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20 Most Affordable Doctorate Degrees in Education Online

Great Value Colleges - Most Affordable
by GVC Staff
January 2019

Online doctorate in education degrees are some of the most versatile offerings one will find at the graduate level. Not only can students choose from an EdD or PhD in education, but there are dozens of specialization options available, and not just for those with a desire to work in academia. Some online doctorates in education prepare students for leadership roles in human resource development, organizational development, and other sub-fields of business and management. No matter what environment online education doctorate graduates find themselves working in, they’re sure to enjoy a highly lucrative and satisfying career with this credential. Below, we explore the top 20 online doctorate in education programs ranked in order of affordability.

Types of degree programs covered in this ranking include the following:

  • Online Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • Online Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation (EdD)
  • Online Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (EdD)
  • Online Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration (EdD)
  • Online Doctor of Education in Instructional Systems Technology (EdD)

#20 –University of Illinois

Champaign, Illinois

Online Doctor of Education

Graduate Enrollment: 14,261

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The low-cost education doctorate from the University of Illinois is offered through the school’s College of Education and the Department of Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership. Four distinct concentrations are available: Diversity and Equity in Education, Global Studies in Education, Human Resource Development, and Learning Design and Leadership. Those interested in further customization options will find specialization options within several of these concentrations as well. These programs include similar research and methods courses, but students can expect to take different cognate classes. For example, students who choose the Diversity and Equity concentration will take courses like Historical and Social Barriers and Equity Issues in Special Education while those in the Global Studies concentration will study Education and Human Rights, Researching Global Education and Global Youth and Citizenship. Furthermore, HR Development students will take classes such as Work Analysis and Learning on the Job while Learning Design and Leadership students will study E-Learning Ecologies and Learning and Human Development with Educational Technology. All students will be expected to prepare and defend a doctoral dissertation. The University of Illinois is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and U.S. News & World Report has ranked its online graduate education programs in the top 25 nationwide.
In-State Tuition: $15,186

#19 –St. Thomas University

Miami Gardens, Florida

Online EdD in Leadership and Innovation

Graduate Enrollment: 1,632
St. Thomas University prides itself in emphasizing knowledge, confidence, and ethics in their academic programs, and their affordable online doctoral degree in education is no exception. This online EdD in Leadership and Innovation is a 60-credit hour offering featuring core courses such as Strategic Leadership and Global Change, Theory and Practice of Leadership, Managing Social Media in Organizations, and Leading a Learning Organization. Prior to graduation, students will also be expected to complete a formal dissertation. The degree typically takes 36 months to finish, on average. The university provides an array of library services to its online students, including research assistance, access to online academic databases, a book delivery service, and writing support. Founded in 1961, STU is the only Catholic Archdiocese-sponsored university in the state of Florida. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) U.S. News & World Report has ranked it in the top 100 regional universities in the West.
In-State Tuition: $14,076

#18 –University of South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

Online EdD in Curriculum and Instruction

Graduate Enrollment: 8,369
The University of South Carolina offers a 60-credit hour affordable online EdD in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Curriculum Studies. The curriculum for the program is informed by the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate Consortium. Its Curriculum and Instruction core is comprised of classes like Advanced Study of Diversity and Curriculum, Instructional Design and Assessment, and Applications of Learning Principles. Enrolled students will also take concentration-specific courses such as Principles of Curriculum Construction, Racial and Ethnic Diversity and the Curriculum, Curriculum Leadership, and Gender Diversity in Schools and Community. Both a qualifying and comprehensive examination are required as is a formal doctoral dissertation. To prepare for the dissertation, students will take research classes like Principles and Applications of Educational Research and Principles of Action Research. The program typically takes three years to complete. After graduation, students are well-prepared for careers as curriculum specialists.
In-State Tuition: $12,854

#17 –Ashford University

San Diego, California

Online PhD in Education

Graduate Enrollment: 4,907
The low-cost online doctorate in education from Ashford University is a PhD program that prepares students for advanced leadership roles in academia. This 59-credit hour offering features core education requirements like Transformative Issues and Trends in Education, Educational Leadership: Challenges and Opportunities, Governance and Politics of Education, and History of Education and Social Change. Students will also take research courses such as Advanced Studies in Qualitative Research, Advanced Statistics, and Research Design and Methods. A formal dissertation is also required. After receiving their affordable online doctoral degrees in education, students go on to pursue careers as educational policy analysts, program directors, school board members, instructional coordinators, school administrators, and more. Ashford University is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001, It offers its distance education students a variety of services, including career services, writing assistance, library access, and online student organizations. Certain degree programs may not be available in all states.
Tuition: $1,082.00 per credit

#16 –University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Online EdD in Higher Education Administration

Graduate Enrollment: 5,258


The University of Alabama offers a 66-credit hour affordable online EdD in Higher Education Administration program through its College of Continuing Studies and the Bama by Distance program. Although it’s offered predominately online, it is considered a blended program as there are some synchronous and face-to-face elements. Courses comprising the curriculum for this executive cohort offering include The Student in Higher Education, Finance and Business Affairs in Higher Education, Academic Cultures and Learners, and Personnel and Human Resource Management in Higher Education. These classes are taught by the same respected professors who teach on campus, and classes are kept small to facilitate one-on-one instruction. In addition to coursework, students will also complete 12 hours of dissertation research leading up to the formal dissertation defense. The university offers its distance students a full suite of support services such as tech support, online library resources, and tutoring assistance. UA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has named it a top 100 Best Value School.
In-State Tuition: $10,780

#15 –University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

EdD in Curriculum and Instruction Online

Graduate Enrollment: 17,422
The affordable online EdD offering from the University of Florida is a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Teachers, Schools, and Society. The program follows a cohort model, and students typically complete the degree requirements within four years. Required courses for the degree include Issues in School Reform, Teacher Leadership for School Change, Education and American Culture, and Teacher Learning and Socialization in Poverty Schools. Students will also take research classes like Conceptualizing Research in Curriculum and Instruction, Foundations of Research in Curriculum and Instruction, and Practitioner Research. Students can complete the majority of coursework online, but they will be expected to make trips to campus each summer for one-week intensives. Both Forbes and Kiplinger has named the University of Florida the #2 Best Value School in the nation. U.S. News & World Report has named its online graduate education program the second in the nation.
In-State Tuition: $10,770

#14 –Morehead State University

Morehead, Kentucky

EdD Online

Graduate Enrollment: 919
Morehead State University offers a customizable and affordable EdD online program. Students can choose from three specialization options: Adult and Higher Education Leadership, P-12 Administration Leadership, and Educational Technology Leadership. Despite their concentration selection, all students will take core course such as Understanding and Conducting Research: Effective Schools, Legal and Ethical Issues and the Exercise of Judgement in Education, and Action Research and Grant Writing. Students enrolled in the Adult and Higher Education Leadership specialization will take additional classes like History of Adult and Higher Education, Advanced Instructional Design, and Philosophy of Adult and Higher Education while those in the P-12 Administration track will study School System Administration, Strategic Planning in Education, and School Superintendent. Furthermore, Educational Technology Leadership students will take classes like Individual Learning Systems, Advanced Multimedia Design, and Needs Assessment and Program Evaluation. Distance education students have access to many of the university’s support services, including career planning, resume assistance, and interview prep. MSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it in the top 25 public schools and the top 50 best value schools.
In-State Tuition: $10,422

#13 –University of Northern Colorado

Greeley, Colorado

Doctor of Education Online

Graduate Enrollment: 10,092
The University of Northern Colorado offers two low-cost online doctor of education programs: an online EdD in Educational Studies: Innovation and Education and an online EdD in Special Education. The Educational Studies program is a 64-credit hour program designed to be completed in four years. Coursework can be completed predominately online, but students should expect to make summer visits to the university’s Loveland campus. Students enrolled in this program will take core courses such as Philosophical Foundations of Education, Introduction to Research Literature, and Implementation and Evaluation of Curriculum. Cognate classes include Foundations of Educational Research, Social Justice in Education Reform, and Social Theories of Learning and Organizational Change. In addition to a doctoral dissertation, there is also a scholarly paper publication requirement. UNC’s Special Education doctoral program is a 77-credit hour offering that can be completed entirely online. Students enrolling in this program have the option to do so on a part-time or full-time basis and can complete the program in 3-5 years. Featured courses for the program include Research in Exceptionalities, Issues and Trends in Exceptionality, and Preparing Teachers of Students With Exceptionalities. In lieu of a dissertation, this program requires that students pass a comprehensive examination. The University of Northern Colorado is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked its online graduate education programs in the country’s top 150.
In-State Tuition: $10,402

#12 –Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

EdD Online

Graduate Enrollment: 33,728
Grand Canyon University is home to one of the most versatile online EdD programs in our ranking, featuring eight different areas of specialty. Students can choose to concentrate their studies in Special Education, Christian Ministry, K-12 Education, Higher Education, Healthcare Administration, Adult Learning, and more. Students who choose the K-12 track will take classes such as History and Politics of K-12 Education, Governance and Structures in K-12 Education, and Building a K-12 Community. Alternatively, those in the Adult Learning track will study Adult Learning Theory, Analysis of Existing Research, Cognitive Coaching, and Transformational Learning. Higher Education track students will enroll in courses like Strategic Planning in Higher Education, Approaches to Research Design and Data Analysis, and Foundations for research. All students must complete a doctoral dissertation, and doctoral residencies may also be required. Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. It’s also ranked in U.S. News and World report’s Top National Universities.
In-State Tuition: $9,737

#11 –University of Indiana- Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana

Online EdD in Instructional Systems Technology

Graduate Enrollment: 10,281

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The affordable EdD online program offered through the University of Indiana- Bloomington’s School of Education is a 60-credit hour online doctorate in education with an emphasis in Instructional Systems Technology (IST). The program is a fully online offering with the exception of the required attendance at the IST Annual Conference in the Spring of the student’s first year. Required courses comprising the curriculum for the program include Adult Learning Through the Lifespan, Qualitative Inquiry in Education, Learning and Cognition in Education, and Strategies for Educational Inquiry. A doctoral dissertation is also required. Graduates of this low-cost online doctoral program in education are qualified for careers as educational content developers, e-learning developers, researchers, instructional designers, professors, corporate trainers, and more. The university offers an IST Graduate Student Portal where students can locate course schedules and program information, find resources for professional organizations, and more. The University of Indiana- Bloomington is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked its online graduate education programs in the top 50 nationwide.
In-State Tuition: $8,956

#10 –Carson Newman University

Jefferson City, Tennessee

Online Doctorate of Education

Graduate Enrollment: 824
The affordable online doctoral degree in education from Carson Newman University features concentration options in Administrative Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction. Students applying the Administrative Leadership track must have three years of teaching experience and work in a Tennessee school. They must also hold a master’s or educational specialist credential. Courses for the program include Professional Learning Communities, Management of the School, Educational Leadership Theory and Policy Analysis, and Emergent Educational Leadership Trends and Topics. The Curriculum and Instruction specialty also requires a master’s or EdS and features course titles like Curriculum and Instruction Strategies, Diversity and Exceptionality Practice and Theory, Evaluation for Continuous Improvement, and The Teacher As Leader. Both options are NCATE-accredited. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Carson Newman #76 in its top regional universities in the South.
In-State Tuition: $8,730

#9 –Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Online Doctorate in Education

Graduate Enrollment: 29,290
Liberty University offers an affordable online EdD program from its School of Education that required 60 credit hours. The program can be completed entirely online, but students can choose to attend one of several on-campus intensives if they desire more engagement. Enrolled students will choose from two available tracks: Educational Leadership or Curriculum and Instruction. The curriculum for the program will cover topics such as trends in educational leadership, conflict resolution, organizational analysis in education, curriculum theory, and quantitative research in education. Despite their chosen specialization, all students will take theory classes like Advanced Learning Theory and Research, Theories of Historical and Philosophical Foundations, and Introduction and Orientation to Doctoral Studies. They will also enroll in research and evaluation courses such as Applied Research Methods, Advanced Educational Statistics, and Survey of Educational Research. An extensive doctoral dissertation is also required prior to graduation from the program. Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked its online graduate education programs in the top 200 nationwide.
In-State Tuition: $8,217

#8 –University of Houston

Houston, Texas

Doctor of Education Online

Graduate Enrollment: 8,149
The University of Houston offers an affordable online doctoral program in education from its College of Education and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. The 51-credit hour offering emphasizes professional leadership in curriculum and instruction and features two concentration options: Literacy Education and Social Studies/Social Education. In addition to core courses like Issues in Urban Education, Learning and Development, and Current Issues in Education, students will also take classes in their chosen concentration. For example, those in the Literacy Education concentration will study Foundations of Literacy Instruction, Reading in the Middle and Secondary School and Diagnosis and Correction of Reading Problems while Social Studies/Social Education students will take classes like Global/International Education; Policy, Politics, and Governance of Education; and Community Education. All students are required to prepare and defend a doctoral dissertation. U.S. News & World Report has named the University of Houston a top 100 public school and has placed its online graduate education programs in the top 5 in the nation.
In-State Tuition: $8,064

#7 –Oakland City University

Oakland City, Indiana

EdD Online

Graduate Enrollment: 190
Oakland City University offers a flexible and affordable online EdD program with three specialization options: The Superintendency, Curriculum and Instruction, and Organizational Management. All three offerings require 90 credit hours of coursework and on-campus residencies during the summer. Students enrolled in The Superintendency track will take courses such as Personnel Evaluation and Administration; Leadership Theory, Practice, and Design; and Policies and Procedures in Administration. Curriculum and Instruction students, on the other hand, will enroll in classes like The Deanship, Instructional Technology in Curriculum and Instruction, and Leadership Ethics. Finally, students in the Organizational Management specialization will take Cultural Dynamics and Organizational Leadership, Corporate Financial Theory, and Leader’s Role in Organizational Dynamics. A dissertation is also required for each specialization. Cohorts are comprised of just sixteen students or less to facilitate individualized instruction. Oakland City is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
In-State Tuition: $7,380

#6 –University of Louisiana-Monroe

Monroe, Louisiana

Online Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Graduate Enrollment: 1,233
The University of Louisiana-Monroe offers one of the most accelerated and affordable online education doctorate degrees in our ranking, enabling students to complete the program within just two years. The offering is also completely online, meaning students don’t have to take time out of their busy schedules to attend classes or residencies on campus. The curriculum for the program is comprised of core courses such as Education for Diversity in a Global Society, Instructional Design and Technology Integration, and Research in Effective Teaching and Learning. Students will also take courses in the Curriculum and Instruction concentration such as Assessment for Program and Instructional Decision-Making, Curriculum Theory and Design, Decision Making for School Improvement, and Communication and Collaboration in Problem Solving. Upon graduation from this cheap EdD online program, students are prepared for positions as educational administrators, superintendents, professors, and instructional coordinators among related professions. A master’s degree is required for admission, but it does not have to be in teaching, and no teaching certification is required. ULM is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and U.S. News & World Report has ranked its online graduate education programs as some of the best in the country.
In-State Tuition: $6,490

#5 –Boise State University

Boise, Idaho

Online EdD in Educational Technology

Graduate Enrollment: 3,377
The affordable EdD online program from Boise State University is a highly versatile option in Educational Technology featuring six available cognates: K-12 Online Learning, Organizational Performance, School Technology Integration, Leadership in Educational Technology, Adult Online Learning, and Games and Simulations in Learning. Despite which cognate they choose, students will take foundational core courses such as Emerging Trends in Educational Technology, Professional Management in Educational Settings, and Global and Cultural Perspectives in Educational Technology. They will also fulfill a research core, including classes like Introduction to Statistics for Educational Technology, Qualitative Research Methods, and Research in Educational Technology. A comprehensive examination and formal doctoral dissertation are required prior to graduation. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Boise State #45 in its Most Innovative Schools ranking and #54 in its ranking of best education schools.
In-State Tuition: $6,471

