Online Doctoral Degree in Education | Concordia University

Online Doctoral Degree in Education

Concordia University Irvine

Focused 3-year path to graduation.

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership program is designed to develop transformative leaders who embody the knowledge, character, and skills to guide dynamic and diverse learning organizations toward continuous improvement and sustained effectiveness. The integrated curriculum focuses on theory and applied research in leadership and guides students through the dissertation process as they complete their coursework. Practical instruction is offered face-to-face as well as online, with flexible, convenient scheduling designed to fit into the busy lives of educators.

The structural design of this doctoral program allows for graduation in as few as 33 to 36 months. The typical length of a term for each course is eight weeks. Normally, Saturday on-campus learning sessions include a morning, closing/summary session for one course and an orientation, afternoon session for the next scheduled course. All dates are subject to change without notice. Please contact an admissions counselor to learn more about the Spring and Fall 2018 cohort starts.


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Blended instructional approach.

The online Doctor of Education program is delivered through a “blended” instructional approach. Blended instructional models are growing in popularity because adult students appreciate meaningful face-to-face classroom connection times while being able to complete coursework primarily online. That means less time on campus, more time online, and the flexibility to fit continuing education into your home, family, and work life.


Blended delivery icon

Here is the "blend" of instructional delivery:

  • Face-to-Face Learning at Irvine, CA campus: 1 Saturday per term
  • Real-time Online Learning: Tuesday or Thursday evenings, 3 times per term
  • Asynchronous Online Learning: 3 weeks per term

For dissertation seminars:

  • Real-time Online Learning
  • Terms 1-4: 2 times per term
  • Terms 5-10: tbd by dissertation chair and doctoral student 

For dissertation proposal and research:

  • Online and on-campus, as needed

Cohort membership and size to promote success.

Students in the online doctoral program move through a sequence of courses collectively. The common goal of starting and completing the program together encourages students to work collectively, which promotes the development of personal relationships and the building of a professional network. Cohort membership enables students to support and learn from other students, raising expectations that all but the occasional student will complete the program successfully.

The program limits the number of students within a cohort and strategically allows for arrangement of students in small groups:

  • On-campus, face-to-face learning sessions: 15-18 students
  • Real-time online learning
    • For content and research courses: 6-8 students.
    • For dissertation seminars 1 and 2: 3-4 students with 1 professor
    • For dissertation seminars 3 and 4: 1-to-1 with assigned chair of dissertation commitee

Integrated dissertation track.

The dissertation track guides students through the dissertation process from beginning to completion of the program. Initially, students collaborate in small groups with a senior faculty member in search of a researchable problem and to identify a prospective dissertation chair. In subsequent terms, the chair guides his/her dissertation students through the research process—meeting with students individually, in small groups, or with the student’s dissertation committee. A dissertation committee consisting of the chair, a methodologist, and a content expert is formed upon successful completion of the content and research courses.

Educational trips.

The program embeds educational trips within the curriculum to enhance student understanding of how policy, law and culture affect learning organizations. During the Washington, DC trip, students meet with government officials to discuss standards, policies, and entities that presently guide decisions at the national-level and how political aspects impact education policy. During the trip to the People’s Republic of China, students interact with Chinese colleagues and students to generate a comparative analysis of different educational systems and to identify desirable attributes to integrate within their local educational system. These trips also offer students and faculty the opportunity to build a sense of community and camaraderie within the cohort.

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Dr. Margaret Christmas Thomas, Assistant Professor of Education

Educational leaders.

The faculty in this doctoral program are deeply committed to the transformation of educational and instructional practices to better meet the needs of every learner. Their collective experience and diverse backgrounds have uniquely qualified them to partner with you, the next generation of educational reformers.

Concordia University Irvine is pleased to have faculty like Dr. Margaret Christmas Thomas, who brings her specialized expertise and leadership skills to her role of Assistant Professor of Education. As a nationally certified counselor and licensed mental health counselor, she offers a unique perspective into the different needs of diverse learners.

Tuition and fees.

The cost per credit unit ($940 per credit unit, with 46 required credit units) is a locked rate for the duration of a cohort. These estimated costs do not include application and graduation fees, costs for textbooks and materials, costs for a computer and accessories including a webcam, dissertation related costs, and other costs typically associated with a doctoral program such as academic regalia.

Ed.D.: Educational Leadership Summer '18 Fall '18 / Spring '19
Application Fee (Non-Refundable) $50 $50
International Application Processing Fee $150 $150
Graduation Fee    Graduation Fee
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership $940/unit $940/unit
Student Service Fee $200/Semester $200/Semester
Washington, DC Trip (required)   $2,500 (estimated)
People's Republic of China Trip (optional)   $3,000 (estimated)

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Have questions about Concordia University's online doctoral degree in Educational Leadership? Not sure how to get started? Fill out the form below, and one of our admissions counselors will get in touch with you.

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