35 Shortest Doctoral Program Online & Accelerated PhD Programs [2023 Guide]
We’ve ranked 35 Shortest Doctoral Program Online for 2023. Explore Accelerated PhD Programs & Doctorates for the fastest online degree programs.
Online accelerated PhD programs are growing in popularity as students are searching for the shortest PhD programs with the smallest number of requirements.
Online doctoral programs vary widely in their graduation requirements which is why we put together this guide showcasing universities that require less than 60 credits hours to get your online doctorate degree.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that lifetime earnings for doctorate degree holders is $900,000 more than those holding a master’s degree only. That’s almost $1 million more!!
And because a doctoral degree is the highest level of academic achievement, you will also receive the accompanying scholarly respect as you make valuable contributions to your field and society as a whole.
Shortest Doctoral Programs Online
The following doctoral programs have accelerated online courses which can help you finish your doctorate at a faster pace:
- Business Administration
- Counseling & Therapy
- Criminal Justice / Homeland Security
- Healthcare Administration
- Human Services
- Information Systems / Technology
- Ministry / Theology
- Public Administration
- Public Health
- Public Policy
By earning an accelerated doctoral program online, you will also be contributing to your field’s body of knowledge, which can be deeply rewarding and satisfying.
Online PhD in Accounting
If you enjoy working with numbers and financial concepts, then consider delving deep into that field with a doctorate in accounting. This degree can prepare you for a position as the chief financial officer of an organization, serve as an auditor, teach accounting at the college level, or oversee a team of accountants.
During your studies, you’ll take classes in statistical analysis, financial research methods, and accounting theories. Available concentrations may include Public Accounting and Forensic Accounting.
Another possible option if you’re looking for the shortest completion time is earning a DBA with a concentration in Accounting.
Online Doctorate in Business Administration – DBA & PhD
A doctorate in business administration is a degree program that will prepare you for leadership at various companies and skillful operation within global markets.
People with a DBA often hold leadership positions in a variety of fields, including for-profit companies, non-profit organizations, and government groups. They can also work in education, whether in an administrative role or as a professor.
In preparation for such positions, coursework may cover topics like quantitative research methods, qualitative research methods, statistics, economics, management theories, and organizational behavior.
As a more exclusive degree than an MBA, a DBA can set you apart and help you land top leadership positions. Plus, the number of courses required is often less, making it one of the shortest doctoral options.
Slightly different than the DBA degree, a PhD in Business Administration is geared more toward academia.
If you’d rather conduct original research and teach students about your specific field in business rather than take on a demanding and rigorous role as a company’s CEO, a PhD in Business might be right up your alley.
Online PhD in Counseling
A doctoral degree in counseling or therapy can equip you to help others work through their mental health or interpersonal struggles, and it can prepare you for leadership in a counseling organization.
Potential career paths include social work, private practice, and program administration. You may also tailor your education with concentrations like Counselor Education and Supervision, Art Therapy, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Addiction Counseling.
Coursework often covers topics like group and individual counseling, trauma response, ethical behavior, and diversity. Some universities require that you already be licensed as a counselor in your state before beginning their programs.
A PhD in Counseling is designed for counselors looking to ramp up their careers by becoming college and university educators, advanced counselors who train and lead others, or primary researchers on innovative studies.
If you’re currently a counselor and training other counselors, or if managing counseling programs are career goals of yours, then a PhD in Counseling online can make those goals a reality.
Online PhD in Criminal Justice & Homeland Security
When you hold a doctorate in criminal justice or homeland security, you may find work in law enforcement, government, or private practice. Your chosen career may provide opportunities to protect your community, conduct investigations, work with criminals, or collect intelligence. Often, doctoral graduates gain leadership positions, such as serving as a chief of police.
In pursuit of your doctoral degree, you may take classes in psychology, emergency and disaster situations, the justice system, and victimology.
Your program may offer concentrations like Terrorism, Criminology, Information Assurance, Security or Emergency Management.
Online Doctorate in Education – EdD & PhD
Whether you want to teach in a classroom, serve in school administration, support teachers through an outside organization, or equip the next generation of instructors, a doctoral degree in education can help you achieve those goals.
Many graduates remain in the classroom and take on leadership roles, such as becoming a headteacher. Others choose positions such as principals, superintendents, professors, policymakers, curriculum specialists, or educational consultants.
While earning your doctoral degree, you may take classes in curriculum, organizational leadership, student assessment, and education research. You could select an EdD concentration in an area like Special Education, Administration, Curriculum and Instruction, or Early Childhood Education.
A PhD in Education and an EdD are quite similar degrees. Both programs focus on education and prepare you for leadership roles. PhD programs, however, are more research-based.
A PhD is typically more research-based and might be a better match for someone looking for a career in research, publishing, and teaching at the university level. It focuses less on application than an Ed.D., but the same types of careers would be possible with either of these two degrees.
In terms of time to completion, the shortest program option is likely the EdD as there’s often no dissertation required.
Online PhD in Finance
People with strong math and money skills are good candidates for pursuing a doctoral degree in finance. Many doctoral graduates take leadership positions with investment firms, large banks, hedge funds, universities, or government agencies. Some earn CEO or other C-suite roles.
A doctorate in finance can even prepare you for an international career. As you study for your degree, your classes may cover subjects like market analysis, global markets, financial planning, theories of finance, taxation, and leadership.
Some students choose to prepare for leadership roles in this field by pursuing a DBA with a concentration in Finance.
Online Doctorate in Healthcare Administration
When you hold a doctoral degree in the field of healthcare administration, you will be well-suited for a leadership position in a healthcare or medical setting. Potential places of employment include hospitals, nursing homes, medical records companies, political think tanks, government agencies, and universities.
Students of this discipline take classes on global health, business, law and policies, finance, and organizational leadership. Many DHA programs offer concentrations like Public Health, Leadership, and Health Policy.
An alternative academic path that is available at some colleges and universities is earning a DBA with a concentration Healthcare Administration which can offer the shortest path to a doctorate when no dissertation is required.
Online PhD in Human Services
A doctorate in human services can prepare you for a leadership position in an organization or program that provides services or assistance for various groups of people. Work settings may include schools, clinics, community outreach programs, or non-profit organizations.
Some people who pursue this degree are licensed counselors who want to serve in a leadership capacity in a mental health practice. Others desire teaching positions in human services at the university level.
Courses in a doctoral program may include grant writing, leadership, communication, financial management, and ethics. Some of the concentration options are Mental Health, Gerontology, Marriage and Family, and Leadership and Management.
A PhD in Human Services prepares graduates for leadership and as policymakers in the public and human services fields.
A PhD in Human Services is quite flexible. Students with a variety of undergraduate and master’s degrees in public service, including social services, child welfare, criminal justice, and healthcare, may find this degree interesting.
Online PhD in Information Systems or Technology
Companies and organizations rely on systems to keep their data and records safe and accessible; to be at the forefront of that field, consider a doctorate in information technology .
With this degree, you might be qualify for work as a C-suite executive, a director in a tech department, a consultant, a leader in a government agency, or a strategist. You might also be well-poised for opening your own company.
Your classes will equip you with knowledge about data collection and analysis, threat and risk management, policy-making, strategic planning, and research.
