Your Online Resource for PhD Programs

The most common doctorate degree is the Doctor of Philosophy or PhD, and many PhD programs are now available online from business management to performing arts. Online PhD programs are growing in number and scope due to evolving technology and emerging new needs.

Depending on your area of study, you can find a variety of top online PhD programs to meet your career and academic goals. Some schools offer hybrid programs which combines both online and traditional education into one unique program. This way you benefit from both types of instruction. However, if you’re employed full-time or need maximum scheduling flexibility, programs offered entirely online provide equal educational opportunities for students. You can access your class and the many resources available to you from anywhere with an Internet connection.

If you’re ready to earn your PhD but hesitant of the time commitment, consider an online PhD program. You’ll be in an excellent position to enhance your professional image and gain a competitive advantage in the workforce. While you’re at, follow us for updates on Facebook and Twitter for all of your PhD needs!

What to consider when choosing an online PhD program

It is crucial to thoroughly research each program when considering an online PhD degree. At the doctoral level, many fields branch off into research, academic, or leadership specialties, making it critical to find a program that is right for you. Considering the following when selecting a program:

  • Does the program/school have accreditation from a National Accreditation Agency?
  • Does the program align with your career goals?
  • Will further training or certification be required for the position you are seeking?

We have provided a list of common online PhD programs from accredited schools below:

Walden University
  • HLC
  • NCA
Capella University
  • HLC
  • CCNE
  • GAC
University of the Rockies
  • HLC
  • NCA
Northcentral University
  • HLC
  • NCA

Click here to see more online PhD programs.

PhD Programs at a Glance

A PhD is the highest academic degree in a given field of study and is the most common doctorate degree for those who wish to pursue academic careers. A PhD can take anywhere from four to seven years to complete, depending on the area of study. Degrees in the science field usually take the longest to complete, while those in the arts take anywhere from four to five years. A PhD program is the most common for students who want to go on to work in the academic world, as a professor or researcher. Below are some common questions and answers about online PhD programs:

PhD Options Online

Online PhD programs are offered through schools that operate exclusively online, as well as through extensions of traditional schools that are popular and have a long history. The priority when choosing what school is right for you depends on what type of program you’re looking for. Those seeking a PhD in business administration or education can usually attend any accredited online program. Those seeking a PhD in computer science or engineering should seek out schools known for these programs, since they usually offer the most resources for students in terms of job placement.

Popular PhD Degrees

PhD Programs by Category

The priority for any online degree is accreditation. A program must be accredited by the proper sources in order to be valid when job hunting in the academic world or other fields. Many students seeking a PhD go on to work in academia, and for this, you must have a degree from an accredited source. There are varying governing bodies for granting accreditation to programs. Check with your specific program to learn of accreditation and how long the program has existed. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s accreditation database.

An online PhD program is only different from a traditional program for roughly the first two years of the program. This is when the majority of course work is completed. In a traditional program, this would be completed in the classroom. For an online program, this course work is conducted online. Students complete the work on their own time. Professors are usually available for student conferences via live chat and over the phone. If the program is an extension of a traditional program, the teacher may also have office hours and meet with students. The latter part of the PhD is a dissertation. This work is done independently for both traditional and online programs. Because of this, an online PhD program does not differ much for the conventional PhD experience. Many students choose to work full time while going to school part time for a PhD. Online PhD programs are just as intense as traditional programs, but give students the flexibility of carrying on with other commitments. Students should understand an online PhD program still requires proper time and discipline.

Application Requirements for an Online PhD Program

Online PhD programs have various requirements for the application process. For the most part, a student needs prior transcripts, a letter of recommendation and Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores. Students must also have a master’s degree before entering a PhD program. Some programs require a master’s degree from a certain field. For instance, someone looking to become a computer science PhD candidate will need a master’s degree in computer science, IT, network administration or a related subject. PhDs in the sciences are highly valued in the workforce, and the relationship between those fields and occupation are closely related:



The GRE is taken by nearly everyone who applies for a master’s or PhD program, aside from those entering law or business programs. When applying for PhD candidacy immediately following a master’s degree, many students use the same GRE score for the application. This is common and accepted at many schools, both online and traditional. Some schools have statutes on accepting GRE scores. In this case, a student who finished their master’s degree five years ago would be required to retake the test and apply for a PhD using the latest test score. The GRE score matters most when applying for very competitive programs that may only accept a few PhD candidates per year.

The GMAT is specifically designed to see how a student will do in business school. The GMAT is almost always required by business and law programs. In recent years, more business schools are accepting either the GMAT or GRE. The most well-known business schools place heavy emphasis on GMAT scores for acceptance into a master’s or PhD program. The GMAT is required for the majority of Doctoral of Business Administration (DBA) programs.

Additional Information about Online PhD Programs

Start by visiting the program’s website. This should give you a breakdown of what courses are required and how long it will take to complete that individual program. All doctorate programs vary when it comes to completion, and if you’re earning a PhD, it might take about four or five years. However, some can take as long as seven years to finish. The website will also explain the prerequisites for that program. You can also set up a meeting with an academic advisor. Schools that operate solely online usually offer this service via live chat or phone. This allows you to interact with a staff member from the school and learn details on how the program operates. If it is your first time taking online classes, this may also involve a brief synopsis of how the courses work, the dissertation process, and bios on professors you’ll work with.

You might also want to contact an admissions representative. Consider asking the following questions to find out as much as possible about distance learning and what it has to offer:

  1. What are the admissions requirements for distance programs? Are they the same as those for campus-based programs?
  2. What student services are available for distance learners?
  3. What technical requirements are needed to access online courses?
  4. How are the courses delivered, and will I be able to participate in a tutorial to learn the program?
  5. How will I interact with other students and faculty members?