#4 –Texas A&M University-College Station

College Station, Texas

Online EdD in Curriculum and Instruction

Graduate Enrollment: 14,864
Admission to Texas A&M University-College Station’s cheap online doctor of education program requires that students have a minimum of five years of teaching experience. Offered through the university’s College of Education and the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture, this online EdD in Curriculum and Instruction is a 64-credit hour program designed to be completed within four years. The curriculum for the program emphasizes leadership, discovery, and application of knowledge and includes course titles like Mixed Methods Research in Curriculum and Instruction, Student Assessment in the Content Domains, 21st Century Integration of Theory in Educational Settings, and Problem-Based Research Frameworks. Students can expect some on-campus requirements, and they will also be asked to participate in an internship. In lieu of a dissertation, a record of study is also required, which the university describes as a more practical alternative. Texas A&M –College Station is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has named it a top 50 Best Value School.
In-State Tuition: $5,941

#3 –Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

Online EdD

Graduate Enrollment: 2,522
Students looking for a cheap online doctor of education program will find two such offerings at Sam Houston State University: an EdD in Developmental Education Administration and an EdD in Instructional Systems Design and Technology. Those interested in the former program can expect to take courses such as Designing Learning Environments in Developmental Education, Applied Leadership in Higher Education, Contemporary Issues in Higher Education Leadership and Administration, and Advanced Learning Theory in Developmental Education. Students whose interests are more aligned with the latter option will face classes like Issues in Instructional Technology, Leadership in Technology Administration, and Educational and Network Design. A formal doctoral dissertation is required for both programs. The university offers its affordable EdD online students small class sizes and 24/7 student support. After they graduate from the program, they’ll receive a diploma identical to those awarded to on-campus students. Sam Houston State is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges.
In-State Tuition: $5,391

#2 –Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw, Georgia

Doctor of Education Online

Graduate Enrollment: 2,901
Kennesaw State University offers some of the cheapest online doctorate education program in the nation from its Bagwell College of Education. Prospective students can choose from two online EdD programs: Instructional Technology and Teacher Leadership. The Instructional Technology program requires the completion of 66 credit hours and includes courses like Issues, Trends, and Research in Instructional Technology; Supporting Technological Infrastructure in Schools and Districts; Technology Leadership and Strategic Planning; and Managing Data Systems in Schools and Districts. A certification track is also available. Students who complete this program often go on to pursue careers as chief technology officers, technology directors, and chief information officers. Those who opt for the Teacher Leadership track need only complete 48 credit hours. They will face course titles such as Collaboration With Families and Communities; Action Research in Schools; Mentoring, Coaching, and Facilitating School Improvement; and Foundations of Teacher Leadership. A dissertation is also required for this degree. U.S. News & World Report has recognized KSU as one of its top 50 most innovative schools.
In-State Tuition: $4,851

#1 –University of West Georgia

Carrolton, Georgia

Online Doctor of Education

Graduate Enrollment: 2,291
Accredited by the SACSCOC, the University of West Georgia offers some of the cheapest online doctoral programs in education currently available. Prospective students can choose from four online EdD offerings: Higher Education Administration, Nursing Education, School Improvement, and Professional Counseling and Supervision. Students who choose the Higher Ed program can expect to take courses like Governance in Higher Education, Advanced Legal Issues and Policy Studies, and Critical Issues in Higher Education. They’ll also be required to attend an on-campus orientation. Nursing Education EdD online students, on the other hand, can complete their degree entirely online. Students who choose the School Improvement track can further customize their degree by choosing from seven available concentrations, including K-12 Online Learning, Instructional Technology, and Media Specialist, for example. Finally, the Professional Counseling and Supervision track features a 12-student cohort and classes such as Program Evaluation, Doctoral Seminar in Professional Issues, and Directed Doctoral Research. UWG’s online graduate education programs placed #101 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
In-State Tuition: $4,086


Types of Low-Cost Online Doctor of Education Degree Programs

Most of the affordable doctor of education online degree programs listed in our ranking are EdD programs, but these are not the only types of doctoral programs in education that are available. The other most common degree type is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education. One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when looking for cheap education doctorates online is whether to pursue an EdD or PhD. While the coursework for these two degrees is similar, the approach varies, and this is an important distinction to note. EdD programs tend to be much more practitioner-based, emphasizing real-world applications of knowledge and skills. That is, students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it in their classrooms or other organizations. On the other hand, PhD programs are typically more theoretical, delving into the issues that affect education and academia. Students who have dreams of teaching at the university level are best served by an affordable online PhD in education.

What Are the Most Frequently-Searched Affordable Doctoral Degrees in Education?

University of Southern California- Online EdD in Educational Leadership: USC offers an online EdD in Educational Leadership with a concentration in K-12 Leadership in Urban School Settings. Applicants must have a master’s credential and at least three years of work and leadership experience.

Baylor University- Online Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: The online EdD in Curriculum and Instruction from Baylor University is a 36-month program that requires two on-campus immersion experiences. Students are not required to prepare a dissertation, but they will be expected to complete a capstone project.

Creighton University- Online EdD in Interdisciplinary Leadership: The online EdD offering from Creighton University can be completed within three to four years. Students can complete their coursework entirely online and need only visit campus for orientation and dissertation defense.

Johns Hopkins University- Doctor of Education Online: Johns Hopkins University offers an online EdD program with concentrations in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education; Mind, Brain & Teaching; and Instructional Design in Online Teaching and Learning. Admission to the program is highly competitive.

University of Kentucky- EdD Online: The online doctor of education degree program from the University of Kentucky is an executive EdD in Education Leadership. A dissertation residency is required in addition to online coursework.

Liberty University- Doctor of Education Online: Liberty University offers an affordable online EdD program with specializations in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership. Requirements for the degree can be met entirely online with optional on-campus intensives.

Frequently-Asked Questions About Cheap Online Doctorate Degrees in Education

Q: Can I get an affordable online EdD without GRE scores?

A: Yes. Many low-cost education doctorates, including some listed in our ranking, offer admission into the program without GRE or GMAT test requirements. Check with the specific school or schools that you’re interested in to find out more.

Q: Can I complete a low-cost EdD online program without a dissertation?

A: Most doctoral programs—including affordable online doctor of education programs—require a formal doctoral dissertation. These highly involved academic endeavors require many hours of research, writing, and preparation. A few low-cost doctorate in education degrees online require that students complete a capstone project or experience in lieu of the dissertation.

Q: What is the best low-cost online doctor of education program?

A: It’s common for prospective students to inquire about the best low-cost online EdD or PhD program, but in reality, these offerings are fairly comparable in terms of quality. They do, however, offer different scheduling and content customization options, so it’s important to consider these when choosing the best online education doctorate for you.

Q: What do affordable EdD online programs cost?

A: For the purposes of this ranking, we’ve identified affordable online doctoral programs in education to be those offerings with tuition cost of around $15,000 or less. As evidenced by the schools in the top of the ranking, it is possible to find cheap education doctorates online for as low as $4,000 to $5,000 per year.


Available Concentrations for Affordable Online Doctorates in Education

Doctorate degrees in education are known for their content customization opportunities. These options allow students to concentrate their studies in a particular area of education. In some cases, students may even be encouraged to design their own individualized plan of study. Below, you will find some common specializations within the online EdD/PhD:


Diversity and Equity in Education

Affordable online EdD programs with concentrations in Diversity and Equity Education prepare students for leadership roles in educational environments spanning preschool through postsecondary school. The curricula for these programs are interdisciplinary in nature and cover topics such as equity issues in education, race and gender in education, social justice, leadership and policy, and diversity in education. Enrolled students will take course titles like those listed below:

  • Aesthetic Education
  • Globalization of Higher Education
  • Education and Human Rights


Adult Learning

Low-cost online doctorate degrees in education with concentrations in adult learning prepare students to take on leadership roles in adult education environments, including academia, non-profits, government, and corporations. These programs address topics in adult learning such as human resource development, group dynamics, conflict resolution, adult learning theory, organizational behavior, and systems learning. A sampling of course titles is featured below:

  • Policy and Public Governance of Adult and Lifelong Learning Programs
  • Program Planning and Evaluation in Adult Learning Settings
  • Leadership and Ethics in Adult and Lifelong Learning
  • Current Issues and Challenges in Adult Learning and Development