Online PhD in Management
If you want to hold one of the highest roles in an organization, then earning a doctoral degree in management may be in order. Some people who hold this degree become C-suite executives, such as chief operating officers. Others take the helm of school districts or universities, or they accept teaching or research roles in higher education.
To earn this doctorate, you will take classes on leadership, ethics, consulting, decision-making, innovation, and research. Many students pursue concentrations like Technology, Homeland Security, Non-Profit Organizations, or Healthcare.
Alternatively, some schools offer a DBA program with a Management concentration. This often adds more flexibility to the program and can make it the shortest option when compared to the PhD which usually requires a dissertation.
Online Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) or Theology
You can take your religious education to the next level with a doctorate in ministry or theology. After earning this degree, you may choose to put your education into practice in church, parachurch, counseling, or chaplaincy positions.
Coursework often helps students grow not only academically, but also spiritually. Topics covered may include leadership, spiritual disciplines, evangelism, social justice, and teaching methods.
Some doctoral candidates pursue a specialization; options may include Counseling, Worship, Chaplaincy, Spiritual Disciplines, and Urban Ministry.
A career as a professor is a possibility with this degree as well as a missionary leader or lead pastor at a church.
Many universities require students to hold professional ministry positions before admitting them into their programs.
Online Doctoral Nursing Programs – PhD & DNP
The top-educated nurses have their doctoral degrees in nursing practice. If you have this degree, you may continue offering direct patient care; for example, you may work as a specialty nurse in a healthcare clinic. You could also use your degree as a care coordinator, a manager of a nursing team, a policymaker, or a nurse educator.
For RNs (Registered Nurses) who want to teach and train other nurses in an academic setting, a PhD in Nursing is the best doctorate-level nursing degree to pursue. A PhD in Nursing also prepares graduates for a career in research as nursing scientists who can contribute to the advancement of knowledge.
Coursework may include classes on information technology, finance, organizational leadership, safety, and healthcare law. Keep in mind that a doctoral degree in nursing is a terminal degree in the field does not qualify for a position as a physician.
DNP programs have gained a lot of popularity over the years and are designed for RNs who seek advancement while remaining practicing nurses.
A DNP prepares graduates for leadership in the nursing industry by advocating for and making policy, managing and directing nursing programs at health facilities, and ensuring that their communities offer the best healthcare to citizens who need it most.
Online Doctor of Public Administration
Whether you want to work in a government agency or would prefer a position with a related organization, a doctorate in public administration can help you achieve your goals.
People with this doctoral degree often serve as politicians, lobbyists, non-profit directors, grant writers, administrators, or government affairs directors. If you want to go into government or politics, you could work at the local, state, or national level.
Students in this field study human resources, public policy, budgeting, ethics, organizational leadership, and decision-making.
As a professional doctorate, the DNP may be one of the shortest paths to a doctorate when compared to the PhD which generally requires a lengthy dissertation.
Online PhD in Public Health
Many people who earn a doctoral degree in public health conduct research in the fields of epidemiology, environmental science, clinical trials, or academia.
Others choose leadership roles in public health organizations that work to better the health outcomes for populations or groups of people. For example, you could become a safety engineer, a clinic manager, or an executive of a hospital system.
Classes for this degree program often cover health equity, data analysis, biostatistics, and healthcare policy. Concentrations are available at many universities; options may include Health Education, Leadership and Laboratory Science.
Online PhD in Public Policy
If you want to have a hand in creating or modifying the policies that shape people’s lives and communities, then a doctoral program in public policy can provide the education that you need. Graduates often work for government agencies, universities, think tanks, and various institutions.
Doctoral programs often prepare students through the study of ethics, decision-making, research, leadership, and cultural diversity. Students identify problems, gather valuable data, and create effective solutions.
Doctoral candidates may focus on Urban Policy, Health Policy, Financial Management, or other areas of specialization.
Online PhD in Psychology Programs
A doctoral degree in psychology can help you understand how people think and the influence that thought has on behavior. Many people pursue this degree because they want to work as licensed clinical psychologists in schools, private practices, hospitals, or organizational settings.
The doctoral curriculum often covers counseling theories, psychopathology, culture, motivation and behavior, and cognition.
Programs leading to licensure typically require students to engage in a lengthy supervised practicum.
What is the Difference Between a PhD and Doctorate?
A PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is just one type of doctorate degree, of which there are many.
Here’s a list of common doctorate degrees:
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
- Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
- Doctor of Education (EdD)
- Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
- Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
Although the PhD is just one type of doctorate, it does have one distinguishing feature: the dissertation requirement. Nearly every PhD program requires adding to your field’s body of knowledge by performing original research on an approved topic of interest.
So, if you’re looking for the shortest doctoral programs, then professional doctorates are generally a better choice.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Doctorate?
The length of time it takes to complete your doctorate depends on the university and type of doctoral program.
On average, it takes 3-5 years.
Here are a few things that significantly impact completion time:
- Does the doctorate require a dissertation?
- How many classes can you take at one time?
- Are you transferring any credits into the program?
- How many weeks are classes?
- Is there a residency requirement?
- Is there a professional internship requirement?
As you can see, the best answer we can give you is: it depends.
To give you a ballpark, if you are working toward a professional doctorate (DBA, EdD, PsyD, etc.) and there is no dissertation requirement, you should be able to complete your program in about 3 years. Some people may be able to complete the degree in less time, of course. This is simply an average.
For those of you pursuing a PhD, the dissertation requirement significantly impacts your completion time. Generally speaking, it takes most students 3 years to 5 years for degree completion.
What is the Shortest Doctoral Program Online?
The shortest path to a doctorate varies depending on your background, the program selected, and the university’s requirements.
The time it takes to complete a doctoral program online varies widely by the university. For some universities, 3 year PhD programs are the norm. One common question we hear asked is if there are any 1 year online doctoral programs. For most students, the answer is somewhere in the middle if you already hold a master’s degree.
The official timeline given on most university websites is about 3 – 5 years to complete your degree, but that’s just a general guideline.
If you are looking for the shortest PhD programs, you’ll want to select a program that does not require a dissertation. Dissertations are notorious for taking 2+ years to complete beyond the actual course requirements.
The following doctoral programs often do not always require a dissertation: EdD, PsyD, DBA, DPA, and similar professional degrees. Most PhD programs require a dissertation (which means it’ll take you longer to complete).
Another way to speed up your degree is by enrolling at a university that offers accelerated doctoral courses (8 weeks long). Since the courses take half the time to complete, you can finish your doctoral studies in the shortest possible timeframe.
And finally, you’ll want to pick a program that requires fewer credit hours. For example, one university may require 64 credit hours for an EdD while another may only require 42 credits. When looking for the shortest doctorate programs, you’ll want to examine the credit hour requirements closely. Plus, this is a great way to find the cheapest online PhD, EdD, DBA, and other doctoral programs. Generally, you’ll pay less tuition if you don’t need as many credit hours for program completion.
Are There Any 1 Year Online Doctoral Programs?
Although a number of universities offer accelerated doctoral programs online, there are no accredited universities that advertise the shortest 1 year PhD programs online. That being said, there are quite a few universities with 30-credit doctorate degrees which could possibly be completed within a year if you have no dissertation requirement.
