phd in education salary

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

What would you do if you had greater say over what kids were taught and how they were taught? Not just the children in your class, but students throughout the school, district, or state?

With an EdD, you’ll be able to pursue administration and leadership jobs in K-12 education, higher education, nonprofit organizations, corporate training programs, and government agencies, all of which will allow you to make a difference in how children and adults are educated. You’ll be qualified for roles influencing curricula, forming school policies, employing and firing teachers, putting together school budgets, and setting educational objectives for institutions and organizations.

It’s crucial to understand that a doctorate in education isn’t the same as teacher education. Students in EdD programs do not study applied pedagogy or teaching strategies for a specific subject. While most EdD candidates have prior teaching experience, they are interested in exploring leadership roles in the area of education at the elementary, middle, high school, and university levels.

Teachers who pursue a PhD in education may want to work as school principals, administrators, or district superintendents, curriculum designers, online learning program directors, or corporate or nonprofit training managers.

In this aarticle, you will learn about Phd In Education Salary, phd in education jobs, phd in education requirements, phd in education salary in philippines, edd jobs in demand, phd in education online, doctorate in education salary uk and other related information. Keep visiting for more information of this kind.

phd in education requirements

You probably have some questions about getting a PhD in education. We have the answers.

Getting a PhD, a doctorate in philosophy, can be a prestigious title to pursue in a field that you are interested in. If you have a passion for education, then getting a PhD in education might be a real consideration. But as always, it’s good to know about what you’re getting into before you take the plunge.

We’re going to go through what you need to know about getting a PhD in education. We have the answers to common questions on what it’s all about.

What is a PhD in education?

A doctorate in philosophy in education is one way to pursue a career in academia where the focus of the degree is on theoretical research in a given field of study. Now, you might be wondering what then is an EdD? An EdD is a doctorate in education. It’s more of a hands-on practice-oriented role for educators interested in leadership, whether that may be in education, the government, or in non-profit organizations.

There are more differences between the two:

  • A PhD in education takes four years to complete, while an EdD takes two.
  • A PhD requires doing a dissertation, while an EdD doesn’t.
  • A PhD focuses on developing new research. EdD students, on the other hand, use existing research to guide decisions about issues within their area of study.
  • A PhD requires taking 90 credits, whereas an EdD requires 60.

Why study a PhD in education?

There are many reasons why a PhD in education is valuable and worthy of your effort. Here’s why:

1. It’s one of the most highly respected credentials in education.

A PhD in education is a terminal degree, meaning its the highest that you can achieve in the field of education.

2. You’ll use research-based methods to solve problems and identify gaps in the field that you’re specialized in.

And you will have the expertise and credentials to publish in professional journals or present your findings at conferences around the world.

3. You’ll be advancing in an area of education in which you’re passionate about.

Are you fascinated by childhood development? Or do you have a passion for classroom management? If you have a desire to advance a particular field in education, a PhD is an excellent way to do so.

4. You’ll earn respect in your field and gain personal satisfaction.

Since a PhD in education requires doing a dissertation, that alone is not an easy feat! Accomplishing it will be surely give you a rewarding feeling. Plus, being called Doctor isn’t so bad either.

Just like any degree, a PhD in education involves a certain skill set. Some learned along the way, and some you may have naturally. These are some skills involved in a PhD in education:

Technical skills:

  • Analysis and problem-solving, project management and organization, research and information management, and written and oral communication are all important in such a research-based degree.

Soft skills:

  • Interpersonal and leaderships skills, self-management and work habits, concentration, and patience are all important personal skills to have when you’re spending lots of time on one specific topic.

What careers options are there? And what’s the salary like?

Did you know that in America, PhD graduates will earn $1.4 million more than BA holders in their working lifetimes? There are all kinds of career options for PhD in education graduates. Their salaries will range according to each job.

Here are some examples of typical careers and their average salaries in the US:

  • Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists: $72,710
  • Education Teachers, Postsecondary: $65,630
  • Survey Researchers: $53,000
  • Sociologists: $78,120
  • Training and Development Specialists: $60,780

Many PhD in education graduates want to become professors. Here’s what the average annual salaries look like around the globe for professors:

  • US: $102,402 USD
  • Canada: $98,400
  • Switzerland: 125,250 to 158,783 CHF
  • UK: £79,030
  • Germany: €49,548 to €57,373
  • France: €36,560 to €73,343

There are other career options as well, such as school administrator, superintendent, curriculum coordinator, and principal. Check out Payscale if you want to know some more PhD in education job options and their respective salaries.

What do I need beforehand?

Considering that a PhD in education is the highest level you can achieve in education, it means that you will already have a bachelor’s under your belt, and in most cases, a master’s degree as well. In other words, you probably like being a student. There are lots of years dedicated to earning a PhD.

Another important thing to know is that almost all PhD candidates have background experience in research. So if education is your field of interest, getting a PhD will mean coming to the table with previous research experience from your prior degrees.

Always check with the schools you are interested in to see what their specific prerequisites are.

What programs and schools offer a PhD in Education?

There are many schools that offer PhD in education programs. Just like most subjects, there are going to be online/on-campus options as well as throughout the world. Some are even fully-funded.

