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Top 30 Phd/Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

College Values Online - Top Degree Programs-01In this article, we profile the top 30 online PhD or doctorate in educational leadership programs of 2019.

If you are considering a career as an educational administrator or leader in secondary or post-secondary education, an advanced degree is essential. A Ph.D. or Ed.D. is required for most administration roles in education. The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a projected 10 percent employment growth for postsecondary education administrators and an eight percent growth for principals of elementary, middle, and high schools. The demand is being met by accredited colleges and universities now offering a PhD in educational leadership online degree or online Ed.D. in educational leadership degrees.

Top 30 Online PhD/Doctorate in Educational Leadership Programs Methodology

We looked at 272 colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator that offered graduate programs, such as a PhD in educational leadership online degree. We narrowed our pool of schools by applying the following criteria: Ph.D. in educational leadership online or Ed.D. in educational leadership online degree offerings, national or regional rankings with a major publication like U.S. News and World Report, and program cost of less than $35,000 per year. We then listed the institutions in order of raw affordability.

Below is our list of the top 30 PhD or doctorate in educational leadership online degree programs of 2019.

#30 – Drexel University

Online EdD in Educational Leadership and Management

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Website

Drexel University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Drexel University offers a doctorate in educational leadership online degree that can be completed in three to five years.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $33,996

Individuals looking for a PhD in educational leadership online or EdD program will find Drexel University to offer unique options. The online EdD or Doctor of Education program with educational leadership and management concentration is specifically designed to prepare leaders to guide organizations during challenging times. The program offers nine additional specialization options so that students may further tailor their degree. Classes are completed entirely online, and the program has no residency requirement. Students are allowed to work while earning their doctorate, and the program can be completed in three to five years on a part-time basis. U.S. News and World Report ranks Drexel #102 in best national universities. Also, the graduate education programs rank #101 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#29 – Andrews University

Online EdD or PhD in Educational Leadership

Berrien Springs, Michigan

Website

Andrews University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Earn either an EdD or PhD in educational leadership online from Andrews University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $26,522

Andrews University offers doctorate in educational leadership online programs, including the PhD and EdD degrees. Admission for either doctoral program requires an earned master’s degree from an accredited college or university and minimum graduate GPA of 3.30 or better. While the PhD is considered to be a more research-intensive degree program, both doctorates require the successful completion of a dissertation. The EdD and PhD are 90-credit programs that can be successfully completed in five years. Students with an existing master’s in educational leadership from Andrews take only 60 credits for the EdD or PhD programs. U.S. News and World Report ranks Andrews University #194 in best national universities. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #205 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#28 – Concordia University

Online EdD in Instructional Leadership

Portland, Oregon

Website

Concordia University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Concordia University’s online EdD in instructional leadership is recognized by U.S. News and World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,910

For those seeking online PhD in educational leadership or EdD choices, Concordia University has a number of options. The online EdD in instructional leadership program is designed to prepare students with the knowledge needed to positively impact programs and policies in education. The program takes just three years and is one of the shortest doctorates on our list. Classes are administered online and taught by Concordia’s experienced faculty. Courses cover topics on systematic inquiry to improve classroom and school practice and leading organizational change through proven strategies. Class sizes are capped and typically have no more than 20 students enrolled. U.S. News and World Report recognizes Concordia among the unranked schools, though Concordia is accredited and has received rankings from other major publications.

#27 – Rowan University

Online EdD in Educational Leadership

Glassboro, New Jersey

Website

Rowan University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Ranked and accredited – Rowan University’s doctorate in educational leadership online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,050

One of the top EdD and PhD in educational leadership online programs on our list is found at Rowan University. The EdD in educational leadership can be completed online or in a hybrid format. The fully online degree allows students to take all courses online, though three in-person residency meetings are required. Four available tracks or initiatives allow students to tailor their degree toward an area of interest. These tracks include community college leadership initiative, higher education, nurse educator, and P-12. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Rowan #171 in best national universities and #91 in top public schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #165 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#26 – University of Massachusetts

Online EdD in Leadership in Schooling

Lowell, Massachusetts

Website

University of Massachusetts - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

42 credits beyond a master’s – University of Massachusetts’ doctorate in educational leadership online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,040

University of Massachusetts offers online educational leadership doctorate programs for working professionals. The EdD requires the completion of 42 credits beyond the master’s degree, and nine of these credits focus on dissertation research. Courses may be completed online, though a one-week summer residency is required each year. Online courses include applied research design, developing inclusive school contexts, foundations for practitioner scholars, program evaluation, qualitative data analysis for practitioner leaders, and strategic partnering with families and communities. U.S. News and World Report ranks UMASS-Lowell #157 in best national universities. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #8 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#25 – Regent University

Online EdD in Advanced Educational Leadership

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Website

Regent University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Regent University’s doctorate in educational leadership online program requires a residency.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,326

Individuals seeking online PhD in educational leadership or EdD programs will find options at Regent University. The program is designed for students who desire to become experts and leaders in the field of education. Courses are delivered online, though residency requirements must be met. Online courses include advanced theory and practice of leadership and organizations, data-driven decision making, educational statistics, qualitative data analysis, research design and analysis, and strategic planning and program evaluation. Admission to the program requires an earned bachelor’s and master’s from accredited institutions and official college transcripts. Admissions interviews may also be required. U.S. News and World Report ranks Regent #201 in best national universities.

#24 – Central Michigan University

Online EdD in Educational Leadership

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Website

Central Michigan University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

GRE scores required – Central Michigan University’s doctorate in educational leadership online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,870

One of the top doctorate in educational leadership online programs on our list is found at Central Michigan University. The 63-credit hour EdD program prepares students for success at the highest levels of administration in K-12 or higher education. Courses are delivered online and include educational policy analysis, educational research design, ethical leadership, organizational culture and change in educational institutions, organizational theory in educational institutions, and qualitative research in educational leadership. Successful admission requires GRE scores earned within the last five years and official transcripts reflecting satisfactory undergraduate and graduate work. U.S. News and World Report ranks Central Michigan #205 in best national universities and #112 in top public schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #46 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#23 – University of Kentucky

Online PhD in Educational Leadership

Lexington, Kentucky

Website

University of Kentucky - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

42 credits of coursework and residency required – University of Kentucky’s doctorate in educational leadership online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,726

The online PhD in educational leadership at University of Kentucky is a scholarly doctorate designed to prepare individuals for roles as university faculty, social research scientists, and educational professionals. The program consists of 42 credits of coursework and four hours of residency. Students typically finish the degree requirements in five to six years, though four years is possible. Courses include foundations of inquiry, knowledge base, leadership for organizational learning, leadership in educational organizations, and politics of educational leadership. The residency portion of the doctorate takes place during summer months. U.S. News and World Report ranks University of Kentucky #147 in best national universities and #140 in best value schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #224-#291 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#22 – Colorado State University

Online PhD in Higher Education Leadership

Fort Collins, Colorado

Website

Colorado State University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Colorado State University’s online PhD in higher education leadership can be completed online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,035

For those interested in a PhD in educational leadership online program that emphasizes higher education, Colorado State University offers a well-suited degree. The PhD in Higher Education Leadership is a 60-credit online program that can be completed in five years. Classes are delivered online, though minimal on-campus requirements must be met. Courses include foundations of educational research, higher education administration, higher education finance, leadership development, professionalism in education and leadership, and student development in a collegiate context. Admission requires a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, at least two years of work experience in higher education, 3.0 GPA at the master’s level, and satisfactory GRE scores if the GPA is lower than required. U.S. News and World Report ranks Colorado State #140 in best national universities. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #125 out of 1,200 surveyed programs.