You can earn your doctorate online at a fairly fast pace if you enroll in accelerated classes, have transfer credits, choose one of the shortest doctoral programs in terms of credit hours, and select 100% online doctoral programs that do not require a dissertation (which is time-consuming).
Instead, go for a program that offers a capstone project. Although research is still required, it takes far less time to complete a capstone project than it does a dissertation.
Do All the Shortest PhD Programs Require a Dissertation?
An accelerated PhD program usually requires a dissertation, but professional doctorates such as a Doctor of Business Administration or Doctor of Education generally do not require a dissertation. Instead, you complete a capstone project.
We’ve assembled a list of doctorate degrees that don’t require a dissertation here.
Are there any 1 year PhD programs online?
In most cases, a PhD will take 3 to 5 years to complete unless you select a program without a dissertation, though there may be an occasional 2 year PhD program available. Very few doctorates do not require a dissertation and they tend to be professional doctorates like the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), Doctor of Education (EdD), and similar professionally-oriented programs.
If your aim is to find the fastest PhD program, you can complete one in less than 3 years if you opt for a short program (fewer credit hours), accelerated doctoral courses, and no dissertation requirement.
Together, these three factors will go a long way in helping you find the fastest online PhD program and speeding up your time to completion.
What is the fastest PhD program available?
The fastest PhD programs available will be those that require 30 credit hours or less to complete. As noted in the guide, we selected a number of fast PhD programs which meet this requirement. Once you’ve selected a PhD that requires fewer credit hours than the norm, try to narrow your list further by selecting a university with accelerated PhD classes which generally only take 8 weeks to complete.
If you don’t absolutely have to have a PhD, you will likely find it easier to locate a professional doctorate program that meets all of these criteria with the added benefit of no dissertation requirement. For example, it will likely take you longer to complete a PhD in Business Administration with 36 credit hours and a dissertation than it will to complete a Doctor of Business Administration of the same length without the dissertation requirement.
If speed is the most important factor for you, than a professional doctorate such as a DBA, PsyD, or EdD will likely be the fastest online doctorate you can find.
The shortest doctoral program online is an accelerated program that caters to professional students who are seeking to expand their career opportunities into research and higher education teaching fields while still working full-time.
The primary way in which a doctorate program is accelerated is through 8-week online courses.
Some programs even allow you to begin with only a bachelor’s degree, allowing you to complete a master’s degree as part of your doctorate course work.
This can potentially shave off as much as 2 years from your completion time because you won’t have to complete a master’s degree before even considering applying for a doctorate program. It also helps if you enroll in a PhD program without a GRE requirement.
To explore typical salary ranges and career opportunities for a wide range of doctoral programs, check out our in-depth look at all the top online PhD programs.
35 Shortest Doctoral Programs Online
For universities to be included in our guide, we looked at a number of criteria including number of credit hours required, accreditation, programs offered, and quality of online programs. Each of these universities offer accredited online doctoral and graduate programs . Some universities offer both campus and online programs as noted below.
Check each university’s tuition costs, graduation requirements, and course offerings before applying.
- Doctor of Occupational Therapy (Online) – 33 to 37 credit hours
Boston University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 30 credit hours (MSN to DNP)
Colorado Christian University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
- PhD in Leadership – Gerontology (Online) – 30 credit hours
- PhD in Leadership – Health & Human Performance (Online) – 30
Concordia University Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 35 credit hours
Duquesne University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 45 credit hours
Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 36 credit hours
East Carolina University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 28 credit hours
FNU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
- DNP in Educational Leadership (Online) – 45
Grand Canyon University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- EdD in Educational Leadership (Online) – 54 credit hours
Gwynedd Mercy University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 33 credit hours
- PhD in Nursing (Online) – 48 (with Masters)
Hampton University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Campus) – 39 credit hours
Indiana State University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1915.
- PhD in Safety Sciences (Hybrid) – 54 credit hours
- PhD in Criminology (Campus) – 42
Indiana University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
- Doctor of Ministry (Online) – 30 credit hours
- Doctor of Public Administration (Online) – 48
- Doctor of Education (Online) – 54
- Doctor of Strategic Leadership (Online) – 51
- Doctor of Worship Studies (Online) – 45
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 41
- EdD in Community Care Counseling (Online) – 57
- EdD in Educational Leadership (Online) – 54
- PhD in Theology and Apologetics (Online) – 57
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
- EdD in Educational Leadership (Hybrid) – 54
Monmouth University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
- DNP in Executive Leadership (Online) – 46 credit hours
- Doctor of Public Administration (Online) – 54
- EdD in Instructional Design (Online) – 54
- Doctor of Criminal Justice (Online) – 54
- Doctor of Education (Online) – 48
- Doctor of Business Administration (Online) – 48
National University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
- EdD in Curriculum and Teaching (Hybrid) – 57 credit hours
- EdD in Higher Education Leadership (Hybrid) – 54
- EdD in Human Services Administration (Hybrid) – 54
- EdD in Instructional Technology and Distance Education (Hybrid) – 54
- EdD in Organizational Leadership (Hybrid) – 54
- EdD in Reading Education (Hybrid) – 54
- EdD in Special Education (Hybrid) – 54
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 38-40
- Doctor of Occupational Therapy (Hybrid) – 39
NSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 38-46 credit hours(with Masters)
The Pennsylvania State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
- PhD in Communication (Online w/Residency) – 56-64 credit hours
- Doctor of Strategic Communication (Online w/Residency) – 49
- Doctor of Ministry in Christian Leadership & Renewal (Online) – 36
Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 73 – 79 credit hours(BSN)
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 31 (MSN)
- EdD in K-12 Administration (Campus) – 54 – 57
- Executive EdD in K-12 Administration (Campus) – 54
Seton Hall and its online programs are accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
- DNP in Child Health Nurse Practitioner (Online) – 36 credit hours
- DNP in Family Nurse Practitioner (Online) – 36
- DNP in Nurse Anesthesia (Online) – 36
- DNP in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Online) – 36
- DNP in Women’s Health Practitioner (Online) – 36
- PhD in Nursing (Online) – 57
The University at Buffalo is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
- PhD in Applied Mathematics (Campus) – 54 credit hours
- PhD in Atmospheric Science (Campus) – 48
- PhD in Biotechnology Science and Engineering (Campus) – 48
- PhD in Physics (Campus) – 48
UAH is officially accredited and/or recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
- EdD in Educational Leadership (Online) – 42 credit hours
The U of A has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission without interruption since 1924.
- EdD in Educational Leadership (Hybrid) – 42 credit hours
The University of Bridgeport is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
- PhD in Applied Mathematics (Campus) – 42 credit hours
Since 1913, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) has accredited all institutions in the CU system.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 75-78 credit hours(BSN to DNP)
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 35 (MSN to DNP)
- EdD in Higher Education Administration (Online) – 39
The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice – Executive Leadership (Online) – 43 credit hours
University of Michigan-Flint is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 41 credit hours
- Dozens of PhD programs are also available on campus with less than 50 credit hours required
All campuses of the University of Minnesota operate with the accreditation of the Higher Learning Commission.
