No, we're not talking about the Doritos you're eating or the Drake album you're listening to. We're talking about the fact that you're here looking for online doctoral programs in education!
That's a good thing, because the online education scene is busting at the seams right now. The demand for easily accessible and reputable degrees is as high as it's ever been, and there is little sign of that trend reversing any time soon. And with that demand is a need for people like you, who have the chops to design curriculum.
Those who hold degrees in Curriculum and Instruction often work as Instructional Coordinators, although jobs are not limited to that particular title. Instructional Coordinators typically oversee school curriculums and teaching standards. They develop instructional material, coordinate its implementation with teachers and principals, and assess its effectiveness.
Increasingly, however, the need for Instructional Coordinators is moving online as post-secondary schools in particular are making some of their degree programs and courses available on the web. New jobs are being created that will require qualified professionals to help manage and develop curriculum.
The minimum degree requirement to work as an Instructional Coordinator is a master's degree in a relevant field, but with an Ed.D. or Ph.D. in a field such as Curriculum and Instruction, you can get a leg up on the competition. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median pay for entry-level Instructional Coordinators is between $60,000 and $65,000 per year. But with a doctoral degree in the field, you can expect that figure to increase, particularly as you gain experience on the job.
What Are the Best Online Doctoral Degrees in Curriculum and Instruction?
So if an Ed.D. is in your future, what are the options? Can they be completed online? The answer is yes, and we've taken the liberty of taking some of the guesswork out of it for you. We have assembled a list of what we think are the 10 best online doctoral programs in Curriculum and Instruction with your needs in mind.
To assemble our list, we took into consideration factors such as academic reputation, average cost, and graduate success rates. Data is taken from publicly available sources, including U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and PayScale.com. The end result is a list of schools that balance cost, reputation, and, ultimately, what they can do for you and your unique goals.
Now, put down those Doritos, and get to work!
University of Arkansas
College Choice Score: 100
Average Tuition: $410
Based in Fayetteville, U of A offers an education specialist degree in curriculum & instruction, training candidates in advanced research, instruction, and other education topics. Students pursuing their curriculum and instruction degree online complete a minimum of 33 credits, typically taking 2-3 years to complete. The program curriculum includes nine credits of research courses, nine credits of curriculum and instruction courses, and 12-18 credits of area interest electives, offering advanced knowledge in topics such as gifted and talented education, special education leadership, and literacy studies. While U of A offers most course material online, students may also mix in evening campus courses if they desire.
University of Florida
College Choice Score: 99.85
Average Tuition: $690
Designed for practicing educators, UF’s degree in curriculum and instruction online draws explicit connections between education theory and classroom practice, encouraging teachers to apply coursework to their own teaching methods. This cohort-based program has students to complete most courses together in the same sequence, sharing knowledge and building deeper connections with peers and faculty. While UF offers most coursework online, candidates must attend weeklong residency sessions held each summer on campus in Gainesville. These intensive sessions combine classroom work, individual meetings with faculty, guest lectures, and socializing opportunities. Students must also visit campus for final exams and dissertation defense, each lasting one day.
University of South Carolina
College Choice Score: 99.43
Average Tuition: $533
A major public college based in Columbia, USC hosts an online doctor of education in curriculum & instruction with a curriculum studies concentration. This advanced degree serves the needs of education professionals who plan to work as curriculum specialists for K-12 schools or higher education institutions. Requiring a total of 60 credits, the program includes five distinction components: 12 credits of curriculum and instruction courses, 15 credits in curriculum studies concentration courses, nine hours of professional development courses, 12 credits of research courses, and 12 credits of dissertation courses. Most candidates complete the program in about 36 months.
Texas A&M University
College Choice Score: 97.83
Average Tuition: $823
A premier public colleges in Texas, A&M hosts one of the state’s top curriculum and instruction degree online. Stressing both curriculum and instructional assessment, the doctor of education in curriculum & instruction prepares mid-career K-12 education professionals to assume top level leadership roles in schools and other education organizations. The degree emphasizes three major goals: discovery, leadership, and application of knowledge. Students complete a minimum of 64 credits, with courses offered in a cohort model that increases collaboration among candidates. Along with core coursework, all students complete a two-semester, 300-hour internship that applies class learning to a professional education environment (typically their current place of employment).
University of West Florida
College Choice Score: 97.45
Average Tuition: $378
Located in Pensacola, UWF ranks among the top college in Florida for candidates pursuing a curriculum and instruction doctorate degree online. The school’s doctor of education in curriculum & instruction trains students to construct, implement, and assess curriculum measures, building both qualitative research skills and knowledge of educational philosophies and practices. Offering three start dates throughout the year, the program also uses a fully online delivery format, providing flexibility for working education professionals. Students complete a total of 66 credits, with a curriculum that includes a 30-credit professional core, an 18-credit specialization component, an 18-credit doctoral seminar, and a six-credit dissertation. Most students complete the program in 48 months.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
College Choice Score: 96.8
Average Tuition: $500
Based in northern Louisiana, ULM offers a doctor of education in curriculum & instruction that explores the moral, social, and political foundations of education. Using a fully online format with accelerated eight-week terms, the program makes it easy for working students to earn a degree without putting their career on hold. Candidates complete a minimum of 60 credits, split between 24 credits of core courses and 36 credits of concentration courses. The program core covers general topics such as educational research, and instructional design, while the concentration core delves into specialized subjects such as decision making for school improvement and education law.
New Mexico State University
College Choice Score: 91.23
Average Tuition: $792
A major public research college based in Las Cruces, NMSU offers a doctor of education and a doctor of philosophy in curriculum and instruction, both with similar curriculum requirements (the Ph.D. requires an extra language/computer tools component). While most coursework occurs online, NMSU requires students to attend intensive summer sessions held on campus each year. Lasting two weeks, these campus residencies bring students and faculty together for traditional classroom courses, workshops, and other activities. Typically occurring during the second and third weeks of June, the sessions require class attendance Monday-Friday but offer weekends off. The first summer session inaugurates the program and serves as an extended orientation.
College Choice Score: 90.33
Average Tuition: $565
One of the country’s largest providers of online education, Liberty offers a wide assortment of online programs, including a doctor of education with a specialization in curriculum and instruction. This 60-credit degree explores topics in education administration, learning theory, and curriculum development, encouraging candidates to develop their professional practice as educators, administrators, and researchers. Liberty offers all courses for the curriculum and instruction degree online, but students can also attend optional campus residency sessions, which include hands-on learning activities, workshops, and opportunities for socializing and networking. Most students complete the program in about three years.
Concordia University Chicago
College Choice Score: 89.78
Average Tuition: $597
Students pursuing a degree in curriculum and instruction online at Concordia-Chicago choose from either a 61-credit doctor of education or a 67-credit doctor of philosophy. Both programs offer a similar curriculum that trains candidates to design, implement, and assess curriculum programs in public and private schools. Stressing knowledge in research, curriculum mapping and evaluation, and best practices for teaching and learning, this comprehensive degree explores challenges and solutions for teacher education programs. Students complete a variety of courses, covering topics such as school/district improvement data analysis and research-based instructional practices. All candidates also complete both a dissertation a comprehensive final exam.
College Choice Score: 81.53
Average Tuition: $1,047
A Christian college based in Berrien Springs, Michigan, Andrews offers both a doctor of education and a doctor of philosophy in curriculum & instruction. Both tracks focus heavily on research, preparing graduates to improve curriculum and education practices through exploration of theoretical and conceptual education models. Students complete a comprehensive selection of education and research courses, covering topics such as curriculum theory, teaching in higher education, internationalizing curriculum studies, and assessment and evaluation of learning. Candidates also complete extensive research into an approved education topic, culminating in a dissertation. This flexible yet rigorous program offers multiple start dates throughout the year, including three summer sessions.