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  1. 1. Vanderbilt University

    Nashville, TN
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    Vanderbilt University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed.D. degree program in leadership and learning in organizations, but applicants are encouraged to submit either GMAT or GRE scores. Prospective students don’t need to have a master’s degree before they begin the program, but holding one is preferred for admission. Last year, students accepted into this program had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.4. International applicants are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores, and the program has a one-year retention rate of 96%. Three letters of recommendation are required for the 84 credit-hour program.
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    Vanderbilt University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed...

  2. 2. Drexel University

    Philadelphia, PA
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    Drexel University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed.D. degree program in leadership, but applicants must have a master’s degree. Last year, students accepted into this program had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.38. International applicants are required to submit TOEFL scores, and the program has a one-year retention rate of 98%. Three letters of recommendation are required for the 60 credit-hour program.
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    Drexel University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed...

  3. 3. Trevecca Nazarene University

    Nashville, TN
    Trevecca Nazarene University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed.D. degree program in leadership, but applicants must have a master’s degree. Last year, students accepted into this program had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.68. International applicants are not required to submit TOEFL scores. Two letters of recommendation are required for the 60 credit-hour program.
    Trevecca Nazarene University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed...

  4. 4. Baylor University

    Waco, TX
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    Baylor University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed.D. degree program in learning and organizational change, but applicants must have a master’s degree before they begin the program. Last year, students accepted into this program had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.17. International applicants are required to submit TOEFL scores, and the program has a one-year retention rate of 87%. Three letters of recommendation are required for the 54 credit-hour program.
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    Baylor University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed...

  5. 5. Abilene Christian University

    Abilene, TX
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    Abilene Christian University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed.D. degree program in organizational leadership, but applicants must have a master’s degree before they begin the program. International applicants are required to submit TOEFL scores and the program has a one-year retention rate of 97%. No letters of recommendation are required for the 60 credit-hour program.
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    Abilene Christian University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed...

  6. 6. Spalding University

    Louisville, KY
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    Spalding University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed.D. degree program in leadership, but applicants must have a master’s degree before they begin the program. Last year, students accepted into this program had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.09. International applicants are required to submit TOEFL scores and the program has a one-year retention rate of 93%. Two letters of recommendation are required for the 60 credit-hour program.
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    Spalding University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed...

  7. 7. Virginia Commonwealth University

    Richmond, VA
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Courtesy of Ansel Olson/Virginia Commonwealth University
    Virginia Commonwealth University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed.D. degree program in leadership and innovation, but applicants must have a master’s degree. Last year, students accepted into this program had an average undergraduate GPA of 2.65. International applicants are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores, and the program has a one-year retention rate of 99%. Three letters of recommendation are required for the 48 credit-hour program.
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Courtesy of Ansel Olson/Virginia Commonwealth University
    Virginia Commonwealth University doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed...

  8. 8. University of Dayton

    Dayton, OH
    University of Dayton-GettyImages-1210177903
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    The University of Dayton doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed.D. degree program in leadership for organizations, but applicants must have a master’s degree. Last year, students accepted into this program had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.09. International applicants are required to submit TOEFL scores, and the program has a one-year retention rate of 76%. Two letters of recommendation are required for the 60 credit-hour program.
    University of Dayton-GettyImages-1210177903
    Getty Images
    The University of Dayton doesn’t require applicants to submit a GRE score to qualify for admission into its online Ed...

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Ed.D. degree?

An Ed.D is a doctorate in education, and it’s a program meant for individuals who hope to become leaders in their field—and it prepares students for administration or leadership positions in academics and beyond. The focus of these programs is to give students the skills to develop new solutions within the industry. Through coursework and collaboration among peers, students will be able to use what they learn and apply it to both their work and dissertation. 

Is getting a doctorate in education worth it?

If you’re looking to make a difference in organizational leadership, and earn a higher salary—the answer is yes. A doctorate in education can teach students how to use resources available to them in efforts to combat institutional issues. What’s more, this degree program provides individuals with a professional network and a greater appreciation and deeper passion for the education industry. Additionally, applicants who are already working in the field will have the option to move up the ladder and achieve their career goals with an advanced degree.

What can I do with an Ed.D. in organizational leadership?

The perspective gained by students enrolled in organizational Ed.D programs lends itself to multiple roles in the education industry, particularly leadership roles—that can mean becoming a university dean, a principal, or a superintendent. People beyond education may find value in this degree, as well, and it’s applicable in corporate roles such as a chief learning officer. A doctorate in education in organizational leadership is tailored to those who hope to lead effectively and ethically. A Nova Southeastern University Ed.D program professor told Fortune that the program’s goal is to make its lessons, assignments, and discussion relevant in the real world. Programs with a focus on organizational leadership give students the time and space needed to develop the resources to address challenges in their given industry, with the goal of finding long-lasting solutions.

How long does it take to get a doctorate in education?

How long it will take to earn a doctorate in education can depend on two things: Whether a student is full-time or part-time and whether the program is online. But of course, there are multiple factors that contribute to the length of time needed for different programs, like credits needed to graduate and specializations. Ed.D programs can generally take two to three years to complete; for example, Vanderbilt University’s Ed.D. program in leadership and learning is a three-year commitment.

What’s the difference between a PhD and a doctorate of education?

While both a Ph.D and an Ed.D. are graduate degree paths that typically appeal to people who want to pursue careers in education, they have different purposes. An Ed.D is for people who want leadership positions in the education field, whereas a Ph.D really focuses on the study of education itself. Most students who earn a Ph.D in education go on to become professors. The options are wider with a doctorate in education, in that students can pursue leadership roles in both primary and secondary education.