Online Doctor of Education (EdD) Programs in Illinois

Illinois is home to six schools that offer Doctor of Education programs online. Bradley University, Concordia University Chicago, Governors State University, Northern Illinois University, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and University of Illinois all have EdDs students can pursue through online study, making few or no visits to campus. A total of eight online EdD programs are available through these institutions, in specializations such as Educational Leadership, Early Childhood Education, Higher Education Administration, K-12 Education Learning and Technology, Organizational Leadership, Human Resource Development, and more.

All of the schools listed on this page are nonprofit institutions regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), with the exception of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, which has accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Certain programs or departments mentioned below may also be accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) or National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).*

Schools in Illinois with Online EdD Programs

Bradley University, located in Peoria, offers an online Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration (HEA) that integrates the Bradley University’s values of social justice, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy into the coursework to prepare students for a diversity of leadership roles in higher education settings (including community college leadership). This program is comprised of 48 credits divided across 16 courses. The core courses cover key topics in educational governance and higher education boards, education policy and their ethical and political foundations, technology-based learning, and educational assessment, analysis, and accountability. Students subsequently take a Scholarly Research Courses sequence and a Higher Education Administration Courses sequence. The Scholarly Research Courses include in-depth classes in action research and data collection and analysis, while the Higher Education Administration Courses cover key concepts and skills in student and academic affairs, contemporary learning, financial management in higher education, and leadership at the university and community college levels. For their final graduation requirement, students must complete a Scholarly Research Project (under guidance from their faculty mentors) and an internship.

Based in River Forest, Concordia University Chicago offers a number of EdD concentrations students can pursue online through its College of Graduate Studies. Their online Doctor of Education in Leadership has specializations in Curriculum and Instruction, Early Childhood Education, Educational Leadership, Education Technology, Higher Education, Organizational Leadership, Special Education, Teacher Leadership, and Reading, Language, and Literacy. Curriculum in the program combines specialized coursework in one’s area of focus with an overall emphasis on knowledge management, decision making, conflict and change management, communication, and unique approaches to leadership. Concordia also offers unique degree tracks in Health and Human Performance and Gerontology, as well as a Doctor of Education in Sports Leadership. All of these EdDs require the completion of 61 credits and are fully online, with no campus visit requirements.

At Governors State University in University Park, students can pursue a Doctor of Education in Interdisciplinary Leadership online in one of two concentrations: Higher Education Administration or Not for Profit/Social Entrepreneurship Leadership. Offered by the College of Education, the degree requires a minimum of 60 credit hours, which includes an 18-credit core curriculum, 33 credit hours of concentration coursework, and nine hours dedicated to development of a final capstone project. Core courses in the program cover topics in leadership, research, planning, communication, globalism, and finance. The remaining curriculum is comprised primarily of coursework in one’s area of concentration. Students in the Higher Education Administration degree track, for example, take courses in Strategic Planning, Political and Legal Issues in Higher Education, Leadership in Colleges and Universities, Organizational Governance and Campus Culture in Higher Education, Theories of Teaching and Learning, Student Affairs, Accountability and Accreditation, and Business and Fiscal Management of Colleges and Universities. In addition to its two fully online EdD specializations, Governors State University also offers a hybrid EdD with a Superintendent (P-12) specialization. This program requires students to come to campus for face-to-face classes periodically during their second and third years in the program.

Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb offers an EdD in Community College Leadership online through its College of Education’s Department of Counseling and Higher Education. The program is designed to help prepare education professionals for career advancement in a variety of areas within community colleges, including student affairs, academic administration, enrollment management, operations, or instruction. To earn their degree, students must complete a total of 54 post-master’s credits, spread over a three-year course of study. The curriculum focuses on theory-to-practice and inquiry-based educational practices, with courses in topics such as Administration of Higher Education, Community College Students, Educational Statistics, Financing Higher Education, Pedagogical Innovations and Student Learning, Public Policy Studies, Strategic Marketing and Enrollment Management, and Legal Aspects in Higher Education Administration. While courses in the spring and fall terms are delivered entirely online, summer coursework utilizes a blended format, requiring students to visit the NIU Naperville campus once a year for a one-week in-person residency.

The Education Psychology and Technology Department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) offers an EdD in Educational Psychology and Technology online, with optional concentrations in Higher Education Learning and Technology, K-12 Education Learning and Technology, and Instructional Design. The 60-credit program is designed to be completed in three years, and focuses on preparing students with the skills they need to effectively evaluate instructional settings and implement new technology-driven approaches to improve learning outcomes. Required core courses include The Psychology of Learning, The Theory and Profession of Educational Technology, Action Research and Evaluation, Cognition Across the Lifespan and Technology’s Impact, Integrating Technology in Learning Systems, Ethics and Standards in Educational Psychology and Technology, and Culture’s Place in Learning and Technology. Students can then choose to take either nine credits of electives or three courses associated with one of the available concentrations. While the majority of the program is online, there are two required three-and-a-half-day residency sessions, which provide the opportunity for face-to-face mentoring and networking with faculty and peers.

Finally, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has an online Doctor of Education in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership available through its College of Education. Students can pursue one of four different degree concentrations online: Diversity and Equity in Education, Global Studies in Education, Human Resource Development, or Learning Design and Leadership. Each requires a minimum of 64 credit hours and utilizes synchronous video class sessions that meet once a week in the evenings. Coursework in UIUC’s online EdD program varies by concentration. The Diversity and Equity in Education track, for example, includes courses in Diversity, Leadership, and Policy; Historical and Social Barriers; Race, Gender, and Sexuality Issues; Equity Issues in Special Education; Aesthetic Education; Assessment for Learning; and Education and Human Rights. Students pursuing any of the four concentrations online must visit campus twice during their studies, once for a preliminary exam and then again to defend their dissertation.


Online EdD Programs in Illinois

The following is a list of schools in Illinois that offer Doctor of Education degree programs online. To learn more about any of the EdD programs described on this page, click the corresponding link below to visit the school’s website.

Bradley University

Accreditation: NA

Northern Illinois University

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CAEP

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Accreditation: WASC

*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.