Online Doctorate in Education

By Nikita Nath

Updated November 6, 2023

Nikita Nath

Nikita is a psychologist working primarily with children using a child rights-based approach. She also writes content for various websites and blogs on diverse topics, focusing primarily on academia. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, and discovering different coffee-making techniques.


Bachelors in English, Journalism, and Psychology; Masters in psychology with clinical specialization

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

  • 2 years of experience working as a content writer with various start-ups
  • 1 year of experience working as a child psychologist with Insight
  • Working on various projects of inclusion for neurodivergent children
  • 2+ years of experience teaching psychology online

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Education is an integral part of modern civilization. It adds to the overall growth and development of a person’s character. Over time, the importance of education and the demand for educators have both increased dramatically in the United States.

The online doctorate in education program is meant for educators who wish to pursue careers in education research, administration, and teaching at the postsecondary level, among other things. Some believe that students who pursue a doctorate in education (EdD) are better prepared for careers as principals or superintendents at the K-12 level. In contrast, others believe that students who pursue a Ph.D. in education are better prepared for scholarly research, writing, policymaking, and leadership in higher education. Ph.D. programs in online education provide students with the intense study they seek while also giving them the flexibility they require to handle their other responsibilities.

This comprehensive guide covers all facets of online Ed.D. programs and Ph.D. in education programs. It looks into the top online institutions and universities for Ph.D. education degrees, certifications, careers, courses, timelines, and accreditation and answers a few frequently asked questions.

Best Online Doctorate in
Education Programs

When applying for a Ph.D. degree in education, choosing the most appropriate online program aligned with students’ goals and interests is critical. Selecting a doctoral program that offers a variety of educational specializations is essential, as are some of the most crucial aspects of colleges, such as the quality and experience of the faculty, the institution’s reputation, affordability, student services, research faculties, mentors, and guide for Ph.D. students, the infrastructure, and accreditation, among other things. These factors and others were taken into consideration by numerous FBD teams of experienced professionals when researching some of the best Ph.D. in education programs available in the United States. Here are the best Doctorate in Education programs: *

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

The required credits of a Ph.D. in education program can be allocated among the following areas:

  • Foundational & Educational Courses
  • Elective Courses & Content ​Concentration
  • Research Courses & Research Core
  • Dissertation Research & Preparation

Some examples of courses in a Ph.D. in education include but are not limited to:

  • Inequities in Student Outcomes
  • Ethical Issues in International Education
  • Doctoral Seminar in Curriculum Research
  • International Education Concepts & Theories
  • Statistical Analysis in Education: Regression
  • Foundations of Teaching & Learning
  • Educational Systems and Policies
  • Teachers & Teacher Education
  • Educational Policy Analysis
  • Introduction to Research Design and Quantitative Data Analysis
  • Comparative Education
  • Schools as Social Institutions
  • Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis
  • Curriculum Theory
  • Introduction to Qualitative Analysis
  • Critical Social Theories
  • Equity & Diversity in Higher Education
  • Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Educational Research
  • Politics of Urban Education
  • Professional Seminar in Administration
  • Design Research in Education
  • Dissertation Proposal Seminar
  • Introduction to Research Apprenticeship
  • Cognition and Instruction in Classrooms
  • Culture, Society, and Education in International Contexts
  • Transforming Learning Environments

A Ph.D. in education program can be broken down into six tasks or sections, comprising of:

1. Coursework

Students must complete mandatory courses, along with one or two electives based on their chosen concentration.

2. Focus

Students must concentrate their emphasis and isolate their research interests in education.

3. Comprehensive Examination

Students must take comprehensive exams and pass them to form a dissertation committee (those who pass these exams can start working on their dissertation).

4. Dissertation Research

Students must undertake dissertation research, and a proposal should be written. In most programs, education Ph.D. applicants are required to defend their proposal in front of a panel. Research and writing should move forward when the proposal has been approved.

5. Dissertation Submission

Students must draft, edit, and revise their thesis or dissertation. Various back-and-forth sessions with peer reviewers, editors, and one’s advisor may be required. Once satisfactorily completed, the student must submit the dissertation for perusal.

6. Dissertation Defense

Students must defend their thesis. Publication can begin if the defense is successful and the doctorate is eventually awarded.