Best Online Doctorate in Education

Find top-ranked online doctorate in education degree programs to help students qualify to work as a college professor of education or conduct educational research.

Best Online Doctorate in Education

Frequently Asked Questions About Education Degrees

Experienced teachers seeking to enter a career in higher education or administration can complete a doctorate in education (EdD).

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Completing an EdD can take as little as three years, but candidates choosing to attend only part-time can expect a longer timeline.

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The EdD usually requires a dissertation, which is completed in the final year of study and is expected to be a scholarly work that adds to the academic discourse in your chosen concentration. Online EdD programs give students the option to balance their careers and studies by attending virtual classes.

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The EdD is the terminal degree in education and can bring graduates the chance for promotion and salary increases. Upon completion, you’ll also qualify to work as a college professor of education or conduct educational research.

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Learn more about what can you do with a master’s degree in education.

Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

How do we determine the best online education doctorate degree programs?

Methodology

Pursing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for a inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs

  1. #1

    University of Southern California

    #31 institution's historical influence
    #30 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    Los Angeles, CA

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    Online Degrees

    EdD in Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 43
    • Completion time: 2.5-3.5 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    University of Georgia

    #128 institution's historical influence
    #58 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    48%

    Graduation

    87%

    Student body

    38K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1330/29

    Athens, GA

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    Online Degrees

    EdS in Education

    Concentrations

    • Educational Psychology - Gifted & Creative Education
    • Required Credits: 31
    • Completion time: 12 months
    • Format: Online
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  3. #3

    University of Arizona

    #88 institution's historical influence
    #605 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    39K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/25

    Tucson, AZ

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    Online Degrees

    EdD in Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #4

    Florida State University

    #156 institution's historical influence
    #174 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/28

    Tallahassee, FL

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    Online Degrees

    EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy
    • Required Credits: 69
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    EdS in Educational Leadership and Policy
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #5

    Boston College

    #211 institution's historical influence
    #49 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    26%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1420/32

    Chestnut Hill, MA

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    Online Degrees

    EdD in Higher Education
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 3 years
    • Format: Online
  6. #6

    University of Alabama

    #180 institution's historical influence
    #94 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/27

    Tuscaloosa, AL

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    Online Degrees

    EdS in Counselor Education
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    EdS in Educational Leadership

    Concentrations

    • School Library Media Specialist
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    EdS in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    EdS in Secondary Education
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. #7

    University of Houston

    #191 institution's historical influence
    #1064 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    37K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1225/24

    Houston, TX

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    Online Degrees

    EdD in Professional Leadership: Literacy Education
    • Required Credits: 51
    • Completion time: 3-4 years
    • Format: Online
    EdD in Professional Leadership: Social Studies/Social Education
    • Required Credits: 51
    • Completion time: 3-4 years
    • Format: Online
  8. #8

    University of Kentucky

    #195 institution's historical influence
    #541 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Lexington, KY

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    Online Degrees

    PhD in Education Science

    Concentrations

    • Educational Leadership
    • Physical Education
    • Required Credits: 48
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    EdD in Educational Leadership Studies

    Concentrations

    • Teacher Leadership
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
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  9. #9

    Fordham University

    #172 institution's historical influence
    #66 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1345/30

    Bronx, NY

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    Online Degrees

    EdD in Education
    • Required Credits: 50
    • Completion time: 3-4 years
    • Format: Online
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  10. #10

    North Carolina State University

    #218 institution's historical influence
    #176 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    46%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    31K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1335/29

    Raleigh, NC

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    Online Degrees

    Doctorate in Education Administration and Supervision
    • Required Credits: 54
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. #11

    University of Arkansas

    #317 institution's historical influence
    #1356 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/26

    Fayetteville, AR

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    Online Degrees

    EdS in Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    EdD in Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 96
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  12. #12

    Hampton University

    #675 institution's historical influence
    #666 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    36%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    4K

    Hampton, VA

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    Online Degrees

    EdS in Specialist in Education in Counseling
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 1.5 years
    • Format: Online
    PhD in Educational Management
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    PhD in Counselor Education And Supervision
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
  13. #13

    Iowa State University

    #173 institution's historical influence
    #1077 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    30K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1220/25

    Ames, IA

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    Online Degrees

    EdD in Education

    Concentrations

    • P-12 systems-level leadership (inclusive of recommendation for licensure as a superintendent)
    • Community college leadership
    • Required Credits: 54
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  14. #14

    University of Mississippi

    #330 institution's historical influence
    #710 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/25

    University, MS

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    Online Degrees

    EdS in Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 18 month
    • Format: Online
    EdD in Education

    Concentrations

    • Higher Education
    • Required Credits: 48
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    EdS in Counselor Education

    Concentrations

    • Play Therapy
    • Required Credits: 25
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  15. #15

