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

Get info about online doctoral degree programs in educational leadership. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

Essential Information

Students can find a wide variety of online Doctor of Education (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. A master's degree is required to apply for these programs, as well as education-related experience.

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - Curriculum and Instruction

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.

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 Coursework

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

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.


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

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

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of employed elementary and secondary education administrators was expected to increase 6%, while the number of college-level administrators was projected to grow 9% ( According to the BLS's 2015 data, elementary and secondary school administrators earned a yearly median of about $90,410. That same year, the BLS estimates college-level education administrators earned a median of $88,580 annually.

Programs in educational leadership with a focus on curriculum and instruction are available in hybrid formats of online classes and on-campus residencies. These programs typically take 4 to 6 years to complete and may require a dissertation.

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