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Most Affordable Online EdD (Doctor of Education) Programs

Explore the most affordable online Doctor of Education (EdD) programs and what careers they can lead to. Learn what these programs are composed of and how to find the best program for your needs.

30 Most Affordable Online EdD Programs

To determine the best schools for earning an EdD online, students should consider factors such as accreditation, affordability, flexibility and program length. 30 of the most affordable schools with online EdD programs are listed below.

1. Concordia University-Chicago

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)
River Forest, IL $9,180

Concordia University-Chicago offers a tuition guarantee to students, locking in their costs at the start of their program. Although the cost of each program varies, some graduate programs are around $500 per credit hour. Concordia boasts a graduate student-faculty ratio of 11:1 and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Students can earn an EdD or PhD in one of twelve specialization areas including early childhood education, higher education and educational leadership. Students can complete their coursework online, which consists of around 61 to 67 credit hours, and will complete a dissertation and examination at the end of their program.

2. Regent University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Virginia Beach, VA $16,179

Regent University is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and has programmatic accreditation for its education programs from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The school has a graduate student-faculty ratio of 19:1 with 810 total faculty members as of November of 2019. Regent University's online EdD program consists of at least 66 credit hours which are completed through 8-week courses. Students can choose from 12 specialization options, including K-12 school leadership, special education and educational psychology. All online EdD students have a tuition fee of $775 per credit hour and a $550 university services fee per semester.

3. Texas Tech University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Lubbock, TX $8,015

Texas Tech University offers three hybrid Doctorate of Education programs that have a cost of around $475 per credit hour for all students (tuition and fees). The EdD in Agricultural Education program consists of 64 credit hours and includes courses in program development, adult education, agricultural education and technology advancement. The EdD in Educational Leadership program consists of 72 credit hours and includes several on-campus learning sessions which last one week or one weekend. The EdD in Higher Education Administration program offers concentrations in higher education college/university administration or community college administration and consists of 60 credit hours of coursework. Texas Tech is accredited by the SACSCOC and its education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

4. Andrews University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Berrien Springs, MI $27,324

Andrews University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers three online EdD programs: curriculum & instruction, educational leadership and higher education administration. Each of the programs has a tuition rate of $1,316 per credit hour and typically take 5 or 6 years to complete. Depending on their chosen program, students without a master's degree are required to complete 90 credit hours while students who have previously earned a qualifying master's degree are required to complete 60 or more credit hours. Both the educational leadership and curriculum & instruction programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

5. Grambling State University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Grambling, LA $7,168

Grambling State University's education department is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the school as a whole is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Tuition costs vary based on residency and the number of credit hours that students are taking each session but can range from $1,500 to $3,000 for a 6-credit-hour semester. Grambling State University offers a 100% online EdD in Developmental Education that consists of 60 or more credit hours and allows students to choose one of three concentration options: curriculum and instructional design, student development and personnel services or higher education administration and management.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)
6 Gwynedd Mercy University Gwynedd Valley, PA $11,286
7 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL $28,272
8 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL $20,620
9 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR $8,612
10 University of Florida Gainesville, FL $12,737
11 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND $9,697
12 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS $8,624
13 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI $13,804
14 Clarkson College Omaha, NE $11,178
15 Clemson University Clemson, SC $10,602
16 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD $55,816
17 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS $11,069
18 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA $7,226
19 Liberty University Lynchburg, BA $8,333
20 New Mexico State University-Main Campus Las Cruces, NM $5,427
21 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA $12,552
22 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR $14,331
23 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX $7,791
24 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX $9,812
25 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA $11,336

All table data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition represents the 2018-2019 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Choosing the Right Online EdD Program

There are several considerations to keep in mind when choosing your online EdD program, several of which are discussed below.

Residency Requirements

Most online EdD programs require students to complete some practical hours. It's critical to ask your school choices if these hours can be completed near you or if you will need to complete the hours at pre-approved sites. Also, will those hours be completed in a group near the end of the program, or will you need to be completing them throughout your program?

Programs Available

Verify that the programs you are interested in are offered online. If a school offers 10 EdD options total, they may only have half of those available for online students. Also, ask if the online programs are open to specific students (such as those with a master's degree in education) or if they are available to students with varying backgrounds.


