Education Programs

Students who achieve the highest level of education, a doctorate degree, reap many benefits through enhanced careers and accelerated earning potential. For candidates seeking a Ph.D. in Education, the opportunity to work at a college or university in either administration or teaching becomes a reachable goal.

With the increased number of both online and offline colleges offering this degree, students may now select from a wide range of programs. Some Internet degree programs offer a complete online solution while others may require some attendance at a regional campus. Programs available from traditional colleges and universities have the longest history of graduating students with a doctorate in education and require a full-time presence at the campus.

Choosing the best school involves researching how a student’s background blends with the specific degree, for instance in leadership or administration, instruction or psychology and student behavior. Other considerations include selecting the program that suits a student’s schedule, convenience and any location requirements.

A candidate for a Ph.D. in Education differs from other students because they may hold a Bachelor’s Degree in a variety of disciplines including English, psychology, math or the sciences. Typically they will have completed a teaching credential and their goal is to either teach at a higher level or to transfer into an administrative function.

Ph.D. vs. Ed.D.

Two types of doctoral degrees are offered in the field of education. The traditional Ph.D. of Education includes a broader scope of study and is recognized by more academic institutions. The newer Ed.D. relates specifically to the study of educational principles and often prepares students for work at the K-12 level.

Both degrees require students to complete a dissertation and fulfill all of the research and course assignments that comprise a normal doctorate program. The Ed.D. program is recognized by most professional organizations and is considered interchangeable with the Ph.D.

Background Requirements for Doctorate Candidates

The basic prerequisite for a doctoral degree includes possession of an undergraduate and Master’s degrees. In some cases, a combination Master’s degree and Ph.D. are offered to qualifying students who complete both at the same time. Individual areas of focus will depend on the university; for example, someone seeking an administrative position, such as University President at a technical college, should have a strong math and science background. Their Ph.D. in Education gives them expertise in administration and blends well with their previous background.

Many doctoral candidates in the field of education carry some experience teaching at a lower level, possibly high school or junior college and will already hold a teaching credential. Teaching experience is highly recommended for doctoral candidates in education and those with some administrative background will be well prepared for the degree program.

Online Universities That Offer Ph.D.s in Education

Obtaining a doctoral degree online provides certain advantages for working professionals who need to take courses on their own time schedules. It also becomes advantageous for anyone who has difficulty visiting a university campus or whose schedules are not conducive to regularly scheduled programs.

Students who opt for online education need to be self-starters with the ability to work independently and consistently complete work assignments. With the vast availability of research materials now available over the Internet, finishing an online degree is more easily accomplished. The disadvantage for online students involves the lack of oral communication and classroom sharing experiences. As more students and teachers join online universities, completing a Ph.D. over the Internet becomes a viable option.

The following schools offer a Ph.D. in Education program with the majority of study conducted online:

University of Phoenix

This widely recognized university continues to gain a large student population online. Campuses are located in major metropolitan regions of the U.S. and some courses may be mandatory from a fixed location. The UOP offers a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration that is designed for students seeking employment in management such as a school principal, dean or administrator.

Information about UOP is accessible by calling in the U.S. 1-866-766-0766 or through their website: www.phoenix.edu.

Walden University

The online programs at this university cover a range of specializations including adult education, education technology, child development and others. Doctoral candidates may earn either a Ph.D. or Ed.D. Residency at a local campus is required for a 20 day period in 2 segments.

Guidance counselors work with candidates to determine the appropriate area of specialization and can be contacted by calling 1-866-492-5336. Additional information is available through their website: www.waldenu.edu.

Capella University

This school was originally designed for working adults who have some experience in their area of study. The online programs at Capella University cover a range of Ph.D. in Education awards in various specialties.

Students interested in this program should refer to the information at www.capella.edu for specific details about a particular area of study or speak with a counselor at 1-866-933-5902.

Traditional Campuses Offering Ph.D. in Education

Offline schools, or those that require attendance at a traditional campus, vary according to student population, types of doctorates offered and acceptance requirements. The following universities organized by region of the U.S. offer traditional Ph.D. in Education programs:

Northeast Colleges

Harvard University

Any degree from this prestigious university opens doors for highly compensated employment. A Doctor of Education Leadership degree (Ed.L.D.) is offered that prepares students for top administrative positions at the university level or as advisors in government educational policy. Candidates for this degree work with professors from the Harvard Business School and are required to attend classes on a full-time basis.

