Students who earn online PhDs can reap many benefits -- such as increased skills, job opportunities and earning potential -- but they can also face many challenges, including concerns that are specific to the distance learning environment. While online students can save themselves the trouble and expense of a regular commute back and forth to campus, they still must be able to find an accredited school with a program that meets their career goals. They must also account for state requirements for job positions, especially for careers that require additional certification.

These are some of the more obvious challenges that doctoral students face. However, a more insidious challenge that can remain hidden for a long time is the stress associated with the rigors of a doctoral degree program. This page discusses that stress, and includes information to help determine if the pressure is too much to handle and to help alleviate that pressure before it causes too much harm.

Warning Signs of Excessive Stress

Whether they are enrolled in an online doctoral program or a traditional one, it's normal for students earning a PhD to feel stress from hefty workloads and demanding course content. However, if left unchecked, this stress may cross the threshold from normal to excessive, which can ultimately lead online doctoral students to get burned out. The following are some warning signs of extreme stress.

Consequences of the Stress of Being a PhD Student

It's normal for PhD students to feel stress from time to time, but if it's pervasive and not dealt with, there can be serious emotional, physical, psychological and educational consequences. The following are some of the things that can happen when online students leave their stress unchecked for a prolonged period of time.

Strategies for Coping with Stress in Graduate School

Earning an online doctorate is a demanding proposition, but even though students are busy, they can still keep their stress under control and avoid burnout. The following are some strategies that might be able to help you cope with the stress of graduate studies.