Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership Programs of 2021

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August 25, 2021

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An online doctorate in educational leadership offers a great pathway for learners who want to make a tangible difference in children's lives. Educational leaders set academic standards that shape students' futures.

A doctorate in educational leadership can lead to desirable jobs, including school principal, district superintendent, and university president. The degree can also prepare students for careers in education research and policy. Read on to learn more about courses, admission requirements, and careers.

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

2021 Accredited Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership Programs

School Program Location
Arkansas State University-Main Campus Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Jonesboro, AR
Belhaven University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Jackson, MS
Central Michigan University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Mount Pleasant, MI
City University of Seattle Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Seattle, WA
Clark Atlanta University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Atlanta, GA
Concordia University-Irvine Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Irvine, CA
Drexel University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Philadelphia, PA
East Tennessee State University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Johnson City, TN
Edgewood College Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Madison, WI
Endicott College Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Beverly, MA
Indiana State University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Terre Haute, IN
Lamar University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Beaumont, TX
Liberty University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Lynchburg, VA
Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Omaha, NE
Nova Southeastern University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Fort Lauderdale, FL
Regent University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Virginia Beach, VA
Rowan University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Glassboro, NJ
Southwest Baptist University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Bolivar, MO
Southwestern College Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Winfield, KS
St. Thomas University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Miami Gardens, FL
Tennessee State University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Nashville, TN
Texas Tech University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Lubbock, TX
University of Arkansas Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Fayetteville, AR
University of Kentucky Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Lexington, KY
University of Massachusetts-Lowell Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Lowell, MA
University of North Dakota Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Grand Forks, ND
University of Northern Colorado Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Greeley, CO
University of Southern California Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Los Angeles, CA
Valdosta State University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Valdosta, GA
William Carey University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Hattiesburg, MS
William Woods University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership Fulton, MO
Wilmington University Ed.D./Ph.D in Educational Leadership New Castle, DE

What Can I Expect From an Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program?

An online doctorate in educational leadership provides students the advanced theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to run an entire school or district. Courses in these programs usually cover managerial strategies, diversity and equity, ethics, and policies and procedures to improve educational systems for all students.

Doctoral candidates must complete a dissertation or major research project. This requirement involves submitting a proposal and carrying out research to make a unique impact in the field. Before they can graduate, students must defend their research in front of a faculty committee.

Each school offers a unique program, but you can generally expect to complete 60-90 credits, which can take about three years to complete. Part-time students spend longer in school, and some universities may offer accelerated programs.

Each school offers a unique program, but you can generally expect to complete 60-90 credits, which can take about three years to complete.

When researching online doctorate in educational leadership programs, you may encounter both doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) and doctor of education (Ed.D.) programs. Ph.D. programs focus more on the research and theoretical components of the field, while Ed.D. degrees prepare learners to work as administrators in education.

Some programs offer concentrations like instructional coordination, K-12 or higher education, diversity and equity, and special education. These options allow learners to focus their studies.

Admission Requirements for Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership Programs

Typical admission requirements for online doctorate in educational leadership programs include a master's degree from an accredited university with a minimum 3.0 GPA. However, sometimes applicants with significant professional experience do not need to meet minimum GPA and GRE score requirements.

Many programs also require classroom experience, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program?

Leadership Theory for Education
In this course, students learn about the theories of leadership in educational systems. Learners study educational leadership and discuss the role of leadership within educational systems. This course often touches on ethics and best practices.
Race, Equity, and Leadership
This course challenges degree-seekers to identify barriers that students of marginalized backgrounds face. Learners also delve into ways to instill equality and justice into students in the classroom.
Strategic Education Reform
This course explores the big picture of how to make educational systems better. Coursework incorporates education theory and considers equity and social justice. Students consider who gets left behind in educational systems and what leaders can do to close those gaps.
Curriculum Theory
This course delves into various theories of learning in school systems. Learners study major figures in the field like John Dewey, Jerome Bruner, and Ralph Tyler. Students analyze these thinkers' theories and proposed curricula.
Research Design in Educational Leadership
Many doctoral programs require students to carry out their own individual research. This course provides learners with the tools to perform that research, covering methodologies and quantitative and qualitative methods.

What Can I Do With an Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership Degree?

Graduates with a doctorate in educational leadership often aspire to work in positions where they can make a real difference. Degree-holders can pursue careers as superintendents, principals, and university presidents. They can also teach education as professors or seek roles in policymaking.

Graduates enter a growing field. Between 2019 and 2029, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 4% job growth for principals, 4% job growth for postsecondary educational administrators, and 6% job growth for instructional coordinators.

See where a doctorate in educational leadership can take you.

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Educational Leadership Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Doctorate in Educational Leadership Programs

Is a doctorate in educational leadership worth it? true

It depends on your unique circumstances. If you wish to progress in your field as an educational administrator, then a doctorate in educational leadership can help you reach your goals. You also should evaluate how much time you want to dedicate to school and consider whether your potential earnings are worth the cost of tuition.

Is it hard to get into an educational leadership doctorate program? true

Applicants usually need a master's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Some programs may also require GRE scores and a few years of work experience either as an educator or administrator.

What can I do with a doctorate in educational leadership? true

Graduates often continue to work in high-level administrative positions as school principals, superintendents, and college presidents. Others specialize in instructional coordination or find work as diversity and inclusion officers. Still other graduates might prefer positions in research, policy, and academia.

How much money can I make with a doctorate in educational leadership?

Salary potential depends on location and experience level. According to the BLS, K-12 principals earn a median annual salary of $98,490. Postsecondary education administrators make a median annual salary of $97,500.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a doctorate in educational leadership?

According to PayScale, college presidents earn an average annual salary of $155,620. Keep in mind that these positions are extremely competitive and often require experience as a college administrator or professor.

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