority of coursework available online. Online programs featured in this ranking may require students to travel for various on-campus components, but none require a student relocate in order to complete the degree.

Prospective students are advised to research individual programs for fit, based on their desired specialty, as well as their learning preferences. Some students will prefer an entirely online option, while others may prefer a program with built in campus experiences to connect with the college community. Affordability was calculated based on total tuition and fees to complete the degree, but depending on the student’s individual situation, financial aid might significantly reduce the cost of the program. Tuition and fees are also subject to change and generally do not include costs of books or required travel.


Students are also strongly advised to check with their state and districts regarding their local licensure requirements and applicability of our programs. Not all programs are available to students in every state.

While specific credit requirements vary, most programs require 60 credits to complete the doctoral degree. Unless otherwise noted, all Ed.D. programs also require a previous master’s degree in an education-related field. All institutions on the ranking are accredited.

1. University of Nebraska–Lincoln

University_of_Nebraska-Lincoln_1_221142University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a public research university, offers an online Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Higher Education through the Department of Educational Administration. All course work may be completed online, but students generally travel to campus to propose and defend their dissertations. Students work with an advisor to develop a concentration and those interested in community college leadership may complete a certificate in that area through additional coursework. With few required visits and asynchronous course delivery, a relatively low cost ($38,835 out-of-state and$21,825 in-state), and Nebraska’s established history with quality online education programs, UN-L comes in at the top of our list of best online Ed.D. degrees.

Accreditation:
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission
Council of Accreditation of Educator Preparation

2. Indiana University

Indiana_University-Bloomington_1_220326Students can earn an Ed.D. in Instructional Systems Technology through IUconnectED, the Indiana University’s online arm of the School of Education. The program prepares students to design instruction and utilize digital resources in a wide variety of settings, including organizations, companies, and schools. All course work can be completed online; however, students are required to travel to the Bloomington campus for at least one Instructional Systems Technology conference, as well as for their comprehensive exams and dissertation defense. A public research university, Indiana University boasts a strong reputation in many fields including Education. Tuition and fees are also relatively low, estimated at $32,220 dollars. Students proceed through the program with a cohort of fellow doctoral students, with occasional synchronous meetings via online video.

Accreditation:
North Central Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

3. University of West Georgia

UWGSeal

University of West Georgia, a public university located in Carrolton, Georgia, boasts one of the lowest costs to complete a doctoral degree in Education. If students take at least six credits per semester, they can complete their Ed.D. in School Improvement for $21,140. All course work is completed online (asynchronously), but students travel to campus for two long weekends – an orientation and a dissertation boot camp. Students can choose from seven concentrations including School Counseling, Educational Leadership, K-12 Online Learning, Instructional Technology, Reading, Media Specialist, and Special Education, or they can design their own area of concentration. Students enroll with a cohort and work on their dissertation simultaneously with course work, allowing them to finish the degree in three years.

Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

4. University of Florida

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University of Florida, a four-year public research university, offers two online Ed.D. degrees: one in Educational Technology and one in Curriculum, Teaching and Teacher Education (CTTE). In addition to online course work, the Educational Technology program requires one weekend orientation visit and two week-long summer campus experiences while the CTTE program requires three visits per year. Cohorts begin once every two years and students can finish the degree in three to four years, depending on the program. With its graduate and distance degrees nationally ranked, University of Florida is highly selective, but affordable. Online students pay in-state tuition, making the total cost of tuition and fees for 60 credit hours approximately $32,000.

Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

5. University of Arkansas

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Students can complete an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from University of Arkansas through online asynchronous coursework and three weekend intensives on the Fayetteville campus. As the public research university’s second largest college, the College of Education and Health Professions offers established and recognized graduate programs in education. The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Arkansas does require students have an Ed.S. degree for admission; however, students who enter with a master’s degree can also complete the Ed.S. coursework through the program. If entering with a master’s degree, students can expect to spend about 25,000 dollars on tuition and fees (60 credit hours). Those with an Ed.S. degree only need to spend about 15,000 for 36 credit hours. These rates make University of Arkansas Fayetteville one of the most affordable online Ed.D. degrees.

Accreditation:
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

6. Boise State University

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Boise State offers a fully online Ed.D. in Educational Technology. Designed with working professionals in mind, the degree requires no on-campus components and course work is primarily delivered asynchronously with occasional synchronous components. Tuition at Boise State is the same for in-state and out-of-state online students, making the estimated total program tuition $31,146. Students progress through the program in a cohort model and, if enrolled part time (six credit hours per semester), can expect to finish the program in four to five years. Boise State University is a public research university located in Boise, Idaho.

Accreditation:

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

7. University of Northern Colorado

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University of Northern Colorado’s Ed.D. in Educational Studies features an Innovation and Education Reform Emphasis, allowing students to focus on educational change and improvement in their respective settings. Students take courses through the School of Teacher Education, which has been nationally ranked for online graduate education. Coursework is delivered asynchronously, but is augmented by three week-long summer residencies at the Loveland, Colorado campus. Doctoral students are admitted in cohorts once every two years. At $525 per credit hour, the degree can be completed for about $33,600.

Accreditation:
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

8. University of South Carolina

South Carolina

At University of South Carolina students can earn an online Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. In addition to its reputation as a high quality public research university with established distance education options, the university also ranks high on convenience. Online courses are offered asynchronously in 8-week blocks and the Ed.D. degree can be completed in four years. Students can also choose from multiple start dates throughout the year to apply and begin the program and no campus visits are required. Tuition and fees range from 28,204 for South Carolina residents to 37,580 for others.

Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

9. Sam Houston State University

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Sam Houston State University, a public research university in Huntsville Texas, offers two fully online Ed.D. degrees. Students earning a Doctorate in Developmental Education Administration are prepared to create and lead academic support programs in higher education settings. The Doctorate in Instructional Technology prepares students to lead technology integration and instruction in a wide variety of settings. Both degrees enroll students once per year and can be completed entirely online in as few as three and a half years. With tuition and fees at 1,368 per 3-credit course (est. $27,360 total), Sam Houston also boasts one of the more reasonably priced online Ed.D. degree options.

Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

10. University of the Cumberlands

Cumberlands

Students can complete an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at the University of Cumberlands entirely online in less than three years. In addition to core course work in administrative leadership, students also choose a specialty area for focused course work, such as business, counseling, education, English, history, math, psychology or religion. Tuition and fees are estimated at $23,250, making the program one of the most affordable. University of the Cumberlands is a private Baptist-affiliated college located in Williamsburg, Kentucky and established in 1889.

Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

11. Texas A&M University

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Texas A&M, a flagship public research university located in College Station, offers an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction for online students interested in leading curriculum development at the K-12 level. All coursework is completed online, with cohorts beginning in the spring semester. Students can complete the degree in three and half years to four years and estimated tuition and fees are $47,640. In lieu of a dissertation Ed.D. students complete a record of study that utilizes research to approach a practical problem of significance in their chosen professional setting.

Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

12. Texas Tech University

Texas_Tech_University_221185Students can earn an Ed.D. in Higher Education at Texas Tech University through online course work and occasional campus visits. After an initial orientation weekend, students attend a one week intensive each year they are enrolled in the program, which can take as little as three years to complete. Texas Tech offers concentrations in Community College Administration and Higher Education College/University Administration. Students proceed through the program with a cohort and pay an estimated 46,600 for the degree (residents of Texas qualify for reduced in-state tuition).

Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

13. University of New England

UNE_seal

University of New England, a private university located in Biddeford, Maine, offers an online Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a focus on transformative leadership for a variety of settings. The degree can be completed entirely online in three years through a majority of asynchronous coursework and limited synchronous sessions. At University of New England, the dissertation is embedded in your studies from the first year of the program to better facilitate completion in three years. Tuition and fees are estimated at 41,500 for the 51-credit program.

Accreditation:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

14. Lamar University

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Lamar University’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is offered entirely online and asynchronously. Students progress through the program in a cohort and can finish the degree in four years. Lamar, a public research university located in Beaumont, Texas, has been ranked on national lists for its online graduate education programs. Total tuition is estimated at $40,8000 for out-of-state online students.

Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

15. Liberty University

Liberty_University_seal

Liberty University, a private Christian college located in Lynchburg, Virginia, offers online Ed.D. degrees in Educational Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction. Students complete the majority of coursework online, but attend three summer week-long intensive courses on campus. Applications are accepted and enrollment begins periodically throughout the year. Online tuition is $570 dollars per credit hour, making total tuition approximately $34,200. Liberty also offers a substantial discount for military personnel, with reduced tuition of $275 per credit hour.

Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

16. Southeastern University

Southeastern small

At Southeastern University, a private Christian university in Lakeland, Florida, students can earn an Ed.D. in Leadership, choosing from specializations in Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership in K-12 schools, Educational Leadership in Christian Schools, Organizational Leadership, and Higher Education Administration. The majority of course work is done online; the program requires three visits to campus for two-week summer classes, but Southeastern provides free housing for students during the intensives to cut down on travel costs. Tuition and fees are estimated at $33, 180. Part time students can complete the degree in three to four years while full-time students can earn the doctorate in a little over two years.

Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

17. Johns Hopkins University

Johns_Hopkins_University_174442

Johns Hopkins University offers a doctorate of education that can be completed online in three years. In addition to online course work, students attend an orientation and three short residencies on the Baltimore campus with arrangements made if students need to participate via long distance. Doctoral students complete an applied dissertation that combines multiple projects over the course of their study focused on a “problem of practice.” With total tuition and fees at an estimated $72,000, the Ed.D. degree at Johns Hopkins is one of the most expensive available. However, the university’s global and national reputation, as well as their top-ranked graduate program in education, are important factors for prospective students.

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

18. Concordia University Chicago

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At Concordia University Chicago, online students can earn an Ed.D. in Leadership and choose from thirteen different specializations including Educational Technology, Community Colleges, Curriculum and Instruction, Early Childhood Education, Educational Leadership, Higher Education, Health and Human Performance, Organizational Leadership, Reading, Language and Literacy, Special Education, and Teacher Leadership. Specializations in sports leadership and gerontology leadership are particularly unique to Concordia-Chicago’s program. Course work can be completed entirely online. Concordia-Chicago is a private university founded in 1864 and based in River Forest, Illinois.

Accreditation:
Northcentral Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

19. Lipscomb University

Lipscomb_University_215362

Lipscomb University, a private Christian college located in Nashville, offers an online Ed.D. in Learning Organizations and Strategic Change. The degree can be completed in three years through a combination of online course work, three weekend intensives on campus, and one ten day international summer experience. Lipscomb emphasizes community and collaboration and online students are included in this. Students enter the program in a cohort, meeting on campus for a weekend orientation, and continue to collaborate online through web-based video and chat technology. In lieu of a traditional dissertation, students work in teams on capstone research projects that are designed for, and carried out, in a specific educational organization. Estimated tuition for the program is $48,492.

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

20. University of Southern California

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University of Southern California’s doctoral program in Organizational Change and Leadership combines weekly web-based “face-to-face” class meetings with independent online course work and two on-campus immersion weekends at their Los Angeles campus. A capstone portfolio includes a “dissertation in practice,” melding research with the student’s current professional setting. Students with transferable master’s degrees only need to complete 43 credit hours and can earn the degree in three years while working full time. University of Southern California is a highly ranked and respected national and global university with a long history of teacher education. As such, tuition and fees are estimated at $71,909 for those who enter with a master’s degree; however, various scholarships are also available through the Rossier School of Education.

Accreditation:
Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

21. Creighton University

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Students can earn an Ed.D. in Interdsciplinary Leadership at Creighton University’s in three years through online asynchronous course work and two on-campus weekend experiences. Creighton’s interdisplinary program emphasizes applicability across a wide variety of settings and students work on a dissertation in their workplaces as they progress through the program. Cohorts begin twice a year and tuition costs are estimated at 56,400. Creighton, a Jesuit institution that ranks high on lists of regional universities, is located in Omaha Nebraska.

Accreditation:
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

22. George Fox University

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George Fox University’s online Ed.D. in Educational Leadership includes three available concentrations: P-20 instructional design and development, P-12 administration, and higher education. Students progress through the program in cohorts, taking courses online and visiting the campus once per summer for two-week classes; the program can be finished in three years. Tuition and fees are estimated at $40,096. George Fox is a private Christian institution founded in 1885 and located in Newberg, Oregon.

