Online Doctor of Education (EdD) Programs in California
There are currently four schools in California that offer EdD programs online: Fresno State, National University, Northcentral University, and the University of Southern California. In total, these schools have eight distinct online programs for students to choose from, with degrees in fields such as Educational Leadership, Instruction Design, Organizational Innovation, and Organizational Change and Leadership. There are also a wide range of specializations available, including Early Childhood Education, E-Learning, Postsecondary Educational Leadership, Special Education, and K-12 Leadership in Urban School Settings.
All of the schools listed on this page are non-profit universities regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Several departments are also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)*.
Schools in California with Online EdD Programs
California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) offers an Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership through its Kremen School of Education & Human Development. The program can be pursued in one of two specializations: PK-12 Educational Leadership or Post-Secondary Educational Leadership (which includes community college leadership and administration). A total of 60 units are required to earn the degree, which is designed to be completed in three years of full-time study. The curriculum is comprised of nine core courses, seven specialization courses, and 12 hours of dissertation units, and students complete their course of study in cohorts of 10 to 12. While the majority of coursework is delivered online through the Canvas learning management system, the program does include three on-campus residencies on the Fresno State campus, each approximately one week in length.
National University in La Jolla offers an Online EdD in Organizational Innovation through its Sanford College of Education and Center for Advanced Graduate Studies. Available only to California residents, the program is entirely online, with coursework that utilizes both synchronous and asynchronous components, and a three-day summer orientation that can be completed either online or onsite. The nine-course, 81-unit curriculum is designed to prepare professionals with the advanced knowledge necessary to facilitate innovation and enact positive change in any organization, and includes courses in areas such as theories and methods of inquiry, knowledge management, innovation in education, emerging issues and trends, and collaboration and ethical practice. Students can expect to finish the program in three years, but have up to seven years to complete their required Culminating Project, if necessary.
Based in San Diego, Northcentral University offers three EdD programs online through its School of Education. The first is a Doctor of Education with 15 different specialization options, including Curriculum and Teaching, Early Childhood Education, E-Learning, Global Training and Development, Leadership in Higher Education, Learning Analytics in K-12 Education, Nursing Education, Organizational Leadership, Special Education, and Sport and Athletic Management. The fully online program boasts weekly start dates (every Monday), asynchronous instruction, no group assignments, and no campus visit requirements. Each degree track consists of 16 courses (48 credit hours) and is designed to be completed in 40 months.
Northcentral also has two additional online EdD programs for students to choose from: a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and a Doctor of Education in Instructional Design. Both are comprised of 54 credit hours and require the completion of 18 courses. The online EdD in Educational Leadership is a 45-month program, for those interested in obtaining advanced knowledge and skills related to leading in a variety of educational settings, from the PK-12 system to corporate learning environments. The Instruction Design program, which takes 36 months to complete, helps prepare students to develop and manage advanced educational or training programs for schools, businesses, government, the military, and more. Both programs are delivered entirely online, and students are not required to visit campus at any point during their studies.
Finally, the University of Southern California’s (USC) Rossier School of Education, located in Los Angeles, offers a total of three EdD degree tracks online. The first option is a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership with a concentration in K-12 Leadership in Urban School Settings. Comprised of 43 units, this primarily online program is designed to be completed in three years, and includes one two-day immersion on the USC University Park Campus, where students attend orientation events and meet their classmates and instructors face to face. After that, they begin a 15-course curriculum, featuring courses in topics such as Foundations of Urban Education, Resourcing Schools for Equity and Excellence, Leadership Enactment, Education Policy and Politics, Advanced Research Methods, and Leading for Instructional Improvement.
USC’s other online offering is an EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership (OCL) with two different program tracks: one that requires a master’s degree and one that only requires a bachelor’s (although applicants must have significant professional experience in leadership roles). Students entering the program without a master’s degree can expect to complete their EdD in four years, taking the full 60-unit OCL curriculum. Those already possessing a master’s are admitted to the program with advanced standing status, and are only required to take 43 units over three years in order to earn their degree. Both pathways include courses such as Creativity and Innovation, Leadership, Diversity, Accountability, Education Performance Problems, Using Communication to Facilitate Organizational Change, and Evaluating and Assessing System Outcomes. While the majority of the OCL program is delivered online, it does include one mandatory two-day orientation event on the USC campus.
Online EdD Programs in California
Below is a list of all the online EdD programs offered by schools in California. To learn more about any of these degree programs, click on the corresponding program name below to visit the school’s website.
California State University, Fresno(Fresno)
National University(La Jolla)
- Online Ed.D. in Organizational Innovation (Masters to Doctorate)
Northcentral University(San Diego)
- Online Doctor of Education (EdD) (with Specializations in Curriculum and Teaching, Early Childhood Education, E-Learning, English Language Learning, General Education, Global Training and Development, Instructional Leadership, International Education, Leadership in Higher Education, Learning Analytics in Higher Education, Learning Analytics in K12 Education, Nursing Education, Organizational Leadership, Special Education, and Sport and Athletic Management) (Masters to Doctorate)
- Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Masters to Doctorate)
- Online Doctor of Education in Instructional Design (Masters to Doctorate)
University of Southern California(Los Angeles)
- Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - K-12 Leadership in Urban School Settings Concentration (Masters to Doctorate)
- Online EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership (Masters to Doctorate)
- Online EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership (Bachelors to EdD) (Bachelors to Doctorate)
*The Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation (CAEP) is now recognized as the sole accrediting body for education preparation programs in the United States. NCATE accredited programs will become CAEP accredited when their accreditation is up for renewal.