#21 – Florida State University

Online EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy

Tallahassee, Florida

Website

Florida State University - Top 30 PhD Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Summer start – Florida State University’s doctorate in educational leadership online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,553

The online Ed.D. in educational leadership and policy from Florida State University is the school’s first online doctoral program. Students can expect to earn their doctorate in three years. The program starts in the summer with three courses including one face-to-face seminar. Online courses taught by FSU’s esteemed faculty help prepare students to become education leaders and scholarly practitioners within an organization or education system. Admission requires an earned master’s degree from an accredited college or university, official transcripts, and letters of recommendation. U.S. News and World Report ranks FSU #70 in best national universities. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #13 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#20 – Gwynedd Mercy University

Online Executive EdD in Education Leadership

Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania

Website

Gwynedd Mercy University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

54 credits and less than three years – Gwynedd Mercy University’s doctorate in educational leadership online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,813

One of the most affordable doctorate in educational leadership online programs on our list is offered by Gwynedd Mercy University. This fully online 54-credit program takes less than three years to complete. Rigorous and accelerated coursework allows students to earn their degree at a faster pace than most programs. Classes are presented one at a time in five- and seven-week blocks. Field research and practicum experiences are also part of the program. Courses include educational policy in research and practice in the U.S., global educational policy and practice, organizational research and theory development, and the ethics of educational leadership and policy. U.S. News and World Report ranks Gwynedd Mercy #142-#187 in best regional universities in the North.

#19 – North Greenville University

Online EdD in K-12 Leadership

Tigerville, South Carolina

Website

North Greenville University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

GRE scores required for admission to North Greenville University’s doctorate in educational leadership online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,800

North Greenville University’s online Ed.D. in educational leadership emphasizes leadership within the K-12 system. The program consists of 60 credit hours with classes that are delivered online or in a hybrid format. Two tracks or concentrations are available so that students may tailor their degree toward areas of interest or to meet career goals. These concentrations include higher education leadership and K-12 leadership. Online courses include introduction to doctoral studies, organizational development in K-12, politics of education – historical frameworks, and social foundations. Admission requirements include GRE or MAT scores, writing samples, three professional letters of recommendation, and an earned master’s degree from an accredited institution. U.S. News and World Report ranks North Greenville #78 in best regional universities in the South.

#18 – Clarkson College

Online EdD in Health Care Education and Leadership

Omaha, Nebraska

Website

Clarkson College - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Clarkson College’s doctorate in educational leadership online program offers part-time or full-time options.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,764

Clarkson College’s online educational leadership doctorate programs include the specialized EdD in health care education and leadership. This online doctorate is designed to provide experienced health care professionals with interdisciplinary knowledge for teaching and performing research in health care education. Part-time and full-time enrollment options are available. The part-time program takes 14 semesters, while the full-time option takes only eight semesters. Curriculum covers topics in applied research, learning theories, outcomes assessment, program development, and transformational leadership. Clarkson is currently unranked with U.S. News and World Report, though several online graduate programs, including nursing and education, have received rankings in past years.

#17 – University of Memphis

Online EdD in Curriculum Leadership

Memphis, Tennessee

Website

University of Memphis - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Take one or two classes at a time in University of Memphis’s EdD in curriculum leadership online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,697

The online PhD in educational leadership can be substituted by earning an EdD degree, such as the one offered by University of Memphis. The EdD consists of 54 credit hours and can be completed entirely online. Course rotation allows students to earn their degree by taking one or two classes at a time. Courses include instructional design process, measurement and evaluation, qualitative methods in education, research in instructional design and training, scholarly practice, and theory and models in instructional design. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the University of Memphis #230-#301 in best national universities. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #150 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#16 – Southwestern College

Online EdD in Educational Leadership

Wichita, Kansas

Website

Southwestern College - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Licensure and non-licensure tracks – Southwestern College’s online EdD in educational leadership.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,620

The online Ed.D. in educational leadership program at Southwestern College is an online program with summer residency requirements. The EdD program offers two tracks of study: licensure and non-licensure tracks. While most courses can be completed online, two courses contain residency requirements. Each residency is one week in length, totaling two weeks of on-campus study. For students who have acquired licensure for their career, the non-licensure path will still lead to the doctoral degree. Admission to the program varies, depending on which pathway you choose to complete. U.S. News and World Report ranks Southwestern as a top regional university in the Midwest. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #107 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#15 – Grand Canyon University

Online EdD in Organizational Leadership – Special Education

Phoenix, Arizona

Website

Grand Canyon University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Ranked and accredited – Grand Canyon University’s doctorate in educational leadership online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,555

Grand Canyon University’s doctorate in educational leadership online is an EdD program that emphasizes organizational leadership and special education. The program consists of evening and online courses designed for professionals to accelerate their learning while continuing to work. Courses include approaches to research design and data analysis, ethical dilemmas and stewardship, foundations for research, foundations of special education, and supervision and administration of special education. A research proposal and dissertation are also required. Admissions is based on your unweighted GPA and GRE scores. A candidate with a graduate GPA of 3.4 or higher may not require the GRE. U.S. News and World Report ranks Grand Canyon University #230-#301 in best national universities.

#14 – East Tennessee State University

Online EdD in Higher Education Leadership

Johnson City, Tennessee

Website

East Tennessee State University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Ranked and affordable – East Tennessee State University’s doctorate in educational leadership online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,035

East Tennessee State University’s online educational leadership doctorate programs include the EdD in higher education leadership. This online doctoral program prepares individuals who will serve as leaders in K-12 schools, community colleges, and four-year institutions. Admission requires an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, satisfactory GPA of 2.5 or better, and personal essay. Since the program is designed for working professionals, online classes provide convenience and flexibility. The higher education concentration includes classes in administration of higher education, higher education finance, higher education law, and the adult learner. U.S. News and World Report ranks East Tennessee as a top 300 national university.

#13 – University of Missouri

Online EdD in Educational Leadership

Columbia, Missouri

Website

University of Missouri - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

University of Missouri offers ranked and accredited doctorate in educational leadership online programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,828

An EdD or PhD in educational leadership online program like the one at University of Missouri can prepare you for roles in leadership within any educational organization. The EdD in educational leadership is a blended online doctoral program designed for working professionals. While most classes are delivered online, some offer blended coursework that requires minimal visits to campus. The doctorate consists of 46 credits in classes like educational leadership inquiry, leadership theory and practice, organizational analysis for educational leadership, and team building and group dynamics. An earned master’s from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.5 are required for admission. U.S. News and World Report ranks University of Missouri #129 in best national universities and #78 in best value schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #36 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#12 – Northwest Nazarene University

Online PhD or EdD in Educational Leadership

Nampa, Idaho

Website

Northwestern Nazarene University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Northwest Nazarene University offers online EdD or PhD in educational leadership programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,759

Northwest Nazarene University is one of the few institutions to offer both an online Ed.D. in educational leadership and a Ph.D. in educational leadership. The fully accredited doctoral programs are concentrated on the area of educational leadership and offer courses entirely online. The program moves at a rigorous pace and offers a quick completion time of just 22 months. A cohort model and two-week summer session are also utilized and required. Required courses include advanced data analysis, advanced qualitative research – analysis and methods, effective leadership for change management, introduction to educational research, and professional and ethical leadership. U.S. News and World Report ranks Northwest Nazarene University #52 in best regional universities in the West.

#11 – University of Nebraska

Online PhD in Educational Studies – Educational Leadership

Lincoln, Nebraska

Website

University of Nebraska - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Ranked and accredited – University of Nebraska’s doctorate in educational leadership online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,371

The University of Nebraska’s online educational leadership doctorate programs include the PhD in educational studies with a specialization in educational leadership and higher education. This blended program is designed to prepare students for scholarly positions as faculty in education leadership and higher education. Coursework includes administrative theory, educational finance, education law, finance in postsecondary education, law and higher education, and the higher education environment. Admission requires a master’s degree from an accredited university with a 3.0 GPA, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and official transcripts. U.S. News and World Report ranks University of Nebraska #129 in best national universities and #95 in best value schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #12 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#10 – Ball State University

Online PhD in Educational Administration and Supervision

Muncie, Indiana

Website

Ball State University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Online classes and monthly in-person meetings – Ball State University’s doctorate in educational leadership online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,216

Ball State University’s online PhD in educational leadership provides a blended curriculum combining online classes with monthly in-person session on Thursday afternoons. The program is housed under the auspices of the Department of Educational Leadership. The degree consists of 90 credits, and 48 must be completed at Ball State. A master’s degree is required. Required courses include educational decision-making, methodology of educational research, research colloquium, and statistical methods in educational and psychological research. Admission requires GRE scores, graduate GPA, reference letters, CV, and writing sample. U.S. News and World Report ranks Ball State University #171 in national universities for its 2019 cohort of institutions.

#9 – Carson-Newman University

Online PhD in Administrative Leadership

Jefferson City, Tennessee

Website

Carson-Newman University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Three years and eight-week courses make up the Carson Newman University doctorate in educational leadership online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,930

Carson-Newman University’s online Ed.D. in educational leadership offers licensed teachers a degree pathway enabling them to qualify for top leadership positions in school districts. The program is designed for current educators with a master’s degree or Ed.S. The program format is completely online, making it an excellent choice for busy professionals seeking rigor and flexibility. The degree can be completed in approximately three years with courses lasting 8 weeks each. Students may choose to extend the time to completion according to their schedule. Featured courses include educational leadership theory and policy analysis, emergent educational leadership trends and topics, financial planning and responsibilities, and professional learning communities. CNU is ranked #76 in regional universities South by U.S. News and World Report.

#8 – Liberty University

Online PhD in Higher Education Administration

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Liberty University’s doctorate in educational leadership online program consists of 60 credits.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,723

Liberty University offers one of the leading online educational leadership doctorate programs for individuals seeking top positions in community colleges, private institutions, or state university systems. The 60-credit program is delivered entirely online and takes three years on average to complete. In addition to a master’s degree with a 3.0 GPA, applicants are required to submit an admission application, statement of purpose, college transcripts, and proof of English proficiency. Required courses include advanced educational statistics, assessment and accreditation, economic impact in higher education, educational leadership and public relations, and leadership principles and ethics. Liberty University is ranked #230 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#7 – University of Arkansas

Online PhD in Educational Leadership

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Website

University of Arkansas - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Designed for working professionals. University of Arkansas’s doctorate in educational leadership online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,571

University of Arkansas offers a doctorate in educational leadership online for individuals seeking educational leadership positions including principal, superintendent, and other related occupations in the educational space. The program is delivered online aside from intensive weekend on-campus experiences just once per semester that augment online coursework. The combination of online delivery and once-per-semester weekends assure students receive a comprehensive education while developing a network with colleagues that enriches their experience and learning. Admission requires GRE/MAT scores, three letters of recommendation, valid teaching license, writing sample, and autobiographical sketch. UA is ranked #152 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#6 – Wilmington University

Online PhD in Higher Education Leadership

New Castle, Delaware

Website

Wilmington University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Wilmington University’s online PhD in higher education leadership offers 100% online coursework.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,438

Wilmington University’s online Ed.D. in educational leadership offers multiple degree pathways designed for working professionals to earn their doctorate while working full-time. Students can choose from a hybrid delivery that combines in-person and online coursework or a 100% online format that requires no on-campus visitations. The program features a cohort-based model that facilitates networking and collaboration among students who matriculate at the same time. The model promotes in-depth learning and relationship building that augments the curriculum. Coursework is practitioner-based and focuses on skills needed to be an effective postsecondary leader within a variety of contexts. Wilmington University is ranked #230 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#5 – Lamar University

Online PhD in Educational Leadership

Beaumont, Texas

Website

Lamar University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Ranked and affordable – Lamar University’s online PhD in educational leadership.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,112

Lamar University offers one of the top online educational leadership doctorate programs designed to be completed in just eight semesters. The program is research-based and driven by practitioners with experience in the field. Students can choose from a concentration in global studies, which enables them to be effective institutional change agents no matter the context. Admission requirements include resume/cv, one writing sample, transcripts, GRE scores, and 3-5 minute video. Courses include academic research writing, dynamics of leadership, foundations of distance education, and global educational leadership and policy. U.S. News and World Report ranks Lamar University #230 in national universities for its 2019 cohort.