The degree takes three years to complete and potential candidates should contact the Harvard Graduate School of Education by accessing information at www.gse.harvard.edu. The admissions office is located at 111 Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.

Columbia University

The Teacher’s College at Columbia University offers a Ph.D. in Education Leadership that focuses on research skills and practical knowledge. Credits from other graduate programs are accepted and applied to this degree. Students may visit the campus at Room 212 MH, 525 W. 120th Street, Box 67, New York, New York 10027 or apply online through the website: www.tc.edu.

Midwest and Central Colleges

Texas State University

Located near Austin, this East Texas university caters to education professionals seeking employment in a leadership capacity. Two degrees are offered, a Ph.D. in Education with emphasis on adult, professional and community education or with emphasis on school improvements. Students may visit the campus at 601 University Drive, San Marcos, Texas 78666 or review their website information at www.education.txstate.edu.

Ohio University

An alternative program for a Doctorate in Higher Education covers the same coursework as full-time programs in other schools but requires only weekend attendance. The college accepts a small number of students every other Fall and takes 2.5 years for completion. Information about this specific program may be found through www.cehs.ohio.edu. The campus is located at 42 W. Union St., Athens, Ohio 45701.

West Coast Colleges

Stanford University

A doctoral degree from Stanford University brings high acclaim and opens many doors for prospective job candidates possessing this degree. The full-time program requires approximately four years to complete and includes both research and practical interaction with school districts and educational organizations. The class sizes at Stanford are small and students work with a highly qualified staff of instructors.

Stanford’s School of Education is located in northern California at 485 Lasuen Mall, Stanford, California 94305. Detailed information may be found through the website: ed.stanford.edu.

San Francisco State University

A less expensive but quality choice in northern California is San Francisco State University where a student earning an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership will be exposed to faculty members from eight colleges on the campus. A joint program with the University of California at Berkeley is also available. Information for this program is available at www.sfsu.edu or by visiting the campus at Burk Hall 521, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, California 94132.

Employment Opportunities after Graduation

Graduates who receive a doctoral degree in education increase their ability to find employment opportunities in administrative positions. For the highest level jobs, for example a University President at a large campus, holding a Ph.D. is often a requirement. Those students who complete a doctorate may be considered for other top-level college administrative jobs such as a Dean of Education or other department head or management positions. Possessing this degree may be a prerequisite in many regions for a position as Superintendent of Schools.

Teaching at the college level often requires a doctorate degree and graduates will earn the title of a professor where they may be eligible for an upgraded salary. A doctorate in education provides a background in both instruction and administration and allows graduates to teach other students who are training to become school principals or superintendents of a local school district.

Other employment opportunities can be found in the government sector at either a local, state or federal level. Workers in this field are hired to research and analyze budgets for education and to resolve funding issues. A doctorate degree from a prestigious university improves the chance of finding a job in the government, particularly for a federal management position.

Expected Salary Ranges for holders of Ph.D. in Education

Completing a Ph.D. in Education typically brings an increase in salary and provides greater employment stability. The actual salary ranges, however, vary greatly depending on the size of the institution, years of experience, field of expertise and region of the country. For example, the average national salary in the U.S. of a college professor is approximately $55,000 per year. The salary for the same professor at a top-end university such as Harvard or Stanford, however, could be $150,000 per year and up.

A Superintendent of Schools could earn between $87,000 and $150,000 or more depending on the city and state. Rural areas typically pay less than a major metropolitan region. In some areas, the position is appointed from school board members where in other regions it is filled through a local election.

In the government sector, the salary difference between someone in a mid-level management position with the degree and a person without a Ph.D. may be $20,000 per year, from $57,000 to $77,000. These jobs remain attractive, however, because they often provide stability and many benefits. As with other non-government positions, work experience and length of service will affect the salary range.

2 Responses to “Education Programs”
  1. Mugizi Wilson
    05.15.2011

    I intend to study a fully online Phd. However, I lack funding to pursue it. I have full time access to the internet though I lack teleconferencing facilities.

    Best Regards
    Mugizi Wilson
    Kampala – Uganda

  2. Mohammad Javed Pasha
    06.06.2011

    I am a social demographer and have Master in Economics and a Post Graduate Diploma in Demography form University of the Punjab, Pakistan. I have 10 years experience of work with the largest NGO in Pakistan, i.e. Family Planning Association of Pakistan as Director Communication for Reproductive Health Promotion. I am interested to do Ph. D in Population subjects, on-line. Can your institution help me in this regard.

    I am a Pakistani and a male person.


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