Online Ph.D. programs provide degrees often earned by those who wish to enter the realm of research, leadership, or education in their chosen field.

As this distinguished degree is very impressive, you can expect to exhibit hard work and dedication beyond your imagination. Earning a Ph.D. is not for the faint of heart!

However, besides accomplishing their own personal goals, Ph.D. holders are dedicated to the betterment of our society, primarily through research and by teaching others. As you embark on this journey, rest assured your efforts will be applauded and your lasting work will be much appreciated by your peers and for generations to come.

90 of the Best Accredited Online Ph.D. Programs

Best Online PhD Programs in Education/Educational Leadership

online Ph.D. programs

Embarking on an online Ph.D. or EdD in Education or Educational Leadership entails not only a love of learning but also passing on that love of learning to the next generation. An EdD in Education is designed for working professionals who not only want to teach but may want to work as a dean or principal of a school or as a college president.

A Ph.D. in Education is a theory and research-driven educational pursuit. Those with a Ph.D. in Education will often become college professors or research scholars.

Both the Ph.D. and EdD in Education are terminal degrees in the field of education. All three of the universities listed here have multiple fields of study within their online education doctoral programs. They also each have an extremely high retention rate, which means high student satisfaction, as well as a stellar reputation for online excellence.

Johns Hopkins University

online Ph.D. programs

The online EdD program at Johns Hopkins University is one of the best global education programs in the world. Offered by a top university, the degree is still accessible for those who are already engaged in the education world in leadership roles and as teachers.

The coursework at Johns Hopkins focuses on up-to-date research in the following specializations:

  • Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education
  • Urban Leadership
  • Mind, Brain, and Teaching
  • Instructional Design in Online Teaching and Learning
  • Technology Integration in K-16 Education

University of Southern California

online Ph.D. programs

Ranked #11 in Best Schools of Education by U.S. News and World Report, USC offers some of the best online education degree programs. The USC Rossier School of Education boasts top education faculty and a very high satisfaction rate.

The online doctorates in education offered at the University of Southern California are:

University of Florida

online Ph.D. programs

The online educational doctorate at the University of Florida is not only one of the top online doctorates but is also one of the cheapest online doctorates in education among the three included in this list.

The College of Education at the University of Florida is ranked 2nd in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report rankings of America’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs. It has occupied the top of this list for 6 years running making it a solid choice for educational pursuits.

The online doctoral programs along with their specializations offered at the University of Florida are:

Best Online PhD Programs in Psychology

online Ph.D. programs

Those pursuing a doctorate in the field of psychology have the option of completing either a Ph.D. or a PsyD. A Ph.D. in psychology is more heavily weighted toward research and scientific inquiry. A PsyD is a better choice for those who are interested in clinical practice.

A doctorate program in psychology may have an emphasis such as addiction or family counseling. Some schools may prioritize a focus making it a better fit for a specific interest. Below are the three top schools offering online doctorates in psychology.

Oregon State University

online Ph.D. programs

Oregon State University offers a Ph.D. in Counseling which gives students the ability to work as supervisors, educators, and practitioners in counseling settings. Research is an essential component of the program at OSU along with adequately addressing evolving societal needs.

The Ph.D. is available to complete entirely online with the exception of two face-to-face meetings a quarter. Focus areas of the counseling degree program from Oregon State University include:

  • Advanced Practice
  • Counselor Supervision
  • Counselor Education

National University

National 9

The Ph.D. in Psychology offered at National University is one of the cheapest online doctoral degrees in psychology. The program prepares students to advance in their profession and emphasizes learning from experience and real-life situations.

The online Ph.D. programs at National University boast a “uniquely flexible approach.” The weekly course starts to fit graduate students’ already busy schedules. Doctoral degrees in psychology offered at National are:

Best Online PhD Programs in Nursing

online Ph.D. programs

There are two basic options for those pursuing a terminal degree in nursing. The Ph.D. in Nursing is a research-based degree that prepares graduates to work in nursing faculty positions, as nursing researchers or developing and exploring research methodologies.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP prepares graduates to work in health care policy, administration, or other nursing leadership opportunities. Those who hold a DNP may also find a job within academia.

When deciding between a DNP and Ph.D. in Nursing, pursuing a DNP is better for those interested in the practice of nursing whereas a Ph.D. is more suited for those who are research and methodology-oriented. These three schools are some of the very best schools to offer an online doctor of nursing practice degree.

University of Pittsburgh

online Ph.D. programs

The School of Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh is ranked ninth in the country by U.S. News & World Report, making it one of the top online schools at which to obtain a doctorate in nursing. The focus of the school is to provide the highest levels of nursing research and education in order to assist students in making a positive change in the nursing world.

The online Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Pittsburgh offers multiple concentrations which are listed below.

Duke University


The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program at Duke University achieved the #4 ranking in 2021 DNP programs by U.S. News & World Report. Duke University offers entry for post-BSN as well as post-master’s degree students. The online format offers flexibility which allows nurses to pursue a terminal degree while still working.

The degree program focuses on giving students the skills to improve care systems, quality of care, and assess evidence and previous research. Degrees and specialties offered by Duke University School of Nursing are:

Gonzaga University


Gonzaga University offers both a Post Master’s and Post Baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Both degrees are offered online which is ideal for nurses who are already employed.

The Post-Master’s DNP gives nurses the ability to stay competitive within their field while the Post-Baccalaureate DNP prepares students to become nurse practitioners. Both degree programs are offered through the top-class, flexible online classes at Gonzaga University.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice – Post Master’s
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice – Post Baccalaureate

See also: How To Write a Perfect Essay Like a PhD

Best Online PhD Programs in History

online Ph.D. programs

Obtaining a Ph.D. in history is for those who are fascinated with culture, music, sociology, religion, politics, and a broad scope of virtually everything related to humanity. Fascinated by life, those who study history are courageous people who are interested in passing on to future generations the whys and wherefores of human existence in order to give them insight into current situations.

Along with granting insight, exploring past cultures, and expanding one’s worldview, the study of history at a doctoral level prepares one to become an expert in a historical focus area. Obtaining a terminal degree in history can equip a graduate to work at a college or university, museum, government agency, or in research, publishing, and editing.

Unfortunately, there are few online doctorates in history offered in the U.S. Liberty University Online offers one of the only online Ph.D. programs in history available. Included here is also the University of Birmingham, recommended by Texas Tech University for those wishing to complete an online history Ph.D. The third listing offers an online Ph.D. related to history.

Liberty University

online Ph.D. programs

Though the online Ph.D. in History is one of the only degrees of its kind, it is offered by Liberty University Online, whose online programs, according to their website, are ranked in the top 1%. Liberty University is accredited and approaches the study of history from a Christian perspective.

Courses are in an 8-week format with start dates beginning every 8 weeks. Another unique aspect of Liberty’s program is its low tuition rate which has remained the same rate for 4 years. This combination of qualities makes Liberty University’s online Ph.D. in History affordable as well as high quality. Subjects studied include:

  • Historiography
  • Historical Professions

University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham

Located in Birmingham, England, the University of Birmingham offers online Ph.D. degrees in history. The university is the home to the Center for Byzantine, Ottoman, and Modern Greek Studies, which makes it the only research center in England to bring all of those subjects together.

