Best Online EdD Programs: Top 40 Values

Teachers pursue online doctoral programs in education for a variety of different reasons. Some may be seeking an advanced position in the field of education for salary advancement purposes. Others may be looking to enhance their leadership skills in order to mentor or train fellow teachers. Still others might want to seek positions as administrators or superintendents. No matter what the specific motive, most educators desire an online PhD program that is not only affordable, but flexible as well. In this ranking, we explore the top 40 best value higher education institutions that offer online Ed.D. programs.

Featured Programs

Rating Methodology for the Best Online EdD Programs

Tuition Points:
• Under $30,000—1 point
• Under $25,000—2 points
• Under $20,000—3 points
• Under $15,000—4 points
• Under $10,000—5 points
Customization Options
• Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
• Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
Wow Factor
• 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

Ranking the Best Online EdD Programs

To compile this ranking, our editors scoured the web looking for colleges and universities offering online PhD education programs. With an initial pool of just over 50 schools, we consulted College Navigator for graduate tuition figures as well as each school’s website for information on program features. What resulted from this research is the following ranking of the best value schools for an online doctor of education.

#40 – Lehigh University

Online Doctor of Education

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

The logo for Lehigh University which placed 40th and our ranking in offers a great online Doctorate of Education

Points: 3

Lehigh University’s doctorate in education online offering is a 60-credit (48 credits of coursework) EdD in Educational Leadership with a focus on international education. The program is delivered in a traditional, on-campus format during the summer and in an online format during the fall and spring. The collaborative learning environment emphasizes creativity, diversity, and critical thinking. Because classes include professionals from all over the world, students will be exposed to multiple perspectives and can draw on a wide range of experiences during problem solving exercises. Graduates from this online doctorate in education program have become leaders in prominent international schools, superintendents, and researchers.

Tuition: $24,840

#39 – Johns Hopkins University

Online EdD

Baltimore, Maryland

The logo for Johns Hopkins which ranked 39th for schools with the best value EdDs

Points: 4

Johns Hopkins University has one of the most expensive online Ed.D. programs featured in this ranking. However, its online Ed.D. program is unique in the specializations it offers, such as entrepreneurial leadership in education, instructional design in online teaching and learning, and mind, brain, and teaching. The availability of specialization areas varies by semester and is highly customizable.

Tuition: $50,510

#38 – University of Southern California

Online Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership

Los Angeles, California

The logo for University of Southern California which offers a great Online Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership

Points: 4

The University of Southern California offers doctoral level education programs. One is in Organizational Change and Leadership (EdD), and the other is their Global Executive EdD. The Organizational Change and Leadership program is intended for leaders in corporate or non-profit organizations who wish to promote learning in workplace environments. The Global Executive program is geared toward understanding the global trends that shape educational policy around the world. This is a perfect program for anybody who wants to advocate for important changes in global education or be involved with the development of educational policy. Both programs do require some face-to-face intensives, and the Global Executive program requires multiple international trips due to its global emphasis.

Tuition: $40,670

#37 – University of New England

Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Biddeford, Maine

The logo for University of New England  which is one of the stools with the cheapest online edd programs

Points: 4

The University of New England’s online PhD education offering is a 51-credit hour EdD in Educational Leadership that is designed to be flexible.The program is delivered primarily through asynchronous online courses. One major benefit for students of this program is that delivery is 100% online. No visits to campus are required. The program is designed for people in education, healthcare, nonprofit organizations, NGOs, private organizations and public agencies. What’s more, it’s possible to complete this program in just three years.

Tuition: $23,172

#36 – Creighton University

Online Doctor of Education in Interdisciplinary Leadership

Omaha, Nebraska

The logo for Creighton University which is one of the schools with best edd programs

Points: 4

Creighton University’s online education Ph.D. degree is an online Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership that can be applied across a variety of professions. The program emphasizes ethical educational decision-making and approaching problems from multiple perspectives. Students can complete this program mostly online and use their current workplace for their dissertation research. However, two on-campus residency experiences are required: one at the beginning of the program to meet with instructors and an advisor and one at the end for the dissertation defense. There are also a handful of optional on-campus professional writing workshops that students enrolled in this online doctorate in education program may attend.

Tuition: $16,664

#35 – Drexel University

Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Management

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The logo for Drexel University which offers a great Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Management

Points: 5

Drexel University’s online PhD degree in education is an EdD in Educational Leadership and Management with nine different concentration options. Concentrations include Learning Technologies, Special Education Leadership, Creativity and Innovation, and Educational Policy. The program can be completed 100% online with no visits to campus required. However, students who are able to make the trip to campus also have the option to take a hybrid version of the program.

