The Best Online Doctorate in Educational Administration Degree Programs

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Effective leadership plays a crucial role in institutions of all sizes, from kindergartens and universities to entire school districts. Students who earn a doctorate in educational administration degree online gain the interpersonal and instructional skills needed to serve schools and school districts as superintendents, principals, directors, specialists, and coordinators.

Doctoral candidates master a variety of leadership, technological, organizational, and administrative strategies, building and strengthening the qualities required to effectively lead academic organizations. Graduates with a Ph.D. in educational administration go on to land successful careers in public and private schools, government organizations, and school districts.

An educational administration doctoral program explores advanced topics in leadership, finance, entrepreneurship, technology, and ethics. The following ranking includes the 10 best online doctorate in educational administration degree programs, all which combine academic rigor with the flexibility of online education.

Online Doctorate in Educational Administration Program Ranking Guidelines

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We selected the programs based on the quality of the program, the types of courses offered, the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school’s reputation for effectively providing online degree programs.

The Best Online Doctorate in Educational Administration Degree Programs

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Drexel University 

Philadelphia, PA

About this school

Drexel University's accredited Ed.D. in educational leadership and management ranks among the best online Ed.D. programs in the country. The program received the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate Program of the Year Award in 2019. The fully online program explores instructional technology integration, strategic decision-making, and program evaluation.


Students can choose from nine concentrations in areas like athletic administration, creativity and innovation, global and international education, and human resource development. Students complete 60.5-61.5 quarter credits, taking classes like educational leadership and change, program evaluation in organizations, transformative leadership, and qualitative research methods and analysis. The program also requires a six-credit dissertation.


Applicants need a master's degree with a minimum 3.5 GPA and three years of relevant professional experience. Typical careers for graduates include postsecondary education administrator, high school teacher, and principal.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
74%
Percent Receiving Loans
32%

East Carolina University 

Greenville, NC

About this school

East Carolina University's College of Education boasts 25 fully online programs, including one of the top online doctorate of education degrees in the country. The online Ed.D. in educational leadership includes concentrations in higher education administration and preK-12 administration. Students explore topics like leadership theory, planning studies, policy analysis, and curriculum and instructional leadership.


The 60-credit program requires classes like organizational theory and culture, ethics in educational leadership, and advanced research in educational leadership. Students also complete a research-based dissertation and a supervised internship. Graduates qualify for careers in educational leadership and administration.


Online students gain access to academic advising, professional development opportunities, and an education community. They may also qualify for financial aid opportunities. Applicants need a master's degree and professional leadership experience in an educational environment. Students seeking the preK-12 administration concentration need level I licensure in supervision or administration. All applicants must submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
65%
Percent Receiving Loans
49%

Endicott College 

Beverly, MA

About this school

Endicott College offers one of the best online Ed.D. programs in the country through its Van Loan School. The school's Ed.D. in educational leadership with a concentration in higher education prepares students for leadership roles in postsecondary institutions and nonprofit agencies. The curriculum explores topics like major developments in higher education, leadership practices and strategies in higher education, and research methods in educational settings.


The 51-credit program includes classes like history and administration of small colleges, ethical leadership in education, leading in a technological world, and transformational leadership in contemporary education. Students also complete a dissertation that contributes to scholarship in higher education and an administrative apprenticeship in higher education. Graduates qualify for jobs like university professor, superintendent, and school administrator.


Admission requirements for the online educational leadership Ed.D. program include a master's degree from an accredited college. Applicants must also submit official transcripts, a current resume or CV, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
76%
Percent Receiving Loans
46%

Florida State University 

Tallahassee, FL

About this school

Florida State University offers an online Ed.D. in educational leadership that qualifies graduates for roles like principal and postsecondary education administrator. The program features mostly online coursework, but students must participate in a three-day professional learning seminar in Tallahassee during each year of the program.


The 33-credit program requires core courses like teacher leadership development, data-driven school improvement, resource management for education leaders, and legal aspects of public school administration. Some classes include a field experience component. Students culminate the degree with a comprehensive exam. The program requires a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate.


