Doctor of Philosophy Ph. Doctor of Worship Studies. Doctor of Nursing Practice. By earning your doctorate degree from a nonprofit university whose online programs ranked in the top five of more than 2, online colleges and universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility , you will be set apart from others in your field.
Tuition for all undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs has not increased in three straight years. While many other online colleges have raised tuition, Liberty has been able to keep costs low as a nonprofit university. A doctoral degree is a terminal degree — the highest level of education for a particular area of study.
Completing a degree through one of our online doctoral programs will give you a level of discipline and specialized knowledge that will not only equip you for a leadership position in fields like education, counseling, business, and ministry but will also make you a very attractive hire to many employers. In highly competitive fields, certain positions go exclusively to applicants with doctoral degrees. As more and more employers are looking for candidates with terminal degrees to place in their top positions, the demand for quality, flexible education is growing.
You no longer have to choose between becoming one of those candidates and maintaining your current work-life balance — you can enter one of our doctoral programs without leaving home.
You believe in leadership excellence. As a university committed to both excellence and integrity, Liberty University is one of the premier online colleges offering online doctoral programs.
Intensives are rich opportunities for you to network, connect with your professor and classmates, and enjoy all the benefits of being a Liberty University student on campus. Intensives are typically offered multiple times per year for your convenience. D in biblical studies in either the Old Testament or the New tament, and a customizable Ph. D in interdisciplinary studies.
Prospective students considering a career in K administration have the opportunity to advance professionally while completing their degree in an inclusive online learning environment that fosters creativity and critical thinking. The credit curriculum includes a residency that requires students to enroll in six or more credits for three consecutive semesters. Comprised of research and professional development components, students fulfill additional residency requirements through the completion of a research project and by attending at least three conferences.
This program follows a cohort model and admits students twice a year. A doctoral degree is the highest level of academic degree that can be awarded to college students. Research doctoral degrees are perhaps the most common type attained in North America, as well as abroad.
Professional doctoral degrees, which provide advanced research and study in a particular discipline such as psychology, medicine, or law, are another common type of terminal degree, gaining in popularity since the introduction of the Medicinae Doctor MD at Columbia University in Doctoral online degrees continue to grow in popularity among students seeking to maximize their career opportunities, with the percentage of people age 25 and over who have completed at least a doctoral degree increasing, though nominally, between and See the outline below, which lists out the number of people age 25 and over who completed at least a doctoral degree by year:.
Though it may seem moderate, this increase in enrollment has a major effect in the current job market, making now the perfect time to explore many of the PhD programs online today. This influx of doctoral enrollment makes for greater competition among even the highest-qualified candidates in their field; while job-seekers with a terminal degree typically held an automatic advantage over lesser-qualified candidates, they now face mounting competition from a higher number of equally educated peers.
The average time it takes to complete a PhD is four to seven years, which means many students spend more than a decade immersed in college life before earning a terminal degree. Among their many benefits, accredited online PhD programs can save students time, especially in disciplines like business, public service, and engineering, which may take as little as years to complete. While special accelerated PhD programs online are rare, the nature of online coursework, which allows students to study in their own time while still working and taking care of their families, can be a major advantage to online students who are looking to save on the tuition, housing, and commuting costs included in a traditional program.
A little research and they can find the best online PhD programs to meet their unique needs and goals. The debate over how important it really is to earn a doctoral degree has heated up in recent years. While some argue that it is impractical to expect many students to have the funds and resources it takes to spend years of their lives earning a terminal degree, others see the inherent benefits of pursuing a doctorate, citing an increase in available online PhD programs and generous graduate scholarships as attractive incentives.
A universal concept in all corners of the workforce, candidates with a terminal degree have the greatest advantage when it comes to top jobs and high salaries. Online PhD programs in education and business, for example, can be especially advantageous to a candidate looking to set themselves apart from others in these highly competitive fields.
There is more than one type of doctoral degree. The Doctor of Philosophy PhD is among the category of doctorates rooted in research, which also spans fields including education, engineering, theology, and more. Online PhD programs exist today alongside online professional doctoral programs at a growing number of tech-savvy colleges and universities. While similar, PhDs and professional doctorates tend to serve a different aim for different demographics. Generally, PhDs are well-suited to younger adults who aspire to teach or conduct research within academia at the university level, and require full-time study, while professional doctorates are geared toward working adults with professional experience who seek to combine advanced academic and real-world skills in a part-time program.
