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Inside the Best Online EdD Programs in Texas

If you’re committed to improving the educational landscape in Texas, an online EdD program can help. Keep reading for a look at top schools, common courses, career prospects, and more.

Search hundreds of top schools for the doctorate YOU want.

Written By

Taylor Cromwell

Last updated

Mar 04, 2024

How would you feel about leading the charge to improve the lives of 5.4 million public school students in Texas? When you secure your EdD in education, you’ll be that very leader — poised to bring innovative ideas and leading-edge techniques to the state’s many schools. 

Educational non-profit Raise Your Hand Texas underscores this important cause, adding, “The future prosperity of our state — our economy, communities, and citizenry — hinges on the success of every public school, school leader, educator, and child.”

If you’re considering the pursuit of this terminal degree, you’re already committed to your education. So now it’s time to think about what you’re looking for in your degree. Perhaps you’re focused on finding an affordable EdD program; or maybe your priority is to find an EdD that won’t require GRE scores. Whatever your specific requirements for your future online EdD, we’re giving you a jumpstart on your research, shining a spotlight on three best-in-class online EdD programs in Texas that offer flexible formats and high-quality coursework. 

We’ll also compare common courses that you may expect in an online EdD program, explore your career prospects with a doctorate in education, and share answers to frequently asked questions. Keep reading to see which of the many online EdD programs in Texas is right for you.

Texas offers several reputable online EdD options catering to working education professionals. These highlighted programs below allow you to earn a respected doctoral credential and pursue leadership roles without relocating or leaving your career. 

Carefully compare each of the following online EdD programs in Texas to find the best academic, cost, and career outcome to fit your goals.

Texas A&M University Kingsville

Texas A&M University Kingsville’s 60-credit online EdD in Educational Leadership is designed to prepare education professionals as leaders, thinkers, researchers, and problem-solvers. You’ll learn educational theory, philosophy, policy, and innovations through coursework, seminars, a residency year, a dissertation, and a cohort structure designed to promote peer support and interaction.

One unique part of this online EdD program in Texas is an 18-hour cognate in a professional support field. This is an area of focus that is approved by the student’s advisor and has a clear connection to leadership. Common cognate topics include superintendency, principalship, adult education, higher education administration and leadership, instructional technology, reading, special education, or content areas (math, English, biology, etc.).

Texas A&M University-Kingsville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In order to be accepted, the program looks for a completed master’s degree in a relevant discipline and related writing and/or research work.

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University offers a fully online EdD in Educational Leadership that can be completed in 96 credit hours, including coursework hours and dissertation research. Courses are offered 100% online with opportunities for students to meet, work, and collaborate in doctoral summer institutes.

This is a great degree option if you’re looking to become an executive school leader who wants to bring innovative, research-based solutions to the problems facing a school district. Your colleagues in this program will include working Pre-K – 12 education professionals, including administrators, instructional coaches, lead teachers and department chairs, and counselors.

The doctoral program is approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board and is aligned with the core principles of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate national initiative. Among the admission requirements, you’ll need to supply transcripts from your master’s degree, resume, personal statement of interest, three professional recommendations, and your response to an educational leadership problem-of-practice prompt.

UT Tyler

UT Tyler’s online EdD in School Improvement prepares working educational practitioners to take a leading role in reforming Pre-K – 12 schools. The 60-credit degree mixes research, team coaching, and fieldwork, including two internships tailored to students’ interests. While you’ll primarily learn online, you’ll be required to attend an annual summer face-to-face seminar where you can collaborate with classmates and the EdD faculty.

This is one of only five school improvement doctoral programs in the U.S. — and the only online program in Texas. 

The goal of this program is to inspire students to become transformative leaders in schools that are failing, at risk, or seeking strategies for continuous improvement. You’ll leave the program empowered to address educational issues using strategies and techniques that are culturally responsive and dedicated to systemic improvement.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree in an education-related field and have at least three years of experience in education, among other admission requirements.

Common Courses in Texas EdD Programs

As you’re exploring online EdD programs in Texas, you’re probably wondering what your course load may look like. In this section, we’re highlighting some common courses that appear in a majority of Doctor of Education programs. 

Of course, the specifics will vary between schools; but overall, you can expect a mix of leadership principles, analysis techniques, policy expertise, and field experiences.

If you’re interested in gaining a big picture perspective of a degree outline, check out the University of Texas at Austin’s program plan for its executive EdD degree. For a more detailed understanding of class expectations, check out the following descriptions.

Clinical Leadership Lab

EdD programs typically involve a course like Clinical Leadership Lab. At the University of Houston, for example, you’ll take a Laboratory of Practice in both the fall and spring of your first year. This practical lab time provides students with an avenue to apply coursework concepts to specific real-world problems, often in a field setting.

Contemporary Theories in Education Leadership

To be a leader in the education field, you need to know how policies are made from the top down — from national and state legislation down to your local area. Courses in policy development decision making can help you understand how laws get made and how they may impact your field. At University of North Texas, for example, students take a course on policy studies in higher education. Course topics include the development, implementation, and enforcement of policies by institutions of higher education, state higher education coordinating and governing boards, and the federal government.

Research Seminar

Even though you’re not undertaking a PhD program, you’ll still be expected to perform some research to earn an EdD. Texas State’s EdD program curriculum offers a helpful example of research courses that you can expect. Your research seminar will teach you practical concepts like developing a research question, designing an experiment, and applying qualitative and quantitative measurement to the problem you’re exploring.

Inside Look at Your Career Prospects Post-Graduation

When you earn a doctorate in education, you’ll open the door to a highly specialized leadership role in the education field. You’ll often find that you can specialize your degree by following specific pathways; at West Texas A&M University, for example, you can choose between an EC-12 leadership pathway, a higher education leadership pathway, and an educational business and finance pathway.

With these specializations in mind, here’s a sampling of career prospects you could explore after you complete an online EdD program in Texas.

College President

A Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership can be a great stepping stone for becoming a college president. This role serves as the top leader of a college or university, and their primary focus is to execute the school’s vision, lead fundraising, attend student events, and deliver speeches to constituents. Depending on the type of public or private university, some college presidents can earn up to seven-figure salaries.

Choosing a program like WTAMU’s higher education leadership pathway would be a great option to pursue this role. 

Average Pay: $329,114

Education Lobbyist

If you want to have an impact on schools through legislation at the state or national level, becoming an education lobbyist could be a sound option. This is a powerful and influential role where you can help facilitate change by working directly with legislators. 

A common reason education lobbyists are hired is to secure funding for an educational institution so that you have the right tools for students, teachers, and administrators to succeed. Lobbyists can also work for teachers unions or school psychologist associations to help advocate for better pay, lower student ratios, and more.

Legislators have a lot of people vying for their attention on various issues, so it’s extremely helpful to have an education lobbyist in your corner that’s fighting for ways to improve education.

Average Pay: $125,640

School District Superintendent

Superintendents are the top executives of a school district. They’re responsible for establishing and overseeing their district’s budget, staffing, infrastructure, and spending. They also oversee the hiring of principals for all schools in their district and have final say on dismissing teachers or disciplining employees. 

As a superintendent, you’ll collaborate closely with a school board to develop and implement new policies and programs in line with the district’s short- and long-term goals, as well as allocate the financial and human resources necessary to achieve the district’s overarching vision.

If you’re looking for leadership that is both hands on and active in the community, this role could be a great fit for you.

Average Pay: $144,547

FAQs About Online EdD Programs in Texas

You should weigh your options closely before applying and committing to an online EdD program. Here we answer common questions you may have regarding what these degrees entail, career payoffs, time investments, and how they compare to other doctoral credentials.

Are EdD programs worth it?

EdDs can open doors to the most influential and well-compensated leadership positions in education, such as a college president or school district superintendent, making this degree a worthwhile investment for ambitious educators and professionals. 

You’ll also gain key competencies that will help you in any role you pursue, including insights into social justice, inclusion, and equity, organization & human resources, student success, and much more. Texas has a rapidly growing population, so there will be no shortage of educational leadership roles for you to pursue.

Can I earn my EdD online without writing a dissertation?

It’s possible that you can earn your EdD online without writing a dissertation. Some schools may opt for another type of capstone project or other demonstration of your learnings to replace your dissertation. One example of a non-dissertation online EdD program in Texas is at WTAMU, which requires two examples of scholarly delivery. Specific requirements will vary between each school and program, so be sure to look at the specifics of the program to which you intend to apply.

Can I teach at a university with an EdD?

Although it’s not the most common career path, some EdD holders leverage their credentials to become education faculty. However, they typically have several years of leadership work experience, such as a retired superintendent who chooses to become a professor of education.

For some universities and specific teaching jobs, a professor with a PhD research background is preferred, but it will vary greatly depending on the school and the role. If you’re still unsure whether you’d like to pursue an EdD and PhD in Education, this guide from Drexel University offers some helpful advice.

How long does it typically take to earn an EdD?

Full-time students can complete rigorous EdD coursework, clinical requirements, and dissertation research in two to four years. Part-time paths can take anywhere from three to seven years. Many schools offer part-time and flexible options, allowing you to maintain your current workload alongside your studies.

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

If you’re looking to earn your EdD degree online as fast as possible, then yes, you may be able to complete your studies in two years. However, you should have a solid understanding of your commitments going into the program and know how taking on an intense program may affect your work-life balance. Top programs like A&M University provide a four-year timeframe for degree completion.

Which is better, an EdD or a PhD?

Both EdD and PhDs are advanced degrees that are sure to move you forward in your career and help you make an impact on the field of education. However, the specifics in curriculum and outcomes vary greatly. 

As American University explains, “an EdD primarily prepares graduates to become leaders and strategists in the education field — for example, as superintendents, deans, provosts, and school district officials — while a PhD is more tailored to preparing graduates for instructional and research roles in education and higher education, for example, as professors and researchers.”

There isn’t a right answer to this question. What’s most important is to understand yourself and your career goals and choose the program that aligns best.