Top 40 Online Ed D Programs

Online doctorate of education (Ed.D.) degree programs have become quite common in recent years, as teachers and other education professionals look for a way to increase their job market value and move into positions of higher responsibility – and pay. Now Online PhD has done our research to find the Top 40 Online EdD Programs in the US.

What is an Ed.D Degree?

An Ed.D degree is the standard for practicing educators who want to take on administrative careers, including principals, superintendents, deans, local and state department of education officials, and more. While some educators may labor over choosing the Ed D vs PhD, the choice is clear as long as you’re clear on your career goal. If you want to teach education at the collegiate level, go with the PhD, but if you want to take on administrative jobs, it’s the EdD all the way.

The Ed.D degree focuses on leadership and management for the educational field; in fact, many EdD programs are called Educational Leadership or some similar variation. Students in a doctor of education program learn about curriculum and policy development, institutional and organizational leadership, finances, law and ethics, human resources, and all of the other aspects of administration that teacher’s didn’t learn in their education courses. The Ed.D. may even be an interdisciplinary degree in some schools, bringing in faculty from the business and management school to supplement education courses.

Ranking Doctor of Education Online Degrees

An online Ed D makes a lot of sense for working education professionals. It’s flexible, convenient, and allows teachers to work on their degree without having to leave their job. It’s not as though teachers have a lot of choice. Despite popular opinion, a teacher’s schedule doesn’t leave much time for improving their own careers. According to a study sponsored by Scholastic and the Gates Foundation, teachers work an average of 10-12 hours per day, when grading papers, planning, parent-teacher conferences, extra tutoring, and extracurricular activities are added to classroom time.

An online Ed D program gives working professionals the means to get a higher degree on their own time. In most cases, even synchronous online classes are taught weekends or nights to keep from interfering, and asynchronous classes can be self-paced. Most doctor of education programs require some on-campus visits, but these are usually scheduled for summer or winter breaks, when teachers can take the time to attend a weekend or 1-week intensive session.

Online PhD has put together a ranking of the Top 40 Online EdD Programs to help busy working education professionals find the most affordable options in their area, or any area. The top Online Ed D programs are all regionally accredited, and many are further accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the national standard for schools of education. All have established a regional and national reputation for quality teacher education.

The programs here are ranked simply by affordability, from the lowest tuition price to the highest.

1. New Mexico State University – Las Cruces, NM

New Mexico State University was the first public university in the New Mexico Territory, founded in 1888 to teach agriculture and mechanical engineering under the Morrill Land-Grant Act. As the primary force in higher education long before New Mexico’s statehood, NMSU had an important impact on teaching in the state. Education was taught well before there was an official education department, and the College of Education was established in 1957, when New Mexico State reached university status. Today, the College of Education teaches more than 2300 students and is one of New Mexico’s main producers of teachers for the public school system. It’s also recognized for diversity, with more than half the student body identifying as Hispanic.

NMSU’s Educational Leadership Doctoral Program is developed by the Department of Educational Leadership & Administration. Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), the ELDP program brings the most current theory and practice to bear in this doctoral program. Doctoral students can choose from specializations in Pk-12 Educational Administration, Community College Administration, or University Administration. The program is delivered in a hybrid format on a cohort model, with students working through courses with the same group of classmates from beginning to end. It’s one of the lowest-cost options for an Ed.D degree.

Degree: Educational Leadership Doctoral Program (ELDP)
Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

2. East Carolina University – Greenville, NC

Part of the University of North Carolina System, one of the nation’s foremost public higher education system, East Carolina University is central to higher education in the southeastern region, and ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top-tier national university. ECU was founded in 1907 as a teacher training school, preparing teachers for the public school system in the hands-on normal school model. Over the years, ECU grew into a teacher’s college, and eventually into a comprehensive public university, but ECU remains well known for teacher education. The NC state board has named ECU’s College of Education the state’s best teacher education program, and more NC teachers come from ECU than any other state university.

ECU’s Ed.D degree in Educational Leadership program is designed for experienced education professionals who want to move into senior administrative positions. With its focus on management and administration, the Educational Leadership program emphasizes organizational theory, planning, human resource development, and other aspects of running a complex, diverse organization. The program is intended for experienced teachers with at least a master’s degree, and substantial work experience in a K-20 environment. Students work through the 60-credit program in a stable cohort, with courses taught nights and online in a hybrid format. An internship and dissertation are both required for an Ed D degree from North Carolina’s top teacher educator.

Degree: Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

3. University of the Cumberlands – Williamsburg, KY

The University of the Cumberlands was founded in 1888 by an association of Baptist ministers to bring higher education to the people of the Kentucky Appalachian Mountain Region. With a student body of just over 3000, and a low student:faculty ratio, Cumberlands gives students a high level of support and mentorship, in education and spiritual development. With a great deal of support from donors, and 97% of student receiving financial aid, Cumberland keeps tuition costs low and affordable. Cumberland has been offering teacher education programs since its very first class, and today the university has become known nationwide for its highly-ranked, fully online degree programs.

Cumberlands’ Ed.D degree program is fully online to give working, professional educators the flexibility to earn their leadership degree without leaving their jobs. Cumberlands offers two concentrations for its doctor of education online programs: Administration and Supervision, or Counselor Education and Supervision. Both programs are focused on improving students’ leadership skills. Administration is designed for future administrators, with courses in decision making, program evaluation, and other leadership skills. Counselor Education is designed for future school counselors, with an emphasis on public service and educational success. In either case, Cumberlands’ online Ed D degree program is an affordable investment in the future of education.