Admission requirements include a graduate degree with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Applicants must submit GRE scores, unofficial transcripts from all prior colleges, a resume, and letters of recommendation. The program also requires a statement of purpose and research statement. Applicants with 10 or more years of professional educational experience can request a GRE waiver. Those with a doctorate in another field or a master's degree with a 3.75 GPA or better can also request a GRE waiver.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
83%
Percent Receiving Loans
61%

George Fox University 

Newberg, OR

About this school

George Fox University offers a mostly online Ed.D. in educational leadership that features an annual one-week residency at George Fox Portland Center in Portland, Oregon. The program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and prepares graduates for leadership roles in higher education and preK-12 environments.


The 56-credit program offers concentrations in administration and instructional design and development. Distance learners pay a flat tuition rate per credit regardless of where they live. The curriculum includes core courses like research in effective teaching; ethics, equity, and justice; critical research skills; and educational statistics.


Admission requirements include a regionally accredited bachelor's or master's degree in education or a related field with a minimum 3.25 GPA. Applicants must also possess at least three years of relevant professional experience and submit a resume, three letters of reference, an academic writing sample, and five short-answer essay questions.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
67%
Percent Receiving Loans
42%

Monmouth University 

West Long Branch, NJ

About this school

Students seeking online doctorate of education programs can pursue an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Monmouth University. The 54-credit, two-year program encourages new ways of thinking about educational leadership problems. Students gain the skills needed to foster school change and lead innovative initiatives in education. The cohort-style program offers flexible learning formats, including the ability to participate in live sessions remotely. New cohorts start each spring and fall.


The curriculum focuses on leadership and learning, research and assessment, and policy and procedures. Students take classes like adult development and transformative learning, international leadership models, education law and policy, and advanced program analysis. The program also requires a culminating transformative leadership project that incorporates action research to answer a real-world educational question.


The program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Application requirements include a master's degree in education, business, or a related field with a minimum 3.25 GPA, transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, a resume or CV, and two letters of recommendation. Applicants must also submit a personal statement and a writing sample. The advisory board may request an interview.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
44%

Rowan University 

Glassboro, NJ

About this school

Founded in 1923 as a teacher preparation college, Rowan University offers an online Ed.D. in educational leadership program that applies leadership theories to real-world educational problems. Learners complete all coursework online, but they must attend three on-campus residencies.


The online Ed.D. in educational leadership offers three tracks: preK-12, higher education, and nurse educator. Those working in the community college field can join the Community College Leadership Initiative, a special cohort program that develops advanced knowledge of issues related to educational leadership in community colleges.


Each part of the three-phase online educational leadership program includes coursework and ends with a benchmark review. Students must pass each review before continuing to the next phase. Students take classes like nature and function in higher education, diversity in educational leadership, and action research in educational research. Ed.D. candidates also complete a dissertation.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
72%
Percent Receiving Loans
63%

Samford University 

Birmingham, AL

About this school

Students seeking an online doctorate of education program can pursue an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Samford University. Designed for students interested in leading educational institutions, the primarily online program includes the option to attend on-campus weekend or evening classes six times each semester. Students who cannot travel to campus can participate in the live sessions synchronously using web conferencing software. All students must travel to campus to present and defend their dissertation.


The 36-credit program explores educational policy infrastructure, conflict resolution in educational settings, and best practices for designing education research methodologies. Required classes include ethical issues in education, organizational dynamics, and leadership planning. Students must maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA to graduate. The program features small class sizes, experienced practitioner-faculty, and a cohort-based learning environment.


Samford requires doctoral students to complete an education specialist (Ed.S.) degree prior to earning the Ed.D. The university offers an Ed.S. program in instructional leadership for those who do not hold one. In-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition rate.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
76%
Percent Receiving Loans
70%

Tennessee State University 

Nashville, TN

About this school

Professional educators seeking high-quality online doctorate of education programs should consider Tennessee State University's Ed.D. in educational leadership. The program prepares learners for leadership careers in K-12 schools, higher education, and other organizations that offer educational services. The cohort-style program includes a planned sequence of courses that learners take with the same group of classmates from start to finish.


The 66-credit program includes core, concentration, elective, and cognate requirements. Students can choose from seven concentrations, including higher education leadership, school system leadership, student personnel leadership, and school administration and leadership. Those who enter the program with an educational specialist degree only need to complete 42 credits.


All students take core classes like research in educational leadership, advanced qualitative research, educational statistics, and theories of administration. The program also requires a research-based dissertation.


