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The knowledge and skills from an online Doctorate in Educational Leadership degree help education professionals enact necessary change in their schools and school systems.

Graduates of the programs enhance their ability to effectively lead programs, teachers, schools, and districts, and implement reform and development programs. Graduates acquire leadership strategies to improve student performance.

A terminal advanced degree in Educational Leadership allows professionals to answer the call for highly skilled and knowledgeable educational leaders in PreK–12 and higher education systems. Some graduates have leading roles in non-profit organizations, advocacy organizations, or government agencies.

The Best Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership Degree Programs

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University of Arkansas 

Fayetteville, AR

About this school

Dating back to teacher education programs offered at the 1871 founding of the University of Arkansas, the College of Education and Health Professions provides students with a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options built on well over a century of tradition in the field. The College allows students to pursue diverse areas of study through five different departments, including the College of Curriculum and Instruction.

Students benefit from flexible online programs, internship opportunities, community engagement and outreach programs, and access to research centers, such as the Office for Education Policy.

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership online degree program with quantitative or qualitative research track options. The program blends in-depth coursework with dissertation research in a cohort learning model. The curriculum includes research methods and applications, educational policy, and topical seminars covering key aspects and issues in educational leadership.

Students enhance their ability to effectively lead teachers, programs, schools, and districts, as well as implement reform and development programs based on sound research.

Students prepare to enter a variety of roles in educational leadership, including superintendent, school principal, board of education director, policymaker, and more.

The Doctorate in Educational Leadership online program requires 42 credit hours of coursework for completion and provides courses such as:

  • Advanced Data Collection for Program Evaluation
  • Advanced Empirical Analysis for Program Evaluation
  • Experimental Design in Education
  • Techniques of Research Education

Students must also complete comprehensive exams and a dissertation and defense, as well as brief on-campus residencies once per semester for face-to-face seminar meetings.

Students must have an Educational Specialist degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in the program.

Texas Tech University 

Lubbock, TX

About this school

Providing a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options, the College of Education at Texas Tech University serves the needs of students seeking to advance a variety of professional roles in education and related fields. Utilizing partnerships with school systems and government agencies, the College of Education offers students unique developmental opportunities, as well as online program options, internship options, and access to numerous research centers, such as the Center for Research in Leadership and Education.

The College of Education offers a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership online degree program designed for working professionals in K--12 educational settings who seek to advance their careers. The program utilizes a practice-focused approach, developing advanced knowledge and skills in educational leadership through comprehensive coursework, a practicum experience, and a dissertation in practice.

The online EdD in Educational Leadership program covers key topics, such as policy and law, issues in educational leadership, implementing school reform, diversity and multicultural issues, and social justice and equity.

Students prepare to advance in a variety of professional roles in K--12 settings, including school administration, instructional direction, counseling, district administration, and more.

The online Doctoral program in Educational Leadership requires 72 credit hours and includes the following required courses:

  • Educational Policy and Law
  • Issues in Educational Leadership: Accountability
  • Issues in Educational Leadership: Curriculum, Assessment, and Interventions
  • Leadership for School Reform
  • Leading Instruction for English Language Learners
  • Learning and Performance in District Organizations
  • Organizational Behavior and Change in Education
  • Research in Educational Leadership
  • School District Resource Allocation and Deployment
  • Social Justice and Equity in Educational Leadership

Students in the online program must complete a practicum and a dissertation in practice, as well as two one-week residencies. Students must have a relevant master's degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in the program.

University of Massachusetts, Lowell 

Lowell, MA

About this school

Dating back to the establishment of the State Normal School in 1894, the College of Education forms the core of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional education programs with over a century of tradition in the field. The College of Education provides flexible online programs for non-traditional and professional students, as well as internship and scholarship opportunities. The College also provides outreach programs that serve the community.

Through the Division of Online and Continuing Education, the College of Education offers an online Doctor of Education in Leadership in Schooling degree program for professionals in PreK--12 education districts seeking to advance their careers as leaders in education and administration. The program incorporates theoretical and practical approaches to the field through in-depth coursework and comprehensive dissertation research.

Students develop advanced knowledge and skills in the field through a curriculum that covers fundamental topics such as law and policy, ethics and ethical concerns, implementing change, leadership models, and more.

Students prepare to pursue a variety of leadership roles in PreK--12 school districts, including school principal, superintendent, board of education member, or department head.

The online Doctorate in Leadership in Schooling program requires 42 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Applied Research Design
  • Developing Inclusive School Contexts
  • Foundations for Practitioner Scholars
  • Law, Policy, and Finance
  • Organizational Learning
  • Qualitative Data Analysis for Practitioner Leaders
  • Quantitative Data Analysis for Practitioner Leaders
  • Strategic Partnering with Families and Communities
  • Systems Leadership I
  • Systems Leadership II

Students in the online Doctor of Education in Leadership in Schooling program must complete two comprehensive exams, a dissertation and defense, and a one-week summer residency for each summer of the three-year program. Students must have a Master's in Education or related field from a regionally accredited institution, as well as teaching or administrative experience in PreK--12 education settings to enroll in the program.

Drexel University 

Philadelphia, PA

About this school

The School of Education at Drexel University provides students with a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options in diverse areas of education, including K--12 Education, Special Education, Educational Administration, and Educational Leadership. The School of Education provides online program options, internship opportunities, professional development services, and research initiatives.

Through the Drexel University Online platform, the School of Education offers an online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Management degree program with a total of nine different concentration options, including: Athletic Administration; Creativity and Innovation; Educational Administration; Educational Policy; Global and International Education; Higher Education; Human Resource Development; Learning Technologies; and Special Education Leadership.

The EdD in Educational Leadership and Management online program blends in-depth coursework with focused dissertation research to produce advanced knowledge and skills.

With numerous concentration options to choose from, students may prepare to pursue a diverse array of careers in educational leadership, occupying general or niche roles in public and private school systems, non-profit organizations, government, and higher education.

The Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management online program requires a minimum of 60 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Educational Leadership and Change
  • Creative Strategies for Educational Leaders
  • Using and Integrating Learning Technologies
  • Program Evaluation in Organizations
  • Transformative Leadership: Finding One's Source

Students must complete a dissertation and defense. Students may complete the program in three or five years.

Students must hold a relevant master's degree from an accredited institution, as well as have three years of relevant professional experience to enroll in the program.

Colorado State University, Fort Collins 

Fort Collins, CO

About this school

The School of Education, housed in the College of Health and Human Services at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, provides a variety of graduate and professional program options for students seeking advanced preparation and qualification in education fields. The School of Education serves the needs of a diverse population of students through flexible online and hybrid programs, professional development services, internship opportunities, professional partnerships, and outreach services.

Through the Colorado State University Online platform, the School of Education offers an online Doctor of Philosophy in Education and Human Resources Studies degree program with a Higher Education Leadership specialization. The program utilizes in-depth coursework, hands-on learning in an internship, and dissertation research to develop advanced knowledge and skills in higher education leadership.

The curriculum covers fundamental topics such as higher education law, higher education administration, leadership models, professionalism and ethics, and more.

Students prepare to pursue a variety of professional leadership roles in higher education settings, such as enrollment management, student services, higher education administration, academic support leadership, and housing and auxiliary services.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Education and Human Resources Studies online program with a Higher Education Leadership specialization requires 60 credit hours and includes the following required courses:

  • Foundations of Educational Research
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Higher Education Finance
  • Higher Education Law
  • Leadership Development
  • Professionalism in Education and Leadership
  • Student Development in a Collegiate Context

Students in the program must complete comprehensive exams, as well as a dissertation and defense, and several brief residencies. Students must have a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution, as well as two years of relevant professional experience, to enroll in the program.

East Tennessee State University 

Johnson City, TN

About this school

The Claudius G. Clemmer College of Education at East Tennessee State University provides students with a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options across diverse fields represented by six different departments, including the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. The College of Education offers flexible online programs, internship and scholarship opportunities, professional development services, and research centers, such as the Center for Community College Leadership.

