Program Overview

Become a thought leader and implement meaningful change in education with Aurora University’s online Doctor of Education degree. This immersive online doctorate in education program combines academic rigor, practical application, and current trends in educational research to prepare you for the next step in your career. It includes two strand options to specialize your studies for your chosen professional path:

  • Instructional Leadership: Coaching and Mentoring
  • Advanced Standing: Leadership in Educational Administration

Featuring a cohort design, this program trains you to address current issues and challenges in education as you work with your peers and build a strong network in districts and institutions across Illinois and beyond. It features three starts per year in January, May, and August.

The online doctorate in education connects theory and practice to provide a comprehensive view of preK-12 instructional leadership and higher education. Graduates can apply their studies to solve complex problems, carry out forward-thinking initiatives, and transform their workplaces.

No matter which doctorate in education strand you choose, you’ll gain advanced skills for the next step in your education career. Discover why over 130 school districts, universities, and agencies in Illinois employ AU EdD graduates. Learn more about our flexible online EdD today.

Curriculum Overview

You will complete an internship at your current place of employment to gain hands-on experience. In addition, all students orally defend and publish a final dissertation on an approved topic. AU students have a dissertation completion rate of 70–80%, surpassing the national average.

Our EdD online courses are taught by experienced faculty who are experts in the education field. An optional, synchronous writing retreat opportunity is available but not required.

Doctor of Education Advanced Standing: Leadership in Educational Administration is accredited by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

Get Started

Available Specialization

Instructional Leadership: Coaching and Mentoring

This strand is designed for teachers, curriculum instruction educators, and principals who are ready to become curriculum directors and teacher educators. You will study topics such as teacher development, program evaluation, data analysis for school improvement, and instructional practices.

Advanced Standing: Leadership in Educational Administration

This strand is designed for administrators who already hold an Illinois Superintendent Endorsement and are ready to advance their careers in K–12 school district leadership through continued study. Students research areas relevant to their practice and publish a final dissertation. As an advanced standing program, this option allows you to complete your doctoral degree in two years by transferring previous credits earned from the Superintendent Endorsement.

Program Details

  • Next Start Date:January 10, 2022
  • Est. Program Length:3 to 6 years
  • Credit Hours:60
  • Course Length:8-16 weeks
  • Cost Per Credit:$650

Instructional Leadership: Coaching and Mentoring Strand

Year One Courses (19 credits)

  • EDU7133 Organizational Theory and Change Management (4)
  • EDU7310 Proseminar in Educational Research (4)
  • EDU7325 Curriculum and Assessment for K-12 Regular Education (3)
  • EDU7410 Instructional Coaching and Adult Learning in the Profession (5)
  • EDU8170 Equity, Diversity, and Justice in Education (3)
  • Milestone: Qualifying Self-Assessment

Year Two Courses (20 credits)

  • EDU7355 Curriculum and Assessment for Special Populations (3)
  • EDU7500 Effective Principles of Mentoring and Professional Conversations (3)
  • EDU8010 Introduction to Educational Research Designs (4)
  • EDU8100 Quantitative Research (4)
  • EDU8163 Curriculum Internship: Clinical Supervision and Teacher Development (2)
  • EDU8460 Instructional Practices and Learning Theories for School Improvement (4)
  • Milestone: Comprehensive Exams

Year Three Courses (21 credits)

  • EDU8190 Qualitative Research (4)
  • EDU8255 Program Evaluation and Data Analysis for School Improvement (3)
  • EDU8420 Dissertation Seminar (4)
  • EDU8800 Dissertation (10)
  • Milestone: Dissertation Defense

Advanced Standing: Leadership in Educational Administration

Required Courses (30 credits)

  • EDU7310 Proseminar in Educational Research (4)
  • EDU8010 Introduction to Educational Research Designs (4)
  • EDU8100 Quantitative Research (4)
  • EDU8190 Qualitative Research (4)
  • EDU8420 Dissertation Seminar (4)
  • EDU8800 Dissertation (10)*

* Student must maintain continuous enrollment until degree completion and complete a minimum of 10 dissertation hours.

Those accepted into the advanced standing strand can transfer up to 30 credit hours of coursework from the Superintendent Endorsement and must take 30 credit hours of research-related coursework. Students with fewer than 30 credit hours of transfer credit must take elective courses to fulfill the total 60 credit hours needed to graduate with a doctorate in education.

Applicants to the online doctorate in education program must hold a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Required content for the admission portfolio includes:

  • A completed Graduate Application for Admission.
  • Transcripts (official, sealed in envelope) showing completion of an appropriate master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Aurora University accepts official electronic transcripts at AU-Etranscripts@aurora.edu.
  • The names and addresses of at least two references. Possible references to consider include:
    • A person familiar with your academic work/previous master’s program professor.
    • A person familiar with your professional work, such as a principal, department chair, etc. (not the same person as below).
    • A person representing your school district or employer who can assess your leadership potential.
  • A curriculum vitae or detailed resume that includes your work experience, educational background, professional experience, professional activities, honors, professional publications and/or presentations, and other relevant information relating to your leadership background.
  • A personal statement, approximately 1,000 to 2,000 words in length, describing your present goals and interests and showing their connection to prior experiences and to the EdD program.
  • For admission to the Advanced Standing: Leadership in Education Administration strand, applicants must possess a valid Illinois State Board of Education Superintendent Endorsement (or a similar endorsement from another state) and be employed as a school leader.

Upon submission of a completed admissions portfolio, applicants must complete an interview with members of the School of Education faculty and submit a timed writing proficiency.

Transferable course credit is considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact an enrollment counselor for more details.

AU Online’s Transfer Policy

Online Doctor of Education Career Outcomes

Professionals with an online EdD are qualified to work in a broad range of fields from K-12 and higher education to nonprofits, business, government, health care, and the military.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary education administrators earn an average of $95,410 per year. In addition, job outlook for postsecondary educators is growing much faster than the national average for all occupations at 9%. Possible roles include:

  • College and university administrator
  • College and university faculty member
  • Curriculum director
  • Educational consultant
  • Instructional coach
  • Student affairs director
  • K–12 school district leader

Next Steps

Learn More

Discover the Aurora University Online program that will help you reach your goals.

Request Info

Apply Today

Fill out the free application to get started with your online business administration degree program.

Apply Now