Best Doctorate Degree Online No Dissertation

best doctorate degrees

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Best Online Doctorate Degree No DissertationGetting a doctorate is hard work. It will take years to complete. But not all doctoral programs are built alike.

Some doctoral programs require you to be on-campus. Many other degree programs are entirely online. Others involve mostly online studies with a few campus visits.

And while some doctorate degrees online require a traditional dissertation, many other programs don’t. This means you can get your doctorate online and without a dissertation requirement.

What is Required Instead of a Dissertation?

Many online PhD programs include capstone projects (which are also known as a doctoral research project or a dissertation in practice) in lieu of traditional dissertations. A summative project like a capstone project or dissertation in practice puts your learning to the test. You solve real-world problems using the knowledge and skills you’ve gained during your studies.

To say that these are easy PhD programs might be a misnomer, but they are certainly the easiest PhD to get. A dissertation alone can take years to prepare for; without such a requirement, these online programs are easier and less time-consuming than many of your other options.

Why You Should Get a Doctorate

Getting an easy doctorate degree online is a great way to advance your career, build new skills, and acquire new knowledge. These doctoral programs are easier than on-campus, traditional dissertation-based doctorate degree programs. However, they still represent an academic challenge. These doctoral degrees without dissertation enable you to become a well-rounded student and more prepared for your chosen field of work.

Which Doctorate Should You Get?

Which online doctorate programs should you pursue? If you Google “the best doctorate degree online no dissertation,” you’ll get many results from various fields, including:

  • education
  • nursing practice
  • business administration
  • public administration
  • health care

But sifting through all those results for doctoral programs can be laborious and confusing. So, we’ll do it for you!

Below is a ranking of some of the easiest PhD programs online. These online doctoral programs represent some of the best options currently available. You can find an easy doctorate program online, no matter your area of interest. You can even find an 18 month doctorate without dissertation!

Many of these online doctoral programs allow transfer credits. You can shorten the time needed to complete the doctoral degree program by transferring credits. Likewise, many of the higher education programs listed below are quite affordable, so you can get the doctorate you want while also saving money.

Online Schools Report is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Online Schools Report’s Methodology for Ranking the Best PhD Without Dissertation

The online doctorate programs listed below weren’t just randomly chosen from a Google search. Instead, each doctorate degree online meets a set of criteria that we use to determine the best options available for you. Our methodology includes several factors, including:

  • online program criteria
  • ancillary services
  • school criteria

Let’s explore each doctoral degree online no dissertation in more detail.

Online Program Criteria

The largest component of our ranking methodology is program criteria. It is worth 50 percent of the total score.

When evaluating doctoral programs online with no traditional dissertation, we consider the following critical questions:

  • Is the doctoral program 100 percent online? If not, how much of the program can be completed remotely? If campus visits are required, how long are those visits, and how frequent?
  • What methods are used to deliver the program? Is it synchronous or asynchronous? Is the online experience intuitive and easy to use? Are there flexible due dates?
  • Do the doctorate degree programs have good retention rates? What are the graduation rates like? How long does the program take? Is there an 18-month doctorate without dissertation option?

Using these and other program-related criteria, we can determine the value of an online doctoral program and rank it accordingly.

What Services are Provided?

Another important factor in determining the best online doctoral degree programs to list here is the ancillary services that the doctoral program offers.

For example, online doctoral programs with career services programs, job placement services, and tutoring are ranked higher than online programs that don’t.

Likewise, doctorate degree programs that offer “extras,” like internship placements or practicum placements in or near your hometown, get more points. These programs offer more value than those requiring you to do an internship at a location of their choosing.

Some doctoral programs even offer one-on-one learning. This benefits distance learners because you can work directly with a professor or mentors and discuss concepts you might need help mastering. It’s nice to have that one-on-one time with a professor to pick their brain, ask questions, and build rapport as well.

In other words, this component, which is worth 30 percent of the total score, is all about the flexibility a program offers.

Additionally, the services provided indicate the support you can expect during your learning experience.

School Criteria

The final 20 percent of our score for the easiest PhD degree programs is related to school criteria. This component relates to:

  • Institutional accreditation
  • The breadth and depth of the curriculum
  • The school’s acceptance rates
  • The experience level of the school’s professors

These are but a few examples. However, you can see how accredited schools with a high percentage of professors with a terminal degree would be ranked higher than a similar program that lacks both criteria.

Additional Criteria

Additionally, we narrowed our list down by selecting doctoral degree programs that meet the following criteria:

  • Positive reviews from students
  • Offers a variety of online doctoral degree programs
  • Offers some form of field experience, be that job shadowing, practicum, internship, or clinical experience.
  • Offers an easy-to-use online learning portal

Additional Methodology Details

So, keep this methodology in mind as we explore some of the best doctoral degree online no dissertation. More details about this methodology are available here as well.

Note that these degree programs tick more of these boxes than most other online doctoral programs. This means they might provide you with a more well-rounded higher education.

Also note that the rankings below of the doctoral degree programs are in random order. Doing so allows you to determine which of these doctoral programs is a good fit without the distraction of numerical rankings to influence your choices.

Ranking the Best PhD Without Dissertation

Doctor of Education in Learning and Organizational Change

Baylor University

Baylor University

Baylor University offers this PhD program with a focus on educational leadership. The result is a Doctor of Education. This doctoral program aims to help doctoral students understand how to manage organizational change. This is done using the processes of teaching and learning.

Designed for education professionals, this is a top choice among online doctorate programs. It’s for teachers, administrators, and other educators who want a more prominent role in leading and managing school systems.

Likewise, this doctoral degree program prepares you to lead change-making in:

  • government agencies
  • businesses and corporations
  • non-profit organizations

If you want online doctoral programs in education without dissertation, this is a great option.


This is a practitioner-oriented doctoral degree program. This means you put what you learn about educational leadership into practice.

For example, you’ll take nine credits of learning foundations courses. There are 24 credits of organizational change courses. There are also nine credits of research methods courses. Then, you’ll put it all together at the end of your studies. Using the knowledge and skills you’ve gained about educational leadership, you’ll work on a Problem of Practice (PoP) and Capstone project.

The PoP experience challenges you to consider your professional experiences. You’ll explore what you’ve learned about educational leadership. You’ll consider how you can use your experience and learning to make measurable organizational change.

Program Features

  • Weekly online courses provide you with guided learning opportunities and group discussions. Courses are delivered via video. You can interact with your professors and classmates in a real-time, face-to-face digital environment.
  • On-campus immersion experiences are held twice during the program. These experiences give you and other doctoral students much-needed collaborative time to work on skill-building and knowledge-building about educational leadership.


Baylor University is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Get more information about Baylor’s Online Doctor of Education Program in Learning and Organizational Change.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Bradley University

Bradley University

Bradley University offers this online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). It’s a top option in terms of the easiest doctorate to get.

Bradley University has three different doctoral program tracks to make it more accessible for students.

Family NP

This doctoral degree program is for nurses interested in family practice. You need a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from a regionally accredited college or university to apply. Likewise, the BSN must be from a nursing program accredited by either:

  • ACEN
  • CCNE


This track is for nurses with a master of science in nursing (MSN) from an NLNAC, ACEN, or CCNE-accredited program. If you’re interested in learning the administrative part of healthcare and want to take on a leadership role within a healthcare organization, this is the track for you.

Psychiatric Mental Health NP

The psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner track is a great option if psychiatry interests you. You’ll learn therapeutic treatments, advanced nursing practice, and improve your psychological communication skills. You need a BSN from an NLNAC, ACEN, or CCNE-accredited program to apply.

Regardless of which track you choose, you’ll learn from outstanding faculty with years of real-world nursing practice experience.

The program also takes a student-centered approach. You have access to Bradley’s learning tools and resources. You also get individualized attention that helps make your online studies a success. The emphasis on student support, working collaboratively with other doctoral students and professors, and the flexibility of choosing your preceptors for fieldwork are further reasons why this is on our list of easy doctorate degrees.


The Higher Learning Commission accredits Bradley University. It’s recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional universities in the midwest.

Additionally, this Doctor of Nursing Practice doctoral degree online (DNP program) is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Get more information about Bradley’s Online Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Doctor of Criminal Justice


Northcentral University

Northcentral University offers this doctoral program. It’s likely to show up when searching for “what is the easiest doctorate degree?” There are many reasons for this.

First, the program is online. There is no residency requirement. There are no on-campus visits required.

Second, this online doctoral program doesn’t require GRE or GMAT scores. You can forgo those testing experiences, keep a little money in your pocket, and begin your studies faster. Of course, you must meet other admissions criteria (like already having a master’s degree). There’s no traditional dissertation process or dissertation in practice required, either!

Third, Northcentral University’s program is in a one-to-one format. You get individualized attention, guidance, and support to help you make your way through the program. This also means you can begin the program at virtually any time. You have the flexibility to start your studies when it works best for you.

Credits and Timeline

You’ll complete 18 courses worth 54 credit hours for this professional doctorate. You’ll need 45 months to meet these course requirements. This timeline might be reduced or expanded depending on your specific needs.

Coursework adapts to your interests as well. For example, this online PhD program offers specializations in:

  • Organizational Leadership
  • Policing
  • Homeland Security
  • Public Administration

Whichever specialization you select, you’ll explore many different topics.

Sample Courses:

  • Criminal justice
  • Leadership
  • Management and budgeting
  • Civil and criminal liability
  • Public safety

By completing doctorate degree programs like this, you set yourself up for career advancement in criminal justice.

For example, if you’re already a law enforcement officer, this degree could help you become a detective or criminal investigator. Likewise, if you work for a federal agency like the FBI, you could get a doctoral degree online and get a promotion to Special Agent in Charge. 

Other Possible Career Tracks:

  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Immigration and Customs Inspector
  • First-Line Supervisor
  • Compliance Manager
  • Loss Prevention Manager
  • Sheriff or Sheriff Deputy
  • Police Detective


Northcentral University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Get more information about Northcentral University’s Doctor of Criminal Justice Online.

Doctor of Business Administration

Walden UniversityWalden University

This Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree is offered entirely online by Walden University. It’s a top choice among online doctoral programs without dissertation.

One of the best features of this doctoral program is that there are many different options you can use to customize your learning experience.

Multiple Degree Tracks

For example, there are no less than 16 individual tracks from which you can choose, including:

  • International Business
  • Social Impact Marketing
  • Global Supply Chain Management
  • Energy Management

Of course, more traditional tracks like accounting, finance, marketing, and leadership are also available.

Capstone Project Possibilities

In addition to these specializations, you also get to choose among three capstone project options. These include:

  • Traditional doctoral study
  • Portfolio
  • Consulting

This allows you to pursue higher education in a manner that’s right for your interests and needs. A traditional doctoral study might be preferable for some doctoral students, particularly if they already have experience in research or higher education.

But for other students, a portfolio capstone project that reviews the knowledge and skills gained throughout the program might be preferable. Likewise, the consulting track allows you to get real-world experience working as a consultant, which you could then use to land a consulting job upon graduation.

Leadership Focus

In addition to focusing on specialized tracks and capstone projects, this program puts leadership and management skills front and center. You’ll learn how to think critically, become an excellent problem solver, and you’ll acquire the communication skills needed to be an effective leader in business administration.

Yet another factor that makes this a desirable program is that you can transfer up to 17 credits. So, if you’ve started your doctoral studies elsewhere, you might be able to move those credits to Walden and reduce the amount of time needed to finish your doctoral degree.

Upon enrolling in this program, you get access to many doctoral studies resources from Walden University. This includes access to a writing center that will help you develop your written communication skills.


Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Get more information about Walden University’s Online Doctor of Business Administration.

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Arcadia UniversityArcadia University

If you wish to continue your higher education in physical therapy, Arcadia University’s online Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a good option.

This doctoral program is not entirely online. But, the bulk of it is remote. Over six semesters, you’ll complete 110 credit hours. This includes coursework in:

  • Differential Diagnosis and Intervention
  • Integrated Patient Management
  • Management and Leadership Principles in a PT Settings
  • Exposure to Physical Therapy in a Health Care System

There are immersion experiences and clinical rotations as well.

Immersion Experience Details

Immersion experiences bring the cohort together on campus. These experiences allow you to study alongside your classmates and learn from professors in a real-world environment. They also let you practice the skills you’ve learned while using therapy equipment in a lab setting.

Additionally, there are 32 weeks of clinical practice. During practice, you’ll put what you’ve learned to the test in various settings.

For example, you’ll work in different clinical situations, with different patients, and with different supervisors. This gives you a complete picture of what it’s like to work as a physical therapist. This arrangement also allows you to practice your skills. You’ll get feedback on your work from multiple supervisors.

On top of all these features and benefits, this program is one of the top-ranked physical therapy degree programs in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.


This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Arcadia University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education as well.

Get more information about Arcadia University’s Online Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

University of WyomingUniversity of Wyoming

This program is from the University of Wyoming. The EdD program in Curriculum and Instruction is 100 percent online. As part of your studies in this Doctor of Education program, you’ll take various curriculum design and instructional practice courses. This might include:

  • Learning and cognition
  • Action research
  • Curriculum development
  • Diversity in education
  • Educational leaders as communicators
  • Educational leaders as change agents

What is an Applied Program?

Unlike many doctoral programs, this is an applied program. It’s also a PhD no dissertation option. So, rather than traditional PhD studies with a research-based dissertation process, this program includes problem-based research, curriculum design activities, and field experiences. These experiences give you practical experience in curriculum and instruction.

You’ll complete a dissertation in practice. A dissertation in practice involves working on a highly complex education-related problem. You must solve the problem using innovative, research-based solutions. You have the option of working with:

  • public schools
  • private schools
  • community-based educational organizations

You can also worth with other learning facilities to complete the dissertation in practice.

In-Person Option

While this is a 100 percent online doctoral program (which uses blended delivery methods like video conferencing, audio conferencing, and web chats), you have the option of attending courses on campus in Laramie, Wyoming, if you so choose.

Faculty members for the online courses are the same as for online courses. Whether you study online or make your way to Laramie, you’ll get the same high-quality higher education.

Other features of this education doctorate no dissertation include:

  • the availability of assistantships on campus
  • the ability to pursue a minor in a different field
  • the opportunity to participate in high-tech teaching at the University of Wyoming Shell 3-D Visualization Center

At the Shell 3-D Visualization Center, faculty members engage in designing immersive learning experiences for students.


The University of Wyoming is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Get more information about the University of Wyoming’s Online Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

Doctor of Leadership

Andrews UniversityAndrews University

Do you have a few years of work experience? Do you want to enhance your skills and abilities? The online Doctor of Leadership degree from Andrews University might be a good fit.

This is a project-focused doctoral program. There is no dissertation process or dissertation in practice requirement for this higher education leadership program.

Instead, you complete a final capstone project. A capstone project aims to meet competencies and use data to inform your decision-making process.

Hybrid Program

This is a hybrid program. Most work is remote. However, there is also a yearly visit required. The first visit is an orientation. Subsequent visits to campus are for an annual leadership conference. You’ll have roundtable discussions with your classmates and others in the leadership field during the conference.

One of the advantages of this program is that it’s short. There are 16 courses required for graduation. This is in addition to the doctoral project described above.

Andrews University works with you to build a learning program for your specific needs. You develop a plan of study that helps you meet your educational needs and achieve your career goals.

Other Features

  • The ability to develop your own specialty
  • Opportunities to learn from leaders from around the world
  • A portfolio creation process with professional artifacts that are valuable when applying for jobs

This 54-credit program is shorter if you transfer applicable credits. This could make it one of the shortest doctoral programs on this list.


Andrews University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Get more information about Andrews University’s Online Doctor of Leadership.

Doctor of Public Administration

NCUNorthcentral University

Northcentral University’s online Doctor of Public Administration degree is one of the best PhD degree programs for working adults. This doctoral degree is 100 percent online. It’s a one-on-one learning format.

In other words, you can begin your degree when it’s right for you. Then, you can pursue your studies based on your schedule. You can continue working in your full-time job without school getting in the way.

Like other easy doctorates from Northcentral, this program doesn’t have a residency requirement. There isn’t a dissertation process or a dissertation in practice. In fact, there is no group work required. Instead, you can work at your own pace to get a doctoral degree and advance your career.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learning how to formulate solutions to public policy issues at home and abroad
  • Developing an understanding of how to contribute to the field of research in public administration
  • Evaluating ethical issues and other problems in public organizations
  • Creating strategies for improving organizations through evidence-based research
  • Developing an understanding of the values that drive public administration

Additionally, you’ll learn about administrative law, principles of organization, and public management theory. The learning experiences in this program are many. They prepare to take the next step in your career.

