PhD in Education

Become an impactful education leader with Walden’s engaging and supportive online PhD in Education program.
Become an impactful education leader with Walden’s engaging and supportive online PhD in Education program.

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PhD in Education

Ready to Get Started?

Fill out the form and we will contact you to provide information about furthering your education.

Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.

  • Current 01 Step 1: About You
  • 02 Step 2: Contact Information

Why Choose Walden?


We’re No. 1 in education professional doctoral and PhD graduates in the U.S.¹, with over five decades of distance learning expertise.


Receive support choosing a research topic that reflects your interests and helps you use findings to create meaningful change.


Our comprehensive suite of doctoral services empowers you to conduct sound research and successfully defend your dissertation.


From doctoral peer mentors to research coaches, we’re here to help you stay on track toward completion.


In-person residencies allow you to discuss your research interests, gain valuable insights, and form lifelong bonds with faculty and peers.


Choose from 11 specializations to customize your coursework, including a Self-Designed option for Higher Education Leadership and Policy.

Program Details

Earn Your Master of Philosophy Degree Along the Way

Walden understands the rigors involved with preparing for your doctorate. To signify how far you’ve come on your journey, you will be eligible to be awarded a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree upon completion of program requirements, prior to completion of your dissertation.

Walden is one of a few universities that offer this advanced research master’s degree. Highlight your academic achievement and show employers and others that you possess comprehensive knowledge in your field of study.

Admission Requirements

Program Admission Considerations: A master's degree or higher.

General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.

Your Doctoral Journey

At Walden, we’ll guide you every step of the way with a comprehensive suite of support resources designed to help you confidently pursue the finish line, including our Doctoral Degree CoachTM. Are you ready to reach a higher level in your field?

A smiling woman wearing a graduation gown.


A Personalized Guide to Completing Your Doctorate

Earning your PhD in Education requires commitment, perseverance, and hard work. You can do it, and Walden is here to help—with our Doctoral Degree Coach™.

  • Map and Track Milestones: Break your research down into manageable, sequential steps. See where you are, what’s ahead, and what you’ve already accomplished—all in one place.
  • Meet Weekly Targets: No more guesswork. Set prompts based on your to-do list and receive reminders and updates directly to your inbox.
  • Connect With Faculty: Stay on the same page and keep your progress on track. With shared access to your dashboard, your chair can easily guide you through your checklists, goals, and timelines.
  • Access Helpful Resources: Quickly find support from the right person at the right time. Our comprehensive resource guide points you in the right direction—no more frustrating searches.

Program Outcomes

A PhD Degree Program With a Personal Feel

Whether you want to address challenges facing public schools or advance your expertise in curriculum and instruction, our online PhD program in education lets you focus your studies with one of 11 specializations. In-person residencies empower you to share your research interests, gain valuable insights, and form lifelong bonds with faculty and peers. At every step of your program, Walden’s doctoral peer mentors and research coaches are here to help you stay motivated and on track.

What’s the Career Impact of Earning a PhD in Education?

Increasingly, school districts, learning institutions, and government policymakers are turning to experts to help them address systemic issues in education. Earning your online PhD in Education prepares you with the advanced expertise needed to address these challenges and lead transformative change.

A PhD in Education degree can prepare you to pursue career options such as:2

  • Faculty/professor
  • Director
  • Researcher
  • Chair

A PhD in Education degree can prepare you to work in settings such as:

  • Schools/school districts
  • Community colleges/colleges
  • Universities
  • Research institutions

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Synthesize content knowledge grounded in a specific educational discipline.
  • Critically analyze education-related issues.
  • Align research methodologies to questions and hypotheses addressing problems in the discipline of education.
  • Communicate ideas to a variety of audiences related to the profession using oral and written scholarly formats.
  • Practice ethically as a scholar in the field of education.
  • Integrate a focus on global diversity and multiculturalism into solving problems in education.
  • Evaluate the role of education in advancing social justice and positive social change.


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FAQ About Walden’s Online PhD in Education

What are the benefits of choosing a PhD in Education specialization?

One of the key benefits of earning your PhD in Education at Walden is the opportunity to focus your program in a way that suits you. The specialization you choose can better qualify you for positions within a particular area of interest, increasing your ability to guide your career into the roles you are most passionate about. Walden’s PhD in Education program offers a wide variety of specializations, including Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and Evaluation; Educational Technology and Design; Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy; Higher Education Leadership, Management, and Policy; and Learning, Instruction, and Innovation.

Why should you earn your PhD in Education?

The benefits of earning your PhD in Education are numerous. A PhD is a terminal degree in education research, which means earning your doctorate will put you among the most educated in your field. The program is designed for education professionals who wish to contribute to and advance the practice of education. With a PhD in Education, you will be positioned to strengthen the field from scientific, theoretical, and technological standpoints. The degree can be an important part of your résumé and can help demonstrate to potential employers that you have the education and skills necessary to succeed at a high level. Whether you want to work in an early childhood, K–12, or a higher education setting, earning your PhD in Education can put you a step ahead when applying for positions.

Why should you enroll in an online PhD in Education program?

Thanks to online learning, earning your PhD is more manageable than ever. Online education degree programs make it possible to complete the majority of your coursework from home on a schedule designed to let you continue working full time. That’s why enrolling in an online university is such a popular choice for education professionals looking to advance the practice of education. Walden offers its PhD in Education in a traditional online format as well as a Fast Track option for those who can devote more time to their studies in order to complete the program sooner.

What is the difference between a PhD and a professional doctorate?

A PhD is an academic degree focused on original research, data analysis, and the evaluation of theory. A professional doctorate focuses on applying research to practical problems, formulating solutions to complex issues, and designing effective professional practices within your field.

A professional doctorate is designed for working professionals with practical experience in their field. Professional doctoral research focuses more on applying existing theories and knowledge to address real-world problems.

How do you choose the best online university to earn your PhD in Education?

When it comes to finding the best online academic institution, reputation is key. Walden University—the Educator of Educators®—has been leading adult learning and developing distance education programs for more than 50 years. Now more than ever, education professionals need online access to an accredited university that enables them to achieve success and receive the support they need, from enrollment through graduation. At Walden, students and graduates receive ongoing assistance as they work to earn their degree, advance their career, and effect positive social change.

1Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics. Includes 2018 data. Retrieved August 2020 using “Completions” survey from A doctoral research degree is a PhD or other doctoral degree that requires advanced work beyond the master’s level, including the preparation and defense of a dissertation based on original research or the planning and execution of an original project demonstrating substantial or scholarly achievement.

2Source: Data for this analysis of job postings for professionals with a PhD in Education from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019, was retrieved using Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight™. Results for industry sectors and job titles are at the national level and may not reflect local and/or short-term job conditions and are subject to change.

3Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Postsecondary Teachers, SOC code 25-1000. Retrieved February 2021. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual job growth, and are subject to change.

Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.

Note on Teacher Licensure or Certification
This program does not lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.