Degree: Ed.D. Administration or Counselor Education
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

4. Lamar University – Beaumont, TX

A public university in the Texas State University System, Lamar University was founded in 1923 as the South Park Junior College in Beaumont, TX. Beaumont was in the midst of a major economic and population boom due to the Spindletop oil gusher, which kicked off the American oil industry, and this growth demanded a higher education option in the area. Lamar grew into a comprehensive university and is ranked as a doctoral research university by the Carnegie Foundation. Today, Lamar is ranked as a national university by U.S. News & World Report, and is one of the most respected regional institutions in Texas.

Lamar’s Doctorate in Educational Leadership degree program offers a concentration in Global Educational Leadership. Lamar is part of the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate, a consortium working to redesign and improve professional training in education. The Center for Doctoral Studies is innovative and accessible, focused on transforming education worldwide, and Lamar’s doctor of education online programs help working education professionals earn their degree without leaving their careers. Accelerated 8-week sessions, and a summer start, allow students to complete the program in only 8 semesters, including summers. Lamar’s low cost and convenience makes it a top Ed.D degree program.

Degree: Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

5. Union University – Jackson, TN

Union University dates back to 1823, when the western portion of the Tennessee frontier had just been opened to settlers, and the Jackson Male Academy offered education to the sons of pioneers. Through nearly 200 years, Union merged with other colleges to grow into a university, and today stands as a private, Christ-centered liberal arts university. Affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, Union builds its curriculum around bible-based, evangelical belief, and focuses on preparing students as servant leaders in a wide range of professions and careers. With more than 100 programs, 3400 students, and a 10:1 student:faculty ratio, Union has long been ranked one of the top regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.

Union’s Ed.D degree program in P-12 School Administration gives working professionals in education the experience and knowledge they need to take on leadership roles. The EdD program is designed around current theory and practice, and is intended to be applicable to positions in many different arenas beyond the classroom, including business and government. Three concentrations are available: Instructional Leadership, Teaching Leadership, and Leadership in School Reform; however, only School Reform is available entirely online. An online Ed D degree from Union gives professionals the preparation for a career boost, in a Christian environment.

Degree: Ed.D. in P-12 School Administration
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

6. Morgan State University – Baltimore, MD

Maryland’s designated public urban university, in the heart of Baltimore, and a famed historically black college, Morgan State University was founded in 1872 as a seminary to train young black men for the ministry in the Methodist Episcopal Church. As it grew, it expanded to teacher education, training teachers for Maryland’s segregated schools, the in business and management. In 1939 the college was bought by the state of Maryland to provide more opportunity for African-American education, and today Morgan State is Maryland’s largest HBCU, known throughout the region for world-class programs and community engagement.

Morgan State’s Ed.D degree in Community College Leadership is a fully online education administration program designed for professionals in education. This intensive, year-round curriculum prepares students for senior-level administrative and leadership positions in community colleges, where a diverse student body creates the need for culturally aware, thoughtful leadership. Students learn organizational strategy, resource management, communication, and especially advocacy. The program is designed around a cohort model, so students build supportive and motivating relationships, and students can complete the online Ed D program in just three years without having to leave their jobs.

Degree: Ed.D. in Community College Leadership
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

7. University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Lincoln, NE

Nebraska became a state in 1867, and in 1869, the state founded the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a land-grant institution focused on agriculture and mechanics. With the land-grant mission to provide practical, applied education for the people, UNL thrived, becoming one of the most influential agricultural schools in the US and all but inventing the modern study of ecology. As Nebraska’s flagship, UNL is the state’s most crucial center of professional education, including teacher education. UNL established the College of Education in 1909, and began distance education courses for the Ed.D. in the 1990s, making it Nebraska’s top graduate school in education.

UNL’s Ed.D degree in Educational Administration and Educational Studies provide students with doctor of education online programs that can transform a career. The Ed.D. in Educational Administration, P-12 School Leadership concentration, can be completed entirely online, except for some summer on-campus seminars. The Ed.D. in Educational Studies, with specializations in Educational Leadership or Higher Education, can be completed entirely online, no campus visits required. In either case, working professionals in education receive the knowledge and credentials they need to take on more responsibility and authority, as well as higher salaries. A UNL online Ed D can make all the difference.

Degree: Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Educational Studies
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

8. University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, AR

Arkansas’ flagship public, land-grant research university, the University of Arkansas is the state’s only Carnegie Classification R1 institution and the center of learning and research. From its roots in agriculture and engineering, to crucial professional fields like business, law, and education, the University of Arkansas is one of the finest public universities in the Deep South. In recent years, U of A has become known for its investment into online degrees, using the reach of the internet to provide opportunity to Arkansas’ many working adult and remote rural residents. Arkansas has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top online undergraduate educators, and specifically as one of the top online graduate schools in education.

The University of Arkansas Ed.D degree in Education Leadership is one of U.S. News’ shout-outs, a top-tier online Ed D degree perfect for working professionals. The Education Leadership program is designed for busy teachers and lower-level administrators who want the credentials and the knowledge to become principals, superintendents, federal or state education officials, and other high-level roles. The program is designed around a cohort structure, and while all coursework is online, students must meet on campus once a semester for a brief weekend seminar. A dissertation is required for the Ed.D degree, and the 42-credit program should take 3 years to complete.

Degree: Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

9. Oakland City University – Oakland City, IN

The only university affiliated with the General Baptist Church, Oakland City University is a small, faith-based institution in Oakland City, a small town near Evansville, IN. While the university operated as a traditional, residential undergraduate college for most of its first century, it really discovered its niche in the 1980s and 1990s. During that time, OCU reached university status by reaching out to nontraditional students through extension campuses, using an adult student model: accelerated, 5-week courses, generous transfer and work experience credits, and supportive cohorts. In recent years, online distance programs have become a priority. With these innovations, OCU today numbers more than 2000 students, with just over 100 traditional on-campus students.

OCU’s online Ed D degree program takes all of OCU’s best practices and applies them to a groundbreaking doctor of education online degree. Students can choose from three specializations: The Superintendency, Curriculum & Instruction, and Organizational Management. The online Ed.D degree is perfectly designed for busy working professionals, with accelerated, fully online courses and a short summer residency for cohort members to meet and take part in professional development. The 90-credit program allows up to 33 transfer credits, helping students make their way through the program more quickly to earn their online Ed D and start on a rewarding new career path.

Degree: Ed.D.
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

10. North Greenville University – Tigerville, SC

North Greenville University is a small, Southern Baptist university located in Tigerville, a suburb of Greenville, SC in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. NGU began in 1892 as a Baptist high school, at a time when there was no public high school in the region, and with local demand, grew into a college in the early 20th century. Today, North Greenville serves more than 2500 students, many of them nontraditional and online, with a mission focused on preparing students to work as servant leaders in their professions. An emphasis on holistic education of the mind and spirit gives NGU its own character, and U.S. News & World Report top 100 ranking among regional Southern colleges confirms its success.

NGU’s online Ed D degree program gives working professionals in education the means to earn their doctor of education online degrees without leaving their jobs. The Ed.D degree offers two concentrations, K-12 Leadership and Higher Education Leadership, and focuses on applied research, problem-solving, and social intelligence. NGU’s Christ-centered curriculum prepares students to use their Christian faith to make a difference in the world of education. Accelerated 8-week terms, using both online and hybrid courses, allow students to finish the 60-credit program quickly and begin changing the world in educational leadership positions.

Degree: Ed.D.
Format: Online and Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

11. University of Houston – Houston, TX

The University of Houston is a top-tier, public R1 research university in Texas’ largest city. Founded in 1927, UH’s beginnings were especially humble; the first class of the junior college, meeting nights in the local high school, was largely made up of students training to teach in the junior college. Houston, of course, quickly came to demand more educational opportunity, and the college rapidly grew into a full university, and today the University of Houston is the flagship of a 4-member system and the third-largest university in Texas.

UH was also a pioneer in distance education, beginning with courses broadcast from the nation’s first educational TV network, KUHT. The University of Houston’s online Professional Leadership Ed.D degree program is built on nearly a century of experience in teacher education, and more than half a century in distance education. Students earn 51-credit doctor of education online degrees in one of two specializations: Literacy or Social Studies/Social Education. The UH online Ed D degree is focused on the specific needs of urban schools, building on UH’s status as an urban research universities, and graduates are expected to stay on as instructor-leaders, making a difference at every level of the education system.

Degree: Ed.D. in Professional Leadership
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

12. East Tennessee State University – Johnson City, TN

East Tennessee State University has teacher education written into the deepest segments of its DNA. Founded in 1911 as the East Tennessee Normal School, training teachers for the public school system in the hands-on normal school method – a 2-year program of actively teaching in a real classroom. As times changed, the normal school became a teacher’s college, then a full college and university, but the College of Education remains central to ETSU’s mission. In addition, ETSU has made online education a priority, and all programs in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis are available fully online.

The ETSU online Ed D degree program is intended for working education professionals who already have a master’s degree or specialist degree and want to move into leadership positions. Four concentrations allow students to find the program that best fits their current or desired role: Postsecondary and Private Sector Leadership; School Leadership; Administrative Endorsement; or Classroom Leadership. All programs require an internship, a qualifying exam, and a dissertation, but all coursework in the 66-credit program (42 credits for a Specialist degree holder) can be completed entirely online. These doctor of education online degrees are among the best choices for Tennessee’s future education leaders.

Degree: Ed.D.
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

13. Liberty University – Lynchburg, VA

Founded in 1971 by evangelist Jerry Falwell, one of the most influential conservative preachers of the 20th century, Liberty University began as an ordinary Christian college. Liberty might have stayed a typical evangelical liberal arts college as well, if not for a world-changing invention: the internet. Well before other Christian colleges, Liberty embraced online education, and rapidly grew in the last two decades from a small, little-known college into the world’s largest Christian university in the world, and the largest private university of any kind in the US, with more than 100,000 online students. Liberty’s doctor of education online degrees are recognized nationwide for quality and value.

Liberty University’s online Ed D degree program is NCATE-accredited and designed for the ultimate convenience and flexibility working education professionals need in a degree program. The Ed.D degree provides the advanced skills and knowledge to take on the role of principal, superintendent, or other high-level administrator, from elementary to university settings. Concentrations in Educational Leadership or Curriculum & Instruction are available, with further specializations in Elementary, Middle Grades, Secondary, and Special Education. This 60-credit program accepts up to 24 transfer credits, and all courses are online, though some on-campus intensives may be required.

