Earning a Doctor of Education Degree in Washington D.C.
Your choices for D.C. doctoral programs in education will come from private, CAEP-accredited universities. You’ll find them in our school listings, alongside curricula and costs. One look at those links will tell you that per credit tuition for private schools is far from cheap. Be sure to visit the section on doctoral funding!
Generally speaking, GWU has the most prominent reputation—it’s a member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED), it offers plenty of Ed.D. concentrations, and it’s good enough to merit a top 70 U.S. News & World Report education ranking. But American is a well-respected school that offers an online Ed.D. program and Howard’s interdisciplinary Ed.D. is tailored to aspiring superintendents and senior-level leaders. So you have options.
Unsure about your post-graduation plans? Have a look at our career section. We’ve highlighted useful sources of PK-20 administrative employment & wage data and provided links to D.C. job boards. Here you can learn more about the area’s educational leadership associations and their conferences & training programs.
Online Doctor of Education Programs in Washington, D.C.
Online Ed.D. Providers in Washington, D.C.
- American University (CAEP-accredited)
What to Know About Washington, D.C. Online Ed.D. Programs
American University is the sole school in D.C. to offer a distance learning option—the 40-credit Online Ed.D. in Education Policy and Leadership. It’s a short and sweet eight-semester program for K-12 leaders that covers topics such as federal and state policies, research strategies, and education systems. Prior teaching experience is not required, though it is recommended. Also, be aware that it’s not completely online—there are two required four-day residencies.
If you’re willing to commute once a month, you could also consider Drexel. Although the university is based in Pennsylvania, it now offers a hybrid Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Management at its Washington, D.C. Center, which is not far from the White House. We particularly like the fact that Drexel is looking for candidates with a 3.5 GPA on their master’s work and at least three years of work experience. That tends to make for engaging class discussions.
Note: Our overview of online doctoral programs in education has a complete listing of online Ed.D. degrees in every state.
Doctoral Education Funding in Washington, D.C.
Internal Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
For this section, we’ve highlighted sources of institutional aid (e.g. internal scholarships, tuition discounts, etc.). Each university’s Office of Financial Aid and/or the Graduate School will be able to help with graduate loan applications and work reimbursement questions.
The School of Education Online (SOE Online)’s section on Tuition & Financial Aid has most of the info you need in one place.
- American offers substantial tuition discounts to members, alumni, and staff of Teach for American, TNTP, City Year, and the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW).
- Former Peace Corps volunteers can check to see if they’re eligible for the Coverdell Fellowship.
George Washington University
The Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) has a large and comprehensive section on Funding Your Graduate Education, with info on Graduate/Research Assistantships, GSEHD Endowment Awards, GSEHD Merit Scholarships, GW Awards, external fellowships, and more. Doctoral students are eligible for endowment awards.
The Howard University School of Education (HUSOE)’s section on Scholarships & Funding contains details on HU Graduate School Assistantships and Fellowships and HUSOE Scholarships. There are a number of funding opportunities for doctoral students, but some awards specify that they’re looking for Ph.D. students. Ask the Ed.D. program coordinator if you’re eligible to apply for any of them, including the SOE Student Scholar Fund.
Note: If a university name is missing from the list, we didn’t find specific examples of Ed.D. funding beyond private & federal loans and external aid.
School Administration Credential Requirements in Washington, D.C.
School Leader Credentials
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) handles credentialing & certification for school teachers and administrators in Washington, D.C. All school leaders (i.e. principals and assistant principals) in D.C. need to hold a valid Administrative Services Credential (ASC). We’ve provided a brief rundown of the requirements for this credential below.
The OSSE also maintains a Directory of State Approved Programs (search by subject area: Educational Administration). For the ASC, most D.C. schools stick to a master’s, post-master’s certificate, or education specialist degree—not a doctorate.
Note: The OSE has separate instructions on Reciprocity – Credential Holders from Other States.
Initial Administrative Services Credential (ASC)
Applicants who do not meet current requirements for a Standard ASC (see below), may be eligible for a one-time, non-renewable Initial ASC. To earn the Initial Administrative Services Credential, you must:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree.
- Have completed an approved program that leads to a state certification in school leadership and supervision OR hold a valid full principal license in another state OR hold a master’s degree or higher.
- Have at least two years of school-based teaching, instructional leadership, or pupil services experience. Substitute teaching experience does not apply.
Standard Administrative Services Credential (ASC)
To earn the Standard Administrative Services Credential, you must:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree.
- Have completed an approved program that leads to a state certification in school leadership and supervision OR hold a master’s degree or higher.
- Have at least four years of school-based teaching, instructional leadership, or pupil services experience. Substitute teaching experience does not apply.
- Achieve passing scores on the DC-required School Leaders Licensure Assessment text.
Educational Leadership Jobs in Washington, D.C.
Educational Leadership Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks employment & salary data for elementary & secondary school education administrators and postsecondary education administrators in every state and the District of Columbia. We especially like the maps on these pages, where you can view D.C. in relation to its neighbors. Data points are pulled from State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for District of Columbia.
As you might expect, the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV metropolitan area is an employment hotspot for K-12 administrators. More nuanced K-12 information can be found in the OSSE’s section on Data and Reports, including school report cards. In addition:
- You can use DCPS School Profiles to compare individual public schools.
- The DC Public Charter School Board has its own section on Charter Sector Facts and Figures.
Looking at higher education positions? It may not be a big area, but the District of Columbia has one of the highest concentration of jobs for postsecondary education administrators in the country—right up there with Massachusetts.
George Washington and Georgetown enroll the largest number of students, but American, Howard, and Strayer are sizeable beasts. Many of these schools publish a great deal of useful data about themselves—Georgetown’s Office of Assessment and Decision Support (OADS) is just one example.
Educational Leadership Salaries
Wages for K-12 administrators and postsecondary education administrators in the D.C. and Maryland/Virginia area tend to be very high. You’ll typically see D.C. in the top paying wage bracket when compared with all the states.
If you’re eyeing a public K-12 job, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) publishes Pay Schedules for teachers in its section on Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU). It also provides Information About Administrative Salary and Benefits for School Leaders, including pay scales. In recent years, it’s been noted that D.C. charter school administrators often command high salaries.
More importantly, DC.gov’s Department of Human Resources (DCHR) also publishes detailed Public Employee Salary Information, including the names and salaries of employees in DC Public Schools and University of the District of Columbia.
Aspiring university administrators who are interested in private institutions can consult the Chronicle of Higher Education’s table of District of Columbia Faculty Salaries. It should come as no surprise that Georgetown and GWU pay the best, but American isn’t far behind them.
Educational Leadership Job Boards
Standard job sites (e.g. Indeed, LinkedIn, HigherEdJobs, etc.) will advertise openings for PK-20 administrators and educational leaders in D.C. But you may also wish to try state-specific job boards.
- You can Search and Apply for DCPS Jobs through the website. Its section on Lead Our Schools also provides all sorts of employment information for K-12 principals and assistant principals, including application forms.
- DCPCSB posts Job Opportunities in the D.C. charter sector and hosts Public Charter School Job Fairs.
- ASBO MD&DC posts current Job Opportunities for business officials in the MD & DC areas.
- Career Opportunities at UDC contains job listings for all University of the District of Columbia schools and colleges.
Educational Leadership Organizations in Washington, D.C.
Educational Leadership Associations
- Association of School Business Officials of Maryland and the District of Columbia (ASBO-MD&DC): ASBO-MD&DC is a professional organization which provides programs and services to Maryland school business officials.
- Council of School Officers (CSO): CSO is a union representing DCPS employees in a variety of positions such as school leaders, administrators, and service providers.
- DC Association of Elementary School Principals (DCAESP): DCAESP doesn’t have an independent website, but it’s a recognized state affiliate of NAESP.
- DC Association of Secondary School Principals (DCASSP): DCASSP doesn’t have an independent website, but it’s a recognized state affiliate of NASSP.
- DC Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB): DC PCSB is an independent government agency overseeing the district public charter schools.
- Delaware-District of Columbia-Maryland Association of School Financial Aid Administrators (Tri-State): Tri-State serves to educate and support members of the area’s financial aid community.
Note: State and national educator organizations often have funds & scholarships available for continuing education (e.g. Ed.D.). Check the website and ask about opportunities.
Educational Leadership Events in Washington, D.C.
Educational Leadership Conferences
- ASBO-MD&DC Annual Fall Conference: This boutique one-day conference for school business officials typically focuses on a relevant theme. It’s held in November.
- ASBO-MD&DC Annual Spring Conference: This four-day event for MD & DC school business officials usually takes place in May.
- Tri-State Annual Conference: This three-day event in November is aimed at professionals working in the fields of financial aid, loans, scholarships, and higher education.
Note: Remember, too, that large national organizations (e.g. NASS) may choose to hold their conferences in the D.C./Maryland area.
Educational Leadership Training
- ASBO MD&DC Professional Development: School business officials and staff can investigate ASBO’s Allen Gaddis Leadership Academy, foundations courses, certification program, webinars, and more.
- DCPS School Leader Professional Development: DCPS has developed a number of programs and initiatives for K-12 school leaders, including its Leadership Academy, New Principal Support and Instructional Superintendent Support programs, and the Mary Jane Patterson Fellowship for Aspiring Principals.