Online PhD Programs
Online PhD programs are growing in number and scope due to evolving technology and emerging new needs. Many students now use online learning as an alternative to traditional, on-campus study. Distance learning offers increased flexibility and autonomy to choose when, where, and how they learn. When earning a PhD, structuring your course schedule around work and other commitments becomes especially important. PhD programs often take six years to complete and require students to write a dissertation as a graduation requirement.
Many doctoral degree programs are available online from business management to performing arts. 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. You can also communicate with other classmates and faculty through chat rooms and message boards.
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.
Popular Online PhD Programs
Every day, more and more accredited schools are offering online programs, making it easier to advance your career. Follow the links below to contact the schools for free information.
Public Policy: Criminal Justice (PhD)
|Walden University is one of the largest providers of online PhD programs in the country. Their course selection includes almost 30 degrees in several vastly different fields such as Psychology, Counseling, and Criminal Justice. Each field also has many specializations so you can further hone your education. Continue reading about Walden University.|
Education Admin (PhD)
IT Management (PhD)
Social Work (PhD)
|Capella University offers several Doctorate degree programs including: a PhD in Education Administration that is designed for students looking to excel their respective education in the field of administration; a PhD in IT Management consists of a curriculum that balances study of advanced management theory and practice with key information technology planning and delivery strategies; lastly, a Doctor of Social Work prepares student to lead social service programs, advocate for social justice and public policy changes, and teach the next generation of social workers. Continue reading about Capella University.|
Business Admin (DBA)
Public Admin (PhD)
|Northcentral University offers several Doctorate degree programs including: a Doctor of Business Administration program designed for current and potential business leaders and senior managers to enhance their knowledge and competencies appropriate to a leadership role in business and administration; a Doctor of Education program providing valuable coursework essential for today's successful education professionals; a PhD in Public Administration focusing on research related to government and public agency budgeting, government relations, public personnel policy management, political systems, and urban planning. Continue reading about Northcentral University.|
|University of the Rockies offers exciting courses including: Criminology where students can become a specialist in the psychology of criminal behavior; in Educational Psychology students learn the theoretical and practical study of psychology as applied to organizational environments; an Organizational Development degree teaches how to evaluate the impact of diversity in organizations as a competitive advantage; a Sports Psychology degree provides the tools to empower people with advanced psychological strategies to enhance human performance. Continue reading about University of the Rockies.|
|Liberty University offers a Doctor of Ministry degree for those who wish to become pastors or professors of religion. Liberty University is known for providing an excellent Christ-centered education that takes into account both modern and historic trends in religious studies. The Doctor of Education features courses that explore curriculum development and effective communication. Continue reading about Liberty University.|
Learn About PhD Programs
A PhD is the highest academic degree in a given field of study. 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 and popular PhD programs:
Popular PhD Programs
- PhD in Educational Leadership/Administration
- PhD in Law
- PhD in Pharmacy
- PhD in Physical Therapy
- PhD in Psychology
- PhD in Engineering
- PhD in Computer Science
Common PhD Programs
- Business and Management PhD Programs
- Computers and Technology PhD Programs
- Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement PhD Programs
- Education PhD Programs
- Healthcare and Nursing PhD Programs
- Public Administration PhD Programs
- Science and Engineering PhD Programs
Are There Online PhD Programs?
There are many online programs to obtain a PhD. A PhD is among the fastest growing sectors of online degrees offered. Online programs make it convenient for a student to continue working full time while completing course work and a dissertation. There are many things to consider when finding which online PhD program may be right for you. Some of these things are accreditation, experienced instructors and program resources that make an online program on par with a quality traditional education.
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.
What Do I Look for in an Online PhD Degree Program?
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. Programs that have been around at least three years typically have more experienced instructors who understand the online medium for learning. While the material covered is typically the same as that taught in a traditional classroom, the medium is different. This requires professors and staff who understand how lessons and material translate best for online courses. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s accreditation database.
How Do I Learn More 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 PhD programs vary when it comes to completion. Most take about four to five years, but 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:
- What are the admissions requirements for distance programs? Are they the same as those for campus-based programs?
- What student services are available for distance learners?
- What technical requirements are needed to access online courses?
- How are the courses delivered, and will I be able to participate in a tutorial to learn the program?
- How will I interact with other students and faculty members?
What Do I Need to Apply to a 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.
This is often the case for a PhD in a math or science-related subject. For more general PhD degrees, such as business administration, students are usually required to possess a master’s degree in any area. This master’s degree does not have to be business related. Online and traditional schools often have the same requirements for a master’s degree. The GRE and GMAT are required for the vast majority of PhD programs, especially online programs that are an extension of a traditional school.
Who Takes the GRE?
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 GRE can be taken as many times as you wish in order to achieve the score you need for an application. The cost of the test is $140 and must be paid each time a student takes the test. There are many free online resources to prepare students for the GRE. The format should be examined in advance to learn how it is broken down before a student sits for the actual exam. The GRE is often said to be easier (when compared to the GMAT), but the vocabulary portion makes it difficult for foreign students. Antonyms and analogies make this test hard for ESL students.
Who Takes the GMAT?
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.
Many of these schools feel the GMAT is the appropriate test for examining a student’s potential as a business student. These schools also have a long standing history with the GMAT and expect the test to help them gauge quality students for a program. Students exploring online business PhD programs will see that many online schools accept the GRE instead of the GMAT or accept both tests. The GMAT is said to be more difficult, but experts argue that ultimately the GMAT is only slightly harder than the GRE. This is mostly due to comprehension questions and the math portion of the test.
The Environment of an Online PhD Program
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. The classes still abide by due dates for work and exams. All of these dates are designated in a syllabus issued when the class begins. 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. Students learn at their own pace but must complete work on time. 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 courses make this convenient since they can be completed at any hour of the day. 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. A school advisor will help you choose how many courses work for your schedule.
Choosing the right online PhD program is crucial to your success. You want to find a school that has a well-established program and is accredited. Beyond this, you want to find a program that works with your schedule and provides you with resources. The quality of PhD will not be compromised as long as you are part of an accredited online program.
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