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Online Ed.D. — Doctor of Educational Leadership

Do you aspire to make a lasting difference in your school and community? Consider educational leadership doctoral programs online. You’ll build the leadership skills and expertise you need to shape the future of education, discover new learning solutions, and guide other educators in achieving better student outcomes. If it’s time to take your career to the next level and make an even greater impact in your field, earning a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership should be your next step.


What is an Online Educational Leadership Doctoral Program?

An online educational leadership doctoral program is a professional doctorate designed to prepare candidates for hands-on leadership in educational settings. The program is typically intended for experienced educators interested in making a career pivot to education administration or leadership. You’ll build on your existing knowledge base to prepare for new challenges—like leading teams of educators, developing academic programs, and implementing change within schools. You could explore topics such as:

  • Leadership styles, principles, and models
  • Organizational decision making
  • Program development, delivery, and assessment
  • Teaching and leading adult learners
  • Leadership in higher education
  • Special education assessment and evaluation
  • And more

Earning a doctorate in educational leadership also requires applied professional research. Unlike a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), which primarily focuses on original research, an Ed.D. program covers how to use research to solve real-world problems in your school or organization. You’ll also study the research and writing skills you need to craft an original dissertation investigating a topic of professional interest. 

Because many candidates for this degree are working educators, educational leadership doctoral programs are often available online. Typically, an online Ed.D. program features the same curriculum as a traditional, on-campus program. The difference is that you’ll enjoy the flexibility to study on a schedule that works for you.

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What Can I Do with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership?

With a doctorate in educational leadership, you can prepare to make a difference in roles that call for an advanced degree and leadership expertise. For example, as more students seek college degrees, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that postsecondary administrator jobs will continue to grow over the next decade. Postsecondary administrators lead and oversee academics, student services, research, and other activities at colleges and universities, a role that often calls for expertise in both education and organizational management.

Other doctorate holders may go on to teach in postsecondary education, preparing future generations of teachers and educational leaders. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for postsecondary education teachers should grow at a rate of 5 percent over the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations. 

And with necessary certification, earning a doctorate in educational leadership could prepare you for roles in educational administration at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. For example, school principals who work in public schools typically must earn an advanced degree along with state licensure. With your Ed.D. in educational leadership, you could be well on your way to this and other rewarding career paths.

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Is an Online Educational Leadership Doctoral Program Worth It?

For many candidates, an online educational leadership doctoral program is a worthwhile investment for the following reasons:

  • Career advancement opportunities. For roles such as postsecondary administrator, employers often prefer candidates with a doctorate. In addition, earning your Ed.D. will equip you with the advanced leadership, administration, and research skills you need to stand out in your field.
  • Higher earnings. With an Ed.D., you may qualify for higher-paying career opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, school principals earned a median annual salary of $98,490 in 2020. Postsecondary administrators earned $97,500 in the same year. 
  • The chance to make a difference. Many education professionals want to do more to serve their students, colleagues, and communities. Earning an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership could be the perfect way to prepare for opportunities with greater responsibility and the chance to make a lasting difference.
  • A flexible learning format. Many students appreciate the convenience of online study as they pursue their goals in educational leadership while juggling life’s other responsibilities. If you plan to keep working in education or another field while pursuing your doctorate, consider educational leadership doctoral programs online. 

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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Named as one of the most affordable Ed.D. programs in the country, the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership at University of the Cumberlands is designed to help you lead educational institutions into the future. Our 100-percent online doctorate in education program is designed to accommodate life and professional work schedules and can be completed in less than three years. 

The online doctorate in education program focuses on addressing today’s educational issues by developing advanced practitioner skills rooted in sound research methodologies. Through our 60-credit online curriculum, you’ll prepare to apply the critical thinking and creativity necessary to solve today’s most pressing educational challenges. You’ll also enhance your specialty knowledge in one of the following content areas:

  • Business
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • English
  • Health Professions
  • History
  • Information Systems
  • Instructional Technology
  • Math
  • Nursing
  • Religion (Ministry)
  • Student Personnel Services

Through research, professional activity, public service, and curriculum implementation, our faculty is committed to helping degree candidates expand their professional knowledge and understanding of educational theory, extend their mastery of research and its application to strategic problem solving, and strengthen their commitment to professional service and ethical decision making. Our graduates go on to make valuable, cutting-edge contributions in a variety of academic leadership roles and organizations dedicated to education and development.

Click Here for Course Details

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Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.

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Admission Requirements

Responsibility for the routine administration of the policies and procedures of the EdD/PhD resides with the EdD Program Director or the Chair of Leadership Studies under the oversight of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Provisions for Reapplying to the Doctoral Program: A candidate whose initial application was denied admissions may reapply to the program after one full semester or 16 weeks. A person committed to being accepted into the program should work toward developing and strengthening writing, critical thinking, and computational skills. It is also essential to recognize that potential dissertation topics must be compatible with the academic interests and expertise of the program’s full-time faculty.

Based upon an assessment of all information provided by prospective candidates, admission will be granted to the limited number of places available in a given cohort.

Admission to our University is very competitive as well as selective and we review each application by the same standards.

  • Application and Application Fee
  • Official Transcripts must be received for all undergraduate and graduate coursework from an accredited college or university directly from the issuing college or university.
  • Doctoral degree admission requires a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0* on a 4.0 scale from the conferred master’s degree as well as in any subsequent graduate study. Admission to a Doctoral degree requires a master’s degree or higher from a US Department of Education recognized accredited institution, in a field related to the doctoral degree of application.
  • Any international course work complete must have official transcript evaluations completed and submitted to the University by the evaluation firm. Evaluations MUST include GPA for admission. Approved Evaluation Firms are:
    • World Education Services (WES)
    • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRO)
    • Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)
    • International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
    • Educational Perspectives (EP)
  • Documentation of language fluency for non-native speakers of English, such as a score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the 8 International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a report from Duolingo. This requirement is waived for students who have completed bachelor’s or master’s level coursework in the U.S. at an accredited institution. The minimum acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission are: 
    • Paper-based TOEFL (PBT) - 550 
    • Internet-based TOEFL (IBT) - 79 
    • IELTS - 6
    • Duolingo - 100

All admissions materials should be submitted to Graduate Admissions:

University of the Cumberlands
Graduate & Online Admissions

649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769
Phone 606.539.4390
Toll Free 800.343.1609

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Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

For more information about the educational leadership doctoral program, call 855.791.7201 or simply fill out the form on this page.

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Click here to view a list of the faculty. 

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Admissions Office

Contact Us

Phone: 606.539.4390
Tollfree: 800.343.1609 ext. 4390

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649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769

CAEP Accreditation


 The School of Education at University of the Cumberlands complies with all CAEP standards across programs at the initial and advanced levels.
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