For people in the education sector that are already working full-time but wish to bolster their credentials in pursuit of career advancement, an online EdD might be the perfect option. An online EdD delivers top quality coursework and content through a blend of online interactions and real-world experiences.
The curriculum of an EdD, online or traditional, will significantly vary from program to program, and between specializations. You can expect a mix of core classes related to your education focus (leadership, curriculum planning, research/theory) and concentration courses around your specialization. Depending on the type of program you choose, not much should change from brick and mortar to online.
Jumpstart Your Career, Explore Featured Online EdD Programs
Earn an EdD from Baylor University's School of Education
A key difference between traditional and online EdD is the “classroom” experience. Depending on the program, your experience will vary, but shouldn’t require much: a built-in camera, a microphone, and a strong wifi connection. These are basic technologies that most people have access to, but cover almost all online classroom needs.
Many online EdD programs often feature the following elements:
Virtual Live Classes: your built-in camera and microphone enable you to participate in face-to-face online classes and discussions, which allow you to interact with your teacher and classmates in real time
Learning Management System: this is the central hub where you can access course materials, homework, live sessions, and forums or message boards
Interactive Course Content: bringing coursework alive means incorporating a variety of mixed media, including videos, readings, and question/answer segments
Access to Tech Support: a strong tech support team is a must when dealing with time-sensitive, tech-dependent assignments
Mobile Access: one of the major perks of online classes is being able to bring your courses with you anywhere you go, across multiple devices and platforms.
Like homework in a regular classroom, offline components support the online EdD degree curriculum. You’ll be expected to have watched lectures and completed homework exercises before attending live sessions so you’re ready to participate in discussions and in-class activities.
While live sessions mimic traditional classrooms, there’s sometimes no replacement for the face to face networking and hands-on workshops that brick and mortar classrooms offer. To fill this need, many programs offer on-campus immersions, where students meet at regular intervals to network with each other and their teachers and may work on group projects together for credit hours.
Though class size varies greatly from program to program, those universities that offer live classroom experiences typically feature less students for a more concentrated experience. A good benchmark for a class size that promotes the best learning experience is around, or under, 15 students in one class. This ensures that each student receives attention and guidance from their professors and establishes relationships with their peers.
Credits, hours, requirements, class size, and on campus vs. online benefits will vary widely based on the program and technology platform being used.
Many students completing an edd online have the option of concentrating their studies in a particular topic within the field of education. Although concentration options vary widely from program to program, here are a few example online doctorate of education concentrations and descriptions of what their curriculum might look like and feel free to read more about what organizational change means.
Organizational Change and Leadership
Designed for current and emerging leaders to make actionable decisions within their organizations and systems.
Whatever your focus, common themes in an ed.d online program often include:
Instruction technology and methodology
Policy making in education
Organizational change and leadership
Learning objectives in this field typically address the following:
Gaining the ability to see situations from different perspectives
Applying theory from your classes to solving real-world education problems
Using research to improve policy, programs, and practice in places of learning
Identifying discrimination/prejudice and advocating for social justice in educational institutions
It is important to remember that the above-mentioned program options are not available in every online doctorate of education program, and different schools of education may offer varying EdD program concentrations. Contact your desired college or university for more information about their EdD online program offerings.
Ever wonder what the difference between an EdD and PhD is? EdD programs are designed for application of knowledge to real world organizational, leadership, and education issues. PhD programs, on the other hand, prepare graduates for careers in academia. Learn more about the differences between EdD and PhD programs.
MAT (preferred), GRE, or graduate equivalency exam required
All Online EdD Programs
Teach.com has compiled a comprehensive list of all the online EdD programs in the United States along with their classroom setting, GRE requirements, and credit requirements. In searching for the best online EdD program that fits your needs, carefully consider the structure of the coursework and the admissions requirements to make your decision. Included in our list are some of the top edd online programs from across the country! Find a school that interests you and find out what it takes to graduate with an online doctorate in education!
ATSU’s Doctor of Education Health Professions (EdD) focuses on developing health profession educators. The program focuses more on experience-based teaching rather than research-based. Practicing clinicians, health care educators, and leaders/directors who strive to teach in this area can benefit from this program. ATSU’s program is online, and ideal for students to work at a pace that benefits them.
Andrews’ EdD in Education Leadership prepares leaders in educational agencies and organizations. This program requires courses in advanced research and focuses more on these research-based methodologies. Upon completion of the program, students can bring advanced research and updated practices into their career of choice. The agencies and organizations help schools and other education leaders make decisions in regards to school policies and practice.
ASU’s Doctor of Education (EdD) in Leadership and Innovation is designed for practicing educator-leaders who work in a range of settings and want to lead change and implement innovation to improve their practice and create better learning opportunities for students of all ages.
Aspen University offers an online doctoral program for those seeking careers in health care administration and leadership, higher education or K12 leadership, and organizational leadership or organizational psychology. Students will work on the guidance of their professors as well as in their flexible scheduling plan. The program allows students to balance other commitments while pursuing their degree.
Concentrations/Specializations Offered: Doctor of Education (EdD) offered in Leadership and Learning with a specialization in Health Care Administration and Leadership, Higher Education Leadership, K12 Educational Leadership, Organizational Leadership, and Organizational Psychology
Boise State University’s Doctor of Education in Educational Technology program exposes students to the growth and change in education, its turn into online classrooms, emerging technologies, leadership, and innovative pedagogies. This program is entirely online with no on-campus or in-person requirements allowing flexibility for an educator. Boise State allows one cohort per year with each one starting in May. The average size of the cohort is 12-15 students.
Concordia University Chicago offers a EdD in Leadership - Health and Human Performance. This doctorate is an interdisciplinary degree program that focuses on those who want to pursue academic, clinical, leadership, and/or research roles in health, exercise, kinesiology, human performance, and other related areas. This rigorous program examines the issues that come from physical activity, health promotion, and human performance. This program also promotes small class sizes (with only 18 students per class) as well as classes that start every eight weeks.
Drexel’s Doctor of Education program helps innovative leaders grow with the uncertain times in education. This program is heavily based on research and relies on collaboration to challenge ways of thinking that can affect educational and business environments alike. Drexel’s program allows students to be finished within 3 or 5 years with a part-time plan to allow students to work full-time.
Edgewood College’s Doctorate in Education works in collaboration with faculty, educators, and other business/educational leaders to prepare students for their future in an education setting. Students explore research that is relevant to improving schools, districts, and other higher education institutions. At Edgewood, the Higher Education leadership EdD is offered in a face-to-face setting as well as online. This program is designed as a cohort supported by other professionals.
Grand Canyon University offers an online Doctorate of Education program where students work closely with fully experienced and trained faculty. This program benefits those who want to advance their careers in education in areas such as leadership, organizational development, special education, and adult learning.
Indiana University’s EdD program prepares students for senior leadership positions in education. The courses are project-based (rather than theoretical) and teach students to be an effective school leader. Although it is an online program, students must attend one colloquium or conference event on Indiana's Bloomington campus
Johns Hopkins’ Doctor of Education helps students strive for skills in leadership, professional development, and networking. Students will also work with researchers from various backgrounds and interests. This EdD program is designed as a cohort where the students explore entrepreneurial leadership and teaching as well as instruction design for the online classroom, urban leadership, and the progression of technology in education.
Kennesaw State University’s Doctor of Education program strives to bring experienced leaders into the changing world of education. Through this program, students will learn more about strategic planning, instructional development, and areas of critical need. This program also strives to challenge previous educational practices and teach about the innovation up and coming in education.
Lamar University’s Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership is solely online and allows educators to obtain their degree while working full time. Each session is in 8-week increments and can be completed in 8 semesters. The start date is during the summer only. Lamar’s EdD prepares educational leaders to study the change in all settings of education and to be a part of that change.
Liberty University’s online doctoral programs include concentrations in education administration, curriculum development, and learning theory. Students will also use their own research to complete a dissertation in their area of study. From K-12 through the university level, students can study a level of interest to them.
Maryville University’s Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership can be completed on campus or online. The program can be completed in 32 months and also has multiple start dates. Students strive to become a top educator as they explore classroom dynamics as well as sharpening their research skills. Their cohort model allows students to complete their coursework and dissertation simultaneously.
Morehead State University offers a Doctor of Education that allows educators to remain on the job while completing their program. Through the program, students will conduct research, study instructional design, and how to better implement curriculum development and technology. Morehead State requires 60 hours of coursework to complete the doctorate. Students are also required to take the GRE, GMAT, or MAT upon application.
New Mexico State University offers a cohort model for their Doctor of Education programs. This cohort will be a hybrid model with 80% of the classes being face-to-face and 20% online. This program focuses on social justice and border issues as well as implementing research/theories with collaboration from New Mexico faculty. Students will learn practices that serve a variety of populations in all schools/districts.
Northwest Nazarene University’s Doctor of Education program is a cohort style model that begins every spring. Through NNU, students will learn ways to bring their skills to the K-12 classroom. The skills can be learned and assessed within 26 months. NNU also offers a 2-week on campus summer session where students meet and prepare for their dissertation.
North Central’s Doctorate of Education helps students apply what they learn in this program to their current field of work. The program also focuses on theoretical practices to advance the state of education. To apply for this online program, students do not need to take the GRE. Also, a new round of courses begins each Monday and can take approximately 40 months to complete.
Concentrations/Specializations Offered: Doctor of Education (EdD) offered in Curriculum and Teaching, in E-Learning, Global Training and Development, Leadership in Higher Education, Nursing Education, Sports and Athletic Management... and many others found on the university website
Nova Southeastern University’s Doctor of Education program can be completed in three years and is also taught in Spanish and English. This bilingual program is requires a dissertation and specializes in curriculum teaching, leadership, higher education, human services, technology, and reading education. Students can choose to complete online and can attend a 3 full-day live session that occurs every five weeks. Full-day class sessions are also available.
Concentrations/Specializations Offered: Doctor of Education (EdD) offered in Curriculum and Teaching, Early Childhood Education, Doctor of Education (EDL) in Educational Leadership, Elementary and Middle Grades STEM Education... and many others found on the university website
Program Start Dates:Spring and Fall only
Program Options: Full and part-time options
Dissertation Information: Dissertation required
Program Format: Online with choice to attend classes on campus
Regent University’s Doctor of Education program uses applied research and practice-oriented coursework to prepare students in becoming principals, superintendents, and administrators. Their course sessions are 8 weeks long with multiple start date options. In order to be accepted, prospective students need to submit an unofficial transcript for review. The courses are all online as well.
Concentrations/Specializations Offered: Doctor of Education (EdD) offered in Adult Education, Advanced Educational Leadership, Character Education, Christian Education Leadership, Educational Psychology, Educational Technology and Online Learning, Exceptional Education Executive Leadership, Higher Education, Higher Education Leadership and Management, K-12 School Leadership, and Special Education
Rowan University offers a Doctor of Education program that can be taken online or in a hybrid format. Educational leaders will collaborate throughout the program to examine innovative ways to enhance the classroom as well as implement theories into practice. The online option is 100% online with 3 in-person residency meetings. The hybrid option is a combination of face-to-face and online classes. The programs begins each fall.
SHSU’s Doctor of Education program is entirely online and in a cohort format. This program takes approximately 3.5 years to complete and begins each summer. Once completed, prospective students can work in public schools, libraries, higher education, and adult education. SHSU’s EdD program helps students develop and administer support at all school levels and trains individuals through observation and evaluations in practical settings.
St. Thomas University’s EdD program can be completed is as few as 36 months. This program examines consulting practices, ethics, and how to deal with crisis/change management in an evolving world of education. Careers can include school administrators, business leaders, and higher education professors. A GRE is not required, and the program is offered year-round.