Applicants must hold a master's degree and submit official transcripts, four letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and a resume. Students applying to the administrative endorsement concentration must also submit a copy of their teaching license.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
30%
Percent Receiving Loans
66%

Texas Tech University 

Lubbock, TX

About this school

Texas Tech University offers an online Ed.D. in educational leadership that prepares school leaders to enact evidence-based solutions to challenges in preK-12 schools. The three-year program includes a practice-based dissertation. Students learn to implement interventions, lead instructional change, and identify problems of practice.


The 96-credit program includes 48 credits of coursework, 12 dissertation credits, and 30 post-master's transfer credits. Required classes include research and educational leadership, organizational behavior and change in education, issues in educational leadership, and educational policy and the law. Students must also complete an internship or demonstrate proficiency in program evaluation.


The primarily online degree requires some campus visits, including two one-week summer intensives. The integrated curriculum includes superintendent professional certification preparation. Distance learners can join the Education Graduate Student Organization.


Applicants must hold a master's degree and submit transcripts, a resume, three professional recommendations, and GRE scores. They must also submit a personal statement and a response to the program's problem of practice prompt. Students can transfer up to 30 credits toward the degree.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
60%
Percent Receiving Loans
55%

University of Arkansas 

Fayetteville, AR

About this school

The University of Arkansas offers an online Ed.D. in educational leadership that prepares students for careers as superintendents, building-level school administrators, principals, and state government agency officials. Available primarily online, the program requires three on-campus weekend seminars. The cohort weekends build relationships and include hands-on learning experiences.


The 42-credit online educational leadership program includes classes on topics like school organization and administration, effective leadership for school improvement, school facilities planning and management, and advanced legal issues in education. In addition to coursework, candidates must complete a dissertation.


All distance learners pay in-state tuition, regardless of where they live. Students gain access to library resources, tutoring, and academic advising. New online educational leadership Ed.D. cohorts start each summer. Applicants must hold a master's degree and submit three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, a copy of their teaching or administrator's license, and an autobiographical sketch. The program also requires an admission interview and GRE scores.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
66%
Percent Receiving Loans
38%

University of Florida 

Gainesville, FL

About this school

The University of Florida's College of Education boasts one of the best online Ed.D. programs for future education leaders. Designed for working professionals, the leadership in educational administration Ed.D. program links research with practice. Students complete most coursework online, but they may need to visit the Gainesville campus up to three Saturdays each semester. Most Ed.D. candidates graduate in four years.


The cohort-style program requires 90 credits, including 36 departmental, 15 research, 24 dissertation, and 15 elective credits. UF offers financial aid opportunities like loans, grants, and fellowships to Ed.D. students. Distance learners gain access to technology assistance, the career connections center, and student organizations.


The program makes admission decisions on a rolling basis. Admission requirements include a master's or terminal degree from an accredited university, a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credits of undergraduate work, and an acceptable GPA in previous graduate coursework. The program also asks for GRE scores and may require an applicant interview. Students can transfer up to 15 credits toward the degree.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
90%
Percent Receiving Loans
67%

University of Kentucky 

Lexington, KY

About this school

Distance learners seeking online doctorate of education programs should consider the University of Kentucky's Ed.D. in educational leadership. During the cohort-based program, doctoral candidates advance through a set sequence of classes together, developing professional and personal connections.


Designed for experienced educators, the practitioner doctorate focuses on real-world problems in education. Students gain the research skills they need to lead a variety of education initiatives and work with parents, teachers, and administrators. The 42-credit program includes courses like research in educational leadership, design thinking on education, leadership for creative problem-solving, and leadership in educational organizations. Students also research, write, and defend a doctoral dissertation.


Graduates qualify for careers as school principals, administrators, academic deans, and district leaders. Admission requirements include a graduate degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.5 GPA and satisfactory GRE scores. Applicants must submit transcripts from all previously attended schools, a professional resume, a personal statement, and an academic writing sample. The program also requires two letters of recommendation.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
66%
Percent Receiving Loans
76%

University of Missouri-Columbia 

Columbia, MO

About this school

The Ed.D. in educational leadership from the University of Missouri - Columbia ranks among the country's best online Ed.D. programs. Available through the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, the program is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.


