Doctor of Education in Distance Education

At a glance

  • Credential: doctorate degree
  • Credits: 18
  • Next start: see program details

Athabasca University’s online Doctor of Education in Distance Education is a professional doctoral degree for distance education practitioners and those with related career experience.

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About Doctor of Education in Distance Education

At Athabasca University, we're proud to offer North America's first online Doctor of Education in Distance Education (EdD). Designed for professionals in distance education, adult education, and related fields, this 18-credit doctoral program provides you with the advanced skills and research opportunities you need to excel in leadership roles. The program is accessible and flexible for working professionals, with one intake per year and an online grouped study format that includes a 1-week, on-site orientation.

Admission requirements

Normally, admission requirements include a master’s degree in a relevant field with a minimum grade point average (GPA).See full Doctor of Education in Distance Education admission requirements

Program details


The EdD provides rigorous preparation for advanced responsibilities and leadership in the distance-learning field, including:

  • planning
  • teaching
  • directing
  • designing
  • implementing
  • evaluating
  • researching
  • managing

Research is an important focus, as you will be expected to make an original and significant contribution to their profession as part of your doctoral program. Research opportunities include:

  • examination of practice
  • theory-building
  • basic research

More conceptual or theoretical interests may also be accommodated.

Why take the Doctor of Education in Distance Education?

AU is a global leader in distance education teaching, scholarship, and program innovation. You will be learning from leaders in the field.

As a professional doctoral degree, the EdD program provides a relevant and accessible learning context designed for the working professional. This program may be of interest to:

  • mid-career professionals involved in
    • distance education
    • adult education
    • continuing education
    • policy development and implementation
  • academics, teachers, and instructors who wish to specialize in aspects of distance education research and scholarship
  • instructional design specialists
  • senior-level managers and program planners

The Doctor of Education in Distance Education is an 18-credit online doctoral program. You must normally complete the entire program through Athabasca University. (Inquire if you have questions.)

Application deadlines and start dates

Application deadline Start date
Jan. 31 May

There is only 1 EdD intake each year. The application deadline is in January, and classes start in May. An orientation in Edmonton or Athabasca for 1 week is a program requirement. All courses are online grouped study, with defined start and end dates. As noted above, the program includes a 5-day on-site orientation.

Completion times

Finish this program in as little as 4 years of study. You can take up to 5 years to complete all requirements.

Resources and links

Additional information that you need to know about AU and this program.

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