The differences between earning a PhD and MD a professional doctorate , for example, are striking: Though often shorter in length, professional doctoral programs are designed to combine job skills with essential curriculum in a concentrated format that prepares students for a broader variety of advanced employment in their field. With a steady increase of doctoral degrees available online, students aspiring to any number of high-level professions can pursue a terminal degree in their specialty.
Though the influx of online education options has made earning a doctorate more accessible to the masses, many of the same disciplines have retained their popularity throughout the years. It is no surprise that doctoral degrees in the health professions, required for common positions including MDs, were the most popular in the academic year, followed by doctorates in legal professions, education, engineering, and more.
Earning an EdD is a popular choice for aspiring education administrators and curriculum designers, among other educators interested in developing practical solutions for modern education concerns. Common concentrations may include higher education leadership, early childhood education, or elementary STEM education. Though different than the EdD degree, PhD concentrations often include a variety of education options, as well as specializations in business, marketing, and public health, among other research fields.
Rooted in the advanced study of divinity, the Doctor of Theology offers a research degree that is comparable to the PhD. Optional concentrations often include history of Christianity, world church and world religions, and liturgical studies. As the basic standard we expect of medical doctors and primary physicians, an MD is required to practice general medicine in the U. While opinions about online education were largely divided in the early years of its inception, attitudes have increasingly warmed to the positive results of distance education.
Initial studies in previous decades seemed to indicate a hesitation among both higher learning institutions and students to recognize online degree programs as being worthy of their traditional campus counterparts. Contemporary surveys report a rise in both demand for online courses as well as student satisfaction.
Generally, online degrees are cheaper than traditional on-campus programs. Accredited online PhD programs and other doctoral programs can offer extensive savings of both time and money for distance learners. Online PhD programs tend to have lower tuition costs, made possible by offering all content online, and do not incur fees for using campus resources that are included in most traditional degrees.
Additionally, parents and working adults may be able to save on childcare costs and lost wages by completing their degree in the comfort of their own home. While graduate degree programs take longer to complete and are relatively more expensive than their undergraduate counterparts, there are a number of financial aid options for graduate students enrolled in a doctoral program. Federal aid tends to be offered to graduate students earning a secondary degree in lower amounts than undergraduate students entering college for the first time, which means that grants and scholarships are a major source of funding for doctoral students.
As doctoral candidates are likely well aware at this point in their academic careers, cost is a factor that should always be considered when choosing an online degree program. Aside from the major expenditure of tuition itself, other costs like interest rates, living expenses, and textbooks may be overlooked at first, but are of equal importance when it comes to the bottom line. Doctoral degrees are unique in that, unlike undergraduate degrees, online programs at this level are not typically offered in an accelerated format, which means students may not be able to cut costs as dramatically and save time versus earning a traditional degree.
However, completing a PhD program online can help to eliminate commuting costs, housing fees on campus, and even some materials fees that can be downloaded, instead. Also, remember that the type of school and program you choose will greatly affect the cost of the degree, as shown below:.
The length of time it takes to complete an online doctoral program varies according to several different factors, including the field of study, whether the student is part time or full time, and how the online content is delivered. On average, completion times for doctorates hover around eight years, though doctoral education programs tend to have the longest average 13 years , whereas physics and psychology, for example, average only five to seven.
Disciplines within the hard sciences generally take less time to complete than education and humanities programs. To help personalize the learning experience and possibly speed things along , many online PhD programs offer either self-paced or cohort learning, which assembles a group of online students to complete each module collectively.
Students following an independent research course through one of the many available PhD programs online may be more suited to a self-paced option, whereas another student earning a professional doctorate may benefit from the collaborative efforts of an online learning group, though this is dependent on individual preference.
Though online programs generally share many of the same benefits, they are not all created equal. First, make sure the program you choose is tailored to your career needs, and will prepare you for any certification or licensing exams that may be required in your particular area of study. Some programs require campus visits in combination with online study, which means your proximity to campus may be a consideration if this is the case.
Though all online programs offer flexibility, consider your learning style and what you need from the learning environment. If you are looking to study at your own pace, you may want to seek out a program that offers asynchronous classes that allow students to complete courses in their own time. The price of earning your doctorate online, a concern at the forefront of the minds of most students, may vary depending on whether your program if offered by a nonprofit or for-profit, or private or public school.
Though your location of residence may seem irrelevant to an online program, it actually plays a role in determining the cost of earning your online degree. Many schools charge different amount for in- and out-of-state tuition, for both online and on-campus programs. Even if your online program does not require any campus visits, you may be asked to submit proof of residence as part of the application process in order to qualify to pay cheaper in-state rates.