The 46-credit program features primarily online coursework, but students must attend on-campus sessions during the first two summers of the program. The cohort-style program requires students to attend synchronous online classes on Wednesday evenings during the spring and fall semesters. All distance learners also attend an in-person orientation in late spring.


Coursework explores leadership theory and practice, educational policy, organizational analysis, and the content and context of learning. Potential job titles for graduates include university administrator, principal, school director, and superintendent.


Applicants must hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.5 GPA. The program only requires GRE scores of applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement. Applicants must submit unofficial transcripts from all prior colleges, a resume or CV, and three references.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
61%

University of Nebraska-Lincoln 

Lincoln, NE

About this school

The University of Nebraska - Lincoln offers an online Ed.D. in educational studies that prepares students for leadership roles across the education spectrum, including postsecondary education administration. Students pursuing the online doctorate of education program gain access to the same services and resources as on-campus learners, including library services, academic advising, and career services.


The 96-credit program features world-class faculty, interactive classes, and a global community of learners. Students take classes on topics like finance in postsecondary education, law and higher education, administrative theory, and leadership in educational organizations.


Applicants need a master's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit GRE scores, a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and official transcripts from all prior colleges. Additional requirements include three research or writing samples, a resume or CV, and a copy of a current administrative certificate.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
74%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro 

Greensboro, NC

About this school

The online Ed.D. in educational leadership program from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro emphasizes research, equity, and schools as democratic communities. The 54-credit program prepares students for leadership and administrative roles in education. Potential job titles for graduates include school principal, assistant superintendent, executive director, and university professor.


Students take classes like approaches to qualitative inquiry, introduction to doctoral inquiry, and qualitative data collection and analysis. The program also requires a research-based doctoral dissertation. Students with an initial principal license and advanced principal/advanced superintendent license in North Carolina can receive the North Carolina doctoral superintendent license after graduation. The university also offers an individualized version of the Ed.D. to students without a license.


Applicants must hold a master's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit GRE or MAT scores, three letters of recommendation, a resume, a personal statement, and transcripts.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
53%
Percent Receiving Loans
72%

University of North Carolina Wilmington 

Wilmington, NC

About this school

The University of North Carolina Wilmington's cohort-style Ed.D. in educational leadership program ranks among the top online doctorate of education degrees in the country. The program develops managerial, research, and communication skills.


Designed for working professionals, the 60-credit online Ed.D. in educational leadership offers three concentrations: leadership in curriculum and instruction, leadership in educational administration, and leadership in higher education. Students develop an individualized plan of study with an advisor.


Core classes include leadership theory, organizational development and analysis, social foundations of education, and applied research. In addition to coursework, students must complete a comprehensive exam and a dissertation.


Admission requirements include a master's degree in school administration or a related field from a regionally accredited university and at least three years of leadership experience. Applicants must also submit a current resume and a statement of interest.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
73%
Percent Receiving Loans
51%

University of North Dakota 

Grand Forks, ND

About this school

The University of North Dakota offers an online Ed.D. in educational practice and leadership, One of the top online doctorate of education programs in the country, the program prepares graduates to work as school principals, college faculty, college administrators, and superintendents.


The 90-credit, fully online program includes specializations in areas like school leadership, higher education, and instructional design and technology. All students take courses like administration and organizational behavior, introduction to educational research, higher education diversity systems and policy, and issues and trends in education. Degree requirements also include a dissertation in practice and a passing grade on the program's comprehensive exams. Students must earn a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate.


Admission requirements include a master's degree from an accredited university and a minimum 3.5 GPA. Candidates applying for the school leadership specialization must hold three years of teaching experience, a teaching credential, and leadership experience in preK-12 settings. They must also pass a background check. All applicants must submit a statement of goals, an essay, a resume, a writing sample, and three letters of recommendation.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
55%
Percent Receiving Loans
79%

University of Southern California 

Los Angeles, CA

About this school

Education professionals seeking an online doctorate of education should consider the University of Southern California's Ed.D. in educational leadership. The three-year degree from the Rossier School of Education includes a K-12 concentration and prepares students for leadership roles addressing inequities in K-12 education settings. The curriculum explores topics like ethical practice, institutional oppression, and strategies for creating equity.


Ed.D. in educational leadership candidates must complete 43 credits, including core, research methods, and concentration courses. The program also requires a dissertation in practice, which allows students to address a problem related to equitable access to K-12 education opportunities. The program features synchronous classes that include interactive and collaborative discussions with faculty members and peers.


