Online EdD Programs in Education Administration and Leadership

Being an effective leader in educational settings requires more than just managing resources and delegating tasks. In order to oversee and drive the development of quality instructional programs, professionals in the field need a wide range of expertise, from superb communication skills, to an advanced understanding of pedagogy and the laws and policies that govern education systems. For students interested in gaining these advanced skills, there are currently 106 online Doctor of Education (EdD) programs with a concentration in Education Administration and Leadership.

Online EdD programs in Education Administration and Leadership prepare students to assume leadership positions at a variety of academic and education-related institutions, including K-12 schools, colleges and universities, post-baccalaureate training programs, school districts, education non-profits, and government organizations. This specialization focuses on skills and topics such as organizational leadership, educational program evaluation, promoting diversity in academic settings, conducting education-related research, and using research findings to improve education outcomes.

This page includes all online EdD programs that offer training in leadership or administration, regardless of their specialization. Some programs listed on this page are broad administration programs, while others offer a more specialized curricular focus. EdD programs in Organizational Leadership are also listed below, unless those programs primarily focus on leadership in non-educational settings.

Curriculum for Online EdD Programs in Education Administration and Leadership

EdD programs typically require the completion of 40-70 course credits over the course of 3 to 5 years of study. Programs are generally comprised of a set of core courses followed by specialization courses, electives, and dissertation-related classes. Core courses for EdD programs cover the foundations of teaching and learning, including concepts in learning theory, educational program development, educational assessment, and principles of communication and community-building. Examples of these courses may include:

  • Foundational Concepts in Teaching and Learning: A discussion of the various definitions and types of learning. Visual, auditory, read-write, and kinesthetic learning styles and the role each plays in a student’s academic development. The ways in which a student’s environment affects his or her learning, and how to create a supportive community around student learning and progress.
  • Education Systems and Policies: An overview of the American education system at the K-12, post-secondary, and graduate levels, and the standards of educational attainment at these levels. The economic and political factors at the community, state, and national levels that affect students’ access to quality education.
  • Structural Inequality in Education Systems: An exploration of the common challenges that K-12 students face in their education system, including a discussion of these challenges’ history and origins. How socioeconomic, racial, political, and other structural issues affect students’ education outcomes and access to the resources and support they need to progress.
  • Strategies for Education Reform: A discussion of how teachers, school administrators, and other leaders in education can improve educational outcomes at the individual, group, and systemic levels. How to identify the causes of problems in educational accessibility and quality and address them. This course may consist of a combination of lectures and case analyses where students are presented with a specific school dilemma and are asked to diagnose the problem and identify opportunities for improvements.

Following their completion of the foundational classes in their program, students progress to the coursework that focuses on education administration and leadership. Specific course titles and content may vary somewhat from program to program, but examples of typical concentration classes include:

  • Organizational Leadership in Educational Settings: The methods of educating individuals and groups within a larger organized system, and the research and theories underpinning these methods. Teaching as a form of leadership, and how to engage different groups (ex. young students, adult students, working professionals, etc.) in learning initiatives, establish educational benchmarks, and meet these benchmarks.
  • Education Program Evaluation and Improvement: How to create and modify educational programs for students of all age groups by evaluating learning needs, developing curricula and educational materials, seeking and obtaining funding, addressing staffing needs, and assessing learning outcomes.
  • Creating and Managing a Culture of Learning: How to create and manage a community that is invested in learning through data-driven improvement processes, student advocacy, identification of learning outcome goals, and the development of programs and processes that aim to support across different academic and professional contexts.
  • Education Leadership Practicum: Students complete an internship experience that allows them to apply the concepts they have learned in classes to real work with students or professionals while under the supervision of a mentor. Students must select an internship site that allows them to work in organizational and/or educational leadership.

In addition to concentration coursework, some EdD programs give students the option of taking education-related elective courses that are outside of their specific academic focus, but which are relevant to their desired profession post-graduation. These classes may be from a different EdD concentration at the same program, or be education-related courses from an entirely different department. Examples of these courses may include:

  • Diversity and Multiculturalism: The importance of diversity and multiculturalism in educational settings, and how to promote an environment that welcomes multiple cultures and perspectives through diversity education, anti-discrimination programs, and other initiatives.
  • Collaboration and Communication: The methods and principles of effective communication for both instructors and students. Team and group dynamics and the necessary skills for effective collaboration and communication in a variety of settings.

In the final terms of their program, most EdD students are required to complete a dissertation, which is a capstone research project that investigates a problem in the educational system and seeks to find potential causes and solutions to this problem. Students receive academic credits for their work on their dissertation, often in structured courses and through their own individual work under the supervision of a research mentor.

For more information about the dissertation component of EdD programs, please refer to our Dissertations and Research Requirements for EdD Programs page. To learn more about online EdD programs, we also have pages dedicated to the Structure of Online EdD Programs and Admission Requirements for Online EdD Programs, for students who want more information.

Career Paths for Graduates of EdD Programs in Education Administration & Leadership

EdD programs in Education Administration and Leadership provide students with a diverse set of skills in organizational leadership and an in-depth knowledge of the educational system and how to optimize learning outcomes for students at different grade levels. Examples of jobs for graduates of these types of programs include but are not limited to:

  • College and University Deans: College and university deans oversee the daily operations of a college or university department. For academic departments, a dean’s responsibilities may include supervising the development and implementation of academic programs within that department, overseeing faculty research and instruction, and managing non-curricular programming for students and teachers within the department.
  • College and University Directors: College and university directors typically manage non-academic departments at an institution of higher education, such as the Office of Admissions, Career Services Department, the Office of Financial Aid, or the Office of Education Accessibility. Academic directors may fulfill such operational responsibilities as coordinating admissions interviews, managing career education and counseling services, overseeing the review of financial aid applications, or working to ensure school campuses are compliant with the American Disabilities Act.
  • Primary or Secondary School Principals: School principals oversee the daily operations of the school(s) under their supervision. They coordinate teacher schedules and curricula, manage the performance and professional development of teachers and other school personnel, manage school budgets in collaboration with other office staff, and seek to uphold district and state educational standards. Principals also work to ensure that school campuses remain safe, accessible, and positive learning environments for all students.
  • School District Superintendent: School superintendents are the heads of their school district, which is typically comprised of a school board and other staff that oversee the operations and performance of several schools in a region. School superintendents work with principals, teachers, parents, and education advocates to monitor and maintain the quality of education at their schools. They manage school district budgets, supervise updates to school facilities, and oversee the development of and updates to educational programs.

Online EdD Programs in Education Administration and Leadership

While the following schools are sorted by state for easy reference, most, but not all, programs accept students from other states as well. Students interested in out-of-state programs should confirm with an admissions advisor that the program accepts students from their state of residence before applying.

Filter Schools by State or Online:

Alabama

The University of West Alabama

(Livingston)
Accreditation: SACSCOC
Department: Julia Tutwiler College of Education
Programs:

Arizona

Arizona State University

(Phoenix)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Department: Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Programs:

Grand Canyon University

(Phoenix)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Arkansas

University of Arkansas

(Fayetteville)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CAEP
Department: College of Education and Health Professions - Curriculum and Instruction Department
Programs:

California

California State University, Fresno

(Fresno)
Accreditation: WASC, NCATE

National University

(La Jolla)
Accreditation: WASC, NCATE
Department: Sanford College of Education - Center for Advanced Graduate Studies
Programs:

Northcentral University

(San Diego)
Accreditation: WASC

University of Southern California

(Los Angeles)
Accreditation: WASC, NCATE

Colorado

University of Northern Colorado

(Greeley)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Department: College of Education and Behavioral Sciences - School of Teacher Education
Programs:

Connecticut

University of Bridgeport

(Bridgeport)
Accreditation: NECHE

Delaware

Wilmington University

(New Castle)
Accreditation: MSCHE, NCATE
Department: College of Education
Programs:

Florida

Florida State University

(Tallahassee)
Accreditation: SACSCOC
Department: College of Education
Programs:

Nova Southeastern University

(Fort Lauderdale)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP
Department: Abraham S. Fischler College of Education
Programs:

Saint Leo University

(Saint Leo)
Accreditation: SACSCOC
Department: College of Education & Social Services
Programs:

Southeastern University

(Lakeland)
Accreditation: SACSCOC

St. Thomas University

(Miami Gardens)
Accreditation: SACSCOC
Department: School of Leadership, Education & Communication
Programs:

University of Miami

(Coral Gables)
Accreditation: SACSCOC
Department: School of Education & Human Development
Programs:

Georgia

Brenau University

(Gainesville)
Accreditation: SACSCOC

Columbus State University

(Columbus)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE
Department: College of Education and Health Professsions
Programs:

Kennesaw State University

(Kennesaw)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE
Department: Bagwell College of Education
Programs:

University of North Georgia

(Oakwood)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE
Department: College of Education
Programs:

Valdosta State University

(Valdosta)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP

Idaho

Northwest Nazarene University

(Nampa)
Accreditation: NWCCU, NCATE

Illinois

Governors State University

(University Park)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, NCATE

Northern Illinois University

(DeKalb)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CAEP
Department: College of Education
Programs:

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

(Chicago)
Accreditation: WASC

University of Illinois

(Champaign)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Indiana

Indiana University

(Bloomington)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CAEP
Department: School of Education (IU Online)
Programs:

Kansas

Southwestern College

(Wichita)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CAEP

Kentucky

Morehead State University

(Morehead)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP

Murray State University

(Murray)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP

University of the Cumberlands

(Williamsburg)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CACREP, NCATE

Western Kentucky University

(Bowling Green)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP
Department: College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
Programs:

Louisiana

The University of Louisiana Monroe

(Monroe)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP
Department: School of Education
Programs:

Maine

University of New England

(Biddeford)
Accreditation: NECHE
Department: College of Graduate and Professional Studies
Programs:

Maryland

Johns Hopkins University

(Baltimore)
Accreditation: MSCHE

Morgan State University

(Baltimore)
Accreditation: MSCHE, NCATE
Department: School of Education and Urban Studies (SEUS)
Programs:

Massachusetts

Northeastern University

(Boston)
Accreditation: NECHE

University of Massachusetts Lowell

(Lowell)
Accreditation: NECHE

Michigan

Andrews University

(Berrien Springs)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, NCATE
Department: School of Education
Programs:

Central Michigan University

(Mount Pleasant)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CAEP
Department: College of Education & Human Services - Department of Educational Leadership
Programs:

Minnesota

Bethel University

(St. Paul)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, TEAC
Department: Graduate School
Programs:

Concordia University - Saint Paul

(Saint Paul)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CAEP
Department: College of Education
Programs:

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

(Winona)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Department: Graduate School of Education
Programs:

University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

(Minneapolis)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Mississippi

Belhaven University

(Jackson)
Accreditation: SACSCOC
Department: School of Education
Programs:

The University of Southern Mississippi

(Hattiesburg)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE
Department: School of Education
Programs:

William Carey University

(Hattiesburg)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE
Department: School of Education
Programs:

Missouri

Maryville University

(St. Louis)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, NCATE
Department: School of Education
Programs:

Nebraska

College of Saint Mary

(Omaha)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Department: Graduate Programs
Programs:

Creighton University

(Omaha)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CAEP
Department: Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
Programs:

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

(Lincoln)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CAEP

New Jersey

Rowan University

(Glassboro)
Accreditation: MSCHE, NCATE
Department: College of Education
Programs:

New York

Fordham University

(New York)
Accreditation: MSCHE, NCATE
Department: Graduate School of Education
Programs:

New York University

(New York)
Accreditation: MSCHE, TEAC
Department: Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Programs:

North Dakota

University of North Dakota

(Grand Forks)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, NCATE

Ohio

Franklin University

(Columbus)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

University of Dayton

(Dayton)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CAEP
Department: School of Education and Health Sciences (SEHS)
Programs:

University of Findlay

(Findlay)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, NCATE

Oregon

George Fox University

(Newberg)
Accreditation: NWCCU, NCATE

Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania

(California)
Accreditation: MSCHE, NCATE

Gratz College

(Melrose Park)
Accreditation: MSCHE

Gwynedd Mercy University

(Gwynedd Valley)
Accreditation: MSCHE

Tennessee

Carson-Newman University

(Jefferson City)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE

East Tennessee State University

(Johnson City)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE
Department: Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
Programs:

Lipscomb University

(Nashville)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE
Department: College of Education
Programs:

Trevecca Nazarene University

(Nashville)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE
Department: School of Education
Programs:

University of Memphis

(Memphis)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE
Department: College of Education - Department of Leadership
Programs:

Vanderbilt University

(Nashville)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP
Department: Peabody College - Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations
Programs:

Texas

Abilene Christian University

(Abilene)
Accreditation: SACSCOC

Baylor University

(Waco)
Accreditation: SACSCOC
Department: School of Education - Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Programs:

Lamar University

(Beaumont)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE
Department: College of Education and Human Development
Programs:

Sam Houston State University

(Huntsville)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE
Department: Department of Educational Leadership
Programs:

Texas A&M University, Commerce

(Commerce)
Accreditation: SACSCOC
Department: Department of Educational Leadership
Programs:
Department: Department of Higher Education & Learning Technologies
Programs:

Texas Tech University

(Lubbock)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE
Department: College of Education
Programs:

University of Houston

(Houston)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP

West Texas A&M University

(Canyon)
Accreditation: SACSCOC

Virginia

Liberty University

(Lynchburg)
Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE
Department: School of Education
Programs:

Washington

City University of Seattle

(Seattle)
Accreditation: NWCCU

West Virginia

Marshall University

(Huntington)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, NCATE
Department: College of Education and Professional Development
Programs:

Wisconsin

Concordia University Wisconsin

(Mequon)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Edgewood College

(Madison)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

(La Crosse)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Department: Department of Student Affairs Administration
Programs:

Wyoming

University of Wyoming

(Laramie)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, NCATE
Department: College of Education - School of Counseling, Leadership, Advocacy, and Design
Programs: