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Online Doctorate Degree Without Dissertation

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The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a terminal degree at the pinnacle of higher education that certifies students’ scholarly research expertise.  Earning a PhD is a difficult process but as we all know, some degree options are easier than others.  Working towards a PhD is an excellent idea for academically talented students with a love for research and innovation. An easy PhD sounds like an oxymoron because years of time-consuming dissertation work is required, but some online colleges are making doctorates less taxing.

Since a PhD is required for many university-level faculty, laboratory, behavioral health, and management positions, we researched the easiest PhD programs known to modern man. oing beyond the master’s degree for a doctorate can pay off with average lifetime earnings of $3.3 million. Demand for post-secondary professors is growing faster-than-average by 13 percent to spawn 177,000 openings nationwide too.

Top help you select the Best Accredited Online PhD Program to suit your individual needs, we’ve created the following list of the Top 20 Easy Accredited Online PhD Programs for advanced students. We searched for online universities that significantly reduce residency requirements, accelerate courses, allow credit transfers, and integrate dissertation colloquium. Each prospective school had to be approved by one of six regional accrediting bodies. At least one Doctor of Philosophy program had to be available 100 percent online. Preference was given to traditionally easier majors, such as education, humanities, and social sciences. We consulted with college rankings like the U.S. News and Forbes to survey online programs’ prestige. Affordability was judged from doctoral tuition prices published on each school’s website. Other important factors were cohort size, scheduling flexibility, faculty mentoring, student support, exam requirements, residency length, and ease of online technology.

Here are our selections for the Top 20 Easy Accredited Online PhD Programs:

1. University of Florida

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Endowed for $1.46 billion, the University of Florida is a regionally accredited public, sea-grant RU/VH institution educating over 16,200 post-graduates in Gainesville and online. The U.S. News recognized Florida as America’s 50th best university with the #1 top online graduate education. Gator Nation chooses from 11 online doctoral programs, including a PhD in Classical Civilization and PhD in Latin and Roman Studies, that conveniently offer distance test proctoring and dissertation research.

Tuition: $3,876 (in-state) or $16,580 (out-of-state) yearly

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programws at University of Florida here.

2. University of Missouri

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Belonging to the AAU, the University of Missouri is a public, land-grant RU/VH institution enlightening nearly 6,000 post-graduates in Columbia, Kansas City, St. Louis, and online. The U.S. News named Mizzou the 111th top university with the 61st best online graduate education. Doctoral candidates select from 10 primarily online programs, such as the PhD in Art Education and PhD in Architectural Studies. The PhD in Nursing has a simplified, fast-track route for MSN graduates too.

Tuition: $18,745-$49,046 total

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at the University of Missouri here.

3. Colorado State University

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Established under the Morrill Act in 1870, Colorado State University enrolls over 7,400 post-graduates in Fort Collins and online as a public, land-grant RU/VH institution. According to the U.S. News, CSU is America’s 129th best university with the 31st best online graduate engineering education. With 95 percent average retention, doctoral students pursue the Systems Engineering PhD or Higher Education Leadership PhD online. Online interactions allow candidates to work full-time during the 72-credit programs.

Tuition: $882-$1,035 per credit

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Colorado State University here.

4. University of North Dakota

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Based in the Flickertail State’s third-largest city, the University of North Dakota is a flagship public, space-grant RU/H institution educating over 2,800 post-graduate Fighting Hawks. The U.S. News crowned UND the 202nd best university with the 43rd best online graduate business education. With easy start dates anytime, there are four online doctorates, including the PhD in Higher Education and PhD in Nursing. The 90-credit programs are completed in three years with live Web classes.

Tuition: $410 per credit

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at the University of North Dakota here.

5. Nova Southeastern University

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Attracting over 24,100 Sharks who “Engage, Inspire, Achieve,” Nova Southeastern University is a SACS-accredited private, nonprofit institution teaching in Fort Lauderdale and online. The U.S. News applauds NSU as America’s 214th top college with the 84th best online graduate education. Mid-career practitioners can enroll in 10 online doctoral programs like the Conflict Analysis and Resolution PhD and Criminal Justice PhD. Online lectures and projects on Blackboard are supplemented with just two residential institutes.

Tuition: $635-$1,040 per hour

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Nova Southeastern University here.

6. Liberty University

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Regionally accredited by the SACS, Liberty University is a private, nonprofit Baptist institution enrolling around 5,800 post-graduates online and in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty is acclaimed for America’s 87th best online graduate nursing and 92nd top online graduate business education on the USNWR. There are 25 online doctoral programs available, including a PhD in Counselor Education and PhD in Theology & Apologetics. Graduate prior learning assessment credits can easily accelerate study for experienced scholars.

Tuition: $595 (full-time) or $650 (part-time) per hour

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Liberty University here.

