Educational leadership is a specialized academic field dedicated to the management and administration of learning institutions at all grade levels, from pre-K to postsecondary education. Educational leadership professionals include principals and vice principals, school superintendents, college deans, admissions officers, and curriculum developers. Although a master's degree represents the minimum educational requirement for most of these positions, students can boost their job market standing by earning a doctorate in educational leadership.

Learners can explore two types of doctorate in educational leadership programs: Ph.D. programs, which focus on academic research and generally appeal to those who wish to continue teaching, and Ed.D. programs, which focus on administration and practical training. In both program types, curricula cover topics such as educational philosophy and law, leadership methods, instructional technology, and curriculum development. Most doctorate in educational leadership programs include practicum courses, in which students receive supervised training from experienced professionals at working schools and educational facilities. Many programs also require capstone projects. Students increasingly choose to earn their doctorate in educational leadership online. Learners who take web-based classes follow the same rigorous curricula as students who attend courses on campus and can pursue the same job opportunities after graduation. The asynchronous schedule and study-from-home format of distance learning may appeal to students with part-time jobs, childcare duties, and/or other responsibilities that could interfere with campus-based learning.

Explore this comprehensive guide to learn more about what you can expect from a doctorate in educational leadership program and what kind of career opportunities exist.

Choosing a Program

WILL AN ONLINE DOCTORATE IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

Online educational leadership doctoral programs help students build on the knowledge gained during their master's studies. Most doctorate in educational leadership students choose a specialization related to student age, such as early childhood, elementary, secondary (middle and high school), or postsecondary (college). In addition to educational credentials, some educational leadership personnel, such as public school principals and vice principals, must become licensed in the state where they work. Licensure requirements vary by state but typically include passing a comprehensive exam, submitting to a background check, and completing a set number of post-college training hours. The best online doctoral programs in educational leadership help prepare students for these post-degree requirements.

WILL AN ONLINE DOCTORATE IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Online doctoral programs provide a flexible alternative to a campus-based education. Students can access lectures and readings, submit assignments, participate in online discussions with their peers, take exams, and communicate with faculty all from the comfort of home. Current technology also enables learners to study on the go, using a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other device with Wi-Fi capabilities. For added convenience, online students can often arrange practicum courses and other onsite requirements at nearby locations.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY DOCTORATE IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP?

Common careers for individuals with a doctorate in educational leadership include principals and vice principals, school superintendents, college deans and administrators, and curriculum specialists. Individual job eligibility depends on a student's chosen specialization and their state's licensure requirements. Programs with capstone projects or practicum courses give students the opportunity to use their knowledge and skills to solve issues in actual classrooms. Some doctorate recipients go on and continue teaching; these individuals often advance to head teaching or school leadership positions after a few years in the workforce.

Accredited Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership Programs

School Location Description Toggle

Belhaven University

Jackson, MS

Belhaven University, a Christian institution based in Jackson, Mississippi, hosts one of the nation's top online doctoral programs in educational leadership. Through online coursework, three on-campus residencies, and a research-based dissertation, the program trains the next generation of K-12 administrators and teacher leaders.

The program is divided into four phases. In the first phase, students develop professional knowledge and skills in areas like school law, operations and fiscal management, and enhancing curriculum and instructional capacity. During the second and third phases, students prepare for their dissertation by taking courses in academic writing and either quantitative or qualitative research methods.

Phase four involves the actual writing of a dissertation. In close collaboration with their faculty advisor, students propose a research question, collect or synthesize data, draw conclusions from that data, and construct their overall arguments. While on campus for their final residency, students must then defend their finished dissertation before a faculty committee. In addition to their dissertation, all students must participate in an internship to graduate.

Admission to the program requires a master's degree from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 graduate GPA. Prospective students must also possess at least three years of professional experience in education, share results from the GRE, and submit three letters of recommendation. Finally, Belhaven requires applicants to submit at least two "artifacts," such as a budget proposal or instructional plan, that demonstrates their leadership experience and potential.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $510/credit
Credit Requirements: 72 credits
Program Length: 4-5 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE
Work Experience: 3 years

Contact
Phone: (601) 968-8881
Email: onlineadmission@belhaven.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

College of Saint Elizabeth

Morristown, NJ

At the College of Saint Elizabeth, students can earn a doctorate in educational leadership online in as little as three years. The program allows students to switch between online and on-campus learning on a weekly basis, making it ideal for working professionals who want to prepare for the next step in their career without leaving their current job.

The 52-credit program emphasizes servant leadership in higher education contexts. In their first year, students complete coursework in areas like strategic planning, institutional improvement, and policymaking and governance at colleges and universities. During their second year, students can explore more specialized subjects in higher education administration, such as enrollment management or student affairs.

While year three includes some coursework in research methods and design, students spend the majority of their time working independently on their dissertation. Dissertations at CSE must involve action research or the use of scholarly inquiry to better understand and address a particular challenge.

To apply to the program, prospective students must hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Though it does not set a strict minimum, CSE also requires all applicants to hold a "satisfactory degree" of professional experience in a higher education role. Candidates must also submit a resume, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation. One letter should serve as an academic reference, while the other should attest to a candidate's professional qualifications.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, Higher Education Track
Tuition: $1,019/credit
Credit Requirements: 52 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Work Experience: Required

Contact
Phone: (973) 290-4383
Email: jciccone@cse.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

College of Saint Mary

Omaha, NE

The College of Saint Mary's doctoral program in education leadership combines the rigor and support of classroom learning with the convenience of online education. From the comfort of their own homes, students synchronously participate in lectures and discussions, learning from and alongside the same cohort of classmates throughout their entire doctoral experience. Most students earn their terminal degree in three years. Starting Fall 2019, students will also have an option to complete the program in five years to accomodate working students with families and outside commitments.

The 51-credit program begins with coursework in teaching and learning theories, curriculum assessment and improvement, and ethics in educational leadership. As they advance through the program, students also take classes in doctoral inquiry and communication, critical and analytical thinking skills, and advanced statistics. In addition, students must complete an educational leadership practicum to develop and apply professional skills in a real-world setting.

