Online Doctor of Education (EdD) Programs in Florida

Updated: February 28, 2024

There are ten institutions in Florida that offer Doctor of Education degrees online. Students can find online EdD programs at Barry University, Florida State University, Nova Southeastern University, Saint Leo University, Southeastern University, St. Thomas University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida, the University of Miami, and the University of West Florida. Together, these schools offer a total of 14 separate online program options, with specializations ranging from PreK-12 or Higher Education Leadership to Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education, Instructional Technology, Organizational Leadership, and Transformational School Leadership.

All ten schools described below are non-profit universities regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Some programs or departments may also be accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Schools in Florida with Online EdD Programs

Barry University has an online EdD in Transformational School Leadership that is offered through its Adrian Dominican School of Education, Leadership, and Human Development. This 60-credit program covers essential topics in leading organizational change and social justice advocacy, preparing its students for a wide variety of careers in sustainable educational, institutional, and systemic improvement at all levels, from local to international. Students of this program take 18 credits of core coursework in areas such as Theories of Leadership, Program Planning and Evaluation, Politics of Education, Policy Development, Organizational Learning, Teaching and Learning at the University Level, and Contemporary Issues in Urban Education. In addition, students take 9 credits of research coursework, including Qualitative Methods and Quantitative Methods before they begin their 12 credits of dissertation work. Through these classes, students discuss, complete projects, and present upon the sociopolitical and economic factors that affect their learning communities. For their dissertation, students examine a problem of practice in their own work setting with advice and mentorship from a faculty committee and chair.

Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee has two Doctor of Education programs students can pursue online, both offered through their College of Education. The first is an EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy with a concentration in Educational Leadership/Administration, designed for mid-career professionals interested in becoming senior-level educational leaders, policymakers, or policy researchers. A total 69 credit hours are required, with most taking three years to earn their degree. While the majority of the program is online, students must attend a three-day learning seminar on campus each summer of their studies, typically around the third week of June.

In addition to this, FSU also offers an online EdD in Learning Design and Performance Technology. This program is comprised of 66 credit hours, focusing on areas such as instructional design, emerging technologies, and performance improvement. As with the other degree track, students are required to visit campus once a year to meet with their cohort and faculty members face to face. These sessions coincide with the school’s annual Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies (ISLT) conference, and provide the opportunity to network with campus-based students and accomplished alumni.

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University offers a Doctor of Education online with nine possible concentrations to choose from. Students can pursue their degree in Curriculum and Teaching, Educational Leadership (PK-12), Higher Education Leadership, Human Services Administration, Instructional Technology and Distance Education, Organizational Leadership, Reading Education, Special Education, or Sports Leadership. Available through NSU’s Abraham S. Fischler College of Education, the EdD program requires a minimum of 54 credits, with curriculum varying by concentration. All students take courses in Methods of Inquiry and Epistemology and Inquiry-Based Learning, as well as two classes in either Quantitative or Qualitative Research Design and Data Analysis. The remaining coursework is focused primarily on one’s area of specialization. For example, the Higher Education Leadership track contains courses in topics such as Leadership, Communication, and Technology; Student Affairs in Higher Education; Planning, Budgeting, and Financing of Institutional Resources; Politics and External Relations of Higher Education; and Governance, Ethics, and the Law of Higher Education. In addition to their online coursework, students must attend a total of two on-campus residencies (the annual EDGE @ Fischler Institute).

Saint Leo University’s College of Education and Social Services has an online Doctorate in Education Leadership with a concentration in School Leadership and emphasis on K-12 school settings. Students must complete a total of 60 credit hours, which takes most around three years, depending on their availability. The first 39 credits are part of an Education Specialist (EdS) degree. After earning their EdS, students who decide to continue with the program then take an additional 21 credits to finish their doctorate. Example course topics include Instructional Technology; Analytical Leadership; Assessment, Accountability, and Analytics; Building a Collaborative Culture; Diversity and Leadership; Technology Innovation and Diffusion; and Educational Politics, Policy, and Leadership. There is also a required on-campus residency, held over one week in July.

At Southeastern University in Lakeland, students can pursue their Doctor of Education online in one of two concentrations: Curriculum and Instruction or Organizational Leadership. Offered by the school’s College of Education, both degree tracks consist of 54 credit hours and are designed to be completed in three to four years. The program is structured around three 12-week terms (fall, winter, and spring), with a weeklong intensive course on campus each winter or summer. (Students may also need to travel to campus for their dissertation defense.) Curriculum is comprised of a 15-credit Doctoral Core, 9-credit Research Core, 18 credit hours of Concentration courses, and 12 credit hours associated with dissertation development and a final comprehensive exam.

All students can expect to take courses in Learning and Cognition, Public Policy, Program Evaluation, Principles of Leadership and Ethics, Historical and Social Foundations of Organizations, and both Qualitative and Quantitative Research. Those in the Curriculum and Instruction track then complete coursework in areas such as Instructional Design, Curriculum Theory, Advanced Quantitative Research, Leadership for Diverse Populations, Teaching Students of Poverty, and Grant Writing, Administration, and Evaluation, while the Organizational Leadership track offers courses in Organizational Systems and Management, Organizational Change and Strategies, Education Policy and Social Justice, Critical Issues in Organizational Leadership, and Higher Education Leadership, Organization, and Management.

