Education Doctoral Programs | Best PhD & EdD Schools Ranked

Find Doctor of Education programs. Search Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs by state, compare top-ranked schools, and find helpful career tips. Get a Ph.D. degree in Education.

Are you pursuing an education degree with the hope of further career advancement? A professional doctorate in Education (Ed.D. degree) will be necessary.

You’re probably reading this article because you have questions about the best Ph.D. programs in Education. If so, we’ve got many answers to help educate you.

Education Ph.D. Programs

Enrolling in a Ph.D. in Education generally leads you to careers in academia and analysis. The program focuses on developing educational researchers to understand the field thoroughly.

Additionally, it’s an opportunity to study and work with faculty members actively involved in the analysis. Together, you can build understanding and professional practice in academia.

However, before you can get a Ph.D. in Education, you must show independent study ability. This is often presented through a Ph.D. thesis.

It is a scholarly document that combines your years of research to address a specific problem in schooling.

Most institutions allow scholars to use quantitative and qualitative methodologies to complete a doctoral thesis in their investigation and analysis.

Moreover, Ph.D. in Education includes many courses. Depending on your school and field of discipline, you will likely take an average of 60-75 credit hours.

They consist of research, electives, internships, and a thesis.

Sample course offerings include doctoral study in Education, language arts curriculum, and doctoral tutorial in Education. Others have advanced seminars on Education, language, identity in a second language, and many more.

To obtain a Ph.D. in Education, you will be asked to specialize in an area of interest. Higher Education, learning technologies design research, education leadership, multilingual/multicultural Education, and research methodology.

Other areas include early childhood/childhood special education, teaching and teacher Education, interdisciplinary specialization, and more.

Finally, to register for Ph.D. programs, you must meet specific admission requirements. Now, such conditions vary from one university to the next.

However, most schools demand a master’s degree from an accredited school. On top of this, you will need to have a minimum GPA of 3.0, research capacity and professional experience, and more.

Best Doctoral Programs in Education

An Ed.D. is a graduate degree that helps explore the theory and practice of leadership in human development and education fields.

It combines theory, research, and problem-solving to equip students with the tools to pursue rewarding educational careers. With that said, let’s jump right into our discussion.

  • Best Ph.D. Programs In Education

A Ph.D. in Education can open many new career doors. Most top positions are only open to candidates with specialized degrees in this industry.

If you love working in Education, why not consider returning to school to get a Ph.D.? With your Ph.D. in Education, you can work as a professor, educational researcher, or policymaker.

These leadership roles come attached to high salaries and perks that allow you to pursue your passions while also giving students your love for Education.

Let’s look at what you can expect in a career in Education if you earn your Ph.D.

Choosing from Top Ed.D. Programs & Specialties

Before we get into the Ed.D. programs available, we must state that there are different specializations of Ed.D. programs.

For example, broad categories include Christian education leadership, adult education, curriculum & instruction, and counseling & psychology.

Others include educational leadership, early childhood education, health & physical Education, and educational technology.

Other Ed.D. programs by subject include mathematics education, higher Education, nursing education, music education, science education, and organizational leadership.

More categories include TESOL & bilingual Education, and special Education. Here, it’s obvious you’ll need to pick a preferred type.

For each of these, there are lots of programs to choose from.

Below is a list of popular specializations for a doctorate in Education:

These positions may feature higher salaries and excellent benefits packages, so earning a doctorate in Education can be a satisfying career.

Advantages of a Ph.D. in Education

The top schools only consider Ph.D. (or Ed.D.) holders as candidates for their job openings.

Even junior colleges who sometimes consider master’s degree holders only allow these professors to take junior or adjunct roles, not entire tenure.

Earning a Ph.D. in this field will open many career doors and help you hone your academic interests.

  • Education Job Title and Earnings

A doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) helps you prepare for an educational leadership role as a policymaker, school superintendent, or other related positions.

A Ph.D. in Education, however, helps you prepare for a role in teacher education or educational research.

When it comes to salaries, your location also plays a role. The top-paying positions are typically more available in urban rather than rural areas. Your specific employer matters too.

If you get a position at a top school like Harvard or a specialized school like MIT, you may earn more money than if you worked at a local state public school (though this is not always true).

You may also earn more money if you’re tenured in Education.

  • Teaching and Education Benefits

Higher education professors usually receive a comprehensive benefits package with the job.

Employers are different, but you can expect perks such as health and dental coverage, paid vacation days, and a retirement plan for full-time positions.

In addition, most workers in the educational field get access to research facilities, professional conferences, and more to pursue their passions.

Colleges That Offer Doctorate Degree In Of Education

Here are good schools that offer doctorate degrees for teachers and substitute teachers.

Get a Ph.D. degree in Education.


Alabama Alaska Arizona
Arkansas California Colorado
Connecticut Delaware Florida
Georgia Hawaii Idaho
Illinois Indiana Iowa
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana
Maine Maryland Massachusetts
Michigan Minnesota Mississippi
Missouri Montana Nebraska
Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York North Carolina
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma
Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island
South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee
Texas Utah Vermont
Virginia Washington West Virginia
Wisconsin Wyoming

Ed.D. Schools

While an almost endless list of Ed.D. programs is available for interested students, knowing what the best programs offer you great options.

  • Universities Offering Doctoral Programs in Education

Top-rated programs include those offered by the University of Southern California, Arizona State University, and Boston College.

Other reputable programs include the University of Georgia, Indiana University Bloomington, and the University of California Berkeley.The

The University of Virginia, University of Maryland-College Park, University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), and Ohio State University offer the best Ed.D. programs.

More programs include those offered at Pennsylvania State University, the University of Washington, Michigan State University, and the University of Texas at Austin.

With these schools mentioned, it’s time to examine what Ed.D. programs are available.

i. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University has the nation’s top graduate program in training, according to the U.S. News & World Report rankings in 2009. Vanderbilt provides a Ph.D. in special Education.

Several concentrations are available through this system, with early childhood particular schooling, high-incidence kids, visually impaired college students, and interdisciplinary studies.

ii. New York University

New York College’s Steinhardt School of Tradition, Training, and Human Growth also presents a Ph.D. in Education.

The U.S. Information & World Report rated NYU as No. 14 on its top graduate training schools list.

Areas of emphasis within the Ph.D. program embrace evaluation and evaluation in teaching, curriculum improvement, household, learning process, studying and cultural context, assorted studying kinds, child and human growth, and the effects of language and literacy on the kid’s ability to learn.

NYU’s program emphasizes early childhood education.

iii. Stanford University

The graduate education program at Stanford University was ranked second to Vanderbilt by U.S. Information & World Report in 2009.

Stanford’s primary emphasis is on the sociological elements of the schooling process.

Concentrations are supplied within the anthropology of schooling, the sociology of training, the philosophy of Education, instructional economics, the social sciences in training, academic linguistics, and the historical past of Education.

iv. University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is among the schools with the best Ed.D. programs. These include both online and offline options.

They include Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Global Executive Ed.D. in Educational Leadership K-12 Leadership, and Ed.D. in Organizational Change & Leadership.

v. Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers an Ed.D. program in Leadership and Innovation. This course is available in online and hybrid formats and has been completed for over three years.

You get to choose one of three focus areas: higher education change leadership, PK-12 change leadership, or systems, professional, & re-imagined change leadership.

vi. Boston College

Ed.D. programs offered by the University of Boston are among the best.

These include Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, and Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education.

Each of these programs prepares and equips students with the skills necessary for establishing thriving careers.

vii. University of Georgia

You can enroll in an Ed.D. program at the University of Georgia by choosing several options.

These include Ed.D. in Learning, Leadership & Organization Development, and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. Ed.D. in Workforce Education and Ed.D. in Science Education are more options.

More Ed.D. programs include those in Science Education and Students Affairs Leadership. As always, each program has its own set of requirements you need to meet.

viii. Indiana University Bloomington

Do you wish to pursue an Ed.D. degree at Indiana University Bloomington?

The following programs might interest you; Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction-Science & Instruction, Curriculum & Instruction –Art Education, and Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction – Mathematics Education.

There are more options, such as Ed.D. in Literacy, Culture, & Language Education, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Ed.D. in Instructional Systems Technology, and Ed.D. in Higher Education.

ix. University of California Berkeley

At the University of California Berkeley, one of the top-rated Ed.D. programs is Leaders for Equity & Democracy.

This cohort-based LEAD doctorate program only admits a limited number of students (about 10) annually. It’s available in a hybrid format, thus allowing you to work full-time while you study.

x. University of Virginia

Some of the best Ed.D. programs offered by the University of Virginia include Higher Education, Administration & Supervision, and Curriculum & Instruction (online-based).

Each of these programs has its requirements which you’ll need to research. These are among the most respected in the country.

xi. University of Maryland-College Park

The University of Maryland- College Park offers an Ed.D. program in School System Leadership (K-12).

As a K-12 administrator seeking to enroll in this 3-year Ed.D. program, you learn vital skills that help implement system improvement initiatives, among other key areas.

xii. Ohio State University

Ohio State University’s main campus offers several Ed.D. programs, including Kinesiology, Physical Education, and Ed.D. in Educational Studies, Higher Education & Student Affairs.

Ed.D. in Educational Studies and Educational Administration is another program you can enroll in.

xiii. Pennsylvania State University

At Pennsylvania State University, you have several Ed.D. program options. One of these includes Ed.D. in Lifelong Learning & Adult Education.

Others are Ed.D. in Comparative & International Education (a dual degree), Ed.D. in Higher Education, and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

xiv. University of Washington

At the University of Washington Seattle Campus, a variety of Ed.D. programs are available, one of which includes an Ed.D. in Leadership for Learning.

Other programs include Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction – Language, Literacy, & Culture and Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction –Teacher Quality & Teacher Education.

xv. Michigan State University

Michigan State University offers an Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership for K-12 administration.

This three-year program seeks to equip leaders with the right skills for effective administration. It’s a practice-based program that promotes cooperation between faculty & students.


Most students who earn a Ph.D. in education work at colleges and universities as professors.

In this role, you’ll likely be hired first as a junior or even an adjunct professor, meaning you’ll work part-time or full-time but have limited academic freedom.

As you work in this field, you can begin to complete research projects and write papers for journals in your area, eventually leading to tenure.

You could move to become the HOD or take an administrative role as your school’s dean.

A Ph.D. or a Doctor of Education (Ed.D..) degree is the highest.

Graduates of such a program will be prepared to enter careers in the academic, administrative, clinical, or research fields of Education.


Having discussed these great Ed.D. programs, you can choose the one that’s most suitable for you. These are among the top-rated programs in the country.

While there are still more, we’ve only focused on these due to time constraints.