- EdD in Educational Leadership (Online) – 46 credit hours
- PhD in Nursing (Online) – 77 credit hours (BSN)
- PhD in Nursing (Online) – 56 (MSN)
- PhD in Nursing (Online) – 48 (Post Clinical)
- DNP in Nursing Leadership and Innovations in Health (Online) – 40
The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- PhD in Counseling – Counselor Education and Supervision (Campus) – 48 credit hours(with Master’s)
The University of Montana-Missoula is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
- PhD in Economics (Campus) – 45-57 credit hours
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
- PhD in Nursing (Online) – 30 credit hours
The University of North Dakota as a whole is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 44 credit hours (with Masters)
Since 1916, the University of Northern Colorado has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Tennessee – Knoxville received accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Texas at Tyler is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Doctor of Business Administration (Online) – 54 credit hours
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online) – 33
- Doctor in Prevention Science (Online) – 39-48
- EdD in Educational Leadership (Online) – 49-51
- EdD in Higher Education (Online) – 51
- EdD in Organizational Leadership (Online) – 51
Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Whether you’re trying to get your doctorate in one year or you’re just looking for the shortest PhD programs available from accredited universities, the first step is decide how much you’re willing to compromise in the name of speed.
Yes, there are accredited online doctoral programs that can be completed in less time than traditional campus-based programs. The key is finding the one that’s offering the exact program you’re seeking.
This guide is a good place to start:
- We only included accredited universities with the shortest doctoral and Ph.D. requirements (measured by the smallest number of classes required)
- Accelerated doctorate courses are available online
- A growing number of online doctoral degree programs don’t require a dissertation (especially professional doctorate degree programs)
When you select a fast track online Ph.D. or doctorate program with the smallest number of required courses, accelerated online classes, and no dissertation requirements, you’re on the right track.
You’ll soon discover that these factors make for the shortest doctoral programs online and offer the most flexibility with the smallest number of requirements.
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Easiest phd and shortest doctoral programs online 2024.
Explore a range of online doctoral programs, including Ph.D. degrees, that offer accelerated paths, reduced residency requirements, and flexible online learning options.
Many degree programs fall under the title of doctorate, including Doctor of Philosophy degrees or Ph.D.
These Ph.D. degree programs are available in a variety of subjects and are intended to help students understand their specialty in the abstract and as a school of thought and theory rather than strictly as a practice.
Institutions that offer the best programs typically have exceptional funding, prestigious reputations, top-of-the-line research facilities, and abundant academic resources.
When selecting one of the shortest online doctoral programs or easiest online Ph.D. programs, you can access more info by visiting the links provided in each school description to ensure that you find the best program for you!
The easiest isn’t always the shortest nor the shortest the easiest.
Doctorate Programs That Might Interest You
1-year Online Doctoral Programs | 18 Month Doctorate Programs Without Dissertation | Shortest Doctoral Programs Online and On-campus | Easiest Ph.D. to Get Online | Easiest PhD to Get (Traditional) | Free PhD Programs Online
Doctorate Degree vs PhD
Ph.D. programs focus more on the theoretical and abstract aspects of their respective fields of study to understand it as a school of thought rather than just a practical application.
Usual doctorate programs tend to be more practical in their study and focus on the application of knowledge rather than understanding more abstract perspectives.
Ph.D. degrees are often offered in the same fields that have standard doctoral degrees available usually offered in fields such as engineering, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
Doctorate programs are made up of advanced coursework, research projects, or thesis work almost strictly for practical application. Such degrees will get you ready to teach at the university level or help you advance to the leading edge of your field researching, serving, and creating.
Ph.D. and Doctorate degrees can often achieve the same ends and should be considered more or less equal in weight.
1 Year Ph.D. Programs Online
Chatham offers a 1-year online DNP program for working nurses seeking advanced leadership roles. The intensive curriculum covers care delivery models, quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and informational systems. The program features synchronous online classes and immersive clinicals at sites nationwide. Students collaborate virtually with renowned faculty.
Within 12 months, students complete 36 credits and 1,000 clinical hours. Graduates can sit for Family Nurse Practitioner certification. Nurses with a BSN can enter the accelerated program. Applicants need an active RN license. This online DNP empowers nurses to rapidly earn doctoral credentials while working. It prepares graduates to advance as clinical, executive, research, and teaching leaders.
Breyer State Theology University
Breyer State Theology University offers a 1-year online PhD in Grief Counseling through its Department of Ethereal Studies. This accelerated program is tailored for working professionals seeking to advance their bereavement therapy career. The curriculum covers advanced grief counseling theories and interventions for diverse populations. Students gain expertise in areas like trauma-informed care, healing rituals, afterlife philosophies, and continuing bonds.
The online format combines asynchronous learning with live classes in an intimate cohort overseen by esteemed faculty. Students complete their dissertation in just one year. Graduates earn a PhD from BSU’s pioneering metaphysical psychology department. This flexible doctoral program prepares students to progress their counseling practice or pursue academic research roles.
American International Theism University
American International Theism University (AITU) offers one-year online doctoral degrees for working professionals. Accelerated PhD tracks include Philosophy of Islamic Studies, Business Administration, Education, Finance, and Grief Counseling. Professional doctorates prepare leaders in Divinity, Sacred Music, Spiritual Psychotherapy, and more. The online programs blend video lectures, discussions, and immersive retreats. Curricula explore metaphysics, ethics, and wisdom traditions across faiths.
Within 12 months, students complete doctoral coursework, exams, and a dissertation overseen by distinguished faculty. Applicants should hold a relevant master’s degree and background in theological studies or social sciences. These intensive online doctoral programs allow students to rapidly earn advanced credentials through flexible study with global peers. Graduates pursue roles driving innovation in spiritual care, research, and leadership.
Online Doctorate Programs That Might Interest You
15-18 month doctorate programs without dissertation, boston university.
Boston University offers a Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree program that can be completed in 18 months. The program consists of 10 courses, which are about 33 to 37 credits. Students may concentrate on various areas and can then choose what else they would prefer to learn to complete their credit requirements.
This is a fully online degree program that accelerates each semester’s worth of class to take only seven weeks to complete with new courses starting every September, January, and May. The program is available to doctoral students who have completed an accredited occupational therapy program. There are foundation courses, which include evidence-based practice and health care management, but no dissertation is necessary whereas a doctoral project is still required.
Frontier Nursing University
The Maryville University of St. Louis offers a Doctor of Nursing (DNP) program that is available online. The DNP program requires students to complete a total of 33 credit hours, including 18 to 20 months for completion. Many students in the online DNP program are working as nurses in the field, and this affords them a flexible program that allows many students to achieve their academic goals while active in the healthcare industry.
This course is an online program that does not require a GMAT or GRE. It may have a waiting list, but unlike other programs, it does not require clinical hours. The Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership is an online program that offers personal coaching throughout the process. It is a cohort learning method with online education, and students might need a bit more time to complete it.
Maryville University offers online doctoral degrees tailored for working professionals. Programs available fully online include Doctorates in Higher Education Leadership, Educational Leadership, Nursing Practice, Health Administration, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. The EdD programs prepare graduates for leadership and faculty roles in education. The DNP equips nurses for advanced clinical and executive practice.
Health Administration focuses on healthcare organizational development, quality, and finance. Licensed PTs and OTs can pursue clinical doctorates while working. Courses blend live online classes and self-paced learning. Programs leverage cutting-edge virtual labs and simulations. With a relevant master’s degree, students can earn an accredited doctorate from Maryville University online to advance their careers.
24 Month Doctorate Programs
University of north carolina – chapel hill.
One option is to earn an online Ph.D. in Nursing, while another option is to earn their Medical Degree at the same time as their Master of Business Administration , but the Transitional Doctoral Program in Physical therapy may be earned in 24 months fully online. This part-time program provides online learning courses to help licensed physical therapists enhance their skills and gain access to higher career options. Some credits can be earned through workplace applications.
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University offers over a dozen online doctoral degrees tailored for working professionals. GCU provides online EdD tracks in Organizational Leadership, Higher Education Leadership, and K-12 Leadership. Other doctorates cover psychology, nursing, business, and more. Programs blend asynchronous and live virtual classes focused on applying concepts. Specialized tracks allow customization.
Online students get personalized faculty support and access to robust digital resources. Within 2 years (or less), learners complete coursework, residencies, exams, and a dissertation to earn an accredited doctoral degree from GCU. With flexible and practical curricula, GCU enables busy professionals to obtain doctorates fully online and further their careers.
Liberty University offers a Doctor of Education degree program that can be completed fully online. The minimum time to earn the degree is about 30 months for completion of all 54 credits. The courses are each 8 weeks long and no dissertation is required. The Doctor of Education degree program provides a curriculum that focuses on developing innovative programs, as well as a capstone project.
University of West Georgia
The University of West Georgia offers several online doctoral degree options for working professionals seeking advanced training. UWG provides online doctorates in School Improvement, Nursing Education, Professional Counseling and Supervision, and Higher Education Administration. The EdD programs focus on data-driven leadership strategies and developing administrative expertise.
The DNP prepares nurses to improve care systems and patient outcomes. Coursework blends synchronous evening classes and self-paced learning for flexibility. Experiential projects allow application to careers. With a relevant master’s degree, students can earn an accredited doctorate fully online from UWG to advance as leaders in their field.
Shortest Ph.D. Programs Online and On-campus
Obtaining a Ph.D. can be a long-term commitment and many doctoral programs can take over five years to complete. To help busy working professionals looking to jumpstart their careers and those looking to begin their careers at a high level, this list serves as a simple reference guide, compiling information on some of the shortest doctoral programs in the country.
These online degree programs operate in full-time, part-time, fully online, or hybrid formats.
- Baylor University – online EdD in Learning and Organizational Change, 54 credits, 36 months
- Maryville University – online Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online DNP), 20 months, no GRE or no GMAT requirement
- University of Dayton – online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership for Organizations, 36 months, 60 credits
- Capella University – online Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision, 0 max transfer credits, 60 credits, CACREP accredited
- Franklin University – online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), 58 credit hours, transfer up to 24 hours of previously earned credit, 36 months + 1 year for dissertation
- Walden University – online Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology, up to 53 credits, fast-track option, earn MPhil at the same time
- Frontier Nursing University – online Doctor of Nursing Practice, MSN with DNP, 675 clinical hours for MSN plus 360 additional for DNP
- Boston University – Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy, PP-OTD, 33-37 credits
- University of Florida – online MSN to DNP, 35 credits, five semesters
- Gwynedd Mercy University – Accelerated Executive Doctorate of Education ABD (All But Dissertation) Completion Program, online EdD , 27 credit hours, 18 months
- Duquesne University – Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), 35 credit hours
- The College of St. Scholastica – Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy, online tDPT, 16 credits
- Liberty Univesity – Doctor of Ministry, online DMin, 30 credit hours, 24 months
- University of Florida – Doctor of Nursing Practice, MSN to DNP, 35 credits, 5 semesters
- University of North Dakota – Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice, online DNP, 36 credit hours, 5 semesters
- Seton Hall University – Doctor of Nursing Practice, online DNP, 31+ credits for post-MSN students, 73-79 credits for post-BSN students
- Regis University – Doctor of Nursing Practice, online DNP , 28-33 credit hours, 8-week terms
- Georgia State University – Curriculum and Instruction EdD, Educational Leadership EdD, on-campus EdD, 54 credit hours
- Bowling Green State University – Technology Management, web-based Ph.D., 66 credit hours
- Hampton University – Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management, online Ph.D., 60 credit hours
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania – Safety Sciences, online Ph.D., 54 credit hours
- East Carolina University – Doctor of Nursing Practice, hybrid online DNP
Easiest Ph.D. Programs Online & On-Campus
To be sure, at the Ph.D. level, no program could be considered “easy,” but there are certain programs designed to be “easier” than others. Generally, education, humanities, and the social sciences are considered the easiest fields in which to pursue degrees.
With that in mind, our list of the easiest Ph.D. programs includes schools and programs that offer significantly reduced residency requirements, accelerated courses, credit transfers, and integrated dissertation colloquia.
The rankings below display schools with accreditation from at least one of the six regional accrediting agencies , and all offer at least one virtual Ph.D. degree. Accredited online Ph.D. programs are also organized according to the U.S. News and World Report and Forbes Magazine rankings.
Easiest Online Ph.D. Programs & Online Doctoral Programs
- WALDEN UNIVERSITY – 156 Online Doctoral Programs
- REGENT UNIVERSITY – 81 online doctorate degrees, 6 Ph.D. programs online
- HAMPTON UNIVERSITY – 5 online doctoral degree programs
- UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA – 8 online doctoral degree programs
- UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – 4 online doctorate programs
- COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY – 3 online Ph.D. programs, 1 online doctoral program
- UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA – 12 online Ph.D. programs, 3 online doctoral programs
- NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY – 10 online doctorate programs, 8 online Ph.D. programs
- LIBERTY UNIVERSITY – 19 online Ph.D. programs, 16 online doctorate programs
Easiest Ph.D. to Get (Traditional)
The easiest doctorate degree can vary depending on your interests, skills, and strengths. However, here is a list of doctorate degrees that are mentioned as potentially less difficult to obtain:
- Business Administration: This program focuses on business development, design, methods, tools, and professional ethics. A Ph.D. in Business Administration can be a good choice for professionals looking to advance their careers in business.
- Counseling: A doctorate in counseling allows you to specialize in areas such as human behavior, social psychology, counseling supervision, or specific therapy approaches. This degree can lead to advanced career opportunities in healthcare and social services.
- Criminal Justice: This program equips you with research skills and the ability to analyze data in the field of criminal justice. It can open doors to various career paths, including emergency management, forensic departments, and information security sectors.
- Education: A doctorate in education focuses on enhancing educational research skills and preparing for leadership roles in educational institutions. It can lead to administrative positions in universities, professional departments, or elementary and secondary schools.
- Healthcare Administration: This program prepares you for leadership roles in the business aspect of the medical industry. It covers topics such as policies, ethics, group management, hospital administration, and advanced patient care.
- Human Services: A doctorate in human services prepares you for leadership positions within organizations that help underserved populations. It focuses on policies, legislation, rights, ethics, and protocols for serving within human services organizations.
- Management: This program provides practical skills applicable to various industry settings. It covers areas such as financial management, system management, conflict management, and human resources management.
- Public Administration: A doctorate in public administration develops managerial and strategic planning skills for administrative roles in different industries. It offers coursework in ethics of management, public policy, strategic planning, performance management, employee evaluation, and economics of administration.
- Public Health: This program equips you with advanced training and research skills for the healthcare industry. It focuses on leadership and management roles in public health, emphasizing innovative thinking and communication mastery.
- Public Policy: A doctorate in public policy focuses on theory, ethics, research, and practice in public service programs. It prepares you to analyze and propose policies to improve communities and societies.
- Psychology: A doctorate in psychology combines research skills with professional practice. It can lead to careers as addictions counselors, applied researchers, professional consultants, or clinical psychologists.
- Theology: A doctorate in theology explores divine and spiritual traditions through academics, research, and religious studies. It can lead to careers as professors, social service managers, private school teachers, or directors of religious education.
Please note that the difficulty of a doctorate degree can vary depending on individual circumstances, personal strengths, and the specific requirements of each program. It’s important to thoroughly research and consider your own interests, skills, and career goals before deciding on a doctorate program.
Free Ph.D. Programs Online (Fully Funded)
According to Best-Universities.net .
- Brown University – Fully-funded Ph.D. program in computer science
- University of Houston-Downtown – Full scholarship program for online doctorate
- Devry University – Comprehensive scholarship program for online degrees
- University of Maryland-Baltimore County – Full scholarship program for online undergraduate and graduate degrees
- Wilson Community College – Full scholarship program for community college students
- University of Leeds – Up to 30 fully-funded online Ph.D. programs
- University of the Witwatersrand – Comprehensive scholarship program for online bachelor’s or master’s degrees
- The University of Texas at Dallas – Full scholarship program for online bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees
- University of Strathclyde – Full scholarship program for online undergraduate or master’s degrees
- Emory University – Fully-funded online Ph.D. program in economics
- New York University – Fully-funded Ph.D. program in childhood education
- University of Pennsylvania – Fully-funded online Ph.D. program in educational leadership and policy
If you’re not looking for an accelerated program , the list below displays some of the best traditional Ph.D. programs in the country, according to Study.com.
Best Ph.D. Programs in the U.S.
Guide to online doctorate degrees.
Fewer positions requiring this advanced level qualification and reduced competition for such job opportunities among job seekers are some of the reasons behind the few doctoral graduates.
With technological advancements in almost all areas of life, acquiring education, a significantly advanced level of education has become more accessible.
Graduate students now do not have to attend physical classes to pursue their dreams of developing and advancing their skills.
You can pursue your doctorate in the comfort of your home or even your office. There was a 20% growth in students granted doctorate degrees between the 2009/2010 and 2019/2020 academic years, according to NCES. This growth has been attributed in part to online Ph.D. programs and the streamlining of modern universities.
Online Ph.D. programs are a relatively newer idea and online schooling in general has greatly increased access, flexibility, and convenience.
Students typically complete these degrees soon after completing a Master’s degree in the same area. As such, and with bachelor’s degrees being necessary stepping stones, students can expect their journey from primary school to a Ph.D. to take about nine years, barring any accelerated tracks and failed classes.
Cost of an Online Doctoral Degree Program
When choosing any doctoral degree program, it is crucial to evaluate the costs and salary after attending. Even though online Ph.D. courses may usually be cheaper than on-campus learning, secondary schooling is rarely cheap and not every field will allow you to make back the cost in a reasonable amount of time.
Tuition, materials, technology, transportation, housing, and groceries should all be factors brought into account when deciding whether or where to attend, and in what field you can find the most success and fulfillment.
Below are the annual tuition rates of different institutions as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
- Private-For profit institutions- $18,200
- Private-Not for-profit institutions- $37,600
- Public institutions- $9,400
Choosing an Online Doctoral Degree Program
Since doctoral programs require considerable investments of money and time, it is important to consider every factor before deciding on a school or program. Take some time to consider the marketability, cost, and difficulty of each program and your own interest in the subject. To reach your career and educational goals, do your best research.
How Long Does it Take to Get a PhD
The length of a Ph.D. program can vary, but it typically takes 3 to 6 years to complete.
- A Ph.D. program typically takes 5 to 6 years in the United States.
- A Ph.D. program typically takes 3 to 4 years in the UK and many other European countries.
The actual length of a Ph.D. program can be influenced by many factors, including the nature of the research, the student’s progress, the advisor’s availability, and funding considerations.
- Some students may finish in less time, while others may take longer.
- Part-time Ph.D. programs are also available, which can take longer to complete.
Here is a table summarizing the length of Ph.D. programs in different countries:
Top 50 doctorate-granting institutions ranked by the total number of doctorate recipients, by sex: 2020
Tied institutions are listed alphabetically.
National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Earned Doctorates.
Doctorate recipients from U.S. colleges and universities: 1958–2020
(Number and percent) * = value < |0.05%|.
State or location of doctorate institution ranked by the total number of doctorate recipients, by sex: 2020
Online phd programs for you.
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Biology Graduate Programs in America
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MIT School of Science
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Stanford University Department of Humanities and Sciences
Stanford, CA •
Stanford University •
Stanford University ,
STANFORD, CA ,
Stanford University School of Medicine
- • Rating 5 out of 5 3 reviews
Doctoral Student: I begin in the Fall of 2023--Based on my interview, and pre-classes I have taken this program is amazing. It is very student-centered. ... Read 3 reviews
3 Niche users give it an average review of 5 stars.
Featured Review: Doctoral Student says I begin in the Fall of 2023--Based on my interview, and pre-classes I have taken this program is amazing. It is very student-centered. .
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College of Arts and Sciences - Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
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Point Loma Nazarene University
SAN DIEGO, CA
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Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
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- • Rating 4.75 out of 5 8 reviews
Other: I am Harvard Extension School student pursuing a master degree, ALM, in sustainability. I have achieved a 3.89 in this program so far and have qualified, applied, and accepted as a 'Special Student' in the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Through this School, I will be focusing my time at the John A. Paulson school of Engineering & Applied Sciences. Looking forward to wrapping up my final year on campus! ... Read 8 reviews
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8 Niche users give it an average review of 4.8 stars.
Featured Review: Other says I am Harvard Extension School student pursuing a master degree, ALM, in sustainability. I have achieved a 3.89 in this program so far and have qualified, applied, and accepted as a 'Special Student'... .
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Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA •
- • Rating 4.94 out of 5 16 reviews
Alum: Life changing experience. The fellow amazing students is a big part of the benefit. Access to wonderful opportunities. Grew a lot as a person. Very pleased with my life path after graduation, which would have been unlikely if I hadn’t attended the school. ... Read 16 reviews
BOSTON, MA ,
16 Niche users give it an average review of 4.9 stars.
Featured Review: Alum says Life changing experience. The fellow amazing students is a big part of the benefit. Access to wonderful opportunities. Grew a lot as a person. Very pleased with my life path after graduation, which... .
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Duke University School of Medicine
Durham, NC •
Duke University •
- • Rating 4.75 out of 5 16 reviews
Doctoral Student: I would highly recommend applying to Graduate Resident and Resident Assistant roles in the dorms on campus. Housing can be very expensive, and I helped cut this cost by working as a Resident Assistant on campus. I received free housing and a stipend while getting to engage in the Duke undergraduate community. ... Read 16 reviews
Duke University ,
DURHAM, NC ,
16 Niche users give it an average review of 4.8 stars.
Featured Review: Doctoral Student says I would highly recommend applying to Graduate Resident and Resident Assistant roles in the dorms on campus. Housing can be very expensive, and I helped cut this cost by working as a Resident... .
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Brown University Graduate School
Providence, RI •
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School of Arts & Sciences - University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA •
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PHILADELPHIA, PA ,
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Evanston, IL •
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Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Nashville, TN •
Vanderbilt University •
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Graduate Student: Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Loved my experience! Great teachers, easy to access, clear cut goals in class, great clinical experiences. ... Read 2 reviews
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Featured Review: Graduate Student says Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Loved my experience! Great teachers, easy to access, clear cut goals in class, great clinical experiences. .
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Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies
Hanover, NH •
Dartmouth College •
- • Rating 5 out of 5 1 review
Alum: I had a beautiful life-changing experience at the grand Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. The Guarini graduate program MALS created so many beautiful opportunities in interdisciplinary learning. Guarini is well integrated within the College, which provides a unique world-class learning experience. Guarini went beyond my expectations and made this experience the best I had and will ever have in my life. The only thing I would like changed is having a GRAD diploma in Latin instead of English to keep up with College tradition. ... Read 1 review
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Division of Biology and Biological Engineering - California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA •
California Institute of Technology •
California Institute of Technology ,
PASADENA, CA ,
College of Science - University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN •
University of Notre Dame •
University of Notre Dame ,
NOTRE DAME, IN ,
Biological Sciences Division - University of Chicago
Chicago, IL •
University of Chicago •
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CHICAGO, IL ,
Pritzker School of Medicine
Dornsife college of letters, arts and sciences.
Los Angeles, CA •
University of Southern California •
University of Southern California ,
LOS ANGELES, CA ,
Cornell University College of Arts & Sciences
Ithaca, NY •
Cornell University •
Cornell University ,
ITHACA, NY ,
Georgetown University School of Medicine
Nw Washington, DC •
Georgetown University •
- • Rating 4.75 out of 5 4 reviews
Doctoral Student: The community at Georgetown is outstanding. Everyone is so welcoming and the support of the community is overwhelming. The location of the school is also great! The few things I would change about Georgetown include the medical school facilities, which are very old, and the high price of education here. ... Read 4 reviews
Georgetown University ,
NW WASHINGTON, DC ,
4 Niche users give it an average review of 4.8 stars.
Featured Review: Doctoral Student says The community at Georgetown is outstanding. Everyone is so welcoming and the support of the community is overwhelming. The location of the school is also great! The few things I would change about... .
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School of Arts and Sciences - Tufts University
Medford, MA •
Tufts University •
- • Rating 4 out of 5 3 reviews
Master's Student: Best: - Incredible colleagues, many of whom are working professionals in the field, all of whom are passionate & come from diverse backgrounds & bring a wide variety of life/ professional experiences that enhance the overall experience -One of the few DEIJ degree programs offered worldwide -flexible options for program completion -many passionate professors & deep learning opportunities -increasing program investment by Tufts, including 2 new FT program-specific professors Most challenging: -program has grown exponentially in the last several years & has experienced commiserate growing pains, including confusion about requirements, need for more faculty, and more opportunities for practice. Tufts is responding but needs to continue its investment. -Since the program is interdisciplinary, students in the DEIJ-L program often need to take classes offered by other dept's/ colleges which may have different requirements & DEIJ-L students may not get preference for registration purposes ... Read 3 reviews
Tufts University ,
MEDFORD, MA ,
3 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.
Featured Review: Master's Student says Best: - Incredible colleagues, many of whom are working professionals in the field, all of whom are passionate & come from diverse backgrounds & bring a wide variety of life/ professional experiences that... -One of the few DEIJ degree programs offered worldwide -flexible options for program completion -many passionate professors & deep learning opportunities -increasing program investment by Tufts, including 2 new FT program-specific professors Most challenging: -program has grown exponentially in the last several years & has experienced commiserate growing pains, including confusion about requirements, need for more faculty, and more opportunities for... -Since the program is interdisciplinary, students in the DEIJ-L program often need to take classes offered by other dept's/ colleges which may have different requirements & DEIJ-L students may not... .
UCLA College of Letters and Science
University of California - Los Angeles •
- • Rating 3 out of 5 1 review
University of California - Los Angeles ,
1 Niche users give it an average review of 3 stars.
Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
Baltimore, MD •
Johns Hopkins University •
- • Rating 4.5 out of 5 18 reviews
Master's Student: I have yet to enroll for Fall 2023 after receiving my acceptance letter due to a delay in my need-based financial aid from JHU. However the Homewood Campus in Baltimore is beautiful and my Student Advisor, Alexis has been extremely helpful in initiating my enrollment process and answering all of my questions in a timely matter. My intended Advanced Academic Program is the accelerated (2 semester), dual-modality, 40-credit M.S. in Biotechnology, Biodefense concentration. All of the anticipated course subjects are diverse and there's even a customizable core lab course on campus (at least until Summer 2024). I can't wait and I wish you all the best in your search for academic programs or professional certifications. ... Read 18 reviews
Johns Hopkins University ,
BALTIMORE, MD ,
18 Niche users give it an average review of 4.5 stars.
Featured Review: Master's Student says I have yet to enroll for Fall 2023 after receiving my acceptance letter due to a delay in my need-based financial aid from JHU. However the Homewood Campus in Baltimore is beautiful and my Student... .
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Mellon College of Science
Pittsburgh, PA •
Carnegie Mellon University •
Carnegie Mellon University ,
PITTSBURGH, PA ,
The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences - University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA •
University of Virginia •
- • Rating 4 out of 5 1 review
Alum: Very good in some areas, excellent in other areas, many academic choices available in all areas of study ... Read 1 review
University of Virginia ,
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA ,
1 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.
Featured Review: Alum says Very good in some areas, excellent in other areas, many academic choices available in all areas of study .
College of Sciences - Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA •
Georgia Institute of Technology •
Other: Georgia Tech is among the top colleges you can attend. My journey there had its highs and lows, but looking back, every experience contributed significantly to my growth. A piece of advice I'd offer to newcomers is to prioritize building friendships early on. One regret I have as I reflect on my year is not connecting with more people. I initially thought I should always work independently, but that was a misstep in my academic journey. Remember, it's essential to strike a balance between learning and having fun. ... Read 1 review
Georgia Institute of Technology ,
ATLANTA, GA ,
Featured Review: Other says Georgia Tech is among the top colleges you can attend. My journey there had its highs and lows, but looking back, every experience contributed significantly to my growth. A piece of advice I'd offer... .
College of Arts and Sciences - Lehigh University
Lehigh University •
University of Pittsburgh
- • Rating 4.43 out of 5 75
College of Science and Engineering - San Francisco State University
San Francisco State University •
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Helpful guides for applying to the biology phd program, tips for applying to the cmob track, tips for applying to the eco/evo track.
The PhD program trains students for careers in research and teaching. In addition to a wide range of courses, the PhD program offers informal but intensive instruction in laboratories and seminars, characterized by close contact between students and their faculty advisors. Biology is one of fourteen home programs in the Biosciences, which span the School of Medicine and the School of Humanities and Sciences.