    Texas Tech University

    #396 institution's historical influence
    #1458 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1165/24

    Lubbock, TX

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    Online Degrees

    PhD in Curriculum and Instruction

    Concentrations

    • Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: 3.5-4.5 years
    • Format: Online
    PhD in Educational Leadership Policy
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 3.5-4.5 years
    • Format: Online
    PhD in Family and Consumer Science Education
    • Required Credits: 72
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
    EdD in Agricultural Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 3.5-4.5 years
    • Format: Online
    EdD in Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 72
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
    EdD in Higher Education Administration
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 3.5-4.5 years
    • Format: Online
    PhD in Special Education
    • Required Credits: 90
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  16. #16

    University of Maine

    #378 institution's historical influence
    #575 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    Orono, ME

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    Online Degrees

    EdS in Curriculum, Assessment And Instruction

    Concentrations

    • Elementary And Secondary Education
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    EdS in Special Education
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    EdS in Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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  17. #17

    Mercer University

    #698 institution's historical influence
    #1052 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Macon, GA

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    Online Degrees

    EdS in Education

    Concentrations

    • Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 31
    • Completion time: 16-24 months
    • Format: Online
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  18. #18

    University of Montana

    #588 institution's historical influence
    #417 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/23

    Missoula, MT

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    Online Degrees

    PhD in International Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    EdD in Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  19. #19

    University of Idaho

    #637 institution's historical influence
    #1023 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/23

    Moscow, ID

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    Online Degrees

    EdD in Education
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    PhD in Education
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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  20. #20

    Duquesne University

    #585 institution's historical influence
    #1080 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1215/25

    Pittsburgh, PA

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    Online Degrees

    EdD in Educational Technology
    • Required Credits: 54
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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  21. #21

    University of Memphis

    #558 institution's historical influence
    #787 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/22

    Memphis, TN

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    Online Degrees

    EdD in Higher and Adult Education

    Concentrations

    • Higher Education
    • Adult Education
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  22. #22

    Tennessee State University

    #1098 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    7K

    Nashville, TN

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    Online Degrees

    EdD in Education

    Concentrations

    • Pre-K - 12 Administration
    • Higher Education Leadership
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  23. #23

    Old Dominion University

    #959 institution's historical influence
    #709 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    Norfolk, VA

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    Online Degrees

    PhD in Technology Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    PhD in Educational Leadership With Licensure
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    PhD in Career And Technical Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  24. #24

    University of Nebraska–Lincoln

    #243 institution's historical influence
    #711 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/25

    Lincoln, NE

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    Online Degrees

    EdD in Educational Studies

    Concentrations

    • Educational Leadership & Higher Education
    • Required Credits: 96
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  25. #25

    Andrews University

    #876 institution's historical influence
    #241 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    49%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/25

    Berrien Springs, MI

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    Online Degrees

    EdS in Education

    Concentrations

    • Curriculum And Instruction
    • Required Credits: 32
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    EdS in Higher Education Administration
    • Required Credits: 45
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    EdD in Higher Education Administration
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 5 years
    • Format: Online
    EdD in Education

    Concentrations

    • Curriculum And Instruction
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: 6 years
    • Format: Online
    PhD in Education

    Concentrations

    • Curriculum And Instruction
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: 6 years
    • Format: Online
    PhD in Higher Education Administration
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: 5 years
    • Format: Online
    EdS in Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    EdD/PhD in Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 90
    • Completion time: 5 years
    • Format: Online

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require some adjustment. While you’ll generally learn the same content and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, the medium will likely require you to manage much of this experience independently. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, your ability to harness the technology at your fingertips, and your ability to focus on the lectures, lessons, and assignments at hand. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take it upon yourself to build relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier is actually getting there. Taking the commute out of the equation means getting to class should be a lot more manageable. But that’s where it ends. In general, your online courses will incorporate the very same materials, concepts, and testing methods as would a traditional classroom.

And in many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning or working with remote learning technology for the first time, online college may even be a little more challenging for you. For a few insights on how to manage this new experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable institutions and less-than-reputable for-profit schools. Accreditation gives you the power to differentiate between the two. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency which indicates that a college or university is meeting standards of quality, credibility, and currency. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university which is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. When seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that students opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited, you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer. In many cases, you will be required to navigate a bureaucracy in which some of your credits will be transferred and others will be jettisoned. However, provided that you have attended an online school with the proper regional accreditation, you should have plenty of options for transfer.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript or resume differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

While some employers may express concern about making the adjustment from online education to in-person workplace collaboration, many other employers will view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st Century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will require some adjustment.

While there is much that can be supplanted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing which can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual classroom setting. As you make the adjustment to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face is overcoming this difference in order to the get the most out of your classes. Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. First and foremost, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Prospective Grad Students