Online Doctorate Programs in Teaching

Explore your online options for doctoral study in the education field. Check the prerequisites for these programs, review the typical coursework, and find out how online degree programs in teaching work. Explore career and salary info for teachers with a doctorate. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Online Doctorates in Teaching Are Available?

Doctoral programs in teaching are designed for educators and others who seek leadership positions in instruction, administration and curriculum design with public and private elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools. You can find online programs that award a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Curriculum and Instruction, a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education or an Ed.D. in Educational Studies, among others. These programs typically aren't designed to prepare students for teaching certifications and licenses, although some programs may offer endorsements or licensures for principals, reading specialists or administrators. Most programs offer concentrations, such as curriculum and instruction, K-12 education, postsecondary administration, faculty leadership and instructional design.

You generally must have a master's degree and a GPA of 3.0 or higher on all master's-level work to be considered for admission. Some programs require documentation or references that confirm your employment in a professional or educational setting.

Degree Options Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction, Ed.D. in educational studies, Ph.D. in education
Common Courses Educational leadership, teaching theories, education economics, curriculum development, education ethics
Online Learning Interact with instructors and take courses using phone conferences, e-mail, discussion boards, chat sessions and online learning software
Career Options Education administrators, curriculum supervisors, education researchers, principals, department heads
Median Annual Wage (2014) $88,390 (for postsecondary education administrators)*
Job Outlook 9% increase between 2014-2024 (for postsecondary education administrators)*

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

Typical online doctorate in teaching courses focus on theory, practice and administration. You generally have the option to choose courses that concentrate on elementary, secondary or postsecondary education. Expect to take courses that develop analytical and research skills. Topics covered in online doctorate in teaching courses include:

  • Educational leadership
  • Education assessment
  • Research methods
  • Education economics
  • Teaching theories
  • Curriculum development
  • Education ethics
  • Education history

How Do Online Programs Work?

As an online student, you will take the same courses offered by on-campus programs. Some schools offer online-only programs while others provide a blend of online and on-campus courses. You will typically be required to pass a comprehensive exam and write a dissertation; some programs also include an internship. Your dissertation defense is normally conducted either through phone or Web conferencing or on campus.

You will take courses and interact with instructors online through discussion boards, e-mail, chat sessions, phone conferences and online learning software programs such as Blackboard. Expect to work with a faculty advisor online or by phone to create an individualized study program. You must have a computer, high-speed Internet access and basic software. Some courses require special software.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Individuals who earn online doctorates in teaching may pursue careers as curriculum supervisors, education administrators, principals, department heads, education researchers and master teachers. The number of jobs for postsecondary education administrators is projected to increase 9% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).

Job growth will stem mostly from increasing enrollments in postsecondary schools. As of May 2014, postsecondary education administrators earned a median annual salary of $88,390. Elementary and secondary school education administrators earned a median annual salary of $89,540 as of May 2014.

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:

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