Before formally beginning the dissertation process, students must pass a comprehensive exam that assesses their understanding of all prior coursework. They then work with their faculty advisors to shape a research proposal, design and implement data collection methods, and write the text of their dissertation. Finally, all students must orally defend their dissertation before a faculty committee to graduate.

CSM requires all applicants to hold a master's degree and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA during their graduate studies. Prospective students must also submit a professional resume, two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a scholarly writing sample that demonstrates their ability to succeed in a doctoral program.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $685/credit
Credit Requirements: 51 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years; 5 year option available

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (402) 399-2355
Email: lkavan@csm.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Concordia University - Irvine

Irvine, CA

Concordia University Irvine offers one of the country's leading online educational leadership doctoral programs. While students can conduct much of their coursework at a distance, the program does require one campus visit about every eight weeks, until completion of the program’s content and research courses. Dissertation research can be carried out from anywhere in the world, and students typically earn their Ed.D. in three years or less.

Alongside a cohort of 10-16 classmates, first-year students explore topics like leadership for whole system reform, strategic human resource management and development, and sustained fiscal leadership for organizational effectiveness. This coursework helps prepare students for senior-level roles in educational administration and policymaking.

The program’s uniquely designed Integrated Dissertation Track immerses doctoral students in research from the beginning through completion of the program. Early in the program students are assigned their respective dissertation chair, who mentors and coaches the student through each step of the dissertation process. The Track consists of five distinctive phases: Search for Researchable Problems, Scholarly Writing and Research Methods, Comprehensive Dissertation Proposal, Dissertation Research and Degree Completion.

Admission to the program requires a master's degree from an accredited institution and a 3.5 minimum graduate GPA. Applicants must also submit a resume, three letters of recommendation, a statement of intent, and a scholarly writing sample 7-10 pages in length. Prospective students must also participate in an interview with faculty.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $940/credit
Credit Requirements: 46 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 229-1200
Email: admissions@cui.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Creighton University

Omaha, NE

The online doctorate in interdisciplinary leadership at Creighton University equips students with the tools necessary to create meaningful change in a variety of professional settings, including schools and other educational organizations. In addition to a fully online version, students may also choose to pursue their degree in a hybrid format.

The 60-credit program features core coursework in areas like organizational theory and behavior, change theory and practice, and strategic planning and management. Students can select from a diverse slate of electives to prepare for more specific career paths. For example, a student who hopes to run a public school district or charter management organization may choose to take classes like leadership in school improvement, financial and legal leadership issues, and the policies and politics of school boards.

In addition to core courses and electives, all students must study research design and data analysis before beginning work on their dissertation. The dissertation process at Creighton emphasizes the practical application of research and the use of evidence to support a leader's decision-making.

To apply to the program, prospective students must hold a master's degree from an accredited graduate school or university. While Creighton does not require applicants to maintain a minimum GPA or take any entrance exams, it does ask that all candidates submit three letters of recommendation and respond to a doctoral writing prompt.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctorate of Education in Interdisciplinary Leadership
Tuition: $1,050/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (402) 280-2700
Email: jam56876@creighton.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University offers a fully online doctorate in education leadership that caters to working professionals. The program features no residency requirements, and students can watch lectures, complete assignments, and interact with their classmates entirely on their own schedule. Most part-time students earn their degrees in 3-5 years.

The Ed.D. program features nine areas of concentration, giving students the flexibility to tailor their educational experience to their academic interests and professional aspirations. For example, a student may specialize in athletic administration to learn more about the unique legal and ethical challenges that confront college and university athletic directors and coaches. A student who hopes to become a superintendent may instead choose to concentrate in educational administration and seek district-level licensure in Pennsylvania.

Students at Drexel can also complete the dissertation process online. After completing coursework in research design and data analysis, students remotely work with their supervising professor and dissertation committee. Drexel even allows doctoral candidates to defend their research proposals and finished dissertations using virtual meeting software.

Applicants must hold a master's degree with a 3.5 GPA or higher. In addition, prospective students must submit a resume, personal essay, graduate writing sample, and three letters of recommendation. Drexel also requires all future students to share at least one problem of practice that may form the foundation of their dissertation research. Once admitted, military personnel, veterans, and their families may qualify for a 30% tuition discount.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Management
Available Concentrations: Athletic administration; creativity and administration; educational administration; educational policy; global and international education; higher education; human resource development; learning technologies; special education leadership
Tuition: $1,265/credit
Credit Requirements: 62 credits
Program Length: 3-5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (215) 895-6232
Email: acg48@drexel.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

East Tennessee State University

Johnson City, TN

Students pursuing an online Ed.D. in educational leadership at East Tennessee State University may choose among three areas of concentration: administrative endorsement, higher education leadership, or school leadership. While the higher education and school leadership tracks prepare students for various professional roles, the administrative endorsement option specifically leads to licensure as a beginning principal or superintendent in Tennessee.

The three concentrations share similar foundational coursework, with students exploring subjects like theories of administration, educational statistics, and research in education leadership. During the second year of their program, students meet requirements aligned with their specialization. For example, the administrative endorsement track features courses in the professional needs of individuals and groups, implementation strategies, and shaping the character of an institution. The school leadership concentration, alternatively, requires an internship in a K-12 setting.

In addition, all students must research, write, and defend a dissertation. Because much of a student's work on their dissertation is self-paced, the time required to earn an education doctorate at ETSU varies. Most students graduate in 3-4 years, especially if they can transfer credits from a qualifying education specialist degree.

Unlike many other online educational leadership doctoral programs, ETSU only requires prospective students to hold a bachelor's degree and maintain at least a 2.5 undergraduate GPA. Applicants without a master's degree must, however, take the GRE. In addition, all candidates must submit a personal essay and three letters of recommendation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Available Concentrations: Administrative endorsement; higher education; school leadership
Tuition: $823/credit
Credit Requirements: 66 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (423) 439-1000
Email: online@etsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Evangel University

Springfield, MO

At Evangel University, students can work toward their Ed.D. in educational leadership online and asynchronously, making it easier to balance their doctoral studies with the demands of a full-time job or family responsibilities. Students can also remotely participate in live sessions with their cohort or attend certain classes in person at the university's campus in Springfield, Missouri.

