Best Online Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction Programs

Rank School Name Relative Cost Location Description
1 Andrews University 1/5 Berrien Springs, MI

Located 30 miles north of South Bend, Indiana, Michigan’s Andrews University offers a range of in-person and online graduate programs, including a doctorate in curriculum and instruction online. Students learn how to improve learning environments in businesses and educational institutions. Prospective students can earn a master’s, specialist, or doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction online. The 91-92 credit doctorate program can be completed in six years after earning a master’s degree. Graduates of the program work in many different areas of education, including teaching, research, and administration.

Prospective students must have nine semester credits of education courses. This includes an undergraduate course (or a graduate equivalent) in educational psychology. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.6 or 2.75 during the last half of their undergraduate careers. They must also submit a GRE score from the past five years, a 500-word essay explaining their future goals, a resume, and two letters of recommendation from previous employers, professors, or academic advisors.

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2 Carson-Newman University 1/5 Jefferson City, TN

A historically Baptist liberal arts institution based in Jefferson City, Tennessee, Carson-Newman offers an online doctorate of education degree with a curriculum & instruction concentration. Its program is catered to those who want to work in educational leadership.

The program requires prospective students to have a completed master’s or education specialist degree prior to admission. Students complete one three-credit course every eight weeks during the fall and spring semesters. During the summer, some students complete up to four courses. A student’s coursework helps him or her prepare a research proposal and dissertation. Those who take courses on a similar schedule can expect to complete the program in about three years. Students must complete coursework within seven years of being fully admitted into the program.

Potential students interested in the school’s online EdD programs may call the school to check the program’s availability.

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3 Columbus State University 1/5 Columbus, GA

Located about 100 miles south of Atlanta, Columbus State offers a doctorate in education curriculum and leadership. Out of the three offered tracks, one is offered online: higher education. Students are assigned to cohorts throughout the program and are prepared for curriculum and instruction jobs in leadership capacities. Students taking the higher education specialization take courses on academic affairs, higher education student services, finance, and more. Once students are admitted to the program, they must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Prospective students must have a master’s degree from an accredited university. They are also required to have a GPA of at least 3.5 on all graduate coursework. Students may not have a criminal record or a dishonorable discharge from the military that could interfere with teaching certifications. Four years of teaching experience or a leadership role in the private sector are also required.

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4 Concordia University-Chicago 1/5 River Forest, IL

Concordia University-Chicago’s doctoral program in leadership has a concentration in curriculum and instruction. The 61-67 credit program is designed for teachers who want to prepare themselves for curriculum and instruction jobs in education administration. The leadership aspect of the program focuses on developing the next generation of leaders, providing them instruction on communication, decision-making, knowledge management, and more.

As a part of the curriculum and instruction specialization, students take a variety of courses to improve the education field. Learning objectives include a strengthened background in the profession and increased understanding of learning. These courses, which cover topics such as curriculum design, research-based decision making, and the design of learning environments, prepare students for their dissertation. Graduates of this program are prepared to design, implement, and manage curriculum and instruction programs in both public and private K-12 schools.

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5 Johns Hopkins University 1/5 Baltimore, MD

John Hopkinsdoctorate in curriculum and instruction online is designed for the working professional. Students are able to complete the program in just five years, although they must complete their dissertations within seven years. Classes are taught asynchronously and synchronously, depending on the course. The program does have an in-person residency requirement.

The Baltimore-based university’s online program requires 90 graduate credits to complete. Students must have a master’s degree and a minimum of 36 graduate-level credits that will transfer into the program. However, the program allows exceptions to this rule, and students may take the missing graduate credits at the university. Students who wish to apply need to have a minimum undergraduate degree of 3.0, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement.

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6 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale 1/5 Fort Lauderdale, FL

Keiser’s online doctorate program in educational leadership prepares educators to improve their field through theory and research. The program provides students the ability to understand the evolving sociological environment of their schools and to develop strong leadership skills through communication. Students take courses on a variety of topics, including ethical issues in education, community relations, and classroom management. Sixty credits are required to complete the program. Fifty-four of the 60 post-master’s degree credits must be completed at Keiser.

Prospective students are required to submit a GRE/MAT score, along with a master’s degree from an accredited institution. Students may not have to submit test scores if they have a doctoral degree or a master’s degree with a GPA of 3.2 or higher. Two letters of recommendation and a formal resume are also required to apply.