Online programs

University of the People has a Master’s in Education degree. This could be a great choice for those of you who may be aiming for a PhD in education, but only have a BA. the next step is getting that MA. And why not choose a tuition-free program? Learn more about our online Master of Education (M.Ed.) here.

Liberty University, Walden University, University of Colorado, and the University of Nebraska are just a few of the more popular online universities that offer a PhD in Education. Here’s a longer list of online degrees that are rated the best in 2019.

Studying in Europe

Studying in Europe can be both exciting and low-cost. Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Finland offer free doctorate tuition for university students, regardless of their nationality! France offers low-cost PhD tuition fees. If you want to see some specific schools in these countries, look at this list.

Fully funded programs

Fully-funded sounds wonderful, and it is! But it doesn’t mean there’s no cost. What it means is that your tuition is paid for, but textbooks, living expenses, supplies, fees, and the rest are coming out of your pocket. That said, it’s still an awesome option. One condition: it has to be on campus. Why? Because you need to pay with your time — teaching and doing research.

University of Michigan School of Education, Vanderbilt Peabody College, and Steinhardt School at NYU all offer tuition-free on-campus PhD in education programs.

Online vs On-campus

You might be wondering what it’s like to do a PhD online, as compared to on-campus. Like all degrees, there are advantages and disadvantages to earning your degree entirely online. In regards to a PhD in education, you will need to consider a few things.

Online PhD programs are best suited to students who work better solo. They are also great for those who have worked in the field for some time and want to advance in their area of study. And, of course, it’s the best option for those who work and are raising families. On the other hand, you aren’t in the presence of peers and professors that can be a valuable resource in the research-driven program of a PhD.

Earning a PhD on-campus has its pros and cons as well. While they’re generally more expensive than online programs, on-campus PhD programs allow you to communicate face-to-face with your professors, supervisors, and other students.

What do you study in a PhD in Education?

Completing a PhD means doing your dissertation, or research thesis. Naturally, it is going to be based on the field of study that you are most interested in. You can specialize in a certain area. Some common specialization options for a PhD in education are:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Special Education
  • Adult Education
  • Teacher Leadership
  • Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Educational Psychology
  • Leadership

Aside from the research involved in planning and executing your thesis, you will also have professional development activities and coursework relevant to your area of study. They’re designed to help give you the skills needed to succeed in your research and your future career in education.

While curriculum is going to vary according to your specialization, there are some general core courses that most PhDs in education involve. You will likely see group psychology, leadership, learning models, ethics, education and globalization, and analytics courses as part of your curriculum.

So, should you go for it?

If you choose to study a PhD in education, chances are you’re passionate about teaching and learning and everything in between. You may not be the teaching type per say, but you want to provide something to existing and future teachers and students by adding to the field of education in some way. It’s a respectable route to take to advance a career in education.

The way you decide to earn your degree is up to you. Either online or on-campus, prepare yourself for lots of reading, writing, researching, and communicating. Whatever you chose, we’re sure you’ll give it your best shot. Good luck!

Phd In Education Salary

According to data from PayScale, the average annual salary for a professional with a PhD in education is approximately $79,000. PayScale notes that an assistant professor of postsecondary/higher education earns $69,000, while a research director with a PhD in education earns an average annual salary of $105,000.

After looking at the different commitments the two degree programs require, you may also want to look at the average salaries for master’s and Ph.D. graduates. Below is an income chart from the United States Census Bureau about employee’s work-life earnings that refer to different occupations and education levels attained.

Salary Differences by Degree

Overall, the average life earnings of doctorate holders are higher than other degree holders within the same industries. However, the life earning gap between master’s and Ph.D. holders varies on different majors or fields of study. For example, in biological science occupations, a Ph.D. holder earns 27 percent more than that of a master’s holder. Whereas in some other fields, such as business, there is only a small difference of 8 percent.

If you are looking for ways to improve your career, obtaining an MBA degree may be worthwhile financially as graduates receive similar work-life earning as Ph.D. graduates. But if you’re looking to pursue a Ph.D. degree within a highly focused field, then check out the top 50 U.S. colleges with the most international graduate students.

So, consider pursuing a Ph.D. degree if you truly love your field, enjoy your studies, and want the benefits and prestige associated with the doctoral degree. If you are looking for a change in field, industry, or a promotion, then getting your master’s might be enough.

phd in education jobs

8 Careers You Can Pursue with a Doctorate in Education

8 Careers You Can Pursue with a Doctorate in Education

By earning a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree, you’re preparing yourself for a career with lasting impact—on students, on the future of a college or university, on your community, or on the trajectory of a nonprofit trying to improve other communities locally and abroad.

You’re also positioning yourself for advancement. Professionals who earn an EdD are qualified for roles leading and operating schools at the elementary, high school, or college level. They learn to lead in a way that can be transferred to the front of a classroom or at the ground level of an organization.

An EdD signals to employers that you’re a thought leader; that you’re someone who’s demonstrated the capacity to identify a problem, examine issues from multiple perspectives, and offer relevant insights for practical solutions. With your doctorate in hand, you’re prepared to take on a leadership role across a variety of industries.

Here’s a look at the types of positions EdD graduates pursue and eight of the top careers available in the field. 

What Type of Positions Do EdD Students Pursue

Northeastern’s EdD students cultivate their leadership skills in the program by integrating practice and insights from experienced faculty and high-achieving peers. They come from diverse fields, including business, criminal justice, healthcare, military, human services, and the nonprofit sector. Their job titles and careers are just as diverse, with students working as policymakers, systems analysts, and administrative leaders within higher education institutions, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies.

Top Careers for Doctor of Education Graduates

1. College President

Average Annual Salary: $272,203

Presidents are the top leaders of a college or university. They establish and execute on their school’s strategic vision, spearhead fundraising, attend student events, and deliver speeches to a variety of constituents, such as donors, lawmakers, government, and faculty, to raise the profile of the institution both locally and abroad. They also collaborate with senior administrators, faculty, and staff to devise new ways to support students and improve their learning environment while maintaining high academic standards. Depending on the type of public or private institution they lead, college presidents can earn impressive seven-figure salaries. 

2. Chief Learning Officer

Average Annual Salary: $152,225

In education, top executive roles include positions like “chief learning officer”—a senior-level professional who develops and drives strategies that help his or her college or university meet critical business goals. Chief learning officers (CLOs) focus on creating strategies for training, learning, and development, and typically oversee an institute’s latest technologies, such as its online learning platform.

3. Provost

Average Annual Salary: $148,783

A provost—or vice president, depending on the college or university—is a senior-level academic administrator who tends to be second in command after the president. Provosts work closely with deans and department heads, and help determine their institution’s academic goals and priorities, as well as how to allocate the resources necessary to support those initiatives. They often oversee daily operations and work to hire and retain a diverse faculty. 

4. School Superintendent

Average Annual Salary: $116,931

Superintendents are the top executives of a school district. They’re responsible for establishing and overseeing their district’s budget, staffing, infrastructure, and spending. Superintendents collaborate closely with a school board to develop and implement new policies and programs in line with the district’s short- and long-term goals, as well as allocate the financial and human resources necessary to achieve the district’s overarching vision.

5. Elementary, Middle, and High School Principal

Average Annual Salary: $95,310

Principals oversee the daily operations of an elementary, middle, or high school. They hire teachers and staff, manage the budget, and enforce disciplinary rules when necessary. Principals also develop and assess educational programming aimed at achieving student learning outcomes, all while striving to create and maintain a positive learning environment. More than 11,000 principal positions are expected to emerge by 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A principal’s salary might differ depending on whether he or she works at an elementary, middle, or high school. The mean wages for principals at each level, according to PayScale are:

  • Elementary School: $81,095
  • Middle School: $87,989
  • High School: $92,197

6. Academic Dean

Average Annual Salary: $90,339

Deans work at the senior administrative level of a college or university. The role varies depending on the institution, but deans often manage faculty and staff, set academic goals, implement strategic planning, oversee their department’s budget, help fundraise, support research initiatives, and foster student development. Some departments you might find them in are:

  • Admissions: Those working in admissions develop and lead recruitment initiatives for a college or university. They evaluate applications, decide the number of students who should be admitted to the school, who those students should be, and communicate with prospects and their families.
  • Research: A dean of research often oversees faculty and collaborates with them to create a strategy for developing short- and long-term research initiatives. They also work to secure research funding, oversee the research budget, and establish key industry partnerships.
  • Student Affairs: The student affairs office typically oversees a variety of different departments, such as residence life, athletics, student support services, and diversity and inclusion. A dean of student affairs typically establishes and evaluates nonacademic programs that foster and enrich the student experience, as well as handle disciplinary issues and communicate with students’ parents or legal guardians.
  • Advancement: The advancement office—also known as “development” or “alumni relations” depending on the school—is responsible for securing funding for the college or university from potential donors, including alumni, government policymakers, corporations, and foundations. They nurture and maintain those relationships, ensuring all gifts received are being used as intended.

7. Professor

Average Annual Salary: $78,470

Postsecondary teachers, or professors, work at the college or university level, developing course curricula, instructing students in a specific area of study, and assessing their progress. When they’re not teaching, professors are often conducting research, writing scholarly papers, or attending conferences.

Professors’ salaries vary based on where they are on the tenure track and their area of expertise. The median salary for a professor based on rank, according to PayScale, is:

  • Instructor: $49,510
  • Lecturer: $51,101
  • Assistant Professor: $67,021
  • Associate Professor: $76,250
  • Professor: $87,018

Salaries range further depending on the professor’s focus. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 10 highest-paying subjects—and what those subjects offer in terms of average annual wage—are:

  • Law: $111,140
  • Engineering: $101,720
  • Economics: $101,720
  • Health Specialties: $97,370
  • Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Science: $90,860
  • Physics: $90,800
  • Architecture: $86,980
  • Forestry and Conservation Science: $86,900
  • Agricultural Sciences: $84,640
  • Business: $83,960

8. Executive Director of Education

Average Annual Salary: $73,640

Executive directors are often the senior leaders of a nonprofit organization or business. They work closely with a board of directors but are the ones who make the daily operational decisions. Executive directors hire and manage staff, handle external relations, engage volunteers, oversee the budget—including all fundraising initiatives—and develop policies, programs, and strategies that guide the organization’s mission and purpose. 

What Can You Do with a Doctorate in Education from Northeastern?

