Online PhD in Education Degree Programs

Doctoral education programs by distance learning

An online PhD in education degree and other doctoral programs in education focus on the history of academic management and theories of improving the educational process, from academics to student and learner services, academic research, policy making and more.

There are a number of myths associated with online education or distance learning. Some individuals are under the misconception that online PhD in education programs are for those who may have had difficulty in learning in a traditional brick and mortar classroom setting. Nothing could be further from the truth!

In all actuality, many of the credible online universities offer education PhD programs that students self report are just as, if not more rigorous than pursuing a PhD in education in a traditional setting.

The convenience of being able to access the virtual classroom 24 hours a day 7 days a week at one's convenience is a great benefit and advantage to online learning; however, prospective students should not misunderstand convenience for ease.

When considering an education PhD program online, you should make sure the program has received some level of regional or national accreditation such as with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and/or the US Department of Education and the Council for higher Education for the preparation of P-12 instructions and other professional school personnel. Learners who graduate from programs with this level of accreditation are highly recognized in the industry by teaching professionals, licensing authorities and innumerable school districts.

PhD in education program expectations

Generally, a master's degree in a related field is required before pursuing an online PhD degree in education. You can expect successful completion of the online PhD in Education coursework and dissertation to take between 4 and 7 years for completion.

Some of the education graduate programs taken through distance learning require colloquium attendance as a part of the doctorate program, where students have an opportunity to physically engage in scholarly discourse with professors, leaders in the industry and fellow colleagues. In that way, students receive all the benefits and convenience of online instruction, while taking advantage of interactions with instructors and colleagues offered by brick and mortar institutions.

Prior to graduation, most colleges require students to demonstrate proficiency in research methodology, analysis and critical thinking by completing an individualized dissertation that serves to add to the discipline’ scholarly literature. By successfully participating in education PhD programs, you build a professional portfolio that demonstrates doctoral competencies and applicability within the industry.

Featured Colleges with Online Doctoral Programs in Education

Walden University

  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision - Consultation
  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision - Counseling and Social Change
  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision - Forensic Mental Health Counseling
  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision - Nonprofit Management and Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision - Trauma and Crisis
  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision-General Program
  • Ph.D. in Education - Course-based - Assessment Evaluation and Accountability
  • Ph.D. in Education - Course-based - Educational Technology
  • Ph.D. in Education - Course-based - Leadership, Policy & Change
  • Ph.D. in Education - Course-based - Learning, Instruction, and Innovation
  • Ph.D. in Education - KAM-based
  • Ph.D. in Education - KAM-based - Adult Education Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Education - KAM-based - Community College Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Education - KAM-based - Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
  • Ph.D. in Education - KAM-based - Early Childhood and Primary Education
  • Ph.D. in Education - KAM-based - Higher Education
  • Ph.D. in Education - KAM-based - K-12 Education Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Education - KAM-based - Self-Designed
  • Ph.D. in Education - KAM-based - Special Education
  • Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model
  • Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model - Adult Education Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model - Community College Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model - Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
  • Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model - Early Childhood and Primary Education
  • Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model - Higher Education
  • Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model - K-12 Education Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model - Self-Designed
  • Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model - Special Education
  • Ed.S. in Adult Education - General
  • Ed.S. in Administrator Leadership for Teaching and Learning
  • Ed.S. in Assessment Evaluation and Accountability - General Program
  • Ed.S. in College Teaching and Learning - General
  • Ed.S. in Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development
  • Ed.S. in Early Childhood - General Program
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership & Administration (Principal Preparation)
  • Ed.S. in Educational Technology
  • Ed.S. in Leadership for Social Change - General
  • Ed.S. in Reading and Literacy Leadership - General
  • Ed.S. in Special Education - General
  • Ed.S. in Teacher Leadership
  • Doctor of Education - Reading and Literacy Leadership
  • Doctor of Education - Administrator Leadership for Teaching & Learning
  • Doctor of Education - Adult Education
  • Doctor of Education - College Teaching and Learning
  • Doctor of Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (K-12)
  • Doctor of Education - Early Childhood Education
  • Doctor of Education - Higher Education & Adult Learning
  • Doctor of Education - Higher Education Leadership
  • Doctor of Education - Special Education
  • Doctor of Education - Teacher Leadership
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) - General

Northcentral University

  • PhD in Education - Curriculum and Teaching
  • PhD in Education - Educational Leadership
  • PhD in Education - English Second Language
  • PhD in Education - E-Learning
  • PhD in Education - Global Training and Development
  • PhD in Education - Leadership in Higher Education
  • PhD in Education - Instructional Leadership
  • PhD in Education - Organizational Leadership
  • PhD in Education - Early Childhood Education
  • PhD in Education - International Education
  • PhD in Education - Special Education
  • PhD in Education - Sports Management

University of Phoenix

  • PhD in Higher Education Administration
  • Educational Specialist (Ed.S)
  • Doctor of Education/Curriculum and Instruction
  • Doctor of Education/Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Ed. Leadership/Educational Technology


Doctor of education - curriculum and specializations

The majority of colleges and universities that offer the graduate degree of an online PhD in education ensure the curriculum is unique and meets the needs of the student body and the demands of the marketplace. Although no two programs are alike, when pursuing a PhD or doctor of education program, you can expect to encounter the following as a part of the core curriculum:

  • Teacher Supervision and Evaluation
  • Principles of Educational Administration
  • Statistics for Educational Research
  • Diversity: teaching and learning
  • Instructional assessment
  • Curriculum mapping
  • Advanced research methodology and theoretical application

When you elect to pursue an online PhD in education, you should also consider the area of concentration or specialization you would like to pursue; especially as it relates to possible career options or advancement in the students current career. This is a conversation that you should be had early on with the student’s academic advisor. There are a number of specializations to choose from including:

  • Special education
  • Higher education
  • Adult education Leadership
  • Leadership Policy
  • Educational Technology
  • K-12 Educational Leadership
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Careers options for graduates of doctoral programs in education

The students who successfully complete a doctor of education or a PhD in education degree are strategically positioned to meet the challenges of educating future generations. Often they remain in academia. They may be involved in setting the curriculum for elementary or high schools, or they may run a department at a university.

Most recent graduates tend to occupy middle-management positions at schools, though advancement is possible as the head of a division or eventually the head of a school. In addition, doctoral degree holders may remain as university professors to continue to research hot issues in the field of education. Other options include consulting for think tanks and the government.






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