Tuition: $31,519

#34 – Lipscomb University

Online EdD

Nashville, Tennessee

The logo for Lipscomb University which has a great online edd programs no gre

Points: 5

Lipscomb University offers an online EdD education program that is mostly online and asynchronous. Other than the delivery method, it is the exact same program as their campus-based option. The degree can be completed in as little as three years. Students will connect in person during three Thursday-Saturday on-campus intensives and a 10-day international experience throughout the three years it takes to earn the EdD. The program is a great option as long as the residencies and international experience requirements are doable for you.

Tuition: $18,430

#33 – Concordia University—Irvine

Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Irvine, California

The logo for Concordia University Irvine which offers a great Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Points: 5

Concordia University–Irvine’s online EdD in Educational Leadership is delivered in a blended format that requires the student’s presence on campus one Saturday per term. There are no specialization options, but the content is broad enough to apply to a variety of workplaces and situations. This online EdD is delivered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. The face to face sessions are with 15-18 students, but the online content and research courses are only six to eight students, and even fewer for dissertation seminars. Your dissertation seminars 3 and 4 will be one on one with the assigned chair of your dissertation committee.

Tuition: $14,413

#32 – St. Thomas University

Online EdD

Miami Gardens, Florida

The logo for STU which place 30th in our ed d programs rankings

Points: 5

St. Thomas University offers an EdD in Leadership and Management that is designed to be useful for a wide variety of career paths. Cohorts in this program are designed for diversity and may be made up of educators, healthcare workers, corporate leaders, and people from many other fields. This diversity of perspective allows students in the program to learn from each others’ experiences in addition to the research and coursework. Most students can complete this online doctorate in education program in as little as three years.

Tuition: $14,076

#31 – Grand Canyon University

Online Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership

Phoenix, Arizona

The logo for Grand Canyon University which one offers one of the top value edd programs

Points: 5

Grand Canyon University’s online EdD in Organizational Leadership features an emphasis in Higher Education Leadership. This 60-hour program is designed to train experienced educators in using strategy and financial planning to improve their schools. A brief residency is required so that students can work face-to-face with faculty on their dissertation. There are also optional writing retreats to help students in this online doctorate in education program improve their writing, research, and analysis quality.

Tuition: $13,000

#30 – Gwynedd Mercy University

Online Accelerated Executive Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania

The logo for Gwynedd Mercy University which has one of the best online edd programs

Points: 5

Gwynedd Mercy University’s online EdD is an accelerated executive program in Educational Leadership with concentrations in Higher Education, Special Education, and Pre-K–12 Schools and School Districts. Due to the accelerated format, the degree can be completed in just two years and eight months. Students receive guidance on their dissertation starting at the very beginning of the program. Most programs wait until later on to introduce the dissertation. Most of this degree can be earned through the online asynchronous format. However, there are three residency periods: two on campus, and one abroad.

Tuition: $12,096

#29 – Removed by editor.

#28 – Ashford University

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Education

San Diego, California

The logo for Ashford University which offers one of the best online ed d programs

Points: 6

Ashford University’s online PhD in education is an advanced doctorate in education with specializations in Distance Learning and Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. These tracks are very similar, with both focusing on designing curriculum, albeit in different contexts. They also both have a strong research component and address the ethics of education policy. This online doctorate in education program is offered online, and the website does not indicate that periods of residency are required.

Tuition: $17,398

#27 – Texas A&M University

Online Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction

College Station, Texas

The logo for Texas A&M which is a top school for online edd programs

Points: 6

Texas A&M University’s online EdD program in Curriculum and Instruction is designed for individuals with several years of teaching experience and prior graduate education in the field. This program is primarily focused on P-12 education and prepares students to lead in parent and community involvement, administrative positions, organizational management, and many other aspects of a school environment. A minimum of 64 credits are required to complete this online EdD program, and the estimated completion time is four years.

Tuition: $8,656

#26 – Trident University International

Online EdD

Cypress, California

The logo for Trident University which has one of the best online edd programs

Points: 6

Trident University International’s 60-credit online EdD program is designed for working professionals. It includes two concentrations: Higher Education and P-12. Both of these are designed to utilize the student’s current workplace to compliment their study. Because the majority of students enrolled in this online doctorate in education program work full-time, the university works to accommodate their busy schedules by making most of the coursework available 100% online in an asynchronous format.Trident University is one of the only 100% online universities in the country to enjoy regional accreditation.

Tuition: $8,700

#25 – Regent University

Online Doctor of Education—Adult Education

Virginia Beach, Virginia

The logo for Regent University which is one of the cheapest online edd programs

Points: 7

Regent University offers several online PhD education programs, including Special Education, Educational Psychology, Christian Education Leadership, and Character Education. These programs are primarily online, but include three required four-day visits to campus. Graduates from this program have pursued careers as higher education administrators, corporate trainers, adult education instructors, adult education curriculum developers, and continuing education professionals.

Tuition: $17,150

#24 – Oakland City University

Online Doctor of Education

Oakland City, Indiana

The logo for Oakland City University

Points: 7

Oakland City University’s online EdD is offered as a hybrid program with face to face courses taking place during summer residencies on campus. The degree features specializations in superintendency, curriculum and instruction, and organizational management. The degree consists of a minimum of 90 credit hours, and 33 credit hours can be transferred from prior graduate work. Cohorts consist of just 16 students, and one new cohort is formed each calendar year.

Tuition: $10,125

#23 – Indiana University—Bloomington

Online Doctor of Education

Bloomington, Indiana

The logo for Indiana University

Points: 7

Indiana University–Bloomington offers online PhD education programs in Instructional Systems Technology and Literacy, Culture, and Language Education. These programs are primarily delivered online, but both do require students to attend at least one conference on campus. The Instructional Systems Technology program is focused on using technology to teach students or train workers, while the Literacy, Culture, and Language program is focuses on research and practice in the many subfields of literacy. Students graduating from this program have worked as e-learning developers, corporate trainers, researchers, professors, school or university administrators, and education content developers.

Tuition: $9,743

#22 – Southeastern University

Online EdD

Lakeland, Florida

The logo for Southeastern University

Points: 7

Southeastern University offers an online EdD program with concentrations in organizational leadership, and Curriculum and Instruction. This program is almost 100% online, but students are required to attend one-week, face-to-face courses every summer or winter, and must defend their dissertation on campus. However, students do get to spend a long time in research and their concentration. One thing prospective students should note is that this university is Christian, and not only incorporates this in its curriculum, but also requires its doctoral students to submit a faith statement to ensure their beliefs are in line with those of the university.

Tuition: $8,681

#21 – Sam Houston State University

Online EdD

Huntsville, Texas

The logo for Sam Houston State University

Points: 7

Sam Houston State University offers online EdD programs in developmental education administration, and instructional systems design and technology. Both programs require 60 credit-hours to complete and are delivered completely online. The Developmental Education Administration program trains individuals to develop and apply programs that help underprepared high school and college students. The Instructional Technology program prepares its students to assist their schools and other organizations in integrating technology into their education programs.

Tuition: $7,213

#20 – William Howard Taft University

Online EdD–Educational Technology and Leadership

William Howard Taft University Top 40 Accelerated Online Masters in Education ProgramsDenver, Colorado

Points: 7

William Howard Taft University offers an online EdD degree with a concentration in Educational Technology and Leadership. Content-wise, there is not much flexibility in this program. All students take the same qualifying and core courses. However, the program offers a good deal of flexibility in regard to scheduling. The degree is offered 100% online in an asynchronous format. Students can complete the degree in just over two years, but the program allows them to take as long as seven years to complete.

Tuition: $5,040

#19 – University at Buffalo

Online Doctor of Education in Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning

Buffalo, New York

The logo for University at Buffalo

Points: 8

The University at Buffalo offers a unique online EdD degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning. This program emphasizes a multidisciplinary and research-based approach to education. Students work in research clusters that address topics such as spatial literacy, real and virtual learning spaces, and arts integration. There is technically only one required course for the program, and four optional concentrations that, once selected, will serve as a guide to the student as they build out their program with the help of their advisor. The three concentrations that are available online are English education, math education, and science education.

Tuition: $13,165

#18 – University of South Carolina

Online Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction

Columbia, South Carolina

The logo for University of South Carolina

Points: 8

The University of South Carolina offers an online Curriculum and Instruction EdD with concentrations in Educational Technology and Curriculum Studies. Aside from an on-campus orientation, the program does not require visits to campus, and most students complete the program in only three years. The Educational Technology concentration is ideal for students interested in designing and implementing technology-based learning and training programs. The Curriculum Studies concentration, on the other hand, is focused on the ethics and challenges associated with curriculum design and implementation. Students who are South Carolina certified teachers enjoy a discount of almost $4,000 off the price of the full program (a little over $1,000 per year).

