Online Doctor of Education (EdD) Programs in Pennsylvania

Updated: February 2, 2024

In Pennsylvania, there are eight schools that offer Doctor of Education degrees online. Arcadia University, Drexel University, Gratz College, Gwynedd Mercy University, Pennsylvania Western University, Point Park University, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, and Wilkes University all have EdD programs students can pursue either entirely online or through primarily online study with some campus residency requirements. Combined, these institutions offer a total of 11 different online programs, with specialization options in areas such as Higher Education Leadership, K-12 Administration, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Technology, Special Education, Athletic Administration, and more.

All of the schools listed on this page are non-profit institutions regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Some departments described below may also be accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Schools in Pennsylvania with Online EdD Programs

Arcadia University in Glenside offers an online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership through its School of Education. This program is comprised of 51 credits and follows a cohort model, with students taking two courses per semester for three years. Classes include both asynchronous and synchronous components. The curriculum for the program includes 30 credits of core content courses such as Social Justice and the Opportunity Gap; Organizational Theory, Change, and Sustainability; Improving Education Through Inquiry; Community Partnerships; and Resolving Ethical Challenges in Educational Institutions. Students also take 18 credits of research courses, including classes on Qualitative Research Methods, Quantitative Research Methods, Mixed Methods Research, and Advanced Research Methods. Students apply what they have learned in their courses to a culminating dissertation through which they investigate a key educational problem or challenge in their work context.

Drexel University in Philadelphia offers a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Management online through its School of Education with 11 different concentration options. Students can choose to specialize in Creativity and Innovation; Educational Administration (Pennsylvania Superintendent Letter of Eligibility Optional); Educational Policy; Global & International Education; Higher Education Leadership (Administration, Leadership, & Assessment or Administration, Student Success, & Innovation); Human Resource Development; Learning Technologies; Mind, Brain & Learning; Nursing Education; Special Education Leadership; and Sport Leadership. This fully online program requires roughly 61 quarter credits and takes three to five years to complete on a part-time basis. Along with core courses in Educational Leadership and Change, Creative Strategies for Educational Leaders, Using and Integrating Learning Technologies, Program Evaluation in Organizations, Transformative Leadership, and Educational Leadership for Equity and Social Justice, students take a number of courses related to quantitative and qualitative research methods and data analysis, as well as 15 to 16 credits of concentration courses in their focus area. For example, the Learning Technologies track includes courses such as Instructional Design: Project Management, Play and Learning in a Participatory Culture, Technologies for Performance Support, Instructional Design Methods, and The Purpose and Business of E-Learning, while the Mind, Brain, and Learning track features classes in Neuropedagogy and Assessment, Neurodiversity in Education and Workforce, Principles of Adult Learning, and Neuroscience, Creativity, and Innovation.

At Gratz College in Melrose Park, students can pursue a Doctorate of Education in Leadership online through the Department of Graduate Programs. Designed for educators looking to enhance their leadership abilities and produce positive change in educational settings, the program consists of six core courses and seven additional courses in one of three concentration tracks: PreK-12 Education, Jewish Education, or Higher Education. A total of 48 credits are required, and the degree is designed to be completed in three years with courses offered online in an eight-week accelerated model. Core curriculum covers topics such as Leading an Educational Organization, Strategic Planning for Educational Leadership, Cross Cultural Perspectives in Educational Leadership, Methods of Inquiry, and Needs Assessment, Program Design, and Evaluation. There are also three required week-long summer residencies, in which students travel to campus to participate in face-to-face learning and networking opportunities during Gratz’s annual Summer Institute.

Gwynedd Mercy University has an Accelerated Executive Doctorate in Educational Leadership that can be completed online in less than three years. Offered by their School of Graduate and Professional Studies, the program includes four potential areas of interest: Leadership in PreK-12 Schools and School Districts, Leadership in Higher Education, Leadership in Special Education, and Teaching & Learning in Higher Education. Each concentration requires a minimum of 54 credits, as well as two on-campus residencies and an international study experience. Coursework in GMercyU’s online EdD program covers a combination of advanced theory and skills development in areas ranging from teaching, assessment, and education research to faculty management and community relations, in order to prepare graduates for advanced careers in research, policy, or administration. Those with at least three years of relevant work experience also have the option of earning a Superintendent Letter of Eligibility as part of their studies. In addition to its traditional program, Gwynedd Mercy University also offers an ABD (All But Dissertation) Doctorate in Education program for students who have completed the majority of their coursework at another EdD program, but who have not been able to finish their dissertation and earn their doctorate. This ABD program has accelerated courses and intensive research and writing support to help students finish their research project.

