5 Doctorate in Education Degrees You Can Earn Fast

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Doctorate ​in ​Education ​(EdD) programs help education professionals prepare for leadership and problem-solving. These programs cover topics like education technology, management, research, and more.

Hoping to earn your degree as soon as possible? Two-year EdD programs may let you study in an accelerated format. Whereas some EdD programs can take 3+ years, two-year programs aim to streamline your learning and are typically designed for students who have already earned their M.Ed. They may feature online or hybrid courses to save time. And, a structured course sequence may keep you on track to graduation.

Education doctoral programs may be perfect for those pursuing education administrative roles. If you want to make positive changes in your school and have no time to lose, a two-year EdD program may fit your timeline.

5 Schools That Offer 2 Year Ed.D. Programs

While most EdD programs take at least three years for full-time students, we’ve found some exceptions. Learn more about these five partner schools that offer EdD programs you could earn in as few as two years.

  1. Walden University
  2. Gwynedd Mercy University
  3. University of Louisiana at Monroe
  4. Valdosta State University
  5. Baker University

written by Shannon Fandler

Walden University is an accredited online institution. They offer flexible programs that focus on the needs of adult learners.

Walden offers accelerated doctoral programs in education online. Instead of taking one course at a time, students in the Fast Track option take two courses at once. So, instead of needing four to eight years to earn the degree, you could earn it in half the time. Choose from ten concentrations, including Educational Technology and Special Education.

More About the EdD Program:

  • Accredited by NCATE
  • Choose from Traditional or Fast Track options
  • Online coursework with one 3-day residency
  • Requires 76 quarter credits to earn
  • Requires a dissertation or doctoral study
  • No GRE Required

Gwynedd Mercy University is a Catholic institution founded by the Sisters of Mercy. Based near the city of Philadelphia, the university serves both traditional and adult learners.

GMercyU is home to an Executive Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership. It is offered in an accelerated, online format and may be earned in less than three years. Students may choose from three concentrations that focus on leadership in different settings.

More About the EdD Program:

  • Requires 54 credits
  • Accelerated online format
  • Cohort model
  • Take one course at a time in five- to seven-week blocks
  • Requires two on-campus residencies, one international study experience, and fieldwork

The University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) is a state institution founded in 1931. They offer flexible learning paths, like online programs.

ULM features an online Doctor of Education, Curriculum & Instruction program that may be earned in as few as two years. Coursework is accelerated and structured in eight-week terms. The program covers the theory and practice of problem-solving in education.

More About the EdD in Curriculum and Instruction:

  • 45 credit hours and 9 dissertation credits
  • 100% online
  • Multiple start dates each year
  • 60 credits

Valdosta State is a comprehensive university with undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs. While based in South Georgia, they also have online programs.

VSU offers an Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Learning & Development. This program takes place online and may be earned in 24 to 30 months. The curriculum is designed for those interested in corporate learning or higher education.

More About the EdD in Curriculum & Instruction:

  • 100% online
  • Requires 45 credit hours and 9 dissertation hours
  • Choose from elective pathways to earn certificates
  • Potentially transfer up to 12 credits
  • May be more affordable to earn than similar programs

Baker University is a private institution founded in 1858. Baker was the first university in Kansas and today serves students from around the country.

Baker offers an online Ed.D. with coursework that may be completed in two years. (The dissertation takes an extra year.) The focus of this Ed.D. program is instructional design and performance technology. It’s designed for those interested in online and workplace learning. And, what you learn could apply to fields like PK-12 education and higher education.

More About the EdD Program:

  • Approved by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Cohort model
  • Seven-week online courses
  • Designed for working professionals

Education Doctorate Programs:

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Benefits of 2 Year Doctoral Programs in Education

Here’s what you may love about earning an accelerated doctoral degree in education:

  1. A Fast Track to Making a Difference. Education professionals may be drawn to an Ed.D. program because they want to lead change within their schools. If you’re interested in education leadership and reform, a shorter program could help you take action sooner.
  2. A Shorter Path to Your Career Goals. Are you planning to earn an Ed.D. so you can pursue an administrative role? This is the case for many teachers and education professionals. Earning your credential in less time may help you pursue career enhancement at your target pace.
  3. Accelerated Ed.D. Programs May Be Cheaper. Most Ed.D. programs charge by the credit rather than the semester. That said, earning your degree more quickly could reduce other expenses – like time off work or technology fees charged by your school.
  4. Shortest Doctoral Programs Online May Be Ideal for Your Schedule. Many two-year doctoral programs in education are online. Online learning could save you time and help you progress faster with your coursework. Plus, this format may be perfect for working teachers or other professionals.
  5. Some Control Over Your Timeline. Some accelerated Ed.D. programs offer a lot of flexibility to design your schedule. Others structure your coursework so you can finish in a set time. But, you still have to research and write your dissertation. For some, the dissertation process can lengthen the time it takes to earn the Ed.D. But if you’re focused and disciplined, you might be able to keep to your target timeline.
  • Earn your degree from a university with a “Whole Human Education” approach that focuses on assisting you in all aspects of your education: academic, emotional, career, financial, and family.
  • Choose from 75+ programs: Whether you’re starting fresh or seeking advancement, our career-focused programs are designed to help you make an impact in your chosen field.
  • National University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
  • Online Teaching Degrees – Recognized in all 50 States
  • Tuition around $4,000 a term – about half the cost of most other online universities
  • Programs start monthly – Apply free this week!

What Are the Requirements for 2 Year Ed.D. Programs?

Let’s look at both the requirements for getting into an Ed.D. program and the requirements for graduation. Keep in mind that these vary by school and program.

Possible Ed.D. Admissions Requirements:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited school – May need to be in a related discipline
  • Official Transcripts – Generally, you must submit transcripts from all postsecondary institutions you attended.
  • Minimum GPA – This may vary but is usually in the neighborhood of 3.0 to 3.5 on a 4. 0 scale.
  • GMAT or MAT scores – Some programs list minimum scores, and others don’t require test scores at all.
  • Valid Teaching Certificate – May be required for certain programs or concentrations
  • Resume or CV – Some programs require work experience.
  • Letters of Recommendation – These usually need to be from faculty or professionals in your field.
  • Personal Statement and/or Writing Sample

Possible Ed.D. Graduation Requirements:

  • Coursework – In most Ed.D. programs, you need to earn between 54 and 64 credits.
  • GPA – Your program may require you to earn a minimum GPA, usually between 3.0 and 3.25.
  • Written Comprehensive Exam – Some programs require students to pass an exam covering everything they learned.

Doctorate Degree Without Dissertation?

Most Ed.D. and Education PhD programs require a dissertation, capstone, or doctoral study. Candidates take courses in planning, researching, and writing the dissertation. Often, they must then defend their work before a committee. Ed.D. programs with no dissertation usually include a scholarly project.

Are There Any 3 Year Doctorate in Education Programs?

We realize that earning your Ed.D in 2 years might be a little aggressive for some people. Many students and professionals find that a more relaxed pace for earning their doctorate in education is to attend a 3 year program.

Featured Schools

All Partner Schools with EdD (or Related) Programs


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