Online Doctor of Education (EdD) Programs in Virginia

Updated: February 28, 2024

There are currently seven schools in Virginia that offer Doctor of Education programs online. Liberty University, Marymount University, Radford University, Regent University, The College of William & Mary, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University all have EdD degrees students can pursue entirely online or with minimal on-campus requirements. In total, these schools offer eight different online programs for students to choose from, in specializations ranging from Higher Education to Christian Leadership, Adult Education, Educational Technology, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, and Organizational Innovation.

All of the schools listed on this page are non-profit universities, regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Some of the departments at these universities are also accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) or the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)*.

Schools in Virginia with Online EdD Programs

Located in Lynchburg, Liberty University has a total of three EdD programs available for online study. The first, offered through their Rawlings School of Divinity, is an online Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership with emphasis on Ministry Leadership. This applied theology degree program is comprised of 60 credit hours and designed to be completed in as few as three years (with students taking an average of three and a half years). The curriculum for this program includes courses such as Biblical and Theological Foundations of Leadership, Organizational Theory and Development, Character and Ethics in Leadership and Education, Group and Team Dynamics: Theory and Practice, and Change, Power, and Conflict in Leadership, as well as 27 hours of research methods and dissertation work. The program is delivered entirely online through asynchronous instruction. Students can access lectures and participate in seminar discussions at any time, and are never required to visit campus during their course of study.

Liberty offers two additional online EdD programs through its School of Education: a Doctor of Education in Education Leadership and a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Both consist of 54 credits and take an average of three years to complete. The EdD in Education Leadership is intended for professionals who want to take on leadership roles in both schools and the larger community, identifying and solving educational challenges while creating the most positive experience possible for students. It includes courses in Advanced Learning Theory and Research, Educational Law, Theories of Educational Leadership, Public Relations, School Finance, Conflict Resolution, and more. The EdD in Curriculum and Instruction offers five different specializations for students to choose from, with areas of study in Elementary Education, General Education, Middle Grades Education, Secondary Education, and Special Education. Coursework varies by concentration, but all students can expect to take two Education Theory courses, four classes related to Research and Evaluation, and a Curriculum and Instruction Core consisting of courses in Learning Technologies, Curriculum Theory, Curriculum Design and Development, Investigations in Curriculum Change, and Trends and Issues in Curriculum and Instruction. Both programs are fully online with no in-person requirements. However, the EdD in Curriculum and Instruction offers three to four optional intensives on Liberty’s campus in Central Virginia, which range in length from a weekend to one week.

Located in Arlington, Marymount University offers an Online EdD in Educational Leadership and Organizational Innovation through its School of Sciences, Mathematics, and Education. Students in this program take a set curriculum of 48 credits that cover topics such as organizational leadership theory and practice, ethical leadership and social justice, transformative leadership, models of coaching and mentorship, conflict and crisis management, global leadership policy, advanced research methodologies, and administration of social and human capital. These classes are designed to empower students to enact organizational change and pedagogical improvements in diverse settings, collaborate with stakeholders to develop multifaceted and ongoing strategies for continual improvement, and to utilize advanced applied research skills and methods to evaluate the efficacy of initiatives and modify accordingly. After completing the majority of their coursework, students complete a doctoral project or a final research paper as their final graduation requirement.

Radford University offers an online EdD with a focus in Educational Leadership that is fully online with no campus visits. This 63-credit program provides students with a strong foundation in leadership principles and practices that can be applied to a wide range of educational and organizational settings. Students take core courses in Social and Cultural Foundations of Place-Based Education; Advanced Learning Sciences; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Leadership in the 21st Century. Students also take classes in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, program evaluation, and applied research methods, which help prepare them for their future dissertation work. For the Educational Leadership focus of their curriculum, students take classes in Advanced School Law, Leadership for Human Resources, Leadership for Teaching and Learning, Policy and Governance of Schools, and School Finance and Operations. Students have the option of taking 15 credits of elective courses, or taking a combination of electives and an Internship in School District Leadership for credit. The Doctoral Dissertation is students’ final graduation requirement in the program, and is one that allows students to examine in-depth a research inquiry that is of importance to their work in educational and/or organizational leadership. Students benefit from the guidance and support of a faculty committee during their dissertation work.

