Earning a Doctor of Education Degree in Ohio
In the world of doctoral programs in education, Ohio has a little something for everyone. There are online Ed.D. programs from Ohio private universities and OAESA. Doctorates that come with scholarships. Programs that lead to Professional Administration Licensure. Plus a few that are run by schools involved in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED), including OSU and its highly ranked College of Education. You’ll discover them all in our school listings, complete with info on curricula, costs, and CAEP accreditation.
The other thing you’ll find in this Ohio Ed.D. guide is employment advice. Looking for hard data on OH administrative salaries, links to state-specific job boards, and sources of useful reports? We’ve got you covered. We’ve also assembled a long list of Ohio educational leadership organizations (e.g. BASA), conferences, and training opportunities (e.g. BAMA). You can head into your doctorate with all the knowledge you’ll need to plan the next ten years of your career.
Online Doctor of Education Programs in Ohio
Online Ed.D. Providers in Ohio
- Franklin University
- University of Dayton (CAEP-accredited)
- University of Findlay (CAEP-accredited)
What to Know About Ohio Online Ed.D. Programs
In Ohio, your choices for the doctorate in education are usually private. Franklin is known for catering to adult learners (most students study online); Dayton and Findlay are involved in the CPED initiative, which usually means a strong emphasis on practical learning. None of them have a huge amount of internal funding to offer, although Franklin has some good scholarships. And all of them are looking for a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
But we also wanted to highlight an alternative: OAESA’s SAIL for Education. Through SAIL, you’ll find online Ed.D. programs—available through Concordia University Chicago— that prepare graduates for Ohio superintendent licensure, principal licensure, and the teacher leader endorsement. These programs have been approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education and are recognized as “in-state” programs by the ODE.
Note: Our overview of online doctoral programs in education has a listing of online Ed.D.s in all fifty states, as well as background on accreditations.
Online Ed.D. Programs at Private Ohio Universities
If you must have something that’s 100% online, Franklin’s 58-credit Online Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership with three focus areas—including higher ed and PK-12—is your best bet. Franklin University is a regionally accredited, non-profit school (but not CAEP) and programs are built to be flexible.
For example, the three-year Ed.D. has multiple start dates. Credit transfers are available for applicants who hold a current superintendent license or who have completed previous doctoral work. You can choose to complete a dissertation or a dissertation in practice. And you’ll be collaborating with students from other disciplines (e.g. business administration). It’s not cheap, but it’s not super-expensive either.
If you prefer the personal touch, the University of Dayton’s 60-credit Online Doctor of Education in Leadership for Organizations might suit. It’s a three-year program from a Roman Catholic research university that puts a strong emphasis on service-based leadership and real-world issues (i.e. a dissertation in practice). The vast majority of coursework is online, but you will be expected to attend two in-person immersions in Dayton. Per credit tuition is high, but only 51 of the program’s credits are tuition-bearing.
Need something in the realm of PreK-20 instruction, supervision, and leadership? The University of Findlay’s 60-credit Online Doctor of Education is a viable alternative. Like Dayton, it includes a campus component—a three-day Summer Institute—and it takes around three years to finish. As part of the program, you’ll be required to tackle 15 hours from a superintendent or teaching strand. However, Ohio Superintendent’s License holders can apply their experience to 25% of the degree requirements (i.e. the strand itself). Plus per credit tuition is relatively affordable.
Doctoral Education Funding in Ohio
Internal Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
To save you time and hassle, we’ve done a little digging! Here you’ll discover all kinds of ideas for institutional aid (e.g. Ed.D. scholarships, tuition breaks, etc.) offered by Ohio universities. Many of the schools in our listings are large ones in the University of Ohio system, so they often have healthy endowments. The Office of Financial Aid and/or the Graduate College will also be able to assist with external aid options (e.g. federal & private loans, external Ed.D. fellowships, tuition reimbursement, etc.).
Bowling Green State University
The College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) has a section on applying for CEHD Scholarships, but you’ll also find all of these awards listed in the searchable Scholarship Database (e.g. Dr. Neil Pohlmann Scholarship for graduate students in the School of Educational Foundations, Leadership & Policy Studies).
The other important site is the Graduate College, which has a large section on Graduate Funding. Ed.D. students are eligible to apply for certain awards & fellowships (e.g. Presidential Graduate Diversity Scholarship). According to BGSU, competitive graduate assistantships covering tuition and/or stipends are also available.
Under the Tuition & Financial Aid section, you’ll find a list of Franklin Scholarships. Doctoral students are eligible to apply for a number of awards (e.g. Graduate Student Scholarship). The university has also set up a variety of payment plans.
Miami’s One Stop has a comprehensive section for Graduate Students, with info on assistantships, financial aid, external loans, and scholarships & grants. We recommend you ask the program coordinator if Ed.D. students are eligible for the Ohio TEAM Scholarship. This provides a 50% discount on graduate fees for Ohio PreK-12 Educators.
Ohio State University
The College of Education and Human Ecology (EHE) has a useful section for prospective Graduate Students, with info on EHE Scholarships, and Graduate Associate Positions at EHE (i.e. assistantships). Doctoral students are welcome to apply for associate positions; teaching associates are eligible for the Graduate Associate Teaching Award.
You should also take a look at the Graduate School’s Funding section, which has details on Fellowships and Grants (e.g. Alumni Grants for Graduate Research and Scholarship). Plus there’s a helpful section on Financial Education, with free financial advice opportunities (e.g. one-on-one counseling).
The Patton College of Education has a section on Graduate Assistantships, but the Ed.D. has a weekend format, so you may not find those positions relevant. Instead, you may wish to look at the Graduate College’s section on Funding. Modest travel & original work grants, as well as emergency micro-grants, are available. OU also offers Student Enhancement Awards that provide up to $6,000 for a student & mentor to attend a professional meeting to present research results.
University of Cincinnati
If you’re interested in the Ed.D. in Counselor Education, have a look at the section on Financial Information, which contains details on Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA), Graduate Incentive Awards (GIAs), and The Gabbard Award. The Counseling Program typically offers two entering doctoral students GRAs.
Interested in special education? The College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH), which administers all the Ed.D. programs, also has a section on CECH Scholarships & Funding (we did see some graduate awards for Special Education students).
UC’s Graduate School section on Funding Opportunities will also be helpful. Check out the sections on Graduate Assistantships and Underrepresented Minority (URM) Scholarships/Fellowships.
University of Toledo
The program page for Toledo’s Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision has details on departmental graduate assistantships. Another site to visit is the College of Graduate Studies’s section on Tuition, Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards for prospective and current students. Toledo has a number of fellowships that are open to doctoral candidates.
Wright State University
The College of Education and Human Services has info on Graduate Assistantships—all of WSU’s graduate departments have a limited number of assistantship positions available each year.
The Graduate School also has a section on Graduate Scholarships & Fellowships. In particular, check out the Wright State University’s Wright-Patterson AFB Scholarship and the Wright State Ohio National Guard Scholarship. Doctoral students are eligible to apply for both.
Youngstown State University
On the other hand, if you use the YSU Scholarship Search, you will find opportunities for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, including the:
- Dr. Kim J. Rost Memorial Award
- Reene Ann Shue Alley Educational Research Support Fund for Doctoral Students
- Dr. Gunapala Edirisooriya Memorial Scholarship Endowment
Any award labelled “Foundation” will require a YSU Foundation Scholarship Application. Each scholarship entry has contact information for the scholarship coordinator. You may want to ask that coordinator about other options for doctoral funding.
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 License Requirements in Ohio
Professional Administration Licenses
- Administrative Specialists
We cover the basic licensure requirements for principals and superintendents below—you can read more in the section on Administrator Licenses. In addition, ODE has specific pages on requirements for the School Treasurer license and the requirements for the School Business Manager license. These fall under the category of Administrative Specialist, which also includes roles such as Curriculum, Instruction & Professional Development.