Ranked among the top five departments of Classics in the UK by Times Higher Education, the University of Birmingham boasts 81% of submitted research outputs rated as either “internationally excellent” or “world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigor.” Online PhDs offered by the University of Birmingham are:

  • PhD in Classics and Ancient History
  • PhD in Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

A history-related online Ph.D. program is the Ph.D. specialization offered by the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. The specialization is in Social Foundations of Education. The program assists students in acquiring an understanding of the social situations that affect communities and especially urban schools.

It is designed for those who wish to study schools and sociology in a historical setting, applying it to current situations in order to improve urban schools and communities. The Ph.D. specialization is offered by the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Education School.

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Business

online Ph.D. programs

The online doctoral degree in business is widely available at many institutions. Various paths may be taken for those who have a mind and passion for business. First, is the more applied doctorate, the Doctor of Business Administration or DBA. Also available is a Ph.D. in business administration which is a more theoretical approach to business.

Those who pursue the more theoretical approach, or Ph.D. in business, will likely be teaching business or applying their theories and research to improve business strategy.

The applied doctorate or DBA lends itself more to becoming the leader of a business. Both doctorates are terminal and offer a wide range of skills and opportunities to their holders.

These three schools offer online doctorates in business and are chosen based on their quality as well as their affordability.

California Baptist University

online Ph.D. programs

California Baptist University offers one of the best online Doctor of Business degrees. The graduates of the program at CBU have learned to create a strong foundation of business practice based on theory, research, and application.

The program allows students to graduate in as little as three years at which time they will have also completed their dissertation. 8-week modules offer flexible start times. A unique aspect of the Doctor of Business Administration degree program at California Baptist University includes learning high ethical standards in a global business setting.

Creighton University

Creighton University

The Doctor of Business Administration at Creighton University offered through Creighton’s Heider College of Business, is a research degree that focuses on enhancing critical thought and analysis. A DBA from Creighton will give the skills to advance professionally, improve the skill to consult, and grant opportunities to practice or teach at a university or college.

Research at this degree program is holistic, centered around society and organizations as a whole and making a positive change within business. The Doctor of Business Administration at Creighton is a hybrid program that can be completed mostly online.

University of Maryland Global Campus

online Ph.D. programs

One of the top online Doctor of Business Administration degrees available, the degree program at the University of Maryland is designed for professionals who wish to enhance their abilities, level of knowledge, and research acumen. According to their website, the program emphasizes “management theory and strategic thinking, organizational leadership and change, research and innovation, and sustainability in the global business environment.”

Along with applied research and real-world analysis, classes in the Doctor of Business Administration degree program at the University of Maryland include:

  • Evidence-based Research Methods
  • Data Analytics in Practice
  • Research as a Tool for Management Decision Making

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Accounting

online Ph.D. programs

The Doctor of Accounting degree can be pursued through two doctoral avenues: the Ph.D. in Business or the Doctor of Business Administration. Both of these options must be pursued at a school that offers a concentration in accounting in order to give accounting expertise.

The DBA approach to pursuing a terminal degree in accounting prepares graduates to practice accounting as CPAs, manage or direct CPA firms, or work as financial managers or auditors.

The Ph.D. in Business with a concentration in accounting is geared more toward teaching business and accounting within academia, although the holder of a Ph.D. in Business may also enjoy working in research or managing an organization.

Liberty University

online Ph.D. programs

The Doctor of Business Administration in Accounting at Liberty University is offered completely online and is one of the best DBAs available online. With a three-year average to complete, an 8-week course schedule, and a high reputation of being rated in the top 1% of online degree programs, Liberty’s DBA program offers flexibility for high-quality professionals.

The DBA program at Liberty focuses on theoretical principles put into practice. It also uniquely emphasizes ethical standards and unites integrity with efficiency within the best possible practice.

National University

National 10

One of the top online PhDs in Accounting is offered by National University. Because the degree is a Ph.D. rather than a DBA, the focus is on research-based accounting, which applies a broad understanding of accounting to the “relationships among business activities, economic outcomes, business performance,” and even forensic analysis.

National’s online Ph.D. in Accounting program specializes in working with professors at NU to examine accounting data, analyze business transactions and statements, and relate them to the operating functions of business organizations. Graduates may feel confident in positions as accounting and auditing leaders and in academia.

George Fox University

Creighton University

The Doctor of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting at George Fox University is a hybrid DBA program that is completed almost entirely online. An on-campus residency is required twice each year in the beautiful state of Oregon. This format allows students to pursue their full-time employment while advancing to the top of their field.

The online DBA accounting program at George Fox requires students to complete a business core, a research core that includes a dissertation, and an education core. The education core includes either a teaching practicum or a consulting practicum. The program offers highly convenient start dates every Monday.

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Computer Science

online Ph.D. programs

There are two basic paths for those pursuing the highest degree in the field of computer science: the Doctor of Computer Science and the Ph.D. in Computer Science. Although both are terminal degrees in computer science, the degrees are not equivalent. The Ph.D. is a research degree that usually requires a dissertation process of around 3 years.

Because of the time required to complete the dissertation, a Ph.D. in computer science usually takes at least 4 years to complete. The Doctor of Computer Science or DCS can often be completed in as little as 3 years with only one year spent on a dissertation. These three schools offer some of the best online doctorates in computer science.

Colorado Technical University


The online degree offered at Colorado Technical University is the Doctor of Computer Science – Big Data Analytics. The focus of the program is on developing expertise and experience in structuring and interpreting data. Tools such as XML, Hadoop, and techniques such as Al and data visualization are used to teach students how to analyze large amounts of data.

The degree program can be completed in as little as 3 years with the dissertation built into the program. With multiple start dates and a convenient online curriculum, the program also offers several scholarships making it affordable as well.

National University

National 11

The Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science at National University is offered 100% online. The degree program “takes an applied approach to computer science theory and research.” Unique to National’s Ph.D. program is the focus on independent research rather than just writing papers based on the research of others.

The curriculum is designed to further students’ expertise through studying software engineering, data mining, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence. Scholarships offered for National’s online Ph.D. in Computer Science include three $20,000 scholarships and one full-time scholarship.

Columbia University

online Ph.D. programs

The Computer Science Doctorate degree (DES) at Columbia University’s School of Engineering is offered partially online. Available to those who have completed their master’s degree in computer science at Columbia, the degree program offers a great opportunity for those who discover their interest in the subject of computer science early.

By completing their master’s degree at Columbia, the online doctoral degree from a top university becomes available to those who would like to acquire a position and also acquire the highest possible degree in computer science. Students are able to choose a focus around which to take classes. These include robotics, artificial intelligence, computational biology, and computer graphics among others.

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Best Online Doctoral Programs in Public Administration

online Ph.D. programs

Those who hold a doctorate in public policy or public administration have the privilege to influence the policies of public, private, and nonprofit organizations as well as law and policy in government.

Every city requires experts in public administration in order to effectively operate. These online degree programs in public administration are available for those who have work and family responsibilities and are also pursuing higher education.

West Chester University

online Ph.D. programs

West Chester University has designed one of the top Doctor of Public Administration programs. The DPA allows professionals to develop skills of leadership in order to direct organizations in all sectors.

The degree is comprised of 45 credits and helps students develop competency in the areas of management, financial decision-making, policy advocacy, and performance management.

California Baptist University

online Ph.D. programs

Another one of the best online doctor of public administration degrees, the DPA at California Baptist University is flexible in its start dates as well as unique in its approach. The program is oriented toward working adults who want to become leaders in public and non-profit organizations.

The online DPA can be completed in as little as three years including the dissertation. Unique focus areas of the program include criminal justice, planning, governance, policy, health management, and social service.

Liberty University

online Ph.D. programs

Liberty University’s online DPA program is streamlined to allow an average of 2.5 years to complete a degree from a highly respected online institution. The doctorate is applied in that it focuses on solving real problems, developing skills in governance, and training for leadership roles.

The degree program, administered from a Christian perspective, assists students to “develop a thorough knowledge of the legal, ethical and political environments of public administration.” Liberty University also provides an online Ph.D. in Public Policy which can be created in less than 3 years. Both degree programs are affordable online doctorates in public policy and administration.

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Economics

online Ph.D. programs

Like online doctorates in history, online doctorates in economics aren’t widely available yet. There are quite a few international universities that offer online doctorates in economics but here are three universities from the U.S., all of which are accredited.

Two of the schools are accredited by agencies not recognized by the United States Department of Education. However, they are recognized by the UK and many students who have graduated from these schools have developed the tools necessary to have successful careers in the field of economics.

Liberty University

online Ph.D. programs

Liberty University ranked in the top 1% of online universities, does offer one of the only online doctorates in economics. Liberty’s online Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy – Economic Policy is designed to assist students in looking to create a better future for our country. With a possible completion time of 3 years, the Ph.D. is offered 100% online and is fully accredited by the SACSCC.

Liberty’s Ph.D. in Public Policy – Economics prepares graduates to work in careers as researchers, policy analysts, social scientists, government leaders, professors, directors of education policies, and many other exciting careers that will fuel the success of our future economy.

Atlantic International University

online Ph.D. programs

Atlantic International University, located in Honolulu, Hawaii, offers an online Ph.D. in Economics. The degree program brings together the practical aspects of business with economic analysis. It is intended for students who are interested in pursuing careers in research and teaching in business administration or similar economic fields.

Unique to the program at AIU is the ability to specialize in the following areas:

  • Economics of Growth and Development
  • Public Economics
  • Mathematics for Economists
  • Econometrics International Trade Theory
  • Microeconomic Research
  • Macroeconomic Research
  • Labor Economics
  • Economic Theory
  • Industrial Organization
  • International Economics

Akamai University

Akamai University

Akamai University offers two options for completing a Ph.D. in Economics. One is the Doctor of Philosophy (by Coursework) in Community and Economic Development. The other is the Doctor of Philosophy (by Dissertation) in Community and Economic Development.

  • PhD in Community and Economic Development (by Coursework)
    • This PhD at Akamai addresses the many challenges confronting the human community. The program prepares students to address the principles, development and recovery of these economic communities.
    • Can be completed in as little as 2 years
  • PhD in Community and Economic Development (by Dissertation)
    • The Ph.D. in Economics by Dissertation at Akamai is for students who have completed years of research, training and coursework and are interested in specific research as a capstone to their career.
    • The objective of the program is for students to complete a quality dissertation under the guidance of Akamai professors.

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Public Health

public health

A Doctor of Public Health or DrPH is a terminal degree in the field of public health. Similar to a Ph.D., the DrPH is designed for those who are entering careers that involve teaching, research, or professional practice. The degree is often focused on interdisciplinary studies whereas the Ph.D., by contrast, is research-based and focuses on the mastery of a single topic within a public health field.

Though not many online doctorates are available in the field of public health, these three of the best DrPH degrees are offered by top universities.

University of South Florida

online Ph.D. programs

Ranked #104 in National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, the University of South Florida also has one of the most affordable online doctors of public health degrees available anywhere.

The degree program at USF is focused on advancing public health education and prepares graduates to practice in health departments, international agencies, and non-profit or community-based organizations among other places of work.

The unique emphasis of the degree program is “developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-informed public health practice.” The University of South Florida’s online Doctor of Public Health is available online with 3 on-campus DrPH Institutes.

Available concentrations in this degree program are:

  • Advanced Practice Leadership in Public Health
  • Public Health and Clinical Laboratory Science and Practice

Johns Hopkins University

online Ph.D. programs

One of only a few online doctorates available at Johns Hopkins University, the Doctor of Public Health offered through the Bloomberg School of Public Health is one of the best DrPH degrees in the country. Ranked #10 in international universities by U.S. News and World Report, Johns Hopkins guarantees some of the best overall academic training by top faculty.

The DrPH at Johns Hopkins integrates knowledge and analytical skills to produce leaders, program managers, and communication professionals as well as focused knowledge within a specific field of public health.

Along with a specialized course of study for each student according to his or her interests, these concentrations are available for students in the DrPH at Johns Hopkins:

  • Environmental Health
  • Health Equity and Social Justice
  • Health Policy and Management
  • Implementation Science

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

online Ph.D. programs

One of the top online doctors of public health degrees is offered by the high-ranking University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The online DrPH program offered through the Gillings School of Global Public Health gives students health leadership skills that produce graduates who are effective public health leaders of the future.

The degree program is available to professionals who have had five years of experience, after their master’s degree, in mid or senior-level leadership positions. The Executive Doctor of Health Leadership degree program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill boasts a high satisfaction rate among graduates of the program and has proved itself as one of the best DrPH degrees available online.

How to Boost Your Chances of Getting Accepted to an Online Ph.D. Program

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Criminal Justice

online Ph.D. programs

Pursuing a doctorate in criminal justice again offers the option between the academic, research-oriented Ph.D. and the more practical and professional DCJ or Doctor of Criminal Justice degree. Criminal justice specializations offer graduate students opportunities, in either doctorate, to pursue their interest of choice.

These online options allow those working within the field of criminal justice to pursue their dreams of reaching the highest possible level of education while staying within their workplace.

Colorado Technical University


Colorado Technical University provides an online Doctor of Management degree in Criminal Justice. According to the CTU website, “students work to develop…managerial skills through mentoring, action research, and practical projects.” This focus allows DCJ graduates to positively contribute to criminal justice leadership.

Graduates of the program at Colorado Technical University can pursue work as Sheriffs, Police or Private Detectives, and Intelligence Analysts among many other job opportunities. Focus areas in this program include:

  • Research and Writing
  • Leadership and Change Management
  • Specific Concentration Discipline

California University of Pennsylvania

online Ph.D. programs

One of the top online doctoral programs for criminal justice is found at California University of Pennsylvania. The doctorate can be completed in 2 years of part-time work, making it one of the fastest online doctorates as well.

The Doctor of Criminal Justice at CUP is designed to offer these career benefits for criminal justice professionals:

  • Strengthening analysis skills and policy evaluation
  • Understanding concerns including the use of force by police and wrongful convictions
  • Developing the leadership necessary to consult or be promoted

National University

National 12

An online doctorate with no GRE requirement, the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at National University has convenient start dates and no residency requirements. National offers a one-to-one model of learning that ensures interaction with professors even from a distance.

Students learn to encounter and solve real-world problems while still developing their managerial and organizational skills. Specialties in the program are:

  • Homeland Security
  • White Collar Crime
  • Policing/Law Enforcement

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Philosophy

online Ph.D. programs

Online doctorate degrees in philosophy are not widely available as of yet. Two academic institutions are included here that offer an online doctorate in philosophy. The third from the top university of Loyola offers a doctorate in bioethics, a subject closely related to philosophy.

Graduates of a Ph.D. in Philosophy show a special ability in abstract thinking skills and logic along with a love of finding the truth. Teaching philosophy or “the love of wisdom” in academic institutions is usually the vocation of choice for these highly gifted people.

Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts

online Ph.D. programs

An institution that is oriented toward creative thought and the arts, the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts provides an online Ph.D. in Visual Arts, Visual Culture, and Aesthetic Consciousness. The course program consists of three academic programs:

  • Seminars,
  • Topological Studies,
  • and Independent Studies.

Each of the programs explores the historical relationship between ideas and art. Seminars center on the critique of Continental Philosophy.

Topological Studies cover the relation between art and ideas in their geographical origins. The last program, independent studies, consists of studying a specific subject such as Western philosophy under the instruction of an expert in that field. The program consists of 3 years of coursework followed by the completion of a dissertation.

California Institute of Integral Studies

online Ph.D. programs

The online Ph.D. in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies focuses on teaching students to understand global human conditions and needs and to be public intellectuals capable of problem-solving in an ever-changing world.

The online Ph.D. consists of 36 credits of coursework, 2 comprehensive exams, and a dissertation. Students are encouraged to participate in an annual retreat and other programs around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Loyola University Chicago


Loyola University Chicago, offering a Doctor of Bioethics, is one of the largest Jesuit institutions in the country. The Doctorate in Bioethics is one of the first of its kind available online. The degree program is designed for professionals who are seeking advanced training in bioethics to meet the growing demand at health institutions.

The degree is offered as a hybrid doctorate which combines online courses with 2-3 days of on-campus activity. Tracks of specialization within the Doctor of Bioethics at Loyola University Chicago include:

  • Clinical Bioethics
  • Organizational Ethics and Leadership
  • Catholic Bioethics
  • Research Ethics
  • Public Health Ethics

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Theology

online Ph.D. programs

A doctorate in theology can be pursued through a ThD or a Ph.D. in Theology. The Ph.D. in theology and ThD are considered equivalent degrees. Both require a dissertation, are research-based, and have degrees in theology. The ThD, however, is focused on Christian theology and is often offered by a Seminary or Christian college, or university.

The Ph.D. in Theology is usually offered by a liberal arts institution. The following three doctorates are some of the best online doctorates in theology available, based among other things, on their high rate of retention which is correlated with a high rate of student satisfaction.

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary


Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary provides a Ph.D. program in Theology that allows pastors, chaplains, church leaders, authors, and scholars to specialize and become an expert in an area of theology. The program emphasizes biblical and non-biblical languages, research, and critical thinking.

Southwestern’s flexible access program allows students to complete their Ph.D. in Theology from anywhere in the world through live web interaction. Certain aspects of the program such as orientation, comprehensive examinations, and the dissertation defense must be performed on campus. Ph.D. Majors include:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Theological Studies
  • Ethics and Philosophical Studies
  • Pastoral Studies

Regent University

online Ph.D. programs

The Doctor of Philosophy in Renewal Theology offered by Regent University is conveniently located online with a two-week residency at Virginia Beach every semester. According to their website students “enhance…research and insight with this doctoral program, which will prepare [them] to contribute to the wider conversation of the theological academy from a Renewal perspective and equip emerging church leaders across the globe.”

Concentrations in the Ph.D. in Renewal Theology at Regent University are:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Christian Theology
  • Church History
  • Practical Theology

Colorado Theological Seminary

online Ph.D. programs

The Doctor of Theology or ThD program in Christian Counseling at Colorado Theological Seminary is one of the top ThD programs in the country. The program is designed to give graduates a foundation in Biblical knowledge and relate that knowledge to counseling.

The degree program is designed for pastors and counselors to assist parishioners and other individuals. The degree program requires 40 credit hours to complete and is also one of the least expensive online ThD programs available.

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Communications

online Ph.D. programs

A Ph.D. in Communication may well be one of the most versatile and useful terminal degrees. To develop the ability to effectively communicate, whether in the most basic ways, with writing and speech, or in more advanced ways through the ever-changing modes of communication that come along with technological development, is one of the most foundational aspects of human interaction.

Researching communication processes advances knowledge in the field of communication and is vital to the success of any organization. These three of the best online PhDs in communication will assist professionals in reaching the top of their communication potential.

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University offers a hybrid Ph.D. in Technical Communication & Rhetoric. The program is designed around mastering rhetoric, technical communication writing, and composition. Students engage with topics involving history, theory, research, genres, and the practice of technical communication. Graduates will have gained the ability to conduct independent research.

Areas emphasized by the Ph.D. in Technical Communication & Rhetoric at Texas Tech University include:

  • Rhetoric, Composition and Technology
  • Technical Communication
  • Rhetorics of Science and Healthcare
  • Technology, Culture, and Rhetoric
  • Visual Rhetoric, New Media, and User-Centered Design

Liberty University

online Ph.D. programs

The Ph.D. in Communication Studies at Liberty University is offered 100% online. The program has been designed to keep up with the new and continuously changing modes of communication that our technological society introduces. Theories and methods, as well as strategies of communication, are kept up-to-date in Liberty’s program.

The Ph.D. is also focused on research and theory giving graduates a deeper understanding and knowledge of communications. Graduates go on to become researchers, college professors, or entrepreneurs and can be successful in a myriad of fields and business opportunities.

Regent University

online Ph.D. programs

Designed to assist students in becoming better communicators and scholars in communication, the Ph.D. in Communication program at Regent College is one of the most affordable doctorates available from a private university. The program is based on interdisciplinary training in teaching, scholarly writing, and research.

Communication studies are explored on these foundations through a Christian worldview. Graduates are prepared to become successful teachers, writers, speakers, and leaders of thought across various business settings. The Ph.D. in Communication at Regent is offered completely online with the exception of a one-week summer residency.

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Management

online Ph.D. programs

Most often used in the business world, the doctorate of management is for those who would like to learn how to:

  • research business and management methods,
  • analyze the experiences that are a natural part of management roles,
  • compare and contrast various aspects of managing
  • as well as become capable of leading an organization or groups within an organization toward success and harmony of effort.

A doctorate in management can be pursued through a D.M. or doctor of management degree, a Ph.D. with a focus in management, or very commonly a DBA, also with a specialized focus in management. The three doctorates listed below are some of the best online doctorates in management available.

George Fox University


The Doctor of Business Administration with a focus on management offered by George Fox University is a hybrid program requiring two in-person sessions in Newberg, Oregon each year. The program is geared toward business professionals who may want to transition from their current work into becoming professors or management consultants.

Besides academic or professional advancement, the degree program offers students the opportunity to be enriched by a deeper knowledge of leadership. The online DBA in Management at George Fox is taught by the college’s faculty members and staff who make George Fox a university that is nationally ranked in the top 300.

University of Missouri – St. Louis

online Ph.D. programs

The University of Missouri – St. Louis, ranked #97 nationally by U.S. News and World Report offers one of the best online Doctor of Business Administration degree programs. The DBA allows research concentration in any area of business including management. A cohort program, the DBA does require monthly visits to campus but all coursework is available online.

According to their website, the University of Missouri – St. Louis is in the top 2% of business schools worldwide. The school also boasts a high success rate with over 73% of students continuing education or finding a job within 6 months of graduation.

Regent University

online Ph.D. programs

Regent University’s online Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership is a research degree that prepares graduates to enter the top tier of management opportunities. According to their website, Regent’s Ph.D. assists students to “analyze the impact of prevailing world social, cultural, religious and political conditions and trends on leadership theory and practice.”

Taught from a Christian worldview the Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership at Regent University also offers the following concentrations:

  • Ecclesial Leadership
  • Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Human Resource Development
  • Individualized Studies
  • Organizational Leadership

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Political Science

online Ph.D. programs

A doctoral degree in political science instructs recipients in subjects involving political and social situations that affect individual countries and how they relate throughout the world.

Skills in analytical thinking, data interpretation, and problem-solving create professionals in political science who are ready to tackle and provide solutions for political issues. A political scientist may work for the government, public relations, post-secondary schools, or as an analyst or researcher.

Currently, pursuing an online doctorate in the subject of political science can only occur through international institutions or regional universities which may still require regional accreditation. However, these options offer credible doctorates in the field of political science.

World Executive Education Institute

online Ph.D. programs

The online Doctor of International Political Economy, offered at the World Executive Education Institute, gives individuals the chance to learn more about the inner workings of the global workplace.

The degree teaches critical thinking skills as well as an understanding of various cultures. It also focuses on granting research skills and communication ability. The online Doctor of International Political Economy prepares graduates for positions in either public, nonprofit or private sectors that are working in international affairs.

The World Executive Education Institute is accredited by The European Centre of Independent Certification in E-Learning.

Euclid University

Euclid University

Euclid University is an intergovernmental institution that, according to its website, “functions under an intergovernmental mandate to deliver programs of higher education that conform to international standards and that are fully documented.”

Euclid’s online Ph.D. in Diplomacy and International Affairs is a practical doctoral program that specializes in a truly global and intergovernmental vision. The program is not centralized around one country but reflects a global approach to diplomacy and international affairs.

It is one of the least expensive doctorates in political science, being subsidized by scholarship opportunities, and also requires no residency.

Selinus University of Science and Literature

Selinus University of Science and Literature

The third political science doctorate on this list is an international degree offered through Selinus University of Science and Literature in Bologna, Italy. Accredited by the World Council for Regular and Distance Education, Selinus University follows an international schedule of learning that is not semester-based but rather assists students to develop independent research culminating in a final thesis that must be completed in 24 months.

Concentration availabilities include:

  • Comparative Politics
    • The West
    • Middle East
    • The Far East
  • East-West International Relations
  • Political Theory
  • Political Science
  • Social Welfare
  • Environmental Policies
  • Political Sociology
  • Cross-Cultural Social Perspectives
  • Industrialized Countries Economy
  • Global Political Economy
  • Third World and Developing Nations
  • World Politics and Globalization
  • Philosophy of Ethics and Law

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Public Policy

online Ph.D. programs

Similar to a doctoral degree in public policy is the doctoral program in public administration. A public administration degree focuses more on managing personnel, agendas, and schedules. Studying topics like financial management would fit more within a public administration degree.

A degree in public policy, on the other hand, concentrates more on analyzing and interpreting data, as well as implementing policies and budgets. Because there is a great deal of overlap between the degree programs, the following online doctorates will involve the study of both public policy and public administration.

Valdosta State University


The online Doctor of Public Administration degree from Valdosta State University is a practice-based degree that offers a variety of focus areas including those within public policy.

Designed for professionals who want to advance in government, non-government or non-profit careers, the DPA from Valdosta concentrates on skills such as leadership, communication, management, and problem-solving.

West Chester University

online Ph.D. programs

One of the top online Doctor of Public Administration degrees, the DPA from West Chester University was created to meet the needs of professionals wishing to advance in the practice of public policy and administration.

Course focus areas center around developing competency in the areas of strategic management, public sector economic and financial decision-making, and policy advocacy and leadership. Concentration courses in the program are selected from the departments of:

  • Public Policy & Administration,
  • Criminal Justice,
  • Geography and Planning,
  • and Graduate Social Work

National University

National 13

National University’s online Doctor of Public Administration degree program prepares professionals for positions as managers of compliance, regulatory affairs, social and community service, logistics, and transportation, as well as preparing them to be chief executives in public organizations.

The unique focuses of the program include:

  • public policy analysis,
  • critical thinking and applied quantitative reasoning,
  • and qualitative analysis.

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Sociology

online Ph.D. programs

Sociology is basically the study of human interaction. Human interaction involves social relationships within small groups and larger groups in cities, countries, and even international affairs.

The study of social interaction can include the subjects of history, economics, social work, anthropology, psychology, and many other specific areas in which people interact. Those interested in pursuing the study of sociology on the highest levels have many options to pursue depending on their area of interest.

Online doctorates in sociology are not as easily available as they likely will be in the future, but these three doctorates from universities ranked in the top 100 by U.S. News and World Report give great options for launching a successful career as a doctor of sociology.

University of Kentucky

online Ph.D. programs

The online Doctorate of Social Work from the University of Kentucky is designed for practitioners in social work to become experts in their field. It is a demanding, high-quality program that combines a study of complex contemporary social situations with advanced experience in specialized populations.

Courses in the doctorate are taught online at the pace of each student. The flexibility of the courses allows students to advance through the program at their own pace. An exception to these asynchronous classes is one residency week each summer.

Concentrations available include:

  • Administrative Leadership
  • Clinical Social Work
  • Military Behavioral Health

University of Southern California

online Ph.D. programs

The University of Southern California offers an online Doctorate of Social Work through the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. The online DSW offers professionals practical experience in solving social challenges that impact marginalized or disadvantaged populations.

Students in the program become practitioners/scholars. The doctorate is designed to promote the discipline of a scholar with the methodological tools of a successful practitioner.

University of Pennsylvania


One of the top-rated national universities, the University of Pennsylvania provides an online Doctorate in Social Work for working professionals. The format of the doctorate boasts “a highly interactive, relational, accessible and convenient format.”

Students complete the coursework simultaneously with the dissertation usually earning the degree in around 3 years without interrupting their careers. The Doctorate in Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania grants specific knowledge in an area related to social work practice chosen by the student.

Online Support Groups For Ph.D. Students

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Nutrition

online Ph.D. programs

Dietitians or experts in nutrition have studied which nutrients humans need to thrive and how to regulate a diet successfully. Doctors of nutrition can help those with medical conditions, allergies, or other special dietary needs to successfully accommodate their diets to produce positive results.

Dietitians are healthcare professionals who are trained and licensed in the field of nutrition. A doctorate of nutrition can be pursued through a Ph.D. (research-based) or a DCN (doctor of clinical nutrition). These online options allow working professionals to conveniently achieve a terminal degree in nutrition.

Rutgers University

rutgers university

Designed for registered dietitian nutritionists, the online Doctor of Clinical Nutrition, according to the Rutgers University website, was the first Advanced Practice Clinical Doctorate in the United States.

The program is focused on advancing the pursuit of clinical practice in nutrition by providing expert skills to its doctoral students. Other focus areas include critical thinking and scientific aptitude.

University of North Florida

online Ph.D. programs

The University of North Florida offers one of the best online Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition degree programs. According to their website, graduates of the program “gain expertise and skills in chronic disease prevention, clinical treatment, cultural competency, critical thinking, public policy, and outcomes research.”

Learning how to treat chronic disease as well as implementing dietary prevention and intervention will assist graduates to be experts in the field of nutrition.

Saybrook University

online Ph.D. programs

Saybrook University, a school founded to integrate human learning experiences, offers a fully online Ph.D. in Integrative and Functional Nutrition. The program looks to assist students and graduates in further scientific research in the field of nutrition.

The degree program begins with an evidence-based foundation and builds upon this basis with knowledge of biochemistry in order to allow professionals to accurately assess nutritional needs.

Unique to the doctoral program at Saybrook University is the holistic approach of evaluating physiological, social, environmental, and psychological science while pursuing dietetic inquiry.

Best Online PhD Programs in Organizational Leadership

online Ph.D. programs

Online Ph.D. programs in Organizational Leadership are designed for people wanting to move into top-level management positions. The top online Ph.D. programs commonly focus on business management, but holders of the Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership also work in a variety of fields.

In addition to business management, Organizational leadership skills include:

  • diversity,
  • ethics,
  • research,
  • collaboration, among many others.

University of Southern California

online Ph.D. programs

The University of Southern California offers a top online EdD program in Organizational Change and Leadership. This online doctorate is designed to be completed in three or four years.

For those with a master’s degree, this online doctorate requires 43 credits. Graduate students without a master’s degree must complete 60 credits to graduate. This top online doctorate focuses on the process of:

  • workplace learning,
  • developmental strategies for workplace learning,
  • and organization system creation.

Umass Global

umass global

UMass Global’s top online doctorate in Organizational Leadership (EdD) is one of the shortest online doctorates in the field. This online doctorate can be completed in only three years, including a dissertation.

To speed up the process of earning this degree and make it a more interactive process, local cohorts provide face-to-face contact with peers and university faculty to assist dissertation preparation and research from the outset of the program.

Graduates from this degree program earn an interdisciplinary degree open to a great number of careers. Graduates work in:

  • business, education,
  • government,
  • for-profits and non-profits institutions.

Northwest Nazarene University

online Ph.D. programs

Northwest Nazarene University is the shortest online doctoral program among the top online doctorates (Ph.D./EdD) in Organizational Leadership. This fully online doctorate can be completed in just over two years. What makes this online doctorate stand out is that both a Ph.D. and an EdD track are available, depending upon the student’s needs and goals.

This program’s special focus on education organizational leadership is another feature of Northwest Nazarene’s online doctorate that set it apart from other programs. The program follows a cohort schedule and is one of the cheapest online Ph.D.

The Ins and Outs of Self-Funding Your PhD

Best Online PhD Programs in Humanities

online Ph.D. programs

If you are interested in virtually everything, a degree in Humanities might be just the educational path you should take. Like its cognates human and humane, the Humanities study several features of human society and culture. These include:

  • history,
  • language,
  • religious and cultural customs,
  • art,
  • technology, and its uses,
  • cross-cultural relations,
  • law,
  • literature, and many other aspects of human life.

A doctorate in Humanities from one of these top online Ph.D. programs in Humanities will provide you with the most advanced level of knowledge and research in the many fields of the Humanities.

Graduates with a degree in Humanities are prepared for a surprisingly wide range of careers, from business to law, research and teaching to social work and political action, and many, many other fields.

Graduates with a doctorate in Humanities often go on to work in government, education, social work, and law. They also go on to pursue degrees in different fields based on the strong foundation that they have gained in their Humanities studies.

Salve Regina University

online Ph.D. programs

The online Ph.D. in Humanities Salve Regina University offers is one of the shortest online doctoral programs in Humanities. This online Ph.D. program requires only forty-two credits, and coursework is designed to be completed in two years.

Over the two years of coursework, students engage in four, seven-day residencies along with the rest of their academic cohort. The human-technology relationship forms the central focus of this degree program.

Students chose a particular topic of interest early in the degree program, which they continue to explore in the light of the university curriculum and vision.

Faulkner University

online Ph.D. programs

Faulkner University’s online Ph.D. in Humanities is fully online, unlike others that require short residencies. This online Ph.D. program is specifically designed for working professionals, looking to complement their previous education and improve their employee experience.

Low tuition makes this top Ph.D. program also one of the cheapest online Ph.D.s in the field of Humanities. Up to six post-master’s course credits can be transferred into the degree program. The entire online Ph.D. in Humanities is designed to be completed in three to five years.

University of Memphis Global

University of Memphis Global

This online Doctor of Liberal Studies is offered by the University of Memphis College of Professional & Liberal Studies. This degree is designed for graduate students and professionals looking to explore topics of focus in an interdisciplinary manner.

Students, with the help of their academic advisors, design their own “Coordinated Study grid,” which indicates what courses will be included in their doctoral program (33 credits). Beyond this, students complete twenty credits in core requirements. The degree is completed through a doctoral dissertation or a capstone project.

Best Online PhD Programs in English

online Ph.D. programs

Pursuing a doctorate in English can lead down many paths. Three important fields of English doctoral studies are English Language Education (EdD); English Literature (Ph.D.); English Communication and Rhetoric (Ph.D.). Naturally, not all top online Ph.D. programs will map directly onto these three categories, and within each program, there will be a great deal of overlap across common areas.

The top online PhDs in English we have selected provide a full range of career path possibilities, open to employment in:

  • research,
  • teaching,
  • cultural studies,
  • history, consultation,
  • communications,
  • public relations,
  • technical writing, and many others.

Indiana University

online Ph.D. programs

Indiana University’s top online doctorate (EdD) in English specializes in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education. As an online education doctorate, it is designed for literacy and language practitioners to deal with twenty-first-century issues that touch upon literature education, criticism, literary genres and cultures, and the global impact of the English language and literature in its reception.

This top online doctorate is one of the shortest doctoral programs online in English. Following a cohort schedule, the degree program requires sixty credit hours and a dissertation. However, up to eighteen credits, outside of the master’s degree, can be transferred.

Graduates from Indiana University’s online EdD in English go on to work as:

  • English teachers,
  • ESL/EFL teachers,
  • Literacy directors,
  • Language educators,
  • Reading educators,
  • Technical writers,
  • and editors.

Old Dominion University

online Ph.D. programs

The top online Ph.D. in English that Old Dominion University offers features a complex interface between modern research and statistical technologies with the classical study of language, literature, and communication. Classes are delivered, with a strong interdisciplinary methodology, in a synchronous format.

The program is designed to allow students to construct their own specialized courses of study and apply technology to research. Graduates with a Ph.D. through Old Dominion’s online doctorate in English degree program typically have gone on to work as:

  • Technical writers,
  • Authors,
  • Post-Secondary English and Literature instructors,
  • and Public Relations.

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University

The online Ph.D. from Texas Tech University’s English Department in Technical Communication & Rhetoric is a diverse program designed to prepare graduates for positions in academia in five general areas.

Emphasizing both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, this cohort-based program focuses upon the:

  • Rhetoric, Composition, and Technology;
  • Technical Communication;
  • Rhetorics of Science and Healthcare;
  • Technology, Culture, and Rhetoric;
  • Visual Rhetoric, New Media, and User-Centered Design.

These areas of study address the art of persuasive communication across virtually every area of human life and activity. Unlike other top online Ph.D. programs in English, Texas Tech’s online Ph.D. is one of the online Ph.D. programs with no GRE requirement.

Best Online PhD Programs in Special Education

online Ph.D. programs

Teachers in the field of Special Education work with those who have mental, emotional, physical, or learning disabilities. A Ph.D. in Special Education prepares educators for careers as teachers, administrators, curriculum, and program design, among many other areas related to special education.

Earning a doctorate in special education will provide special education practitioners with greater knowledge and skill in the field of special education that will improve their performance and enrich their experience as well as open up higher-level positions of influence and responsibility.

