Experienced students who are interested in advanced research may want to consider taking the plunge and pursuing that most esteemed of qualifications: a doctoral degree. Doctoral degrees are the highest-level degrees available and cover an assortment of degree types, such as a Ph.D. or a DNP, depending on the discipline. Fortunately, many doctoral degree programs are available online, making this degree level more accessible than ever before.
Typically, doctoral degrees:
Earning a doctoral degree opens many doors that might otherwise be closed. Here are a few examples of the opportunities a doctoral degree can make accessible.
Online doctoral degrees are available in many fields, ranging from education to criminal justice, information technology to psychology and the health sciences. Some programs may require on-campus attendance while others may be available entirely online. The benefits to earning a doctoral degree include:
Deciding to earn a doctoral degree is not a decision that should be taken lightly. While there are many benefits to this prestigious degree level, it can be a long and difficult road to attain it. Our article "Is a PhD Worth the Effort?" breaks down the pros and cons of doctoral education, and our article "Handling PhD Stress: Challenges of an Online PhD" goes into more depth on the challenges that can arise for these dedicated students. Make sure you're fully committed to the idea of earning a doctoral degree before you make your final decision.
To find the top online colleges for doctoral degree programs, we looked at factors such as affordability, available student or career services, number of online programs, program availability and more. In our descriptions below, we not only display hard data about each school, but we describe the ways each school offers options and resources for their doctoral students. View our full methodology by clicking the methodology button below.
Having trouble narrowing down your choice to just one of these top schools for doctoral degrees? Use our College Comparison Tool, which can compare data on up to three schools side-by-side to help you make a tie-breaking decision.
The five colleges that offer the lowest tuition costs for their online Ph.D. programs are listed here.