Through the ETSU Online platform, the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis offers an online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degree program with concentrations in Higher Education Leadership. School Leadership, and Administrative Endorsement. The programs blend coursework with hands-on learning through an internship and in-depth research through a dissertation project to develop the comprehensive knowledge necessary to success in the field.

The curriculum covers key topics in educational leadership, such as legal and ethical concerns, leadership models, administrative theories, and more.

PK-12 students prepare to pursue a variety of careers in educational leadership, including superintendent, school principal, department head, and roles in non-profit and advocacy organizations dedicated to influencing policy.

Higher education students prepare for leadership roles in 2-year technical and community colleges or 4-year universities.

The online Doctoral in Educational Leadership program requires 66 credit hours and includes the following School Leadership Concentration courses:

  • Internship in Educational Leadership
  • Law for Organizational Leaders
  • Leadership in Lifelong Learning
  • Policy Analysis
  • Policy, Power, and Politics in Education

Students must complete an internship, as well as a dissertation and defense. Students must also complete a cognate in an area outside of educational leadership. Admission into the program requires that students have a relevant master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Central Michigan University Global Campus 

Mount Pleasant, MI

About this school

The College of Education and Human Services at Central Michigan University Global Campus provides students with a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options across diverse fields represented by five different departments, including the Department of Educational Leadership. The College provides flexible online programs, internship and scholarship options, student organizations and professional development services, outreach programs, and research centers.

The Department of Educational Leadership offers a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership online degree program with four concentration options: K--12 Leadership; K--12 Curriculum; Higher Education Leadership; and Educational Technology. The program blends in-depth coursework, field experience, and dissertation research to develop advanced knowledge and skills in educational leadership.

The EdD in Educational Leadership online program covers key topics such as ethical leadership and organizational leadership in education, as well as niche topics in specialization areas.

Students prepare to pursue leadership roles in a variety of professional settings, including private and public schools and school districts, as well as higher education administration.

The Doctorate in Educational Leadership online degree program requires 63 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Doctoral Seminar
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Organizational Culture and Change in Educational Institutions
  • Organizational Theory in Educational Institutions

Students must complete an internship, comprehensive exams, and a dissertation and defense. Students must also complete a cognate in an area outside of educational leadership.

Admission into the program requires that students have a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution, and at least three years of professional experience in education or educational leadership.

Lamar University 

Beaumont, TX

About this school

The College of Education and Human Development at Lamar University provides students with a variety of program options at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. Composed of five departments, the College allows students to pursue education in a diverse array of fields, including: Counseling and Special Populations; Family and Consumer Science; Health and Kinesiology; Teacher Education; and Educational Leadership.

The College provides benefits such as flexible online programs, scholarship and internship opportunities, and professional development services.

The Department of Educational Leadership offers an online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degree program with a concentration in Global Educational Leadership, requiring no residency or travel for completion. The program emphasizes key aspects of the field, as well as core values of commitment, excellence, integrity, respect, service, and quality.

The curriculum includes coursework in contemporary issues in the field, professional ethics and values, global communication, multicultural education, and dissertation work.

Students prepare to pursue a variety of careers in areas such as school and district administration, non-profit organizations and advocacy, policy-making, and more.

The online Doctoral in Educational Leadership program requires 60 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Professional Ethics/Values
  • Cultural Influences
  • Organizational Change
  • Dynamics of Leadership
  • Global Educational Leadership and Policy
  • Global Communication
  • Contemporary Issues
  • Academic Research Writing I
  • Academic Research Writing II
  • Trends and Issues in Multicultural Education

Students in the online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program must complete a dissertation and defense. Admission into the program requires that students have professional experience in educational leadership.

Regent University 

Virginia Beach, VA

About this school

The School of Education at Regent University provides students with a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options in diverse fields in education. The School of Education dedicates its programs to the development of qualified educational leaders, with a strong foundation in the guiding Christian principles of the university. The School of Education provides students with the benefits of internship and practicum opportunities, flexible online programs, and more.

The School of Education offers an online Doctoral in Advanced Educational Leadership degree program resulting in a Doctor of Education or a Doctor of Philosophy degree program with an Advanced Educational Leadership concentration. Students in the program complete in-depth coursework and hands-on learning through dissertation research.

The program emphasizes key aspects of the field, including contemporary issues in education, implementing change, program evaluation, and leadership models, alongside coursework establishing a foundation of Christian principles for service leadership.

Students prepare to pursue a variety of careers in educational leadership, including school administration, district administration, policy-making and advocacy, and more.

The Doctoral in Advanced Educational Leadership program requires a minimum of 66 credit hours for the EdD and 75 credit hours for the Ph.D. and includes the following core courses:

  • Advanced Theory and Practice of Leadership, Communication, and Organizations
  • Educational Statistics
  • Issues in Education
  • Organizational and Institutional Change
  • Qualitative Data Analysis
  • Research Design and Analysis
  • Strategic Planning and Program Evaluation

Students in the Doctoral in Advanced Educational Leadership program must complete a dissertation and defense, as well as a four-day summer residency.

University of the Cumberlands 

Williamsburg, KY

About this school

With a long tradition of educator preparation dating back to 1888, the Department of Education at the University of the Cumberlands provides students with a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options. Building on the Christian mission of the university, the Department of Education incorporates Christian principles and values into the foundation of its residential and online programs.

The Department of Education offers an online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degree program with the option to pursue one of eight specialty areas: business; counseling; education; English; history; math; psychology; or religion. The program emphasizes key aspects of the field through core coursework, in combination with specialized coursework in niche study areas. Students engage in courses covering topics such as leadership models, implementing change, proposal development, and program evaluation, as well as a dissertation project.

Students prepare to pursue a variety of careers, including departmental head, school principal, and superintendent, as well as roles in non-profit organizations.

The online EdD in Educational Leadership program requires 60 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Educational Program Evaluation
  • Grant Writing and Proposal Development
  • Higher Education in America
  • Leadership in Theory and Practice
  • Learning in Adulthood
  • Online Teaching and Learning
  • Strategic Planning and Decision-Making
  • The Change Process
  • The Politics of Educational Decision-Making

Students in the online EdD in Educational Leadership program must complete a dissertation and defense. Students must hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in the program. Students may complete the program in three years.

Rowan University 

Glassboro, NJ

About this school

The College of Education at Rowan University provides a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options in departments representing diverse fields in education, including the Department of Educational Services and Leadership. Building on over a half-century of experience, the College of Education helps students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue many different careers in education. The College offers benefits such as flexible online programs, internship opportunities, student organizations, and the Center for Access, Success, and Equity.

The Department of Educational Services and Leadership provides a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership online degree program with a variety of track options, including P--12, Higher Education, Nurse Educator, and Community College Leadership Initiative. The program emphasizes a blend of theory and practice to develop advanced knowledge and understanding of leadership roles in a variety of educational contexts.

Students engage with in-depth classwork and hands-on dissertation research, with coursework covering topics such as ethics in leadership, diversity in education, leadership models, research methods, and more.

With numerous options for specialization, students in the program prepare to pursue careers in diverse professional settings, including public and private school administration, school district administration, non-profit and advocacy organizations, and higher education administration.

The EdD in Educational Leadership online program requires 60 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Action Research in Educational Leadership
  • Applied Ethics of Educational Leadership
  • Changing Organizations
  • Diversity in Educational Leadership
  • Issues in Qualitative Analysis in Educational Research
  • Leadership Theory
  • Mixed Methods Research in Educational Leadership
  • Quantitative Analysis in Educational Research
  • The Policy Environment

Students must complete a dissertation and defense, as well as three required residencies. Admission into the program requires that students have a

Lipscomb University 

Nashville, TN

About this school

The College of Education at Lipscomb University provides students with a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional options to pursue numerous roles in education. With a steady focus on career-readiness, the College of Education provides comprehensive on-campus and online programs designed to prepare students for professional success as teachers, administrators, curriculum developers, and more. The College of Education provides students with such benefits as internship, scholarship, and study abroad opportunities, professional development services, and access to the Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation.

The College of Education offers an online Doctor of Education in Learning Organizations and Strategic Change degree program that includes in-depth coursework, capstone research, and hands-on learning through on-campus learning intensives and an international experience. The program develops the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a variety of roles in educational leadership.