Special Education practitioners work in extremely diverse contexts, in a great number of economic, cultural, and geographical settings. Because of the massive diversity of this field and the broad spectrum of special needs, Ph.D. programs will offer specialized courses of study that will best prepare their students for the specific requirements of the careers they will be entering.

Drexel University

online Ph.D. programs

Drexel University offers a fully online doctorate (EdD), in Educational Leadership and Management with a concentration in Special Education Leadership. The program, designed to be completed in three to five years, equips education leaders to manage the social, legal, technological, and educational challenges and complexities facing modern educators and educational institutions.

Accepted applicants join a cohort. The structure of the coursework is tailored to part-time students. All degree requirements are completed online, and there are zero on-site obligations.

Liberty University

online Ph.D. programs

Liberty University’s top online doctorate in Special Education combines the convenience and flexibility of online learning with the opportunity to engage in needed hands-on practice. Graduates from Liberty’s online doctorate receive a credential accredited by the NCATE through CAEP.

As a terminal degree from one of the top online doctoral programs, Liberty’s online doctorate in Special Education will prepare special education practitioners to advance in their current positions or to move into positions of management.

This degree does not require a dissertation as an EdD, and its fifty-four credits along with a capstone project takes an average of three years to complete.

Hampton U Online

online Ph.D. programs

Hampton U Online is the only top online Ph.D. program on this list that actually offers a Ph.D.! This sixty-six credit-hour program in Educational Management offers a specialization in Special Education.

Hampton U is unique because is one of the shortest doctoral programs online in Special Education. Its accelerated format allows the degree to be completed in just 2.5 years! Hampton University online Ph.D. program in Special Education is also one of the cheapest online Ph.D. programs in Special Education.

Best Online PhD Programs in Information Science

online Ph.D. programs

Information Science deals with the ins and outs of information or data. This means that information scientists work in classifying, organizing, storing, retrieving, exchanging, protecting, and transferring information. Information Science is indispensable in modern society.

Governments, businesses, schools, military and intelligence organizations, and many other organizations and institutions make constant use of information technology.

The Ph.D. in Information Science is designed to provide current practitioners who want to move into higher positions, such as management, or who want to move into teaching and research, the additional knowledge and skills needed to make a change.

University at Buffalo: Department of Information Science

online Ph.D. programs

The University at Buffalo offers a top online Ph.D. program in Information Science. This degree program is quite intense, requiring 72 credits and averaging four to five years to finish. This online Ph.D. program gives special focus to equipping its students with the knowledge and skills needed to move into research positions.

Most often graduates from the University at Buffalo go on to take jobs as:

  • Professors of Information Science,
  • researchers at for-profit and non-profit institutions,
  • and senior managers of large public and university libraries.

University of North Texas

University of North Texas

The University of North Texas offers a Ph.D. in Information Science that emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach. This top online Ph.D. program offers both fully online and blended formats of course delivery. This provides students with a great deal of flexibility.

UNT’s Ph.D. in Information Science boasts excellent research facilities, including on-site and online library resources. This top online Ph.D. seeks to prepare Information Scientists who have a clear vision of the centrality of information and information technology ready to advance Information Science research and manage major information repositories.

San José State University

online Ph.D. programs

San José State University’s Ph.D. in Information Science allows its students to set out on the right path at the very beginning of their doctoral studies. This is because their field of research and their research topic is given a focus from the outset of the program.

This program is also designed to allow students to earn their doctorate in Information Science from a top online Ph.D. program on a part-time basis without disrupting their lives. Up to eight years can be taken to complete the program.

The program follows a cohort model and monthly online meetings are required. Faculty mentor students throughout the duration of the program.

Best Online PhD Programs in Counseling

online Ph.D. programs

Counselors play very important roles in personal and social well-being. As a subdiscipline of psychology, counseling addresses concerns stemming from emotional reactions, social, school, and work pressures, as well as physical health relations to mental health.

Because this field is extremely broad and its clients amazingly diverse, counselors need not only general training in Counseling Psychology but also very specialized training. Ph.D. programs in Counseling provide the highest level of counseling education with a specific focus on a particular area of counseling.

Oregon State University Ecampus

online Ph.D. programs

Oregon State University’s top online Ph.D. in Counseling is designed to create advanced practitioners, clinical supervisors, and educators. Graduates will be ready to work in either clinical or academic settings or both. OSU Ecampus’s degree program is accredited by the CACREP.

Applicants must possess a master’s degree in the field. Classes follow a cohort schedule and are offered online. The program requires two onsite visits per quarter. Graduates from this program have come from across the United States. This online Ph.D. in Counseling requires three to five years to complete.

Liberty University Online Programs

online Ph.D. programs

Liberty University’s top online Ph.D. program in Counseling is CACREP accredited and requires on average four years to finish. Liberty’s top online Ph.D. program specializes in Counselor Education and Supervision. It is designed to create counseling educators able to equip their students in bringing counseling psychology theory to bear upon real-life clinical practice.

This degree, one of the shortest doctoral programs online, manifests Liberty University’s Evangelical Christian identity. Throughout degree coursework, there is an attempt to integrate biblical principles with the best current counseling theory and practice.

Graduates from Liberty University’s outstanding online Ph.D. in Counseling go on to work both as counselors and counseling educators, working in educational, clinical, and research capacities.

Regent University

online Ph.D. programs

Regent University’s online Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies requires a very short online doctorate that requires only 51 credits. Four features form the core of Regent’s top online Ph.D. in Counseling. These are:

  • solid research and methodology,
  • accurate statistics,
  • psychometrics,
  • and Christian leadership skills and principles.

Regent provides its students with a very broad array of concentration options with competitive tuition rates. Graduates from Regent have gone on to careers in academics, research, Mental Health Leadership, Guidance direction, and nonprofit administration.

Using A Master’s Degree As a Bridge Toward Your Ph.D.

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Social Work

online Ph.D. programs

Social Work involves helping others to identify problems in their daily lives, helping these same persons and communities address and solve these problems as well as formulate effective ways to cope with such difficulties.

Options for doctoral studies in social work vary greatly, depending on one’s career goals. Some will focus on social work education (EdD). Others will be more oriented to research in the field of social work (Ph.D.). Finally, many others will be drawn toward clinical practice (DSW). The three top online doctorates in Social Work focus on clinical practice.

University of Southern California

online Ph.D. programs

USC’s top-ranked online doctorate of Social Work is designed to train experienced Social Work practitioners to apply sound principles to concrete situations in developing real-life solutions to social challenges. This top online doctorate is an accelerated program and can be completed in just two years.

Offered through the prestigious Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, USC’s online DSW creates the ideal social work scholar-practitioner, ready to achieve wide-ranging solutions among the most vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society.

University of Pennsylvania


The University of Pennsylvania claims to have been the institution of higher to offer a doctorate in Clinical Social Work. Their top online Doctorate in Clinical Social Work continues the outstanding social work practice tradition of Penn while continuing to innovate in terms of both degree content and mode of instruction delivery. Both knowledge and practice are emphasized in this top online doctorate.

Students are trained in gathering, assessing, and applying empirically grounded evidence to real-time clinical contexts. Coursework and the doctoral dissertation are pursued simultaneously so that a long delay between the completion of coursework and the completion of the dissertation can be avoided. Penn’s online DSW is fast, too, designed to be finished in just three years.

University of St. Thomas


The University of St. Thomas’s online DSW stands out as a program designed to produce university-level clinical social work educators. Graduates from this degree program gain the knowledge and skills to both teach and practice clinical social work.

This top online doctoral program follows a cohort schedule. Four key focuses characterize the University of St. Thomas online DSW. These are:

  • transformative teachings,
  • identity as a scholar-practitioner,
  • publication of research,
  • the pursuit of social justice through service and leadership.

The degree program takes three years to complete, using synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Each year one on-campus residency is required.

Best Online PhD Programs in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

online Ph.D. programs

Industrial-Organizational psychologists, through an applied science methodology, assist organizations to improve or correct problems in the workplace as well as to increase worker productivity. In Industrial-Organizational Psychology, scientist-practitioners apply the insights of psychology practice and principles.

Career opportunities are flourishing in this field, and rapid job growth is expected for the next several years. Earning an online doctorate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology will open pathways moving to positions such as:

  • human resources manager,
  • training and development manager,
  • and, industrial-organizational manager.

Liberty University Online Programs

online Ph.D. programs

If you are looking for an outstanding online Ph.D. program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Liberty University’s online Ph.D. in Psychology-Industrial/Organizational Psychology is a great choice.

Eight-week courses make it easier to fit required classes into your schedule. Different starting times throughout the year make combining life and study more manageable. Liberty’s top online Ph.D. program requires sixty credit hours to complete. Up to fifteen credits can be transferred, and the entire program takes, on average, three years to finish.

Touro University

touro university worldwide logo

Touro University’s top online Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Human and Organizational Psychology provides science practitioners to further perfect their knowledge and skills in the field. Graduates will be able to formulate organizational strategies, using the latest theory, technology, and practice advances.

Touro’s online doctorate is one of the cheapest online programs. Touro’s is an online doctorate with GRE requirements, making admission more accessible.

Best Online PhD Programs in Educational Psychology

online Ph.D. programs

Educational Psychologists research and then apply knowledge of the process of learning in order to better understand how people acquire and preserve new data.

The field is extremely diverse. Educational psychology, in addition to the question of how new information is gained, also looks at learning abilities, as well as, the roles that culture, social context, modes of instruction, emotions, and cognitive processes affect learning.

This field is an applied science. Demand for these highly-trained experts is on the rise. Earning an online Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with the needed specializations can prepare one for top positions in:

  • Educational Technology,
  • Instructional Design,
  • Special Education,
  • Curriculum Development,
  • Organizational Learning,
  • Gifted Learners.

University of Georgia Online Learning

online Ph.D. programs

The University of Georgia’s online EdS is unique among online doctorates in offering a specialization in Gifted and Creative Education. This top online doctorate is offered through the prestigious Mary Frances Early College of Education, which boasts an international reputation for excellence in psychology education.

This online doctorate is very affordable, and it can be finished fast, requiring only thirty-one credits. Graduates from the University of Georgia’s top online doctorate in Educational Psychology typically go on to work as:

  • college/university professors,
  • teachers,
  • school system coordinators,
  • state department coordinators of education,
  • and educational consultants.

Michigan State University

online Ph.D. programs

Michigan State University’s top online Ph.D. in Educational Psychology adds an additional focus on Educational Technology. This innovative program combines the best in educational psychology theory and practices with the needed knowledge of the best technologies that aid successful learning in rapidly changing educational contexts.

This program has some onsite requirements, which makes it technically a hybrid program. This might make the program less accessible to some. However, some outstanding scholarship and fellowship opportunities are available to top-qualifying students. Transfer of credits is considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

online Ph.D. programs

Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s top online doctorate in Educational Psychology and Technology is designed with the working professional in mind. Taking only three years to complete as a part-time student, this top online doctorate is one of the shortest doctoral programs online.

No GRE is required for admission. Graduates from this outstanding online doctorate will possess advanced knowledge of the impact of technology on learning, the place of technology in education, as well as, strategies for continuously integrating educational models with new technologies.

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Best Online PhD Programs in International Relations

online Ph.D. programs

With a Ph.D. in International Relations, you will have the needed expertise to move into top positions in the field. Interdisciplinary focus characterizes International Relations. Experts evaluate and advise about international policies and programs in very diverse fields such as politics, law, and economics.

This means that a practitioner or scholar of international relations will possess both a broad knowledge base and highly specialized knowledge of a particular area of international relations.

Liberty University

online Ph.D. programs

Liberty University offers a doctorate in international relations that focuses on economics. Liberty’s top online DBA in International Business will provide the knowledge and credentials needed to meet the demands of the global financial market.

Requiring sixty credits, this degree program is fully online and is designed to be completed in three years. As with all of Liberty’s degree programs, a strong evangelical Christian outlook is to be found throughout the curriculum.

Salve Regina University

online Ph.D. programs

Salve Regina’s online Ph.D. in International Relations prides itself on its innovative thinking and approach. Focus is given to each of the world’s regions, and then the special focus turns to the particular interest of the student-researcher’s choice.

This top online Ph.D. can be completed in four years, including the dissertation. The program is fully online with a rolling admission schedule that provides for flexibility and minimal disruption of social and career responsibilities.

Euclid University

Euclid University

Euclid University offers one of the top online Ph.D. in Diplomacy and International Affairs. What sets Euclid apart is that it is an international governmental organization that carries a university mandate. Special areas of concentration in this online Ph.D. are:

  • Regional diplomatic affairs,
  • Small state/island issues,
  • Interethnic relations,
  • International treaty law, development, NGOs,
  • and nation-specific studies.

The program is completely online and alumni have gone on to work as ambassadors, ministers, counselors, and other positions.

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Best Doctoral Programs in Anthropology

online Ph.D. programs

Anthropologists study the patterns of human social behavior, cultural development, language, religion, mythology, and many other areas. As a field of scientific research, anthropology employs an interdisciplinary approach to its subjects of inquiry. Particular areas of anthropology often emphasize different skills and approaches more than others, such as

  • Biology,
  • History,
  • Archaeology

Earning a Ph.D. in Anthropology will prepare a person for research, both in libraries and in the field, as well as, teaching and publishing. Unfortunately, there do not seem to be any online options for pursuing a Ph.D. In lieu of an online Ph.D., three outstanding traditional doctorates are presented.

Columbia University

online Ph.D. programs

With its international reputation, Columbia University offers a Ph.D. or D.Phil in anthropology through its Department of Anthropology at Barnard College. Columbia offers outstanding research resources as well as fellowships and scholarships.

Graduates from Columbia’s doctorate in anthropology specialize in one of the following areas:

  • socio-cultural anthropology,
  • archaeology,
  • or biological anthropology.

Harvard University

online Ph.D. programs

Harvard University’s reputation needs no introduction. The Department of Anthropology offers a world-class Ph.D. that by provides an all-inclusive education in method and theory. Ph.D. students at Harvard specialize in:

  • Archaeology,
  • Social Anthropology,
  • or Medical Anthropology.

Duke University


Duke University’s Ph.D. in anthropology is uncommon in that it does not require a prior master’s degree or undergraduate degree in anthropology. Duke places a great emphasis on a Student’s Portfolio and interdisciplinary engagement with members of other faculties and disciplines.

Finally, in addition to its great academic curriculum and faculty, Duke helps make sure graduates successfully transition into their careers, which shows through the program’s very high post-graduation rate of employment.

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