The program comprises 50 total credits and covers subjects like resource management, the differentiation of curricula and instruction, and ethics and decision-making for school leaders. Students may also choose to participate in summer leadership experiences, though these seminars are not available online. Finally, all students must complete directed research and successfully defend a dissertation to graduate. Most students meet all of these requirements in roughly three years.

Admission to the program requires a master's degree and at least a 3.0 graduate GPA. Applicants must also submit GRE or Praxis test scores, though Evangel waives this entrance exam requirement for candidates with at least two years of experience as a teacher or educational administrator. Once admitted, students may transfer up to 20 graduate-level credits from another regionally accredited institution toward their Ed.D.

While Evangel does not offer scholarships or grants to its education doctoral students, employees of organizations affiliated with the Assemblies of God receive a 15% tuition discount. Members of certain churches and teachers in certain public districts may also receive a 10% tuition discount.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction
Tuition: $600/credit
Credit Requirements: 50 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (417) 865‑2815
Email: mannm@evangel.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Through its online education doctorate, Florida State University works to develop leaders who can renew educational systems and improve learning outcomes for all students. While the program incorporates both theory and research, it prioritizes their applications to the actual practice of school and district administration. Most students earn the Ed.D. within five years.

After completing coursework in areas like professional learning for educational practitioners and an introduction to program evaluation, students begin working on a dissertation in practice. Dissertations in practice differ from their more scholarly counterparts in that they bring original research to bear on a real-world challenge in education. For example, a dissertation in practice may incorporate qualitative research methods to better understand why a particular district struggles with de facto segregation among its schools.

To apply to the program at FSU, prospective students must hold a master's degree from an accredited college or university and maintain a 3.5 graduate GPA. Applicants must also submit results from the GRE, with FSU recommending a verbal target score of 149, a quantitative target score of 147, and an analytical writing target score of 3.5. Candidates may receive a waiver for the GRE requirement if they hold more than 10 years of professional experience or earned their master's with a 3.75 GPA or higher.

As part of their application packages, future students must also submit a resume, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a research statement outlining the problem of practice they plan to address during their doctoral studies.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration
Tuition: $444/credit in-state; $1,076/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 69 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (850) 644-7077
Email: dhamkelly@fsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

George Fox University

Newberg, OR

George Fox University's hybrid doctoral program in educational leadership allows students to continue their education without taking a break from their career. Online and asynchronous classes run during the fall and spring semesters, meaning students can learn at night, on the weekends, or at whatever time is most convenient for them. During the summer months, students must travel to the university's campus in Oregon for a two-week residency, followed by an additional two weeks of online education.

The program comprises 56 credits, and the core curriculum includes classes on leadership, teaching and learning, and the theoretical foundations of education. Students may also select a concentration in either school administration, higher education, or instructional design and development. The higher education concentration, for example, prepares students for leadership roles like dean, provost, or director of academic affairs at a college or university. Regardless of their area of specialization, all students must complete a series of research courses and a dissertation.

George Fox requires all applicants to hold a master's degree from an accredited institution and a 3.25 graduate GPA or higher. In addition, all prospective students must possess at least three years of relevant professional experience, submit three letters of recommendation, and share an academic writing sample of at least five pages in length.

Once admitted, students may apply to transfer up to six credits from another accredited graduate school toward an Ed.D. at George Fox. These credits must be beyond those earned during a master's program, and students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in their prior coursework to receive transfer credit.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Available Concentrations: K-12 Administration; higher education; instructional design and development
Tuition: $834/credit
Credit Requirements: 56 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.25 minimum
Work Experience: 3 years

Contact
Phone: (503) 554-6026
Email: jregier@georgefox.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Valley, PA

Gwynedd Mercy University provides an accelerated path to earning an Ed.D. in educational leadership online. Students take one class at a time for either five or seven weeks, meaning they can focus intently on developing specific professional competencies before moving on to a different topic area. Roughly 75% of all doctoral students in this program earn their terminal degree in three years or less.

In conjunction with fully online coursework in subjects like the neuroscience of learning and global education policy and practice, students must also complete a field-based practicum, two brief residencies at the GMercyU campus in Pennsylvania, and an international learning experience. Students also take research and academic writing courses from the onset of their doctoral studies so that they can begin working on their dissertation as quickly as possible.

GMercyU maintains strict admission requirements for this program. To begin, all applicants must hold a master's degree from an accredited institution and a 3.0 graduate GPA or higher. Prospective students must also score at least a 155 on both sections of the GRE, though GMercyU waives its entrance exam requirement for applicants with a 3.5 graduate GPA and above. Candidates must also possess at least three years of professional experience.

Applying to the program also requires an academic writing sample, a statement of professional goals and research interests, and three letters of recommendation. Finally, all future students must participate in a personal interview with a faculty member within their proposed area of study. Online candidates may, however, choose to interview remotely.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Available Concentrations: K-12 schools and districts; higher education; special education
Tuition: $980/credit
Credit Requirements: 54 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE
Work Experience: 3 years

Contact
Phone: (855) 268-0431
Email: accelerate@gmercyu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Immaculata University

Immaculata, PA

In Immaculata University's doctoral program in educational leadership and administration, students may choose to take classes online, in person at multiple locations throughout Pennsylvania, or through a hybrid approach. While part-time students can take up to eight years to meet all of their program's graduation requirements, most students earn their degree in roughly three.

Students begin by taking foundational coursework in areas like personnel management and labor relations, organizational development and change theory, and curriculum theory and evaluation. After completing these classes, students must then pass a comprehensive examination to begin working on their dissertation. Immaculata also encourages aspiring school leaders to complete a practicum or internship, though this is not a requirement.

The dissertation process starts with a research seminar in which students choose a topic, design a research methodology, and recruit a faculty committee. Under the supervision of the chair of that committee, students then collect, analyze, and organize their findings into a written document. Finally, all students must orally defend their dissertation before their committee.

Applying to the program requires both a bachelor and master's degree from accredited institutions. Immaculata does not, however, set a minimum GPA or require a certain number of years of professional experience. Along with their transcripts, candidates must also submit three completed reference forms and a two-page statement outlining the goals of their doctoral study. International students must additionally share results from the TOEFL or a similar language proficiency exam.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration
Tuition: $955/credit
Credit Requirements: 54 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (610) 647-4400
Email: gradadmission@immaculata.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Lamar University

Beaumont, TX

Lamar University's online doctorate in educational leadership caters to the needs of full-time educators. Students can complete 100% of their coursework from any location with an internet connection, and intensive summer sessions allow students to earn their degree in roughly three years of part-time study. If necessary, students may take up to 10 years to meet all of the program's graduation requirements.