The online program requires a mandatory two-day immersion experience on campus in Los Angeles. Applicants need a master's degree and at least three full-time years of relevant work and leadership experience. Application requirements include transcripts from all previously attended colleges, a resume, letters of recommendation, and a timed writing assessment. Students can also submit GMAT or GRE scores, but USC does not require them.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
92%
Percent Receiving Loans
80%

University of St Thomas 

Saint Paul, MN

About this school

The largest private university in Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas offers a variety of online graduate programs in fields like education, business, and Catholic studies. The university's Ed.D. in educational leadership and learning ranks among the top online doctorate of education programs in the country. Students learn to advocate for social justice, continuous improvement, and systemic reform in K-12, postsecondary, and adult education settings. The program features fully online coursework and an in-person summer residency.


The 66-credit program requires classes like scholars and researchers in education, leadership for social justice in education, and research paradigms in education. Students also complete a research-intensive dissertation. The School of Education boasts partnerships with a variety of community and education-based organizations, offering opportunities for students to gain professional experience.


Admission requirements include a master's degree and at least three years of professional experience, including one year in a leadership role. The program prefers applicants with a cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all previously attended colleges, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a professional portfolio. The program also requires an interview with doctoral faculty members.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
77%
Percent Receiving Loans
64%

Wilkes University 

Wilkes-Barre, PA

About this school

Wilkes University offers an online Ed.D. in educational leadership that combines theory and research and emphasizes innovation and organizational transformation. The program features mostly online coursework, but students must complete three required in-person residencies. Ed.D. candidates go through the program with a cohort of peers, fostering collaboration and networking opportunities.


The 60-credit program includes leadership core, content area, research, and dissertation requirements. The program also offers three concentrations: educational technology, educational leadership studies, and curriculum and instruction. Required classes include ethics for educational leaders, quantitative methods in educational research, and strategic thinking and planning. Students culminate the program with a dissertation.


Requirements for admission to the online Ed.D. in educational leadership program include a master's degree in education or a related field from an accredited university. Applicants must also submit a current resume or CV, two references, official college transcripts, and copies of licenses or certifications (if applicable). The admissions committee also requires submission of a professional or scholarly project or paper that demonstrates the applicant's ability to succeed in the program.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
60%
Percent Receiving Loans
54%
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End of list, bravo!

What Is an Online Doctorate in Educational Administration?

While every educational administration doctoral degree emphasizes leadership and administrative skills, each degree type takes a slightly different approaches to the discipline. This list includes both doctor of education (Ed.D.) and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in educational administration degrees. Online Ed.D. programs best serve individuals who wish to build and strengthen applied educational administration skills, while a research-based online Ph.D. in educational administration is ideal for those pursuing postsecondary teaching positions or careers in academic research.

What Can You Do With a Doctorate Degree in Educational Administration?

Individuals who complete doctoral programs in higher education administration online take on many different roles and apply their leadership expertise in a variety of settings. Working in fast-paced, constantly evolving environments, they develop strategies to achieve educational and institutional goals. Professionals with a doctorate in education administration work well with others and possess the drive to spearhead projects on their own. The following section lists some popular careers and their respective salaries.

Postsecondary Education Administrators:
These professionals oversee administrative operations at colleges and universities, including student services, admissions processes, course registration, and student affairs. Most administrators focus on one or two areas, such as enrollment or student life.
Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $48,000
  • Mid-Career: $57,000
  • Experienced: $62,000
  • Late Career: $65,000
Director of Curriculum:
Working to implement curricula within schools or school systems, these administrators develop instructional guidelines according to state and federal standards. They also work with principals to create effective teacher training programs and rework educational strategies as needed.
Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $59,000
  • Mid-Career: $65,000
  • Experienced: $75,000
  • Late Career: $76,000
Executive Director:
Some professionals who earn a doctorate in education administration online become executive directors, serving as senior managers in organizations and businesses. Executive directors develop budgetary strategies and timelines to achieve their organization’s day-to-day goals.
Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $55,000
  • Mid-Career: $68,000
  • Experienced: $85,000
  • Late Career: $99,000
Chief Learning Officer:
These professionals develop educator training programs, design curricula and education practices, and ensure that their institution adheres to government regulations. Learning officers also analyze teacher performance data to identify weaknesses and make improvements in educational programs.
Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $108,000
  • Mid-Career: $127,000
  • Experienced: $141,000
  • Late Career: $182,000
Superintendent:
As head school system administrators, superintendents handle disciplinary issues with teachers and other school employees, manage district budgets, and hire principals for schools in their districts. Superintendents also approve and monitor major school property projects.
Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $104,000
  • Mid-Career: $109,000
  • Experienced: $120,000
  • Late Career: $129,000

