Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

Considering a doctorate in education? Learn about the top online programs, the career outlook, and the cost of an online doctorate in education.
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Updated on October 18, 2023
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Tyler Epps is an editor for Betfiery. He writes and edits content about higher education, specializing in degree planning and college rankings. He is passionate about helping students prepare for college and navigate their educational journey. He...
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A doctoral degree in education can mean new job opportunities and a higher earning potential. But is a doctorate in education the right choice for you?

Ed.D. programs aim to equip you with a unique mix of practical leadership tools and education experience, which may appeal to you if you're looking to advance to a leadership role in education. With a doctorate, you could become a principal or a university administrator.

If that sounds like the kind of career you want, this degree might be the best fit. If you're considering an online doctorate in education, here's what to do next:

  • Explore this page to determine whether this path is the right choice for you.
  • Check out the top-ranked online doctorate in education programs, as well as our sponsored programs.
  • Request more information from schools you're interested in to find the best fit for your schedule, pocketbook, and career goals.

What Can You Do With a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.)?

A doctorate in education is the highest degree in the field. With a doctorate in education, you'll meet the education requirements for jobs like college provost, college professor, school principal, and school district superintendent. You'll also be qualified to pursue executive roles in academia or research.

Featured Online Doctorate of Education Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Why Should You Get an Online Doctorate in Education?

Considering a doctorate in education? After earning a master's degree, you might wonder whether an Ed.D. is worth it. If you want to work in high-level education roles, like provost or superintendent, then this degree will provide you with the necessary practical skills and leadership training.

A doctoral degree in education also boosts your earning potential. Educators with an Ed.D. report an average salary of $84,000 per year compared to $63,000 with an M.Ed., according to February 2022 Payscale data. And online programs make it easier to earn your doctorate.

Benefits of a Doctorate in Education

  • Gain assessment, research, and strategic planning skills, with a focus on leadership abilities.
  • Move into high-paying roles like school principal, superintendent, or college administrator.
  • Advance in your current field with doctoral-level leadership skills and hands-on experience.
  • Pursue specialized roles with a concentration in adult education, community college leadership, or education policy.

Reasons to Get Your Graduate Degree Online

  • Online doctoral programs in education focus on flexibility, with many using an asynchronous class format.
  • You can attend a top-ranked program that matches your interests without relocating or leaving your job.
  • You may save money by comparing online programs based on cost and choosing an affordable Ed.D. program.
  • You can work while earning your education doctorate to keep your income.

Is a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) Degree Worth It?

A doctorate in education can help you advance your career in educational leadership. You can pursue an Ed.D. — typically in less time and at a more affordable cost than a Ph.D. — to prepare for a high-paying education administration career.

"Yes, but your heart has to be in it. Don't go for the degree just for a salary bump. It's a lot of work in a fascinating and rapidly changing environment."

Andrew Ward, M.Ed., Ph.D.

"For many individuals, [an Ed.D. program] is an excellent way to immerse themselves in a deep grounding in education and get exposure to high-level mentorship from professors and dissertation advisors."

Rebecca Mannis, Ed.M., Ph.D., Learning Specialist

How Much Money Can You Make With a Doctorate of Education?

Median annual earnings with a doctoral degree (based on usual weekly earnings)

$99,270

Average base salary with a doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree

$84,000

Median annual wage for postsecondary teachers

$79,640

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale)

You might assume that when you sign up to work as an educator, or a postsecondary teacher specifically, you're also signing up for a lifetime of low pay. But that's not exactly the case.

"As a consultant in the private sector, [you] can easily make $200k+. As a school administrator (principal/headmaster), [you can make] over $82,000."

Andrew Ward, M.Ed., Ph.D.

Your salary will depend on your occupation, location, and employer. Some of the most popular specializations include educational administration, instructional technology leadership, and interdisciplinary studies.

What Are the Best Online Doctorate in Education Programs of 2023?

How We Rank Schools

In order to create our directory list of doctorate in education programs, the Betfiery Rankings Team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). We identified five schools that qualify for our alphabetical list based on the following criteria:

*Each school must be an accredited public or private nonprofit institution.

