Online Ed.D in Educational Leadership - Curriculum & Instruction Degree

Research Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) programs in educational leadership with a concentration in curriculum and instruction. This article has an overview of what you can expect to learn during an online Ed.D. program in the subject. Get information on requirements, courses and salary figures to make an informed decision about your education.

Essential Information

Students can find a wide variety of online Ed.D. programs in educational leadership with a curriculum and instruction focus. Much of the coursework can be completed online; however, the majority of schools offering these programs require that students participate in on-campus residency courses in order to interact with peers and work with faculty members on their dissertation. These residencies usually last for about a week and typically must be completed once per school year. Applicants generally must hold prior teaching experience to start a doctoral degree program. Graduates may go on to work as education administrators in various school settings.

Related Degree Options

Individuals can find Ed.D. programs that specialize in other fields related to leadership, curriculum and instruction. These doctoral degree programs may be taken remotely and can lead to similar education administrator positions. Possible specializations include:

  • Higher education administration
  • Special education
  • Organizational leadership studies
  • Christian school leadership

Overview of Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Curriculum and Instruction Programs

These programs are designed to help practicing teachers and school leadership professionals improve their leadership skills in relation to their staff or students. A master's degree is required, though not necessarily in education, and it is expected that students already be employed in the education field.

Program Information and Requirements

This type of program takes as many as 4-6 years to complete. Course content is delivered through textbook reading, online lectures via video or audio files and class discussion through online discussion boards. Coursework includes written projects and assignments, reading assignments and online assessments.

In order to access the online classroom utilized by many of these programs, schools require students to use computers outfitted with certain hardware or software that connect to the Internet through a high-speed connection. Technical requirements include updated operating systems, speakers and DVD player.

Common Courses

The courses in these programs focus on both educational leadership and research. Topics such as policy, communication, decision-making, research processes and curriculum leadership are often covered in the program's classes. Below are examples of some of the course content that a student may encounter in these programs.

Educational Perspectives Course

The coursework in this type of class may include an analysis of philosophical and historical ideas regarding educational practice and theory, the study of educational movements and ideas and understanding of global educational trends.

Curriculum Course

These classes focus on two aspects of curriculum, the design and implementation. Case studies, the theory behind curriculum evaluation and program development may be subjects of discussion.

Qualitative Research Course

Because doctoral degree programs require students to write a dissertation, research courses such as this are included. Students in this class would likely study the construction and implementation of different styles of research and the tools associated with them.

Career Information for Graduates

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not give data specific to educators and education administrators who hold doctoral degrees. However, they did project that between 2008 and 2018, K-12 teacher positions would increase 9%-16% and education administrator positions would increase 2%-12% ( According to the BLS's 2010 data, K-12 teachers earned a yearly average of about $51,550 to $55,990. That same year, the BLS estimates education administrators earned an average of $50,410 and $89,990 annually.

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