Accreditation:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

23. Drexel University

Drexel_University_221172

At Drexel, online students can earn an Ed.D. in Leadership and Management and choose from one of six concentrations including Education Administration, Education Policy, Higher Education, Human Resource Development, and Creativity and Innovation. In addition, Drexel is one of the only programs with a concentration in Athletic Administration. The degree can be completed one hundred percent online and in three years. Drexe is a private university located in Philadelphia. It was founded in 1891 and offering online degrees since 1996. Tuition and fees for the total program are estimated at $67,380.

Accreditation:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education

24. Concordia University Portland

_1159364Concordia University-Portland offers Ed.D. degrees in four areas: Educational Administration, Teacher Leadership, Transformational Leadership, and Higher Education. Students enter the program in a cohort, with multiple start times throughout the year and there is no need to travel to campus for the degree. Concordia-Portland has developed a “virtual residency” experience, which allows students to gain the experience of a traditional doctoral residency component in a flexible online environment. The program takes a minimum of three years and nine months and costs approximately $51,920. This cost does include all books and fees; students also receive an ipad to assist in completing their studies. Concordia University is a private Christian liberal arts university located in Portland, Oregon.

Accreditation:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

25. Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd_Mercy_College_1380299

Gwynedd Mercy University, a private university located in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, offers an executive doctorate in Educational Leadership with three concentrations: Higher Education, P-12 Schools and Districts, and Special Education. The accelerated program combines online course work with three short residencies (one weekend, one week-long, and one international experience). The program can be completed in as few as two years and eight months and total estimated cost for the program is $47,952.

Accreditation:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education

26. Trident University International

TUI_University_229809

Trident University International’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program offers concentrations in P-12 Education and Higher Education. Students can begin the program at any time throughout the year and the degree can be completed entirely online with asynchronous course work in three years. Total tuition is estimated at $42,000 and Trident tuition discounts are available for active duty military personnel and veterans. Trident University is a private for-profit online school founded in 1988 with corporate headquarters in Cypress, California.

Accreditation:
Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission

27. Regent University

Regent U 2

Regent University offers an Ed.D. in ten different concentrations, including Adult Education, Advanced Educational Leadership, Character Education, Christian Education Leadership, Distance Education, Educational Psychology, Higher Education Teaching & Administration, Higher Education Leadership, K-12 School Leadership, and Special Education. The degree can be completed in three to four years through a combination of online course work and three summer campus visits (one week each). Cohorts begin twice a year. Tuition for the program is estimate at $52,200. Regent University is a private Christian college located in Virginia Beach.

Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Teacher Education Accreditation Council

28. Grand Canyon University

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Grand Canyon University, a for-profit Christian school based in Phoenix, offers an online Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership. Students choose from six emphases: Behavioral Health, Christian Ministry, Higher Education Leadership, K-12 Leadership, Organizational Development, and Special Education. Depending on the concentration, course work can be completed entirely online or mostly online with limited short residencies. Students take one course at a time and can complete the degree in three and a half to four years. Total tuition is estimated at $39,300. Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and became a for-profit institution in 2004.

Accreditation:
North central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

29. East Tennessee State University

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East Tennessee State University’s online Doctor of Education Program features three Ed.D. concentrations: Administrative Endorsement, Post Secondary and Private Sector Leadership, and School Leadership. All programs are offered entirely online and students can begin the program at multiple points throughout the year. Online course work is mainly asynchronous with possible synchronous meetings. Estimated total tuition for out of state online students is $45,408. East Tennessee State University is a public institution located in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges an Schools, Commission on Colleges
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

30. City University of Seattle

City_University_of_Seattle_logo_-_CityUSeattle_h_2c.svg Students at City University of Seattle can earn an online Ed.D. in Leadership, choosing from five concentrations: Organizational Leadership, Higher Education, P-12 Educational Leadership, or a specialized study of their choosing. No on-campus visits are required, but there are optional in-person residencies, seminars, and networking events for online students to attend. The department also offers the option to attend orientation and other events online. The degree can be completed in four to five years and estimated tuition costs are $51,296. City University of Seattle is a private not-for-profit college founded in 1973.

Accreditation:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities