Choose the Best Organizational Leadership Degree for You

With more than fifty accredited institutions offering online doctorate of education (Ed.D.) degrees in leadership, it can be challenging to find the program that best fits your career goals, schedule and learning style. This comprehensive resource has been created to help you find the online program that’s right for you.

Online Ed.D. in Leadership Programs

Varying by school and programmatic focus, common names for leadership programs include doctorates in: Educational Leadership, Organizational Leadership, Organizational Change and Leadership, Higher Education Leadership, and Instructional Leadership.

Despite these variations in name, leadership-focused EdD programs tend to share a broad common purpose:

To provide professionals with the practical skills and foundational knowledge required to lead organizational change in educational institutions and systems, corporations, nonprofits and/or government.

While PhD programs are commonly designed for those seeking to advance their careers in research and academia, EdD leadership programs are ideal for experienced, working professionals wishing to apply their skills and knowledge to effect systemic change in these real world settings. For that reason, admissions and dissertation requirements often differ between the two degrees types.

Some leading EdD programs require a capstone project or dissertation in practice demonstrating the effective application of theory within your current organization. (For an informed discussion comparing the EdD to the PhD in Education, see this article from the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate.)

The Benefits of the Online Ed.D.

Offering flexibility and a focus on applied practice, online EdD leadership programs have become increasingly popular among working professionals – allowing them to:

  • Advance their careers while earning a doctoral degree
  • Apply theory to drive change in their current workplace
  • Target their dissertation, doctoral research or capstone project to address a current organizational challenge

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Ed.D. in Leadership

With both on-campus and online programs, students might want to consider researching the faculty quality, school reputation and accreditation, and admissions and completion requirements. However, for online EdD programs, you should also consider factors uniquely important to the online student experience, including:

  • Live Versus Asynchronous Classes
  • Offline Mobile Capabilities
  • On-Campus Requirements
  • Class Size
  • Flexible Start Dates
  • Dissertation Requirements

The table below provides a snapshot of these factors for over 40 accredited programs as well as links to greater detail on admissions criteria and estimated time to completion.

Compare Online Doctorate of Education in Leadership Programs

Featured Online Organizational Leadership Ed.D. Degrees

Featured Online Organizational Leadership Ed.D. Degrees
School Name Live Classes Offline Accessible Mobile App On-Campus Requirement Dissertation or Capstone Project Flexible Start Dates Class Size Under 15
USC Rossier School of Education Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vanderbilt University Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Sponsored Programs

Full List of Online Organizational Leadership Ed.D. Degrees

Full List of Online Organizational Leadership Ed.D. Degrees
School Name Live Classes Offline Accessible Mobile App On-Campus Requirement Dissertation or Capstone Project Flexible Start Dates Class Size Under 15
Argosy University: Graduate School of Business and Management No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Arizona State University Yes No No Yes No No
Grand Canyon University No Yes Yes Yes No No
Northcentral University No No No Yes Yes Yes
University of Phoenix No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
University of Arkansas - Online Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Aspen University No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
William Howard Taft University No No No Yes Yes No
Nova Southeastern University Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
St. Thomas University No No No Yes Yes Yes
Kennesaw State University Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Boise State University No No No Yes No No
Northwest Nazarene University No No Yes Yes No No
Concordia University Chicago No No No Yes Yes No
University of Illinois Yes No No Yes Yes No
University of St. Francis Yes No No Yes Yes No
Ball State University No No Yes Yes No No
Morehead State University No No Yes Yes No No
University of the Cumberlands Yes No No Yes No N/A
University of New England No No No Yes Yes No
John Hopkins School of Education Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
Andrews University Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
Capella University No Yes No Yes Yes No
Walden University No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
William Carey University No No No Yes No No
Maryville University No Yes No Yes No No
Drexel University No Yes No Yes Yes N/A
Trevecca Nazarene University No N/A No Yes No N/A
Lamar University No No No Yes No No
University of Houston No Yes No Yes No No
Regent University No Yes Yes Yes No No
Edgewood College No Yes Yes Yes No No

Featured Online Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership Degrees

University of Southern California - Rossier School of Education

Program(s) Overview

State: CA

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 60 credits
  • Average completion time: 4 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation in practice within a capstone project

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-888-628-1872
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: Y
  • BA and proven leadership experience

Vanderbilt University

Program(s) Overview

State: TN

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Leadership and Learning in Organizations

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 54 credit hours
  • Average completion time: 3-4 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: capstone

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-877-NNU-4YOU
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.5
  • GRE required: N (recommended)
  • Master’s degree
  • Evidence of successful leadership experience.
  • A high level of verbal and quantitative ability.
  • Evidence may include the GRE, GMAT, or other indicators of verbal and quantitative skill.
  • A Statement of Purpose

Full List of Online Ed.D. in Leadership Programs

Andrews University

Program(s) Overview

State: MI

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Educational Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 60 credits
  • Average completion time: 4-5 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: capstone

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-269-471-6321
  • Flexible start dates: N
  • Admissions requirements:
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: Y
  • Master's degree

Argosy University: Graduate School of Business and Management

Program(s) Overview

State: AZ

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Organizational Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 60 credits
  • Average completion time: 50 months
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-888-641-3530
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: N
  • Master's degree

Arizona State University

Program(s) Overview

State: AZ

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Leadership and Innovation

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 90 credits (60 + 30 credited from master's degree)
  • Average completion time: 4 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 602-543-6358
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: N
  • Bachelor’s degree or higer, must be a working educator

Aspen University

Program(s) Overview

State: CO

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Leadership and Learning with specializations in:

  1. Health Care Administration and Leadership
  2. Higher Education Leadership
  3. K12 Educational Leadership
  4. Organizational Leadership
  5. Organizational Psychology

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 60 credits
  • Average completion time: 25 months
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-800-373-7814
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: N
  • Master's degree

Ball State University

Program(s) Overview

State: IN

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD Educational Administration and Supervision

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 90 credits, 48 can be counted from master's
  • Average completion time: 3.5 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-800-382-8540
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 2.75
  • GRE required: Y
  • Master's degree

Boise State University

Program(s) Overview

State: ID

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Educational Technology

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 66 credits
  • Average completion time: 3.5 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-208-426-1966
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: Y
  • Master's degree, professional experience

Capella University

Program(s) Overview

State: MN

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD with specialization in:

  1. Educational Leadership and Management Specialization
  2. Performance Improvement Specialization

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 60 credits
  • Average completion time: 4-5 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: capstone

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-866-933-5974
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: N
  • Master's degree

Concordia University Chicago

Program(s) Overview

State: IL

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Leadership - Health and Human Performance

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 61 credits
  • Average completion time: 4 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-708-888-2031
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: Y (or MAT)
  • Master's degree

Drexel University

Program(s) Overview

State: PA

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Educational Leadership and Management

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 60.5 credit hours
  • Average completion time: 3 year or 5 year option
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-877-215-0009
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.5
  • GRE required: N
  • Master's degree

Edgewood College

Program(s) Overview

State: WI

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Educational Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 56 credit hours
  • Average completion time: 3 to 3.5 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-800-444-4861
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: Y
  • Master's degree

Grand Canyon University

Program(s) Overview

State: AZ

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in:

  1. Behavioral Health
  2. Christian Ministry
  3. Higher Education Leadership
  4. K-12 Leadership
  5. Special Education
  6. Health Care Administration
  7. Organizational Development

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 60 credits
  • Average completion time: 8 weeks
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-855-GCU-Lope
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 2.8
  • GRE required: N
  • Graduate degree

John Hopkins School of Education

Program(s) Overview

State: MD

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD with specialization in:

  1. Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education
  2. Urban Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 48-54 credits
  • Average completion time: 4 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-877-548-7631
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: N
  • Master's degree
  • Relevant professional experience

Kennesaw State University

Program(s) Overview

State: GA 

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Educational Leadership for Learning

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 66 credits
  • Average completion time: 3 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-470-578-6117
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: Y
  • master's degree, 3 years experience

Lamar University

Program(s) Overview

State: TX 

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Educational Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 60 hours
  • Average completion time: 2.5 to 3 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-409-880-7011
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.5
  • GRE required: Y
  • Master’s degree
  • digital video, 3 years professional experience

Maryville University

Program(s) Overview

State: MO 

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Higher Education Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 48 credit hours
  • Average completion time: Fastest completion is 32 months
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-888-266-0298 ext. 4231
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: N
  • Master's Degree, 3-5 years in higher ed

Morehead State University

Program(s) Overview

State: KY 

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD with specializations in:

  1. Adult and Higher Education
  2. P-12 Administrative Leadership
  3. Educational Technology Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 60-credits
  • Average completion time: 3 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: capstone

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-800-585-6781
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: Y (or MAT)
  • Master's degree

Northcentral University

Program(s) Overview

State: AZ 

Leadership degree(s) offered:

  1. EdD in: Organizational Leadership
  2. Instructional Leadership
  3. Leadership in Higher Education

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 54 credit hours
  • Average completion time: 45 months
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-866-776-0331
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: Not stated
  • GRE required: N
  • Master's degree

Northwest Nazarene University

Program(s) Overview

State: ID 

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Educational Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 36 credits
  • Average completion time: 26 months
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-877-NNU-4YOU
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.5
  • GRE required: N
  • Recognized EdS or equivalent accredited graduate experience

Nova Southeastern University

Program(s) Overview

State: FL 

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD with concentrations in:

  1. Educational Leadership
  2. Higher Education Leadership
  3. Organizational Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 54 credits
  • Average completion time: 24 months
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-800-541-6682
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: Y
  • Master's degree

Regent University

Program(s) Overview

State: VA

Leadership degree(s) offered:

  1. EdD in Advanced Educational Leadership
  2. Exceptional Education
  3. Executive Leadership
  4. Higher Education Leadership & Management
  5. K-12 School Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 66+ credits
  • Average completion time: not stated
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-800-373-5504
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 0
  • GRE required: Y
  • A scholarly reviewed, academic writing sample, on a journal article topic related to your concentration

St. Thomas University

Program(s) Overview

State: FL 

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Leadership and Innovation

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 60 credits
  • Average completion time: 2.5 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-888-986-8109
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.25
  • GRE required: N
  • Master's degree

Trevecca Nazarene University

Program(s) Overview

State: TN

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Leadership & Professional Practice

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 57 credit hours
  • Average completion time: 27 months
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-844-TNU-GRAD
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.39
  • GRE required: N
  • Master's degree

University of Arkansas - Online

Program(s) Overview

State: AR 

Leadership degree(s) offered: Educational Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 42 credit hours
  • Average completion time: 3 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-800-952-1165
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: Y
  • EdS degree, valid teaching license

University of Houston

Program(s) Overview

State: TX 

Leadership degree(s) offered: Executive EdD in Professional Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 51 credits
  • Average completion time: Not stated
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-713-743-2255
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: Y

University of Illinois

Program(s) Overview

State: IL

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 64 credits
  • Average completion time: 4-5 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-217-333-0960
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: N
  • Master's degree

University of New England

Program(s) Overview

State: ME

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Educational Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 51 credits
  • Average completion time: 3 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-800-994-2804
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: N
  • Master's degree

University of Phoenix

Program(s) Overview

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Educational Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 62 credits
  • Average completion time: 3 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-844-937-8679
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: N
  • Supervisory or Management Experience and graduate degree

University of St. Francis

Program(s) Overview

State: IL

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Educational Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 60 credits
  • Average completion time: 3.5 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-800-735-7500
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: N
  • Master's degree

University of the Cumberlands

Program(s) Overview

State: KY

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Educational Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 60 credits
  • Average completion time: 18 months
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-800-343-1609
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.5
  • GRE required: Y
  • Master’s degree, combined 300 on GRE, or 400 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), writing sample describing the student’s research interests

Walden University

Program(s) Overview

State: MN

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD with specialization in:

  1. Community College Leadership
  2. Higher Education and Adult Learning
  3. Higher Education
  4. Leadership and Management
  5. Educational Administration and Leadership
  6. Higher Education (Self-Designed)

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 79 credits
  • Average completion time: 3 years
  • Dissertation or capstone required: capstone

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-866-492-5336
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • GRE required: N
  • Master's degree, and current work experience in a field related to the concentration of study

William Carey University

Program(s) Overview

State: MS

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD in Educational Leadership

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 63 credits
  • Average completion time: Not stated
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-601-318-6600
  • Flexible start dates: N

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.25 in a related specialist program
  • GRE required: N
  • Bachelor’s degree

William Howard Taft University

Program(s) Overview

State: CO 

Leadership degree(s) offered: EdD with a concentration in Leadership and Management

Completion requirements:

  • Program length: 60 credits
  • Average completion time: 27 months
  • Dissertation or capstone required: dissertation

Admissions information:

  • Contact admissions at: 1-877-894-8238
  • Flexible start dates: Y

Admissions requirements:

  • Minimum GPA: not stated
  • GRE required: N
  • Teaching certificate/credential, a Master’s degree in education, or a minimum of 2 years of professional full-time experience in an education-related field of work