Typically, you’ll need to complete a state-approved preparation program for licensure. ODE maintains an Education Program Finder—with on-campus, hybrid, and online options (including SAIL’s Concordia University Chicago). You’ll see some of the same names in our school listings. In Ohio, principal candidates only have to earn a master’s degree, but superintendent candidates usually tackle a post-master’s certificate, superintendent licensure program, Ed.S., or Ed.D.
Note: The ODE has separate instructions on out-of-state licensure, as well as guidelines for principals, superintendents, and administrative specialists who wish to pursue an alternative pathway to licensure.
In the traditional pathway, principal applicants for the Professional Administrator License must:
- Earn a master’s degree from an accredited university.
- Complete an approved preparation program (e.g. master’s) and receive a recommendation from the dean or head of teacher education at the institution.
- Complete the Ohio Assessment for Educators licensure exam: Educational Leadership (015).
- Have two years of successful teaching experience with students of the ages and grade levels for which the principal license is sought.
In the traditional pathway, superintendent applicants for the Professional Administrator License must:
- Earn a master’s degree from an accredited university.
- Complete an approved preparation program and receive a recommendation from the dean or head of teacher education at the institution.
- Complete the Ohio Assessment for Educators licensure exam: Educational Leadership (015).
- Have three years of successful experience in a position requiring a principal or administrative specialist license.
Note: if you already hold superintendent licensure, some schools will allow you to transfer credits into the Ed.D. program, saving on the total tuition cost.
Educational Leadership Jobs in Ohio
Educational Leadership Career Outlook
For a bird’s-eye view of the administrative landscape, consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It tracks employment & salary data for elementary & secondary school education administrators and postsecondary education administrators in every state.
One look at the career maps and you’ll see that Ohio is loaded with elementary & secondary school education administrators—it’s a state with one of the highest levels of employment in the country, just behind juggernauts like Illinois and New York. If you’re interested in a PreK-12 career in Ohio, we also recommend the ODE’s section on Data. This contains Report Card Resources, Frequently Requested Data, and the Education Management Information System (EMIS).
The career news for postsecondary education administrators is equally positive. Ohio is keeping up with its neighbors (e.g. Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania) and members of the University of Ohio system and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO) have a foot in almost every county. You may notice that the Southern Ohio non-metropolitan area has a high level of employment for this category—it’s an area that contains Athens County, home of Ohio University.
Would you like a more nuanced view? The Ohio Department of Higher Education publishes Higher Education Data & Reports on key topics, including Faculty & Personnel data. In the category of Executive, Administrative & Managerial, Ohio State University is usually the clear winner for numbers of employees, with the University of Cincinnati in second place.
Educational Leadership Salaries
You can see annual mean wages for all kinds of educational administrators by consulting the BLS’s section on State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Ohio. Mean wages for Ohio elementary & secondary school education administrators are not stellar—the state often loses out in the salary stakes to Pennsylvania. The Ohio Treasurer allows you to view all public Teacher Salaries—including salaries for administrators such as principals and superintendents—by name, district, and/or position.
It’s a similar story for postsecondary education administrators. Higher education leaders in Ohio are in the same wage bracket as their cohorts in Indiana, but this bracket is well below states like Pennsylvania and Michigan. The Ohio Treasurer posts Higher Education Salaries for a few public universities, but you’ll find more comprehensive data in The Buckeye Institute’s database on Higher Ed Salaries.
Educational Leadership Job Boards
Traditional job sites (e.g. HigherEdJobs, SchoolSpring, LinkedIn, Indeed, etc.) will always have openings for Ohio administrators and educational leaders. But we wanted to point you toward some state-specific resources.
- BASA’s list of K-12 Jobs includes postings for superintendents, directors, principals, coordinators, COOs, CIOs, and more.
- OASBO’s section for the Job Seeker has openings for Ohio superintendents, treasurers, CFOs, COOs, and other school business officials.
- OASSA has a list of Job Openings for Ohio administrators, including high school or middle school principals, assistant principals, superintendents, and Central Office positions (e.g. director, supervisor, coordinator, etc.).
- The Ohio Association of Independent Schools (OAIS) maintains a Job Board for educators.
- The Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) posts Career Opportunities in its member colleges.
Educational Leadership Organizations in Ohio
Educational Leadership Associations
- Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA): BASA is a non-profit organization that serves school superintendents and other administrators throughout the state of Ohio. It’s an affiliate of AASA.
- Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education (Ohio ACTE): Ohio ACTE represents career & technical teachers, administrators, advisors, staff, and adult educators throughout Ohio.
- Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators (OAESA): OAESA connects and supports pre-K-8 school administrators throughout their careers. Have a look at the Dissertation Center.
- Ohio Association of Pupil Services Administrators (OAPSA): OAPSA is a state organization of school administrators currently charged with district-wide administrative responsibilities for Pupil Services (e.g. school psychology, school social work, pupil assessment, etc.). It’s an affiliate of NAPSA.
- Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO): OASBO is an association of Ohio school business officials that serves to empower members by providing advocacy, collaboration, and professional development. See the Awards & Scholarships section.
- Ohio Association of School Personnel Administrators (OASPA)/Ohio Association for Employment in Education (OAEE): OASPA/OAEE serves career services professionals from institutions with teacher preparation programs and personnel administrators from school districts throughout the state.
- Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA): OASSA’s mission is to provide high standards of middle & secondary school leadership through consultation and professional development, legislative influence, positive public relations, curricular initiatives, and more. It attracts all kinds of members.
- Ohio Education Association (OEA): OEA is Ohio’s major teaching organization. It represents 121,000+ teachers, faculty members, and support professionals who work in Ohio’s schools, colleges, and universities. Check out its Awards & Scholarships.
- Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA): OSBA exists to serve Ohio’s public school board members and the diverse districts they represent.
Note: Remember that national and state educator organizations often have funds and scholarships available for continuing education (e.g. Ed.D.). Search the website and ask about opportunities.
Educational Leadership Events in Ohio
Educational Leadership Conferences
- Ohio ACTE Connections to Education Conference: Ohio ACTE’s three-day event in late July attracts career-technical educators and partners, including teachers, adult educators, administrators, and school board members.
- OAESA Professional Conference: OAESA’s annual event for PreK-8 administrators, instructional leaders, teachers, and curriculum directors occurs in June.
- OASBO Annual Workshop & Trade Show: OASBO’s flagship event for school business officials attracts more than half of OASBO members. It usually takes place over three days in late April.
- OASSA Conferences: OASSA organizes lots of events and professional development workshops, including a Fall Conference in October, an Aspiring Administrators Conference in January, and an Instructional Leadership Conference in June.
- OSBA Capital Conference & Trade Show: OSBA’s three-day event in November is aimed at board members and district administrative teams. It includes general sessions, 120+ breakout sessions, and networking opportunities.
Educational Leadership Training
- BASA Professional Development: BASA runs a large number of training programs for school leaders & superintendents, including conferences, the Ohio School Leadership Institute, New Superintendent Transition, Executive Coaching, and the Emerging Leaders Institute.
- Ohio ACTE Shoemaker CTE Institute: This year-long institute is open to anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills and learn more about career-technical and adult education.
- OAESA Professional Development: OAESA hosts a Beginning Administrators Academy, Leadership Institutes, Preparing to Lead Workshops, and more.
- OAESA SAIL for Education: Standards Aligned Instructional Leadership (SAIL) is a job-embedded, research-based program grounded in state and national standards. It takes the form of online graduate programs (e.g. MA, PhD/EdD, Ohio principal licensure, etc.) that are provided by Concordia University Chicago.
- OASBO Professional Development: OASBO offers all kinds of services to school business officials, including workshops & seminars for CEUs, mentoring, advice on licensure & credentialing, and more.
- OASSA/OAESA Beginning Administrators Mentorship Academy (BAMA): BAMA pairs seasoned administrators with first- or second-year assistant principals and principals; it also provides budding leaders with professional development.
- OSBA Professional Development: OSBA has developed workshops, webinars, seminars, individual training, and a Board Leadership Institute (BLI) for school board members.