When you earn your EdD from Northeastern, you’re not only advancing your own work, you’re joining a top-tier university and pursuing a rigorous education with an entrepreneurial orientation toward making our world a better place. You’re joining a vast network of students and alumni in the EdD, which spans more than 2,000 professionals across many domains of education. You’re gaining access to engaging faculty who understand the importance of professional experiences in a growing leadership capacity, and who are prepared to offer you personal attention to support your professional development.

With your EdD, you can make a difference in the lives of children, communities, and organizations, as you transform your problem of practice into a plan for change and action.

phd in education salary in philippines

₱780k/ yearAvg. Base Salary (PHP)N/AOverall Job Satisfaction

You might also be interested in How much is the salary of PhD in the Philippines? Top Philippines Graduates & Alumni Salaries – By Degree

How much is the salary of PhD in the Philippines? Top Philippines Graduates & Alumni Salaries – By Degree

DegreeAverage SalarySalary Comparison
Masters in Finance$80,00080000.0
Masters in Science$52,00052000.0

edd jobs in demand

10 EdD Degree Jobs in Demand (with Salary Info)

Education changes lives for the better. If you’re a professional educator, you already know that an enormous amount of expertise, planning, and decision making happens before students set foot in a classroom. This planning ensures students are being taught the right material in the right way, with the resources and support they need to succeed. 

If you’re interested in growing your career in education, you’ve probably considered earning a graduate degree to gain the skills, knowledge, and competitive edge you need. A doctorate in education (EdD) program could be the right program for you. But is it worth the time and effort?

This short guide to careers with a doctorate in education can help you decide. This article describes what you can do with an EdD degree, including EdD degree jobs and current salary information from sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, and 

GMercyU is a leader in graduate education, offering online doctorate in education programs that help educators like you take the next step in their careers. We hope this guide offers you food for thought as you plan your path forward in the exciting, challenging field of education.

10 EdD Degree Jobs in Demand (with Salary Info)

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the field of education was in need of leaders and administrators who could shape the future of a 21st-century education. This means that in addition to experience and passion, employers are looking for qualified applicants with an EdD degree. 

These employers aren’t just in school districts, either. There are more jobs for EdD degree holders than you might expect. If you’re wondering what you can do with a doctorate in education, read on for career descriptions, salary information, and more.

School Principal (High School, Middle School, Elementary School)

Median Annual Salary: $96,400 (May 2019)* 
Educational Requirements: Graduate degree (MEd or EdD), licensure (in public schools)

School principals direct the academic and administrative functions of individual elementary, middle, and high schools. They recruit and hire staff, oversee finances, approve decisions about curriculum and textbooks, and act as community liaisons between the school, families, and other organizations. They may also play a role in discipline for both students and faculty.

Instructional Coordinator

Median Annual Salary: $66,290 (May 2019)*
Educational Requirements: Graduate degree (MEd, EdD or PhD) 

Instructional coordinators work in PK-12 schools, school districts and for government organizations that oversee education at the local, state or federal level. They are responsible for researching, designing, and implementing the academic instruction at their school or schools. 

Instructional coordinators analyze student data to determine progress on outcomes, evaluate and coach teachers, and review textbooks or instructional technology solutions to determine what best fits their students’ needs. While it is possible to become a school-level instructional coordinator with a master’s degree, roles at the district level or in government organizations may require a doctorate in education. 

School Superintendent

Median Annual Salary: $162,652 (June 2020)*
Educational Requirements: Doctoral degree (EdD or PhD), certification (varies by state) 

School superintendents are the chief executive officers of a PK-12 school district. They oversee the financial management of the district, hire and recruit administrators such as principals and instructional coordinators, and also play a key role in handling emergencies or community outreach. Most superintendents are experienced educators who have worked their way up from the classroom to the boardroom. 

College Instructor/ Professor

Median Annual Salary: $79,540 (May 2019)*
Educational Requirements: Doctoral degree (EdD or PhD) 

Can you be a professor with a doctorate in education? Yes. College instructors teach online and on campus at community colleges or colleges and universities. They work with faculty and their dean to plan and deliver academic programs. 

In addition to teaching, they evaluate student assessments, perform research and may provide advising to graduate students, including doctoral degree candidates. Salary will vary by seniority, field of expertise, and location. 

Academic Dean

Median Annual Salary: $91,489 (May 2020)*
Educational Requirements: Doctoral degree (EdD or PhD) 

Academic deans are in charge of their academic departments. They take the lead role in shaping programs, hiring staff, overseeing budgets, and representing their department in meetings at the college level. They are usually experienced professors who have gained administrative experience as well as expertise in their field.


Median Annual Salary: $149,021 (May 2020)* 
Educational Requirements: Doctoral degree (EdD or PhD) 

At most U.S. colleges and universities, the provost is the chief academic officer. They are the immediate supervisors of academic deans and usually considered the “number two” of the institution after the college president. They hire deans, have input into faculty hiring, and coordinate instructional planning and delivery as well as research. They will also liaise with or even oversee academic support functions such as libraries, laboratories, and IT departments. 

Other Post-Secondary Administrator (Non-Academic)

Median Annual Salary: $95,410 (May 2019)*
Educational Requirements: Graduate degree (MEd, EdD or PhD) 

Colleges and universities of all sizes need administrators to oversee non-academic functions, such as student affairs, athletics, instructional technology, campus security, and more. These administrators’ roles will vary depending upon the size of their college and the department they are responsible for, but in general, administrators of non-academic departments take the lead in HR, financial, and operational issues. Candidates for these administrative roles may come from outside of academia or be experienced instructors.