The program comprises 20 classes, with each class running for eight weeks. In their first 11 courses, students develop core knowledge and skills in subjects like the dynamics of leadership, global communication, and trends and issues in multicultural education. After meeting these requirements, students take an additional five courses in quantitative and qualitative research.

After laying this foundation, students transition into work on their dissertations. Of the four classes in this area, two are devoted to writing and defending one's research proposal. Students then enroll in two independent study sessions to collect, research, and draft the actual text of their dissertations. Upon successfully defending their dissertation before a faculty committee, students formally earn their doctorate.

To apply to Lamar, prospective students must hold a master's degree from an accredited institution and a 3.5 graduate GPA. All applicants, regardless of circumstances, must additionally submit GRE results from the last five years. Finally, candidates must complete three requests for recommendation forms and write a single page on their interpretation of the most pressing and current educational leadership issue.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $509/credit in-state; $924/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (409) 880-8676
Email: lugradstudies@lamar.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA

Lehigh University's online Ed.D. in educational leadership specifically serves educators working at international schools. The program features fully online and largely asynchronous coursework during the fall and spring semesters, along with optional summer sessions at Lehigh's campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The program comprises 60 credits, though students with at least two years of supervisory experience at an international school only need to complete 48 credits to receive their degree. In addition to covering more general leadership subjects like school resource management and supervision and professional development, the program's core coursework addresses the unique needs of learners in schools that follow the International Baccalaureate or similar curricula.

After completing this coursework, students must take a comprehensive examination in which they conduct a literature review of a critical issue facing school leaders or policymakers. Students must write this 10- to 12-page paper in three months. If they pass, students may begin working on their dissertation. While the dissertation process requires significant independent study, students receive guidance and regular feedback from their faculty advisor.

Entrance into the program requires a master's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Applicants must also submit GRE or MAT scores, a personal statement outlining their qualifications and career goals, and two letters of recommendation. At least one letter of recommendation must come from a faculty member at an accredited college or university to vouch for the student's ability to succeed academically at the graduate level.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $665/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (610) 758-3225
Email: incoe@lehigh.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

Through an exploration of research, theory, and best practices, Liberty University's online doctorate in educational leadership prepares its graduates for a variety of career paths, including teacher leader and chief academic officer. The 60-credit program takes, on average, about three years to finish, though students may transfer in up to 15 doctoral-level credits to earn their degree even faster.

Students at Liberty begin their doctoral studies by completing coursework in school finance and management, education law, and the supervision of instruction. Students then can deepen their classroom learning through additional electives or participate in an internship to develop practical skills and grow their professional network.

The program also comprises four research and evaluation courses and a dissertation. After learning how to conduct a literature review and design a research methodology, students work with their faculty advisor to develop and defend a research proposal. Upon successfully defending their proposal, students then conduct their original research, write their dissertation, and again defend their final conclusion before a faculty committee.

Liberty requires that all doctoral applicants hold a master's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The university does not require entrance exam scores or prior professional experience.

In addition to a 50% tuition discount for all military personnel, veterans, and their families, Liberty also offers aid to certain groups of online learners. For example, students living in Canada may qualify for a 15% tuition discount when they attend Liberty online.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $650/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 424-9595
Email: luograd@liberty.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Minnesota State University Moorhead

Moorhead, MN

The online Ed.D. in educational leadership at Minnesota State University Moorhead helps students advance in their careers and meet the challenges of modern schools and higher education administration. Students complete the majority of their coursework online and asynchronously, though the program does require two weeks of on-campus study during the summer months. These residencies involve group learning activities, visits to schools and colleges, and networking opportunities.

The program's core curriculum covers subjects like educational law and policy, strategic assessment and accountability in education, and organization and administration for educational leadership. While MSU Moorhead does not offer formal concentrations within this program, students may customize their course of study by choosing electives in areas such as college student development and school community relations. Students may also opt to participate in practica that cater to aspiring superintendents, special education directors, or elementary school principals.

In addition, all students must conduct research and write a dissertation. While the length of this process varies on a case-by-case basis, most students successfully defend their dissertation and earn their Ed.D. within three years.

To apply to MSU Moorhead, prospective students must hold a master's degree in education or a closely related field and maintain at least a 3.5 GPA during their graduate studies. Applicants must also submit a personal essay, a letter of intent, contact information for three references, and a resume detailing a minimum of three years of professional experience. Finally, candidates must participate in an interview with Ed.D. program faculty and admission officers.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $545/credit
Credit Requirements: 72 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.5 minimum
Work Experience: 3 years

Contact
Phone: (218) 477-2471
Email: bradbury@mnstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Monmouth University

West Long Branch, NJ

Located in West Long Branch, New Jersey, one hour from New York City and Philadelphia, Monmouth University offers a doctor of education in educational leadership designed to cultivate education administrators' transformational leadership skills.

Students enrolled in this two-year, cohort-based educational leadership doctoral program online meet the 54-credit minimum through a combination of scheduled online courses on Thursday nights, on-campus courses every other Saturday, a coursework-based portfolio, a practical transformational leadership project, and a related dissertation. Courses cover foundational topics relating to leadership and learning, policy and procedures, transformative leadership, and research and assessment.

During their coursework, Monmouth's Ed.D. students choose, design, and implement their own transformational leadership projects, usually within the student's local school district. Students learn the necessary theory and skills for developing this project during their coursework, which includes courses on contemporary issues in education, education law and policy, research methods and design, program and data assessment and analysis, and several transformational leadership courses. The assignments eventually build to a related dissertation, which the student must defend at the end of the program.

