Why This Matters


    According to O*NET, 90% of postsecondary administrators surveyed said that a doctoral degree is needed to succeed in their role.


    Data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the need for postsecondary administrators is projected to grow 4% by the year 2029.


    The BLS states that, as of May 2020, the average postsecondary administrator in the United States earned $97,500 annually. The top 10% of those employed in this role earned more than $199,400.

Our Research

The programs listed here focus on curriculum and instruction. Graduates may be awarded an Ed.D. or Ph.D. degree. Each of these programs is offered exclusively online, and while most are designed to enable you to study at your own pace, others may need to be completed synchronously.

Organizations such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges oversee these programs to ensure they meet high standards and provide students with quality education. Accreditation with these and other organizations ensures that credits earned in these programs are recognized by and transferable to other institutions.

  • 71 hours to write this article
  • 72 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 131 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction Programs

Best Online Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction Programs Badge
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What You Should Know About This Degree

If you’re looking toward a career in education, there are several doctorate degrees you might be considering. A doctorate in educational leadership offers a similar experience; however, this program is more designed to prepare you for a role in education management and policy, whereas a doctorate in curriculum and instruction is more focused on curriculum and student learning.

Accreditation is vital regardless of the program you choose. An accredited degree ensures that employers and other institutions recognize your education and see you as hirable. You can check a program’s accreditation status by searching the Department of Education’s accreditation database.

After you complete this program, there are several careers that you’ll be qualified for. In addition to postsecondary administrator, you might want to consider a career in a profession such as school superintendent, provost, college president, and high school principal.

While thorough background checks are usually required for those entering these professions, you typically don’t require any additional licensing once your education is completed.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online doctorate in curriculum and instruction programs:

  • What licensing or certifications are required? Although additional licenses aren’t usually needed to start your career, you will likely need to pass extensive background checks prior to gaining employment in education.
  • How long does it take to complete this degree online? The time it takes you to complete this degree generally depends on your own schedule and whether you study full-time or part-time. That being said, most students take between two to four years to complete this program.

As you research program options to obtain your doctorate, be sure to pay close attention to important information about each program. That includes keeping track of application deadlines and ensuring that you follow all application procedures outlined by the school when you apply.

If you’ll need financial aid, make sure to also submit your FAFSA application on time. Take time to research available grants and scholarships that might help you cover the cost of your education as well, and be sure to follow each program’s application guidelines carefully.