Tuition: $12,374

#17 – University of Northern Colorado

Online Doctor of Education in Special Education

Greeley, Colorado

The logo for University of Northern Colorado

Points: 8

The University of Northern Colorado offers three online and hybrid doctoral programs in education. Only one of these, the Special Education program, is 100% online. The other two programs— Educational Leadership and Educational Studies—are hybrid programs. The Educational Studies program is primarily online, but unlike the Special Education program, this online PhD education program still requires some visits to campus. At 77 credit hours, this is one of the longest online EdD degrees in our ranking.

Tuition: $10,809

#16 – University of Louisiana—Monroe

Online Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Monroe, Louisiana

The logo for ULM

Points: 8

The University of Louisiana-Monroe offers an online Curriculum and Instruction EdD with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction. This 60 credit-hour online EdD can be completed in just two years, making it the fastest EdD featured in this ranking. It is possible to be accepted into this program with only an undergraduate degree. However, students who have not completed a related master’s program must complete a terminal master’s program before they can move forward with doctoral coursework. The tuition here reflects the cost per year if it takes three years to complete the program. The annual cost will change if the degree is completed faster.

Tuition: $10,000

#15 – East Tennessee State University

Online EdD

Johnson City, Tennessee

The logo for ETSU

Points: 8

East Tennessee State University offers an online educational leadership EdD with concentrations in administrative endorsement, higher education leadership, and school leadership. Students with a master’s degree will need to complete 66 credits in order to graduate, whereas students who already hold an educational specialist degree only need 42 credits. It’s possible to enter the program with just a bachelor’s degree and earn your master’s simultaneously with the online EdD in leadership.

Tuition: $9,171

#14 – University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Online Doctor of Education

Lincoln, Nebraska

The logo for University of Nebraska Lincoln

Points: 8

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers an online EdD in educational administration with a concentration in P-12 school leadership. This program is offered almost completely online but requires three summertime intensives, one during each of the first three years. There are two other online doctoral level degrees offered in the hybrid format, an EdD and PhD in educational studies with educational leadership and higher education specialization. These each require six credits of on-campus research, but it’s not specified the duration of those campus sessions, so make sure to talk to the admissions counselor about those details.

Tuition: $8,556

#13 – Lamar University

Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Beaumont, Texas

The logo for Lamar University

Points: 8

Lamar University offers a completely online PhD education program in Educational Leadership with a concentration in global educational leadership. The program can be completed in eight semesters, so a full-time student who takes courses during the fall, spring, and summer can complete their online EdD in as little as two and a half years. However, the university understands that the majority of its doctoral students work full-time, so students are given up to 10 years to finish. While the entire online doctorate in education program can be completed from home, students with the time and resources can study abroad if they want more experiential learning opportunities.

Tuition: $7,898

#12 – Texas Tech University

Online Doctor of Education in Higher Education

Lubbock, Texas

The logo for TTU

Points: 8

Texas Tech University’s Worldwide eLearning program offers online PhD education programs in educational leadership, family and consumer science education, and special education. All three of these degrees are delivered fully online, and the descriptions do not indicate any campus visits are required. The degrees are delivered synchronously online. Students also have to follow a specific course sequence. While all of this means students get less flexibility than other online doctorate in education programs offer, the tuition is incredible and students have three solid programs from which they may choose.

Tuition: $7,390

#11 – University of the Cumberlands

Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Williamsburg, Kentucky

The logo for University of the Cumberlands

Points: 8

The University of the Cumberlands offers an EdD in Educational Leadership and a PhD in educational leadership in counseling education and supervision. The EdD doesn’t require a concentration and can be completed with six fewer credits than the online education PhD. These programs can be completed without any visits to campus, and most activities are asynchronous. Students can choose to attend some classes in person if they want a face-to-face component, but it is not required.

Tuition: $5,970

#10 – Concordia University-Portland

Online Doctor of Education

Portland, Oregon

The logo for Concordia Portland

Points: 9

Concordia University–Portland offers an online PhD education program with five different specialization options, including Transformational Leadership, Educational Administration, and Higher Education. Class sizes are restricted to just 15 students to ensure that everyone gets the individual attention they need. Students earning this online doctorate in education degree are not required to visit campus at any point in their studies. Instead of requiring residency for part of the program, Concordia opts to provide students with a virtual residency–a period of synchronous collaboration done over the internet.

Tuition: $21,110

#9 – University of Florida

Online PhD Education

Gainesville, Florida

The logo for University of Florida

Points: 9

The University of Florida’s distance learning program offers online PhD education degrees in Educational Leadership; Educational Technology; Higher Education Administration; and Curriculum, Teaching, and Teacher Instruction. All of these programs are delivered in a hybrid format, with students visiting campus at least three times. A tuition waiver is available to nonresidents after the add/drop period that cuts the tuition cost down to nearly as cheap as residential tuition. Make sure to confirm this is something you can count on with the admissions department before enrolling.

