10 Best Grad Schools with Online Doctorate in Education Technology

Written by Grad School Center Team We are a passionate team of experienced educators and advisors at GradSchoolCenter.com, dedicated to guiding students through their graduate education journey. Our experts, with advanced degrees across various disciplines, offer personalized advice, up-to-date program information, and practical insights into application processes.

Reviewed by David Krug David Krug is a seasoned expert with 20 years in educational technology (EdTech). His career spans the pivotal years of technology integration in education, where he has played a key role in advancing student-centric learning solutions. David's expertise lies in marrying technological innovation with pedagogical effectiveness, making him a valuable asset in transforming educational experiences. As an advisor for enrollment startups, David provides strategic guidance, helping these companies navigate the complexities of the education sector. His insights are crucial in developing impactful and sustainable enrollment strategies.

Updated: March 17, 2024, Reading time: 14 minutes

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Online learning is not something new in education. In fact, the first online course was offered by the University of Phoenix in 1989. But since the COVID-19 pandemic, several students and institutions have shifted to online learning. One study found that 68% of students prefer to complete courses online, making it a clear indication that there is significant room for expansion in online education. 

Professionals who want to hop on the trend of online learning and find new ways to make online delivery formats more engaging will significantly benefit from a Doctorate in Education Technology. This doctorate program equips students with advanced abilities for positions in fast-growing fields.

Additional Information:


Numerous changes have been made to how teachers instruct, how students learn, and how the curriculum is constructed due to the quick advancements in educational technology. Online education is an excellent option if you cannot attend on-campus classes full-time due to work or other obligations. 

An online Doctorate in Educational Technology is an interdisciplinary program that follows the on-campus curriculum,  combining advanced studies in information technology, instructional design, and educational theory. By developing, putting into practice, and administering technology-driven solutions, experts in this discipline increase learning and enhance student performance through online education.

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Each online doctoral program in Education Technology on this list possesses the following features:

Please check out our Methodology for more about our ranking process.

Top 10 Grad Schools with Online Doctoral Programs in Education Technology

University of Florida

University of Florida - College of Education

Doctorate in Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Educational Technology

The University of Florida’s online Doctor of Educational Technology program suits educational research professionals. Classes move in cohorts, which means that students are required to follow the suggested course pacing and sequencing and graduate together.

The program is built on a data-based iterative design that offers foundational learning about adult learning and online learning theories. All courses of the program, which include Issues and Trends in Educational Technology Research, Learning Analytics Concepts and Techniques, and Distance Teaching and Learning, are eight weeks in length. The minimum time required to complete the online EdD in Educational Technology is three years.

Interested students must possess a master’s degree from a regionally accredited higher education institution, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample.

Boise State University

Boise State University

Doctor of Education in Educational Technology

Boise State University offers one of the top online doctorates in educational technology programs, thanks to its 100% online delivery format with no required on-campus intensives. This educational technology degree is primarily pursued by busy working adult students since classes are asynchronous. Graduates can pursue educational leadership positions with technology integration tasks in various educational institutions, from elementary to postsecondary schools.

The program’s core courses include Global and Cultural Perspectives in Educational Technology, Leadership in Educational Technology, and Research Writing. Students of the program must conduct research in various fields related to educational technology. They can research trends and issues in learning analytics, professional development, online education, mobile technologies, game design and simulation, or data mining.

Candidates should possess a bachelor’s and master’s degree with a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA from regionally accredited institutions.

Walden University

Walden University

PhD in Educational Technology

Students looking to build research skills to improve online learning methods can consider Walden Univeristy’s PhD in Education with a major in Educational Technology. The program’s curriculum emphasizes teaching students about developing cutting-edge technological solutions to learning challenges, collaborating digitally to demonstrate awareness of local and global interrelationships and diverse perspectives, and honing their instructional design skills.

While some of the program’s coursework can be completed online, students must attend four 16-credit hour virtual and physical residencies. One of the best features of this doctorate is that it allows students to move slowly and graduate in eight years. Students can further petition for an extension of graduation.

Applicants should hold a master’s in education degree or higher.

Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University

Doctorate in Educational Technology

The online Doctorate in Educational Technology at Central Michigan University is open for students with graduate-level degrees who want to focus on implementing technology in learning. Like several doctorates, this degree moves in cohorts, allowing students to become part of a collaborative and friendly group of academic staff and alumni.

Specific instruction focuses on the newest educational technology’s theory, design, and implementation. Courses of the program involve Educational Technology Research, Differentiated Instruction in Online Learning, and Evolving Internet Learning, among others.

Furthermore, students can choose their own cognate courses. They can focus on Grant Writing, Motivation in Online and Blended Learning, Mobile Learning, Data-Driven Decision Making, or Higher Order Learning and New Literacies. Applicants must possess a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and three years of relevant experience.

Liberty University

Liberty University

PhD in Education: Instructional Design and Technology

Liberty Univeristy’s 60-credit hour online PhD in Education offers an Instructional Design and Technology concentration to increase students’ knowledge about integrating technology into the classroom. Students complete comprehensive courses and conduct in-depth research on cognitive development, evaluation and assessment, and creation and use of employment aids and distance learning programs.

Featured courses of the program include Instructional Design Theory, Issues and Trends in Learning Technologies, Principles of Human Performance Technology, and Instructional Systems Design. These courses allow students to learn how to design efficient and engaging learning programs for teachers, administrators, and students.

Prospective students must have an accredited master’s degree in education with a 3.0 or higher GPA.

University of North Texas

University of North Texas

PhD in Learning Technologies

The University of North Texas offers an online PhD in Learning Technologies that provides students with an understanding of the relationship between technology and learning/instructional systems theory. Thanks to its interdisciplinary approach, students can pursue careers in teaching, research, instructional design, educational psychology, and other leadership positions.

Part of the coursework explores topics in the Philosophy of Computing in Learning Technologies, Analysis of Research in Education Computing, Emerging Technologies and Education, and more. Students will gain skills to help them exhibit competence in procedural and subject areas. To support student success, UNT offers free mentoring.

UNT has a strict selection process. Interested doctoral students should possess a master’s degree in education with a minimum 3.5 GPA, stellar letters of recommendation, and an impressive statement of goals.

Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University Bloomington

Doctor of Education in Instructional Systems Technology

The online EdD in Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University Bloomington is a 60-credit hour program designed to equip graduates with the abilities to perform management and leadership roles in online learning. The program’s coursework can be completed online, but students must participate in the IST Annual Conference on campus.

Coursework includes Intermediate Statistics, Strategies for Educational Inquiry, and Qualitative Inquiry in Education. Students will learn how to use research findings in creating and testing test procedures, goods, and services for better educational materials. They’ll also develop expertise valuable in conducting target audience requirements analysis and evaluating the efficiency of educational products and solutions.

Applicants should hold a bachelor’s with a 2.75 or higher GPA and a master’s degree from an accredited institution. Additional requirements include a personal statement, resume, and letters of recommendation.

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University

Doctor of Education in Instructional Design and Technology

Old Dominion Univeristy’s online EdD in Instructional Design and Technology is among the best doctorates for students seeking a Modeling and Simulation Certificate in Education & Training. Through the program’s intensive coursework, students will be able to learn how to use methods and designs for simulation and gaming in education. Graduates will have what it takes to take on challenges from the military, the healthcare industry, and teaching.

Students can pursue individual interests that align with their professional goals. They can focus on Instructional Design, Distance Education, Design of Technology-Mediated Instruction, Instructional Message Design, Evaluation & Assessment, Human Performance Technology, or Quantitative and Qualitative Research.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree or its equivalent and have previously taken statistics and instructional technology courses.

Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University - Online

Doctorate of Education in Instructional Systems Design and Technology

Sam Houston’s EdD in Instructional Systems Design and Technology is a 60-credit hour doctorate known for offering students several opportunities for financial assistance, such as scholarships. Students can complete all course materials online, with optional on-campus intensives. The program’s curriculum trains individuals to lead learning analysis in various contexts and integrate technology into various learning environments.

Educational Network Design, Issues in Instructional Tech, Instructional Planning, and Advanced Statistical Methods are a few of the program’s coursework. Because this is a PhD degree, it primarily trains students for careers as learning technologies researchers. Doctoral candidates will be equipped with the leadership skills to advance technology integration in training and continuing education initiatives.

In addition to a master’s degree, personal statement, and letter of recommendation, applicants must also submit a professional work sample. This includes an instructional technology/multimedia design product or a published article.

University of South Carolina

University of South Carolina - College of Education

Doctorate of Education in Educational Practice and Innovation: Learning Design and Technologies

The University of South Carolina’s EdD program offers an online Learning Design and Technologies concentration. This online doctoral program is designed for education professionals seeking to shift careers from traditional learning to analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating technology-based education and training. Courses can be completed in accelerated 8-week or normal-paced 15-week courses.

Students must collaborate with their adviser in developing plans for their dissertation in practice coursework. One-on-one mentoring will allow you to investigate crucial technology-enhanced teaching and learning topics. The curriculum will train you to employ research-based tools to maximize learning for various learners across various contexts before the dissertation process.

What To Expect in Online Doctoral Programs in Education Technology

What To Expect in Online Doctoral Programs in Education Technology

Like other doctoral programs, online doctorates will begin with courses that build students’ core knowledge in education, technology, and research, typically lasting for two years. Core courses often include Application of Instructional Design, Instructional Technology, and Introduction to Online Teaching.

Upon completion of core courses, students must often choose focus courses or specialization. These requirements will help students get ready for their dissertation or independent research. But before starting a dissertation study, students might need to pass a comprehensive or qualifying exam, depending on the program.

Doctoral programs typically follow small cohorts to make it easier for students to get to know their classmates and professors. A faculty member and the student will collaborate closely on their dissertation research. 

Educational Technology Careers for Doctorate Degree Holders

Doctoral programs in educational technology are considerably more specialized in academic contexts. Graduates frequently look for work in K–12, higher education, and firms connected to academic industries. They can work as instructional coordinators or curriculum specialists, training and development professionals, school principals, or college professors, among other professions.

Educational Technologist

Technology-based learning solutions are designed and put into use by educational technologists. They collaborate with teachers, administrators, students, and other stakeholders to create and administer technology-based educational programs that support student accomplishment.

Median Annual Salary: $73,321

E-learning Developer

E-learning developers ensure that the course design, delivery, user interface, and learner interaction serve the participant’s learning style, pace, and goals. Additionally, the creator ensures that every part of an e-learning course is exciting and will run smoothly.

Median Annual Salary: $58,958

Instructional Coordinators/Curriculum Specialists

Curriculum experts or instructional coordinators create, distribute, and evaluate instructional materials and their learning-related efficacy in a learning environment. To improve the quality of education, they frequently offer workshops or teacher training. They also regulate school curricula and teaching standards. 

Median Annual Salary: $66,490

Training and Development Specialists

Doctoral degree holders in educational technology might work as training and development specialists who create and oversee training programs for clients to advance their skills and knowledge. Relevant professional experience is just as crucial for becoming a training and development specialist as a degree. 

Median Annual Salary: $63,080

Postsecondary Teachers

Postsecondary teaching is the most common profession pursued by PhD graduates. These education professionals are responsible for creating curricula and instructing courses in their areas of expertise. Moreover, they can also serve on academic and administrative committees that help define the institution’s mission and vision.

Median Annual Salary: $80,840

Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals

Graduates of educational technology doctorates can also serve as principals in various educational institutions. They are responsible for managing employees and running academic initiatives. Like instructional coordinators, a school principal implements curriculum and standard evaluation to raise educational standards.

Median Annual Salary: $101,320

Financial Aid and Scholarships Opportunities

While online programs are likely to cost less than traditional programs, enrollment in higher education has generally been rising. According to the Education Data Initiative, the average cost of a doctorate is $150,835. On the other hand, online doctorates typically range from $20,000 and $79,000, according to the US News and World Report.

Not all prospective doctoral students can afford these rates. Luckily, several online doctoral programs offer various financial support systems through FAFSA and private/public scholarships. 

Students who need financial aid typically begin by applying to the Federal Student Aid website. Applicants should have a solid academic background and a decent grade point average (typically 3.0 and higher) to be viewed as strong candidates for scholarships or grants. Most likely, there are extra qualifications for applicants to receive scholarships.

Professional Associations in Educational Technology

Professional Associations in Educational Technology

Modern professional associations allow students and educational technology professionals to network with like-minded people. These associations promote the sharing of ideas, best practices, and innovations. They also offer their members training opportunities and materials that disseminate current industry standards.

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

The International Society for Technology in Education, or ISTE, works to advance technology use in education. They provide tools, professional growth opportunities, conferences, and a thriving online community for tech-savvy educators.

Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)

AECT is a global organization focusing on learning, instructional design, and educational technology. They offer resources, books, conferences, and chances to network.

Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

CoSN is dedicated to empowering educational leaders to leverage technology for transformative learning. They offer resources, professional development, webinars, and events focused on the effective use of technology in K-12 education.

International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

iNACOL is committed to developing online and hybrid learning in K–12 classrooms. They offer materials, seminars, studies, and events centered on successful online learning strategies and integrating educational technology.

Online Doctorate in Education Technology - fact

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between an EdD and a PhD in Education Technology?

Both an EdD and a PhD in education study theory, practice, and policy. While a Ph.D. stresses research and analysis, an EdD places more of an emphasis on leadership and practical abilities in educational settings.

Is an Online Doctorate in Education Technology Respected?

Yes, a doctorate earned online is respected. A doctorate student who is a distance learner undergoes the same training as an in-person student because online degree programs have a similar curriculum to in-person degree programs. Prospective students might still anticipate having to finish advanced coursework and go through the dissertation procedure.

Is distance learning better than onsite learning for Doctorate in Educational Technology?

Students with hectic job schedules or other obligations will benefit significantly from distance or online learning doctoral programs. 

Key Takeaways

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