Degree: Ed.D.
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

14. Wilmington University – New Castle, DE

Wilmington University was founded in 1968 as a small college, but in just 50 years Wilmington has grown into a comprehensive doctoral university with a diverse student body nearly 20,000 students. Wilmington University puts a priority on the needs of nontraditional students, whether working adults, first-generation students, or underrepresented minorities. With a nontraditional student body, Wilmington is set up for affordability and convenience; always a commuter campus, in recent years Wilmington has become an online education leader, so many students never need come to campus at all.

Wilmington University’s Ed.D degree in Higher Education Leadership & Innovation is available in either fully online or hybrid form. Designed for professors and administrators in higher education, the online Ed D gives working professionals the skills and credentials they need for higher-level leadership positions. Students work through the program in accelerated 7-week sessions, all of which can be entirely online, as well as 120 clinical field hours, and a capstone project based on original research. Wilmington’s emphasis on innovation means students learn the most current, leading-edge practice and theory, and contribute to the next wave in higher education.

Degree: Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership & Innovation
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

15. Ball State University – Muncie, IN

Ball State University began in 1919 when the Ball Brothers – founders of the Ball Corporation, makers of Ball jars – bought a bankrupted normal school and donated it to the state of Indiana. Ball State’s precursor had been dedicated to teacher training and applied sciences and dated back to 1876, giving the new state university a strong tradition of teacher education. The NCATE-accredited Teachers College is the oldest of the university’s colleges, and remains one of Indiana’s most successful, productive producers of schoolteachers and administrators.

Ball State’s online Ed D in Educational Administration and Supervision degree program gives students the credentials they need to take on the highest level of administrative duties. In fact, the program is tailored to satisfy Indiana’s superintendent licensing requirements, so graduates are completely equipped to take the school administrator CORE exam. Students may also adjust their curriculum to their own needs, whether in research, advanced teaching, or some other educational role. This 90 credit Ed.D degree program can be taken entirely online, and a dissertation is required.

Degree: Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

16. University of Missouri – Columbia, MO

The University of Missouri is the university of pioneers. The first public university west of the Mississippi River, the institution they call Mizzou was founded in 1839 to bring the Enlightenment-era principles of education to the frontier. Missouri was also a pioneer in teacher education. MU’s College of Education was founded in 1867, though it was proposed even earlier, in 1848, and it was a rarity at the time. Teacher training was usually done in normal schools, where teachers learned on the job in a real classroom; academic teacher education programs didn’t become standard until well into the 20th century. But Mizzou was one of the first universities to institute teacher education, and the College of Education is still a model program.

The University of Missouri Ed.D. in Educational Leadership degree program brings more than a century and a half of excellence into the 21st century. This hybrid course uses a blended format of on-campus and online courses, with a virtual cohort taking all coursework online (except for yearly orientation in the spring, and on-campus summer courses). This flexible scheduling makes earning an Ed.D degree a much more convenient proposition for working professionals in the education field. Online students qualify for in-state resident tuition, making MU’s online Ed D program a bargain as well.

Degree: Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

17. Carson-Newman University – Jefferson City, TN

Carson-Newman University is a small, historic Christian liberal arts college in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Tennessee. Founded in 1851 as a Baptist seminary, the school grew into Carson College before merging with the all-women Newman College to become one of the South’s first coed colleges. Though Carson-Newman is a full university today, it remains committed to the kind of individualized attention and mentorship expected of a small liberal arts college, and to its tradition of Christian faith and service. C-N has frequently been ranked one of the South’s top values by U.S. News & World Report.

Carson-Newman’s Ed.D degree program is designed for working educational professionals, including teachers, coaches, and counselors, who want to progress into administrative leadership positions. Two concentrations are available: Administrative Leadership, or Curriculum & Instruction. These doctor of education online degrees are available in either fully online or hybrid formats, for students who want the flexibility of online courses, or who prefer some face-to-face instruction. Accelerated 8-week courses help students finish in just 3 years, making Carson-Newman’s online Ed D program a smart choice for Tennessee’s education leaders.

Degree: Ed.D.
Format: Online or Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

18. Indiana University Bloomington – Bloomington, IN

A flagship public research university, Indiana University Bloomington is Indiana’s largest and most respected public university. Named a Public Ivy (a public university with the quality and reputation of the Ivy League), IUB has played a central role in the life of Indiana since 1820, just a few years after Indiana became a state. The IU School of Education dates back to 1923, when it broke away from the College of Arts and Sciences, and it has dominated Indiana’s teacher education ever since. Indiana University regularly ranks among U.S. News & World Report’s top 50 public universities, and the School of Education has ranked in the top 20 nationally since rankings began.

Indiana University’s Ed.D degree in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education is available in a fully online format, preparing working educators for leadership positions. The IU program is unusual, in that it is specifically targeted to educators in the areas of language and literacy. Students in the online Ed D program work in a cohort format through the 60-credit program, building a holistic understanding of leadership in a diverse modern educational landscape. All coursework is online, but students must attend at least one on-campus conference held by the Literacy, Culture, and Language Education department.

Degree: Ed.D. in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

19. University of Memphis Global – Memphis, TN

Founded in 1912 as a normal school, the University of Memphis was built on teacher education. While the West Tennessee Normal School gradually absorbed an earlier institution named the University of Memphis, growing into a comprehensive public university, it all began with teacher training, and the U of M College of Education remains one of Tennessee’s premier education schools. The College of Education offers 57 degree programs, while 14 research centers and institutes give students access to the most current knowledge and data in the education field.