Applicants must possess a master's degree (with a minimum GPA of 3.25) in education or a related field from a nationally accredited master's program. Students may transfer some credits from a previous, nationally accredited graduate program, provided that MU approves the credits. Monmouth is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Universities.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $1,233/credit
Credit Requirements: 54 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.25 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact
Phone: (732) 263-5492
Email: bbragen@monmouth.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

National Louis University

Chicago, IL

National Lewis University (NLU), a private university founded in 1886, boasts seven locations, including one in downtown Chicago. NLU's college of education offers a three-year online doctorate in educational leadership designed for professionals pursuing multiple educational leadership positions. The program is accredited by the National College for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

This 60-credit, three-year program offers online classes and a choice between two formats for the on-campus component. The more flexible format meets monthly for a weekend-long residency, with classes starting Friday evening and ending Saturday afternoon. The second format meets on a set weeknight twice per month. Both options use online formats for course discussion, materials, and assignments. Within three years of completing the program, students must participate in an internship and write a dissertation on their professional experiences.

Candidates for the Ed.D. in education leadership choose among a district level educational leadership major for those aspiring to district superintendent or system administrator roles; a leadership for learning and organizational development major that prepares instructional personnel supervisors who do not seek state accreditation; and a leadership for learning and change/postsecondary teaching and leadership major designed for academics working in postsecondary institutions.

Applicants to the Ed.D. program need two years of educational leadership experience and a master's degree with a minimum 3.25 GPA from a regionally accredited institution. National Louis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Available Concentrations: District-level educational leadership; leadership for learning and organizational development
Tuition: $774/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.25 minimum
Work Experience: 2 years

Contact
Phone: (888) 658-8632
Email: admissions@nl.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Northern Kentucky University

Highland Heights, KY

The doctor of education in educational leadership program at Northern Kentucky University (NKU), a private university in the quiet Cincinnati suburb of Highland Heights, cultivates the leadership skills of experienced professionals who work full time in P-20 educational institutions, agencies, corporations, and the public sector.

NKU's Ed.D. candidates spend at least three years completing this 60-credit program, which combines online coursework with monthly in-person sessions. The curriculum consists of 12 core credits, including regional stewardship courses and a related project; 12 credits of specialized curriculum, including leadership in multicultural contexts and leadership through technology; 15 credits of cognate curriculum on endorsements, certificates, and themes; and 21 credits of dissertation work, including statistics and research methods classes.

To advance to candidacy, students must earn an A or B grade in statistics and pass an APA-style competency assessment and a literature review. To graduate, candidates must fulfill all credit requirements with a minimum 3.0 GPA, pass the comprehensive assessment process, and complete and defend a dissertation that meets the department's standards.

Applicants need five years of educational leadership experience and a master's degree with a minimum 3.25 GPA from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants to the nurse educator specialty need a regionally accredited master's in nursing and five years of nursing leadership experience. National Kentucky University maintains accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $684/credit in-state; $998/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.25 minimum
Work Experience: 5 years

Contact
Phone: (859) 572-7815
Email: edd@nku.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Originally founded in 1964 as a school for the sciences in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) offers a doctor of education in educational leadership designed for professionals pursuing careers in school administration. Students enrolled in this three-year program may attend courses online or on campus; however, all Ed.D. candidates must participate twice in NSU's annual education institutes on the main campus in mid-July.

To meet the program's 54-credit minimum, candidates must first complete an online orientation and 24 credits of concentration area courses like policy, power, and politics in educational leadership and current topics in educational leadership. Depending on the intended certificate, candidates take either the principal and school leadership or the superintendent and district leadership.

Candidates also take 12 credits of required research courses, including the nature of knowing: epistemology and inquiry-based learning, methods of inquiry, and two courses on research design or analysis. Students earn another 12 credits through dissertation-related courses and the remaining six credits from elective courses.

Applicants need a master's degree with a 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited university. Students may transfer credits from regionally accredited graduate programs, pending NSU approval. Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and NSU's college of education holds accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $1,330/credit
Credit Requirements: 54 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Phone: (954) 262-8500
Email: nsuinfo@nova.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Rowan University

Glassboro, NJ

Originally founded as a teacher preparation school in 1923, Rowan University in Camden and Glassboro, New Jersey, offers an online doctor of education in educational leadership degree designed for education leaders. Candidates for this program choose from four tracks: higher education, P-12, nurse educator, and community college leadership initiative.

Students can complete coursework online, on campus, or via hybrid courses. To meet the program's 60-credit minimum, Rowan's Ed.D. candidates complete 36 credits of core courses in leadership theory, applied ethics, leadership diversity, policy, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and research methods. Students also need 12 credits of track-related courses and 12 credits of dissertation courses. The program is structured in three coursework phases, each with a benchmark review that candidates must pass to advance.

Applicants need a master's degree with a recommended 3.5 GPA. If approved by the Ed.D. program director, some credits from regionally accredited graduate programs can transfer. Rowan University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Available Concentrations: Higher education; K-12; nurse educator
Tuition: $875/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 3-5 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.5 minimum (recommended)

Contact
Phone: (856) 256-4747
Email: global@rowan.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Saint Peter's University

Jersey City, NJ

Located in Jersey City, Saint Peter's University is a private, Jesuit university that offers a doctor of education in educational leadership with a concentration in higher education. The program caters to mid-career education and government professionals pursuing leadership roles in higher education, and it prepares candidates for critical and creative problem-solving when facing contemporary issues in higher education.

Applicants need a master's degree to apply to the 48-credit online program, which includes a guided dissertation process that adapts to student career interests. Students begin the dissertation early in the program, eventually advancing to candidacy and dissertation defense before graduation. Students must finish the program in eight years or face disqualification.

In addition to fundamental courses on research methods and statistics, the program offers curriculum-related courses like curriculum development and instruction and student development and programming. Saint Peter's Ed.D. program considers petitions for transferring up to nine credits of doctoral-level coursework from similarly accredited institutions.

Higher education administration courses include organizational behavior and leadership, administration and governance of higher education, and ethical foundations and social responsibility. Finance-related courses like enrollment management and marketing; grants, philanthropy, and development; and finance, budgeting, and resource allocation prepare graduates for the business side of the field. Saint Peter's maintains regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, Higher Education
Tuition: $969/credit
Credit Requirements: 48 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (888) 772-9933
Email: gradadmit@saintpeters.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Samford University

Birmingham, AL

Samford University, a Christian school in Birmingham, Alabama, offers a doctor of education in educational leadership degree geared toward students interested in becoming school administrators. Enrolled candidates must complete the two-part, 66-credit degree program within six years.