Pennsylvania Western University (PennWest) has a fully online Doctor of Education in Education Administration and Leadership students can pursue while earning a Superintendent Letter of Eligibility (SLE). There is also the option to enter the program with advanced standing, if students already hold the SLE credential and just want to earn their doctorate. PennWest’s online EdD in Education Administration and Leadership is comprised of 57 credits and offers a special focus on fiscal resource management. Students can expect to gain advanced skills related to operations management, problem-solving, decision-making, communication, and more, taking courses in areas such as business practices and financial management, human resource relations, applied research in educational settings, and ethics and integrity in education leadership. The program is delivered entirely online using asynchronous instruction, meaning students can access lectures and complete assignments on their own schedule, without being required to login at specific times for live lectures or class discussions.

Located in Pittsburgh, Point Park University offers an EdD in Leadership and Administration online through its School of Education. The 54-credit, three-year program has three different concentration options, allowing students to tailor their studies toward Professional Leadership, K-12 Administration (including Principal Certification), or earning a Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility. Each track is delivered entirely online, with no campus visit requirements. Students spend their first year completing courses in their chosen concentration, before moving into theory and research coursework in their second year and dissertation courses in their third. Courses run year-round, divided into eight-week sessions, and take place in the evening one night a week, delivered online through live video. There is also a two-year option for students able to transfer 18 post-master’s credits toward the EdD.

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania offers an online EdD in Educational Leadership and Administration with concentration options in Administration Studies and Policy, and Higher Education. This 60-credit program requires students to take core courses in Educational Administration: Concepts and Practice; History of Western Education; Technology-Based Inquiry in Middle & Secondary Schools; Strategic Leadership; Organizational Leadership; and Measurement, Testing, and Assessment. Students are also required to take courses in univariate and multivariate statistical methods as well as qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. After their core courses, students embark on their concentration courses. Students of the Administrative Studies and Policies concentration take courses in Instructional Supervision for the Administrator, School Finance, Administrative Ethics and School Law, Practicum in School Administration, The Principalship, and Program Evaluation. Students of the Higher Education concentration take courses in American Higher Education: Institutions and Issues; Access, Equity, and Affordability in Higher Education; Higher Education Law and Policy; and Financing and Fundraising in Higher Education. For their culminating experience, all students complete a dissertation on a research question that is of importance to their area of work in education leadership. Students work closely with a faculty committee during their dissertation proposal, the conducting of their research, and their final dissertation defense.

Finally, Wilkes University has two online EdD programs for students to choose from, both offered by their School of Education. The first is a Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership for International Educators that is designed for teachers and leaders who want to improve educational systems around the world. Coursework is built on a foundation of theory and research, combined with key skills related to instructional methods, curriculum design, classroom technology, and leadership practice. While the majority of the program is delivered online, it also includes annual four-day residencies at international sites, where students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in different cultures and learn from educational leaders in locations such as Dubai or Panama City.

The second online program available at Wilkes is a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership with specializations in K-12 Administration (with a Pennsylvania Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility) or Educational Leadership (which offers concentrations in Educational Technology, Curriculum and Instruction, or Educational Leadership Skills). Curriculum for this EdD focuses on the principles of leadership theory and practice, providing the framework for scholarship, innovation, and strategic organizational transformation. Along with virtual class sessions and online coursework, students must attend three on-campus residencies throughout their studies. Both EdD programs at Wilkes University require 60 post-master’s credits and can be completed in three to four years.

Online EdD Programs in Pennsylvania

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

Accreditation: MSCHE
Department: School of Education

Gratz College

(Melrose Park)
Accreditation: MSCHE

Pennsylvania Western University

Accreditation: MSCHE, CAEP

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

(Slippery Rock)
Accreditation: MSCHE, CAEP