*Each school must offer a doctoral degree program in the given subject.

*Each school must submit an annual report to NCES.

Review our Editorial Policy and Standards to learn more about the standards we uphold.

These rankings were compiled by our Betfiery Ranking Team and include Betfiery.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners. We use publicly available provisional datasets from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to inform the data for these schools. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.

Betfiery.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

Arizona State University Digital Immersion

  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online

100% Online or Hybrid | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $790
Out of State | $790

Credits to Graduate
90

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

Become a scholarly practitioner with an Ed.D. from ASU. The online education doctorate in leadership and innovation trains leaders who will transform students' learning. The cohort-based program offers a hybrid and fully online option. 

Application requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA and a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution. The program also asks for three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, an academic writing sample, and a resume.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$10,710
Out-of-state
$10,820
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,516
Out-of-state
$6,516
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
53,993
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

Azusa Pacific University

  • Azusa, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Hybrid | Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,140
Out of State | $1,140

Credits to Graduate
51

Program Information
Program Accreditation | WASC Senior College and University Commission

A private Christian college in California, APU offers several online doctoral programs. The higher education leadership Ed.D. program uses a cohort model and offers flexibility for working professionals. The program also incorporates a one-week summer residency and monthly face-to-face sessions to connect with faculty and classmates. 

You need a regionally accredited master's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA to apply. The program also requires two letters of recommendation, a writing sample, a resume, and a letter of intent. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$40,830
Out-of-state
$40,830
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$16,571
Out-of-state
$16,571
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
9,006
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

Baylor University

  • Waco, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,785
Out of State | $1,785

Credits to Graduate
54

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Engage with classmates during live sessions and conduct guided research in Baylor's Ed.D. program. The online doctorate in education focuses on learning and organizational change. You'll attend two on-campus immersions on the Texas campus and complete a capstone dissertation based on your career goals. 

You can apply with a master's degree, official transcripts, and a resume. Baylor also asks for three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a video interview.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$44,544
Out-of-state
$44,544
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$33,408
Out-of-state
$33,408
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
68%
Students Enrolled
19,297
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global

  • Marion, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $607
Out of State | $607

Credits to Graduate
60

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

With a doctorate from IWU, you'll gain leadership and research skills. The online doctor of education in educational leadership offers a unique doctoral completion option for transfer students who have completed their doctoral coursework and need to finish a dissertation. You can also take courses through the fully online doctoral program. 

You must hold a master's degree in education or a related field to apply. The program also requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least three years of experience in education. You'll also need two letters of recommendation.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,871
Out-of-state
$8,871
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,083
Out-of-state
$11,083
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
10,944
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

Johns Hopkins University

  • Baltimore, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,720
Out of State | $1,720

Credits to Graduate
54 credits

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Train as an educational practitioner-scholar at Johns Hopkins. The online doctor of education program teaches you how to apply evidence-based practices and improve learning outcomes. You'll also gain leadership skills.

The program requires an accredited master's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Johns Hopkins also asks for a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a professional practice essay. Candidates complete an online interview to gain entry into the program.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$54,160
Out-of-state
$54,160
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$57,010
Out-of-state
$57,010
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
11%
Students Enrolled
28,890
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
88% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

Liberty University

  • Lynchburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $595
Out of State | $595

Credits to Graduate
54

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

A private Christian university, Liberty offers online degrees in dozens of fields. The online doctorate in education program offers concentrations in curriculum development, educational leadership, and higher education administration. The capstone project emphasizes research-based solutions to challenges in education. 

To apply, you'll need an accredited master's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. You'll also submit official transcripts and an admission application. Liberty lets you transfer up to 50% of the credits required for the doctorate.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$14,791
Out-of-state
$14,791
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,935
Out-of-state
$7,935
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
50%
Students Enrolled
93,349
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

Marymount University

  • Arlington, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Primarily Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,190
Out of State | $1,190

Credits to Graduate
48

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Strengthen your leadership and innovation skills with an Ed.D. from Marymount. The online doctorate in educational leadership and organizational innovation prepares graduates to promote change in schools and other organizations. 

