2018 Guide to the Best Online Doctoral Programs

Though online programs generally share many of the same benefits, they are not all created equal. The Education Specialist degree with a specialization in International Education will teach you the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively within the context of global economic, political, cultural and community influences in education. Some programs include minimal campus visits, while others can be completed entirely online. While similar, PhDs and professional doctorates tend to serve a different aim for different demographics. Online PhD programs tend to have lower tuition costs, made possible by offering all content online, and do not incur fees for using campus resources that are included in most traditional degrees. Capella University — Accredited. Skip to main content.

What is a Doctoral Degree?

The Best Online PhD Programs

The PhD in Education degree with a specialization in Curriculum and Teaching is designed for those with a passion for research in and about PK, postsecondary and adult learning environments. The Doctor of Education degree with a specialization in Early Childhood Education is designed to help you develop your skills in The Doctor of Education in Leadership in Higher Education at Northcentral University digs deep into a variety of topics specific to higher education, such as how higher education is organized, how it is financed, legal issues, and the history of higher This Doctor of Business Adminstration degree with a specialization in Human Resources Management focuses on the interrelationships between the organization's most important resources — its employees, its leadership, and the business organiz Our Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Leadership PhD-OL is a challenging, yet fulfilling, in-depth study of leadership with broad application across industries.

The PhD-OL program allows you to examine leadership in a multitude of dimensions. The PhD in Business Adminstration degree with a specialization in Marketing focuses on marketing management and research. The Education Specialist degree with a specialization in Early Childhood Education allows you to explore a broad spectrum of topics as you increase your understanding of research and theory related to the study of education in early childhood.

The PhD in Education degree with a specialization in English as a Second Language ESL will provide you with a strong knowledge base to build successful programs to enhance the learning of the English language, to assess skills of diverse students a This Doctor of Business Adminstration degree with a specialization in Public Administration focuses on acquiring administrative skills to advance to top leadership positions and to retain them through rigorous reflection on their professional experie This fully online Doctorate degree program develops transformational leaders inside and outside the education sector.

This three year accredited EdD program consists of courses eight weeks in length, limited to a cohort of 15 candidates to maintain This fully online Doctorate of Education program develops transformational leaders inside and outside the education sector.

The Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation EdD specialization is ideal for candidates from academic, governmen This fully online Doctorate degree program offers candidates the ability to design and implement a customized program of study from an array of doctoral coursework, with a focus developing transformational leaders to successfully analyze and address This fully online Doctoral degree program prepares candidates for leadership and teaching roles across the post-secondary education sector.

This three year accredited EdD program consists of courses eight weeks in length, limited to a cohort of This fully online Doctorate degree program prepares candidates to be transformational leaders guiding public or nonpublic schools.

This three year accredited EdD program consists of courses eight weeks in length, limited to a cohort of 15 candidate With the shrinking number of primary care providers, the nursing shortage, and the increasing Combine your current nursing skills with training in the safe, effective practice of primary care for the management of acute and chronic health problems of adult patients. Focus on the principles of personnel management, policy development and implementation, budgeting, and the use of information technology in advanced nursing roles.

Complete a practicum experience during which you will work closely with an administrator Combine your current nursing skills with training in the safe, effective practice of primary care for the management of acute and chronic health problems of both adult and pediatric patients. As a student in this population focus area, you will particip The DNP is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice and offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs.

Do you aspire to drive transformative educational change in your institution and community? Make a positive impact in your community and your organization as you explore strategies to help those struggling with illness, addiction, violence, and poverty.

Make a positive impact in your community and your organization as you explore strategies to help those struggling with issues such as illness, addiction, violence, and poverty. Change your world and the world around you with a Ph. Change your worldChange your world and the world around you with a Ph. Are you prepared to influence and advance the future of business practice? By aligning project results to business goals, successful project management can help organizations gain a competitive edge in Develop practical, specialized business knowledge to compete in an increasingly complex world by earning your DBA degree at CalSouthern.

This doctoral-level degree program is designed for individuals who are ready to rise to the challenge of leadership in today's The Bridge Doctor of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Data Analytics offers a strong foundation in preparation for your doctoral business and academic journey. The Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program develops leaders capable of generating new knowledge and responsibl The Doctor of Philosophy Ph.

Grounded in humanistic inquiry Better outcomes start with a better way of looking at higher education. The big picture of higher education raises big questions. How will institutions evolve with technology? The Doctor of Computer Science with a concentration in Enterprise Information Systems at Colorado Technical University's Institute for Advanced Studies is designed to develop people into leaders in designing, implementing and managing large-scale sys The curriculum is designed for students interested in teaching graduate level business courses in higher educational institutions.

Completion of this program also requires a dissertation and biannual attendance at a residential symposium in Colorado. The program starts every 13 weeks. In today's data-driven industries, companies that develop the capacity to turn large volumes of data into useful knowledge can develop a competitive advantage.

This is creating a new area of expertise and specialization for data scientists with t The Doctor of Business Administration DBA at USW is a three-year, part-time, professional degree program designed for business executives in the pursuit of practitioner-scholarship in the fields of business administration and management.

With the purpose of developing skilled and effective leaders, the program is a model of high academic sta As the landscape of advanced practice nursing changes, Liberty University is poised to help you take advantage of new opportunities with its Doctor of Nursing Practice DNP program.

Nurses in this program learn to translate evidence-based research i Through this program, you will receive academic training and practical experience designed to help you exce The program helps men and women develop a deeper understanding of biblical principles and strategies so they can serve effectivel Students in this program are prepared to serve and equip others to fur This program is ideal for those interested in progra Students, who choose to earn a Doctor of Education with a concentration in Educational Leadership through Liberty University Online, will receive advanced training in the field of higher education.

The program aims to develop competent and effective Capella University's online doctorate in Educational Leadership program provides you with the skills to lead and affect change in schools. Capella's online Education Degree Specialist EdS in Curriculum and Instruction prepares you to assume a leadership role in education while making a lasting impact on student achievement.

As awareness of autism spectrum disorder grows, there is a need for leaders who can expand the field of applied behavior analysis ABA through research and teaching. Online classes at Andrews University come in a variety of formats including self-paced open learning online, self-paced full term online, and interactive online. Each delivery format differs in the registration process, course deadlines, level of student interaction, and available financial aid, so prospective students are encouraged to weigh their options before enrolling.

Find an Online Degree:. All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified. Popular Online Doctoral Programs. Jump to a Program: Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering - Civil Eng Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering - Mechanica Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial and Systems Doctorate in Leadership PhD. Online Doctoral Degrees 5 Ph. Administration of Elementary and Secondary Education Ph.

Doctor of Nursing DNP: Expository Preaching and Teaching Dr. Curriculum and Instruction PhD: Online Doctoral Degrees 6 D. Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Psychiatric Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nursing Leadership Doctor of Philosophy in Human Environmental Sci Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing. Doctor of Education in Instructional Technology Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice - Juve Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice - Orga Doctor of Nursing Practice - Adult-Gerontology Doctor of Nursing Practice - Psychiatric Mental Doctor of Arts in English Pedagogy and Technolo Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthetist.

Doctor of Philosophy in Family and Consumer Sci Doctor of Philosophy in Technical Communication Joint Doctor of Education in Agricultural Educa Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Individualized Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Leadership Coa Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Servant Leader Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Strategic Fore Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Strategic Lead This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource.

The online DNP offers family nurse practitioner and adult-geriatric acute care nurse practitioner concentrations. Coursework is completed primarily online, but minimal campus visits, an in-person program orientation on-campus, and local clinical practicum hours are required. Education doctoral programs in adult and lifelong learning and educational leadership are cohort-based and require some campus visits; the online Ed.

D in human resource and workforce development education is a fully online degree. Applicants to any of the online Ph. D programs in education must submit GRE scores. Though its main campus is situated between South Beach Miami and the Everglades, NSU has numerous regional locations and a comprehensive distance education department.

Online programs at NSU include real-time interactive coursework and access to the electronic library database. NSU offers eight Ph.

D programs online in IT and healthcare-related fields. Students aspiring to senior-level clinical practitioner positions pursue a doctorate in health science or occupational therapy, while IT professionals choose from Ph.

D programs in computer information systems, computer science, computing technology in education, and information science. NSU also offers an interdisciplinary Ph. D in conflict analysis and resolution online. The majority of doctoral coursework is completed online, but all programs require a minimum number of on-campus visits. The doctor of health science and the degrees in occupational therapy require a practicum or research residency.

D programs culminate in a capstone project or dissertation. The flagship campus of the Indiana University system, IU has provided diverse research and liberal arts programs since Today, the university offers more than programs to nearly 50, students.

While many of its on-campus students are from outside the U. D programs in education ; the Ed. D is available in instructional systems technology or literacy, culture, and language education. Online doctoral programs consist of primarily asynchronous coursework and incorporate web chats and audio-video conferencing tools.

Online doctoral programs follow the same guidelines and schedule as on-campus programs. The curriculum includes inquiry core, major, and minor coursework and culminates in a dissertation. D candidates complete the majority of coursework online and meet minimal on-campus residency requirements.