Regent University in Virginia Beach offers an online Doctor of Education program with ten possible degree concentrations. Students can pursue their EdD online in Adult Education, Advanced Educational Leadership, Christian Education Leadership, Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Psychology, Educational Technology & Online Learning, Exceptional Education Executive Leadership, Higher Education Leadership & Management, K-12 School Leadership, and Special Education. Available through Regent’s School of Education, the EdD program uses a cohort model, with start dates in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Details vary by specialization; however, all require a minimum of 66 credit hours and use eight-week terms instead of the traditional semester or quarter system. Students take core courses in research design and analysis, educational statistics, qualitative data analysis, and issues in education.

Students then take coursework that is devoted to their chosen concentration. For example, the Advanced Educational Leadership concentration features courses in strategic planning, organizational and institutional change, program evaluation, and the adult learner, while the Special Education concentration includes courses on the history of special education, meta-analysis in the social sciences, special education interventions, best practices in special education, and international special education. The program is designed to be finished in around four years (including dissertation work), but students have up to seven years to complete their degree, if necessary. Coursework is delivered online, and each degree track includes three on-campus residencies spread throughout the course of study. Students who already possess an Educational Specialist (EdS) or equivalent degree may be admitted with advanced standing, transferring credit from their previous postgraduate work towards completion of the EdD.

The College of William and Mary offers an online Executive EdD in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership with a concentration in International School Leadership. This program prepares students to lead organizational and systemic change at the global level, and to enact educational improvements that help push forward intercultural and cross-cultural knowledge, skills, and advocacy. The curriculum consists of 51 credit hours, with students taking courses such as Comparative and International Educational Policy Studies; Intercultural Competence and International Education; Leadership in International Education; Cross Disciplinary Perspectives in Educational Theory, Research and Practice; Data-Based Decision Making; Action Research; Critical Issues in Curriculum; and Leadership for Social Justice, Equity and Excellence. In addition, students take two Executive EdD Program Research Seminars that help to prepare them for their dissertation work in their third year. The Executive EdD has an integrated dissertation model that brings dissertation preparation into students’ coursework from the beginning of their enrollment. With guidance and mentorship from faculty advisors, students pursue a tactical and education-related research question that relates to their professional work, with the aim of finding and testing a potential solution to this challenge.

The University of Virginia’s School of Education and Human Development, located in Charlottesville, has a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction students can pursue online in one of several emphases. The program, which requires a minimum of 72 credit hours, offers areas of emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction, Instructional Design and Technology, Educational Innovation, Leadership in Reading and Literacy, English as a Second Language, Gifted Education, and Social and Emotional Learning. Full-time students can expect to finish their degree in around three years. A part-time option is also available, and typically takes four to seven years of study. Curriculum is comprised of an 18-credit Curriculum and Instruction Core, an 18-credit Research Methods Sequence, 12 credit hours in one’s Area of Emphasis, six credits of electives, a six-credit internship, 10 credit hours related to the culminating Capstone Project, and two credit hours of exams. UVA’s EdD in Curriculum and Instruction can be completed entirely online, with no campus residency requirements.

In Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) School of Education offers an online EdD in Leadership that is comprised of 48 course credits and which trains professionals from a wide variety of organizational and educational contexts to lead positive change and engage in data-informed program development and improvement. Students take courses such as Effective Learning Networks; Understanding Self as Leader: Theory, Data Analysis, and Practical Applications; Principles for Professional Writing; Equity & Leadership; Frameworks for Decision-Making: Legal Perspectives; Leadership Presence; Planning for Sustainable Change; Evidence-Informed Perspectives on Practice; and Communicating Research Findings. Students can elect to be a part of specialized learning communities in one of two areas: Higher Education and General Leadership/K-12 Leadership. These learning communities enable students to discuss course concepts and relevant case studies with people with similar professional goals and diverse education and leadership experiences.

Courses in the VCU program are delivered fully online; however, students are required to attend one summer residency each year of their enrollment. Students’ culminating experience in the program is a group Capstone Project, where student groups of two to four partner with a community-based partner organization to help them solve an educational or organizational challenge through a research-based evaluation. Through this team-based project with direct, real-world relevance, students can apply the course concepts they have learned, the discussions they have had with instructors and peers, and the research skills they have honed to a project that can serve as a professional artifact for their future career advancement.

Online EdD Programs in Virginia

Below is a list of all the schools in Virginia that offer EdD programs online. For more information about any of the degrees described above, click on the corresponding link below to visit the program’s website.

Liberty University

Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP
Department: School of Sciences, Mathematics, and Education
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP
Department: School of Teacher Education and Leadership
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP

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