Source: PayScale

Choosing an Online Educational Administration Doctorate Degree Program

Students interested in online Ph.D. programs in higher education administration enjoy many options. However, there are several important factors to explore before selecting a school, including program duration, faculty specialty areas, and any available concentrations. With so many variables to consider, candidates should ensure that a prospective program aligns with their academic and career goals and fits their budget. You may find it more affordable to attend a local school instead of paying out-of-state tuition elsewhere. Provide yourself with enough time to carefully investigate all your options.

Program Cost:
Cost varies greatly between doctoral programs in higher education administration online. Some schools charge out-of-state students nearly double their in-state tuition rates, while others charge one flat rate for all distance learners. Many institutions require online students to pay a per-credit or semesterly technology fee.
Transfer Policies:
Students who have previously completed college-level coursework, especially general education classes or higher education-related coursework, should consider schools’ transfer policies. Many institutions allow transfer students to apply credits earned at accredited universities toward a doctoral degree in higher education administration online. A favorable transfer policy can grant credit for prior work and ultimately save you time and money.
School Size and Type:
Some online programs limit class size to keep courses manageable for professors and facilitate student and faculty interaction. Schools with smaller class sizes may be more competitive, especially those with cohort learning or synchronous formats. In many cases, private schools offer lower student-to-faculty ratios than public schools.
Program Length:
A program’s duration depends on student enrollment status, graduation requirements, and the number of credits distance learners are permitted to complete each semester. Full-time candidates spend approximately 3–5 years completing their degree. Depending on their schedule, part-time learners may take up to seven years, or the maximum amount of time allotted by their department.
On-Campus Requirements:
Be sure to determine if a program includes on-campus obligations. Most doctoral degrees in higher education administration online allow learners to complete all degree requirements remotely. You may encounter hybrid programs, wherein distance learners take one or more classes in person. Some distance students prefer a mixture of online and traditional coursework.

Accreditation for Online Educational Administration Doctorate Degrees

Accreditation is one of the most important factors to consider while researching prospective schools. Accredited colleges and universities adhere to the highest quality standards, which are set by external agencies known as accrediting bodies. There are three types of accreditation: regional, national, and programmatic.

There are six major regionally accrediting bodies, as well as the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Regional accreditation is widely understood to designate the highest-quality institutions. Typically offering degrees from the associate level up to doctoral programs, regionally accredited schools feature diverse curricula that include general education, major-specific, and elective classes. In contrast, nationally accredited schools usually provide career-focused training and offer a smaller variety of degrees and professional certifications.

Individual programs or departments within colleges and universities may also receive programmatic accreditation from discipline-specific accrediting bodies or professional organizations. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is the most important accrediting body that assesses educational administration programs. In some states, candidates seeking teaching or administrative licensure are required to hold a degree from a CAEP-accredited program.

The accreditation process involves both private and governmental agencies. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) approves and ensures that accrediting bodies are reliable authorities on education and quality. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is a membership organization comprised of 3,000 degree-granting college and universities and 60 accrediting bodies who review quality assurance processes. Both ED and CHEA maintain comprehensive lists of accredited programs and schools on their websites.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Doctorate Degree in Educational Administration?

A doctoral program’s duration depends largely on the student’s availability and how quickly they are able to meet graduation requirements. Most doctoral programs require 91–120 credit hours. In many cases, doctoral programs require students to conduct an extensive final project after completing four semesters of coursework. In most distance education programs, these projects are part of a capstone course. Alternatively, some degrees require students to compose a traditional doctoral dissertation based on original research. A time-consuming process, dissertation work alone may take 1-2 years to complete. Coupled with the departmental requirements, full-time students typically spend 3–4 years earning a Ph.D. in education administration online.

