Online Doctoral Degree Programs in Educational Leadership

Get information about the requirements to earn a doctoral degree online in educational leadership. Find out about prerequisites as well as class topics and career opportunities. Schools offering Education - Organizational Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Expect From an Online Doctorate Program in Educational Leadership?

You can earn two types of doctorate degrees in educational leadership. The first is the Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), which prepares you to work as a professor or researcher. The second type is the Ed.D. (Doctor of Education), which prepares you to work in a leadership position in the field of education. Both degrees take 3-5 years to complete and culminate in a dissertation, which is a substantial work of original research overseen by an advisory committee.

In an online program, you'll complete most of your coursework online, although some schools require that you take some courses on-campus or attend cohort meetings that meet at the school for a few days once a year throughout your program. Often, it is the Ph.D. programs that have the on-campus requirements, while Ed.D. programs can often be completed fully online.

Program TypesPh.D for academia or research, and Ed.D for education leadership
Course ComponentsLeadership, research methodology, and management as they pertain to education
PrerequisitesPrevious work experience, strong academic credentials and recommendations. Many programs require you to hold a master's degree.
Career OptionsLeadership role at an educational institution, professor, or researcher

What Will I Learn?

In both degree programs, you'll study the issues and methodologies that affect leaders within the field of education. Many programs allow you to choose a specialization, such as K-12 education, sport administration, postsecondary administration, evaluation and human resources administration.

You'll learn organizational development skills that will prepare you to manage the attitudes of employees and students within the structure of an educational institution. You'll also learn how to manage an institution's responses to change and the various programs that an institution might implement. Because of the heavy emphasis on research in most programs, you'll probably also have coursework in statistics and research methodologies.

Online coursework in this degree program is often identical to the coursework found in a classroom. A few classes that might appear in the curriculum include:

  • Applied statistics
  • Principles of education
  • Research methodologies
  • District certification
  • Educational practices and theory

What Are the Prerequisites?

Many programs will require you to have a substantial amount of work experience in an educational field. You will also likely be required to have a master's degree, and submit GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and a resume to apply.

What Kinds of Jobs Can I Get?

If you get an Ed.D., you can get a job in a leadership capacity at an educational institution, including dean of a college, principal of a school or educational board member. If you get a Ph.D., you will be prepared to work as a professor teaching students about the theory and practices in education or a researcher publishing your findings in peer-reviewed journals.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools