10 Most Affordable Online Doctorate in English Language Learning

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Updated August 16, 2023

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Finding an accredited and reputable online Ed.D in English Language Learning can be a difficult task. With so many online degrees available, students must wade through various program websites to find the information needed to make a decision. The search can often be fruitless if a student doesn't have a proper starting point to begin their research.

That is why this ranking has been created. The schools provided in the list is composed of the best English language learning doctorate online degrees and includes the specific information that every graduate student needs to learn. From discussing campus visit requirements to listing the most up-to-date and accurate tuition, each school would be a prime choice for anyone interested in entering this field.

Explore Online Doctorate in English Language Learning Programs.

Ranking Low-cost Online English Language Learning EdD Programs

  • Indiana University

    Bloomington, IN



    For more information: Indiana University

    Indiana University has one of the largest collectives on online education in the country, with students enrolled at any branch offered the opportunity to take other courses from other campuses. This goes for the online Ed.D in English Language Learning that is offered by several campuses. Students will find that the only campus requirement is a trip to the school's branch in Bloomington, Indiana, for a conference. All other coursework and dissertation meetings can be done by phone or online. The degree requires 60 credits of coursework and a dissertation. It is also possible for students with a master's degree in the same field to transfer in credits from a master's degree.

  • Murray State University

    Murray, KY



    For more information: Murray State University

    Murray University offers a cheap online English language learning degree for doctoral candidates that will provide them with the specialization necessary to become ESL professionals. This practice-based degree is available as a fully online degree and can be completed in as little as three years. The program will enable students to find work at higher education institutions as professors; doctoral graduates will also find positions available in the government or with educational companies who require ESL professionals. The specialization in Teaching English Language requires 48 credit hours of work and a capstone project. Sample courses include Introduction to Linguistic Science, Teaching ESL/EFL Writing, and Foundations of Second Language Acquisition.

  • Northcentral University

    San Diego, CA



    For more information: Northcentral University

    Northcentral University offers a pathway to an English language learning doctorate online. The program is conferred entirely online, providing students from all over the country to take part in this degree. This EdD requires 54 credit hours of work as well as a dissertation; however, internships are encouraged but optional. With the concentration in English as a Second Language, students will find that they are well prepared to design and adapt ESL curriculums at all levels of education with the use of research and curriculum design. Students can expect to complete all the requirements for this degree in about 40 months with full-time study, but it is possible to take up to seven years to earn the degree.

  • Texas A&M University

    College Station, TX



    For more information: Texas A&M University

    Texas A&M University offers an Ed.D online degree that has a concentration in English as a Second Language, a degrees that is growing in demand. This degree is taught by a world-renown faculty and bolstered by the school's reputation for preparing excellent teachers. As a hybrid degree, this program requires infrequent visits to campus towards the end of the curriculum for meetings on a student's dissertation and the defense of that paper. Along with 60 credit hours of coursework in the realm of curriculum and instruction, students will gain advanced knowledge on the ESL field, enabling them to become curriculum leaders in K-12 schools and the higher education system.

  • Texas Tech University

    Lubbock, TX



    For more information: Texas Tech University

    Texas Tech University has a long-standing tradition of excellence when it comes to educational degrees, especially at the terminal level. This reputation has followed the school into the realm of online education, where students can find the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction - Language, Diversity, and Literacy Studies. This program is offered as a hybrid program, where students must meet campus residency requirements for a two-week summer intensive for the first two years of their degree plan. All other coursework and placements are done in a student's area of residence. The program also includes two subfields: Language and Literacy as well as ESL. This is a practitioner degree and will prepare students for careers as a professor at the university level, work in academia and the government, and consultation work as a curriculum and instruction designer.

  • University of Cincinnati

    Cincinnati, OH



    For more information: University of Cincinnati

    The University of Cincinnati confers an academic degree in Second Language Studies; it is not a practitioner degree. It is focused on educational research based on linguistics, pedagogy, and research on language. The program requires a dissertation as well as a research paper that is submitted to publications as well as to national and international conferences. This degree has a minimum of 90 semester credit hours required for completion; samples of courses include Language and Emergent Literacy, Critical Pedagogy, Mentored University Teaching. While many courses can be completed online through the virtual portal, this program is best suited for students who live in and around the area of the school for assistantship opportunities.

  • University of Michigan at Dearborn

    Dearborn, MI



    For more information: University of Michigan at Dearborn

    The Ed.D English language learning online degree at the University of Michigan at Dearborn is a hybrid program that offers students the chance to learn about teaching in a diverse setting. This school's Ed.D program confers a concentration in Metropolitan Education, a program that prepares students to take leading roles in major metropolitan schools systems with a focus on diversity education. Along with a dissertation and 60 hours of coursework, students will find themselves focusing on the English language as part of the demand for stronger ESL programs across the country. While there are a few campus requirements for this course, including proposal meetings for dissertations, students will find that the bulk of the coursework can be completed online.

  • University of San Francisco

    San Francisco, CA



    For more information: University of San Francisco

    The University of San Francisco offers the EdD in International and Multicultural Education. While this degree can be made into a hybrid-online degree, students should note that many courses require consistent attendance on school grounds during the academic term. Other courses, however, are taught entirely online. Along with a thesis, students will be expected to complete 60 credits of coursework and a portfolio. The degree also comes with a concentration in Second Language Acquisition; these courses include Linguistic Rights and Bilingual Education, Sociology of Language, and Applied Linguistics. Students can also complete a minor if they choose to use their electives to create a sequence based on educational core concepts; this will further specialize this degree.

  • University of South Carolina

    Columbia, SC



    For more information: University of South Carolina

    The University of South Carolina offers a variety of online doctoral educational courses that can help a student complete a Ph.D. in Language and Literacy, an academic-focused degree that has its roots in research. The degree, which is best suited for students in the area because of campus requirements, is based on linguistics and educational pedagogy, providing graduates with a firm understanding of how the English language works and how its prevalence in American schools is a fact of life. The program requires 60 credit hours of work as well as a dissertation; students interested in this degree are encouraged to call the school for more information on the online course schedule.

  • University of Southern California

    Los Angeles, CA



    For more information: University of Southern California

    The University of Southern California has a hybrid English language learning EdD online that has a concentration in Teacher Education in Multicultural Societies. This is a degree that focuses on preparing students to become leaders in a more diverse classroom, whether in the K-12 school system or in the higher education institution system. Students who are accepted into the program have a Master of Science or Arts in the education field and roughly three to five years of work experience in K-12 classrooms. Courses for this degree, which does require a few campus visits throughout the four-year degree plan, include pedagogy in teacher education, examining literary theories and practice, and research and practice in the preparation of teachers.

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Metric Data Used Percentage
Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30%
Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10%
Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30%
Program Offerings Number of program options 20%
Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%
A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.

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Application Requirements for Doctorate in English Language Learning

Application requirements vary by school, but most require some work experience in a K-12 institution in a teaching capacity and a master's degree. Students may also find that they are required to be certified as an ESL teacher. TESOL, TESL, and TEFL certifications are also generally required for this particular degree; however, the exact certification is decided upon by the school.

What are the Various Disciplines of English Language Learning/English as a Second Language Teaching?

Disciplines that are common in English Language Learning/English as a Second Language Teaching include writing, literature, popular culture, technology, history, pedagogy, and linguistics. While Ed.D in English Language Teaching online degrees generally covers these disciplines, other disciplines have also become relevant.

For example, students taking an academic approach to the field may find that research into the history of linguistics, particularly English as a second language, is a major discipline within their work both at university and in their careers. This is because as an academic degree, the program is focused on researching the various aspects that create the field.

Other students may find that business, business writing, and marketing are disciplines for their education as well. This is because many large corporations employ curriculum and instruction professionals in this field to help their employees gain mastery over English. From a business perspective, learning English for the professional world is very important; this has bled into many prestigious Ed.D online programs.

How Much Can a Professional Earn in This Field?

According to Glassdoor, an English language teacher can earn anywhere from $38,000 to $73,000 a year; this includes salaries for entry-level teachers and may not apply to doctoral candidates. Salary also depends on what level of education a professional is teaching.

Other positions, such as a Director of Curriculum and Instruction in English, could be as high as $94,000 a year. Businesses generally pay $100,000 or more with bonuses for professionals with an Ed.D in English Language Learning. Higher salaries denote leadership positions within businesses and therefore also come with a variety of benefits as well.

It's important to remember that pay depends on the region in which a professional works and their position within the public or private sector. While public sector jobs are numerous, salary and benefits tend to be more beneficial when working in the private sector. Salary can also depend on a student's previous work experience and other factors.

Is a Cheaper Program Worth It?

Many students question whether a cheap online English language learning Ed.D degree will be helpful or useful to them. This comes from the idea that cheaper programs and schools are not necessarily as well-regarded or comprehensive as more expensive schools.

Affordable tuition rates actually depend on a variety of factors that have little to do with the program itself. State and public schools, for example, hold in-state and out-of-state tuition rates based on state regulations. Some schools are also beginning to provide online flat rate tuitions, meaning that all students, regardless of residency, pay the same amount of money for the same program.

Private and Ivy League schools have comprehensive programs with more options. This comes from higher tuition rates and a competitive atmosphere. However, these schools generally do not offer online Ed.D programs in English Language Teaching because it is a specialized field and the demand may not be strong for the program within that particular institution's student body.

Online programs, in general, are cheaper, but they also offer something that on-campus programs don't, which is flexibility. With a range of options, including accelerated term schedules and asynchronous learning, online students can complete their degree without having to leave their job or schedule their familial obligations around their education. It also allows them the chance to work on their education at their own pace, something on campus programs simply cannot guarantee.

Affordable programs exist for the online Ed.D in English Language learning degree; these programs are often accredited by the CEA and are well-regarded in the field. However, a cheap program is not the only consideration a student has; others include capstone options, practicums, and accreditation. It is up to the student to research different programs and choose the best option based on their needs and career goals.

Is Accreditation Necessary for Online Doctorates?

Not all doctoral programs are created equal and it's important to remember that when researching degree options. Unaccredited programs are generally not held to standards set by the industry, meaning that their educational program outcomes can vary. These programs also may suffer from an outdated curriculum, especially for online degrees.

Online programs may hold accreditation by the CEA, which is the Commission on English Language Accreditation. These programs are held to strict standards that enable students the opportunity to work within a code of conduct and core competency areas that are integral to this specialized field. These programs are more comprehensive and generally lead to better-paying jobs. The accreditation itself is also a mark of excellence among employers.

This isn't to say that online programs without CEA accreditation are less impactful than those that carry accreditation, but it does set a standard. Students who are interested in working abroad, for large corporations, or with the government would be best served by attending a school that is approved by the CEA.

Online programs do have issues with obtaining accreditation, especially online English learning EdD programs, but this is quickly changing. Students can now find a doctorate degree that is accredited and it is advisable to check a program's accreditation before making a decision.

The world of English as a second language is quickly growing because it is becoming the language of business and diplomacy. People with a native language other than English require strong professionals, like those of the GSH staff, to teach them English. Whether it's a month/year program or ongoing education for professional development, both the private and public sectors require professionals, and an online Ed.D in English Language Learning is the perfect start for interested students.

Frequently Asked Questions About Doctorates in English Language

What are the Career Options for an Online English Language Learning Degree?

There are numerous options for a student with an Ed.D English language learning online degree. The most popular is, of course, teaching within the K-12 system or as a professor at a higher education institution.

But that is not the only option. Students with this particular specialty can work for tutoring services and educational companies as a curriculum and instruction professional. This is a career that sees these professionals design and implements a curriculum based on English language learning. It is an in-demand subject for families who use English as a second language and want to accelerate their child's education in the subject.

It is also possible for these professionals to work for the government in the Department of Education. Their positions vary within the department, from curriculum and instruction to working with naturalized citizens to strengthen their understanding of the language. With dozens of languages spoken throughout the country, the need for specialized professionals in this field is only growing and is expected to continue its upward trajectory through 2026. Working for the intelligence and diplomatic communities is also possible.

Another unique opportunity is to work abroad for multinational companies. Because these companies are generally headquartered overseas, these companies have a need to facilitate English language education for their employees. This is an incredible opportunity that can lead to a career in foreign countries, working with people from a diverse set of backgrounds.

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GradSchoolHub.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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