Online PhD in Educational Leadership

Learn more about obtaining an online PhD in educational leadership. Find information on courses, prerequisites, concentrations, and careers. View popular schools that offer PhD degrees in educational leadership.

Program Overview

Individuals interested in completing an online PhD in educational leadership may take courses that focus on leadership, policy, research, ethics, and diversity. Students may study the conceptual, political, social, interpersonal, and technical aspects of schools and educational institutions. Students may also learn how to provide instructional leadership to enhance the educational process as well as evaluate and improve educational programs. PhD programs may include an apprenticeship, where students develop research questions based on the problems and issues pertaining to a specific educational setting. Students may also need to complete a dissertation requirement. An online PhD in educational leadership may include the following courses:

  • Directed Research
  • Clinical Research in Educational Leadership
  • Organizational Theory
  • Educational Reform and Leadership
  • Educational Policy and Analysis
  • Creative and Critical Thinking
  • Social Contexts and Contemporary Theories

Program Prerequisites

Prior to enrolling in an online PhD in educational leadership, students may need to have a bachelor’s and master’s degree from an accredited school and have a competitive Graduate Records Examinations (GRE) score obtained within the last five years. They may need to submit their transcripts and provide letters of recommendation. Certain programs may also require individuals to submit a letter in which they discuss reasons for pursuing the degree, their chosen area of focus, and characteristics that may set them apart from other candidates.


Students enrolled in online PhD in educational leadership may opt to focus in a specific area of concentration, thus choosing their own career path. Schools may offer concentrations in research and assessment methodology, higher education leadership, public school administration, and K-12 leadership. These concentrations may provide students the necessary leadership skills to serve as superintendents; administrative workers within public school, adult learning or university settings; and principals or assistant principals at high schools.

Career Options

Graduates of an online PhD in educational leadership may find career opportunites at schools, colleges, universities, correctional institutions, job-training centers and community service organizations. Those who work in this industry may hire teachers and staff, evaluate teachers, visit classrooms, and observe teaching methods. Educational leaders may also work closely with students, teachers, and parents to ensure that they meet educational and behavioral goals. Examples of jobs may include attendance and discipline vice principal, assistant principal, curriculum director, assessment coordinator, and athletic director.

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  • PhD in Educational Leadership

Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program. You'll learn new strategies and techniques for your classroom while expanding your knowledge and skills as an educator.


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Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.  We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.



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