For your dissertation, you'll have to identify innovative solutions to a key issue in education. You'll also work closely with a faculty advisor to conduct research and apply theory in practice.

As part of the application process, you'll complete an interview with a faculty member. Marymount also requires a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution and three years of work experience.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$33,200
Out-of-state
$33,200
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$19,620
Out-of-state
$19,620
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
3,294
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
69% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

National University

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online

100% Online | Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $976
Out of State | $976

Credits to Graduate
48

Program Information
Program Accreditation |  WASC Senior College and University Commission

With 16 specialization options, NU's doctorate in education lets you customize your degree. The online education doctoral program includes unique options like trauma-informed education practices, global training and development, and learning analytics. Or, you can choose the general education concentration to pursue a broad course of study.

NU emphasizes decision-making, policy development, and leadership in its Ed.D. concentrations. The program requires a graduate degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution for admission.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$11,064
Out-of-state
$11,064
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$16,983
Out-of-state
$16,983
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
12,471
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

Northeastern University Lifelong Learning Network

  • Boston, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $969
Out of State | $969

Credits to Graduate
60

Program Information
Program Accreditation | New England Commission of Higher Education

Northeastern offers five concentrations in its doctor of education program. During the online doctorate in education, you'll take classes online while completing brief residencies in Boston, Charlotte, or Seattle. 

You'll be able to choose from focus areas in higher education administration, school leadership, workplace learning, teaching and learning, and integrative studies. You can start your dissertation in practice early in the program, which will structure your research. 

Application requirements include academic transcripts, an admission statement, a resume, and three recommendation letters. The program also asks for three years in a field related to education.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$12,984
Out-of-state
$12,984
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$24,294
Out-of-state
$24,294
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,310
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
71% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

Nova Southeastern University

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,505
Out of State | $1,505

Credits to Graduate
55

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

At NSU, you can specialize your education doctorate by choosing from seven concentrations. The online doctorate in education program offers focus areas in educational leaders, higher education leadership, and organizational leadership. You can also study curriculum and teaching, instructional technology and distance education, reading, or special education. 

You'll choose between an applied dissertation or a strategic research project as the final capstone requirement. You can apply to the program with transcripts and an online application.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$32,370
Out-of-state
$32,370
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$20,618
Out-of-state
$20,618
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
76%
Students Enrolled
20,888
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

Oregon State University

  • Corvallis, OR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $590
Out of State | $590

Credits to Graduate
108 quarter credits

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

The hybrid Ed.D. program at Oregon State blends in-person and online coursework. During the adult and higher education doctorate in education program, you'll take weekend courses in Portland in addition to online classes. During the program, you'll gain skills to prepare you for leadership roles in higher education.

The program requires at least three years of experience at a college or university, plus a master's degree. Application requirements include a resume, a writing sample, and three letters of reference. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,846
Out-of-state
$29,445
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,257
Out-of-state
$26,109
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
32,312
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

The University of Findlay

  • Findlay, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $540
Out of State | $540

Credits to Graduate
60

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

Located in Ohio, Findlay is a private Christian university that offers several online graduate programs. The doctorate in education program strengthens research, policy-making, and communication skills. Learn about information literacy, strategic planning, and policy analysis while earning a doctorate. 

The program requires a master's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. You'll also have to submit MAT scores and two letters of recommendation. The College of Education faculty conducts interviews with prospective students.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$35,174
Out-of-state
$35,174
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$16,480
Out-of-state
$16,480
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
4,829
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

  • Knoxville, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $700
Out of State | $775

Credits to Graduate
60

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

If you already have K-12 leadership experience, UT Knoxville's educational leadership program can help you move into district or state leadership roles. The online doctorate in educational leadership builds on your experience to train practitioner-scholars. 

You'll get to study educational policy, curriculum enhancement, and instructional programs while receiving one-on-one support throughout your doctorate. You must have a bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.7 GPA or a master's degree with a minimum 3.3. GPA to apply. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$11,332
Out-of-state
$28,522
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,468
Out-of-state
$29,656
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
30,559
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

Touro University Nevada

  • Henderson, NV
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $650
Out of State | $650

Credits to Graduate
60

Program Information
Program Accreditation | WASC Senior College and University Commission

Gain administrative and leadership skills during an online doctorate in education at TUN. The doctorate in administration and leadership develops advocacy, policy, and community engagement skills. Early in the program, you'll partner with faculty to begin the dissertation project.