Courses in an Online Educational Administration Doctorate Program

Introduction to Leadership
This essential class encourages distance learners to recognize their potential for community involvement and future career opportunities. Offering an interdisciplinary perspective on leadership theories and styles, coursework also presents contemporary workplace issues and challenges.
Serving Students and Schools
Learners examine the practices, issues, and theories involved in leading student services offices or organizations. Lecture topics include the history and philosophy behind these supportive roles, contemporary issues, and common career paths in the field. Candidates also survey the relationship between student service professionals and other campus organizations.
Financial Management for Higher Education Professionals
Presenting essential financial management concepts, this class introduces integral topics through the lens of higher education administration. While students examine methods used to finance education in both the public and private sectors, they also gain transferable budgeting and management skills that are useful in virtually any administrative position.
Community Colleges and Technical Schools
This overview course surveys community and vocational institutions throughout history. Coursework examines these schools’ unique purposes and educational strategies, in addition to their distinct administrative needs. Candidates study leadership, educational, and counseling theories within the community college context, building a comprehensive understanding of employee relationships and the complex contemporary issues these institutions often face.
Academic Professions
Using cutting-edge research, this course explores college administrators’ myriad roles and tasks. Class topics include faculty positions and institutional life, faculty misconduct, tenure track positions, and administration-faculty relationships. Students learn to face modern issues from many different administrative perspectives.

Educational Administration Certifications

Each state maintains its own certification requirements for teachers. In most cases, educational or administrative professionals working in schools must hold at least a bachelor’s degree and the proper certification or licensure. After earning a Ph.D. in educational administration online, prospective administrators must adhere to state guidelines, policies, and regulations before obtaining licensure. Once certified, professionals are expected to periodically renew their credentials by completing continuing education or professional development programs. While individual certifications vary from state to state, the following credentials are among the most common.

Principal Certification:
Many students who complete doctoral programs in educational administration online intend to pursue principal positions. This certification offers leadership training and coaching for prospective principals.
School Administrative Certification/Licensure:
Many individuals earn this certification while working as classroom teachers. Applicants must pass state-mandated exams that test candidates’ knowledge of state laws and curriculum standards. This credential benefits students who are interested in any administrative position, in both public and private schools.
Education Professional Development:
Various organizations, including the School Superintendents Association, offer continuing education and professional development exchange programs. Program graduates can document their efforts on their resumes and curricula vitae, helping them stand out in the job market and secure leadership positions.

Educational Administration Professional Organizations

Professional organizations exist in virtually every discipline and industry. These associations offer valuable resources for students, recent graduates, and seasoned professionals alike. Many provide exclusive access to online publications, full-text libraries, and other valuable resources to assist candidates pursuing a Ph.D. in higher education administration online. Some sponsor networking opportunities like conferences and seminars. Conferences present unique opportunities to meet with industry experts, present new research, and build and strengthen a global professional network.

School Superintendents Association:
AASA is a membership organization dedicated to helping colleagues share their best practices and ideas. Members automatically receive $1 million in professional liability insurance, in addition to legal assistance, access to online publications, opportunities to meet with executive career consultants, and leadership development workshops.
National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification:
This organization represents professional standards boards, commissions, and state education departments in all 50 states. NASDTEC acts as an information hub for education professionals, providing job preparation services, credentials, continuing education opportunities, and an annual conference. NASDTEC members also gain access to online webinars, job announcements, and industry news.
National Education Association:
With over three million members, NEA is the country’s largest professional employee organization, maintaining affiliate organizations in every state. The association’s membership base includes classroom teachers, educational support professionals, administrative members, and students. Members enjoy access to discounted legal services, exclusive news and information, discussion forums, and active job boards. NEA also sponsors regional leadership training seminars and an annual conference.

Archives

2018 Archive

The 10 Best Online Doctorate in Educational Administration Degree Programs for 2018

  1. University of Nebraska - Lincoln
    Lincoln, Nebraska
  2. Texas Tech University
    Lubbock, Texas
  3. Ball State University
    Muncie, Indiana
  4. Sam Houston State University
    Huntsville, Texas
  5. Indiana State University
    Terre Haute, Indiana
  6. Governors State University
    University Park, Illinois
  7. Carson-Newman University
    Jefferson City, Tennessee
  8. Andrews University
    Berrien Springs, Michigan
  9. George Fox University
    Newberg, Oregon

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