Affordable online EdD in education programs are common, but not all offer accreditation, rigor, or scholarly research opportunities. Many of the programs that meet high standards are often expensive and lack online options. But earning an online EdD in education while working can be highly beneficial to your career.

Some of the education online EdD programs we looked at are designed for working educators. These programs are affordable and flexible, many of which allow students to earn their doctorate in education while teaching full time. Summer intensives fit conveniently around the school calendar and allow teachers and educators to meet the demands of their work and education easily. This ranking was created to help you select a cheap online education EdD that will best fit with your personal responsibilities and meet your career goals.

Ranking Low-cost Education EdD Online Programs

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The schools on this list were compiled by looking at 20 online EdD in education, or closely related, programs. We selected colleges or universities that had received regional or national accreditation and at least one ranking or recognition from a major publication like U.S. News and World Report. We gathered in-state graduate tuition from the National Center for Education Statistics (College Navigator) and ranked the top 10 schools according to raw affordability.

The sources we used included:

The National Center for Education Statistics – College Navigator, for tuition information.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics, for earnings potential and projected job outlook.

U.S. News and World Report for school and/or program rankings.

Sources were used to verify information, compile data, and examine tuition costs. The most affordable online education EdD programs are listed below:

#10 – Indiana University

Online EdD in Literacy, Culture, & Language Education

Bloomington, Indiana

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,996

Earning a spot on our most affordable online EdD in education programs, the literacy, culture, and language education degree from Indiana University can be completed online. This sixty-credit program consists of primary coursework via online courses and a dissertation focus. Students may take up to seven years to complete the education doctorate online degree, although most finish the program in just three years. Some of the courses include issues in literacy and language education, methodological approaches to educational inquiry, strategies for educational inquiry, and theoretical issues in the study of language and literacies. Indiana University is ranked and accredited. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the school as the 90th best national university. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #22 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#9 – University of Missouri

Online EdD in Educational Leadership

Columbia, Missouri

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,576

More than a general education EdD online degree program, the EdD in educational leadership from University of Missouri prepares educators for administrative and leadership roles in schools. This cheap online education EdD program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Teacher Education Accreditation Council and offers a blended delivery method. Minimal on-campus visits are required, although most courses are delivered online. Coursework covers content and context in learning, educational policy, leadership theory and practice, and organizational analysis. The program is affordable and offers in-state tuition rates, regardless of where you live. Also, major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the institution as a top national university. The online graduate education programs rank #61 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#8 – Texas A & M University

Online EdD in Curriculum and Instruction

College Station, Texas

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,904

Texas A&M University offers an EdD education online degree program with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction. This online degree is designed for working educators and requires applicants to have an accredited master’s degree prior to admission. Courses are administered via web-based delivery, and the estimated completion time is four years. Courses cover all areas of education, including curriculum and instruction. Topics covered include educator as learner, introduction to the EdD in curriculum and instruction, problem-based research frameworks, and student assessment in the content domains. An internship is also required as part of the program. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Texas A&M as a top national university. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #72 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#7 – University of Nebraska

Online PhD in Educational Studies

Lincoln, Nebraska

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,810

University of Nebraska offers both an online EdD in education that emphasizes leadership and higher ed, and also an online PhD in educational studies. The online programs offer flexible coursework and minimal visits to campus. Students interested in working at the community college level may choose to earn a graduate certificate in community college leadership. Nearly all classes are delivered online with the exception of some on-campus research seminars during summer sessions. The institution is ranked and accredited. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the school as a top national university and best value school. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #4 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs. University of Nebraska offers a cheap online education EdD for those who work and require a budget-friendly program.

#6 – University of North Dakota

Online PhD in Higher Education

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,643

One of the most affordable education EdD online programs on our list is the PhD in higher education from University of North Dakota. This hybrid program allows students to take classes on Fridays and Saturdays with online coursework. The degree is set up to complete in just three years, and most students continue working while taking classes. Open enrollment allows students to begin taking classes at any time, which adds to the convenient design of this online program. The school is accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the institution as a top national university. It offers one of the most affordable EdD education online programs on our list.

#5 – Liberty University

Online EdD in Education

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,140 full time; $3,900 part-time

Liberty University offers an education EdD online program that is NCATE-accredited and designed with the purpose of developing skilled and effective leaders in education. Specialization options allow students to tailor their education doctorate online degree toward areas of interest like educational leadership or curriculum and instruction. All classes are delivered online, and a total of 60 credit hours must be completed to earn the degree. Some of the required courses include investigations in curriculum change, issues and trends in educational leadership, and professional writing and research. In addition to national accreditation, Liberty also offers recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as a top national university, and its online graduate education programs rank #174 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#4 – Lamar University

Online EdD in Education – Educational Leadership

Beaumont, Texas

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,006

Lamar University’s education EdD online degree program allows students to earn an online doctoral degree in education in just eight semesters. This accelerated and cheap online education EdD is delivered as a distance-education degree and requires no residency or travel to campus. The program is designed to fit into the busy lives and schedules of full time educators, teachers, and working professionals. Students enrolled in the program also engage in contemporary research projects designed to make a large impact on the global good of education. The program consists of 60 credits with classes executed in eight-week increments. This program offers a unique summer start date. Lamar is accredited and ranked with U.S. News and World Report as a top national institution. Also, the online graduate education programs at Lamar rank #77 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#3 – Removed by editor.

#2 – Texas Tech University

Online EdD in Higher Education

Lubbock, Texas

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,525

Texas Tech University offers a variety of education EdD online programs, including the EdD in Higher Education. This 60 credit hour program requires applicants hold a bachelor’s and master’s from accredited institutions and have completed three years of full-time professional experience serving higher education. The program offers a blended delivery format with the majority of coursework completed entirely online. Texas Tech is an accredited public institution and one of the most affordable schools to offer education doctorate online programs on our list. The school and its programs are also ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online graduate education programs at Texas Tech rank #109 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#1 – University of the Cumberlands

Online EdD in Educational Leadership

Williamsburg, Kentucky

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,970

The most affordable online EdD in education program on our list is offered by University of the Cumberlands. The Doctorate in Educational Leadership is a sixty credit hour program designed for working professionals who need a program that accommodates busy work schedules. The EdD education online program is 100% online, which means there are no required on-campus visits, although optional on-campus classes are available and generally meet on Saturdays. Some of the required courses include advanced educational research, educational program evaluation, inferential statistics in education, leadership in theory and practice, and strategic planning and decision making. University of the Cumberlands is ranked and accredited. In fact, major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the school as a top national institution. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #92 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Other schools we looked at include:

Johns Hopkins University

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $52,210

University of Southern California

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $42,305

Drexel University

Online EdD in Educational Leadership and Management

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $33,024

Andrews University

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $25,818

Northeastern University

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,913

University of Pittsburgh

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,578

Concordia University

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,910

University of New England

Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,622

Nova Southeastern University

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,175

University of Illinois

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,289

Northcentral University

Online PhD in Education

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,781

Capella University

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,003

Walden University

Online PhD in Education

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,555

Regent University

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD) and PhD in Education

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,226

University of South Carolina

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,798

University of Florida

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,737

Florida State University

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,543

Arizona State University

Online EdD in Leadership and Innovation

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,506

The University of Alabama

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,470

Southwestern College

Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,085

 

Education Administration Career Outlook

Most individuals earning an EdD education online degree have career aspirations of becoming a secondary administrator, postsecondary education administrator, or principal. School administrators typically need a master’s degree for entry-level positions, but employers do prefer candidates holding an EdD or PhD.

The job outlook for education administrators is projected to grow ten percent over the next nine years, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. More growth is expected for postsecondary education administrators as colleges and universities anticipate increasing student enrollment. Employment growth for school principals and secondary administrators will depend on state and local budgets. Budget constraints could delay the building and opening of new schools; however, employment for elementary, middle, and high school principals is expected to increase eight percent over the next several years. The rate is about as fast as the average of all occupations.

How to Find the Right Online Education EdD

Finding a suitable online education EdD program requires research. Many programs exist, but not all may fit your needs and expectations. The most important aspect of any online program is accreditation. The importance of accreditation and how employers regard accredited programs are discussed in the next section. Once you have determined accreditation, you should research your fit. Ask yourself if the program offers the kind of courses you expect to take in an online education EdD program. Also, look for research opportunities and internships. Both of these may lead to career advancement.

The Importance of Accreditation

Accreditation is important when searching for an online education EdD program. Employers, especially schools, colleges, and universities, value regionally or nationally accredited institutions. Accreditation is critical for advanced degrees. Earning a non-accredited degree will make you less likely to secure employment or advance your career. Accrediting agencies authorized by the U.S. Department of Education help enforce strict guidelines and standards for curricula and ensure candidates receive a quality education online EdD degree.

Specialization Options for Education Doctorate Online Programs

There are several specialization options for online EdD programs that allow students to tailor their degree toward areas of interest or to meet career goals. While some students may opt to earn a general education Ed.D. degree, others might choose to earn credentials in curriculum and instruction, instructional technology, organizational management, principalship, or the superintendency. There are also specialties at different levels of education. For those interested in educational administration at the elementary school level, an emphasis in K-12 leadership might be suitable. Adult education and postsecondary administration specializations are also available.

What Do Education Administrators Earn

Pay varies for educational administrators and is contingent on education level, job setting, and years of experience. The United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a person with an online education EdD degree will generally earn more over a lifetime than an individual with only a master’s degree in education. This is likely due to career advancement for those with an earned doctorate. Experience is also a factor when it comes to earning potential. The school systems reward longevity. Those with ten years of experience will earn more than those with only one year of experience, especially in administration and teaching positions. Earning an education online EdD can provide a higher return on investment than a master’s degree.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the median annual wage for elementary, middle, and high school administrators (such as principals) was just over $92,000 in May 2016. Postsecondary education administrators earned an average of $90,760 in May 2016. While secondary administrators earned more on average than postsecondary education administrators, the highest 10 percent earned nearly $180,000 per year. This is approximately $44,000 per year more than elementary, middle, or high school administrators.

Unlike teachers, most administrators work year round and take little to no time off during the summer months. Some schools may reduce their hours in the summer, but administrators are expected to work during this time. Hiring new staff, attending workshops and conferences, and managing school affairs often occurs year round. Also, administrators may find themselves working evenings and weekends to meet with parents and community members, organize school and athletic functions, or attend concerts and other programs orchestrated by the school or university.

GSH Staff
December 2017

This concludes our ranking of the top 10 most affordable doctorate in education online degree programs of 2018.