Coursework emphasizes key aspects of the field, including ethical decision-making and leadership, models of leadership, fostering positive change and growth, and legal and political issues in leadership.

Students prepare to pursue a variety of careers, including department head, superintendent, school principal, or leading roles in non-profit or advocacy organizations.

The online EdD in Learning Organizations and Strategic Change program requires 54 credit hours and includes the following required courses:

  • Brain-based Research
  • Change Management
  • Contemporary Issues in Education
  • Entrepreneurship in Education
  • Ethical Behavior in Education
  • Leadership Theory and Practice
  • Leading Learning
  • Qualitative Research
  • Applied Research Seminar
  • Quantitative Research
  • Legal, Political, and Ethical Issues of Leadership
  • Organizational Theory and Practice
  • Strategic Planning and Assessment
  • Studies in Comparative and International Education

Students in the online Doctor of Education in Learning Organizations and Strategic Change program must complete a capstone research project and defense, as well as three weekend on-campus intensives, and one 10-day international experience with a learning cohort. Students can complete the program in three years.

Students must have a relevant master's degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in the program.

Andrews University 

Berrien Springs, MI

About this school

With origins dating back to the 1874 founding of Andrews University, the School of Education provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options built on well over a century of tradition. The School of Education offers a diverse selection of programs through the Department of Graduate Psychology and Counseling, the Department of Teaching Learning and Curriculum, and the Department of Leadership.

Programs in the School of Education build on the School's core Christian values. The School of Education fosters student development through flexible online programs, internship and study abroad opportunities, and professional development services.

In collaboration with the School of Distance Education and International Partnerships, the Department of Leadership provides an online Doctorate in Educational Leadership degree program resulting in a Doctor of Education or a Doctor of Philosophy. Students in the program complete in-depth coursework, hands-on learning experiences through internships, and dissertation research. The two degree options provide students with the opportunity to follow either a more practice-oriented approach (EdD) or a more research-oriented approach (PhD).

The program covers key topics in educational leadership, including technology, curriculum development, leadership theory, and more. Students may specialize further and choose to pursue diverse cognate options in areas outside of educational administration, such as business, communication, social work, or psychology.

Students develop the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a variety of professional roles, including superintendent, school principal, department head, and more.

The online Doctoral in Educational Leadership program requires a minimum of 90 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Foundations of Curriculum Studies
  • Foundations of Educational Leadership
  • Improving Instruction
  • Introduction to Leadership
  • K--12 Educational Finance
  • Philosophical Foundations for Professionals
  • Technology for Leaders

Students in the online EdD in Educational Leadership program must also complete two internships and a dissertation and defense. For admission into the program, students must have a relevant master's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Students can complete the program in four years.

Northwest Nazarene University 

Nampa, ID

About this school

The College of Adult and Graduate Studies at Northwest Nazarene University provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs designed to meet the needs of busy adults seeking to advance their careers through education. Programs in the college cover a wide range of fields, including nursing, business, Christian Ministry, and educational leadership. The College dedicates its programs to the development of qualified, ethical professionals with a strong sense of Christian principles and values.

The College of Adult and Graduate Studies provides students with benefits such as online program options, professional development services, and internship and scholarship opportunities.

The College of Adult and Graduate Studies offers an online Doctoral in Educational Leadership degree program resulting in a Doctor of Education or a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Students engage in advanced coursework and in-depth dissertation research and writing to develop expert knowledge in educational leadership. The two degree options provide students the opportunity to follow a more practical approach (EdD) or a more theoretical approach (PhD).

Coursework in the program covers key topics such as policy influence, managing change in educational institutions, ethical leadership, and the application of research and data.

Students enhance their ability to successfully pursue a variety of educational leadership roles, in public and private schools and school systems, as well as policy-making, non-profit and advocacy organizations, and more.

The online Doctoral in Educational Leadership program requires 41 credit hours for the Ph.D. and 36 credit hours for the EdD, and includes the following required courses:

  • Advanced Data Analysis
  • Effective Leadership for Change Management
  • Introduction to Educational Research
  • Policy Influence and Development
  • Professional and Ethical Leadership
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Methods for Educational Research

Students in the online Doctoral in Educational Leadership program must complete a dissertation and defense, as well as a two-week, on-campus summer residency with a learning cohort. Students can complete the program in 26 months.