The School of Leadership, Education, and Communication at St. Thomas University, located in Miami Gardens, offers a fully online Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation – Administration, with no campus visit requirements. Students can complete the 60-credit program in as few as 36 months, choosing from five different start dates throughout the year. Coursework focuses on a wide range of topics related to effective leadership and problem solving, including consulting practices, principles of ethical leadership, crisis and change management, and how to develop and manage public policy. The program also features courses in Information Management, Human Resources Development, Cross-Cultural Relations, Ethics and Governance, Strategic Leadership and Global Change, and Managing Social Media in Organizations, preparing graduates for management positions in nearly any setting, from educational institutions or systems to private corporations, nonprofit agencies, or government.

The University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando offers an online Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction that prepares students for advanced roles in education leadership and program development and improvement. This program is comprised of 54-57 course credits, and features 12 distinct specialization areas that include Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Psychology, Health and Human Performance, and Instructional Design and Technology. Students in this program take 18 credits of core coursework that cover topics in facilitating learning and motivation, data and assessments for accountability, organizational theory in education, identifying and analyzing complex problems of practice, and proposing and implementing data-driven decisions. Students then complete 15 credits that are specific to their area of specialization–these credits are divided between 12 credits of didactic courses and three credits for a Laboratory of Practice, wherein students conduct research and gain practical leadership experience in a professional setting. Prior to embarking on their dissertation, students must also complete one additional research course, which they select in consultation with their dissertation chair and committee. The remaining 18 course credits are devoted to students’ work on their dissertation.

The University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville offers a total of three online EdD programs through its College of Education. Students can pursue a Doctorate in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Educational Technology, which requires a minimum of 54 credits and three years to complete. There is also a four-year EdD in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Teachers, Schools, and Society (TSS). Courses in this track cover topics such as Critical Pedagogy, Issues in School Reform, Professional Development, Teacher Leadership for School Change, Education and American Culture, and Teacher Learning and Socialization in Poverty Schools. Finally, UF offers an online Doctorate of Education in Special Education, designed for educators who want to improve academic and social outcomes for students with disabilities. There is even the opportunity to specialize in a specific area of special-needs education, such as dyslexia, autism, or disability in society. All three online EdD programs at the University of Florida include some on-campus elements, requiring students to attend their qualifying exams and dissertation defense in person. The two EdDs in Curriculum and Instruction also have campus-based residency sessions each summer.

Another school in Florida with an online EdD is the University of Miami, based in Coral Gables. Their Doctor of Education in Applied Learning Sciences, available through the School of Education and Human Development, can be completed almost entirely online, with two weeklong campus residencies and an optional in-person orientation. Intended for students who want to further the scientific understanding of learning, as well as improve both traditional and non-traditional learning environments, the program entails a total of 45 credits and can be completed in just two and a half years. Curriculum includes courses in areas such as Human Learning, Organizational Learning, Online Learning Environments, Workplace Related Learning, Design of Formal Learning Environments, and Affective, Relational, and Cultural Factors and Processes in Learning. Instead of a traditional dissertation, students complete a cumulative project, using their newly gained skills to address a learning-related issue in their community. The University of Miami also partners with a number of large corporations and local enterprises to give students the opportunity to work on real-world projects while pursuing their studies online.

Finally, the University of West Florida (UWF) in Pensacola offers two EdDs online through their College of Education and Professional Studies. The first is a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Curriculum and Assessment. This program is designed for students looking to gain advanced skills related to curriculum design, development, evaluation, and implementation, focusing on both the psychological and philosophical foundations of instruction, as well as professional research, writing, and presentation techniques. Comprised of 63 course credits, the EdD in Curriculum and Instruction at UWF features courses in mixed methods research, philosophical foundations of education, social change and reform, global social justice, curriculum design and assessment, and improvement science and decision-making in education. Students also take doctoral research and writing preparatory courses that give them the skills to succeed in their dissertation work.

The second online offering from UWF is an EdD in Instructional and Performance Technology, which features seven core courses in Instructional Design and Technology, followed by five core courses in Performance Improvement Inquiry. These core classes cover essential topics such as technology-based learning theory, principles of instructional systems design, instructional design technology issues and trends, performance improvement theory, data collection in performance improvement, action research, and education intervention selection, design, and implementation. Through these courses, students learn how to apply advanced research insights to concrete plans for education program improvement, and also gain the research skills to embark on their dissertation. This EdD program consists of 54 credit hours, and includes three required campus residencies as part of students’ doctoral seminar class. The first residency is a professional and scholarly writing intensive workshop at the beginning of students’ first year. The second residency occurs during students’ second year and entails discussing and analyzing various problems of practice and their potential solutions; students also defend their dissertation proposal. The third residency is at the end of students’ tenure in the program, and consists of their final dissertation presentation and defense.


Online EdD Programs in Florida

The following is a comprehensive list of schools based in Florida that offer Doctor of Education degrees online. To learn more about any of the EdD programs discussed on this page, click the corresponding link below to visit the program’s website.

Accreditation: SACSCOC
Department: Adrian Dominican School of Education, Leadership, and Human Development
Programs:
Accreditation: SACSCOC

Saint Leo University

(Saint Leo)
Accreditation: SACSCOC

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:
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP