Best Online PhDs in Education

A career in education is often highly rewarding, and there are many ways that you can put a Master’s in Education to work. But attaining your EdD in Education opens up even more doors. Your EdD in Education will prepare you for leadership positions so that you can tackle the challenges and questions facing education today. Whether you hope to become an administrator, to hold a position in a university, to work as a senior-level leader, or to become a policymaker, all of these opportunities are possible with this specialized degree.

For educators who want to enact change and become leaders, exploring this list of the Best Online EdD in Education Programs may be the first step in advancing your career.

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Finding an EdD in Education

An EdD in Education is often a research-intensive program that will introduce you to the questions and challenges facing educators today. Many programs focus on topics including curriculum development, program evaluation and assessment, and values and ethics as they affect education. You will find that different programs offer different concentrations, such as special education, distance learning, and more. Because most of these programs seek applicants who currently work in education, a flexible program is a must. The programs in this list offer flexible scheduling with most of the coursework being performed online. Occasional on-campus orientations or intensives may be required, but some of these programs are 100 percent online, with students even able to defend their dissertation virtually.

Ranking the EdD in Education

When you choose your EdD in Education, you’re facing a major decision and want to be confident in your choice. It’s important to not only weigh the value of each program, but also to find a program that matches your career plans, your budget, and the concentration that you would like to pursue. Online PhD Programs has carefully developed the following ranking of the 40 Best Online EdD in Education Programs to help you make your decision. Online PhD Programs considered all of the fully online and hybrid education programs available, using these three metrics to score each program:

  • Cost (IPEDs data)
  • Reputation (U.S. News and World Report data)
  • Return on Investment (College Scorecard data)

The schools below include only regionally-accredited, reputable colleges. Among them, you only find schools which have an excellent reputation and experience in educating educators. Many of these schools are known for longstanding and impressive education programs. The schools offer these online program options to make pursuing further education easier for working professionals, students with families, and students who live too far from campus to make daily or regular trips to the school practical.

1. Concordia University Chicago

Founded in 1864 as a college for teachers, Concordia University Chicago is now comprised of five different colleges. This private liberal-arts college is based in the Lutheran tradition and has an impressive 11:1 graduate-student-to-faculty ratio. Concordia University Chicago was included in U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best Online Graduate Education Programs list. The college also earned the Christian College of Distinction and an Education College of Distinction titles for 2018-19. Concordia University Chicago’s online learning community allows students to set their own schedules, attending class when it’s convenient for them. The online learning classroom is taught by faculty all over the world, bringing a global perspective to education.

The doctoral program in leadership with a specialization in curriculum and instruction is designed to prepare teachers for leadership roles in public or private K-12 schools. The coursework is designed to help students explore, understand, and discuss the challenges of teacher education. Students will study topics including curriculum theory and design, research-based instructional practices, global perspectives on curriculum and instruction, and more. Program applicants must be admitted into the Curriculum and Instruction doctoral program, and will complete a comprehensive examination and dissertation during this program. This program includes both online and on-campus coursework.

2. Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University first opened in 1876 and served as the first institute of higher learning in Texas. Today, the university’s main campus in College Station accommodates more than 64,000 students, and the university offers 128 undergraduate degree programs and 300 graduate degree programs. Money deemed Texas A&M the top public university in Texas for best value in 2018. In 2013, the U.S. News & World Report ranked the university’s Elementary Teacher Education Program as 16th among all education colleges. The Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, established in 1969, works to prepare teachers by creating experiences to advance teaching, research, and service.

The Online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program is a web-based program designed to prepare students for leadership roles in school change and improvement initiatives, colleague professional development, school or district curriculum leadership, and more. The online curriculum is complemented by a supportive group membership; students are admitted to the program in cohorts, and the program takes about four years to complete. During the program, students complete two professional internships. Applicants must have at least five years of teaching experience, hold a master’s degree, and must submit three professional references, their GRE scores, and writing samples.

3. Liberty University

Liberty University, an accredited evangelical liberal arts university, features 16 colleges and schools and offers over 550 programs of study. More than 250 programs are available online. Liberty, a non-profit university, has not raised its tuition for its online undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs in the past three years. In 2017, Niche ranked Liberty as the Best Online College in America. Liberty University offers service members, veterans, military spouses, and Department of Defense employees tuition discounts. Additionally, undergraduates may be able to receive college credit for military training.

Liberty University’s Online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program is offered entirely online with optional intensives on the Central Virginia campus. Scheduling of the intensives is flexible in order to allow students to experience hands-on training. The 60-credit-hour program integrates the doctoral dissertation research into the course material, allowing students to complete the program more quickly – the program takes an average of three years to complete. Students may choose from a variety of specializations, including Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, and Curriculum and Instruction for elementary, middle grades, secondary, or special education. The program prepares students for roles as educational administrators, university faculty members, senior-level educational leaders, or educational policymakers.

4. University of the Cumberlands

The University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, was founded in 1913 with a vision for providing education in an underserved area. Today, the university offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and educates over 2,000 undergraduates. The University of the Cumberlands also offers 35 graduate degrees that can be completed online, making them convenient, flexible, and affordable options for adult students. Over 9,000 graduate students are currently enrolled at the university. Expert instructors lead online courses and belong to more than 200 professional organizations, ensuring a quality education for all students.

The Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) program is a 60-hour online program designed to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. The program can be completed entirely online, though on-campus classes are available and often meet on Saturdays. During the program, students will learn about the politics of educational decision-making, program evaluation and assessment, grant writing, strategic planning, and more. Program candidates must hold a master’s degree from an accredited college and have a GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. A writing sample, GRE or MAT scores, and a letter of recommendation are also required. The program can be completed in three years.

5. Indiana State University

Indiana State University, established in 1865, is located in Terre Haute, Indiana. The university offers over 100 undergraduate majors through seven different colleges, as well as 75 graduate programs. Indiana State University also offers more than 70 online undergraduate and graduate programs. These programs can be completed with minimal campus visits, and some are available entirely online with no on-campus requirement. Online courses are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. Students taking online classes also receive plenty of support from academic advisors, online tutoring, IT support, and more.

The doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in education administration with a specialization in leadership in higher education program is designed for professionals currently working in higher education settings. This program prepares students to hold leadership positions at public or private colleges and universities, community colleges, technical schools, and for-profit post-secondary institutions. Much of the coursework is delivered online using internet and audio conferencing. The online courses are complemented by three Friday/Saturday on-campus seminars. The summer session that falls between a student’s first and second academic year involves a three-week on-campus residency.

6. University of Southern California

The University of Southern California first opened in 1880 with a staff of 10 teachers and an enrollment of 53 students. Today, USC educates 20,000 undergraduates and 27,500 graduate and professional students. USC offers over 100 global online graduate programs, with additional programs being frequently added. The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education ranked USC as 15th in a comprehensive ranking of 1,061 public and private universities. The U.S. News & World Report also ranked USC among the top 25 national universities, and included USC’s School of Education in its ranking of the best education schools.

USC’s Doctor of Education (EdD) in Organizational Change and Leadership is a three-year program that culminates in a dissertation. During this program, students focus on how learning occurs in the workplace, learn strategies to facilitate organizational learning, and discover how to create systems that produce effective, adaptable, and competitive organizations. Program applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a GPA above 3.0, and leadership experience, among other requirements. This program starts three times throughout the year in January, May, and September, and limited spots are available for each cohort.

7. Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University first opened its doors in 1925 and today, it is the only campus in Texas that houses a major university, a law school, and a medical school. In 2018, College Factual ranked Texas Tech as the Best College for the Money in the Southwest. That same year, Texas Tech earned the 79th spot in the Forbes Best Value College rankings, and the school also earned the 70th spot in Niche’s list of the top public universities in the United States. Texas Tech’s College of Education is accredited by nine accrediting agencies and is home to over 2,200 students. It is one of only 16 universities in the country to have an Orientation and Mobility Program.

The Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership prepares school leaders in a PreK-12 environment to identify and implement research-based solutions in order to improve schools. The 60-hour three-year program involves 48 credit hours of coursework and 12 credit hours of dissertation research. This program is offered in a blended distance delivery method that is paired with required one-week on-campus intensive summer institutes. Students must also participate in fall and spring Doctoral Colloquia on-campus events held during every year of the program. Program applicants must hold active professional positions in a PreK-12 school district. This position should allow applicants to use action research to implement small-scale change.

8. Lamar University

Located in Beaumont, Texas, Lamar University was founded in 1923. Today, over 15,000 students are enrolled at LU, where they may choose from more than 100 programs of study in order to earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s small class size and low student-to-faculty ratio ensures that students can build meaningful relationships with faculty, and LU offers opportunities for undergraduate research in order to support and facilitate hands-on learning. LU’s center for doctoral studies was ranked 17th in College Values Online‘s list of the 40 top values for 2017-2018. The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership is an accelerated doctoral program. Delivered fully online, no residency or travel is required, making this program ideal for busy professionals and full-time educators who don’t necessarily have time to travel to campus. Students can complete the program in just eight semesters, including summers. This program is designed to prepare students to be change agents in local, national, and international settings. It is a research-based, practitioner-driven program. In addition to a writing sample, past transcripts, and other admissions requirements, program applicants must submit a digital video explaining what sets them apart from other candidates.

9. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Chartered in 1869, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln awarded its first doctoral degree in 1896, and was one of the first institutions west of the Mississippi River to do so. A research leader, the university operates many grant-funded projects to increase knowledge in the sciences and humanities. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln was deemed a Best Buy School in Fiske‘s 2018 guide to colleges. Kiplinger’s included the university in its 2016 Best Values in Public Colleges awards. Many legendary figures have attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, including geneticist Georges Beadle and artist Aaron Douglas.

The Doctoral Program in Educational Administration is designed to prepare students for roles in P-12 administration. This program is offered as a combination of online courses and one-week on-campus sessions during the summers. Students interested in attaining the EdD degree must complete at least 96 graduate semester hours after earning their bachelor’s degree, and students must complete a minimum of 45 semester hours during this program, regardless of how many hours they may already have before being admitted to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Program applicants must have at least two years full-time teaching experience at the grade levels relevant to their desired degree.

10. University of Arkansas

When the University of Arkansas was established in 1871, it became the first public university in the state. Though the university had only eight students and three faculty members at the time, it has since grown into a major university with 1,353 faculty members and an enrollment of 27,778. Both Bill and Hillary Clinton taught law at the University of Arkansas early in their careers, and Hillary founded the university’s legal clinic. The University of Arkansas has over four miles of sidewalks that are imprinted with the names of the university’s graduates. Today, students can access a variety of online programs, giving them flexibility to balance busy schedules and family obligations with their education.

The Online Ed.D. in Educational Leadership prepares students to hold professional roles as principals, building-level administrators and supervisors, superintendents, and other educational leadership-related positions. While most coursework is offered online, students meet face-to-face on-campus once per semester for an intensive weekend seminar. Each seminar focuses on a theme and may include aspects such as mini-lectures by practitioners, facilitated discussion groups, and debate of issues that face school leaders today. These seminars create hands-on learning experiences for students. Both current and prospective students are encouraged to apply for several graduate scholarships offered by the College of Education and Health Professions each year.

11. Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University, located in Huntsville, Texas, has a rich 137-year history. Its comprehensive SHSU Online currently offers more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, all of which are accredited and taught by the same faculty that teach on campus. SHSU uses state-of-the-art learning technologies and advancements within its online programs. In 2018, SHSU ranked among the top 50 in the U.S. News & World Report‘s ranking for online graduate education programs and online bachelor’s programs. also ranked SHSU as 18th in their list of the Best Online Colleges for Veterans and Their Families in 2018.

The Doctor of Education in Developmental Education Administration prepares educators to develop and administer programs specifically for underprepared community college and university students. This 60-credit-hour program is offered online, but graduates’ degrees and transcripts will not say “online.” Instead, they’ll be just the same as any other degree earned from SHSU. Students will receive a quality education from talented and credentialed professors, and will also enjoy small class sizes and around the clock support. This program emphasizes original research to facilitate continued intellectual growth, developing students into developmental education leaders.

12. Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University Bloomington was founded in 1820 and today serves as the flagship campus of Indiana University’s seven campuses. Today, IU offers more than 550 academic programs and over 200 undergraduate majors. IU’s online M.B.A. program was ranked second in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report. The U.S. News & World Report also ranked IU’s School of Education #30 in their list of the 2019 Best Grad Schools in Education, and #46 in the 2019 Best Online Graduate Education Programs rankings. Additionally, it ranked IU’s Higher Education Administration program as the fifth best in the nation.

The Ed.D. in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education is a 60-credit-hour online program to prepare literacy and language practitioners to hold leadership positions. This program is available as an online option in the fall, or as a residential option. The cohort structure encourages relationships and collaboration, which is particularly valuable for students who opt for the online version of this program. No internships are required, though students must participate in at least one conference that the Literacy, Culture, and Language Education department leads on the Bloomington campus. Program applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 out of 4.00.

13. University of West Georgia

The University of West Georgia was founded in 1906 as an agricultural and mechanical school, but it became a four-year institution in 1957. Today, UWG is Georgia’s sixth largest university with a record enrollment of 13,733 in the fall of 2018. UWG offers 87 different fields of study that include bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral programs, and more. The U.S. News & World Report recognized UWG as one of the nation’s top colleges and universities in 2018, and The Princeton Review awarded UWG the title of a Best Regional College for 2018. Colleges of Distinction also recognized UWG as one of America’s best-fit universities for students.

UWG’s Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration is designed to increase students’ knowledge of topics including university administration, leadership, finance management, and addressing and solving critical higher education issues. Program graduates will be able to understand the nuances of higher education, identify personal values and ethics as they influence professional practice, and more. New students must attend a mandatory 2 and ½ day orientation each summer on UWG’s Carrollton campus. Aside from this orientation, the entire program – including coursework, projects, assignments, discussions, and dissertation – is held entirely online.

14. Ball State University

Ball State University was founded in 1918, and today it has an enrollment of about 22,000 students. Recognizing the value of online education, Ball State University offers more than 70 online degrees, certificates, and educator licenses. These online programs are taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus courses, ensuring a quality education. Ball State University has been named one of the best universities in the Midwest by The Princeton Review for over a decade, and is one of just 24 schools in the United States to be named to The Princeton Review‘s Green Honor Roll.

Ball State University’s PhD in Educational Studies teaches students teaching and learning strategies, systematic assessment, evaluation, research, and how to address the changing education population. The program features three major specializations in curriculum, educational technology, and cultural and educational policy studies. This blended 91-credit-hour program consists of both online and in-person courses. Some in-person courses are held on Ball State University’s Muncie, Indiana campus, while others are held in the greater Indianapolis area. Most students complete the program in four years; it must be completed within seven years.

15. Columbus State University

Columbus State University is conveniently located just 100 miles southwest of Atlanta. Established in 1958, CSU offers 46 undergraduate and 42 graduate degrees. An 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio ensures that students have access to attentive, personalized education. CSU consists of seven different schools, including the College of Education and Health Professions. CSU offers a variety of online undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a number of online certificates and endorsements. Courses are available as fully online, partially online, and hybrid learning opportunities. CSU’s teacher education programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

The Doctor of Education Curriculum and Leadership instills students with a high degree of expertise in school improvement, research, and professional learning, preparing them to hold leadership, administrative, or classroom positions. The 63-hour program follows a cohort model, and students work on their coursework together in face-to-face or hybrid classes. Students may be able to take some approved electives online. Program applicants must hold a master’s degree from an accredited institution, and must have a GPA of at least 3.5 on all graduate coursework. Among other requirements, applicants must have four years of experience in a school setting or in a leadership role in the private sector.

16. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University opened in 1876 and was founded as America’s first research university. Today, the university encompasses nine academic divisions across four different campuses, and 27 Hopkins researchers have earned Nobel Prizes. The John Hopkins University School of Education was established in 1909 and today employs 116 full-time faculty. With 14 undergraduates and 2,594 graduate students, the School of Education awards 18 bachelor’s, 719 master’s, 5 PhD, and 41 EdD degrees annually. The School of Education was ranked fifteenth in the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program is offered online. Students must enter the program with at least 36 graduate credits, and then must complete an additional 48 to 54 credit hours during the doctoral program. The Doctor of Education program includes coursework focusing on the foundations of education, applied research and evaluation, and a specialization area. Additionally, students must examine a Problem of Practice that they have observed during their practice, and that Problem of Practice will become the focus of the student’s Applied Dissertation. Courses will include written components relevant to the student’s Problem of Practice, and dissertation components are distributed across all three years of the program.

17. Northeastern University

First founded in 1898, Northeastern University has become a preeminent research university. Northeastern offers over 70 programs, degrees, and certificates online through its six colleges and four campuses. The university is known for its unique co-op experiential learning approach, which allows students to put their ideas into action, facilitating learning through research and service. Northeastern builds experience into its graduate and professional-degree programs in order to teach students to be flexible and adaptable throughout their careers. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked Northeastern among the nation’s top 50 universities for six consecutive years.

Northeastern University’s Doctor of Education program prepares students to incorporate practice-based research into their professional lives. Most of the program courses can be completed online, but hybrid courses must be completed in-person in Seattle and Charlotte. Students in their first and second years also attend on-campus residencies in Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; or Seattle, WA. Because the program follows a fast-paced quarter system, rather than the semester system, it is designed to be completed within three to four years. Students identify a problem of practice and develop an action plan at the onset of their coursework, allowing them to work on their dissertation throughout the duration of the program.

18. University of Houston

The University of Houston, established in 1927, is home to more than 45,000 students and over 2,600 faculty. The university offers 109 undergraduate majors and minors, 105 master’s degrees, and 46 doctoral degrees. The University of Houston also offers online and hybrid courses supporting undergraduate and graduate degrees that allow for distance learning. Currently, the University of Houston offers more than 300 distance education courses to over 40,750 students all over the world each year. The U.S. News & World Report listed the University of Houston’s online graduate education program as the fifth best in the nation.

The Executive Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Professional Leadership, with an emphasis in Literacy Education, is an online 51-credit-hour program. This program is designed to prepare students for roles in instruction in urban schools, developmental reading programs, community organizations, and other educational institutions. Students will acquire the skills necessary to understand and work with the current education issues in urban settings. The program is designed to emphasize skills including content inquiry, problem-solving, and participant collaboration. Program applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and must submit GRE test scores.

19. Florida State University

Florida State University has 16 colleges and offers more than 275 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, professional, and specialist degrees. Recently, FSU scholars have received many competitive national awards, including 3 Rhodes scholarships, 4 Truman scholarships, and almost 50 Fulbright fellowships. FSU is ranked fourth in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance 2018 “Best Value College” ranking of public colleges for out-of-state students. Forbes also ranked FSU as twenty-fifth among public institutions in their “Best Value Colleges” ranking. Additionally, the U.S. News & World Report ranked FSU’s online graduate program in criminal justice as the fourth best online program for educating veterans in 2018.

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy is the first online doctoral program offered by Florida State University. This program is intended for working professionals who already hold a Master’s degree and who have relevant professional experience. Students will work with faculty to develop professional and analytical skills that they can then use to address pressing problems in education. Program graduates hold roles as policymakers, senior-level educational leaders, and policy researchers. Although most coursework is online, students must attend a face-to-face seminal for three consecutive summer sessions. This program is designed to be completed in three years.

20. Regent University

Founded in 1978, Regent University is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This Christian university consists of seven schools and two colleges, and offers a 16:1 graduate-student-to-faculty ratio. As of fall of 2018 – including 4,600 graduate students – were enrolled at Regent. The university offers 132 different areas of study for students to choose from. The U.S. News & World Report included Regent University in its 2019 ranking of the top national universities. Plus, the U.S. News & World Report identified Regent as having the best online bachelor’s program and the best online graduate education program in Virginia.

Regent University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Education is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in academia or research at the university level. This research-intensive track focuses on an analytical approach to learning. Eight-week course sections are held online, with four-day on-campus residencies that allow for relationship development and hands-on learning. Students will work to pass a comprehensive candidacy examination which will demonstrate their technical competence. Additionally, students will present and defend a dissertation before a dissertation committee at the end of the program. Available concentrations include adult education, curriculum & instruction, educational psychology, K-12 school leadership, special education, Christian education leadership, and more.

21. Boise State University

Boise State University is home to over 24,000 students and offers 200 areas of study, including 11 doctoral programs. It is Idaho’s largest graduate school and is designated as a doctoral research institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In 2018, the U.S. News & World Report named Boise State University as one of the most innovative universities in the country. Boise State University’s College of Education was ranked by the 2019 U.S. News & World Report as one of the best education schools in the northwest and intermountain west.

The EdD in Educational Technology program can be completed entirely online, with no in-person or on-campus requirements. Some synchronous class attendance is required, but even exams and defenses can be completed at a distance. During the program, students will focus on topics including online teaching and learning, technology integration, academic technology leadership, educational games and simulations, innovative teaching in K-12 and higher education, and more. One cohort averaging between 12 and 15 students is admitted each year, and the program begins in May. The program requires students to complete 66 credit hours and is ideal for those who have a desire to lead and innovate in the education field.

22. William Carey University

William Carey University is a Christian university with a Baptist heritage that works to blend faith and learning with living. This university offers a variety of undergraduate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral programs. William Carey University’s main campus is located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and a second campus is located in Biloxi, Mississippi. In order to accommodate the needs of 21st-century learning, William Carey University developed an online initiative, Carey Online. Carey Online is home to many online programs which are designed to be convenient and flexible. William Carey University offers both fully online programs, and programs which are a hybrid model.

William Carey University’s Educational Leadership Doctoral Program is designed to prepare educators for careers as change agents in education and in schools. The program is delivered fully online. Students take two classes each trimester, with one class taken in the first five-week term and the second class in the second five-week term. This is a rigorous, fast-moving program, and as students progress, classes transition to ten-week periods to allow for research. Later on in the program, students will be required to meet face-to-face or through Skype twice per term. This 63-hour program focuses on elements such as visionary planning, strategic utilization of resources, effective management and leadership, and practical application of research.

23. University of Wisconsin Stout

The University of Wisconsin Stout is one of only 125 polytechnic universities in the United States. Founded in 1891, UW-Stout encompasses three different colleges and offers 50 undergraduate degrees, 22 graduate degrees, and 33 certificates. UW-Stout has over 1,400 employees and serves over 9,500 students. The university is career-focused and combines applied learning with the liberal arts. With twice as many labs as classrooms and internships for most programs, UW-Stout works to prepare graduates for employment. Additionally, UW-Stout has earned a STARS Silver Award ranking in recognition of its sustainability and energy efficiency.

The Doctorate of Education in Career and Technical Education prepares leaders for careers in high schools, technical colleges, and other postsecondary settings. This program has an applied research focus with an aim at shaping the current and future systems. Students will focus on applied research, strategic planning, and mindful leadership. The program is delivered in a variety of fashions and encompasses online, blended, and face-to-face weekend and evening courses. Thanks to this flexible design, students can earn their degree in three years, even while working full-time. Graduate assistantships and scholarships are available to program applicants, as well as traditional financial aid options.

24. University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina has a rich 200-year history of academic excellence. It is one of only 49 public universities that have earned both the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s top-tier research classification and community engagement classification. The University of South Carolina’s educator preparation programs are accredited by The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Plus, the university offers many online programs which are convenient and flexible options for students with work, family, or other scheduling obligations. Several of the university’s online graduate degree programs are nationally ranked by The U.S. News & World Report.

University of South Carolina’s Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction – Curriculum Studies Concentration is an online doctorate program that prepares students for roles as curriculum specialists in PK-12, higher education institutions, or in the private sector. Students will learn about the challenges of curricular administration such as culture and leadership, ethics and morals, and curriculum design and implementation. This 60-credit-hour, 36-month program culminates in a final dissertation defense. South Carolina certified teachers are eligible for a tuition discount for this program. Program graduates will be prepared to hold roles such as university professorships, district-level curriculum administration, and school-level instructional positions.

25. Union University

Founded in 1823, Union University is located in Jackson, Tennessee. This private Christian university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees and features over 100 programs of study. The university’s mission is to provide “Christ-centered education that promotes excellence and character development in service to Church and society.” Union offers an impressive 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio and is home to 3,300 undergraduate and graduate students. The Princeton Review ranked Union University among the top schools in the Southeast, and College Choice ranked Union #9 in its 2016 50 Best Southern Regional Colleges ranking.

The Doctor of Education (EdD) is designed to prepare active professionals for leadership and teaching positions in schools, universities, government, and business. Three areas of concentration are available – the Instructional Leadership, Licensure Track and Teacher Leadership, Non-Licensure Tracks require on-campus attendance. However, the Leadership in School Reform, Non-Licensure Track is fully online and will prepare program graduates to employ both research and practice for school reform. Students will learn about topics such as policy, child development, learning, teaching, and leadership. The program is accredited by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

26. Northwest Nazarene University

Founded in 1913, Northwest Nazarene University is a Christian comprehensive university located in Nampa, Idaho. NNU offers over 60 areas of study, 18 master’s degrees, and two doctoral degrees. The university currently has over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students, as well as more than 6,000 continuing education students. NNU focuses on the transformation of the whole person, and its core values include transformation, truth, community, and service. The U.S. News & World Report ranked NNU as one of the top masters-level universities in the West. NNU has also been featured in The Princeton Review‘s book, The Best Western Colleges.

NNU’s Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) programs are designed for educators who are interested in leadership positions. Both degrees are concentrated on educational leadership, and each program has a specific focus. The programs are offered with flexible scheduling and online/distance course delivery that allows participants to maintain employment at the same time that they advance their education. The programs are 22 months long and feature a two-week on-campus summer session that helps students to prepare for their dissertation and research activities. Doctorally-prepared faculty with extensive experience in K-12, higher education, and educational research teach these fully accredited programs.

27. University of Memphis

The University of Memphis is one of only two research-intensive public universities in the state. UofM offers over 250 areas of undergraduate study, and 120 graduate degree programs. The university accommodates a graduate enrollment of about 4,000 students each year, and is also home to the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. In order to support students with work, family, or life commitments, the UofM Global offers programs that can be completed entirely online. The programs are developed by UofM faculty, and students have advisors ready to help them during their studies. The UofM Global diplomas are identical to those earned by UofM on-campus students.

The Doctorate of Education in Higher and Adult Education program is available with a Higher Education concentration. This program is designed for students who hope to hold mid- and senior-level administrative positions in higher education institutions. Program graduates may also hold administrative positions in higher education-related agencies, boards, and commissions. This program is offered entirely online, allowing students the flexibility to meet family and work obligations while simultaneously preparing for the next phase of their career. This is just one of many degrees offered through UofM Global.

28. Oregon State University

Oregon State University, founded in 1868, is located in Corvallis, Oregon. A regionally accredited facility, OSU’s Ecampus delivers innovative online courses, allowing students with busy schedules to pursue higher education. The Ecampus offers more than 20 undergraduate degrees, nearly 30 graduate programs, and over 25 minors and certificate programs. Additionally, the Ecampus offers classes in more than a dozen foreign languages. Ecampus graduates receive the same diploma as on-campus students; there is no distinction made to indicate that the program was taken online. The U.S. News & World Report included OSU in its 2014-2018 rankings of the best online bachelor’s programs, as well as in the 2015-2018 rankings of the best online bachelor’s programs for veterans.

The Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program in Adult and Higher Education prepares students to hold leadership roles in four-year universities, community, colleges, and more. Students meet and study with a cohort in person and online during the first two years of the program. In-person class meetings are held during two weekends per term in a location near Portland, Oregon. Students may choose from two degree options: the Community College Leadership option, or the Leadership in Higher Education option. These options allow students to focus on studies that are relevant to their area of professional practice.

29. University of Louisiana Monroe

The University of Louisiana Monroe was founded in 1931. ULM’s guiding principles of commitment, accountability, innovation, efficiency, collaboration, and achievement help to shape the education the university offers to undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students. ULM has designed 100% online programs so that students can achieve their education and career goals, even while working full-time. The teacher education programs offered through the ULM School of Education are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation. ULM was included in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best College Rankings.

The Doctor of Education, Curriculum & Instruction is offered completely online and prepares students to solve instructional problems in education at the highest level. During the program, students will examine research-based theories, learn quantitative and qualitative methods, and acquire other valuable skills for new career opportunities. Program graduates will be well-prepared to hold roles as education administrators, instructional coordinators, superintendents, and university professors. This accelerated 60-hour program is offered in eight-week terms, and multiple start dates are offered each year for convenience. Program applicants must hold a master’s degree with a GPA of at least 3.25.

30. Pepperdine University

Founded in 1937, Pepperdine University is home to five different graduate and undergraduate schools dedicated to business, education and psychology, liberal arts, law, and public policy. Pepperdine offers 73 different degree programs, and with a 12.5:1 student-to-faculty ratio, students have access to attentive, quality education. Pepperdine is a Christian university and its Malibu campus is frequently ranked as one of the most beautiful places to study. The U.S. News & World Report recognized Pepperdine University as one of the top 50 universities in the nation for 2019. This innovative university was the first to offer a master’s degree in social entrepreneurship and change, as well as a one-year master of arts in education with teaching credential.

The Doctor of Education in Leadership, Administration, and Policy is a hybrid program which prepares leaders in public and private K-12 roles. A blend of 60 percent face-to-face and 40 percent online instruction creates flexibility for working professionals. The program emphasizes experiential learning, and students take a trip to experience policy development in Washington DC or in a similar location. Small class sizes help to facilitate faculty mentorship, and a cohort model means students can create valuable relationships with their colleagues. The program emphasizes the development of inquiry research knowledge and skills, and it culminates in a doctoral dissertation.

31. University of Missouri

The University of Missouri was founded in 1839. Since then, Mizzou has grown to employ over 13,000 full-time staff to educate over 30,000 students. Mizzou offers more than 300 degree programs, including over 90 online options. Mizzou Online offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, and students can choose from over 1,000 online courses. These online courses are designed to deliver the same quality education that Mizzou’s in-person classes are known for. Mizzou holds the distinction of being one of only six public universities in the United States to house a medical school, a veterinary medicine college, and a law school on the same campus.

The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership is designed with a hybrid format so that professionals can continue to advance their careers while also pursuing education. The blended nature of this program features coursework that is both online and in-person on MU’s Columbia, Missouri campus. Students also participate in coursework on Wednesday evenings during the fall and spring semesters. All students must also attend an in-person orientation in the late Spring. Because courses are semester-based, students need about four years to complete this 46-credit degree. Distance learners qualify for in-state tuition rates no matter where in the country they live.

32. University at Buffalo

The University at Buffalo is a research-intensive public university located in Buffalo, New York. Founded in 1846, UB is the largest campus of the 64 campuses that make up the SUNY system. UB is also the first SUNY institution to be invited to join the Association of American Universities. As of Fall 2018, UB’s enrollment was over 31,500, with over 9,800 of those students being graduate and professional students. The U.S. News & World Report ranked UB as one of the top 40 public universities in the nation, and the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education College Rankings ranked UB as the top public school in New York State.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning program focuses on addressing education problems through research. Students may select an elementary education, English education, mathematics education, reading education, or science education concentration. The general track also creates an innovative interdisciplinary focus. This program is available both on-campus and online, and students will have the chance to work with faculty experts who are at the forefront of educational innovation. Completion of this program requires 62 doctoral credits and 10 master’s credits. The program takes between four and five years to complete.

33. Creighton University

Creighton University is a top-ranked university that offers a supportive community environment committed to Jesuit, Catholic values and traditions. Located in Omaha, Nebraska, Creighton is home to 8,910 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The university’s 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio ensures an education that comes with plenty of individualized attention. In fact, the U.S. News & World Report has ranked Creighton University as the top university in the Midwest for over 16 years in a row. Both The Princeton Review and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance have also noted Creighton’s service, sustainability, and value. Creighton was founded in 1878, and today it’s one of just 28 Jesuit colleges in the country.

The Doctorate of Education in Interdisciplinary Leadership program is designed for students who aspire for leadership positions where they can enact meaningful change. This program is a popular option because of its flexibility and limited on-campus time. All of the coursework is completed online, except for an on-campus orientation and a dissertation defense. This flexibility allows students to continue their careers while pursuing an education. The 60-credit-hour program is designed as a series of eight-week courses in which students take one course at a time. The program can be completed in between three and four years. Program applicants must hold a master’s degree, and must submit three letters of recommendation as well as two writing or research samples.

34. North Greenville University

North Greenville University is located in Greenville County, South Carolina. This conservative Christian university offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree options. Thanks to NGU’s online course offerings, students can complete their coursework on campus or, in some cases, completely online. NGU strives to emphasize Jesus Christ above all else, and the faculty and staff work to integrate faith into the classroom. Forbes named NGU to its 2017 Top 25 Low-Debt Private Colleges list. The U.S. News & World Report ranked NGU as 183rd in its 2018 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list. NGU also earned the 78th spot on the U.S. News & World Report‘s 2019 Best Regional Universities in the South list.

The Doctor of Education (EdD) degree is designed to provide students with the skills they will need to hold leadership positions in either K-12 or in higher education settings. The program covers topics including applied research, higher-order cognitive skills, professional development, systems thinking, and more. Students may choose the K-12 Leadership or Higher Education Leadership Concentration, and each concentration consists of a different course sequence. The 60-hour program consists of five 8-week terms delivered in a blended study method. Students will experience both on-campus and online learning, with the two onsite courses being offered as a week-long seminar. The program is taught by Graduate School of Education faculty members, all of whom hold doctoral degrees in education.

35. University of Northern Colorado

The University of Northern Colorado is located in picturesque Greeley, Colorado. Founded in 1889, this public doctoral research university offers more than 100 undergraduate programs and 120 graduate programs. With a total enrollment of over 12,800 students, UNC maintains an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio. UNC consists of five different colleges. In 2007, UNC’s College of Education and Behavioral Sciences won the Christa McAuliffe Award for Exemplary Programs in Teacher Education. Thanks to UNC Extended Campus, students can access over 75 undergraduate and graduate programs that are offered online or face-to-face in Loveland, Denver, and Colorado Springs.

UNC’s Educational Studies Doctor of Education (EdD) is designed for working teachers and administrators, preparing them for leadership positions where they will implement and study educational change. This degree is offered mostly online with five-day on-campus courses held during the first three summers. Students also present their dissertation defense in-person during the last semester of their program. This 64-credit-hour program can be completed within four years. At the program’s completion, graduates will be ready to pursue careers in K-12 education, academia, and other educational settings. Program applicants must have or be pursuing a master’s, and need to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater.

