Getting a doctorate is hard work, and it will take years to complete. But not all doctorates are built alike.
That is, while some require you to be on-campus, there are many programs that are completely online. Others involve mostly online studies with a few campus visits over the course of the program. And while some online doctorate degrees require a dissertation, there are many other programs that offer you the flexibility of getting your doctorate online and without a dissertation requirement.
In fact, many online PhD programs include what are called capstone projects or dissertations in practice in lieu of traditional dissertations. These types of summative projects give you the opportunity to put your learning into practice and solve real-world problems using the knowledge and skills you’ve gained over the course of your studies.
To say that these are easy PhD programs might be a bit of a misnomer, but they are certainly the easiest PhD to get. A dissertation alone can take years to prepare for; without such a requirement, you might find that these programs are easier and less time-consuming than many of your other options.
Getting an easy doctorate degree is a great way to advance your career, build new skills, and acquire new knowledge. And while these degrees might be easier than on-campus, dissertation-based programs, they represent an academic challenge that will enable you to become a more well-rounded student and more prepared for your chosen field of work.
The question, then, is what degree should you pursue? If you Google “the best doctorate degree online no dissertation,” you’ll get a wealth of results from a wide range of fields, including education, nursing, business, public administration, and health care. But sifting through all those results can be laborious and confusing. So, we’ll do it for you!
Below is a ranking of some of the easiest PhD programs you can get online. These programs represent some of the best options currently available, so no matter your area of interest, you should be able to find an easy doctorate program online. As an added bonus, many of these programs allow transfer credits. By transferring existing credits, you can shorten the time frame needed to complete the degree. Likewise, many of the programs listed below are quite affordable, so you can get the doctorate you want while also saving money.
Methodology for Ranking the Best Doctorate Degrees Online No Dissertation
The programs that are listed below weren’t just randomly selected from a Google search. Instead, each entry was selected based on a set criteria that we use to determine the best options available for you. Our methodology includes several factors, including program criteria, ancillary services, and school criteria. Let’s explore each of these in more detail.
The largest component of our ranking methodology is program criteria, which is worth 50 percent of the total score.
When evaluating doctoral programs online with no dissertation, we consider the following critical questions:
- Is the 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?
- Does the program have good retention rates? What are the graduation rates like?
Using these and other program-related criteria, we can determine the value of an online doctoral program and rank it accordingly.
Another important factor in determining the best online doctorates to list here is the ancillary services that the program offers.
For example, programs that have career services programs, job placement services, and tutoring are ranked higher than programs that don’t.
Likewise, programs that offer “extras,” like internship placements or practicum placements in or near your hometown, get more points than programs that require you to complete these requirements at a location of their choosing.
Some programs even offer one-on-one learning. This can be of benefit to distance learners as it allows you to work directly with a professor and discuss concepts that you might need extra 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 and the support you can expect during your learning experience.
The final 20 percent of our scores for the easiest PhD 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, but you can see how schools that are accredited and have a high percentage of professors with a terminal degree in their field would be ranked higher than a similar program that lacks both criteria.
Additionally, we narrowed our list down by selecting doctorate degrees that meet the following criteria:
- Positive reviews from students
- Offers a variety of online doctoral options
- Offers some form of field experience, be that job shadowing, practicum, internship, or clinical experience.
- Offers an easy-to-use online learning portal
So, as we explore some of the best doctorate degrees online with no dissertation, keep this methodology in mind (more details about this methodology are available here as well). These programs tick more of these boxes than most other online doctoral programs – which means they might provide you with a more well-rounded education in the long run.
Please note that the rankings below are listed in random order. Doing so allows you to determine which of these programs is a good fit without the distraction of numerical rankings to influence your choices.
Ranking the Best Doctorate Degrees Online No Dissertation
Doctor of Education in Learning and Organizational Change
This PhD program is offered by Baylor University. The goal of this program is to help students understand how to manage organizational change using the processes of teaching and learning.
Designed for education professionals, this degree is ideal for teachers, administrators, and other educators who want to take on a higher role in leading and managing school systems. Likewise, this degree will prepare you to lead change-making in government agencies, businesses and corporations, and even non-profit organizations.
This is a practitioner-oriented degree. This means that courses are designed to provide students the opportunity to put what they learn into practice. For example, you’ll take nine credits of learning foundations courses, 24 credits of organizational change courses, and nine credits of research methods courses. Then, at the end of your studies, you’ll put all of the knowledge and skills you’ve gained to work in a Problem of Practice (PoP) and Capstone project. The PoP experience is designed to challenge you to consider your professional experiences, what you’ve learned in the program, and how you can use your experience and learning to make measurable organizational change.
Other features of this program include:
- Weekly online courses that provide you with guided learning opportunities and group discussions. Courses are delivered via video, so 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 students much-needed collaborative time to work on skill-building and knowledge-building in a face-to-face format.
- 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
Offered by Bradley University, this online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a top option in terms of the easiest doctorate to get.
Bradley University has three different program tracks to make it more accessible for students:
- Family NP – This track is designed for nurses who are interested in family practice and that have a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from a regionally accredited college or university. Likewise, the BSN must be from a nursing program that is accredited by NLNAC, ACEN, or CCNE.
- Leadership – This track is ideal for nurses with a master of science in nursing (MSN) from an NLNAC, ACEN, or CCNE-accredited program who are interested in learning the administrative portion of healthcare and want to take on a leadership role within a healthcare organization.
- Psychiatric Mental Health NP – If psychiatry interests you, the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner track is a great option. You will learn therapeutic treatments, advanced nursing practices, and improve your psychological communication skills. To apply for this track, you need a BSN from an NLNAC, ACEN, or CCNE-accredited program.
Regardless of which track you choose, you can expect to learn from outstanding faculty that have years of real-world nursing experience.
The program also takes a student-centered approach – you get access to Bradley’s wealth of learning tools and resources as well as individualized attention that will help make your online studies a bigger success. The added emphasis on student support, working collaboratively with other 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.
Bradley University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional universities in the midwest.
Additionally, this Doctor of Nursing Practice online degree 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
Offered by Northcentral University, this degree program is likely to come up in a search of, “what is the easiest doctorate degree?” There are many reasons for this.
First, the entire program can be completed online. There is no residency requirement and no on-campus visits required.
Second, this program does not require you to take the GRE or GMAT. This means you can forgo those testing experiences, keep a little money in your pocket, and begin your studies faster, provided you meet the admissions criteria (like already having a master’s degree). There’s no dissertation required, either!
Third, and perhaps most importantly, Northcentral University’s program is carried out in a very unique one-to-one format. This means that you get individualized attention, guidance, and support to help you make your way through the program. This also means that you can begin the program at virtually any time, giving you the flexibility to begin your studies when it works best for you.
You will complete 18 courses worth 54 credit hours over the course of the program. To complete these course requirements, it is recommended that you set aside 45 months. This timeline might be reduced or expanded depending on your specific needs.
Coursework can be adapted to your interests as well. For example, this online PhD program offers specializations in Organizational Leadership, Policing, Homeland Security, and Public Administration. Whichever specialization you select, you’ll explore topics related to:
- Criminal justice
- Management and budgeting
- Civil and criminal liability
- Public safety
By completing this program, you could set yourself up for career advancement in the field of criminal justice. For example, if you’re already a law enforcement officer, this degree could help you make detective or become a criminal investigator. Likewise, if you work for a federal agency like the FBI, you could use this degree to get a promotion to Special Agent in Charge. Many other possibilities exist, too, including:
- Intelligence Analyst
- Immigration and Customs Inspector
- First-Line Supervisor
- Compliance Manager
- Loss Prevention Manager
- Sheriff or Sheriff Deputy
- Police Detective
And since Northcentral University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, you can rest assured that the education you get is one that meets the stringent criteria of educational experts.
Get more information about Northcentral University’s Doctor of Criminal Justice Online.
Doctor of Business Administration
This Doctor of Business Administration degree is offered completely online by Walden University.
One of the best features of this degree program is that there are many different options you can use to customize your learning experience.
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.
In addition to these specializations, you also get to choose among three capstone options. These include:
- Traditional doctoral study
This allows you to pursue higher education in a manner that’s right for your interests and needs. For some students, traditional doctoral study might be preferable, particularly if they already have experience in research. But for other students a portfolio capstone project that reviews the knowledge and skills gained over the course of the program might be preferable. Likewise, the consulting track affords you the chance to get real-world experience working as a consultant, which you could then use to land a consulting job upon graduation.
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 business leader.
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 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
If you wish to continue your education in physical therapy, Arcadia University’s online Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a good option.
While this program is not completely online, the bulk of it is conducted remotely. Over the course of six semesters, you’ll complete 110 credit hours of study. 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
Also part of the six semesters of study is both immersion experiences and clinical rotations.
The immersion experiences bring the cohort together on campus. These experiences not only allow you to study alongside your classmates and learn from professors in a real-world environment, but they also enable you to practice the skills you’ve learned while using therapy equipment in a lab setting.
Additionally, there are 32 weeks of clinical practice in which you will be asked to put what you’ve learned to the test in a variety of settings. You will work in different clinical situations, with different patients, and with different supervisors so as to give you a complete picture of what it’s like to work as a physical therapist. This arrangement also allows you to practice your skills in a variety of settings and 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 programs in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. It’s also fully 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 Wyoming
Offered by the University of Wyoming, this EdD program in Curriculum and Instruction is offered 100 percent online. As part of your studies, you will take a variety of courses related to curriculum design and instructional practice. This might include:
- Learning and cognition
- Action research
- Curriculum development
- Diversity in education
- Educational leaders as communicators
- Educational leaders as change agents
Unlike many doctoral programs, this one is an applied program. So, rather than traditional PhD studies that culminate with a research-based dissertation, this program includes problem-based research, curriculum design activities, and field experiences to give you practical experience in curriculum and instruction.
This means that you will not complete a traditional dissertation, but will instead complete a dissertation in practice, which involves working on a highly complex education-related problem that you must solve using innovative, research-based solutions. You have the option of working with public schools, private schools, community-based educational organizations, and other learning facilities to complete the dissertation in practice.
While this is a 100 percent online 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, so you will get the same high-quality education whether you study online or make your way to Laramie.
Other program features include the availability of assistantships on campus, the ability to pursue a minor in a different field, and the opportunity to participate in high-tech teaching at the University of Wyoming Shell 3-D Visualization Center, at which 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
If you have a few years of work under your belt and want to enhance your leadership skills and abilities, the online Doctor of Leadership degree from Andrews University might be a good fit.
This is a project-focused degree, so there is no dissertation requirement. Instead, you’re asked to complete a final capstone project in which you demonstrate your ability to meet competencies and use data to inform your decision-making process.
This is a hybrid program with most coursework done remotely online. However, there is also a yearly visit required, the first of which serves as an orientation to the program. Subsequent visits to campus take the form of an annual leadership conference during which you’ll have roundtable discussions with your classmates and others in the leadership field.
One of the advantages of this program is that it is fairly short. There are 16 courses required for graduation in addition to the doctoral project described above. Likewise, Andrews University works with you to build a learning program built around your specific needs. This means that you develop a plan of study that will help you meet your educational needs and achieve your career goals.
Other features of this program include:
- The ability to develop your own specialty
- Opportunities to learn from leaders from around the world
- A portfolio creation process that gives you professional artifacts that are valuable when applying for jobs
This 54-credit program can be shortened by transferring applicable credits, which 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
Northcentral University’s online Doctor of Public Administration degree is one of the best PhD programs for working adults. That’s because this degree is 100 percent online and is designed to be a one-on-one learning format.
In other words, you can begin your degree when it’s right for you, pursue your studies based on your schedule, and 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, nor is there a dissertation. In fact, there is no group work required, either. Instead, you can work at your own pace to get a degree that you can use to advance your career.
Some of the central learning outcomes of this program include:
- 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 topics related to administrative law, principles of organization, and public management theory, to name but a few. The learning experiences in this program are vast – and will help you prepare to take the next step in your career.
These outcomes, along with the other knowledge and skills that you’ll gain in this 54-credit hour program, are applicable to work in many different spheres 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, or even non-profits.
All told, this program includes 18 individual courses. Program completion can be achieved in less than four years – all while continuing to work in your current job.
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.
As a fully online, accredited program, the Doctor of Public Administration degree is a great option if you’re looking for a way to advance your career on your own terms.
Get more information about Northcentral University’s Online Doctor of Public Administration.
Doctor of Health Administration
If you’re passionate about making positive changes in the healthcare system, then the online doctoral program in healthcare administration from Capella University is worth a look.
This program includes multiple areas of specialty, that way you can tailor your learning to a specific area about which you are passionate. Specialty options include:
- General Health Administration, which is a good option for students that wish to become health care leaders with a focus on problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and ethics.
- Health Care Leadership, which focuses on helping you develop 21st-century leadership skills, financial management skills, and research skills that enable you to evaluate and interpret health care data.
- Health Care Quality and Analytics, which guides you in learning how to use analytics to improve patient outcomes, increase the effectiveness of health care organizations, and shape health care systems.
- Health Policy and Advocacy, which is designed to assist future health care professionals to develop the skills needed to make organizational changes at the executive level that will have a positive impact on patients’ lives.
A unique feature of this doctoral program is that it has an integrated capstone and practicum experience.
So, rather than completing a dissertation, you will be guided by your professors as you work to solve a real-life health care organization problem in your capstone project. At the same time, you can gain real-world experience by completing a practicum in a health care setting.
As another benefit, 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 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 Florida
The Doctor of Public Health online program from the University of South Florida is a broad-based program that focuses on advanced education and training in the public health space.
Specifically, this program concentrates on the leadership roles for which you’ll be qualified 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 all manner of topics. You’ll take courses related to lab management, global health assessment, and biocomputing, among others.
Throughout your course of study, you will be challenged to develop advanced expertise in the realm of evidence-informed public health practice.
This program is hybrid in nature, meaning that while most courses are taken remotely, there is an on-campus learning requirement. This on-campus experience is in the form of three institutes during which you can collaborate with classmates and learn together in a real-life campus environment.
By mixing in-person learning with online learning, you’re able to get the bulk of your studies done from home, but still reap the rewards that in-person learning offers to students.
Another feature of this program that offers you flexibility is the opportunity to choose from two tracks. On the one hand, you can select the Advanced Practice Leadership in Public Health option, or you can choose the Public Health and Clinical Laboratory Science and Practice option.
Either way, you won’t have to complete a dissertation. However, there is a doctoral project requirement that you complete in the field, which 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
This EdD program from American University is focused on helping you develop the skills needed to become a leader and change-maker in the educational system.
In addition to giving you the opportunity to learn about educational theory, this 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.
You can use this degree to narrow your practical application of knowledge to one of many areas, including:
- Educational instruction
- Organizational leadership
- Curriculum development
- Strategic budgeting
- Talent management
- Collaborative inquiry
Additionally, you’ll take courses that help you build skills related to social justice, systems change, personal leadership, and educational research.
All told, this EdD program involves 40 credit hours of study which can be completed in less than three years. While the bulk of the program is completed online, there are three required campus visits, one 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, which 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 to provide you with a rich learning environment.
While 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 for students that have work and family obligations, as you can complete the self-paced courses as time allows.
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
Southern California University
Southern California University’s Doctor of Psychology program is designed to help students that already have a bachelor’s degree (in addition to a master’s degree in psychology or a related field) to extend their studies and develop a higher level of skills related to clinical practice.
The courses you take during this 4-5 year program are designed to prepare you to meet the requirements for licensure as a clinical psychologist. Coursework includes:
- Advanced theories of personality
- Ethical and professional issues
- Physiological psychology
- Psychological assessment
In addition to these required core courses, you’ll take a variety of elective courses in areas of interest to you. 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 will also have the opportunity to participate in supervised clinical experiences that 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 the knowledge and skills you’ve learned to an area of psychology about which you are passionate. So, unlike a PhD, which is heavily focused on research, this Doctor of Psychology program is much more focused on learning how to apply your learning in a clinical setting.
Some of the learning outcomes this program is designed to deliver include:
- 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 in length, which 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 additional classes each semester to shorten the timeline, if you desire. Having that kind of flexibility is extremely valuable to any student, but particularly if you have significant work or family obligations.
In addition to offering this easy doctorate degree, 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
University of Colorado- Denver
This EdD program from the University of Colorado at Denver is a cohort-based program, meaning you’ll study with the same group of students throughout your course of study.
To offer you additional flexibility, this program can be taken in a three-year or five-year format, thus making it a great option if you currently work full-time.
This EdD program is designed specifically for people with experience as educators. The concentration of this program is on higher education and seeks to give you 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 provide you with the opportunity to research, problem-solve, and integrate principles of leadership and equity into this long-term assignment.
As part of this program, you’ll explore topics related to:
- 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’re required to visit campus twice each year of the program. This equates to six or 10 total campus visits, depending on if you choose the three-year or five-year track.
Admission to this program is much like the other programs on this list. You must already have a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and submit a curriculum vitae or resume, three letters of recommendation, 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
The PhD in Business Administration degree from Northcentral University concentrates on building skills related to financial management.
You will conduct research, analyze data, and learn how to manage financial resources. Likewise, your courses will provide you with the knowledge needed to develop strategic financial planning measures and maximize return on investment for your clients.
To do so, you will work closely with the faculty to explore topics such as:
- Financial statement analysis
- Investment selection techniques
- Risk management
- Financial business decision models
This program includes 20 individual courses worth 60 semester credit hours. The time to complete the program is less than four years. Your studies are aided by a faculty that has 100 percent terminal degrees. Additionally, there are no scheduled class meeting times, no group work, and weekly course start dates.
The flexibility of this program continues with flexible due dates and the ability to schedule your courses around your work and life obligations. You also have the chance to work directly with your professors in a one-on-one format.
As a result of this, graduates of this program are expected to 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 also benefit from the flexibility of being able to choose from a variety of related specializations.
For example, Northcentral University offers PhD-BA degrees in:
- 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 Campus
The University of Arizona Global Campus’ online doctor of psychology program gives you a flexible learning path to completing your doctoral degree.
The program includes 10 core courses in addition to seven specialization courses and a capstone seminar. You must also complete an Applied Doctoral Project, which is in lieu of a dissertation. The Applied Doctoral Project consists of two planning courses and five units of applied coursework, so it is an extensive project.
In total, this online doctoral program is 62 credit hours. Those credits consist of courses that are mostly six to nine weeks in length. There are also several on-campus weekend residencies that must be completed.
Some of the critical outcomes of this degree include:
- 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 among 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- 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 that enroll in this program are typically working professionals in the field of social work who want to advance their knowledge and skills in an effort to deliver improved services to their clients. It is an intensive, accelerated program that can be completed in just three years.
Among the features of this degree include:
- 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’ll have an opportunity to participate in activities that foster the development of clinical leadership skills, applied research skills, and advanced practice skills in social work.
Over the course of eight semesters, you’ll take classes related to:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Clinical Research
- Trauma-Focused Interventions
To be admitted to this program, you must meet several criteria, including having a master’s degree in social work. The master’s degree must be from a program that is 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 between the two is that a professional practice degree is intended to prepare students for clinical practice and leadership in social work. A PhD in social work is more focused 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
If you’re already a registered occupational therapist, the occupational therapy doctorate from Quinnipiac University will allow you to gain advanced knowledge and skills. You can use that knowledge and newfound skills to deliver improved services to your client. Likewise, with a doctorate, you might find that career advancement is easier.
This program is designed to allow you to bring your past experiences as an occupational therapist to the virtual classroom where you can blend it with skills development, new professional knowledge, and opportunities to learn from other professionals.
You’ll find that this program offers excellent flexibility. Courses are based on a single module format, with each course’s duration varying depending on the content. Most coursework is done online, though there is one campus visit – a weeklong class in the summer – as well as a Symposium Day at the conclusion of the final semester. Additionally, there is an optional on-campus orientation, though it is highly recommended that you attend that as well.
Furthermore, this occupational therapy program is designed to not interfere with your current professional pursuits. Instead, the goal is to allow you to build new skills that you can immediately apply in your current job.
Some of the content areas you’ll explore over the course of this 32-credit program include:
- Critical inquiry of scholarship
- Studies in evidence-based practice
- Innovations and emerging issues in children and youth
- Adult health care
There is also a capstone project that enables you to contribute to the body of research in occupational therapy while also gaining critical skills that you can apply in the field.
If you only have a bachelor’s degree, you can still enter this program, which is a unique feature that might help you get your doctorate more quickly. You will have to complete Quinnipiac’s Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Occupational Therapy first, though.
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
Are there any 1-year PhD programs online?
While there are some 1-year PhD programs online, they are few and far between. Typically, a PhD takes at least three years to complete, and in many cases, your studies could extend over a period of up to five years.
Usually, 1-year PhD programs online are accelerated programs for students that already have a wealth of knowledge in the field. So, for example, if you have a master’s degree in business administration, you might be able to complete a PhD program in business in as little as one year.
These programs require you to attend school year-round in order to meet the year deadline. This means taking summer courses, and, in some cases, intersession courses between the spring and summer semesters, and again between the summer and fall semesters.
What is the easiest PhD to obtain?
While PhD programs are by their very nature rigorous, there are some programs that are less challenging than others. The level of challenge depends on other factors, too, like your study habits, ability to attend to your coursework and 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, it stands to reason that getting a PhD in counseling psychology will be easier for you than for other less experienced students.
Having said that, there are some disciplines that are known for being easier than others, which might make getting a PhD in those areas easier. Among the fields of study that have a reputation for being easy are:
- Educational Curriculum and Instruction
- Educational Leadership
- Educational Leadership and Management
- College Policy and Administration
- Health Sciences
- Business Administration
- Nursing Practice
- Technology Management
- Safety Sciences
As you can see, many of the easiest PhDs to obtain 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 and likely already have a master’s degree in education as well.
How are PhD programs for working adults structured?
Fortunately, many colleges and universities offer PhD programs for working adults that are highly flexible, that way you can do your coursework around your work and family schedules.
In most cases, these PhD courses are done online. By eliminating the need to travel to a college campus for class, the process of completing your course requirements is far easier. You can do this without sacrificing the classroom experience of working with your classmates and professors. This is because many programs offer video conferencing and live streaming, so 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 structured in an asynchronous format, meaning you can take courses in an order that best fits your schedule. Furthermore, many of the courses in these types of programs are self-directed to a fair degree, which 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, but 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 the time you can take to finish them. For example, if a 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.
There are typically many different class options as well. For example, a course might be offered in the spring semester as well as the fall, and perhaps even in the summer, too. 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 will reduce the number of course credits you need to take to get the desired PhD, which, in turn, reduces the amount of time you need to complete your PhD program. Not all schools accept transfer credits, though, so check with the schools you are considering to be sure your existing credits will be accepted.