Tuition: $9,319

#8 – University of Arkansas

Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Fayetteville, Arkansas

The logo for University of Arkansas

Points: 9

The University of Arkansas offers three online PhD education programs: Human Resource and Workforce Development Education, Educational Leadership, and Adult and Lifelong Learning. The Human Resource and Workforce Development Education program is completely online and trains students to apply a variety of disciplines to customer service, quality management, and management development. The Educational Leadership program requires just 3 weekend intensives–one per year if you attend full-time– throughout the duration of the program.

Tuition: $5,880

#7 – City University of Seattle

Online Doctor of Education in Leadership

Seattle, Washington

The logo for City University of Seattle

Points: 10

City University of Seattle’s online PhD education offering is an EdD in Leadership with six concentration options. These concentrations include inspired teacher leadership, strategic innovation and decision making, nonprofit leadership, and global leadership. The program can be completed 100% online. However, students may choose to attend the orientation on campus if they wish, and optional residencies can be completed during the summer. This online doctorate in education program is ideal for students who want a good amount of flexibility both in content and in scheduling. The orientation and residencies being optional means students can do what they feel is best for themselves.

Tuition: $13,708

#6 – Boise State University

Online Doctor of Education in Educational Technology

Boise, Idaho

The logo for Boise State

Points: 11

Boise State University’s College of Education offers two online PhD education programs. The Educational Technology program is 100% online and primarily asynchronous, although students will have to participate in some synchronous activities. Specialization areas include online teaching and learning, technology integration, academic technology leadership, innovative teaching in K-12 and higher education, educational software development for the web and mobile platforms, and educational games and simulations.

Tuition: $8,166

#5 – Liberty University

Online Doctoral Programs in Education

Lynchburg, Virginia

The logo for Liberty University

Points: 11

Liberty University offers online doctoral programs in education in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership, and a Ph.D. in education with an emphasis on organizational leadership. While each of these programs focus on slightly different aspects of school leadership, there is a lot of overlap in the positions that they prepare you for. The curriculum and instruction EdD covers curriculum design for elementary education, middle grades, secondary education, and special education.

Tuition: $8,000

#4 – Capella University

Online EdD

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The logo for Capella University

Points: 12

Capella University offers eight different online EdD programs. Among these are programs like performance improvement leadership, adult education, and personalized competency-based instruction. These programs are generally similar in format. They are meant to be completed in roughly three years, and most of them require around 64 credits. However, there are slight variations between them, especially in regard to whether or not they accept transfer credit. One of the most unique parts of this online doctorate in education degree is the capstone project, which allows students to complete a practice-based capstone instead of a traditional dissertation.

Tuition: $14,175

#3 – Concordia University-Chicago

Online Doctor of Education

River Forest, Illinois

The logo for Concordia Chicago

Points: 14

Concordia University-Chicago is unique in that it offers over 10 different online EdD/PhD in leadership concentrations, including Educational Leadership, Community Colleges, Gerontology, Early Childhood Education, and Sports Leadership. Most of these require between 60 and 67 credit-hours. In all of the university’s online doctoral programs in education, students only take one course at a time in a predetermined sequence. Coursework is asynchronous, so even students with busy or unusual schedules should be able to balance their work, family, and educational responsibilities.

Tuition: $14,988

#2 – University of West Georgia

Online EdD

Carrollton, Georgia

The logo for University of West Georgia

Points: 14

The University of West Georgia offers an EdD in School Improvement. Like many other programs in this ranking, students are expected to make one visit to campus for an intensive orientation, but all coursework is available 100% online in an asynchronous format. However, the intensive virtual dissertation prep seminar is delivered synchronously. There are nine concentrations available in this program. These include school counseling, educational leadership, instructional technology, media specialist, special education, early childhood education, and reading.

Tuition: $5,958

#1 – Northcentral University

Online EdD

San Diego, California

The logo for North Central University

Points: 18

Northcentral University offers an online EdD with fifteen specializations for students to choose from. Some of the more uncommon specializations include Global Training and Development, International Education, Sports and Athletic Management, and Nursing Education. One unique aspect of this program is that students can enroll in it at virtually any time. Every Monday is a new start date, so even if most other universities have closed off their online doctoral programs in education for the semester or year, you can still start earning your degree at NCU right now.

Tuition: $17,171

CVO Staff


This concludes our ranking of the best online EdD programs.