The program includes a 30-credit educational specialist degree followed by 36 additional required credits for the full doctorate. Candidates in this cohort-based program can choose either an on-campus or a primarily online format, though online students must attend three in-person campus meetings during their methodology and research courses.

Students pursue either alternative class A certification or class AA instructional leadership certification from the Alabama State Board of Education (ALSDE). For class A certification, candidates must complete all required courses with a 3.25 GPA, whereas class AA Ed.D. students only need a 3.50 GPA. All candidates must pass a comprehensive exam.

Samford evaluates applicants on a case-by-case basis, although it grants unconditional admission to applicants with a 3.75 graduate GPA and satisfactory test scores (minimum combined GRE score of 295 or 396 minimum MAT score). Samford transfers up to six credits of coursework from applicants with degrees in teaching; however, the course level and school accreditation must match Samford's and receive approval from the graduate chair and certification office.

Samford University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and its college of education holds accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $813/credit
Credit Requirements: 66 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (205) 726-2783
Email: kbgilrea@samford.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

Southwestern College

Winfield, KS

Southwestern College, a nonprofit, Methodist university in Winfield, Kansas, offers a doctor of education in education leadership designed for education leaders pursuing careers in school administration. The program examines education agencies and the complex challenges they face.

Ed.D. candidates choose between two tracks: the licensure track, which prepares already-licensed teachers to earn a certificate in district or building leadership, and the non-licensure track, which prepares K-12 licensed teachers for leadership in teaching or higher education contexts. During the research and dissertation-writing process, students gain experience through their places of employment. In addition to online coursework, students attend two, one-week summer residencies on the Winfield campus.

Applicants need a master's degree with a 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited university. Students may transfer equivalent course credits from regionally accredited graduate programs at Southwest's discretion. Southwest University maintains regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission and the Kansas State Department of Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $671/credit
Credit Requirements: 90 credits
Program Length: 5 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.25 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (800) 229-6000
Email: jackie.glasgow@sckans.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR

Located in Fayetteville, the research-oriented University of Arkansas (U of A) provides a doctor of education in educational leadership for teachers pursuing careers in school administration. U of A's Teacher Opportunity Program provides Arkansas teachers and administrators with tuition reimbursement grants.

Program applicants need a teaching and administrator's license to apply. Those without an education specialist degree or district-level certification must complete Ed.S. coursework at U of A before pursuing an Ed.D. This program requires 96 credits, including 60 specialist degree credits; 18 dissertation credits; and additional Ed.D. courses such as statistical literacy, education policy and change, and advanced qualitative research.

In addition to online coursework, distance-learning students attend three weekend-long, one-credit capstone seminars on campus. These capstone eight-week summer courses like problems of practice and program evaluation. The seminars provide practical learning, discussion, and live lectures from leaders in the field.

To graduate, students must maintain a 3.25 GPA, write and defend a dissertation, and finish within seven years. The University of Arkansas is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $420/credit
Credit Requirements: 42 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (800) 952-1165
Email: globalcampus@uark.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

University of Bridgeport

Bridgeport, CT

Located in Bridgeport, Connecticut and accessible from New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, the University of Bridgeport (UB) offers a doctor of education in educational leadership degree designed to cultivate educational researchers and administrators.

This four-year, 62-credit Ed.D. program involves three years of study and one year of dissertation writing, although students with sixth-year degrees in education leadership or administration can opt for a three-year, 42-credit version of the program. The curriculum is tailored for working professionals, allowing students to pursue part-time or full-time course loads and offering electives online. However, students must come to Bridgeport's main campus to attend the Ed.D. core courses, which meet no more than two evenings per week.

Students must meet a residency requirement by maintaining three-credit enrollment throughout fall, spring, and summer for the first two years, although international students can opt out of taking courses during the summer session. To graduate, candidates must pass a comprehensive exam and write a dissertation. A sequence of seven, three-credit courses guides the student through dissertation proposal, writing, and defense.

UB's Ed.D. program offers a specialization in international education, with related courses including international education concepts and theories; ethical issues in international education; comparative education; and culture, society, and education in international contexts.

Applicants need a master's degree from an accredited school with a 3.0 GPA. The University of Bridgeport is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and the Connecticut Office of Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Available Concentrations: International education
Tuition: $680/credit
Credit Requirements: 62 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (203) 576-4552
Email: admit@bridgeport.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

University of Missouri

Columbia, MO

The University of Missouri (UM) - Columbia offers an online doctor of education in educational leadership designed to develop leadership skills in working PK-20 education professionals, including superintendents, directors, principals, and university administrators and faculty.

This Ed.D. program admits a new cohort every two years on odd years. Students in this four-year program meet the 46-credit minimum through 34 regular coursework credits and 12 dissertation credits. All students must attend an in-person orientation during their first spring semester and spend their first two summers completing coursework online and on campus in Columbia.

On wednesday evenings of fall and spring semesters, students attend courses synchronously online or at their partner institutions. Year one includes courses on organizational analysis; inquiry into change, diversity, and ethics; leadership theory and practice; group dynamics; and research design. Year two delves into data reporting, policy analysis, planning, and dissertation development. Third-year students continue working toward their dissertations and complete a research course in educational leadership and policy analysis.

Applicants need a master's degree with a minimum 3.5 GPA from a regionally accredited school and a 3.0 cumulative GPA in 60 or more credits of undergraduate coursework. The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its college of education holds accreditation from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $503/credit
Credit Requirements: 46 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (573) 882-2491
Email: mizzouonline@missouri.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

University of New England

Biddeford, ME

The University of New England (UNE) maintains physical campuses in Biddeford and Portland, Maine, but it also boasts a 100% online doctor of education in transformative leadership that prepares leaders for careers in K-12 and community college education, health, and business.

This three-year, 52-credit program utilizes a cohort format with spring, summer, and fall terms. With support from UNE's Online Worldwide Learning team, students complete all courses and dissertation work online. First-year students take foundational courses on research methods, technology, policy analysis, and transformational leadership. Year two entails more research courses, classes in ethics and organizational dynamics, and the first dissertation-related course.

Candidates usually write their dissertations during year three, with guidance from online meetings with an advisor and two other committee members. UNE expects students to complete the entire program within five years.