Admission into the program requires that students have an Educational Specialist degree, or its equivalent, with 30 credit hours completed. Students can earn it through the first 30 credit hours of the Doctoral in Educational Leadership program by extending the program's length of completion and requirements.

Liberty University 

Lynchburg, VA

About this school

Building on the Christian foundation of Liberty University, the Department of Teacher and Graduate Education dedicates its undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to the development of qualified, principled Christian leaders in education. Regardless of their level of study, students benefit from a variety of developmental opportunities, including internship and study abroad programs, career development resources, and more.

Through the Liberty University Online platform, the Department of Teacher and Graduate Education offers an online Doctor of Education degree program with an Educational Leadership cognate. Students engage in key topics, such as public relations in educational leadership, conflict resolution, and current issues and trends, developing advanced knowledge through hands-on research and theoretical coursework.

Students prepare to pursue or advance a variety of careers in educational leadership roles, including school principal, superintendent, department director, school board member, or roles in non-profit and advocacy organizations.

The online Doctor of Education program requires 60 credit hours and includes the following Educational Leadership Cognate courses:

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Educational Leadership and Public Relations
  • Issues and Trends in Educational Leadership
  • Organizational Analysis and Problem Solving for Educators

Students must complete a comprehensive exam and a dissertation project and defense. Admission into the program requires that students have completed or be near completion of a master's degree in a relevant field.

Union University 

Jackson , TN

About this school

The School of Education at Union University provides a variety of program options at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels through departments representing a variety of fields, including the Department of Educational Leadership. Through programs built on Christian principles and values, the School of Education seeks to develop well-rounded and value-driven leaders of education at all levels. The College of Education offers flexible online programs, internship opportunities, and career development services to serve the needs of its students.

The Department of Educational Leadership offers an online Doctor of Education in P--12 School Administration with a Leadership in School Reform non-licensure track. The program develops advanced knowledge and skills vital to the practice of educational leadership, with a unique focus in school reform issues and solutions. The curriculum blends in-depth coursework with hands-on research, covering topics such as accountability, ethics and law, teacher leadership, and superintendent roles.

Students prepare to pursue a variety of careers in educational leadership, including school administration, district administration, policy-making and advocacy, and more.

The online Doctor of Education in P--12 School Administration program requires 60 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Accountability for Greater Student Learning
  • Community Involvement for School Improvement
  • Engaged Learning
  • Entrepreneurial School Leadership
  • Faith and Ethics in Educational Leadership
  • Politics, Policy, and Instruction
  • Purpose and Plan for Action Research
  • Research Issues in Educational Leadership
  • Teacher Leadership
  • The Changing Superintendency

Students in the Doctor of Education in P--12 School Administration online program must complete comprehensive exams and a dissertation and defense.

Students must have a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in the program. Additionally, students must meet at least one of the three following qualifications: leadership experience; a school leadership license; or a school leadership degree. The program also offers both an Instructional Leadership licensure track and a Teacher Leadership non-licensure track.

Concordia University, Portland 

Portland, OR

About this school

Building on the Lutheran mission of the university founders, the College of Education at Concordia University, Portland provides students with undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs that integrate Christian principles and values into their core. For more than a century, the College has worked to develop the next generation of educators. The College of Education serves students through internship and scholarship opportunities, flexible online programs, and career development services.

The College of Education offers an online Doctor of Education degree program with a specialization in Transformational Leadership for professionals seeking to advance in educational leadership roles. The program prepares students to apply educational leadership principles in a variety of settings, including schools, as well as corporations, hospitals, ministry, law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and other industries. The program incorporates a thorough blend of in-depth coursework and hands-on dissertation research.

Students engage with coursework that covers topics such as leadership and administration theory and practice, contemporary legal and ethical issues in the field, gathering and applying statistical information to make critical decisions, human resource and personnel management, and more. Students graduate prepared to pursue a wide variety of careers.