Established in as a teachers college, CMU provides innovative education programs on campus and online. CMU is among the largest public universities in the U. More than 7, students are enrolled in online programs at CMU, which include specializations in business, technology, education, and healthcare professions. CMU offers three Ph. Online doctoral programs are offered in a cohort format; students complete online courses as a group while adhering to a set schedule.

D in educational leadership requires 63 credits of synchronous coursework and four mandatory on-campus summer sessions. D in educational technology comprises 54 credits and can be completed entirely online; during the first two years, students take two courses per semester in the fall, spring, and summer terms. The credit DHA combines online coursework with six in-person seminars and a culminating essay exam.

Concordia-Chicago offers more than undergraduate and graduate degree programs, each with a liberal arts foundation. The university's distance programs include dozens of accelerated undergraduate and graduate programs in unique specializations in business, healthcare, religion, management, and education. Concordia-Chicago offers 13 doctoral programs online in business administration, gerontology, and education and leadership disciplines. Though requirements vary, doctoral candidates typically complete 60 to 68 credits of online coursework, which culminates in a comprehensive exam and dissertation or capstone project.

The majority of education specializations — including educational technology, curriculum and instruction, and leadership — allow students to pursue an Ed. CityU provides dozens of online career-centered degrees and certificates in management, education, arts and sciences, applied leadership, technology, and languages.

CityU offers online Ph. D programs in business administration and leadership. The DBA requires 91 credits in business administration core, research core, and applied learning courses, including three residencies, a capstone, and a dissertation. Coursework is highly interactive and requires one hour of live chat and virtual lectures per week. The online doctor of education in leadership is available in three concentrations: Students may develop their own concentration in global leadership, entrepreneurship, adult education and online learning, or a customized focus area.

Doctoral students must participate in an orientation, which may be completed online or in person. Hybrid study plans are available. With a main campus in Miami Shores and more than 30 additional learning centers throughout Florida and the Virgin Islands, Barry is one of the largest Catholic universities in the Southeast U.

The university offers more than degree programs in specialized fields such as marine biology, theology, social work, and nursing. Barry offers four online Ph. D programs in occupational therapy and nursing practice. The post-master's DNP offers an optional specialization in anesthesiology. Part-time students complete the OTD in about two years. Coursework is delivered both synchronously and asynchronously through Adobe Connect and Canvas.

In addition to online coursework, candidates complete a week residency during their second year and conclude the program with a capstone or final project. The online DNP comprises 35 to 38 semester hours of online coursework, residency requirements, and a three-part DNP scholarly project. Though the DNP requires 1, clinical hours, the program is designed as a post-master's degree, which means most applicants will have already completed many of the clinical hours. Barry offers tuition discounts to qualifying DNP candidates.

At Amridge, distance learning is the primary format for academic programs. In , Amridge was one of only 15 schools chosen to test a national pilot distance learning program. Amridge offers numerous online Ph. D programs in business, human services, and theology. Amridge offers both practice- and research-based programs and provides doctoral candidates with comprehensive career-centered coursework, which is completed entirely online in an accelerated format.

While requirements vary, curricula typically comprise core and emphasis courses, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation presentation. The university offers a variety of online doctorate programs in ministry, including a DM in in family therapy, a Ph. D in marriage and family therapy, a Ph.

D in professional counseling, a Ph. D in biblical studies in either the Old Testament or the New tament, and a customizable Ph. D in interdisciplinary studies. Prospective students considering a career in K administration have the opportunity to advance professionally while completing their degree in an inclusive online learning environment that fosters creativity and critical thinking.

The credit curriculum includes a residency that requires students to enroll in six or more credits for three consecutive semesters.

Comprised of research and professional development components, students fulfill additional residency requirements through the completion of a research project and by attending at least three conferences. This program follows a cohort model and admits students twice a year.

A doctoral degree is the highest level of academic degree that can be awarded to college students. Research doctoral degrees are perhaps the most common type attained in North America, as well as abroad. Professional doctoral degrees, which provide advanced research and study in a particular discipline such as psychology, medicine, or law, are another common type of terminal degree, gaining in popularity since the introduction of the Medicinae Doctor MD at Columbia University in Doctoral online degrees continue to grow in popularity among students seeking to maximize their career opportunities, with the percentage of people age 25 and over who have completed at least a doctoral degree increasing, though nominally, between and See the outline below, which lists out the number of people age 25 and over who completed at least a doctoral degree by year:.

Though it may seem moderate, this increase in enrollment has a major effect in the current job market, making now the perfect time to explore many of the PhD programs online today.

This influx of doctoral enrollment makes for greater competition among even the highest-qualified candidates in their field; while job-seekers with a terminal degree typically held an automatic advantage over lesser-qualified candidates, they now face mounting competition from a higher number of equally educated peers.

The average time it takes to complete a PhD is four to seven years, which means many students spend more than a decade immersed in college life before earning a terminal degree. Among their many benefits, accredited online PhD programs can save students time, especially in disciplines like business, public service, and engineering, which may take as little as years to complete. While special accelerated PhD programs online are rare, the nature of online coursework, which allows students to study in their own time while still working and taking care of their families, can be a major advantage to online students who are looking to save on the tuition, housing, and commuting costs included in a traditional program.

A little research and they can find the best online PhD programs to meet their unique needs and goals. The debate over how important it really is to earn a doctoral degree has heated up in recent years. While some argue that it is impractical to expect many students to have the funds and resources it takes to spend years of their lives earning a terminal degree, others see the inherent benefits of pursuing a doctorate, citing an increase in available online PhD programs and generous graduate scholarships as attractive incentives.

A universal concept in all corners of the workforce, candidates with a terminal degree have the greatest advantage when it comes to top jobs and high salaries. Online PhD programs in education and business, for example, can be especially advantageous to a candidate looking to set themselves apart from others in these highly competitive fields. There is more than one type of doctoral degree. The Doctor of Philosophy PhD is among the category of doctorates rooted in research, which also spans fields including education, engineering, theology, and more.

Online PhD programs exist today alongside online professional doctoral programs at a growing number of tech-savvy colleges and universities. While similar, PhDs and professional doctorates tend to serve a different aim for different demographics.

Generally, PhDs are well-suited to younger adults who aspire to teach or conduct research within academia at the university level, and require full-time study, while professional doctorates are geared toward working adults with professional experience who seek to combine advanced academic and real-world skills in a part-time program.

The differences between earning a PhD and MD a professional doctorate , for example, are striking: Though often shorter in length, professional doctoral programs are designed to combine job skills with essential curriculum in a concentrated format that prepares students for a broader variety of advanced employment in their field.

With a steady increase of doctoral degrees available online, students aspiring to any number of high-level professions can pursue a terminal degree in their specialty. Though the influx of online education options has made earning a doctorate more accessible to the masses, many of the same disciplines have retained their popularity throughout the years. It is no surprise that doctoral degrees in the health professions, required for common positions including MDs, were the most popular in the academic year, followed by doctorates in legal professions, education, engineering, and more.

Earning an EdD is a popular choice for aspiring education administrators and curriculum designers, among other educators interested in developing practical solutions for modern education concerns. Common concentrations may include higher education leadership, early childhood education, or elementary STEM education. Though different than the EdD degree, PhD concentrations often include a variety of education options, as well as specializations in business, marketing, and public health, among other research fields.

Rooted in the advanced study of divinity, the Doctor of Theology offers a research degree that is comparable to the PhD. Optional concentrations often include history of Christianity, world church and world religions, and liturgical studies.

As the basic standard we expect of medical doctors and primary physicians, an MD is required to practice general medicine in the U.

While opinions about online education were largely divided in the early years of its inception, attitudes have increasingly warmed to the positive results of distance education. Initial studies in previous decades seemed to indicate a hesitation among both higher learning institutions and students to recognize online degree programs as being worthy of their traditional campus counterparts.

Contemporary surveys report a rise in both demand for online courses as well as student satisfaction. Generally, online degrees are cheaper than traditional on-campus programs.

Accredited online PhD programs and other doctoral programs can offer extensive savings of both time and money for distance learners. Online PhD programs tend to have lower tuition costs, made possible by offering all content online, and do not incur fees for using campus resources that are included in most traditional degrees. Additionally, parents and working adults may be able to save on childcare costs and lost wages by completing their degree in the comfort of their own home. While graduate degree programs take longer to complete and are relatively more expensive than their undergraduate counterparts, there are a number of financial aid options for graduate students enrolled in a doctoral program.

Federal aid tends to be offered to graduate students earning a secondary degree in lower amounts than undergraduate students entering college for the first time, which means that grants and scholarships are a major source of funding for doctoral students.

As doctoral candidates are likely well aware at this point in their academic careers, cost is a factor that should always be considered when choosing an online degree program. Aside from the major expenditure of tuition itself, other costs like interest rates, living expenses, and textbooks may be overlooked at first, but are of equal importance when it comes to the bottom line.

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