The program requires a master's degree in any field with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The program also asks for two letters of recommendation and a personal essay. During the admission process, you'll complete a virtual interview.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,900
Out-of-state
$9,900
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$43,200
Out-of-state
$43,200
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,687
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

University of Dayton

  • Dayton, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,425
Out of State | $1,425

Credits to Graduate
60

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

UD offers immersive online programs. The online doctorate in education in leadership for organizations trains graduates to lead mission-driven organizations. The immersive program blends research and hands-on experience. You'll collaborate with classmates and complete a practice-focused dissertation to build advanced skills.

The program includes two in-person immersions. You must hold a master's degree and submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. GRE scores are optional. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$44,890
Out-of-state
$44,890
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$17,730
Out-of-state
$17,730
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
11,650
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

  • Champaign, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $500
Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate
64

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

Study digital media, training, and education while earning a doctorate from Illinois. The learning design and leadership doctorate bridges teaching and learning development. Designed for educators and learning development professionals, you'll learn how to design engaging learning environments and improve the learning process. 

You need a minimum 3.0 GPA. The program also requests an academic statement of purpose, a personal statement, a resume, and three letters of reference. You are also strongly encouraged to submit a scholarly writing sample.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$14,317
Out-of-state
$33,824
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$15,016
Out-of-state
$27,187
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
52,679
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

University of Southern Mississippi

  • Hattiesburg, MS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $519
Out of State | $519

Credits to Graduate
54

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Take live, online classes to interact with classmates and professors at Southern Miss. The online educational administration doctorate prioritizes collaboration and schedules classes at night to fit the schedule of working graduate students. Solve hands-on challenges while gaining decision-making and leadership skills.

The program requires three years of teaching experience. You'll need to submit official transcripts, standardized test scores, a statement of purpose, a resume, three letters of recommendation, and a current educator license. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,786
Out-of-state
$10,786
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,786
Out-of-state
$10,786
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
96%
Students Enrolled
14,606
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

University of Wyoming

  • Laramie, WY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $337
Out of State | $537

Credits to Graduate
44

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

School administrators can move into top-level leadership roles with an online doctorate in education from UW. The educational leadership doctorate emphasizes applied research. You'll strengthen hands-on skills during the superintendent internship and complete an applied research project for the dissertation requirement.

Already hold a master's degree? You can apply 30 credits toward the Ed.D. at UW. The program requires two years of experience as a school administrator and GRE scores.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$3,480
Out-of-state
$14,472
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,076
Out-of-state
$15,174
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
11,829
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

Vanderbilt University

  • Nashville, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $2,169
Out of State | $2,169

Credits to Graduate
54

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Vanderbilt's Peabody College offers online graduate degrees in education and human development. The leadership and learning in organizations doctorate in education program helps mid-career professionals implement change in leadership roles. 

You'll strengthen management, communication, and assessment skills while learning data analytics tools. You'll also learn how to improve workplace operations by resolving real-world organizational challenges.

You need at least three years of leadership experience. In addition to an accredited bachelor's degree, you'll need at least 30 credits at the graduate level. The program strongly encourages the submission of GRE or GMAT scores.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$52,781
Out-of-state
$52,781
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$50,082
Out-of-state
$50,082
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
12%
Students Enrolled
13,537
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

West Virginia University

  • Morgantown, WV
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Hybrid | Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $589
Out of State | $1,525

Credits to Graduate
87

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

Interested in higher education? Then consider WVU's doctorate in education in higher education administration. The degree can lead to administrative, research, and policy roles at the college level.

During the degree, you can focus on academic affairs, administration, or assessment. You can also create your own specialization. You'll study in a hybrid format with online and on-campus courses. The program requires a minimum 2.75 GPA and a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,976
Out-of-state
$25,320
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,134
Out-of-state
$26,154
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
84%
Students Enrolled
26,269
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

How Much Does a Doctorate of Education Degree Cost?

