Doctoral degrees in elementary education are the most advanced degrees available for teachers and administrators in the grade school environment. Those who desire top leadership roles and those who want to work in academia would be well served by an online doctorate in elementary education program. These offerings are flexible and convenient, enabling students to work on their degrees while maintaining a full-time job. In this ranking, we explore the top 3 most affordable online elementary education doctorates. Looking for more information on online doctorates in the field of education? Take a look at our online doctorate in education ranking here .

#3—University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

Online PhD in Curriculum, Instruction, & the Science of Learning: Elementary Education

Graduate Enrollment : 9,628

3 Most Affordable Doctorate in Elementary Education Degrees Online

The University at Buffalo’s affordable online doctorate in elementary education offering is a PhD in Curriculum, Instruction & the Science of Learning with a concentration in Elementary Education. The curriculum is multidisciplinary and emphasizes research in the field. In addition to 24 credit hours in the elementary education concentration, students will complete 28 credit hours of research along with ten dissertation credits. Topics covered may include learning sciences, early learning, educational technology, new and multimodal literacies, social learning and culture, educational informatics, virtual learning spaces, and more. The university offers this program through its Graduate School of Education and the Department of Learning and Instruction. Graduates of this low-cost online PhD in elementary education are well-prepared for careers as educational consultants, instructional coordinators, research specialists, college and university faculty members, corporate trainers, and more. The University at Buffalo is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. U.S. News & World Report has placed it in the top 50 public schools and top 100 national universities, and its online graduate education programs have been ranked in the top 15 nationwide.
In-State Tuition : $10,870

#2—Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

Online EdD in Elementary Education

Graduate Enrollment : 5,509

3 Most Affordable Doctorate in Elementary Education Degrees Online

Ball State University offers a versatile and affordable online EdD in Elementary Education. The 90-credit hour curriculum for the program features basic required courses like Intermediate Statistics, Statistical Methods in Education, and Psychological Research. Students will also take classes in behavior studies such as Child Development and Psychology of Human Development as well as humanistic studies courses like Educational Psychology, History of American Education, and Philosophy of Education, for instance. Students will also complete a field experience aligned with their interests and career goals from options such as college teaching, curriculum development, in-service training, clinical work, research, and publication. Classes are small, and BSU students learn from an internationally acclaimed faculty. After graduation, online doctorate elementary education students are prepared for careers as university professors, educational specialists, and administrative policymakers, for example. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Its Teacher’s College enjoys separate accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. U.S. News & World Report has ranked its online graduate education programs in the top 50 nationwide.
In-State Tuition : $8,554

#1—Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Online EdD in Curriculum and Instruction: Elementary Education

Graduate Enrollment : 29,290

3 Most Affordable Doctorate in Elementary Education Degrees Online

The affordable online doctorate in elementary education from Liberty University is a 60-credit hour program designed to be completed within three years. Coursework for the program can be completed entirely online, but optional intensives are available to students who crave face-to-face interaction with professors and classmates. Enrolled students will take required educational theory courses such as Theories of Historical and Philosophical Foundations and Advanced Learning Theory and Research as well as curriculum and instruction core courses like Investigations in Curriculum Change, Issues and Trends in Curriculum and Instruction, and Research in Curriculum Design and Development. The Elementary Education cognate consists of classes like Elementary Curriculum and Methods, Behavior Management, and Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School. To round out the curriculum, students will also take 12 credit hours of research and evaluation courses. They will also be required to prepare and defend a doctoral dissertation. After earning their online elementary education doctoral degrees, graduates will go on to work as college administrators, curriculum specialists, instructional supervisors, teachers, and school administrators, for instance. Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and U.S. News & World Report has ranked its online graduate education programs in the country’s top 200.
In-State Tuition : $8,217

Ranking the Top Most Affordable Elementary Education Doctoral Programs

Because of the limited number of online doctor of elementary education programs available, we’ve ranked these schools in terms of affordability alone. Tuition information was taken from College Navigator.