7. Johnson University

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Affiliated with the Restoration Movement, Johnson University is a private, nonprofit Christian institution enrolling around 1,000 co-eds near Knoxville, Tennessee, and conveniently online. Forbes ranked Johnson 56th among the United States’ most financially fit private values. Online students could obtain the PhD in Leadership Studies with four concentrations like Educational Leadership or Missional Leadership. Grounded in the Gospel, the flexibly-designed, 60-credit program involves a candidacy paper and dissertation without comprehensive exams.

Tuition: $525 per credit or $31,500 total

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Johnson University here.

8. Grand Canyon University

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Started by the Arizona Southern Baptists in 1949, Grand Canyon University is a private, for-profit research institution matriculating over 60,700 online Antelopes. Graded A for diversity, GCU is ranked America’s 20th best online college with 65th best college with no application fee on Niche. The College of Doctoral Studies houses 14 online options, including a PhD in General Psychology and EdD in Organizational Leadership, with an integrated dissertation process.

Tuition: $640 per credit ($400 for active duty military)

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Grand Canyon University here.

9. Keiser University

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Within the ICUF, Keiser University stands as a private, nonprofit teaching institution with nearly 17,000 Seahawks studying from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach and online. The U.S. News crowned Keiser the South’s 23rd top college and 11th best value school. Holding SACS accreditation, the E-College offers 11 online doctoral programs, such as the Industrial and Organizational Psychology PhD and Instructional Design PhD. There’s also an Administracíon de Empresas DBA for Spanish speakers to easily comprehend.

Tuition: $2,097-$2,796 per course

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Keiser University here.

10. Southern New Hampshire University

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Founded by Harry A.B. Shapiro in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit NEASC-accredited institution serving over 60,000 students online from Manchester. SNHU is ranked the North’s 101st best college and most innovative school by the U.S. News. Doctoral candidates can choose from the International Business PhD or Educational Leadership EdD program. Flexible, self-tailored curriculum easily guides online students to the doctoral dissertation colloquium with 24/7 mentoring access.

Tuition: $1,570 per credit

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Southern New Hampshire University here.

11. Walden University

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Owned by Laureate Education Inc., Walden University is a public benefit, for-profit institution in Minneapolis that’s attracting over 49,000 online students from 29 global countries. Washington Monthly honored Walden as the 19th best college for adult learners nationally. With an average age of 39, doctoral candidates pursue Walden’s 27 HLC-accredited programs, including the PhD in Management and PhD in Health Promotion. Up to 53 credits can transfer to shorten the standard 66-month timeline.

Tuition: $590 per quarter hour

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Walden University here.

12. University of Maryland University College

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Given the CCME Institution Award, the University of Maryland University College is one of the largest public, state-related online learning providers with more than 17,400 post-graduates. Based in Adelphi, UMUC was named third among Forbes’ great colleges for adults returning to school. Online doctoral candidates benefit from 24/7 flexibility, short campus residencies, and virtual dissertation support. Offerings include a 48-credit PhD in Management and PhD Community College Policy and Administration.

Tuition: $52,176 total

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at the University of Maryland University College here.

13. Faulkner University

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Since 1942, Faulkner University has been a private, nonprofit institution affiliated with the Churches of Christ to provide SACS-accredited education to over 3,500 in Montgomery, Alabama, and now online. Niche ranked Faulkner as America’s 77th most conservative college and 309th best Christian university. Adult learners choose from two accelerated, affordable doctoral programs, the PhD in Biblical Studies and PhD in Humanities. The 54-credit degrees involve three independent tutorials, seven courses, and two dissertation semesters.

Tuition: $600 per hour

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Faulkner University here.

14. Trident University International

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Led by CEO Travis Allen, Trident University International is a WASC-accredited private, nonprofit online education provider in Cypress, California, with over 6,100 students. Included in Victory Media’s “Best for Vets” five times, Trident is deemed America’s 82nd best online university on Niche. Exceptional research mentoring and flexible webinars accompany Trident’s four online doctoral programs. Consider pursuing the 56-credit PhD in Business Administration or PhD in Health Sciences degrees.

Tuition: $3,900 per course ($3,200 for active military)

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Trident University International here.

15. Capella University

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With enrollment surpassing 39,000 online, Capella University is a private, for-profit distance learning provider based in Minneapolis since 1993. Noted for winning the CHEA Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice, Capella is ranked America’s seventh best online school on Niche. Holding HLC-NCA accreditation, Capella offers 36 online PhD programs, including the PhD in Human Services and PhD in Information Technology. The competency-based curricula can culminate in a shorter, easier doctoral capstone instead of a dissertation.

Tuition: $2,800-$5,700 per quarter

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Capella University here.

16. Concordia University Chicago

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Headquartered in River Forest, Illinois, Concordia University Chicago is a private, nonprofit liberal arts institution of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod with 3,600 post-graduates. Niche lauded CUC as America’s 254th best Christian college 231st best college with no application fee. Master’s degree holders pick from 14 online doctoral programs, such as the PhD in Gerontology and PhD in Sports Leadership. Without on-site requirements, the quick, eight-week doctoral courses lead to an independent dissertation.