A doctorate of education degree can increase your salary. But how much does it cost? According to the NCES, the average annual tuition cost of a graduate degree in 2021 was $12,394 at public four-year schools.

However, the answer mostly depends on the school and the program. Public schools charge lower tuition rates, for example. With an online program, you can also choose a more affordable option. And make sure to ask schools about financial aid opportunities.

Average Annual Tuition Cost of a Graduate Degree | 2020-2021

Public Institution

$12,394

Private Institution

$26,621

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Average Total Cost of a Ph.D. | 2020-2021

Average Annual Total Cost

$32,846

Average Total Cost Between 4-8 Years

$131,000-$263,000

Source: Betfiery

How Long Does It Take to Get a Doctorate in Education Online?

Most doctorate in education programs take 2-3 years of full-time study to complete. However, some programs, especially Ph.D. in education programs, can take up to five years to finish.

Course Credits Required for Ed.D.

60 credits

Field Study Requirements (Y/N)

*Yes

*Depending on your program and specialization

What Jobs Can I Get With A Doctorate in Education?

Career Paths With a Doctorate in Education

Postsecondary teacher

School superintendent

Dean of students

Provost

Principal

University registrar

Department chair

University president

Academic researcher

With a doctorate in education, you qualify for leadership roles in K-12 education and higher education. Many principals and school superintendents hold a doctorate, for example. At the postsecondary level, college professors and administrators often need a doctorate.

An Ed.D. can lead to careers as an academic or administrative dean, provost, or university president. Other roles include researcher, education consultant, policy-maker, or training manager.

"The Ed.D. degree enables you to be an effective administrator, researcher, advanced trainer, and/or consultant."

Andrew Ward, M.Ed., Ph.D.

"[An Ed.D.] is the highest-level degree that is offered for people who aspire to leadership roles in education administration, such as being superintendents of a school district or a head of [a] school."

Rebecca Mannis, Ed.M., Ph.D., Learning Specialist

Admissions Requirements for a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) Program

You'll need to meet the education doctorate admission requirements before you apply to programs. In addition to a master's degree, programs often ask for standardized test scores, recommendation letters, and a statement of purpose. Check out our graduate admissions guide for more.

Admissions Requirements for an Ed.D. Program

A master's degree from an accredited college or university

Valid GRE exam scores

Transcripts

2-3 letters of recommendation

A resume

2-4 references

A minimum 3.0 GPA

An admissions interview

A statement of purpose

What Are the Different Types of Doctoral Degrees in Education?

Schools offer several varieties of doctoral degrees in education. The most common are a doctor of education (Ed.D.), a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in education, and an education specialist (Ed.S.). Colleges may offer one or more of these options to doctoral candidates.

Although an Ed.D. and a Ph.D. in education are both terminal degrees in the field, each is suited for a different career path. You should consider a program based on your career goals.

Frequently Asked Questions About Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) Programs

Do you need a certificate or license to work as a college professor?

No, college professors do not need a certificate or license. While K-12 teachers at public schools often need a teaching license, educators may qualify for professor jobs with a doctorate.

For example, a doctorate in education meets the requirements for education professor jobs. Similarly, higher education administrators like deans do not need a certificate or license. Instead of a license, a graduate degree meets the requirements for college administrator jobs.

Do all doctorate in education programs require a master's degree?

Nearly all doctoral programs in education require a master's degree for admission. That's because an Ed.D. builds on the knowledge and skills gained during a master's program.

A master's degree also demonstrates that you can succeed at the graduate level.

However, a few programs admit applicants with a bachelor's degree. These programs typically require a higher credit load to earn a doctorate.

Do all doctorate in education programs require a dissertation?

Most education doctoral programs include a dissertation. However, some programs require a capstone project rather than a dissertation. Typically, doctoral candidates conduct research in their focus area, which can include gathering surveys, interviews, and other data sources.

Candidates then write and defend a dissertation. In contrast, a capstone project may focus on applied skills, like developing a policy or program. Doctoral candidates must pass their dissertation or capstone project to graduate.

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