#4 – Texas Tech University

Online PhD in Educational Leadership

Lubbock, Texas

Website

Texas Tech University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

Texas Tech University’s doctorate in educational leadership online program is for K-12 practitioners.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,849

Texas Tech University offers an online PhD in educational leadership designed for K-12 practitioners. Delivered through the Texas Tech College of Education, the program is designed to be finished in three years and focuses on implementing research-based solutions to complex educational problems. The program is not exclusively online. Students are required to attend a summer learning institute along with research weekends during the fall and spring semesters. The on-campus requirements are designed to augment online coursework and to help students develop a strong peer network. Application materials include transcripts, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. Texas Tech is ranked #187 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#3 – East Carolina University

Online PhD in Educational Leadership

Greenville, North Carolina

Website

East Carolina University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

K12 or higher ed concentration available! East Carolina University’s doctorate in educational leadership online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,270

East Carolina University’s PhD in educational leadership online degree is designed to prepare experienced practitioners to assume top administrative positions within K-20 contexts. The curriculum focuses on integrating researched-based solutions to a variety of complex and intersectional challenges within the educational space. A minimum of 60 post-master’s credits are required. Application materials include statement of purpose, resume, three recommendations, transcripts, 500-word analytical essay, and SKYPE admission interview. Students can choose from a K12 concentration or higher education concentration. U.S. News and World Report is ranked #194 in national universities and #18 in best online graduate education programs for its 2019 cohort.

#2 – University of the Cumberlands

Online PhD in Educational Leadership

Williamsburg, Kentucky

Website

University of the Cumberlands - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

60 credits required for the doctorate in educational leadership online program at University of the Cumberlands.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,970

The University of the Cumberlands’ doctorate in educational leadership online consists of 60 post-master’s credits that can be completed in three years or less. Application components include a master’s degree with a minimum 3.5 GPA, minimum 300 combined score (verbal/quant) on the GRE, writing sample, current resume, and three letters of recommendation. The program director may waive GRE requirements if a candidate possesses exceptional leadership experience in a professional setting. Students can choose from an administration and supervision or counselor education and supervision concentration. Core courses include grant writing and proposal development, leadership in theory and practice, the politics of organizational decision-making, and program planning and assessment. UC is ranked #230 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#1 – New Mexico State University

Online PhD in Educational Leadership

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Website

New Mexico State University - Top 30 Phd Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online 2019

The #1 most affordable doctorate in educational leadership online program on our list is offered by New Mexico State University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,243

New Mexico State University’s PhD in educational leadership online is designed for current practitioners to learn the knowledge and skills needed to effectively assume top leadership and administrative positions within a variety of educational settings and contexts. The program is designed for busy working professionals with a master’s degree. The program delivery method is a mixture of face-to-face instruction (80%) and online coursework (20%). Students can choose from a variety of cognates including child and family development, communication, feminist and gender studies, critical race theory, research methods, social justice, and more. Application materials include transcripts, letter of intent, resume/cv, writing sample, and three references. NMSU is ranked #221 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a PhD in educational leadership online degree?

A doctorate or PhD in educational leadership online degree can prepare you for a wide range of fields and careers. From elementary, middle, or high school principal to training and development manager in an organization, the career trajectory varies. Below are five possible career choices for individuals with a doctorate or PhD in educational leadership online degree.

Administrator or Executive Director: Administrators and directors work in various settings, from nonprofit organizations and schools to private business and medical facilities. An executive works directly with board members and makes daily decisions for the company. An executive may oversee fundraising campaigns, manage employees, and handle all external relations.

Professor: Four-year colleges and universities generally require a PhD in order to teach students. Professors in education will either hold a PhD or EdD in a discipline like educational leadership.

School principal: School principals oversee daily operations of elementary, middle, or high schools. They are responsible for hiring new teachers and staff, and enforcing disciplinary rules to students when necessary.

Superintendent: A school superintendent is in charge of the school principals in a district. They work closely with principals and evaluate performance and progress in area schools.

Training and development manager: Training and development manager positions are available in any field or industry. These specialized managers oversee training and professional development programs in businesses and are responsible for educating staff.

What is the job outlook for an individual with a PhD in educational leadership online degree?

As indicated above, there are many different career trajectories for individuals with a doctorate in educational leadership online degree. The job outlook is contingent on which career path you choose. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a mostly favorable job outlook for the next eight years for educational leadership roles.

