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Inside the Best Online EdD Programs in Florida

An EdD can set you up for professional success — that is, once you find the right program and the resources to help you succeed. Ready to take the first step? Keep reading.

Search hundreds of top schools for the doctorate YOU want.

Written By

Kyra Sutherland

Last updated

Mar 04, 2024

There’s more you can do in your career. You know it, and you’re considering online EdD programs in Florida to help you fill the gaps to you reach your goals. However, obtaining a doctorate degree is quite a commitment and, though it’s exciting, it can also be daunting. While many great opportunities are waiting, there’s a lot you need to know and questions you need to answer to help you prepare. Which schools offers the best programs? How long will your program take? Is writing a dissertation worth it and, if so, what will you write about? You’ll want the answers to all these questions and more before you commit to furthering your education. 

As overwhelming as this all may seem, we’re here to help. We’ve created this guide on the best online EdD programs in Florida to give you all the information you need to start this exciting journey. We’ll provide information on different programs, the best schools available in Florida, career opportunities once you’ve obtained your doctorate degree, and courses you’ll most likely take. This will not only give you a general idea of what to expect as a student, but we’ll also offer helpful information you’ll need afterward, such as salary potential for careers with an EdD degree. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about online EdD programs in Florida.

Since you’ve already had the college experience, you probably know what attributes make up a good program, or at least the attributes that you liked or disliked at your previous schools. To help refresh your memory, below we highlight several high-quality online EdD programs in Florida to provide a benchmark against which you can measure other programs. Keep in mind as you read that this is not meant to be treated as a ranked list.

Florida State University

Florida State University offers an online EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy for professionals with a master’s degree and relevant experience. It’s made up of 69 credits that ring in at $445 each for in-state residents. The program was developed according to the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate Guiding Principles of Design. Courses are delivered online and asynchronously, meaning attendance isn’t required at specific times. Each summer students visit Tallahassee for a three-day Summer Institute where they meet their peers and professors and participate in activities and events designed to enhance student learning and preparation as scholar-practitioners.

The program’s curriculum is structured to help students meet certain educational milestones and build their dissertations as they progress through the coursework, with plenty of regular, synchronous opportunities to connect with program faculty, course instructors, and peers. Admission requirements include a personal essay, a master’s GPA of 3.5 or above, GRE test scores (if you don’t qualify to have them waived), all college transcripts, your resume/CV, and three letters of recommendation.

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida’s distance education program (UCF Online) provides one of the best online EdD programs in Florida. It’s a three-year, 100% online EdD in Curriculum and Instruction that consists of 54-57 credit hours. Each credit costs $328 for in-state residents. The doctorate degree is designed for experienced educators interested in teaching at the college or university level or who want to lead program improvement in a school district, higher education setting, or social service agency. Students can expect to gain advanced skills throughout the program including the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of educational and clinical programs, identify roadblocks to effective practice and program improvement, analyze and synthesize educational and clinical research to identify research-based practices and solutions to complex problems, and lead the change process by implementing data and evidence-based decisions and solutions. Students will need to choose one of 13 specialty tracks, each of which is made up of 12 credits.

University of Florida

The Leadership in Educational Administration Doctorate (LEAD) EdD program from the University of Florida prepares future leaders for research, leadership, and policy positions throughout every tier of the education system. The program is designed in an online format with students attending two Saturday meetings per semester through synchronous virtual meetings and other asynchronous components in between. Students are admitted into the program as a cohort once per year in the fall and typically finish their doctorate degree in four years of part-time study. Students take two classes per semester (six credits) and finish all coursework within three years. The fourth year is devoted to the required dissertation. Average class sizes are 15 to 20 students. Students can transfer up to 15 credits, subject to advisor approval.

Common Courses in Florida EdD Programs

Now that you know what the bird’s-eye view looks like, we’re going to dive into a few of the most common courses that you’ll likely take while pursuing online EdD programs in Florida. We’ll discuss the main topics of each class and emphasize how each class can help you in your current or future career.

Cross-Cultural Relations

This course examines instructional and institutional practices that influence the opportunity and achievement gaps for different cultures and student living situations. It also examines the social, political, economic, and cultural forces affecting education and the relationships among educational and social policies, multicultural curricula, achievement, racial and ethnic identity, and culturally diverse lifestyles. Emphasis is placed on understanding critical race theory, communities as sources of knowledge, and culturally responsive schools and classrooms that promote equity and social justice for all learners. This course will help you understand where current educational policies lie, give you the opportunity to see where they can improve and help you be a better educator and leader to students and faculty members who come from, and are part of, different cultures.

Education Psychology

This course examines the cognitive, social, and emotional characteristics of K-12 and/or adult learners. It emphasizes the use of theory and research in the learning, development, and desire to diagnose and solve problems in diverse educational environments. Students learn about a wide range of theories that describe how individuals learn, develop, and grow during their educational years. This course helps leaders and educators become more confident with classroom applications of behavioral and cognitive views of learning, learner development, learner diversity, motivation, and effective instruction.

Global, International, and Comparative Education

This course introduces students to education in a global context to increase their understanding of global perspectives. Students examine trends in higher education in the global context, compare higher education systems, identify internationally framed higher education collaborations and partnerships, and explore innovative curriculum models and multinational student learning experiences. This course informs students of international and global educational strategies that can be adopted to best help students everywhere.

Mixed Methods Research Design

Mixed methods research combines both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis to more robustly answer research questions. Students receive a doctoral-level introduction to this kind of research and learn how to implement it within an educational context. This helps them generalize their findings (with quantitative data) as well as characterize them (through qualitative data). EdD students learn how to collect both types of data and how to carefully consider the relationship between the two and how they’ll integrate them into coherent conclusions.

Inside Look at Your Career Prospects Post-Graduation

Perhaps you already have a plan for how you’ll apply your newly acquired EdD degree, but if you don’t, or if you just need an idea of where this road can take you, below we discuss several careers that you can move toward as a result of pursuing online EdD programs in Florida.

College President

A university president is pretty much the CEO of a university. They carry out the decisions of the university’s board of trustees, assigning goals and delegating tasks to other administrators at the university, including academic or administrative deans, the college’s provost (chief academic officer), and others. The college president is responsible for overseeing all operations, both academic and administrative, and ensuring they’re successful. Not only does the college president ensure the administrative side of the college runs smoothly, but they’re also responsible for ensuring the success of the student body. Additionally, the college president stays aware of the school’s public image, which can contribute to enrollment rates and as a result, the school’s overall profit.

Average Pay: $155,616

Education Lobbyist

Education lobbyists help facilitate change by working with the legislators who have a direct impact on education through the creation of laws and bills. Lobbyists present the interests of the businesses or groups that they represent to these legislators and ask them to use their influence to persuade lawmakers. Most states define lobbying as an attempt to influence government action through written or oral communication, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. One of the most common reasons to hire an education lobbyist is to procure funding for an educational institution.

Average Pay: $124,706

School District Superintendent

A school district superintendent is like a CEO of a school district. They may delegate tasks to various people, such as an assistant superintendent, but in the end, they are accountable for the overall performance of the students and teachers. In addition to overseeing the staff of the school system, superintendents may also be responsible for budgeting, curricula design, human resources, and facility management, within parameters that may include state and federal curricula requirements and available budgets. Tasks such as hiring new teachers, ensuring that current teachers have up-to-date certifications and follow continuing education requirements, and ensuring that the students excel puts a lot of responsibility on individuals holding this position.

Average Pay: $144,888

FAQs About Online EdD Programs in Florida

While we covered a considerable amount of information above, maybe you still have some unanswered questions or just need the information boiled down to its simplest form. To make sure you have all the information you need, we’ve created a list of frequently asked questions about online EdD programs in Florida and their answers.

Are EdD programs worth it?

This question is entirely a matter of perspective and what you’re trying to accomplish with your education. If you’re looking for career growth opportunities, a higher salary, a more specific skill set, or new job opportunities, then yes, obtaining your online EdD degree in Florida is worth the work.

Can I earn my EdD online without writing a dissertation?

A dissertation is the traditional ending to a doctorate degree. It’s a capstone that shows all the knowledge and education you’ve acquired and your ability to use it to research effectively. However, if your heart is set on a different path, you may be able to work with the university’s academic department to discuss other options. Sometimes Florida universities allow students to do active research or other projects in place of their dissertation.

Can I teach at a university with an EdD?

Yes, you can teach at a university with an EdD. However, getting hired also depends on your work experience and area of expertise. A doctorate degree alone, while qualifying, may not get you the position in Florida that you’re after.

How long does it typically take to earn an EdD?

This answer depends on you. You can obtain your degree faster if you attend full-time, or slower if you’re attending part-time. Perhaps you want to take a semester off to prepare for your dissertation. Some programs require research or residential projects. Depending on which path you take, your EdD can take two to seven years to complete.

Is it possible to earn my EdD online in two years?

It is possible to earn your online EdD in only two years, though rigorous. You can dedicate your time to attending school on a full-time basis, which allows you to complete your doctorate degree faster. You can find an accelerated program or a program with an embedded dissertation that will also allow you to finish your education more quickly. Simply taking courses online at your own pace will also help you complete your degree faster.

Which is better, an EdD or a PhD?

Again, this question depends on what your end goal is. While both an EdD and a PhD are great options, they’ll serve you differently. An EdD is typically focused on real-world application, whereas a PhD is typically focused on research. Depending on which direction you’re interested in, either could be a great choice for you.