College President

Median Annual Salary: $277,234 (June 2020)*
Educational Requirements: Doctoral degree (EdD, PhD) 

College presidents are the chief executives of colleges and universities. They are responsible for developing and implementing the school’s vision and mission. They oversee and direct all academic, operational, and financial aspects of the organization. College presidents report to the college’s Board of Trustees. Salary varies widely depending on the candidate’s qualifications, experience, and the size and location of the institution. The president of a small private college, for example, will usually earn less than the president of a large state university system.

Training and Development Manager

Median Annual Salary: $61,210 (May 2019)*
Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree for entry-level jobs; graduate degree preferred 

Training and development managers work in a wide variety of organizations, including private-sector corporations, to help design, direct and deliver training for employees. They evaluate training needs, design in-person and online modules, develop instruction manuals and much more. At a senior level, they may have responsibility for budgets and hiring of any staff they manage. 

Chief Learning Officer

Median Annual Salary: $198,700 (June 2020)*
Educational Requirements: Graduate degree required; Doctoral degree highly preferred

The role of chief learning officer (CLO) was created in the 1990s and is a relatively new type of career with a Doctor of Education.  CLOs are responsible for the training and development of all employees in a corporation or other organization. They focus on developing training strategies that align with the overall goals of their organization, measuring outcomes, and evaluating new technologies or approaches for nurturing employee and executive talent. 

CLOs need advanced understanding of human development, teaching, and learning as well as statistics, technology, and other fields which contribute to effective training. That’s why it’s an in-demand EdD job.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an EdD Degree?

Earning an EdD degree takes a minimum of two to three years depending on your level of education and the format of your doctoral program. 

Generally, an EdD takes less time to earn than a PhD. That is because PhD programs focus heavily on research and scholarship for the sake of advancing a field of study, while EdD programs focus on applying research to practical academic leadership or teaching. If you are passionate about teaching, instructional design or shaping great institutions of learning, the hands-on leadership an EdD emphasizes could be ideal for you.

Is a Doctor of Education (EdD) Degree Worth It?

Absolutely! Earning your EdD opens the door to many exciting new career opportunities in administration, higher education, and corporate leadership – opportunities that offer meaningful work helping shape the schools and universities that educate future leaders, or the corporate training programs that help others fulfill their potential at work. 

Additionally, the Doctor of Education salary boost is real: according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with a doctoral degree took home the highest weekly salaries of any worker in 2019, with a median weekly wage of $1,883. By comparison, master’s degree holders took home median weekly earnings of $1,497 per week. 

Earn Your Doctor of Education (EdD Degree) at GMercyU

Ready to advance your career in education? Earn your EdD degree with a university known for providing quality graduate education in a flexible format. In as few as two years and eight months, you can earn an accelerated online Doctorate of Education (EdD). Our program features four concentrations, an A.B.D. completion option, an exceptional graduation rate, and dissertation support from day one to prepare you for your future in educational leadership.

phd in education online

Best Online Doctorate in Education Programs of 2022

Aspiring school administrators can earn their doctoral degree through an online education format like many students use today. Explore online doctorate in education programs.

Students interested in pursuing a career in school administration or training and development should consider earning a doctor of education (Ed.D.). Ed.D. programs teach students best practices in education and cover topics, such as instructional design, multicultural education, and the science of learning and development.

Education is transforming rapidly. More students are learning online than ever before, and educational technology must continue to evolve to meet the shifting needs of students and teachers. There is also a growing emphasis on early childhood education, and bilingual educators are in increasingly high demand. By earning your Ed.D., you can pursue a career helping students and teachers adapt to this changing educational landscape.

What Can I Expect From an Online Doctorate in Education Program?

Online Ed.D. programs can help education professionals advance in their careers as practitioners. Unlike students pursuing their Ph.D. in education, most students earning their Ed.D. do not plan to become researchers. Individuals working toward their education doctorate should be intellectually curious and eager to apply what they learn in school to solve practical problems in educational settings.

Many Ed.D. programs allow students to choose a concentration. For example, some programs let students focus on the cognitive science behind how we learn. Students concentrating in instructional design and online learning gain expertise in developing online courses. Other concentrations include K-12 leadership, higher education, and social and emotional learning.

Online doctorate in education programs typically require students to complete 45-60 credits. Full-time students who already hold a master’s degree in education can often earn their Ed.D. in three years. Individuals earning their educational doctorate online can fulfill most academic requirements remotely; however, many online programs expect students to complete a short on-campus residency.

Many Ed.D. programs require students to write and defend a research-based dissertation. Other programs afford students the option of completing a more hands-on research project instead. Some programs ask that students complete a dissertation based on field research or their previous experiences as educators.

Admission Requirements for Online Doctorate in Education Programs

Most online Ed.D. programs in education require applicants to submit a resume, letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, and a statement of purpose or graduate application essay. Some programs ask students to identify a specific problem in education they wish to investigate during their studies. Admission committees may also ask graduate applicants to submit GRE scores, though not all programs require them.