36. University of West Florida

The University of West Florida was established in 1963 and now consists of five different colleges. UWF offers 45 undergraduate degrees, 25 master’s degrees, two specialist degrees, and a doctorate in education. The programs in education are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, as well as by the Florida Department of Education. The Princeton Review named UWF a “Best Southeastern College” from 2003 through 2015. Forbes included UWF on its list of America’s top colleges in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016. UWF also offers accelerated online degree programs that feature coursework that can be completed entirely online in a flexible and convenient schedule. Students who enroll in online courses enjoy specialized support from the time that they apply to the time that they graduate.

The Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction/Curriculum & Assessment Specialization is offered 100% online with no on-campus requirements. This program is ideal for students who need a degree program with the flexibility to accommodate work, family, and other commitments. This 66-credit-hour program includes 30 hours of core courses, 18 hours of specialization courses, and 18 dissertation hours. The dissertation is incorporated into the program from the very beginning. Students employed by partner organizations and partner school districts are eligible for an Academic Partnerships discount tuition price. There is also a special discount price that is available to active duty military, veterans, spouses, and dependents of military.

37. Northcentral University

Northcentral University is located in San Diego, California, but as an online graduate university, it serves students worldwide. This innovative university has a unique one-on-one learning model. Its weekly course starts allow students to begin their education continuously throughout the year, and this university boasts a 100% doctoral faculty. Currently, about 10,000 students are enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs. With no set class times, no group projects, and no physical residency requirements, NCU is creating a quality education program that is accessible and that breaks down many of the barriers that keep some students from furthering their education.

The Doctor of Education (EdD) program is designed for independent, self-motivated students, and has no GMAT or GRE exam requirement. There are 16 different specializations available including early childhood education, instructional leadership, e-learning, nursing education, international education, sport and athletic management, and more. This 54-credit-hour program consists of 18 courses, and it is recommended that students complete the program in 40 months. Weekly start dates – every Monday – ensure that eager students don’t have to wait to take the next step in furthering their education. This program is offered online, allowing students the flexibility they may need for a job, family, or other obligations.

38. Drexel University

Founded in 1891, Drexel University has grown to become one of America’s 15 largest private universities. Drexel’s enrollment is over 24,000 students, and Drexel Online is one of the oldest and most successful providers of online degrees. These online courses are taught by Drexel University faculty, who are industry leaders and highly respected professionals. Drexel Online students enjoy 24/7 tech support, and they also have access to Drexel University’s W.W. Hagerty Library, the Writing Center, and the Steinbright Career Center. Newsweek and The Daily Beast included Drexel University in their ranking of the top 25 universities for producing CEOs of Fortune 100 companies.

Drexel University’s Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management (EdD) is designed to foster personal leadership and growth, preparing students for leadership roles in educational or business environments. This program is offered entirely online with no residency requirement, and even the dissertation process can be completed online. (An optional blended online and on-campus format is also available.) Students become part of a cohort, which gives them opportunities to network and receive support as they learn together. Students may take this program on a part-time basis in three to five years, so they can simultaneously work full-time. Program graduates will have knowledge and skills in topics such as instructional technology integration, strategic decision-making, institutional finance, and more.

39. Samford University

Samford University was established in 1841, making it the 87th oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The university has 10 different schools, and is home to over 5,600 students. Samford University offers an impressive 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and the Orlean Beeson School of Education has an enrollment of about 500 students. May 2017 Teacher Education graduates enjoyed 100% job placement within three months of graduating from Samford University. Both The Economist and The Wall Street Journal ranked Samford University as Alabama’s top university. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Samford University as #4 among regional universities in the South.

The Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) program is designed for students who are interested in leadership issues and who plan to hold positions in educational institutions. The program is offered in different formats, so students can choose the option that works best for them. A predominantly online program gives students excellent flexibility and usually requires two on-campus visits per semester. Alternatively, face-to-face and 50-50 blended formats incorporate additional in-person learning opportunities. Program applicants must obtain an education specialist (Ed.S.) degree before earning their Ed.D. The Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership is a 36-hour program and students must maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher while enrolled in the Ed.D. program.

40. Rowan University

Rowan University was formed in 1923, and began as a normal school to train local teachers. Today, Rowan is a comprehensive public research university that offers over 80 bachelor’s, 60 master’s, five doctoral, and two professional programs. Rowan earned the 19th place ranking in the U.S. News & World Report‘s Northern Regional Universities ranking, and was the third public institution in this category. Rowan was also included in The Princeton Review‘s list of the best Northeastern colleges. Additionally, Rowan is highly recognized for its green initiatives, with the U.S. EPA naming Rowan University a Top Green Power Purchaser.

Rowan University’s Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) program is designed to develop leaders who have management and administrative ability, and who are capable of reflective decision making, collaborative work, and innovative change. Students may choose from Higher Education, P-12, Nurse Educator, or Community College Leadership Initiative tracks. Depending on the track, this program is available online or in a hybrid format. For students who choose the online program, 100% of their class meetings will take place online, and students will attend three in-person residency meetings. The program is administered in three phases, with each phase ending with a Benchmark review. To progress to the next phase, students must complete all coursework and pass the Benchmark for the previous phase.