The Doctor of Education in Educational Administration at Texas A&M, Commerce is for K-12 school administrators who want to foster growth in Texas schools. This program is fully online and intended for Texas principals and superintendents. Students will focus on administration as well as governing education organizations, research application, and innovation. Prospective students can apply for the spring or fall semesters. TAMUC encourages applicants to have strong academic ability as well as a commitment to education.
Trevecca Nazarene University (TNU) offers a Doctor of Education in Leadership and Professional Practice. This program is 100% online and can take 27 months to complete. Students will focus on one class at a time during the program. Students will also focus on leadership skills that can be used in education, the military, and ministry. Since the program is entirely online, the student will receive course materials via mail. TNU supports Nashville, its surrounding communities, and beyond.
Trident University International’s Doctor of Education is for practicing education professionals. This program exposes students to the innovation in education at all levels as well as how to lead complex organizations. To complete the program, students must complete 60 hours of coursework and complete a dissertation requirement. The program is also 100% online with guidance from experience faculty. Student may also pick a concentration of K-12 leadership or higher education leadership.
Union University’s Doctor of Education program is offered in the spring each year. The program is cohort-based meaning all students will start the courses at the same time. Union University also follows the “Educator Preparation Program” in that the teacher-student dynamic is one of sensitivity, reflection, and faith. This cohort program can be completed in 3.5-4 years. While the cohort promotes relationships and bonding, the required dissertation is individualized. At Union University, the students reflect Christ as they lead.
The University of Arkansas offers a cohort-style program for its Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. This program prepares students for careers as a principal, administrator, or superintendent. The cohort meets once a semester to go over theories, discuss new innovations in education, and debate current issues affecting schools. In year 3 of the program, students will meet with the cohort to present their dissertations. This program also only begins in the summer semester.
The University of Florida offers a cohort-style program for its Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. This program prepares current educators with applications that can learn through their online courses and take home to their current schools. This cohort focuses also on theory and research. The cohorts are created and begin every other year with the next one beginning May 2020. The online courses vary between 8-16 weeks in length and also require a summer week-long conference on campus. Throughout the process, students will also prepare a dissertation over a topic of their choice.
The University of Houston offers a Doctor of Education in Professional Leadership. This program is geared towards the educator who plans to remain in the education setting. Students will analyze current issues in urban settings and participate in group collaborations. Students will put their coursework into action through a practicum where they will work in a true classroom setting. The EdD at UH also begins every fall semester when a new cohort is created.
The University of of Illinois’ EdD focuses on social justice and the transformative approaches to take in a changing education environment. This program also emphasizes diversity and equity in a school setting from pre-k to 16 years of age. Students will study how learning relates to leadership skills, teaching styles, as well as to all aspects of disability, race, gender, sexual orientation, social class, and poverty. A dissertation is also required for the program.
Concentrations/Specializations Offered: Doctor of Education (EdD) offered in Diversity and Equity in Education, Diversity & Equity in Education with an Emphasis in Human Resource Development, Executive Human Resource Development... and other concentrations found on the university website
Program Start Dates:Spring and Fall
Program Options: Full and part-time options
Dissertation Information: Dissertation required
Program Format: Some live components, cohort (Educational Administration and Leadership)
The University of of Massachusetts offers a Doctor of Education for educators who are pursuing leadership roles in school districts or in departments of higher education. UMASS EdD begins in the summer and take approximately 3 years to complete. All courses are online and students take two courses per semester. Also, there is a one-week on campus summer residency that is required for all students.
The University of of Missouri offers a EdD that is a blended format - some campus visits are required. This program is for educators who want to continue their career while getting a EdD. Once completed, educators can then become principals, superintendents, directors, university administrators, and faculty. Though the program is blended, students will be required to attend campus courses during the first two summers. During the fall and spring, students will be paired with an assigned partner institution. The program can also be synchronously online for those assigned to a virtual cohort.