Literacy Education

Affordable online doctor of education degrees with concentrations in Literacy Education prepare students to take on roles as instructional materials writers, reading specialists, language education specialists, and literacy program directors, for example. Topics covered in these types of programs include literacy program evaluation and improvement, grant writing, reading and literacy program policy, and research in literacy education. Some sample course titles are listed below:

  • Theoretical Issues in the Study of Language and Literacy
  • Issues in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education
  • Leading and Managing Literacy Programs
  • Reading and Literacy Assessment and Evaluation


Special Education

Students who choose a low-cost online doctoral program in education with a concentration in Special Education can expect to study topics such as theory in special education, advanced educational administration, special education program evaluation, and special education research, for instance. Their studies will prepare them for careers as lead special education teacher, learning advocate, special education curriculum developer, policy maker, and special education consultant among related positions. Some of the courses students will encounter are listed below:

  • Special Education Law
  • Foundations of Special Education
  • Educational Assessment for Special Needs
  • Organization and Design of Gifted Education Programs


Other Available Concentrations for Affordable Doctor of Education Online Programs


  • Global Studies in Education
  • Human Resource Development
  • Learning Design and Leadership
  • Curriculum Studies
  • Teachers, Schools, and Society
  • Adult and Higher Education Leadership
  • P-12 Administration Leadership
  • Educational Technology Leadership
  • Christian Ministry
  • K-12 Education
  • Higher Education
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Instructional Systems Technology (IST)
  • Social Studies/Social Education
  • The Superintendency
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Organizational Management
  • K-12 Online Learning
  • Organizational Performance
  • School Technology Integration
  • Adult Online Learning
  • Games and Simulations in Learning


Career Questions for Low-Cost Education Doctorate Programs


Q: What career opportunities will I have after graduating from an affordable online doctor of education program?

A: There are numerous career opportunities for graduates of online doctor of education programs, not only in education, but also in private industry, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Depending on the specific degree program and/or concentration you pursue, you may be qualified for positions like school administrator, instructional designer, curriculum developer, educational program director, postsecondary school administrator, adult learning coordinator, training specialist, human resources director, and more.

Q: How much will I make with an online education doctorate?

A: It’s impossible to nail down an exact salary estimate for online education doctoral degree holders, and how much you make will depend on the particular type of degree you hold as well as your specific position and your employer. However, estimates that professionals with a Doctor of Education credential make approximately $77,000 per year, on average. Below, you will find a list of common positions associated with doctoral degrees in education along with their mean annual wages. This data was also taken from

  • Executive Director: $93,584
  • Elementary School Principal: $92,697
  • High School Principal: $101,823
  • Academic Dean: $91,771
  • Instructional Designer: $63,806
  • School Superintendent: 123,655
  • Education Director: $83,215

Q: I work full-time. Can I still pursue a low-cost online EdD degree?

A: Definitely. Many affordable online doctorate education degree programs are designed specifically for the working teacher or education professional. The convenience and flexibility of these programs allow students to continue their work responsibilities while pursuing their degrees. While some are 100% online, others schedule their residencies during the summer months or over long weekends.

Q: What professional organizations exist for online doctor of education graduates?

A: Joining a professional organization during or after your affordable online doctor of education program is a good idea. These associations can aid you in your professional development and provide you with support services throughout your career. Below are just a few of the professional organizations you may consider joining.

  • American Association of University Administrators (AAUA): AAUA was founded in New York in 1970 to promote the professional development of college and university leaders and to establish ethical standards in the field. Membership is open to university presidents, deans, and department chairs, for example, as well as those individuals preparing to assume these roles.
  • American Association of School Administrators (AASA): AASA was established to support active school superintendents but is also open to other types of educational leaders, including principals, university professors, central office staff, and assistant superintendents. A basic membership is also available to graduate students.
  • National Education Association (NEA): The National Education Association is a professional organization uniting employees at every level of education from preschool to postsecondary school, including classroom teachers, support staff, administrators, and university professors. Students pursuing these careers are also eligible to join.

This concludes our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs. Thanks for checking it out!

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