Because of their emphasis on educational practice, most online Ed.D. programs expect applicants to have some teaching or education administration experience before enrolling. Many also prefer or require that students hold a master’s degree; however, some programs may allow students to earn their master’s degree en route to the Ed.D

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Doctorate in Education Program?

Ed.D. programs often offer both core required courses and courses specific to students’ chosen specialization. Core courses may include educational ethics and issues and trends in education. Specialized courses may cover early childhood education, instructional design, special education, and diversity and equity in education. Programs requiring a dissertation may also offer classes on dissertation research and writing.

While some programs require students to write a dissertation, others offer students the option of completing a research project based on fieldwork instead. In their research project, students may be asked to identify a problem in education, review the existing literature on the issue, and determine a potential course of action for addressing it.

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Research Methods and Systematic Inquiry

This course introduces students to quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methods. Students learn how to collect, manage, and analyze data. This course may involve field research.

Multicultural Education

In this course, students study the role of ethnic and linguistic diversity in U.S. society and education. Students develop an understanding of multiculturalism and learn how to address social, cultural, and linguistic differences in the classroom.

Collaborative Leadership

Through the study of collaborative leadership, students learn how to work together to affect social change. Students develop a deeper appreciation of the importance of incorporating diverse perspectives in their work.

Global and Historical Perspectives in Higher Education

In this course, students gain a cross-cultural understanding of the history of ideas about teaching and learning. Readings and discussions address teaching methods, learning assessment, and education’s purpose. Students discover how views on these subjects have changed over time and vary across cultures.

Research in Instructional Design and Technology

This course introduces students to current research on curriculum development, teaching, instructional technology, and distance learning. Students develop a richer appreciation of the importance of scientific research for improving education.

Related Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Can I Do With an Online Doctorate in Education?

Earning your Ed.D. can prepare you for a career as a teacher or administrator in higher education. The degree can also qualify you for high-level administrative roles in K-12 education, such as principal or superintendent. Some graduates of Ed.D. programs become training and development managers or instructional coordinators.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs for elementary, middle, and high school principals could grow by 8% between 2020 and 2030. This is on par with the average job growth rate across industries. Principals earned a median income of $98,490 in 2020.

The BLS also projects 8% job growth for postsecondary education administrators between 2020 and 2030. These professionals made a median annual salary of $97,500 in 2020.

The BLS projects 11% job growth for training and development managers, who earned a median salary of $115,640 in 2020. Instructional coordinators made a median annual salary of $66,970 that year.

Training and Development Manager

Training and development managers create curricula for educational institutions and private companies with employee training programs. They may oversee the work of instructional designers, who develop courses. Training and development managers update training programs, track learning outcomes, and evaluate instructor performance.

Postsecondary Education Administrator

Postsecondary education administrators include deans, provosts, and registrars. Provosts, also called chief academic officers, assist in hiring decisions, develop educational policies, and oversee budgets. Registrars manage registration and class schedules, maintain academic records, and help plan graduation ceremonies.

Postsecondary Teacher

Postsecondary teachers instruct classes at colleges and universities. They also advise students, conduct research, and write academic articles and books. Postsecondary educators typically perform service work, such as sitting on departmental committees. Although most postsecondary educators who teach at four-year institutions hold a Ph.D., graduates with an Ed.D. may also be strong applicants for these positions.

Elementary, Middle, or High School Principal

Elementary, middle, and high school principals supervise the day-to-day operations of a school. They are responsible for developing curricula and maintaining academic standards. They also manage school activities for students and staff. Principals evaluate teacher performance, manage school budgets, and prepare reports on students’ academic performance.

Instructional Coordinators

Instructional coordinators work in K-12 education, higher education, professional schools, and state and local governments. They oversee school curricula and establish teaching standards. Instructional coordinators also develop teaching materials and work with educators to assess their effectiveness.

2022 Accredited Online Doctorate in Education Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

How We Ranked the Best Online Doctorate in Education Programs

We are committed to helping students find the program that best fits their needs, and we know that is different for every student. To help students get started with their search, we feature the top online doctorate in education programs To learn more about our different rankings, read our ranking methodology.

Public School Programs


Marshall University

LocationHuntington, WV

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,100

Out of State | $420

Credits to Graduate


Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

MU offers an Ed.D. in leadership studies with courses that cover the principles of leadership, organizational analysis, financial models in leadership, and advanced research. Students must complete nine credits for their dissertation research. Graduates can find leadership positions in schools, universities, and nonprofits.

Faculty admits students based on their work experiences, career goals, GPAs, and GRE or MAT scores. Doctorate in education candidates also must complete an online interview. Admitted students begin in the fall.

2. University of Florida

LocationGainesville, FL

Hybrid | Self-Paced Classes and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $450

Out of State | $450

Credits to Graduate


Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

UF features a hybrid doctorate in education that lets working students study part time and graduate in four years. Students take coursework online and travel to the Gainesville, Florida campus twice every semester. Courses cover public policy, financing, law, organization theory, and student affairs administration.

Prospective students need a master’s or a terminal degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and current GRE scores. Admissions consider applicants on a rolling basis. Cohorts of 15-20 start every fall.

3. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

LocationChampaign, IL

Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $490

Out of State | $490

Credits to Graduate


U of I features an online doctorate in education that offers 13 concentrations, including bilingual-bicultural education, digital learning, African American studies, and writing studies. Doctoral candidates can earn principal or superintendent endorsements. Courses operate mostly online, with students meeting twice on campus.