The online Doctor of Education program requires 62 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Creativity, Inquiry, and Innovation
  • Organizational Development
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • The Ethical Educator
  • Transformational Learning

Students in the online Doctor of Education program must also complete a dissertation, as well as a 100% online “virtual residency." The program can be completed in three and a half years of study.

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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology

Online Doctorate Programs in Educational Leadership Ranking Guidelines

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.

What is an Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership Degree and How long does it take to complete?

Students considering online Doctorate in Educational Leadership degree programs have two main options to choose from: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs, or Doctor of Education (EdD) programs. Either signifies they have completed the highest level of study in their field, but each comes with a different focus: Ph.D. programs utilize a more theoretical approach, while EdD programs utilize a more practice-oriented approach. Both combine online coursework with research (in the form of a dissertation) or field experience (such as a practicum).

Students considering online Doctorate in Educational Leadership degree programs have two main options to choose from: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs, or Doctor of Education (EdD) programs.

Doctorate in Educational Leadership programs may require students to complete an internship, a practicum, or a dissertation and defense. Some online programs include a residency.

Students engage with important aspects of educational leadership professions, including legal, cultural, and curriculum issues. Typically, the programs cover subjects such as foundations of educational leadership, educational policy and law, organizational behavior and change in education, research in educational leadership, policy analysis, organizational theory in educational institutions, and more.

Students can typically complete many of these programs in three to five years.

What Can You Do With A Doctorate In Educational Leadership?

A Ph.D. or EdD in Educational Leadership opens up a variety of career opportunities. Professionals holding a doctorate can seek employment in PreK--12 schools as administrators at the individual school or district-wide level. Some may choose instead to pursue advocacy or extracurricular education work through non-profit organizations, or to influence education policy through governmental bodies at the local, state, or federal level. While many focus their studies in PreK--12 leadership, others may choose to specialize in post-secondary and higher education.

Educational Leadership Jobs

Individuals with a Ph.D. or EdD in Educational Leadership may pursue a variety of traditional and non-traditional careers, including:

  • Advocacy Organization Director
  • Board of Education Director
  • College Administrator
  • Department Director
  • Director of Student Affairs
  • District Curriculum Director
  • Higher Education Leadership
  • Non-profit Director
  • Policy Maker
  • Policy Researcher
  • Postsecondary Leadership
  • School Board Member
  • School Principal
  • Superintendent
  • State Department of Education Official
  • University Teacher Educator

Educational Leadership Salary Information

Individuals holding a Ph.D. or EdD in Educational Leadership have a range of potential salaries, depending on their specific position, as well as their location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, Education Administrators at Elementary and Secondary Schools had a median salary of $92,150, while Education Administrators at Postsecondary Schools had a median salary of $90,760. According to Salary.com, as of October 2017, Superintendents can expect a median salary of $153,967.

Professional Organizations

Professionals in educational leadership roles may pursue membership with a variety of professional organizations, including:

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)

Founded in 1943, the ASCD currently boasts over 125,000 members worldwide, including educators, administrators, and policy-makers. Membership comes with a variety of benefits, including access to a massive professional network, discount programs, professional conventions, access to publications and resources, and more.

American Association of School Administrators (AASA)

Established in 1866 shortly after the conclusion of the American Civil War, the AASA has maintained a dedication to excellence and standards in school administration for over 150 years. Participating in advocacy and policy development, the AASA sets ethical standards in the field and pushes for positive change in public education at the federal level. Membership includes the benefits of access to educational and professional advancement programs, national conventions, publications and research, and more.

National Education Association (NEA)

Dating back to 1857, the NEA has a long history of crusading for the rights of educators and children, influencing policy governing educational programs and systems. With over three million members, the NEA provides a massive professional network, as well as benefits such as conventions, advocacy programs, publications, partnerships, and grants.

University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA)

With over a half-century under its belt, the UCEA maintains its commitment to advancing knowledge and discourse in educational administration through performing and disseminating research. As a consortium of higher education and research institutions, the UCEA includes deans and departmental heads among its membership. UCEA offers benefits such as discounts, conventions, networking, access to research and publications, and more.

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