Some programs may only be offered in full-time or part-time formats while other programs might be available as either option. Consider your time restrictions and talk with your academic advisor to see if the program you're interested in will fit your needs.


If you're considering financial aid to fund your program, attending an accredited institution is mandatory. Also, attending a program with specialized accreditation may provide you with a better education. We will further investigate the importance of accreditation below.


Program costs can vary, and often include tuition and various fees. Review all direct and indirect costs when comparing programs. Keep in mind that there are several types of financial aid available to online EdD students.

What is an Online EdD Program Like?

Online EdD programs typically consist of online coursework and on-site practicum experiences and many allow students to choose concentration areas within their program. Students typically complete an introductory course or online tutorial at the beginning of their program to become familiar with their online learning portal. Within these portals, students may complete tasks such as viewing lecture videos, completing assignments, taking exams and participating in discussion groups. Many online courses enable students to log in at their convenience while some courses might require students to log in at specific times for items such as live lectures and scheduled exams.

Common Courses in Online EdD Programs

The courses that students take in online EdD programs will depend on their degree program and their concentration. Several common concentrations are listed below, as well as courses that are typically included in those programs.

Curriculum and Instruction

This program prepares students for roles in which they create, assess and implement various curriculum and instruction procedures in K-12 or postsecondary settings.

  • Curriculum Design - reviews and analyzes theories and practices for curriculum design, review and implementation, including national and global educational models.
  • Technology in Instruction - explores the role of technology in instructional environments, and how to use technology for enhanced learning in various settings.
  • Classroom Diversity - analyzes past and current roles of diverse learners so that graduates can create educational materials that are beneficial to diverse student groups.

Educational Leadership

An educational leadership concentration prepares students to lead in K-12 settings, preparing them to manage both administrative and educational operations.

  • Regulations in Education - addresses and analyzes major ethical, professional and legal implications of K-12 educational institutions.
  • Managing Resources and Operations in Schools - explores resource management responsibilities and practices including planning for financial and nonfinancial resources.
  • Community Relations - analyzes relationships outside of schools that can be beneficial for understanding the local community and improving student success.

Higher Education Administration

Higher education concentration programs help to prepare students for administrative positions in postsecondary and other institutions.

  • Historic and Current Issues in Higher Education - explores the origins and issues of higher education, including key individuals who have made significant improvements to the field.
  • Finance in Higher Education - discusses the financial processes of higher education settings, including the institutional side as well as student perspectives.
  • Higher Education Laws - addresses legal regulations and issues that affect higher education, including school policies, constitutional rights, organizational structure and ethics.

Special Education

This concentration prepares special education teachers for administrative and leadership roles working with students with special needs.

  • International Special Education - explores varying special education rules and practices across geographic areas and time periods.
  • Special Education Regulations - discusses laws and regulations that affect special education in private and public schools as well as inclusion and individualized learning plans.
  • High-Incidence Disabilities - explores issues and trends in special education relating to students with high-incidence issues, including behavior assessments and interventions.

Tuition & Fees for Online EdD Programs

While some schools do offer a flat-rate program fee that includes tuition and various other fees, most schools separate tuition and applicable fees.


Online EdD program costs can vary, but tuition can range from $20,000 to more than $50,000 for an entire program. Several factors affect the cost of tuition such as student residency status and prior coursework. Many schools have discounted tuition for in-state residents but some schools have flat tuition costs for all students. Students who have previously earned a master's degree will have less coursework required for their EdD program, lowering the overall cost of tuition.

Other Program Fees

In addition to tuition, students usually have various fees attached to their programs. These fees can include items such as student services fees, registration fees, course fees and technology or distance learning fees. Throughout a program, these fees can add up to several thousand dollars.

Other Cost Considerations

In addition to costs that are directly associated with an online EdD program, students should consider the costs that they will incur outside of their program. Online programs typically require students to have a personal computer that meets specific technical requirements and regular internet access. Students who don't already meet these requirements should consider the cost of purchasing their device and maintaining access to their online coursework.