Tuition: $710 per credit hour

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Concordia University Chicago here.

17. University of Phoenix

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Established in 1976, the University of Phoenix is a for-profit, open-enrollment institution owned by Apollo Education Group Inc. that’s educating over 142,500 online scholars. Graded B for value on Niche, UOPX was ranked 17th nationally for online teaching by the Best College Reviews. The School of Advanced Studies produces scholar-practitioner-leaders online with nine doctoral programs, such as the EdD in Educational Technology or PhD in Organizational Leadership, and brief three-day residencies.

Tuition: $810 per credit ($175 resource fee)

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at the University of Phoenix here.

18. Northcentral University

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Owned by Falcon Investments LLC, Northcenral University is a virtual private, for-profit institution based in San Diego, California, with over 10,000 scholars. Placed in the nation’s top 5 percent on College Factual, NCU is ranked 29th on the OEDB. Boasting 52 weekly starts annually, Northcentral offers 10 online doctoral programs like the PhD in Business Administration and PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy. The WASC-accredited, one-to-one degrees range from 60 to 105 credits without a pesky entrance exam.

Tuition: $2,733-$3,591 per course

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Northcentral University here.

19. Chicago School of Professional Psychology

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The Chicago School of Professional Psychology enrolls over 4,500 post-graduates as a private, nonprofit behavioral sciences institution with courses from Chicago to Los Angeles and online. Bestowed the NCSPP Advocacy Award, the Chicago School was included in Super Scholar’s 25 best online colleges. Maintaining WASC and APA accreditation, CSPP’s seven online doctoral programs allow easy, 24/7 access through Canvas. Open pathways exist for the Applied Behavior Analysis PhD, Business Psychology PhD, and more.

Tuition: $1,350 per hour

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology here.

20. University of the Rockies

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Regionally accredited by the HLC-NCA, the University of the Rockies is a private, for-profit member of Bridgepoint Education that’s educating over 1,300 in Denver and online. Specializing in social sciences, UoR was ranked among Best Value Schools’ top 30 online universities. Five online doctoral options exist, including a PhD in Human Services and PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership. Online courses have an accelerated, six-week format for easily completing the 62-credit degrees fast.

Tuition: $1,082 per credit ($950 technology fee)

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at the University of the Rockies here.

This entry was posted in University Rankings on by rebecca genter.

Earning your doctorate or Ph.D. is a strong career move – you will open doors to many exciting positions with excellent pay with your doctorate. Now, you can earn your doctorate online, and in many cases, with no GRE or dissertation requirements.

Some schools on this page are ‘Featured Partner Schools’ and indicated as such by *. You are easily able to request enrollment information from any you see fit. Any and all corrections or additions to this page are welcome.

Jump to Field

General Psychology

The highest level of degree that you can earn in psychology is the Ph.D. Earning your Ph.D. is mandatory for those professionals wanting to open their own practice, or to conduct research in a university. Notable Ph.D.’s in psychology online include:

  • Ph.D. in Psychology: This doctoral program at *Northcentral University is designed to the growing interest in the field of psychology, and also the need for more opportunities in the educational realm of psychology. You will be able to fine tune and hone your critical thinking abilities in this program, and to greatly expand your base of knowledge. There is a strong focus in this online degree program on applied experiential learning.
  • Ph.D. in General Psychology with an Emphasis on Industrial and Organizational Psychology: This program from Grand Canyon University teaches students to have a better understanding of how workers behave in different situations. You will engage in the study of methods and principles, work behavior, relationships in employee management and more. The purpose of the degree is to improve individual, group and company performance through coaching, consulting and effective change management.
  • Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy: The purpose of this program from *Northcentral University is to give you a lot of personalization and flexibility in getting your PhD in a highly specialized field. You can complete all of your coursework online, and finish your clinical training and research in your community. This doctoral degree will prepare you to enter the very quickly growing field of marriage and family therapy.
  • Ph.D. in Health Psychology: The purpose of this Ph.D. from *Northcentral University is to give you a deep understanding of all of the factors that influence psychology around issues of health and illness. Required classes in this doctoral program include Health Psychology, Research Methods, Psychosocial Factors in Health, Statistics, Behavioral Nutrition, Tests and Measurements, and Eating Disorders and Obesity.
  • Ph.D. in General Psychology: *Capella University offers a general psychology doctoral degree that allows the student to personalize their classes to meet their specific career goals. You can choose from many different courses to custom fit your education to what you want to do in your career in psychology. This program requires you to begin on your dissertation right away. The curriculum starts with research programs so that you can determine your dissertation topic as soon as possible.
  • Ph.D. in General Psychology with Emphasis in Technology: This program from *Grand Canyon University integrates technology and psychology, as well as instruction and learning to better inform research. This is a 21st century version of a traditional curriculum and instruction degree. It allows you to incorporate learning, technology and psychology. The end result is to optimize success in teaching and working environments. This is a good choice for those who want to propel their careers forward in social media, government, business and technology.
  • Ph.D. in General Psychology with an Emphasis in Cognition and Instruction: *Grand Canyon University’s doctoral program will allow you to explore and evaluate cognitive information and processes that will help you to develop excellent instructional methods for postsecondary education in the 21st century. This curriculum is designed to prepare applied instruction experts to be ready to train economically and culturally diverse communities in the area of adult education.
  • Ph.D. in Addiction Psychology: This program has been specially designed at Capella University for professionals who want to be leaders in academic, administrative or research roles in addiction psychology. Capella offers one of the few Ph.D.s online today with a focus on addiction psychology. You will learn how to synthesize applications and principles of addiction psychology theory, and to expertly interpret addiction psychology research.
  • Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology: This online Ph.D. from *Capella University will increase your knowledge of organizational behavior so that you can promote the best possible function and cooperation for employers. You can choose from specializations in industrial, organizational, coaching or consulting. Students will learn how to evaluate behavior in the workplace and how to apply critical thinking to it. You also will study research in I/O psychology and more.
  • Ph.D. in Mental Health Policy and Practice: In this doctoral degree from *Northcentral University, you will have the chance to develop an edge in building both your organizational skills and your practice, to market your services in behavioral health. This very focused specialization includes many highly advanced concepts in training in modern behavioral health. You will take classes in Mental Health Services Policy, Research Methods, Mental Health Administration, Comparative Analysis, Evidence-Based Treatments, and Quantitative Research Design.


Do you want to work independently as a mental health counselor? Earning your Ph.D. in counseling or a related field might be a good fit for you. Professionals with a Ph.D. in counseling are in demand and earn good pay. Consider these online options:

  • PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy-Child and Adolescent Therapy: *Northcentral University offers this degree for those interested in being practitioner to families with children. They would receive the most modern teachings that research and study have shown in this profession. This program will equip them with the tools to best address the dynamics going on in troubled families.
  • Doctor of Education in Counseling Psychology: Argosy University makes this online degree available to students that have already been working in counseling environments, but want to advance their ability to take leadership roles in the field of counseling psychology. In addition to leadership roles, successful graduates of this program often times return in a teaching capacity at an institute of higher learning.
  • Doctorate of Marriage and Family Therapy: *Northcentral University offers this doctorate in marriage and family therapy, which differs somewhat from the Ph.D. available from Northcentral. This is more of a marriage and family therapy practice degree, while the Ph.D. is more a research and academic degree. This is the only doctorate in marriage and family therapy that does not require a residency requirement.
  • Doctor of Education in Pastoral Community Counseling: This degree offered at Argosy University provides the teachings to students interested in becoming strong leaders in their religious communities. The coursework address both the educational side of counseling, but also works on developing strengths in leadership that can be put to action in the community to provide stronger growth and more responsible treatment of the people involved.
  • Doctor of Education in Counselor Education and Supervision: Argosy University provides the opportunity for currently licensed counselors to advance their education to the doctorate level. This would advance their abilities by helping to teach them the skills to become a leader, either in supervising licensed counselors or by teaching counseling in an educational setting.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Advanced Studies in Human Behavior: *Capella University offers this degree as a very theoretical study of counseling and the research that has been done to explain it. They look to new studies and ways evaluate why people react as they do, and to take that information to improve the human condition. Coursework for this program includes child and adolescent studies, family in social context, eating disturbances, addictive behaviors, and advanced study in many types of research methods.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in General Counselor Education and Supervision: *Capella University aims for its students to become highly qualified to be pioneers in the counseling field after graduating with this degree. Combining online classes, residency, and clinical experiences, the program empowers them with the ability to better address how counseling can best address the issues of its clients. Equipped with extensive coursework in the research and statistical analysis of behaviors, they can better assess their success.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling: *Liberty University offers this program to those interested in public practice, private practice, or to teach counseling courses at the college level. On beginning one’s studies, they must choose which path they are interested in specializing, either pastoral care and counseling or professional counseling.
  • PhD in Counseling: Oregon State University prepares its students to re-enter the workforce as advanced counselors that can put the skills learned to practice. That can be assuming leadership roles in their current positions or to become educators in the workplace or in the educational setting. Coursework addresses assessments, group counseling, consultation, advanced theory and practice.
  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision: *Liberty University offers this unique doctoral program that is designed to mentor a diverse body of Ph.D. students, who feel a calling to provide counselor education and supervision and affect the field of counseling in leadership positions in higher education and clinical settings. This is a 66 credit hour program that will provide you with many opportunities to be a change leader in the field of counseling.
  • Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling: Pastoral Care and Counseling: This unique program from *Liberty University will arm you with the professional counseling skills to serve effectively in any ministry setting. You will learn how to evaluate all types of individual, group and family populations so that you can provide Christian based counseling to assist people in dealing with their problems.
  • Doctor of Christian Counseling: The Christian Leadership University makes part of its broad Christian-based offerings for those who seek formal degrees to add to their skill in offering wisdom and advice to members of their congregations. Focus is on applying things to real world situations as they are learned through coursework. Helps to learn how to channel faith and religion-based ideals to the struggles and hardships that their members deal with.
  • PhD in Counselor Education and Practice: At Georgia State University, each student is required to select their specialization, and has many choices to pick from. College counseling, marriage counseling, therapy, and rehabilitation in a counseling setting, are a few. This curriculum takes an artistic view of counseling, and considers philosophically how the current practice of counseling works in fulfilling its duties to the clients.
  • PhD in Counseling Psychology: The Georgia State University intends this program to sharpen the skills of practicing counselors in order to become university professors or to lead departments of counseling in larger organizations. These skills can be used in working with clients of all ages, all walks of life, all income levels, by assessing the internal components making each person do what they do. Considering positives of each person, rather than focusing on negatives or undesirable behaviors is what separates a counseling psychology practitioner.

Social Work

Do you want to work independently as a mental health counselor? Earning your Ph.D. in counseling or a related field might be a good fit for you. Professionals with a Ph.D. in counseling are in demand and earn good pay. Consider these online options:

  • Doctor of Social Work: This doctoral degree in social work from *Capella University will prepare you to lead many types of social services programs, and you will learn the skills that you need to advocate for social justice and needed changes in public policy. This professional doctorate is designed around the latest social work education guidelines. It includes face to face learning, an intensive dissertation and a writing retreat that requires a great deal of participatory research.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services: *Capella University offers this Ph.D. that will increase your knowledge and skills in human service leadership, professional practice, ethics and research to an entirely new level of excellence. You will conduct original doctoral research and will be well positioned after degree completion to guide practices and policies and legislation that will affect your community and people in need in a positive way.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services – Social and Community Services Specialization: *Capella University offers this specialized program that will deepen your knowledge of many different social issues. You also will learn how to work more effectively in public service leadership. Students will study major social and community issues using the latest in social science research. You also may select electives that allow you to focus on your major areas of interest in human services and social sciences. Note that this program does not meet requirements for licensure for social work.


Experienced educational professionals with years of classroom experience often choose to earn their Ph.D. in education. With this terminal education degree, you will be able to work in upper level administration in many educational institutions – from elementary schools to four year colleges and universities. Consider these online degree choices:

  • Doctor of Education – *Liberty University – Programs available in Community Care & Counseling,  Curriculum & Instruction and more. It offers specialized courses develop the skills necessary to become a teacher, superintendent, principal, college instructor, or any other academic position requiring strong leadership skills and decision-making abilities. Highly rated by US News & World Report.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Education: *Capella University offers many PhD degrees in the education field to satisfy most prospective students’ interests. The specialization includes most of the standard offerings, plus a few that are less common: K-12 studies, postsecondary and adult education, nursing education, training and performance improvement, and special education leadership.
  • Doctorate of Education: The doctoral program in education from *Concordia University Portland will help you to become a transformational leader with plenty of career opportunities. All of the doctoral classes are very practical and heavily focused on research. You will develop valuable decision making and leadership skills in this five year online program.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design for Online Learning: Designed to instruct current educators on the specific elements of online learning, this doctoral program at *Capella University provides skills very currently in demand. All fields are expanding their learning functions to online learning formats, and this degree qualifies a graduate to bring a unique skill set to the field of online education. There are 120 credits needed for graduation, and there are a wide variety of courses available to choose from. The ability to design and implement online learning systems will come with this degree.
  • Doctorate of Educational Administration: This degree from *Concordia University Portland will ready you to become a transformational, educational leader that will be an expert guiding hand for a public or private school. This is a three year online program that is limited to a cohort size of just 15 students to ensure quality.
  • Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership: The degree program at *Grand Canyon University gives the students several options for the environment within academia that they aspire to improve their skills in organizational leadership. Organizational development, behavioral health, K-12 leadership, and special education are all offered. One area that this curriculum differs from most others is that their dissertation begins from the very start of the program. Instead of saving the dissertation to the end of all coursework, the Grand Canyon University designs their studies so that the student is able to be thinking of their subject through all of the core and concentration courses, and can be developing and questioning the theories as they relate to that topic.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership: Using the skills of the current educators that enter the degree program and developing them into the educational leaders of the future is the main drive behind the program offered at Keiser University Graduate School. This online format degree requires 60 semester credit hours, and aims to equip their graduates with the tools to encourage their interests in bringing about real changes to the educational system.
  • Doctor of Education: Northcentral University provides an entirely online doctoral degree in education. They offer 13 specializations that will make it possible for most students to find the one that matches their personal aspirations in the field of education. Communication skills is a prime factor that there is substantial focus applied to. The culmination of the program rests on successful completion and defense of a dissertation, which incorporates the research study techniques developed through the degree program and the student’s area of interest.
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership: The Catholic tradition plays a role in the design of the degree offered at Creighton University The online degree uses those fundamental beliefs to form the basis for the development of the leadership skills of the students. Their coursework is taught by faculty from all fields in the school, providing an cross-discipline perspective that is unique to this program. The degree requires 60 semester hours of coursework and requires two on-campus visits, one at the start and one at the end.
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership: This program at *University of New England focuses on what they call “transformative leadership.” These skills are designed to work together to improve each educator’s ability to apply the classroom concepts to bringing about real change in their own educational environments. This program takes three years to complete, and is completely online.
  • Doctor of Education: NOVA Southeastern University and their Fischler School of Education offers a wide variety of specializations for their doctoral degree in education. They combine seminars of the core subject matter with the focus on their concentration which is developed through coursework as well as the research, writing, and defending of their dissertation. The online nature of the program increases the international diversity of the program, providing significant advantage to the students of the program. These viewpoints shared during class time will improve each student’s global perspective.
  • Doctor of Education: *Liberty University provides an online degree program that requires 60 credit hours and includes some on-campus time related to your final dissertation. Two concentration choices are available, and each student must choose one of them: Educational Leadership or Curriculum and Instruction. Skills that are taught aim to combine a Christian perspective on forming the leaders for the education system of tomorrow.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies: Preparing the future leaders of higher education is the goal of University of Nebraska. Their program touches on the many demands placed on educational leaders, especially considering social and monetary factors, in leadership dynamics. This program requires a minimum of 90 credit hours, including the time needed to complete a dissertation.