The University of Nebraska - Lincoln offers a Doctor of Education in a number of specialties. Students focus on P-12 grade levels of educational administration with high interest in higher education, human resources development, student affairs, and community college administration. In addition to the 96 course hours to be completed, students must complete an oral exam as well as a dissertation. The courses are online, and on-campus seminars are required in the first three years of beginning the program.
Concentrations/Specializations Offered: Doctor of Education (EdD) offered in Educational Studies: Specialization in Educational Leadership and Higher Education, and Educational Administration - P-12 School Leadership
The University of New England offers an online Doctor of Education that can be completed in three years. This program is entirely online with no residency required. In addition, the program is cohort-based with three cohorts formed per year. A dissertation is required and is also presented online. The focus of UNE’s EdD is transformative leadership with the self, the organization, the community, and the schools.
The University of Northern Colorado’s Doctor of Education leads all educational leaders to continue working at all levels in schools. Their program has flexible schedule that allows students to continue working as an educator while completing their coursework. The internship required for UNC can be completed at the student’s home school. Their focus is to apply theory into practice. UNC’s program is a hybrid with a classes being face-to-face and online. The entire program takes 2-2.5 years to complete.
The University of South Carolina offers a Doctor of Education in two concentrations: Educational Technology and Curriculum Studies. Both areas state approximately 36 months to complete and require 60 hours of coursework each. With the Educational Technology concentration, students are required to attend an orientation with their cohort at the start of the program. USC does require a dissertation in both areas and offers courses to prepare for the research and presentation of the dissertation.
The University of St. Francis offers a telecommuter/distance learning environment for their Doctor of Education programs. Students can choose to concentrate in Superintendent Endorsement or Stewardship, Leadership, and Learning. Both concentrations required a dissertation and 60 hours of coursework. This program is also cohort-based so students work as a unit to examine the changes in education as well as work together to complete the dissertation process. Both concentrations also take approximately 3.5 years.
The University of the Cumberlands offers a Doctor of Education that is 100% online. The students do have the option of on-campus classes that meet on Saturdays, if desired. The program has several designs that allow students to find a schedule that balances with their own. UC strives to lead education into the future with new innovations. Ths EdD guides the students to implement the same in their own schools. A dissertation is required in the program which takes less than three years to complete.
The University of West Florida’s Doctor of Education helps students assume administration and leadership positions in school settings. The program addresses educational issues that affect our schools and explore ways to integrate technology and innovative designs into the classroom. Currently, UWF offers an EdD in Curriculum and Assessment and Instructional Design and Technology. Both programs are 100% online and are also offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.
The University of West Georgia’s Doctor of Education addresses critical issues in higher education administration. The students will learn to influence future decisions in regards to school ethics, policy, and leadership. UWG’s EdD is 100% online and also includes a 2-day orientation during the first summer. An intensive Virtual Dissertation Preparation Seminar is also included. This program can last as long as three years but could take four or more. This is a 60 credit program.
Valdosta State University offers a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Through this program, students will continue to work as experienced practitioners in a variety of educational settings. Student will also apply theoretical concepts to curriculum, issues facing today’s schools, higher education, and educational agencies. The required dissertation is the culmination of the student’s research and study while at Valdosta. Students may seek assistance from faculty as they prepare their work.
William Carey University offers a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership that is fully online. This online format helps students become change agents in education and promotes visionary planning for the future. WCU also utilizes a cohort with a summer start with students taking two courses each trimester. Next, students will take one class during the first 5-week term then a second during the next 5-week term. As the program progresses, students will later move to 10-week periods.
William Howard Taft University’s Doctor of Education is offered in two concentrations: Educational Technology and Leadership and Charter School Administration. Both areas teach students to become change agents in their schools and communities. This program also promotes leadership and management in educational and public service settings. No classroom meetings or seminars are required in this online format. A dissertation is required as is a qualifying exam at the end of all coursework.