With approval from the Ed.D. program manager, students may transfer up to six credits from recent post-master's level studies at regionally accredited graduate programs, provided that they earned at least a 3.0 GPA and the credits line up with UNE's curriculum requirements. The University of New England is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Transformative Leadership
Tuition: $920/credit
Credit Requirements: 51 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (207) 221-4946
Email: lgood@une.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

University of St Thomas

St. Paul, MN

A private, Catholic liberal arts college in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas (UST) offers a doctor of education in education leadership and learning program that emphasizes the pursuit of social justice through systemic reform and improvement.

The program prepares its students for a variety of K-12 educational leadership careers, adult education careers, social advocate position in non-formal sectors, and careers in higher education administration.

This 66-credit program includes 36 core credits, 18 elective credits, and 12 credits of dissertation research. Possible areas of concentration include music education, student affairs leadership, adult learning, and education administration. Students can complete coursework online or on campus, with electives during fall and spring terms, followed by yearly summer residencies in the second half of July.

In addition to research methods and dissertation courses, students take courses like historical methodology in education, classic and contemporary readings in education, leadership for social justice in education, and scholars and researchers in education. Applicants to the Ed.D. program need a master's degree with a minimum 3.5 GPA and three years of professional experience, including one year in a leadership role. The University of Saint Thomas is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Learning
Tuition: $895/credit
Credit Requirements: 66 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.5 minimum
Work Experience: 3 years

Contact
Phone: (651) 962-4885
Email: education@stthomas.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands offers a practitioner-oriented online doctorate in educational leadership designed for working school administrators and counselors. Ed.D. candidates choose between an administration and supervision concentration, designed for current or aspiring leaders of educational institutions, and a counselor education and supervision concentration, designed for school counselors.

Students can complete this three-year Ed.D. program entirely online or enroll in optional on-campus classes, which usually occur on Saturdays. The program requires 60 credits: 27 credits of core leadership courses — like the politics of organizational decision-making, the change process, and grant writing and proposal development — and 15 credits of professional research courses on statistics, research methods, and guided dissertation.

Candidates also choose 18 credits from the following specialties: business, criminal justice, English, health science, history, information science, and student personnel services.

Applicants need a master's degree from an accredited university with a 3.5 graduate GPA, plus a satisfactory GRE score, writing sample, and interview. With approval, Cumberlands accepts up to nine transfer credits from other accredited graduate programs. University of the Cumberlands maintains regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Available Concentrations: Administration and supervision; counselor education and supervision
Tuition: $375/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Phone: (606) 539-4390
Email: gradadm@ucumberlands.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Wilkes University

Wilkes-Barre, PA

Located near the Pocono mountain range in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Wilkes University offers a doctor of education in educational leadership degree designed to advance the knowledge and skills of educational leaders.

Ed.D. candidates choose among specializations in educational technology, curriculum and instruction, educational leadership studies, and K-12 administration. Candidates who complete the K-12 administration specialization, which requires a Pennsylvania administrative or supervisory certificate before admission, earn a Pennsylvania superintendent letter of eligibility. Those specializing in educational technology earn a pennsylvania instructional technology specialist certification.

This 60-credit, cohort-based program entails nine credits of core leadership courses, 30 specialization credits, 12 credits of research courses, and nine credits of dissertation work. Online students take courses virtually, but they must also attend three, four-day residencies on the Wilkes campus. Wilkes also offers international residency options, which vary from year to year.

On-campus students attend courses bi-weekly in the evenings or on one Saturday per month. Wilkes requires continuous enrollment during fall and spring semesters. With a course load of 12-18 credits, candidates can finish coursework in 3-4 years. Students then pass a comprehensive exam before moving on to the dissertation phase.

Applicants need a master's degree in education or a related field from a regionally accredited master's program. Wilkes offers limited graduate assistant opportunities as a tuition-remission option for doctoral students. Wilkes University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Available Concentrations: K-12 administration; educational technology; curriculum and instruction; educational leadership studies
tuition: $772/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (570) 408-5535
Email: tori.harrison@wilkes.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

William Carey University

Hattiesburg, MS

A private, Christian liberal arts school located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, William Carey University offers a doctorate in educational leadership online degree that instructs current and future educational leaders in visionary planning and the strategic application of research and resources.

Applicants need a master's degree from a regionally accredited university before beginning this two-part, 63-credit doctoral program. The program includes a 30-credit educational specialist degree, followed by 33 additional credits to complete the Ed.D. The school often accepts Ed.S. degrees from similarly accredited universities provided that candidates complete courses in APA style for professional writing, data analysis program improvement, and a field project.

The remaining 33 credits of the Ed.D. consist of 15 credits in advanced leadership topics like developing the culture of learning, using conflict resolution and mediation, and developing advocacy for the school and community; six credits in research methods; and 12 research credits culminating in a dissertation.

The Ed.D. program launches a new cohort each summer. First year students take two courses per 10-week trimester — one in the first five weeks and one in the last five weeks. As students begin the guided research process, courses extend to a full trimester, and students meet with advisors face to face or via Skype. William Carey University maintains accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Tuition: $410/credit
Credit Requirements: 63 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.25 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (601) 318-6600
Email: educational-leadership@wmcarey.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

WHAT ELSE CAN I EXPECT FROM AN ONLINE DOCTORATE IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM?

When looking at online doctorate in education leadership programs, learners should familiarize themselves with the curriculum offered by each school to find a program that fits their educational and career goals. While the courses highlighted in the list below provide a general sense of what students may encounter, coursework varies across departments.

Curriculum for an Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership

  • Educational Technology Leadership: This course teaches learners to use technology in the classroom to provide creative learning outlets. In addition to delving into various technologies, students discuss how to creatively incorporate new tools and ideas. This class may prove especially useful to students interested in working in digital literacy.
  • Managing Change: Focused on helping individuals who want to transform the schools they serve, this course teaches learners how to manage ongoing change. Students learn about facilitation processes, creating systemic and long-term change, minimizing disruption, and creating sound organizational structures.
  • Policy and Law in Education: A fitting class for individuals interested in how the government and schools interact, students learn about past and present legislation related to education, funding for learning, Title IX provisions, and after-school and summer programming.
  • Managing Staff Development: This course teaches students to manage personnel in school settings, emphasizing the skills needed to build strong, competent teams. Attendees learn how to enhance professional development opportunities, develop teaching review standards, improve instructional performance, and implement evaluation protocols.
  • Diverse Learning Communities: Ideal for students planning to lead diverse and inclusive schools, this course teaches participants to encourage cultural diversity; accommodate social change; ensure that every learner, staff member, and teacher feels safe and heard; and gain a deeper understanding of different life experiences.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership?