Prepare for a Future Career or More Education

These outcomes are applicable in many areas of public administration. You might use this degree to advance to a higher position in your current workplace. You might also use it to find new employment at the management or executive level of:

  • businesses
  • corporations
  • state agencies
  • federal agencies
  • non-profits

This doctoral program includes 18 courses. You can finish in less than four years – all while continuing to work in your current job.

As a fully online, accredited program, the Doctor of Public Administration degree is a good option if you want a way to advance your career on your own terms.


Northcentral University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Accreditation is important to ensure that you’re getting the best possible education and that the learning outcomes are aligned with industry standards.

Get more information including scholarship and financial aid for Northcentral University’s Online Doctor of Public Administration.

Doctor of Health Administration

Capella UniversityCapella University

Are you passionate about making positive changes in the healthcare system? The online doctoral program in healthcare administration from Capella University is worth a look!

This program includes multiple areas of specialty. You can tailor your learning to a specific area about which you are passionate.

General Health Administration

This is a good option if you want to become a health care leader. It has a focus on problem-solving and communication. Additional focuses are on collaboration and ethics.

Health Care Leadership

This track focuses on developing 21st-century leadership skills. You’ll also gain financial management skills and research skills. Together, this enables you to evaluate and interpret health care data.

Health Care Quality and Analytics

This option guides you in learning how to use analytics to improve patient outcomes. You’ll also learn how to increase the effectiveness of health care organizations and shape health care systems.

Health Policy and Advocacy

Studies in this track assist future health care professionals in developing skills needed to make organizational changes at the executive level that will positively impact patients’ lives.

A unique feature of this doctoral program is that it has an integrated capstone project and practicum experience.

Rather than completing a dissertation, you work with professors to solve a real-life health care organization problem in your capstone project. At the same time, you gain real-world experience by completing a practicum in a health care setting. Combined with a capstone project, this gives you excellent real-world experience before graduating.

If you’ve already begun doctoral studies in this field, you might be able to transfer up to 18 of those credits to apply towards this doctoral degree.


Capella University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Get more information about Capella University’s Online Doctor of Health Administration.

Doctor of Public Health

University of South FloridaUniversity of South Florida

The Doctor of Public Health online program from the University of South Florida is broad-based. It focuses on advanced education and training in public health.

Specifically, this doctoral program concentrates on the leadership roles you’ll be qualified for after completing this program. This can lead to employment in a wide range of settings, including:

  • Health departments
  • Community-based health organizations
  • Non-profit organizations
  • International agencies

To prepare you for competent practice, you’ll explore many topics. You’ll take courses related to lab management, global health assessment, and biocomputing, among others.

Throughout your course of study, you’ll develop advanced expertise in evidence-informed public health practice.

Hybrid Program

This is a hybrid program. This means that most courses are remote. But there is also an on-campus learning requirement. This on-campus experience includes three institutes. They allow you to collaborate with classmates and learn together in a real-life campus environment.

By mixing in-person learning with online learning, you can get the bulk of your studies done from home. However, you can still reap the rewards that in-person learning offers to students.

Another flexible feature of this doctoral program is the chance to choose from two tracks. You can select the Advanced Practice Leadership in Public Health option or choose the Public Health and Clinical Laboratory Science and Practice option.

Either way, it’s a doctorate degree without dissertation. However, there is a doctoral project requirement that you complete in the field. This involves the delivery of three evidence-based outcomes as part of the project.


The University of South Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Get more information about the University of South Florida’s Online Doctor of Public Health.

Doctor of Education in Policy and Leadership

American UniversityAmerican University

This online EdD program from American University focuses on helping you develop the skills to be a leader and change-maker in the educational system.

In addition to allowing you to learn about educational theory, this doctoral program also emphasizes practice experience. The combination of the two enables you to lead the charge to change the American educational system for the better, and for all students.

Areas of Focus

You can use this doctoral degree to narrow your practical application of knowledge to one of many areas, including:

  • Policymaking
  • Educational instruction
  • Organizational leadership
  • Curriculum development
  • Strategic budgeting
  • Talent management
  • Collaborative inquiry

Additionally, you’ll take courses that help build skills related to:

  • social justice
  • systems change
  • personal leadership
  • educational research

Credits and Timeline

This Doctor of Education program involves 40 credit hours of study. The coursework takes less than three years to complete. The bulk of the program is online. However, there are three required campus visits. There is one visit each in the first, fourth, and sixth terms of the program.

Like some of the other options on this list, this EdD program is cohort-based. This gives you the chance to build personal and professional relationships with your classmates over the course of the program. American University strives to create diverse cohorts that provide a rich learning environment.

Some of the courses are synchronous, meaning they are offered online and live at a certain time. Other courses are asynchronous and self-paced. This is a big bonus if you have work and family obligations. You can complete the self-paced courses as time allows. This makes this program a prime choice for an online doctorate no dissertation.


American University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Get more information about American University’s Online Doctor of Education in Policy and Leadership.

Doctor of Psychology

California Southern University Logo
Southern California University

Southern California University’s Doctor of Psychology program is for students with a bachelor’s degree. Likewise, if you have a master’s degree in psychology or a related field, this is the program for you.

This program allows you to extend your studies. You can develop a higher level of skills related to clinical practice.

This 4-5 year program. Courses prepare you to meet the requirements for licensure as a clinical psychologist.


This program includes courses related to:

  • Advanced theories of personality
  • Ethical and professional issues
  • Physiological psychology
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Statistics
  • Psychological assessment

In addition to these required core courses, you’ll take various elective courses. These classes are in your areas of interest as part of this doctoral program. Possible courses include sports psychology, the psychology of learning, and brief therapy, just to name a few.

But this program isn’t just about classroom learning. Instead, you also have the opportunity to participate in supervised clinical experiences. These experiences enable you to apply what you’ve learned to real-world clinical settings.

Rather than completing a lengthy dissertation, this program culminates with a doctoral project. The project is a practical application of your knowledge and skills. So, unlike a PhD, which focuses on research, this Doctor of Psychology program is much more focused on applying your learning in a clinical setting.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understanding appropriate communication skills for working with a variety of clients
  • Understanding how social and cultural institutions influence each clients’ worldview
  • Understanding how to design evidence-based treatment plans
  • Understanding how to design psychometric assessments that are solidly based in proper theory
  • Understanding how to study advanced psychological concepts

This program is 66 credits. It takes most students about four or five years to complete. However, California Southern University allows up to 30 transfer credits to speed up the process.

Likewise, you can take more classes each semester to shorten the timeline. Having that kind of flexibility is extremely valuable for any student. This is especially so if you have work or family obligations.


In addition to offering this easy doctorate degree online, California Southern University is also fully accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Get more information about California Southern University’s Online Doctor of Psychology.

Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity

CU DenverUniversity of Colorado – Denver

This EdD program from the University of Colorado at Denver is cohort-based. You’ll study with the same group of students throughout the program.

You have additional flexibility because the program comes in a three-year or five-year format. It’s a great option if you currently work full-time.

This EdD program is specifically for people with experience as educators. The concentration of this program is on higher education.  You’ll gain the tools necessary to affect positive changes in higher education settings.

Rather than working on a traditional dissertation, this program requires you to complete a dissertation in practice. The goal of a dissertation in practice is to conduct research, problem-solve, and integrate principles of leadership and equity into this long-term assignment.

Topics of Study

  • Leadership and equity
  • Power and privilege
  • Research methods
  • Predictive analytics
  • Finance and strategic resource allocation
  • Strategic enrollment management
  • Policy and governance / Law & ethics
  • Organizational culture and performance

In addition to the 54 credit hours of online study, you must visit campus twice each year of the program. This equates to six or 10 campus visits, depending on which track you choose.

Admission to this program is much like the other online doctoral programs on this list. You must already have a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. You also need to submit a curriculum vitae or resume and three letters of recommendation. Also needed are official transcripts, two professional artifacts, and a statement of purpose.


The University of Colorado at Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Get more information about the University of Colorado at Denver’s Online Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity.

Doctor of Business Administration in Financial Management


Northcentral University

The PhD in Business Administration (PhD-BA)degree from Northcentral University concentrates on building skills related to financial management.

You’ll conduct research, analyze data, and learn how to manage financial resources. Likewise, your courses build knowledge to develop strategic financial planning measures. You’ll also learn how to maximize return on investment for your clients.

To do so, you’ll work closely with the faculty to explore topics such as:

  • Financial statement analysis
  • Investment selection techniques
  • Risk management
  • Financial business decision models

Credits and Timeline

This program includes 20 courses worth 60 semester credit hours. It takes less than four years to complete this degree. Faculty with terminal degrees guide your studies.

Additionally, there are no scheduled class meeting times. There is no group work, and there are weekly course start dates.

This program has flexible due dates and the ability to schedule your courses around your work and life obligations. You can also work directly with your professors in a one-on-one format.

As a result of this, graduates of this program have the ability to:

  • Evaluate business practices
  • Defend business theories to diverse audiences
  • Evaluate the interconnectedness of globalism and business decisions
  • Develop a clear understanding of current business and finance theories
  • Formulate solutions to critical business problems

You can also choose from a variety of related specializations.

PhD Specializations

You can choose from any of the following:

  • Project Management
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • Homeland Security Leadership and Policy
  • Health Services
  • Advanced Accounting
  • Global Business Management
  • Information Technology
  • Strategic Marketing


Northcentral University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Get more information about Northcentral University’s Online PhD in Business Administration in Financial Management

Doctor of Psychology

The University of Arizona Global CampusThe University of Arizona – Global Campus

The University of Arizona Global Campus’ online doctor of psychology program is flexible. You can complete your doctoral degree on your terms.

The program includes 10 core courses. There are seven specialization courses and a capstone project as well.

You must complete an Applied Doctoral Project. This is instead of a dissertation. The Applied Doctoral Project consists of two planning courses. There are also five units of applied coursework.

This online doctoral program is 62 credits. Those credits consist of courses that are mostly six to nine weeks in length. There are also several on-campus weekend residencies.

Degree Outcomes

  • The ability to apply best practices when working with clients
  • Exhibit culturally diverse standards when working with different groups, communities, and individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Develop a deep understanding of psychological theories, evidence-based methods, and appropriate research methods in psychology
  • Exhibit leadership skills
  • Possess the ability to critically evaluate applied psychological research methods

Additionally, this program offers three specialization areas. You may choose between Criminology and Justice Studies, Health and Wellness Psychology, and Sport and Performance Psychology. 


The University of Arizona Global Campus is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Get more information about the University of Arizona Global Campus’ Online Doctor of Psychology.

Doctor of Social Work

The University of Tennessee- KnoxvilleThe University of Tennessee- Knoxville

The doctor of social work program at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville is a specialized program that focuses on clinical practice and leadership.

Students who enroll in this program are typically working professionals in social work. The program helps advance your knowledge and skills to deliver improved services to your clients.

This is an intensive, accelerated program. It takes just three years to complete.

Program Features

  • An opportunity for advanced clinical practice rooted in evidence-based theory
  • Synchronous and asynchronous courses
  • Yearly on-campus sessions

As part of the online coursework and yearly on-campus sessions, you participate in activities to develop clinical leadership skills. You also gain applied research skills and advanced practice skills in social work.

Sample Courses

  • Neuroscience
  • Psychopathology
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Clinical Research
  • Trauma-Focused Interventions

You must meet several criteria to gain admission. You must have a master’s degree in social work. The master’s degree must be from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Additionally, you must have at least three years of clinical practice experience beyond your clinical practice from your master’s program.

It’s important to note that this is a professional practice degree – a DSW rather than a PhD. The difference is that a professional practice degree prepares online doctoral students for clinical practice and leadership in social work. A PhD in social work focuses on research and contributing to the research knowledge base in social work.


The University of Tennessee is fully accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Get more information about the University of Tennessee’s Online Doctor of Social Work.

Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Quinnipiac UniversityQuinnipiac University

Are you already a registered occupational therapist? The occupational therapy doctorate from Quinnipiac University allows you to gain advanced knowledge and skills. You can use what you learn to deliver improved services to your clients. Likewise, you might find that career advancement is more straightforward with a doctorate.

This program allows you to bring your past experiences as an occupational therapist to the virtual classroom. You can blend those experiences with skills development, new professional knowledge, and opportunities to learn from other professionals.

You’ll find that this program offers good flexibility. Courses are in a single module format. Each course’s duration varies depending on the content.

Most coursework is online. There is one campus visit, though. It’s a weeklong class in the summer. There’s also a Symposium Day after the final semester. Additionally, there is an optional on-campus orientation. It’s highly recommended that you attend that as well.

Furthermore, this occupational therapy program doesn’t interfere with your work schedule. Instead, the goal is to build new skills you can apply in your current job.

Sample Courses

  • Critical inquiry of scholarship
  • Studies in evidence-based practice
  • Innovations and emerging issues in children and youth
  • Adult health care
  • Leadership

There is also a doctoral capstone project. It allows you to contribute to the body of research in occupational therapy. You’ll also gain critical skills to apply in the field.

If you only have a bachelor’s degree, you can still enter this program. This is a unique feature. It might help you get your doctorate more quickly. You’ll have to complete Quinnipiac’s Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Occupational Therapy first.


Quinnipiac University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Get more information about Quinnipiac University’s Online Occupational Therapy Doctorate.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Doctoral Degrees Online With No Dissertation

Are there any 1-year PhD programs online?

There are some 1-year PhD programs online. Typically, online doctoral programs take at least three years to complete. In many cases, your studies might take up to five years.

Usually, 1-year PhD programs online are accelerated degree programs. You need prior knowledge and experience to enroll in a program like this. So, for example, if you have a master’s degree in business administration, you might be able to complete a PhD program in business administration in as little as one year or two years.

These higher education programs require you to attend school year-round to meet the year deadline. This means taking summer courses. You might also take intersession courses between the spring and summer semesters and again between the summer and fall semesters.

What is the easiest PhD without dissertation to get?

While PhD programs are rigorous, some online doctoral programs are less challenging than others. The level of challenge depends on other factors, too:

  • your study habits
  • your ability to finish coursework
  • your existing level of education and experience

For example, if you already have a master’s degree in counseling psychology and have worked as a counseling psychologist for ten years, getting a PhD in counseling psychology will be easier for you than for those with less experience.

Having said that, there are some disciplines known for being easier than others. This might make getting a PhD in those areas easier.

PhDs with a reputation for being easy include:

  • Educational Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Leadership
  • Educational Leadership and Management
  • College Policy and Administration
  • Health Sciences
  • Business Administration
  • Nursing Practice
  • Technology Management
  • Safety Sciences
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Many of the easiest PhDs to get are in the field of education. Again, a large part of this is because people that seek out education-related PhDs already have a great deal of practical experience in education. They likely already have a master’s degree in education as well.

How are PhD programs for working adults structured?

Many colleges and universities offer PhD programs for working adults that are highly flexible. You can get a higher education degree while working around your work and family schedules.

In most cases, these PhD courses are online. Completing your course requirements is much easier by removing the need to travel to a college campus for class and doing distance learning.

You can do this without sacrificing the classroom experience of working with your classmates and professors. This is because many online doctoral programs offer video conferencing and live streaming. You and your classmates can see and hear one another, interact with your professors, and work together on collaborative projects.

In some cases, online courses for working adults are in an asynchronous format. You can take courses in an order that best fits your schedule.

Furthermore, many of the courses in these types of degree programs are self-directed. This means you can complete assignments and other course requirements on your own schedule, not the professor’s.

Granted, self-paced learning is not a feature of all online courses that working adults might take. It is reasonable to assume that at least some of your courses will follow that format.

Another feature of online PhD programs is that they are often flexible in terms of how long you take to complete them. For example, if a higher education program normally takes three years to complete, you might be able to work on graduation requirements for four or five years to get the same degree. If going part-time works better for you, it might take longer but can still be accomplished.

There are typically many different class options as well. For example, a course might be offered in the spring semester and the fall, and perhaps even in the summer. This gives you greater flexibility for completing the necessary courses.

In some cases, you might also find that colleges and universities work with you to transfer existing credits or give you credit for work experiences. Doing so reduces the number of course credits you need to take to get the desired PhD.

This, in turn, reduces the amount of time you need to complete your PhD program. Not all schools accept transfer credits, though. Check with the schools you’re considering to be sure your existing credits are accepted.

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