Online Doctor of Education (EdD) Programs in Minnesota

There are seven schools in the state of Minnesota that offer Doctor of Education programs online. Bethel University, Concordia University-St. Paul, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, St. Cloud State University, the University of St. Thomas, and Winona State University all have EdD degrees students can complete online, with limited or no required visits to campus. A total of eight online programs are available through these institutions, in specializations ranging from Higher Education Leadership and K-12 Administration to Music Education, Organizational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, Indigenous Studies, and Leadership in Student Affairs.

All seven schools listed on this page are nonprofit universities regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Some of the departments described below are also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), or the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)*.

Schools in Minnesota with Online EdD Programs

Located in St. Paul, Bethel University offers two different EdD programs online through its Graduate School: a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership and a Doctor of Education in K-12 Administration. Both degrees require a total of 61 credits and can be completed in as few as three years. Students in either concentration will take courses in areas such as organizational leadership, curriculum design, instructional management, administration of educational programs, measurement and assessment, and legal issues in school administration. In addition to the aforementioned core courses, the Higher Education Leadership program includes courses such as Institutional Assessment in Higher Education, Strategic Leadership, Legal Issues in Higher Education, Budgeting and Fiscal Management, and Leadership of Academic and Support Systems in Higher Education. The curriculum for the K-12 Administration pathway covers topics such as Operations and Personnel Administration, Resource Management in K-12 Education, Meeting the Needs of All Stakeholders, and Administrators as Agents of Change; this specialization also includes internship opportunities for students interested in becoming principals, superintendents, or directors of special education.

Bethel’s two EdD programs are delivered almost entirely online, except for an annual weeklong intensive that takes place on the Bethel campus each year. Students in the K-12 Administration program can also specialize in special education through Bethel’s Director of Special Education License program. This licensure program is approved by the Minnesota Board of School Administrators and can be completed as part of the EdD program.

Concordia University-St. Paul offers an online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program through its College of Education. A total of 64 credit hours are required to earn the degree, with students focusing their studies on three main areas: exemplary leadership models and ethics, how to produce and evaluate research aimed at improving organizations, and their own unique doctorate field experience and dissertation work. The curriculum in the program includes courses such as Organizational Theory, Influences and Assessment of Public Policy, Data and Quantitative Analysis, Solutions Based Leadership, Strategic Advancement, Leadership and Scholarship Coaching, Qualitative Research Methods, and Research Design. While the majority of coursework takes place online, students are required to attend two five-day on-campus residencies. The first, titled Leadership and Problems of Practice, centers on advancing students’ “personal equity journey as a leader,” helping them shape their specific passion into a potential dissertation topic. During the second residency, students further refine their dissertation plan, research methodology, and associated leadership skills, before devoting much of their remaining time in the program to completion of the project.

St. Cloud State University offers an online EdD in Higher Education Administration that is 100% online, and which prepares students for advanced administrative roles in higher education settings. This 72-credit program features eight and 16 week course sequences. Students take a Higher Education Core that includes courses such as College and University Leadership, Diversity and Social Justice in Higher Education, Community Building, Higher Education Law, Organizational Theory in Higher Education Administration, and Planning and Change in Higher Education. Students also take several key Research Core Courses that train them in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, as well as research design and evaluation. Electives in the program include Curriculum and the Academic Program in Higher Education, Governance and Policy Development in Higher Education, Organization and Administration of Student Affairs, College Student Development Theory, and Special Topics in Higher Education. As their culminating experience, all students are required to complete a dissertation, wherein they design their own research study around a problem of practice that is directly relevant to the field of higher education administration. All students receive guidance and support from a dissertation chair and committee during their work on their culminating experience.

Minnesota State University Moorhead offers an online EdD in Educational Leadership with areas of study in P-12 Leadership and Higher Education Leadership. This 72-credit program prepares P-12 and post-secondary educators for leadership roles that involve fostering diverse, social justice-oriented, and technologically rich learning environments. Students take core courses such as Quantitative Methods in Educational Research; Qualitative Methods in Educational Research; Educational Law and Policy: Historical, Political, and Global Perspectives; Fiscal Management for Educational Growth and Change; Instructional Models for Learners and Leaders; Emerging Issues in Supervision and Administration; and Strategic Assessment and Accountability in Education. After their core courses, students can take electives such as Social, Cultural, Political, and Community Dimensions of Education; Curriculum, Instruction, & Learning Theory; Instructional Models; College Student Development; Introduction to Student Affairs and College Counseling in Higher Education; Personnel, Supervision, and Staff Development; and various seminars in Community Education, Special Education Director, Athletic and Activity Director, and other areas.

Students’ culminating experience in the program is a dissertation through which they investigate a problem of practice that affects their professional arena, and find ways to address this problem. Students are also required to attend two one-week summer residencies. For the first residency, which is entitled Building a Compassionate Community of Scholars, students engage in discussions about the meaning of compassionate leadership, and how empathy comes into play when fostering productive relationships with various stakeholders in the development of effective learning systems. For their second summer residency, students focus on the first three chapters of their dissertation under the guidance of their dissertation chair, and present their proposal defense before their dissertation committee.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona has an online EdD in Leadership with an emphasis on Organizational Leadership. Offered through their Graduate School of Education, the program consists of 61 credits and is designed to be completed in less than four years. Students begin by taking an orientation course, then delve into a 12-credit Organizational Leadership core comprised of courses in Leadership Theory, Organization Development, Organizational Effectiveness, and Ethical Dimensions in Organizational Leadership. The curriculum also includes a 15-credit Education Core, with courses such as Communication and Power in Learning Settings, Theories of Adult Learning, Instructional Strategies & Techniques for Adult Learners, and Systematic Instructional Design, and a 12-credit Inquiry Core, focusing on topics such as Advanced Research Writing, Techniques for Research, and Qualitative and Quantitative Research Design and Methods. Students round out their studies by choosing nine credits of electives relevant to their professional interests, and subsequently complete 13 credits associated with their dissertation and comprehensive capstone examination.

Saint Mary’s EdD in Leadership program combines synchronous and asynchronous online instruction with three annual weekend residencies, which take place over five days during each summer semester (typically in mid-July).

University of St. Thomas, Minnesota in Minneapolis offers a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Learning online through its School of Education. Students can choose to pursue their degree in one of five concentrations: PK-12 Administration, Higher Education Administration, Music Education, Leadership in Student Affairs, or Adult Learning. Each track requires the completion of 66 credits, including a dissertation, and takes roughly four years to finish. Along with electives in their particular concentration, all students take core courses such as Education Leaders and Learners, Scholars and Researchers in Education, Leadership for Social Justice in Education, Research Paradigms in Education, Classic and Contemporary Readings in Education, Quantitative Research Methods, and Qualitative Methods of Research and Evaluation, as well as a number of credits associated with their dissertation work. All of the coursework in this cohort-based program can be completed online; however, students are required to attend a Summer Residency on campus each year of their studies during the last two weeks of July.

St. Thomas also offers a number of other opportunities for online students to gain hands-on training while completing their degree, such as a Leadership in the Global Contexts of Ghana overseas trip, real-world field experiences in a variety of professional areas, and community partnerships with local organizations such as the Northwest Suburban Integration District, Center for Academics and Sports, FAIR School, and the Collaborative Urban Educators program.

Winona State University offers an online EdD with Emphasis Areas in Curriculum and Instruction, Higher Education, Indigenous Studies, Special Education, Organizational Administration, and Technology Education. This program, which is comprised of 54 semester hours, prepares educators at the P-12, community college, and higher education levels to use data-informed strategies to improve academic programming and education systems, evaluate programs effectively, and cultivate multicultural learning environments across different academic contexts. Students of this program take courses such as Transforming Education Through Technology; Multicultural Perspectives of Teaching and Learning; Policy, Politics, and Change; Current Trends and Issues; Multicultural Perspectives in Community and Educational Practices; Action Research; Program Evaluation; and Data-Driven Decision-Making. They also have the option of taking a wide variety of electives according to their interests and goals, selecting nine semester hours of electives in consultation with their faculty advisors. Once students have completed their content courses, they progress to their dissertation, wherein they work on answering a research question that is of direct and practical import to their field of practice.

For those who wish to earn their EdD in a different specialization than the ones described above, such as Adult Learning and Leadership, Nursing Education, and Community College Leadership, there are many out-of-state online EdD programs that accept students who are residents of Minnesota. Some of these programs can be completed entirely online, while others require limited campus residencies, during which students meet course faculty and classmates for hands-on learning and networking. To learn more about EdD specialization options and browse available programs, check out our Online EdD Program Specializations page.


Online EdD Programs in Minnesota

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

Bethel University

(St. Paul)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, TEAC

Concordia University - Saint Paul

(Saint Paul)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CAEP

Minnesota State University Moorhead

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, NCATE
Department: College of Education & Human Services - Department of Leadership & Learning

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Department: Graduate School of Education

St. Cloud State University

(St. Cloud)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Department: School of Education - Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education

University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Winona State University

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, NCATE

*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 and TEAC accredited programs will become CAEP accredited when their accreditation is up for renewal.