Students may prefer to enroll in an online program within their home state to take advantage of name recognition, or to pursue career counseling or other on-campus services.
In any college program, accreditation is paramount to the process of selecting a top online degree. A reputable school offering online degree programs may offer regional or national accreditation, although regional accreditation is most common. While all legitimate higher learning institutions must be regionally accredited, national accreditation is an optional process a school can volunteer to pursue only if they choose.
Nationally accredited institutions can pose a unique problem for potential transfer students; though nationally accredited institutions may honor credits from a school with either a national or regional accreditation designation, a regionally accredited school typically does not recognize credits earned from a nationally accredited institution. With a long history of granting accreditation only through a rigorous process of meeting the highest standards in postsecondary education, several key organizations have a hand in the accreditation process.
The Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation not only set the standards for all higher education institutions to be measured against as part of the accreditation process, but also oversee each of the regional boards that provide state and interstate accreditation to schools across the U.
These agencies ensure that, for a school to earn accreditation, they must meet quality standards through a lengthy process that includes site visits and thorough institutional assessments. Earning a doctoral degree might not be for everyone, but it can lead the way to a prestigious career in a number of top-earning fields for the upwardly mobile student.
Many occupations in education, medicine, and research require a doctoral degree, which provides students with the academic knowledge and professional skills needed to aide to them in their careers.
The following are just some of the careers that require a doctoral degree:. Postsecondary professors represent the highest level of instructors in academia. Advanced administrative and curriculum planning skills top the list of the most desirable job skills for top professionals in this field. Senior research scientists typically work in an academic, industrial, or commercial lab, conducting experiments and research that may help to develop new products or further global efforts in the field.
While material science is a large part of the doctoral curriculum required for this career, other desirable job skills include product development and project management abilities. Psychiatrists are responsible for evaluating and treating patients for mental disorders through direct patient care. Earning a doctoral degree and obtaining licensure enables psychiatrists, unlike psychologists, to prescribe medications in their state.
Physical therapists are responsible for treating patients for a variety of physical ailments, from simple injuries to extreme disabilities, by helping them to recover and regain basic daily activities. Doctoral degrees in this discipline provide students with the acute care, rehabilitation, and physical therapy techniques needed for the job.
Hospital pharmacy directors are responsible for upholding hospital policies and procedures and overseeing pharmacy programs within said hospitals. Doctoral programs provide these professionals with the unique combination of pharmacotherapy and budget and operations management skills that are required of the field. Veterinarians are responsible for providing a wide range of animal health services, usually via a private veterinary practice.
Veterinarians are trained extensively in emergency medicine through a doctoral program, along with obtaining surgical skills and knowledge of internal and preventative medicine for animals, wildlife, and pets. Though many offer similar doctoral programs, every school has their own set of application requirements. Always check with your specific school for detailed requirements and review them carefully to prepare your materials for submission. This is an important consideration especially if you are looking for a program that will, for example, allow you to continue to work full-time while earning your degree.
Be sure to also factor in some time to adjust to the online learning environment. A school should be transparent about what kinds of transfer credits they will accept and how many, sometimes as comparable credit or in lieu of standardized tests. While a laptop or computer is crucial for completing an online degree, your school may require additional equipment or software.
Many schools require standardized test scores as part of a complete application. While requirements vary from program to program, some tests are meant to assess general graduate-level competencies, such as the GRE, while others are designed to score performance in a particular discipline, like the GMAT for business and the LSAT for law.
If you are an international student applying for an English-language program in the U. Consult your school for specific testing requirements. Letters of recommendation should be submitted by a professor, mentor, or trusted associate that can speak to your potential in the highest levels of academia.
It is a good idea to allow a minimum of two weeks for each author to write your letter of recommendation. Every school is different in this regard; while some schools do not require a personal essay at all, others rely heavily on this part of the application. Consult your school for potential essay themes and other requirements.
Students are commonly asked to coordinate direct delivery of official transcripts between their former and prospective schools, without intercepting the records themselves, in combination with submitting their own application materials. Baltimore , Maryland Los Angeles , California Chapel Hill , North Carolina Washington , District of Columbia Gainesville , Florida Champaign , Illinois Fort Lauderdale , Florida Marion , Indiana Berrien Springs , Michigan Jackson , Tennessee Newberg , Oregon Charleston , South Carolina Lincoln , Nebraska Please accept our Terms.
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Theses and dissertations are an excellent source of in-depth technical information often not published in detail elsewhere. To review theses and dissertations by subject area, try these links, chosen for their wide appeal and timeliness.
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