The University of Memphis’ Ed.D. in Higher and Adult Education is offered through UM Global, the university’s nationally-ranked online and distance education division. The online Ed D degree program offers concentrations in Higher Education, Adult Education, and Instructional Design & Technology. Prospective administrators and leaders learn fundamental expertise in areas like organizational leadership, higher education finance, adult learning, and legal and ethical issues in higher education. Coursework is entirely online, though students must attend a 1-week session in the summer. With reasonable tuition, these doctor of education online degrees show why the University of Memphis is a national best value.

Degree: Ed.D. in Higher and Adult Education
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

20. Grand Canyon University – Phoenix, AZ

Grand Canyon University is a remarkable institution – one of only a handful of regionally-accredited, nationally-ranked, for-profit universities. Founded in 1949 as a small Christian college, Grand Canyon came close to bankruptcy around the turn of the 21st century, preserving itself by becoming the nation’s first for-profit Christian University. Today, GCU remains respected and reputable, growing considerably because of its nationally-recognized online programs. While its traditional on-campus student body remains small, Grand Canyon teaches more than 60,000 students online, making it one of the most successful Christian universities in the world.

GCU’s online Ed D degree programs are available in a variety of specializations: Behavioral Health, Christian Ministry, Healthcare Administration, Higher Education, K-12 Education, Organizational Development, and Special Education. While the requirements differ for each, these doctor of education online degrees have in common a commitment to flexibility, support, and expertise. Some concentrations will require brief on-campus residencies, but all coursework is done online in a cohort format with accelerated 8-week schedules. Online doctoral programs require a dissertation.

Degree: Ed.D.
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

21. Clarkson College – Omaha, NE

A private, health sciences-focused college in Omaha, NE, Clarkson College was founded in 1888 as a nursing diploma program at Clarkson Memorial Hospital, the standard for nursing education in the day. Over time, the nursing program grew into a nursing college, especially as WWI and WWII increased demand for trained nurses. Today, Clarkson is a national and international leader in all facets of nursing and healthcare, from clinical practice to education and administration. Clarkson has been ranked Nebraska’s top online nursing program, and Clarkson is widely recognized as a best value.

Clarkson’s Ed.D. in Health Care Education & Leadership is designed for working professionals in nursing and nurse education who want to move into higher positions of authority in healthcare education and education administration. The Ed D program focuses particularly on applied research, preparing professionals for teaching and leading with policy design and implementation, curriculum design, and more. A dissertation is required, but all coursework is fully online. Clarkson’s reputation in Nebraska and beyond makes it a top doctor of education online degree for a very important niche.

Degree: Ed.D. in Health Care Education & Leadership
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

22. Southwestern College – Wichita, KS

Southwestern College is a United Methodist Church-affiliated liberal arts and professional studies institution in Wichita, KS. Founded in 1885, Southwestern was a conventional religious liberal arts college for most of its history, with a small residential core of traditional-aged students. Southwestern’s largest transformation began in 1994, when Southwestern’s Professional Studies division opened. Through Professional Studies, Southwestern began offering graduate degrees for nontraditional students, and the advent of online education changed everything. Today, Southwestern offers accelerated, fully online degree programs for working adults and has earned national attention for quality.

Southwestern’s online Ed.D. degree program offers two concentrations for working professionals who want to increase their credentials and move into administrative and leadership positions. The PK-12 concentration prepares students for higher roles in public, private, and religious elementary and secondary schools, while the Higher Education concentration opens up possibilities in college and university administration. All courses are fully online, except for two week-long summer intensives in research and writing. Southwestern’s accelerated schedule, low tuition, and reputation for quality makes their doctor of education online degrees some of America’s top online Ed D degrees.

Degree: Ed.D.
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

23. University of Florida – Gainesville, FL

One of Florida’s two preeminent universities, and the state’s land, sea, and space-grant public research university, the University of Florida has been central to education in the state since 1853, just a few years after Florida was admitted to the union. While later colleges have outnumbered UF in student body size, none match the university for comprehensiveness, from engineering and technology to business, law, and education. The College of Education, in particular, dates to 1905, when the state consolidated its less organized normal school system into a centralized college, and UF remains a leader in teacher education.

UF’s Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction degree program offers a specialization in Curriculum, Teaching, and Teacher Education (CTTE) that is uniquely designed for practicing educators. Unlike other programs, which help teachers move into administration, the CTTE program teaches teachers to transform the classroom with applied research, cutting-edge theory, and curriculum design. UF’s top online Ed D prepares practicing teachers to transform education from the inside-out, influencing policy and impacting the classroom directly. It’s a radical approach to education and a top Ed.D degree.

Degree: Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

24. Gwynedd Mercy University – Gwynedd Valley, PA

Gwynedd Mercy University is a Catholic liberal arts and professional university founded by the Sisters of Mercy of Merion in 1948. The Sisters of Mercy, a religious order dedicated to education, justice, and the care for women and children, are known not only for their educational quality, but for their commitment to social welfare and community service. A small student body of just over 2000, and a low 11:1 student:faculty ratio, gives students the close personal attention and mentorship of a small liberal arts college, but Gwynedd Mercy’s professional programs have made it one of the most renowned institutions in Pennsylvania for nursing and education.

Gwynedd Mercy’s Accelerated Executive Doctorate in Educational Leadership is a fully online program for working education professionals. Students can choose concentrations in PreK-12 Schools and School Districts, Higher Education, or Special Education. Students work through the 54-credit program in a small, supportive cohort, a method that shows real results – 76% of students graduate within 3 years, much higher than the 41%, 10-year national average. Students are prepared with applied research, policy analysis, and management skills to enter into administrative positions in school districts, colleges, government, and other settings. Gwynedd Mercy’s doctor of education online degrees are some of the top online Ed D degrees in the North, and an investment sure to pay off.

