On this page
Back TO TOP
Best Online PhD in Education Programs
An education PhD can help you advance your career in administration, research, leadership, and more. Explore top online programs and get the info you need to get started and succeed.
Best Online PhD in Education Programs for 2024
Whether your goal is to become a college professor, publish new research, or advance into academic leadership roles, obtaining a PhD in Education can take you to the highest levels of the field. While earning this degree can lead to many fulfilling careers and increased compensation, it is also a significant investment. It’s critical to ensure that the PhD program you select is worth the effort and cost. To assist you in narrowing your options, we’ve identified 12 of the best online PhD in Education programs for this year. All are properly accredited, offer flexible scheduling options, and have reasonable tuition costs. Learn more about each program below and determine if any of them have the features you’re seeking.
College Ranking Methodology
Generate List of Eligible Schools and Programs
To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
- Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- At least one program in the subject area offered partially or fully online.
- Career placement and academic counseling services.
After generating the list of eligible schools, the STEPS data team then assigned weights and ranked schools based on their performance in a variety of key categories. Affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings, followed by online learning and academic quality metrics (equally weighted).
- Number of online programs in subject area self-reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.
- Percentage of graduate students at the school taking at least one class online.
- Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on in-state tuition for graduate students per academic year.
- Student-to-faculty ratio: Schools with lower ratios ranked higher.
- Percentage of students admitted. More selective schools ranked higher.
About Our Data
All STEPS rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: August 2023
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Are you interested in teaching at the university level? Would you rather contribute to the field by using your education expertise to expand the theoretical perspectives professionals draw on in their everyday work? Either way, Regent University's PhD program in education can help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to achieve your goals. During this three-year program, you will develop a deep understanding of education policy, administration, and planning theories and how these concepts are used by practitioners. You'll become an expert on how education theory is used to evaluate programs, identify weaknesses in them, and make necessary changes that solve the problems. To further increase your expertise, you'll be able to concentrate on a specific area of education, such as Christian education leadership, educational technology in online learning, or exceptional education executive leadership.
Doctor of Philosophy in Education
- Credits: 67
- Length: 3 years
- Cost: $800/credit
- Mode: 100% online
- Accreditation: SACSCOC
Ball State University's doctorate in elementary education is designed for professionals who want to learn advanced research skills to conduct their own studies and those who want to teach at the college level. Although online students are required to hand in weekly assignments, they have the opportunity to watch lectures at their own convenience, making the program a good choice for those juggling their education with their jobs and family responsibilities. If you prefer to participate in some face-to-face activities, the school offers a hybrid version of the program. To further accommodate busy professionals, Ball State University allows students to begin their studies in the fall, spring, or summer semesters, so their start date coincides with their lifestyle. During the program, students take core classes in statistical research methods, psychological research, and intermediate statistics. They're also required to take behavior and humanistic studies classes and choose a concentration in early childhood education, elementary education, or literacy and reading education.
Doctor of Philosophy in Elementary Education
- Credits: 91--97
- Length: 5 years
- Cost: $451/credit in-state; $676/credit out-of-state
- Mode: 100% online or partially online
- Accreditation: CAEP
River Forest, Illinois
In the leadership in higher education PhD program offered by Concordia University-Chicago, students learn how higher education administrators tackle daily workplace challenges, from managerial to financial to legal issues. The curriculum has a heavy focus on education theory and research, so students get the opportunity to see the big picture associated with the daily issues educators face. As a result of this approach, students gain an understanding of complex issues related to running higher education institutions, develop the leadership skills needed to apply theory to real-world issues, and conduct research that contributes to evidence-based higher education decision-making. Graduates of the program go on to pursue careers as directors of admissions, college deans, college presidents, and alumni relations directors.
Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership in Higher Education
- Credits: 67
- Length: 3 years
- Cost: $735/credit
- Mode: 100% online
- Accreditation: HLC
Mississippi State, Mississippi
Clemson, South Carolina
College Station, Texas
Queens, New York