The curriculum prepares graduates for careers as college professors, governmental administrators, educational policy analysts, and university administrators. The department accepts new students based on their undergraduate and graduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose.

4. University of Memphis

LocationMemphis, TN

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $610

Out of State | $610

Credits to Graduate


Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

UofM’s online doctorate in education, with concentrations in adult education or higher education, prepares graduates for leadership positions in nonprofits, education, and business.

Students in the higher education concentration must complete courses in higher education administration, policy, legal and ethical issues, and finance. The adult education concentration focuses on continuing professional education, global and comparative issues in leadership, and IT trends and issues.

Candidates must submit transcripts, a resume, statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendations. New cohorts begin in the fall and spring.

5. University of Mississippi

LocationUniversity, MS

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $500

Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate


Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Ole Miss prepares current college administrators to earn a doctorate in education with an emphasis in higher education. The program teaches Ed.D. candidates about the foundations of qualitative research, leadership and organizational theory, statistics, and multidisciplinary perspectives on leadership. Students can study part time, but they must complete six credits every semester to graduate in three years.

Applicants need a 4.0 or higher GRE score in the analytical writing section. They must also submit a statement of purpose, resume, and three letters of reference.

6. University of North Georgia

LocationDahlonega, GA

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $303

Out of State | $303

Credits to Graduate


Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

UNG gears its online doctorate in education toward college administrators with self-paced courses that allow students to graduate in three years. Students complete 45 credits in higher education leadership, practice, and research through asynchronous coursework. Degree-seekers meet live online for individual meetings and mentoring sessions.

Doctorate in education candidates present at conferences and take grant writing and professional development workshops. UNG admission does not require a GRE. New cohorts begin in the fall.

7. University of Northern Colorado

LocationGreeley, CO

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $659

Out of State | $659

Credits to Graduate


UNC’s online doctorate in education offers a principal licensure, administrator licensure, or research concentration.

Courses focus on issues in educational leadership, planning and change in education, finance and budgeting, law, and policy analysis. The Ed.D. program takes about 2-2.5 years to complete, not including the dissertation process. The program includes live online sessions with instructors and educational leaders.

The online doctorate in education program at UNC does not require GRE scores. However, applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA for admission.

8. University of Southern Mississippi

LocationHattiesburg, MS

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $510

Out of State | $510

Credits to Graduate


Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Southern Miss’s doctorate in education emphasizes practical experiences with a capstone project. Over three years, students complete courses in public school finance, school law, administrative approaches to technology, and advanced instructional supervision. Classes are held weekly in the evenings.

Applicants who do not have a master’s degree must submit GRE scores. Admissions also requires candidates to submit resumes, letters of interest, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. Graduates become principals, assistant principals, curriculum coordinators, and superintendents.

Private School Programs


Andrews University

LocationBerrien Springs, MI

Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,390

Out of State | $1,390

Credits to Graduate


Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Andrews offers an online doctorate in education suited for educators and administrators with concentrations in curriculum and instruction or educational leadership. Full-time students can complete their Ed.D. degree in about six years.

Courses address teaching in higher education, assessment and evaluation of learning, and curriculum theory.

Candidates can apply throughout the year. Admissions requirements include a master’s degree from an accredited school with at least a 3.3 GPA and GRE scores taken within the last five years.

2. Azusa Pacific University

LocationAzusa, CA

Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,140

Out of State | $1,140

Credits to Graduate


Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

APU features a residency doctorate in education — with a learning experience in London — that suits working professionals in student affairs. While overseas, students can network with international faculty.

This program offers mostly online courses with in-person classes held at the Azusa, California campus for one week every June and a monthly in-person session for nine months. The curriculum combines spirituality of leadership, campus ecology, and law and policy. Cohorts, which include 15-20 students, graduate within three years.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree with at least a 3.5 GPA. GRE scores are optional.

3. Baylor University

LocationWaco, TX

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,785

Out of State | $1,785

Credits to Graduate


Baylor’s fully online doctorate in education, which focuses on learning and organizational change, allows working professionals to graduate in three years. Degree-seekers explore the psychology of learning, educational evaluation, instructional design, trends in leadership, and organizational change in technological society. The program culminates with research methods and capstone experiences.

Applicants do not need to submit GRE scores. Application requirements include a resume, official transcripts, three letters or recommendation, a personal statement, and a video interview. New cohorts start in January, May, and August.

4. Indiana Wesleyan University

LocationMarion, IN

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $595

Out of State | $559

Credits to Graduate


Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

IWU offers an online doctorate in education that students can complete within less than two years. The Ed.D. degree does not require any residency hours, and the dissertation research occurs concurrently.

Students complete courses in scholarly research and writing, issues and ethics in education, educational history and law, and learning and change management theories.

Graduates work in college faculty, educational consulting, and nonprofits. This program only accepts applicants who hold an educational specialist degree or at least 30 doctoral credits.

5. Johns Hopkins University

LocationBaltimore, MD

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,638

Out of State | $1,638

Credits to Graduate


Johns Hopkins offers a fully online doctorate in education for working professionals who can study part time and graduate in 3-7 years.