Frequently Asked Questions About Low-Cost Online EdD Elementary Education Programs

Q: How much do affordable EdD in elementary education online programs cost?
A: On average, you should expect to pay between $8,000 and $10,000 per year for tuition when you enroll in an affordable elementary education doctorate online program. This estimate does not include the cost of books and other fees. Keep in mind when considering this cost that financial aid may be available to you. Loans, grants, and scholarships can help you pay for your degree provided you are eligible for these forms of financial assistance.
Q: What is the best low-cost elementary education doctorate online program?
A: When looking for the best affordable elementary education doctoral program online, the most important thing to remember is that the best program for you may not be the best program for someone else. Every student’s needs are different, so it’s crucial to find a program that is best suited for your particular schedule, preferences, and career goals. That said, some factors are universally important such as accreditation and cost, for instance.
Q: Can I complete a cheap online EdD in elementary education online without required visits to campus?
A: Yes. It is possible to fulfill the requirements for an affordable online doctorate in elementary education program entirely online without attending any classes or meetings on campus. If you desire the interactivity of a face-to-face program, consider a hybrid or blended option or a program like Liberty’s online EdD (featured in this ranking) that offers optional on-campus intensives.
Q: Do affordable online doctor of elementary education programs require dissertations?
A: Yes. Most likely, you will be required to complete a formal doctoral dissertation to earn your low-cost online doctor of elementary education degree. These in-depth research projects require courses in research methods, numerous hours of research and scholarly writing, and a doctoral defense. This latter requirement involves presenting your research in front of a panel of professors and answering any questions these faculty members may have about your doctoral dissertation. The dissertation is often the most challenging element of an affordable elementary education doctorate online program.
Q: What are the admission requirements for low-cost online doctorates in elementary education?
A: The admission requirements for affordable elementary education doctoral programs online vary from program to program, but most of these offerings require that prospective students have a master’s degree in education or educational specialist degree in order to apply. Some programs may also require teaching experience.
Q: Should I consider accreditation when looking for a cheap online EdD in elementary education programs?
A: Yes. There are two types of accreditation you should consider when choosing a cheap online elementary education doctorate: university accreditation and program-specific accreditation. The school itself should be regionally accredited, and the program should be accredited by a credible education-specific accrediting body like the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, for example.
Q: What is the curriculum like for low-cost EdD elementary education online degrees?
A: No two low-cost online doctorates in elementary education will have identical curricula, but programs are similar enough in substance that there will be some overlap. In general, students can expect to take courses in educational theory, research methods, instructional methods, and issues affecting elementary education in particular. More often than not, the curriculum will also feature some dissertation preparation courses to aid students in this critical component of the program.

Career Questions About Cheap Online Doctorates in Elementary Education

Q: What can I do with a low-cost online doctoral program in elementary education?
A: There are many employment opportunities for individuals who complete their low-cost online doctor of elementary education programs, including occupations such as school administrators, instructional coordinators, teacher leaders, educational consultants, and more. Teachers who complete this degree can continue to teach in a classroom setting as well, but they will earn more doing so.
Q: How much will I make with a cheap doctorate in elementary education online degree?
A: Teachers are famously underpaid, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t lucrative positions in the field of education. With an affordable online doctor of elementary education degree, you’ll be poised to take on some of the highest paid leadership roles in the field. According to Payscale.com, professionals with a PhD in Education make approximately $74,000 a year on average while those with an EdD make about $78,000 annually. Of course, your specific salary will depend on numerous factors such as your specific degree, work experience, job title, and employer.
Q: What is the career outlook for graduates of affordable online doctor of elementary education programs?
A: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for elementary school teachers and elementary school principals are growing about as fast as average—by 7% and 8% respectively between the years 2016 and 2026.
Q: Should online doctor of elementary education students join professional organizations?
A: Yes. Professional organizations support teachers, advocate for educational policies, and provide educators and administrators with professional development opportunities. There are dozens of professional organizations available for professionals with an online doctor of elementary education. Some of them are listed below:

  • Association of American Educators
  • American Association of School Administrators
  • American Educational Research Association
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • National Association of Gifted Children
  • International Reading Association

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