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Online Doctorate Degrees in Education

A doctorate in Education (EdD) equips a graduate with skills and scholarly knowledge relating to the practice of education. When compared to a Doctorate in Philosophy in Education (PhD), there are only slight differences between the two degrees and at various schools, the lines between the two might be quite blurred. At schools offering both, EdD programs may be project-based, while PhD programs may be research-based. A doctorate in education can also focus on a specific area of education such as a special education doctorate degree and an educational leadership doctorate degree. Education Specialist programs (EdS) are terminal post-master’s degree programs that are related, but these programs do not result in a doctoral degree and are intended to prepare teachers at undergraduate colleges.

Benefits of a Doctorate Degree in Education

A doctoral degree program can help an individual to advance their research, critical thinking, and leadership skills while also gaining increased knowledge in the education field. Doctoral programs prepare individuals to solve challenging problems in today’s education system. A doctorate can increase opportunities for positions in school leadership and open the door for a career in academia.

Ideal Qualities of a PhD in Education Candidate

doctorate in educationThe ideal candidates for a PhD in education have a love of both learning and teaching. They understand the ongoing learning experience and have a clear desire to share their knowledge with younger minds. An organized, self-disciplined mindset, as well as a strong aptitude for converting theory into practical applications, is invaluable to an individual aiming towards a doctoral degree in education.

Admission Requirements for a Doctorate of Education Program

Specific requirements for admission may vary and can include a master’s degree, letters of recommendation, an entrance essay, qualifying scores on the GRE or GMAT exams, qualifying college GPA, and an in-person interview. Candidates must demonstrate a high level of academic and professional performance as many schools offering EdD and PhD programs are highly selective.

Coursework for a Doctorate of Education Degree Program

Typical courses for a doctoral degree in education focus on advanced courses in education. Doctorate programs culminate with the candidate selecting a final thesis project that typically includes conducting a research study.

Examples of courses in a doctor of education degree program include:

  • Learning Theory and the Educational Process
  • Educational Philosophy
  • Curriculum Theory
  • Principles of Educational Administration
  • Organizational Theory & Higher Education
  • Comparative Higher Education
  • Education Policy and Politics
  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
  • Statistics for Educational Research
  • Internship in Higher Education
  • Dissertation Research

Employment Opportunities For a Doctor of Education

Upon completion of EdD and PhD programs, graduates can find employment at higher education institutions and are more seriously considered for tenure than instructors without a doctorate. Many individuals who have earned a doctorate in education work in a leadership role in school administration in positions like school superintendent, principal, or curriculum coordinator. Graduates can also find positions in the corporate and non-profit sides of the education sector.

Online Doctorate in Education Programs

The availability of online courses is of great benefit to those seeking a doctoral degree in education. The flexibility provided by online coursework can be convinent for busy students, especially those who wish to maintain a job as they work toward their advanced degree.

Teaching and Education Programs

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Frequently Asked Questions about Earning a Doctorate in Teaching

Question: How do teachers get tenure?

Answer: Tenure requirements vary by state and by district. Some states have laws governing tenure, while others do not. In most districts tenure is granted after a probationary period of three years. To get tenure after that period, your performance must be deemed satisfactory. Tenure is typically awarded by the district’s school board.

Question: What states need teachers?

Answer: States that are especially short of certified teachers include Texas, Utah, Florida, Arizona, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, Kansas, and Georgia. Some of these have statewide shortages, while others need more teachers in specific locations.

Question: How does a doctoral degree in education benefit a teaching career?

Answer: Teachers who hold a doctorate can command higher salaries in K-12 public schools and are also better prepared to move into administrative positions. These teachers may also be better positioned to earn tenure. A doctoral degree also qualifies teachers to teach in post-secondary schools.