If you’ve ever had the desire to become an educator in a higher domain, then you’ve probably considered earning a doctorate in education. Professionals who’ve earned this prestigious degree have gone on to be college presidents, school superintendents, academic deans, professors, and much more. People choose this career path for the advancement and feeling of accomplishment that comes with it.

Professions that require a doctorate degree of any kind typically pay well. With an education doctorate, you can make anywhere from $65,000 to $100,000.

Earning a doctorate is challenging and oftentimes competitive to get into. Below we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Most Affordable Online Doctorate in Education Programs. Each of these cheapest online EdD programs will prepare you to take on roles in educational leadership to help shape education policy. Students learn about educational psychology, human resource concerns, educational administration, special education needs, higher education leadership, and more.

By enrolling in one of these programs, you’ll learn critical skills that will carry you to bring about positive education policy change within different kinds of educational environments, including k-12, college, graduate school, and more. The faculty in these programs are highly recognized and respected in their communities. Many of them still practice what you’ll be taught, and you’ll have opportunities to work alongside your professors to gain valuable experience.


All schools considered for these rankings

  • Are regionally or nationally accredited
  • Offer at least one fully online doctorate in education (with no more than two weeks of required in-person work)
  • Were collected from official accrediting agency websites.

Schools are ranked solely by the average net price as released in the most recent IPEDs database collected in 2023

Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

2024 Most Affordable Online Doctorate in Education Programs

RankSchoolAverage Net Price
#1University of Florida$3,679
#2University of Wyoming$8,036
#3Marshall University$8,706
#4University of North Georgia$10,623
#5William Carey University$10,886
#6University of North Carolina at Greensboro$11,110
#7Murray State University$11,226
#8Valdosta State University$13,336
#9Columbus State University$13,697
#10Indiana University – Bloomington$14,216
#11University of Arkansas$14,998
#12Sam Houston State University$15,446
#13University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign$15,483
#14Aspen University$15,952
#15Texas Tech University$17,313
#16Carson-Newman University$17,457
#17West Texas A & M University$18,060
#18Belhaven University$18,088
#19Kennesaw State University$18,212
#20University of Kentucky$18,268
#21University of Virginia$20,507
#22Southeastern University$27,891

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Doctorate in Education Programs

1. University of Florida

Average Net Price: $3,679
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 30%

Students who want to earn their doctor of education degree online can currently choose from three programs at UF and the school will be launching an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in Computer Science Education in 2024.

The first of these is a program that leads to an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Educational Technology. This course of study requires students to attend three events on campus: a two-day orientation, and two four-day events at the end of their first and second years.

The second program, leading to an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration, is designed to allow working professionals to advance their careers without having to use vacation time to take classes. The program’s courses are offered online, although students will need to attend some weekend programs in person each semester.

UF’s third online doctoral program leads to an Ed.D. in Leadership in Educational Administration. This online program of study usually takes four years to complete and requires students to attend two weekend meetings on campus each semester.

2. University of Wyoming

Average Net Price: $8,036
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 97%

The University of Wyoming (UW) is located in the city of Laramie. The school prides itself on offering high-quality education at an affordable price, being a nationally recognized research university, and its low student-to-teacher ratio. UW offers three online doctoral degree programs to help working educational professionals advance their careers.

Students who are interested in becoming a leader at the k-12 level will benefit from UW’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership degree program. This course of study features 44 credit hours of classes and can be completed in just two years.

UW’s Ed.D. in Learning, Design, and Technology has an emphasis on applied research and is designed for those who work in the field of educational technology. Students can transfer up to 30 credits from their related master’s degree towards this program’s 75 required credit hours.

3. Marshall University

Average Net Price: $8,706
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 98%

Marshall University is located in Huntington, West Virginia. Founded in 1837, Marshall offers a wide variety of graduate-level online degree programs, including two that lead to a doctorate in education. Students who take advantage of Marshall’s distance learning program are ineligible to attend classes on campus, cannot apply for graduate assistance, and may not be able to attend events at the school.

Working adults who want to transition into a leadership role in their career field may be interested in Marshall’s Ed.D. in Leadership Studies. Students will need to complete 45 hours of coursework to earn this degree, divided between education classes, research, and dissertation preparation.

Marshall’s other online doctoral program in education leads to an Ed. D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Students will need to successfully pass a minimum of 21 hours of classes in their major, 9 credits in their minor, 19 hours of research and support, and 9 hours of dissertation research. Marshall allows students to submit up to 12 master’s hours towards credit for this doctoral program’s requirements. However, all transfer credits must be approved by both the doctoral committee and the department’s dean.

4. University of North Georgia

Average Net Price: $10,623
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 81%

One of the country’s best colleges for veterans, the University of North Georgia (UNG) has a history that can be traced back to the founding of North Georgia College & State University in 1873. Today, UNG has five campuses across the state, as well as a comprehensive online education department.

While UNG has a variety of online education degree programs, it only has one that leads to an Ed. D. degree. The Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership and Practice program at UNG is designed to give college administrators the skills they need to advance their careers. Students generally take about three years to complete this 60 credit-hour course of study.

Not all prospective students are eligible to take the distance education courses offered by UNG. Students who don’t live in Georgia should email the school to see if they can enroll before submitting a formal application.

5. William Carey University

Average Net Price: $10,886
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 57%

William Carey University offers two online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) programs:

  • Educational Leadership: This program is designed to prepare professional educators to become change agents in their schools. Coursework covers topics such as visionary planning, strategic utilization of resources, effective management and leadership, and practical application of research. The program is 70 credit hours long and can be completed in 3-5 years.
  • Health Administration and Education: This program is designed to prepare healthcare professionals as educators, administrators, and healthcare researchers. Coursework covers topics such as healthcare policy, leadership, management, and research. The program is 90 credit hours long and can be completed in 4-6 years.

Both programs are offered 100% online and are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

To be admitted to an Ed.D. program at William Carey University, you must:

  • Hold a master’s degree in a related field
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Submit letters of recommendation
  • Write a personal statement
  • Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT)

The cost of the Ed.D. programs at William Carey University varies depending on the program and the number of credits you take.

6. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Average Net Price: $11,110
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 91%

Founded in 1891, UNC Greensboro has been twice recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (CFAT) as a leading institute of higher education. To begin, UNC Greensboro has been designated as a stellar research facility by CFAT. CFAT also recognizes the school as having exceptional levels of community outreach and engagement.

While UNC Greensboro has many graduate-level education programs, there is no ed.d degree option listed on their main online learning page. However, the school says that many of the classes for their EdD degree in Educational Leadership are offered in the evenings, on Saturdays, or in an online format. This program’s 42 main credit hours are divided into foundational classes, research methods, and core foundational courses. After successfully completing their credits, students will need to complete at least 12 hours of research for their dissertations.

7. Murray State University

Average Net Price: $11,226
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 85%

Located in Murray, Kentucky, Murray State University (MSU) has three online doctoral programs, one of which is in the field of education.

MSU is one of the first schools in the nation to offer students the chance to earn their Doctor of Education in P-20 and Community Leadership degrees. Professionals who earn this degree will gain the skills they need to become leaders in their community by evaluating and improving their local educational system. This program can be completed entirely online, with students connecting to live classrooms as needed. Students will need to take 60 credit hours to earn this degree and can choose to specialize in one of the following areas: science, technology, and mathematics (STEM) leadership, preschool through twelfth-grade leadership, post-secondary leadership, and agricultural education.

8. Valdosta State University

Average Net Price: $13,336
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: SACS COC
Acceptance Rate: 76%

Founded in 1906, Valdosta State is a publicly funded university in Valdosta, Georgia. VSU is a mid-size institution with an undergraduate student body of about 7,200 people. They admit about 78% of applicants, making their admissions somewhat competitive. VSU offers five doctoral degree options, including three in the field of education. These education degrees are an Ed.D. in Leadership, an Ed.D. in Adult and Career Education, and an Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction.

9. Columbus State University

Average Net Price: $13,697
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 79%

Established in the 1950s, Columbus State University (CSU) is located in Georgia, near the state’s shared border with Alabama. The school is well-known for its outstanding athletics program, community outreach projects, and cultural enrichment opportunities. CSU offers four different degree options for students who want to earn their doctorate in education online.

The first of these is an EdD program in Curriculum and Leadership. This program, geared towards currently working education professionals, consists of 63 credit hours of courses. It offers three possible focuses: educational leadership, higher education administration, or curriculum and instruction. This is a hybrid program and students will need to attend some in-person classes in order to graduate.

CSU’s other three options for an online doctorate in education all lead to an Ed.S. Degree. Certified teachers with a minimum of three years of experience may be interested in the school’s Ed.S. in either Elementary Education or Secondary Education. Earning this degree allows educators to apply for an upgrade to their graduate certificate teaching level. Other education program professionals may be more interested in CSU’s Ed.S. in Educational Leadership, which is designed for aspiring principals or district leaders.

10. Indiana University – Bloomington

Average Net Price: $14,216
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 85%

Indiana University – Bloomington (IU) is home to the largest of the college’s seven campuses. This school boasts an exceptional athletics department. IU offers five online doctorates in education, all of which require students to complete a minimum of 60 credit hours to graduate.

One of these programs leads to an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership degree. This course of study is designed to equip working professionals with the skills they will need to succeed as an education administrator in any type of learning environment. A bachelor’s degree and two letters of recommendation are required for admission to this program.

The other programs all award graduates with an EdD degree in one of four specialties. The first is an Ed.D. in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education program. The second leads to an Ed.D. in Instructional Systems Technology. The final two programs both grant graduates an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus on either art or science education.


Further Resources