Degree: Accelerated Executive Doctorate in Educational Leadership
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

25. Oregon State University – Corvallis, OR

One of the foremost public research universities on the west coast, Oregon State University is one of only three universities with federal land, sea, space, and sun-grant status, as well as Carnegie Foundation R1 classification and Community Engagement classification. Oregon State dates back to the region’s first academy in 1856, before it was granted land-grant status as an agricultural college in 1868. As the state’s top research university, OSU is also a leader in online education, ranked in the top 10 nationally by U.S. News & World Report, including fully online graduate degrees from the NCATE-accredited College of Education.

Oregon State’s Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education is a top online Ed D program designed for working educators in post-secondary education – community college, college, university, and more. The OSU Ecampus offers the Ed.D degree fully online, with some minimal on-campus appearances: a week-long summer intensive, and two weekend meetings in Portland, OR. Students can choose a concentration in Community College Leadership or Leadership in Higher Education, depending on their current career direction. Either concentration requires a dissertation on an important topic in their field. OSU’s top doctor of education online degrees makes for the Pacific Northwest’s best investments for higher education leadership.

Degree: Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

26. Central Michigan University – Mount Pleasant, MI

Central Michigan University has been dedicated to the front line of teacher education since its first day, and remains a regional and national model. Founded in 1892 as Michigan’s second normal school, CMU began in an era when most teachers lacked any formal training, and helped transform education in the state. Like other normal schools, CMU expanded into a full state college and university over its history, but kept a focus on teacher education. CMU has made online education a new emphasis in the 21st century, with a growing online student body of over 8000 to complement the on-campus traditional student body of nearly 20,000

CMU’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership degree program comes from the CMU Global Campus, a national leader in online education ranked as one of the best bachelor’s and graduate online programs by U.S. News & World Report. The online Ed D program is structured in a hybrid online format, with all classes online and 4 on-campus summer sessions. Students work through the program in a cohort, providing support and opportunities for collaboration. Two concentrations – K-12 Leadership and Higher Education Leadership – give students the right combination for their career goals. CMU’s doctor of education online degrees lead the way in Michigan for quality and value.

Degree: Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

27. Southeastern University – Lakeland, FL

Southeastern University is a faith-based, Christ-centered institution associated with the Assemblies of God, the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination. Founded in 1946 as a Bible college, Southeastern grew into a liberal arts college by the 1970s, and reached university status in 2005 to become the largest Assemblies of God college. As a Christian university, Southeastern emphasizes character development, ethics, and servant leadership, with a focus on bringing Christian ethics and morals into professional life. To reach more students, Southeastern has built an impressive Online Learning division with more than two dozen degrees, certificates, and concentrations.

Southeastern’s online Ed D degree program gives students a thorough, advanced education in the most current theory, research, and practice in education administration. Two concentrations are offered: Curriculum and Instruction, or Organizational Leadership, each with an emphasis on building students’ Christian faith and spiritual strength as well as academic knowledge. All coursework is fully online, except for two required week-long intensive courses to be taken in either the summer or winter term. Applicants must write a statement of Christian faith, and graduates are expected to uphold Christian values in their careers. It’s an Ed.D degree for Christians, by Christians.

Degree: Ed.D.
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

28. University of South Carolina – Columbia, SC

The University of South Carolina is the state’s flagship university, the largest university in the Carolinas, and one of the oldest public universities in the nation, founded in 1801. USC is one of only a few top-tier, R1 Carnegie Classification universities to also earn the Carnegie Community Engagement classification, reflecting the university’s dedication to social good. After more than 200 years of service and excellence, USC has become known in recent years for its top-ranked online degree programs, drawing on expertise in teaching, nursing, and health sciences to develop undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.

USC’s Ed.D degree in Curriculum & Instruction draws on the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate Consortium, the nationwide initiative to transform education for educators. The 60-credit Curriculum Studies concentration is available fully online, and prepares students for leadership in the area of curriculum research, design, and implementation. The Curriculum Studies program gives professionals the tools to revitalize education from the bottom up, crafting innovative instruction. This online Ed D program is one of the most forward-thinking in the South, and a sound, convenient way for education professionals to go to the next level.

Degree: Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

29. Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ

One of America’s largest universities, and one of the most influential modern research institutions, Arizona State University has become known for a lot of things. It’s long been ranked the most innovative university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, and has revolutionized online education with ASU Online, the largest public, non-profit online educator. But ASU began as a simple normal school in 1885, long before the Arizona Territory became a state, and the Fulton Teachers College remains central to ASU’s mission. Ranked by U.S. News as a top 5 public education school, and one of the best graduate education schools, Fulton’s graduates have a more than 92% job market success rate.

ASU’s online Ed.D degree in Leadership & Innovation is intended for working professionals in education, including teachers, principals, professors, and more. The focus on Leadership & Innovation makes the online Ed D program a perfect choice for experts who want to reach farther in revolutionizing and transforming education, from P-12 to university. The 90-credit program (60 for master’s degree holders) is available fully online, and includes a dissertation led by a faculty mentor. Students learn not only the most current theory and practice, but learn to analyze and assess their own performance to track their impact on innovation and development, making ASU’s online Ed D a self-aware, self-motivating game-changer.

Degree: Ed.D. in Leadership & Innovation
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

30. Rowan University – Glassboro, NJ

Founded in 1923 as the Glassboro Normal School, Rowan University has built its reputation on education. Rowan was founded to address a shortage of properly trained schoolteachers in southern New Jersey, but the school quickly began to make its own way, pioneering special education for students with learning disabilities and physical disabilities. Today, Rowan has developed into a comprehensive public university, with undergraduate and graduate degrees, professional programs, and even two medical schools, but Rowan remains a regional and national leader in teacher education.

Students have numerous online and hybrid options for earning Rowan’s Ed.D degree in Educational Leadership. The Community College Leadership Initiative concentration is only available online, but several other concentrations are available online or hybrid: Higher Education, Nurse Educator, and P-12 Leadership. All of these doctor of education online degrees give students Rowan University’s best preparation in theory and practice, from managing change to working collaboratively. For an Ed.D Degree in New Jersey, Rowan has the history and current reputation to make all the work worthwhile.

Degree: Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Format: Online and Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

31. Maryville University – Louisville, MO

Maryville University takes pride in its pioneering, disruptive tradition, and is carrying that character into the 21st century with online education. Maryville was founded in 1872 as an academy for low-income young women by the Religious of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic order devoted to education. Over the years, Maryville grew into a liberal arts college, always keeping social and community engagement at the heart of its curriculum, but the most momentous event, for Maryville’s future, was the establishment of the Weekend College in 1981. The only weekend adult education program in St. Louis, the Weekend College set the stage for Maryville’s development of distance and online programs, now the university’s signature.

Maryville University’s Ed.D degree in Higher Education Leadership is a fully online Ed D program designed differently as a model for rethinking teacher education. Maryville’s doctor of education online degrees put the dissertation out front, having students work throughout their program on the issues and problems that inform their dissertation. This approach gives the program a greater real-world impact, as does a supportive cohort and personal mentorship. Students can complete the program in just 32 months, all the while incorporating what they learn into their current job in preparation for the future position their Ed.D degree will help them earn.

Degree: Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

32. City University of Seattle – Seattle, WA

Education for nontraditional working adults is at the heart of City University of Seattle. A private university in Seattle, WA, City University was founded in 1973 expressly to provide opportunity for adult students. With that mission, CityU began with a focus on flexibility, convenience, and affordability, creating adaptable, market-ready programs in areas like business, health, and education. Today, CityU is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top online educators, and has grown into a comprehensive, doctoral university deeply linked to the city and business sector of Seattle.

City University’s online Ed D in Leadership is focused on providing working professionals in the education field with the skills and experience to take on administrative and managerial roles. Three concentrations are available: Organizational Leadership, Higher Education Leadership, and a self-directed Specialized Study. Generous transfer acceptance can help students finish the 90-credit program in as little as two and a half years, and the program has an 87% retention rate – exceptionally high for a doctoral program. CityU’s doctor of education online degrees are a top choice for the Pacific Northwest’s prospective education leaders.

Degree: Ed.D. in Leadership
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

33. St. Thomas University – Miami Gardens, FL

St. Thomas University was founded in 1946 in Havana, Cuba, by the Augustinian order, but when the Cuban Revolution took away the church’s land and rights, members of the college leadership escaped to Florida. There, they founded Biscayne College in 1961, the institution which eventually grew into St. Thomas University. Today, St. Thomas is the only private, Catholic university in Florida supported by an archdiocese, and has become known in recent years not only for the academic rigor and service of a Catholic college, but increasingly as an online educator.

St. Thomas University’s online Ed D in Leadership & Innovation is designed for experienced professionals in education to develop their skills as organizational leaders. This fully online Ed.D degree is focused on areas like planning, research, ethics, educational policy, and organizational change, preparing future administrators, principals, professors, and superintendents for the demands of leadership. Students can complete the 60-credit program in just three years, working through an interdisciplinary set of courses with a cohort. St. Thomas is a trusted name in Florida and beyond, making their doctor of education online degrees a sound choice.

Degree: Ed.D. in Leadership & Innovation
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

34. University of Massachusetts Lowell – Lowell, MA

The University of Massachusetts Lowell began with an emphasis on practical, hands-on learning, with the Lowell Normal School (1884) and the Lowell Textile School (1895). These public institutions set the stage for the development of two state colleges that merged to form UMass Lowell, carrying on the tradition of applied education into the 21st century. In recent years, UMass Lowell has begun making a name for itself with online education, steadily growing in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings year by year and reaching the top tier of national universities. Lowell has also been noted as a best value by Forbes.

UMass Lowell’s Ed.D. Leadership in Schooling degree program is intended for working professionals in PK-12 education to make community-impacting improvements as well-informed leaders. The online Ed D program focuses on empowering leaders through applied research and best practices, leading schools and organizations to make positive solutions to problems. Students work through the 42-credit program in a cohort, attending a one-week residency each summer of the program. This top-ranked Ed.D degree is made for change and adaptability, and formed leaders who can make things happen.

Degree: Ed.D. in Leadership in Schooling
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

35. Concordia University Chicago – River Forest, IL

Part of the world-renowned Concordia University system, Concordia University Chicago is a top-ranked regional Midwestern university. Founded by the Lutheran Church in 1855, Concordia Chicago was originally a teacher’s seminary, intended to train teachers for the church’s private schools. Concordia Chicago is the oldest institution in the 10-member Concordia system, and over its century and a half has grown from a teacher’s college into comprehensive liberal arts university. Concordia Chicago has kept teacher education at the forefront, though; education is still the university’s largest program.