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7 Kennesaw State University 1/5 Kennesaw, GA

While Kennesaw State offers a specialist curriculum and instruction degree, it also has a EdD in teacher leadership. A performance-based program, its graduates are prepared to mentor other teachers, use data to improve teaching methods, and lead faculty development throughout an academic institution. The program is split up into four areas of study: research, advanced teacher leadership, certification in teacher leadership, and dissertation. A six-month residency is also required of students.

Proof of teaching licensure in the state of Georgia is required to be admitted into the program. A GRE score from the past five years, a personal reflections statement, a resume, and two letters of recommendation are also required. Students must have three years of professional teaching experience to be considered for the program. Potential students may also be asked to interview with the program prior to admission.

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8 Liberty University 1/5 Lynchburg, VA

A private Baptist university based in Virginia, Liberty is one of the largest online universities in the United States. The institution’s doctorate in curriculum and instruction online program has four specializations: elementary education, middle-grades education, secondary education, and special education. Students develop the skills necessary to become a principal, superintendent, or professor.

The 60-credit program has requirements broken up into the three areas of leadership core, research, and a curriculum and instruction concentration. The program has a suggested sequence of nine semesters. Liberty requires a master’s degree in education or a related field with a 3.0 GPA for admission. That degree must come from an institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Students may also obtain advanced licenses in administration and school counseling. Students from across the globe may enroll in the program without meeting specific residency requirements.

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9 New Mexico State University 1/5 Las Cruces, NM

Students at NMSU may earn an online doctorate in curriculum and instruction through two separate degree programs. The school offers both EdD and online PhD curriculum and instruction programs.

All students take the same sequence of courses, but the program offers three independent study courses that help students develop their area of emphasis. While the program is primarily administered online, students are required to attend two weeks of face-to-face classes at the school in Las Cruces, New Mexico, for three years. Classes are taught using synchronous and asynchronous methods, including Skype and Google Docs. Those who wish to apply will need to complete a master’s degree in education and have three years of prior teaching experience before starting the program. Students seeking a PhD degree have an additional requirement that could result in additional coursework.

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10 Sam Houston State University 1/5 Huntsville, TX

The SHSU doctoral program in educational leadership prepares the school leaders of tomorrow for all types of challenges in the education field. An executive-style program, students may take most of their classes online, although they must attend class once per week at the university's Woodlands Center, located just outside Houston. The entire program includes 60 credit hours, and students typically can complete their degrees within three to four years.

This EdD program trains students to become inquiry-driven and scholarly leaders as they embark on their careers, with many graduates going on to serving in high-level roles in schools, school districts, colleges, universities, and the business world. This program features a face-to-face cohort model with nationally respected professors who are at the top of their field. There are also convenient class schedules, providing an added benefit for mid-career professionals.

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11 Southeastern University 1/5 Lakeland, FL

The largest educational institution in the United States associated with the Assemblies of God, Southeastern’s online doctorate in curriculum and instruction allows students to learn from a Christian perspective. Students complete their work through the university’s MyFire learning system and receive face-to-face instruction during one-week classes at Lakeland, Florida. These classes are held during the summer or winter, depending on when the student started the program. No cohort is larger than 30 students.

The school offers many types of financial aid and some payment plans for its students. The 54-credit program provides students with extensive education on topics such as public policy, curriculum theory, and leadership principles. Students may transfer a maximum of 18 credit hours into the doctorate program. Full-time students can expect to complete the coursework in just over two years, and the program usually takes three to four years, depending on the dissertation. A GRE score is not required with an application.

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12 Texas A&M University-College Station 1/5 College Station, TX

Students can anticipate to complete Texas A&M’s online doctorate in curriculum and instruction in about four years. The rigorous program has three overarching goals: leadership, discovery, and the application of knowledge. Aimed at mid-career professionals, this 64-credit program prepares the next generation of education leaders to lead their educational institutions forward.

The school requires five years of teaching experience and a master’s degree prior to beginning the program. Writing samples discussing educational issues are also required. Students admitted into the program are assigned a cohort and must complete two internships throughout the program. They also receive access to an online student portal that helps maintain communication between the student and program faculty. The internships allow the student to use the theory and knowledge learned in class while gaining experience and knowledge regarding educational leadership roles. Students must maintain a 3.3 cumulative GPA throughout the program.

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13 The University of West Florida 1/5 Pensacola, FL

Four specializations are available with UWF’s online doctorate in curriculum and instruction. Two of these (curriculum and assessment studies and instructional design and technology) are available through the school’s online program. The curriculum and assessment studies track is recommended for those who are interested in the theory and development of curriculum plans. The instructional design and technology track has two additional concentrations: performance technology and distance learning. These programs focus on the impact of technology in the ever-evolving education arena.

Prospective students must submit a GRE, MAT, or GMAT test score with their application, along with transcripts outlining their master’s degree coursework. Those who obtained a 3.5 GPA or greater in their master-level studies do not need to submit test scores. Students must complete a total of 66 credits throughout the program to qualify the EdD in curriculum and instruction.

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14 University of Arkansas 1/5 Fayetteville, AR

The University of Arkansas’s online doctorate in educational leadership prepares teachers to become the next generation of principals, superintendents, and government officials. Students are split into cohorts and will meet with each other in person during every semester of the program. These weekend seminars allow students to connect what they’ve learned with practice, while continuing their education with lectures from distinguished speakers. The program may be completed in as few as three years, and students may only start during the summer.

Interested students must apply to the program through a two-step process. The first step involves an application to the University of Arkansas Graduate School with official transcripts. Once admitted, students may apply to be admitted into the educational leadership program. A writing sample, three letters of recommendation, and a copy of the student’s teaching license get submitted at that point of the process.

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15 University of Florida 1/5 Gainesville, FL

Every other year, the University of Florida admits a cohort of 20 educators to its online doctoral program in curriculum and instruction. Students follow a set schedule of courses, and most of the instruction takes place online. However, students must commit to a week-long on-campus experience with instructors at the school’s campus in Gainesville for the first three summers of the program. The program is aimed at current professionals who wish to address issues that the field of education is facing today. The cohort-based, four-year program allows students to work together to address various issues in education.

Prospective students must have a GPA of 3.0 for previous graduate and upper-division undergraduate coursework. A master’s or specialist degree is required, along with three years of classroom experience. A GRE score is also required, but the writing portion of the test is optional. This online doctorate in curriculum and instruction offers a specialization in curriculum, teaching, and teacher education.

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16 University of Louisiana at Monroe 1/5 Monroe, LA

Unlike many other programs, the University of Louisiana at Monroe allows students to pursue a doctorate in curriculum and instruction online immediately after receiving their bachelor’s degree. However, they must complete a graduate degree in education or a related field before they begin doctoral coursework. Graduates of the program can expect to find curriculum and instruction jobs at academic institutions at the K-12 or college level.

The program also aims to prepare instructors who want to have an impact on educational policy through various agencies. Combining academic coursework and research, students can expect to leave this program being able to analyze education problems and situations from a wide lens. Interested applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 and a cumulative GPA of 3.25 to be admitted to the program. Applications are accepted for both fall and spring admission.

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17 University of South Carolina-Columbia 1/5 Columbia, SC

USC-Columbia allows students to complete a doctorate in curriculum and instruction online within three years. Students learn about the history of issues surrounding curriculum while being prepared for educational leadership positions. The school also offers two specializations focusing on curriculum studies and education technology. Courses that focus on these areas allow students to become more informed on many topics, including school leadership and applying technology to diverse populations.

Both specializations require a master’s degree from an accredited university prior to beginning the program. A student’s GPA must remain above a 3.0 to meet program requirements. Students must also submit a letter of intent detailing how the program is aligned with their future goals, along with GRE test score, transcripts, and a writing sample complete with APA citations. Those who live in South Carolina received a reduced tuition rate.

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18 University of West Georgia 1/5 Carrollton, GA

At the University of West Georgia, students have the opportunity to work on their dissertations alongside their coursework, potentially finishing both at the same time. The school’s EdD program in school improvement prepares educators for challenging careers in education. The three-year, 60-credit program has cohorts, and students are exclusively admitted during the summer semester. Students should be able to complete the program within three years. The program has many areas of concentration, including school counseling, media specialist, special education, and educational leadership. These areas of concentration are made up of 12 credit hours of classes on these topics and the student’s dissertation.

All of the coursework is completed in a synchronous environment online, but students must complete an orientation and dissertation defense on campus in Carrollton, Georgia. Interested students must submit GRE schools, three letters of recommendation, a resume, transcripts, and an essay outlining future goals. A maximum of 12 graduate credits may be transferred from another accredited institution.

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