Prerequisites for Online EdD Programs

There are typically two educational paths of entry for online EdD programs, although not all schools offer both entry options. In addition to the education component, students might need to submit a resume, letters of recommendation and graduate test scores (such as the GRE). Some programs may also require students to hold a valid teaching license and have some teaching experience.

  • Bachelor's Entry - Students going into an EdD program with a bachelor's degree must enter a program that is open to bachelor's degree students, and this typically means completing more courses. Bachelor's entry programs can consist of 90 or more credit hours.
  • Master's Entry - Students who have earned a master's degree usually complete around 60 to 70 credit hours in their EdD program. Master's degree entry programs are more commonly available online.

Why Accreditation Matters for Online EdD Programs

It's important to note the two main types of accreditation that can apply EdD online students: institutional and programmatic. Institutional accreditation applies to a school as a whole and can be awarded by a regional or national agency. Institutional accreditation is necessary for students to qualify for financial aid. Programmatic accreditation is an accreditation that applies to specific programs. Accreditation reflects that an outside body has reviewed a program (or school) and recognized that it meets specific quality criteria. Depending on student career interests, programmatic accreditation may be required for certain types of licensure or certification.

Practical Requirements for Online EdD Programs

While some programs can be completed entirely online, many require students to attend some on-site components. These can include orientations at the beginning of programs as well as on-campus dissertation presentations. Some programs also require students to attend immersive learning sessions during the summer semesters on-campus. Students should review all practical requirements for their programs and ensure that they will be able to attend them.

What Can You do with an Online EdD?

Online EdD programs can prepare you for a variety of careers, depending on your concentration, many of which are listed below. All salary and outlook data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Elementary, Middle and High School Principals

Principals oversee and direct various operations within schools. They are responsible for managing staff and faculty, ensuring regulatory compliance, coordinating curriculums and counseling students. In 2018, the annual median salary for elementary, middle and high school principals was $95,310, and jobs in the field are expected to increase by 4% between 2018 and 2028.

Instructional Coordinators

Instructional coordinators create, implement, revise and oversee teaching standards and curriculums. Their duties can include developing teacher training programs, reviewing course materials and analyzing student results. The BLS reports instructional coordinators as having a median salary of $64,450 in 2018 and expects jobs in the field to grow by 6% from 2018 to 2028.

Postsecondary Education Administrators

Postsecondary education administrators manage and oversee the operations of postsecondary institutions, including research, academics and student services. These administrators may work at different levels and in different departments, including admissions, registration and academics (deans, for example). In 2018, they had a median salary of $94,340 and they are expected to see a 7% job growth from 2018 to 2028.

Postsecondary Education Teachers

Postsecondary education teachers instruct students in colleges and universities within the field of education. Their duties typically include creating lesson plans, developing course objectives, counseling students and reviewing assignments. Postsecondary education teachers had a median salary of $64,780 in 2018, with a job outlook of 8% between 2018 and 2028.

Professional Resources for Online EdD Graduates

Online EdD graduates can join dozens of national organizations for educators, administrators and education students. Listed below are a few organizations that are relevant to EdD graduates.

American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA)

AASPA was founded in 1938 and offers memberships for active or retired administrators, support staff, institutions and supportive businesses. Member benefits vary based on the type of membership held but can include networking opportunities, publications, online tools and discounted insurance.

The School Superintendents Association (AASA)

Members of AASA can access benefits such as legal aid, publications, certification and continued education resources, as well as several opportunities for networking at conferences and meetings. Membership is available to superintendents and other school leaders, support staff, professors, students and retirees.

American Association of University Administrators (AAUA)

AAUA offers membership to current and former administrators of higher-education institutions as well as students enrolled in a higher education program. Members have access to professional development resources, networking opportunities and discounted insurance.

National Education Association (NEA)

This organization is open to teachers, students, support professionals and retirees. Members have access to networking opportunities and resources that are relevant to their position, whether working in higher education or K-12 positions.

American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

AAUP offers membership to college faculty and charges membership dues based on their pay grades. Benefits of AAUP membership include various publications and insurance discounts as well as access to networking opportunities of experienced university leaders.