Concordia Chicago’s Ed.D degree in Educational Leadership comes from the Department of Leadership, a specialized, interdisciplinary division dedicated to the most up-to-date, innovative leadership education. The online Ed D program is designed for teachers who want to move into higher responsibility administrative positions, either in public or private elementary and secondary schools. The program is 61-67 credits, and can be completed entirely online, focusing on competencies in areas like Diversity, Communication, Ethics, and Management. Concordia Chicago’s doctor of education online degrees are trusted and transformative – just like Concordia Chicago.

Degree: Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

36. University of Findlay – Findlay, OH

The University of Findlay dates back to 1882, and an unconventional partnership between the Churches of God and the city of Findlay, OH. Together, they established a liberal arts college that emphasized Christian development, educational excellence, and civic engagement, with a board made up of both town and church leaders. The first Churches of God-affiliated university, UF has largely been made up of a high proportion of Churches of God students, while its civic focus has made it one of Ohio’s best professional schools in areas like education and health science. UF has long been ranked one of U.S. News & World Report’s top Midwestern regional schools.

UF’s online Ed D degree program prepares experienced educators for the next stage in their career – administration. Whether their goal is superintendent or dean, educational policy director or human resources, UF’s Ed.D degree has the tools to make it happen. Students can complete the program entirely online, with just a 1-week intensive session each summer, and students with an Ohio superintendent’s license can cut off a quarter of the program immediately. UF’s long history and reputation for quality make it a trusted name in Ohio, and a sound choice for Ohio’s future educational leaders.

Degree: Ed.D.
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

37. University of Bridgeport – Bridgeport, CT

The University of Bridgeport is a small, private university founded in 1927 as a nonsectarian, coed liberal arts and professional studies institution. Like other small institutions, the University of Bridgeport suffered financial challenges in its history, especially in the 1990s, when it was saved by a branch of the Unification Church. However, Bridgeport got its second wind thanks to online education, starting its first fully online degree programs in 1997 and regaining its independence. Today, the University of Bridgeport is ranked as one of the most diverse institutions in the nation by U.S. News, and has begun to earn national attention for online and hybrid education.

The University of Bridgeport’s Ed.D degree in Educational Leadership is an accelerated online Ed D program designed to get working education professionals into an administrative career in just three years. While it is named a hybrid program, all coursework is fully online; students need only attend two week-long on-campus summer sessions during their program. Bridgeport builds on its heritage as the first online educator in Connecticut, and as one of the nation’s most diverse colleges, by designing their doctor of education online degrees around international education, ethical issues, and comparative education – topics for the future of higher education.

Degree: Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

38. Edgewood College – Madison, WI

Edgewood College dates back to a Catholic girls’ academy founded in 1881 by the Dominican Sisters, built on the estate of a former governor who donated the land to the Sisters. By 1927, the school had become a junior college, and as Madison, WI – the state’s capital, and home of the University of Wisconsin – Edgewood’s services were ever more needed. Today, Edgewood College retains it Dominican commitment to educational rigor, and to service, while developing some of the region’s strongest practica programs in business, nursing, and education.

Edgewood College’s Ed.D degree in Educational Leadership offers a concentration in Higher Education Leadership that can be completed entirely online, or in a hybrid format. The cohort-based program gives students access to expert mentors, including a Research and Writing Center. Students work through coursework in six semesters, completing classes in two years; 85% of students are also able to complete their dissertation in just one more year. The Higher Education concentration prepares students for administrative roles in community college, college, and university settings.

Degree: Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Format: Online or Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

39. Northcentral University – San Diego, CA

A regionally-accredited, for-profit, fully online university based in San Diego, CA, Northcentral University is one of the youngest universities to achieve both regional accreditation, and U.S. News & World Report national ranking. Northcentral was founded in 1996 to offers online degree programs for working adults, and the university has steadily grown as demand for flexible, convenient degrees has increased. Northcentral has continually added accredited programs in areas like business, technology, health, and education.

Northcentral’s online Ed D degree program is a professional degree for self-motivated, ambitious education professionals who want to influence their field. Students can choose from a staggering 16 specializations, including Curriculum & Teaching, Organizational Leadership, Higher Learning Analytics, and Nursing Education. Not GRE or GMAT is required to apply, and the self-paced program starts every week, so students can jump in at any time. The accelerated 54-credit program can be completed in just 40 months, and students can apply their learning to their current jobs immediately, making Northcentral University’s doctor of education online degrees a useful, next-wave innovation.

Degree: Ed.D.
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

40. Lipscomb University – Nashville, TN

Lipscomb University was founded in 1891 with the ambition to be Middle Tennessee’s top Christian liberal arts college. A Churches of Christ institution, Lipscomb focuses on providing professional preparation with a strong liberal arts core, all built around a basic framework of Christian faith, Bible-based teaching, and ethical, moral responsibility. Lipscomb is highly regarded in Nashville and throughout Tennessee for its educational quality and commitment to service, and the university has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 20 regional colleges in the South.

Lipscomb’s online Ed D degree program comes from the College of Education, one of Tennessee’s top-ranked schools of education. Students receive the same up-to-date, academically rigorous instruction as the on-campus cohort, but with the flexibility of being able to attend from home, without leaving their job. While all coursework is completed entirely online, students must attend three weekend-long intensive sessions on-campus, one for each year of the program, and a 10-day international experience during the first summer session. With international relevance and 21st-century delivery, Lipscomb is offering a model Ed.D degree that will make a difference in the lives of educators and students.

Degree: Ed.D.
Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$