Online Doctor of Education (EdD) Programs in South Carolina

Updated: February 27, 2024

There are three schools in South Carolina where students can pursue a Doctor of Education online. Clemson University, Southern Wesleyan University, and the University of South Carolina offer EdD programs delivered through online courses that require little or no on-campus attendance. A number of different degree focuses or concentrations are available for these programs, including Education Systems Improvement Science, Curriculum and Assessment, Educational Technology, Curriculum Studies, STEM Education, and more.

Clemson University, Southern Wesleyan University, and the University of South Carolina are all nonprofit institutions, regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Their education departments are also accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation (CAEP). To learn more about the online EdD programs offered by these schools, continue reading below.

Schools in South Carolina with Online EdD Programs

Clemson University in Clemson has an online EdD in Education Systems Improvement Science that is designed for professionals who have earned an Education Specialist (EdS) or equivalent degree, and who are PK-12 certified practitioners. This program prepares students to address complex and systemic educational challenges in diverse and rural settings through improvement science and innovative change strategies. Students of this program take courses that cover models for whole school reform, the history of and contemporary issues within rural education, diversity and equity in school communities, poverty in schools, applied improvement science investigations in schools, and systemic educational reform. Students also take nine credits of cognate courses in an area of their choosing, as well as an advanced doctoral seminar.

Students’ culminating experience is the dissertation in practice, through which they investigate a contextual and systemic challenge facing educators, as well as opportunities to implement improvement science principles to change and evaluate learning outcomes. Throughout their work on their dissertation, students receive support from faculty advisors. This program follows a cohort model that blends synchronous and asynchronous online courses. While the majority of this program is online, there is an in-person summer orientation and annual summer summits during which students complete their comprehensive qualifying exam, dissertation proposal defense, and dissertation defense.

Located in the town of Central, Southern Wesleyan University (SWU) offers an online Doctor of Education through its School of Education, which features concentrations in Curriculum and Assessment and The Exceptional Learner. Regardless of their concentration, students take core courses that cover curriculum assessment methods and ethics, research and analysis in education, data-driven instruction, program evaluation and improvement, and leadership and values in diverse organizations. Coursework for the Curriculum and Assessment concentration includes courses on the foundations of curriculum design and implementation, curriculum and assessment for the diverse learner, and methods of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

For students of The Exceptional Learner concentration, required coursework covers topics such as the nature and needs of the exceptional learner, teaching methods for exceptional learners, and assessment for exceptional learner education programs and performance. While the majority of coursework can be completed online, students are required to attend three weeklong residencies on campus, held during each summer of the program. These in-person sessions include lectures and other activities intended to help students with the development of their capstone dissertation project, as well as foster closer relationships with their classmates and program faculty.

At the University of South Carolina (UofSC) in Columbia, students can pursue a Doctor of Education in Educational Practice and Innovation online in one of four different concentrations: Education Systems Improvement, Curriculum Studies, Learning Design and Technologies, and STEM Education. Offered by their College of Education, this program is fully online with no campus-based requirements and can be completed in as few as 36 months. Each concentration requires a total of 60 credit hours, with a curriculum comprised of a Curriculum and Instruction Core, research courses, concentration coursework, cognate courses, and 12 semester hours associated with dissertation preparation and writing. Specific coursework varies by concentration. For instance, the STEM Education track covers topics such as Principles of STEM Integration, Integration of Technology and Instruction, Advanced Readings in Science/Mathematics Education, Principles of Engineering for Teachers, Applications of Project-Based Learning, and Research in STEM Education. Courses are offered in an eight-week format, and the program has multiple start dates throughout the year.

Students looking to pursue their EdD online in a specialization not offered by Clemson, SWU, or UofSC, such as K-12 or Higher Education Administration, Special Education, or Organizational Leadership, may want to consider a program based out of state. Many institutions around the country offer online Doctor of Education programs that accept students from South Carolina. While some of these can be completed entirely online, others may require students to visit campus on occasion for residency sessions or other in-person instructional components. To learn more about the different EdD concentrations and browse available programs, check out our Online EdD Program Specializations page.

Online EdD Programs in South Carolina

Below is a comprehensive list of EdD programs offered online by schools in South Carolina. For further information about either of the degrees discussed on this page, such as current admission requirements or tuition costs, click the corresponding link to visit the school’s website.

Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP
Department: College of Education

Southern Wesleyan University

Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP