Most Affordable Online EDD Programs

Find low-cost online EdD programs that have the affordability and convenience you need to take the next step in your career as an educator. 

Written by

PhDs.me Staff

Last updated

Nov 23, 2021

If you’re a professional educator seeking to advance your career into a top administrative role in your school or district, you’ve likely considered getting your Doctor of Education (EdD) degree. However, like other prospective EdD students, you may be worried about the scheduling challenges and cost of earning your doctorate. Fortunately, many top universities now offer affordable online EdD programs that alleviate both concerns — letting you earn your degree remotely and at a reasonable price. We’ve showcased this year’s most affordable online EdD programs in our college rankings list below. Keep reading to find a flexible, quality online EDD program at a price that fits your budget.

50 Most Affordable Online EDD Programs for 2021

or
1
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$

The curriculum for the Doctor of Educational Leadership from the University of the Cumberlands  combines core leadership and research coursework with courses in one of several specialty content areas that include education, criminal justice, English, health science, instructional technology, and seven others. Students complete their degrees by writing and defending original, research-based dissertations. The 60-credit hour program features 100% online coursework with most classes attended virtually at specific times, typically on weekday evenings. Students can attend some classes in person on UC’s campus in Williamsburg, Kentucky. 

Admissions requirements include an education-related master’s degree or higher with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a DOE-recognized accredited institution. A limited number of spaces are available in each cohort with selection based on an assessment of all information provided by applicants. 

Program Highlights:

Doctor of Educational Leadership

  • Credits: 60
  • Cost Per Credit: $375
  • Est. Total Tuition: $22,500
  • Length: Less than 3 years
  • Format: Fully online
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) (school); Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
97%
AccreditationSACSCOC
2
Union University Jackson, TN
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$

Union University, a private evangelical Christian-affiliated school in Jackson, Tennessee, offers its Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership with a range of specialized study options. The EdD in P-12 Administration focuses on education theory, research, and practice to prepare leaders working in the pre-school through 12th grade levels to resolve issues of school policy and improvement and teaching and learning best practices. The program is available in three tracks: Instructional Leadership (licensure), Leadership in School Reform (non-licensure), and Teacher Leadership (non-licensure). Union’s EdD in Higher Education option prepares students for top-tier academic and professional leadership positions with independent higher education institutions. Both options culminate with the research, writing, and defense of dissertations. Except for summer on-campus residencies for Higher Education students, all coursework is completed 100% online in an asynchronous format.   

Program Highlights:

EdD in Educational Leadership

  • Credits: 60
  • Cost Per Credit: $695
  • Est. Total Tuition: $41,700
  • Length: 3 years (P-12 School Administration); 3 ½ years (Higher Education)
  • Format: Fully online courses with 2-week in-person campus summer residencies for Higher Education students 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) (school); Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
99%
AccreditationSACSCOC
3
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $

Southwest Baptist University’s unique Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program offers three partially online track options, each with different credit hour requirements and program lengths based on individual entry points. For example, candidates with EdS degrees in School Administration/Superintendency or School Administration can earn their EdD degrees in two years by completing at least 30 credit hours, including a dissertation. Students with MS in Educational Administration and building level administrator certifications complete an additional 21 credits and one year of academic study. Candidates non-Educational Administration (but education-related) masters complete 73 credit hours over four years. The EdD program combines classes attended primarily on SBU’s Bolivar, Missouri campus with some asynchronous online coursework and hybrid-formatted synchronous lecture sessions.

Program Highlights:

EdD in Educational Leadership

  • Credits: Varies by track (30, 51, or 73)
  • Cost Per Credit: $440
  • Est. Total Tuition: Varies by track ($13,200, $22,440, or $32,120)
  • Length: Varies by track (3, 4, or 5 years)
  • Format: Partially online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
70%
AccreditationHLC
4
Type: Public
Cost: $$

Focusing on educational equity, social justice, and border issues, the EdD degree offered by NMSU through its Educational Leadership Doctoral Program prepares students for advanced leadership roles at education institutions serving underrepresented populations. The 63-credit hour EdD cohort-model program begins annually every fall and progresses through six semesters (fall, spring, summer) of coursework followed by the writing and defense of doctoral dissertations. Coursework is presented in a hybrid (80% face-to-face/20% online) format. In-person classes are on NMSU’s Las Cruces campus with online classes attended at specific times. Students complete other coursework online both synchronously and asynchronously. Students are also required to attend at least two program-approved, research-focused academic conferences during their degree studies.

Program Highlights:

EdD in Educational Leadership

  • Credits: 63
  • Cost Per Credit (tuition and fees): $329.20 (New Mexico residents); $398.20 (out-of-state residents)
  • Est. Total Tuition: $20,739.60 (New Mexico residents); $25,086.60 (out-of-state residents)
  • Length: Minimum 3 ½ years
  • Format: Partially online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (school); Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
65%
AccreditationHLC
5
Type: Public
Cost: $$

The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program at Arkansas State University is a writing-intense, dissertation-based program that prepares graduates for top education leadership roles. There are three program start dates each year. Students progress as a cohort through two years of doctoral sub-core, leadership, and dissertation-prep research coursework followed by the writing and defense of their dissertations. The program features 100% online courses delivered in a combination of asynchronous coursework and synchronous video conferences. Students also attend three-day, in-person summer seminars on ASU’s Jonesboro campus at the beginning, middle, and end of the pre-dissertation curriculum.

Admission into ASU’s Educational Leadership EdD program is limited with selection based on factors that include GRE scores, writing skills, scholarship, evidence of leadership, and employment record.

Program Highlights:

EdD in Educational Leadership

  • Credits: 60
  • Cost Per Credit: $440
  • Est. Total Tuition: $26,400
  • Length: As few as 40 months
  • Format: Fully online coursework plus 3, 3-day, on-campus seminars
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (school); Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
67%
AccreditationHLC
6
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$

Xavier University of Louisiana, a Catholic HBCU located in New Orleans, offers a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership that emphasizes the leadership values of social justice, advocacy, and inclusion. The 60-credit hour curriculum combines core program and research coursework with specialized courses in special education leadership, organizational management, and educational law. Study culminates in the research, writing, and defense of a dissertation. All classes are online except for two weeks of on-campus classes each summer. Most classes are synchronous and require virtual attendance on weekday evenings. A few courses and exams are completed asynchronously. 

Admission requirements for Xavier’s Educational Leadership EdD program include a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 or higher GPA and a minimum GRE score of 294 or MAT score of 391. Additional application submittals include a statement of interest, a scholarly writing sample, and two letters of recommendation. Selected applicants are invited for a program interview. 

Program Highlights:

EdD in Educational Leadership

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
86%
AccreditationSACSCOC
7
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$

Operated by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Concordia University-St. Paul offers a Doctorate in Education program that carries its vision of “transforming communities through educational leadership” by developing student competencies in the areas of scholarship, leadership, community, and innovation. Students progress through the first three years as a cohort, completing all didactic coursework and three chapters of their five-chapter dissertations together. Most students then present and defend their dissertations in year four. The program allows students to complete their degrees while maintaining full-time employment. Except for week-long, on-campus residencies during the summers of the second and third years, all degree requirements are entirely online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous coursework. 

Program Highlights:

Doctorate in Education

  • Credits: 64
  • Cost Per Credit: $615
  • Est. Total Tuition: $39,360
  • Length: 3 to 4 years
  • Format: Fully online coursework with 1-week, in-person, on-campus summer residencies.
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (school); Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
96%
AccreditationHLC
8
Evangel University Springfield, MO
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$

The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, Curriculum & Instruction from Evangel University, a private Christian school affiliated with the Assemblies of God, prepares effective leaders in administrative and instructional leadership roles on the K-12 level. The program begins annually each fall. Students progress as a cohort through seven semesters (fall, spring, summer) before turning exclusively to dissertation preparation, writing, and defense in the spring of the program’s third year. The curriculum can be completed entirely online or through a combination of online coursework and in-person classes on EU’s Springfield, Missouri campus. This EdD degree requires 50 credit hours of coursework. However, students can transfer in up to 15 program-approved credit hours for previously completed coursework beyond the master’s degree level. 

Program Highlights:

EdD in Educational Leadership, Curriculum & Instruction

  • Credits: 50
  • Cost Per Credit: $600
  • Est. Total Tuition: $30,000
  • Length: 3 years
  • Format: Fully online or partially online with blended format
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (school) 
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationHLC
9
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$

The Doctor of Education in Leadership degree from Lutheran-affiliated Concordia University Irvine combines core leadership and research-related classes with coursework in one of three specializations: Educational Administration, Organizational Change, or Special Education. Students progress through the cohort model via six continuous eight-week terms each year, completing all coursework and attending all dissertation seminars together. The curriculum culminates with dissertation writing and defense. 

All courses are available online in a “flipped” classroom format where students first complete assignments (readings, pre-recorded videos, etc.) asynchronously before participating in real-time videoconferences with their cohorts and their instructors on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. A blended-format option allows students to attend Saturday sessions on the school’s Irvine, California campus. The program also includes one embedded educational trip to Washington, DC, where students meet with government officials and others to learn about education-related issues and policies.  

Program Highlights:

EdD in Leadership

  • Credits: 46
  • Cost Per Credit: $1,015
  • Est. Total Tuition: $46,690
  • Length: 3 years
  • Format: Fully online coursework plus an educational trip to Washington, DC
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
97%
AccreditationWSCUC
10
Type: Public
Cost: $$

Stephen F. Austin State University’s Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program offers a surprisingly affordable option for Texas residents and those living in the four states bordering it. Students in the 66-credit hour program complete three years of 100% online coursework consisting of a sequence of core research and leadership courses along with coursework in either a K-12 Leadership Concentration or the Higher Education Leadership Concentration. Students also complete residency requirements that may include a presentation at a student-friendly or professional conference or co-authoring a journal article. Academic work concludes with the writing and defense of a dissertation based on the student’s original research in educational leadership or other education-related areas. 

Admission into SFSU’s Educational Leadership EdD program is open to candidates with masters’ degrees with a minimum 3.5 GPA on all graduate coursework and leadership experience in a K-16 setting. New cohorts begin annually each summer. 

Program Highlights:

EdD in Educational Leadership

  • Credits: 66
  • Cost Per Credit: n/a
  • Est. Total Tuition: $24,646 (Texas residents); $26,644 (border state residents); $51,592 (out-of-state residents)
  • Length: 4 years
  • Format: Fully online plus a residency requirement that may include in-person activities
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CAEP (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
54%
AccreditationSACSCOC
11
Bethel University Saint Paul, MN
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
99%
AccreditationHLC
12
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationSACSCOC
13
Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
89%
AccreditationSACSCOC
14
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
73%
AccreditationSACSCOC
15
East Carolina University Greenville, NC
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
49%
AccreditationSACSCOC
16
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
50%
AccreditationHLC
17
University of Mississippi University, MS
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
71%
AccreditationSACSCOC
18
Belhaven University Jackson, MS
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationSACSCOC
19
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
9%
AccreditationSACSCOC
20
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
39%
AccreditationSACSCOC
21
Missouri Baptist University Saint Louis, MO
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
98%
AccreditationHLC
22
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
69%
AccreditationHLC
23
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
41%
AccreditationSACSCOC
24
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationNWCCU
25
William Carey University Hattiesburg, MS
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
86%
AccreditationSACSCOC
26
Gwynedd Mercy University Gwynedd Valley, PA
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationMSCHE
27
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
6%
AccreditationSACSCOC
28
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
9%
AccreditationSACSCOC
29
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
46%
AccreditationWSCUC
30
Clemson University Clemson, SC
Type: Public
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
77%
AccreditationSACSCOC
31
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
29%
AccreditationWSCUC
32
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
25%
AccreditationSACSCOC
33
University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
41%
AccreditationHLC
34
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
35%
AccreditationSACSCOC
35
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
24%
AccreditationSACSCOC
36
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
51%
AccreditationHLC
37
Lamar University Beaumont, TX
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
20%
AccreditationSACSCOC
38
Southwestern College Winfield, KS
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
97%
AccreditationHLC
39
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
28%
AccreditationHLC
40
Wilmington University New Castle, DE
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
16%
AccreditationMSCHE
41
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
60%
AccreditationSACSCOC
42
Morgan State University Baltimore, MD
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
47%
AccreditationMSCHE
43
The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
Type: Public
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
57%
AccreditationSACSCOC
44
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $
Academic
Counseling
No
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationDEAC
45
Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
Type: Public
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
66%
AccreditationSACSCOC
46
Cornerstone University Grand Rapids, MI
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationHLC
47
Aspen University Denver, CO
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationDEAC
48
Type: Public
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
64%
AccreditationSACSCOC
49
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationHLC
50
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
98%
AccreditationHLC

Rankings Methodology

PhD.me’s rankings are based on official government data from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). To be eligible for our most affordable rankings, colleges were required to have the following characteristics:

  • Annual graduate tuition and fees under $15,000.
  • At least one EDD program offered partially online or fully online.
  • Accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Eligible colleges were then ranked based on their performance in the following categories:

  • Cost: Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year. (Heaviest weighting)
  • Institutional Aid: Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself. (Second-heaviest weighting)
  • Online Program Availability: Number of fully-online or partially-online EDD programs reported.
  • Academic Counseling: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement: Existence of this service on campus or online.