Employment of elementary, middle, and high school principals, as projected by BLS, should grow eight percent through 2026. This job growth is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Anticipated employment growth will be impacted by an increase in student enrollment and an increase in the number of schools.

Other occupations, such as postsecondary education administrators, report a ten percent projected employment growth. This growth should also result from student enrollment in colleges and universities as more individuals seek higher education. Admissions officers and administrators will be needed to process the growing number of applications. Also, academic dean, provost, and university president roles will be limited, so earning a doctorate or PhD in educational leadership online degree should help improve candidate qualifications.

Job prospects will be better for educated individuals who have prior work experience. Showcasing yourself in leadership roles will help your application.

How much does an individual with a PhD in educational leadership online degree earn?

According to PayScale, a global compensation research company designed to gather information through real-time salary surveys, individuals with doctorates in educational leadership earn $79,000 per year. High school principals earn $94,413 and assistant professors earn $70,025. These numbers vary with location, experience, and organization size.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports postsecondary education administrators earned a median annual salary of $92,360 as of May 2017. Colleges, universities, and professional schools paid an average salary of $94,320, while junior colleges paid approximately $87,000 per year. Postsecondary administrators work year-round, though some institutions may reduce hours in the summer.

BLS reports that the median annual pay for training and development managers, as of 2017, is $108,250. This number is slightly higher than most occupations for individuals with a PhD or doctorate in educational leadership online degree. According to BLS, the lowest ten percent of training and development managers earned just under $60,000 per year while the highest ten percent earned more than $187,000.

The top paying industries in which training and development managers work include: Professional, scientific, and technical services; management of companies or enterprises; finance and insurance; and educational services at state, local, or private organizations.

What is the difference between an Ed.D. and Ph.D. in educational leadership online degree?

After earning a master’s in education, there are two choices if you plan to continue toward a doctoral degree – an Ed.D. or Ph.D. Both degrees offer educational leadership specializations and can be completed entirely online.

What are the key differences between an Ed.D. and Ph.D. in educational leadership online program? We’ve broken down the differences below.

Career choice is the first difference. If your career trajectory includes a tenured professorship, you should plan on pursuing your Ph.D. Most colleges and universities require a Ph.D. in a discipline in order to instruct students. Ed.D. programs are designed to prepare educators for specific administration jobs rather than faculty roles.

How much time and commitment do you want to give to research? Both degrees require research in the intended field of study as well as dissertation preparation and defense, but Ph.D. candidates spend a lot of time researching new theories and ideas. Ed.D. candidates are required to complete a dissertation in most programs, but their research builds on existing research, rather than creating new.

If you plan to assume educational leadership roles at colleges, universities, or public and private systems, an Ed.D. in educational leadership will prepare you for these roles. Professorships require a Ph.D., but if you are undecided, a Ph.D. in educational leadership online program may open doors to all possible occupations.

How long does it take to earn a doctorate or PhD in educational leadership online degree?

The time it takes to complete a degree depends on the degree type and program. In general, a doctorate or Ed.D. in educational leadership online degree can be completed in less time than the Ph.D. in educational leadership online degree. Ph.D. programs often take four to six years to complete while Ed.D. programs take two to four years when studying full-time.

The Ph.D. in educational leadership online degree is a research-oriented doctorate that focuses on the knowledge of the discipline. Programs are research intensive and require completion of the dissertation process. Ph.D. stands for Doctor of Philosophy. Students do not study philosophy but rather the concept of knowledge and research in the area of study. At the core of a Ph.D. in educational leadership online degree is research.

The Ed.D. or professional doctorate in education focuses less on research, though research is a component of the degree, and more on applied knowledge. This type of degree does not always require the completion of a dissertation. Dissertation requirements vary by programs.

An Ed.D. in educational leadership online program emphasizes curriculum that tackles real-world challenges and issues in the education field. Any research that is done generally builds on existing research.

CVO Staff
December 2018

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This concludes our list of top 30 online PhD/Doctorate in Educational Leadership programs for 2019.

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