Specializations allow students to focus their studies on entrepreneurial leadership in education; urban leadership; mind, brain, and teaching; instructional design in online teaching and learning; and technology integration in K-16 education. Students must complete a three-day residency every summer.

Applicants need a master’s degree from an accredited college with a minimum 3.0 GPA. GRE scores are optional. Classes begin every fall.

6. Liberty University

LocationLynchburg, VA

100% Online or Hybrid | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $595

Out of State | $595

Credits to Graduate


Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Liberty offers a Christian perspective doctorate in education degree with tracks in K-12, higher education, and curriculum and instruction. The fully online program provides added flexibility with eight-week courses and no scheduled class times. Students can graduate in three years, or quicker since Liberty allows degree-seekers to transfer as much as 50% of degree credits.

Earning an Ed.D. degree prepares graduates to become curriculum specialists, elementary educators, researchers, school administrators, and professors. Prospective students need a master’s degree from an accredited school with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

7. Marymount University

LocationArlington, VA

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,140

Out of State | $1,140

Credits to Graduate


Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Marymount’s fully online doctorate in education program prepares students for higher education faculty positions in three years. The curriculum covers theory and practice, ethical leadership and social justice, and transformative leadership. Students must complete their degree in five years.

Eligible applicants need a master’s degree in education from an accredited college, with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Applicants also need three years of work experience, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and a virtual interview. The program does not require GRE scores.

8. Maryville University of Saint Louis

LocationSaint Louis, MO

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $675

Out of State | $675

Credits to Graduate


The doctorate in education degree from Maryville emphasizes collaboration within small classes and mentorship opportunities. Curriculum covers reflective leadership practice, organizational leadership in higher education, and understanding data and analysis. Students also complete a research residency and can graduate in less than three years.

Applicants need a master’s degree from a regionally accredited school and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Maryville also requires three years of work experience, transcripts, a resume, a personal essay, and two professional letters of reference.

Graduates work as deans, admissions directors, department chairs, and college administrators.

9. North Greenville University

LocationTigerville, SC

100% Online| Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $510

Out of State | $510

Credits to Graduate


Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

NGU offers a fully online doctorate in education with specialty tracks in K-12 leadership and higher education leadership. Students mostly attend self-paced courses with some live classes online.

This online doctorate in education program covers social foundations, organizational development, law and policy, grant writing and proposal development, and research courses. Working professionals can graduate in four years while studying part time.

New students begin in the fall or spring. NGU requires doctorate in education candidates to have teaching experience.

10. Northcentral University

LocationLa Jolla, CA

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $976

Out of State | $976

Credits to Graduate


NCU’s doctorate in education degree allows students to pick from more than 16 specializations, including curriculum and teaching, e-learning, early childhood education, international education, or English language learning.

The doctorate in education program offers 16 courses. Candidates need a master’s degree from an accredited college. Degree-seekers can graduate in less than three years to pursue careers as postsecondary teachers, education administrators, and training and development coordinators.

Frequently Asked Questions About Doctorate in Education Programs

What can I do with a doctorate in education?

By earning your doctorate in education, you may qualify for high-level positions in K-12 and postsecondary administration. These roles include principal of a K-12 school, school superintendent, and university provost. Professionals with an Ed.D. degree can also pursue careers as training and development managers or instructional coordinators.

What is the best online college for a doctorate in education?

The best online college for you depends on your career aspirations, learning preferences, and budget. When considering Ed.D. programs online, choose a school that is accredited. Accredited institutions must meet a high standard of academic rigor. Also, consider choosing a program that allows you to specialize in a subject you hope to focus on in your career.

What is the difference between an Ed.D and a Ph.D. in education?

A doctorate in education, or Ed.D., is an advanced degree for educational practitioners. Professionals who want to advance in their careers as administrators, training and development managers, or instructional coordinators may benefit from earning their Ed.D. A doctor of philosophy, or Ph.D., is an advanced research degree. Those seeking a career in academia may wish to pursue their Ph.D. in education.

How long does it take to get an online education Ph.D.?

Because Ph.D. programs have extensive research and writing requirements, they can take several years to complete. In 2017, the median amount of time it took for students at U.S. institutions to earn their Ph.D. was 5.8 years. However, this timeline varies across disciplines. Students entering an Ed.D. program with a master’s degree usually graduate in three years.

Is it worth getting a Ph.D. in education?

Earning your Ph.D. in education can be worth it if you want to pursue an academic career. Some academic hiring committees may prefer to hire an applicant with a Ph.D. over a candidate with an Ed.D. However, if you want to be a principal, superintendent, or college administrator, earning an Ed.D. may be a better choice.

How much does it cost to get an Ed.D or Education Ph.D.?

According to Franklin College, many students pay $21,000-$55,000 in tuition to earn their Ed.D. Some Ph.D. programs cost an average of $30,000 a year. The best education Ph.D. programs often provide students with graduate stipends, teaching opportunities, and research fellowships to offset the cost of the degree. Some online Ed.D. programs offer graduate scholarships and other forms of funding.

How much money can I make with a doctorate in education?

As of September 2021, PayScale reports that the average annual salary for a professional with an Ed.D. is $79,000. According to the BLS, postsecondary education administrators earned a median annual wage of $97,500 in 2020. Principals earned a median annual salary of $98,490 in 2020, while instructional coordinators made a median of $66,970 that year.

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