If you already have earned your MBA and think you want to specialize your business knowledge even further in a specific topic or topics, you may want to earn your doctorate in business administration. This degree will provide you with the highest level of expertise in various business topics. The following degrees are good options:

  • (D.B.A) Doctor of Business Administration (Information Systems) – Liberty University – This advanced program provides advanced training in professional management, human resources, marketing and other business areas. Program includes online instruction along with three 0ne-week intensives.
  • (D.B.A.) in Healthcare Management – Liberty University – This top tier program will equip you to excel in the top tiers of the healthcare field.
  • DBA in Business Intelligence: This DBA from *Capella University will prepare you to be an accomplished professional leader in business intelligence. You will have the opportunity to create an applied dissertation project that you will be able to utilize to make a strong contribution to your business organization. This curriculum, fully online, incorporates management of information technology, information science, quantitative analysis management science and decision science into one specialization.
  • DBA: This fully online doctorate in business administration from *Northcentral University provides you with the highest level of training for senior leadership positions. This program has a strong emphasis on research application as a way to solve organizational problems, and also creating and executing the most effective strategies that also are highly ethical. There are many specialties you can choose, including Financial Management, Health Care Administration, Human Resources Management, Advanced Accounting, Marketing, Organizational Leadership, Project Management and Public Administration.
  • DBA with Emphasis on Management: *Grand Canyon University’s DBA with a focus on management is a completely immersive educational experience that will teach you strategic management theory as well as transformative business practices. You will gain in depth expertise in the many competitive needs of our global economy. It is a perfect choice for those who want to drive change in their organization or to advance your career in a business academic setting.
  • DBA: *Liberty University offers a DBA that offers you advanced training in HR, marketing and professional management. This degree has business courses that are based upon Christian principles that supply the knowledge, value and skills that you need to advance your career to the highest levels in the corporate world. It is a good choice for business professionals who want to increase the value of their MBA and to learn even more advanced business management and leadership skills. Choose specialities in accounting, HR, information systems, international business, healthcare and marketing.
  • D. in Business Administration: This doctoral degree, also offered by *Northcentral University, allows you to gain the skills that meet all of the most demanding needs of the modern business world through proven methods, which include complete reflection on your personal professional experiences, and also using a review of classic and modern theory and research in business. You also can choose many specialties in this Ph.D. program, including Marketing, International Business, Management of Engineering and Technology, Criminal Justice and Computer and Information Security.
  • DBA: This online DBA from Argosy University is designed to boost your capabilities as an experienced business professional, and to enable you to meet the needs of modern businesses and academic organizations. This part time, online program has a curriculum that is focused intently on practical business concepts and active research, not just a theoretical approach to business problems. You can choose to focus your DBA studies on accounting or marketing.
  • DBA with Emphasis on Data Analytics: This program offered by Grand Canyon University is designed to meet the many modern demands of our global economy. It is the perfect fit for those who want to boost their leadership skills and also to spark innovation throughout the business world. This data analytics program will empower you to both manage and analyze enterprise data, which also is known as big data. This will help you to successfully address complicated business decisions in your company.
  • DBA: This part time doctoral business program from George Fox University is designed for the business professional who wants to boost their career as a consultant, executive or business professional. You will gain great expertise in many disciplines of business, and there will be a strong focus on faith and ethics in your course instruction. You will complete classes in business, research and education, with the latter including a teaching practicum. You also will have the option of choosing a management or marketing concentration.
  • DBA: This online degree program from William Howard Taft University is a directed independent study program that stresses coursework in management and business leadership. You can finish this degree online. Professionals with positions of mid and senior level management tend to find this doctoral degree desirable, as it focuses on both the theoretical and practical aspects of business operation.
  • DBA with Emphasis in Marketing: This DBA from *Grand Canyon University is designed to teach students to apply strategies that are driven by data so as to create major competitive advantage in many business disciplines. It is designed for aspiring leaders and executives, and will empower students with practical and theoretical expertise to deliver exemplary leadership in the next generation, while teaching and cultivating their own innovation and research.
  • Doctor of Technology and Innovation Management: *Northcentral University offers this advanced degree in business and management. You will learn how to become a leader of positive change, as well as a champion of new, advanced technologies in both public and private organizations. Graduates of this Ph.D. program are empowered to make major technology, business and management changes in their place of work.


The field of nursing is experiencing some of the highest demand in the US economy today. You can become a highly paid, advanced nursing practice professional with your DNP degree. Or, you can teach at a university to educate the new generation of nurses:

  • DNP: You can prepare yourself to be a strong leader in nursing by earning your online DNP from *Capella University. You will find that because the DNP is focused on making practical contributions to the field of nursing, you will be able to complete it faster than a research-focused Ph.D. This entirely online doctoral program focuses on administrative, organizational and systems leadership principles so that you will be ready to succeed in many positions of nursing leadership.
  • DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) – *Liberty University – This program is ready to help you take advantage of the strong demand for nursing services and education with this doctoral degree. Nurses in this program will learn how to translate research into advanced nursing practice to improve care quality and the safety of patients. They also will develop the ability to lead teams of nurses to drive innovation to boost the quality of health care, policies and systems.
  • DNP with Emphasis in Educational Leadership: *Grand Canyon University has this unusual DNP degree that will prepare you to become a nurse leader. You will be able to design and implement evidence based strategies for nursing practice that will improve the education delivery system in healthcare. Also, you will enhance patient outcomes and nursing educational programs. This program is made for nursing professionals who want to increase their knowledge and build skills to lead and strengthen nursing education programs.
  • DNP: The online DNP program at Nova Southeastern University will prepare you to excel in speciality practice or executive leadership. This program is designed for the professional with an MSN as a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist or nurse manager. You will be prepared to lead in practical, clinically focused scholarship and evidence-based practice research. Most professionals can graduate from this online program in three years of full time study.
  • DNP: The online DNP program at Gonzaga University is designed for the nursing professional who has experience and expertise in advanced nursing specialty practice. This program requires you to complete 30 credit hours, and you can do most of your classwork online. You will need to visit the campus once in Spokane, WA for an orientation session, and there are two other optional on campus immersions.
  • DNP: The professional nursing preparation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will provide you with the most advanced coursework in leadership, research and clinical knowledge. In this accredited program, you may focus your studies on either becoming a family nurse practitioner or a public health nurse leader. Required courses include Theoretical Components of Nursing Science, Healthcare Quality, Research Methodology in Nursing, Leadership of Public Health Systems and Health Disparities and Social Justice.
  • DNP: Chatham University offers a high quality DNP program that will ready you to practice as a nursing leader to promote the use of evidence-based practice in health care delivery systems. You will have an advanced skill set and competencies to function in many clinical and executive leadership roles. This online program consists of 27 credit hours that you can take in up to five semesters. You also will need to complete 500 clinical hours.
  • DNP: At *Wilkes University, the goal of this DNP program is to produce the most competent, knowledgeable and proficient advanced practice nurses possible. The major elements of this online degree program are applied research and clinical practice. These two key elements are infused in all of the courses in the program. After you graduate, you can become a primary care nurse practitioner, a mental health nurse practitioner, a clinical nurse specialist or a nurse executive.
  • DNP: *Grand Canyon University offers a DNP program that is designed to produce advanced practice registered nurses, nurse informaticists and nurse leaders. This program does not require you to leave your organization or practice to attend residencies. Instead, you will engage in peer discussion and scholarly research so that you can synthesize your learning into your practice experience.
  • DNP: You can earn your Executive Leadership DNP from the USF of San Francisco and do so entirely online. this program is designed to serve current nursing executives who have significant supervisory oversight of health services and functions. Most professionals will need four years to complete this online degree.

Public Health

The public health field is growing rapidly in demand as people as living longer. If you want to take advantage by working at the highest levels of public health, consider earning your doctoral degree in public health. Here are some good options:

  • Ph.D. in Public Health: You can increase your effectiveness as a leader in public health with this professional doctorate from *Capella University. This is one of the few Ph.D. programs in this field that is focused on Health Advocacy and Leadership. This curriculum stresses theories of leadership, public health programs and the planning of effective policy, and the most common factors that contributes to disparities in public health.
  • Ph.D. in Public Health: The Doctor in Public Health from the University of North Carolina concentrates on health leadership. It will prepare mid-career public health professionals for a top position in an organization whose goal is to improve the public health of populations around the world. This is a three year, cohort-based curriculum that will prepare you to take leadership responsibilities in many communities, organizations and institutions.
  • Doctor of Health Administration (DHA): *Capella University offers this online DHA program that allows you to focus on public health related topics, including global health policy and public health care advocacy. This program features case studies based upon sound evidence, public health and health administration simulation exercises, team based consulting projects, and the opportunity to learn from other skilled health care professionals to hone your leadership skills.
  • Ph.D. in Public Health: At Emory University, you can obtain your doctoral degree in public health in the following areas: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health Sciences, Nutrition and Health Sciences, and Health Services Research and Policy. These highly regarded programs allow you to earn your doctorate degree online and to do so in about four years.
  • Ph.D. in Public Health: At Drexel University, you can earn your doctorate in Community Health and Prevention. It will prepare you for roles of leadership in education, research and practice. You also can earn your doctorate in biostatistics and health policy and social justice. All of these degrees are earned online and may be completed in five years of study.
  • Ph.D. in Public Health: You can earn your doctorate online in public health at Loma Linda University. This fully accredited program allows you to earn your Ph.D. in the following areas: Epidemiology, Health Education, Health Policy and Leadership, Nutrition and Preventive Care. You can take all of the classes you need to complete your degree online, and you may do so in about four years of full time study.

Why Earn a Ph.D.?

A Ph.D. is the highest possible degree that you can earn in the US. A Ph.D. is generally an academic and research-heavy degree where your major goal is to hone highly advanced research skills. Another important aspect of having a Ph.D. is to create entirely new knowledge to share with others in your industry.

Interest in Ph.D.s has risen in the last decade, as more employers recognize the value of having workers with highly specialized skills and knowledge in certain fields.

If you are thinking about going to back to school for your Ph.D., it is important to consider how this advanced degree will benefit your career. Most people who obtain their Ph.D. will enjoy many significant benefits, some of which are obvious, while others are not:

#1 You Can Have Major Impact on Your Industry

A Ph.D. program will prepare you to have a major effect on your industry and field. People with Ph.D.s often take an already existing concept or problem in their field, do more research and then come up with new solutions. This can definitely have a positive impact on society and our economy.

Some experts say that one of the biggest differences between a master’s degree and a Ph.D. is this: A master’s degree shows that you have mastered a certain field, such as business administration or finance.

On the other hand, people who have earned a Ph.D. have shown that they have added demonstrably to a field. Fewer than 2% of the US population has a Ph.D. because adding new knowledge to a field is tough work.

A person with a Ph.D. is essentially a creator of new information in the field or industry.

#2 Qualify for the Highest Positions

Someone with a doctoral degree is very well established in a certain field. Once you graduate, you will be available to earn very highly paid positions as an upper level administrator or executive in your field.

People with Ph.D.s are recognized as professionals who have achieved some of the highest honors in their profession. Employers know that you have been taught how to think carefully through tough problems and to solve them.

#3 Demonstrate High Level Skills

Most people who have earned a Ph.D. in any field have mastered to an elite level very important skills in research, writing and analysis. To get through one of these challenging four to six year programs, you will have to have learned how to identify, analyze, articulate and solve very challenging problems.

Whatever your field, these skills are very valuable, and many top employers will hold them in great esteem.

#4 Increase Your Network of Professionals

The people who are in your class and are teaching you will represent many sectors and fields. Virtually all of them are there to provide themselves with professional improvement, or to teach others to improve themselves. This group of like-minded professionals will turn into a very valuable professional network that you could rely on to provide you with support, and even to help you land new opportunities.

#5 Economic Payoff Can Be Big

For many fields, getting your Ph.D. will enhance your ability to earn a high salary, either with your current employer or a future one. The majority of top level executive positions today require you to have a doctoral degree.

After you have spent a great deal of time and money on your doctoral degree, it only makes sense that you ideally enjoy a financial benefit. Keep in mind that some professionals in some fields will benefit more financially than others, however. Nevertheless, as a creator of knowledge in your field, there is a reasonable chance that you should enjoy substantial financial benefits over your career with a Ph.D.

The above reasons are some of the most common benefits of earning your Ph.D. Getting your postgraduate degree in your field will be a great opportunity to enjoy a financially rewarding and personally satisfying career where you may substantially add to the base of knowledge in your specialty.


  • Hankel, Isaiah, Ph.D. (n.d.). 7 Advantages Ph.D.s Have Over Other Job Candidates. Retrieved from
  • Northeastern University. (n.d.). 5 Ways a Professional Doctorate Could Benefit Your Career. Retrieved from