When scoping out educational leadership doctoral programs online, many prospective students want to determine the average program length as well as other factors that affect how long it takes to earn a diploma. Because many individuals who pursue this degree continue to work while enrolled, programs with maximum flexibility and accelerated learning options often offer the greatest appeal. Characteristics affecting online program length include whether a program is offered on a full-time or part-time basis, specific graduation requirements (e.g., theses, hands-on internships, or culminating projects), and whether students can participate in year-round learning.

When reviewing potential programs, students may notice that some options feature asynchronous coursework where individuals work through the plan of study at their own pace, while others use a cohort format that requires participants to progress through classes in lockstep with their peers. Most online doctorate in educational leadership programs take 3-5 years to complete and consist of 60-66 credits.

Accreditation for Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership Degrees

Students should understand the importance of attending a properly accredited school. Colleges and universities that submit to the accreditation process receive validation that they provide adequate support for students and prepare graduates for the job market. Learners graduating from unaccredited schools may experience trouble receiving licensure and finding jobs.

Regional and national accreditation apply to an institution as a whole, with regional accreditation typically recognized as the more rigorous and respected form. National accreditation bodies typically work with trade schools or for-profit institutions. Additionally, programmatic accreditation focuses on individual programs or departments within a school. In the field of educational leadership, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation stand as a respected organization.

Other important names to know when researching accreditation include the Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). While the ED does not directly provide accreditation to institutions, it oversees the accreditation process and monitors accrediting agencies. CHEA operates similarly, ensuring that organizations accredit fairly and rigorously. CHEA currently partners with 3,000 member schools and 60 accrediting agencies to champion and advocate for the importance of accreditation. Interested learners can find a searchable database of accredited schools and approved agencies on CHEA's website.

EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK FOR DOCTORATE OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP GRADUATES

Doctorate in Educational Leadership Salary

In addition to job stability, salary potential often plays a significant role in helping students decide what careers to pursue. While factors such as type of school (e.g., public or private), years of experience, and academic level (e.g., primary, secondary, or postsecondary) all influence annual wages in this field, students should also consider location. As an example, for individuals working as academic deans at a college or university, location can tremendously impact earning potential. Additionally, the following table features PayScale data regarding expected salaries for school principals, college deans,and other administrative staff at different stages of their respective careers.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees Median Salary for Late-Career Employees
Elementary School Principal $80,000 $73,000 $79,000 $87,000
High School Principal $89,000 $79,000 $85,000 $96,000
Assistant Principal $71,000 $67,000 $70,000 $78,000
Academic Dean $90,000 $79,000 $83,000 $103,000
School Superintendent $117,000 $104,000 $119,000 $129,000

Doctorate in Educational Leadership Careers

Online doctorate in educational leadership programs present many opportunities for graduates. Some individuals go on to pursue roles as elementary, middle, or high school principals in public or private schools, while others work in a college or university setting as a dean or administrator. Regardless of the path they follow, these professionals work with many different types of personalities, providing leadership and ensuring that their institutions thrive.

Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals: Tasked with leading entire schools, these individuals manage staff and teachers, liaise with parents, oversee disciplinary actions, set curricular standards, manage professional development, and control the school budget. A doctorate degree can help principals earn better salaries.

Postsecondary Education Administrators: Working with other postsecondary school leaders, these professionals manage and coordinate residence life, academic departments, laboratories, student services, and/or admissions. They work with students, staff, and faculty to set goals and improve services. While many individuals in these roles possess master's degrees, a doctorate can help set job seekers apart from their peers.

Instructional Coordinators: Working in both public and private settings, instructional coordinators develop curricula related to teaching standards, best practices, and the latest research in teaching and learning. They may train teachers, recommend textbooks, mentor staff, and review testing data for effectiveness.

Position Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate
Elementary, Middle and High School Principal $94,390 8%
Postsecondary Education Administrator $92,360 10%
Instructional Coordinator $63,750 11%

Professional Organizations

To achieve the most success, students should strive to make professional connections and learn about different educational approaches. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students and recent graduates who want to learn more about their chosen career path. The list below describes three of the country's most prominent organizations for education leadership professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online training, maintain active job boards, and offer other services. These resources often prove invaluable as students complete degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.

  • National Association of Secondary School Principals: Consisting of principals, assistant principals, and other middle and high school administrative personnel from 35 different countries, NASSP celebrated its centennial in 2016. The organization hosts networking functions, offers continuing-education programs, and advocates in different areas of secondary school administration.
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals: Founded in 1921, NAESP serves elementary school principals and administrative personnel in the U.S., Canada, and overseas. The organization's online learning center features webinars, tutorials, and links for classroom-based training programs. Students can also take advantage of an online resource library.
  • Association of Deans & Directors of University Colleges & Undergraduate Studies: This nonprofit represents deans and administrative personnel at postsecondary institutions across the country. AD&D hosts an annual conference at a different U.S. location each year and offers both individual and institutional memberships.

Financing Your Online Doctorate of Education Administration

Despite the relative affordability of many online programs, most students still need financial assistance. Learners should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about potential loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the federal government. Additionally, students can explore private grants and scholarships offered by nonprofits, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR EDUCATION MAJORS

Our list of scholarships and grants specifically aimed at education majors includes 43 individual rewards totaling more than $170,000 in financial aid. Browse the database to learn more about accessing free money to help pay for your online degree.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of college students rely on loans to fund their education. Learners should ensure they do not overlook financing options to reduce their overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the FAFSA represents a crucial first step for any student with financial need. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to financial aid for campus-based learning, although this hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes and different funding opportunities for online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs offer a flexible, affordable option for single parents who wish to earn a degree and secure their family's financial future. See our list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money exists for U.S. military personnel but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.