How to Apply
For the 2023-2024 PhD application season, application processes will be run through existing Biology (School of Humanities & Sciences) and the Oceans Department(Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability).
Previously part of the Biology Department , Hopkins Marine Station is now part of the Oceans Department within the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability (SDSS). Several faculty took appointments in Oceans, while others chose to stay in Biology; still others have joint appointments. Additionally, several faculty members in Ecology/Evolutionary Biology now have joint appointments within Biology and SDSS. Based on these changes, the following information will provide further guidance for the application process.
- Faculty with 100% appointments in Biology, will only recruit through Biology. The Biology application will be used.
- Ecology/Evolutionary Biology faculty with 50/50 appointments in both Biology and SDSS will recruit students through either Biology or Earth Systems Science . If you are interested in working with Ecology/Evolutionary faculty with joint Biology/SDSS appointments, you should reach out to them directly regarding the appropriate application track to choose.
- 100% Oceans faculty will only be recruiting students through the Earth Systems Science application.
- Oceans faculty appointed 50/50 in Biology and SDSS (Oceans Department), will recruit students through either Biology or Earth Systems Science . If you are interested in working with Oceans faculty with joint Biology/SDSS appointments, you should reach out to the individual faculty members you hope to work with regarding the appropriate application and track to choose.
Faculty Affiliated with the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability
Fio Micheli 100%
Jeremy Goldbogen 100%
Giulio De Leo 100%
Larry Crowder 100%
Steve Palumbi 50% Oceans/50%Biology
Barbara Block 50% Oceans/50% Biology
*Note Chris Lowe will remain 100% in Biology
Liz Hadly 50% SDSS/50%Biology
Rodolfo Dirzo 50% SDSS/50%Biology
Tad Fukami 50% SDSS/50%Biology
Kabir Peay 50% SDSS/50%Biology
Chris Field 50% SDSS/50% Biology
Gretchen Daily 50% SDSS/50% Biology
Application and Deadline
Stanford Biology PhD Program applications are made through Graduate Admissions . The application deadline for Autumn Quarter 2024 matriculation is December 5, 2023 at 11:59pm pst. The application for the Autumn 2024 cohort will be available in September 2023. Please review the Graduate Admissions website prior to starting your application. Applications are considered for admission in Autumn Quarter only.
To check your application status, click here to Visit Your Status Page .
- U.S. Bachelor's degree or its foreign equivalent
- Stanford Graduate application
- Non-refundable application fee of $125 (or fee waiver found here )
- Statement of Purpose
- Three Letters of Recommendation (a maximum of four letters will be accepted)
- Transcripts - Unofficial transcripts from all universities and colleges you've attended for one year or more must be uploaded to the online application. Graduate Admissions only requires admitted applicants who accept the offer of admission to submit official transcripts that shows their degree conferral. Please do not send or have sent any official transcripts to us at this time.
- TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language (required for non-native English speakers)
- A current Curriculum Vitae/Resume
Join dozens of Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences students who gain valuable leadership skills in a multidisciplinary, multicultural community as Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS). KHS admits up to 100 select applicants each year from across Stanford’s seven graduate schools, and delivers engaging experiences that prepare them to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders ready to address complex global challenges. As a scholar, you join a distinguished cohort, participate in up to three years of leadership programming, and receive full funding for up to three years of your PhD studies at Stanford. Candidates of any country may apply. KHS applicants must have earned their first undergraduate degree within the last seven years, and must apply to both a Stanford graduate program and to KHS. Stanford PhD students may also apply to KHS during their first year of PhD enrollment. If you aspire to be a leader in your field, we invite you to apply. The KHS application deadline is October 11, 2023. Learn more about KHS admission .
Biology PhD Program General Information
Diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging.
The Department of Biology recognizes that the Supreme Court issued a ruling in June 2023 about the consideration of certain types of demographic information as part of an admission review. All applications submitted during upcoming application cycles will be reviewed in conformance with that decision. The Department of Biology welcomes graduate applications from individuals with a broad range of life experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds who would contribute to our community of scholars. Review of applications is holistic and individualized, considering each applicant’s academic record and accomplishments, letters of recommendation, and admissions essays in order to understand how an applicant’s life experiences have shaped their past and potential contributions to their field.Please see the websites below for more resources.
- Diversity and Engagement in Biosciences PhD Programs
- Vice Provost for Graduate Education
- Biology Equity and Belonging
- Research Sites
- Faculty Profiles and Labs
- Inquiries about the PhD in Biology should be directed to biologyadmissions [at] lists.stanford.edu (biologyadmissions[at]lists[dot]stanford[dot]edu)
Best Affordable Online Ph.D. Programs
Learn about our editorial process .
ACO Rankings Team
Updated October 4, 2023
AffordableCollegesOnline.org 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.
Are you ready to discover your college program?
An online doctoral program is an affordable and flexible way to earn the highest education credential available.
A doctorate can qualify you for senior-level positions in many fields, including leadership roles at various businesses and organizations. The degree can also prepare you to teach at the college level and perform academic research.
We determined our rankings of the best online doctoral programs using metrics like affordability and academic quality. We aggregated data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System to provide objective, fact-based rankings, so you know which online Ph.D. programs are worth applying to.
Featured Online Doctorate Programs
Our partner schools offer programs that help you advance your education while accommodating your schedule. Visit their sites to learn more about degrees, course offerings, start dates, transfer of credits, and more.
Top Online Ph.D. Programs and Doctorates
Read About Our Methodology Here
These rankings include AffordableCollegesOnline.org 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. from our partners. We use publicly available provisional datasets from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to inform the data for these schools. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.
#1 Best Affordable Online Ph.D. Programs
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
- Little Rock, AR
- Online + Campus
A public institution, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers on-campus and online Ph.D. programs in diverse disciplines. Prospective applicants can contact the university to learn about admission requirements.
The online learning format helps enrollees earn an advanced degree while working full time. After completing their programs, students can visit campus to graduate in person.
A doctorate, the highest level of education, builds expert-level knowledge. Completing a doctoral program takes 3-5 years depending on learners' enrollment status. After completing their dissertations, graduates often pursue careers in academia, research, and industry.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Fast Facts:
In-State Graduate Tuition: $5,760
Out-of-State Graduate Tuition: $13,050
Admission Rate: 56%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1
#2 Best Affordable Online Ph.D. Programs
- Columbus, OH
Franklin University, a private institution, enrolls students on its Columbus, Ohio, campus and online. The university's Ph.D. programs cover many academic and professional subjects and include several distance learning options. Prospective applicants can learn about start dates, doctoral tracks, and admission requirements by contacting the school.
A flexible online learning environment allows learners to engage with peers and instructors, meet with faculty advisors, and access support services. Online doctoral students can visit campus to walk at graduation.
Ph.D. candidates gain deep knowledge in their fields and can generally earn their degree in 3-5 years. Graduates can work in academic or research positions after completing their programs. They can also step into leadership roles in diverse industries.
Franklin University Fast Facts:
Total Online Doctoral Programs: 3
Graduate Tuition: $16,080
#3 Best Affordable Online Ph.D. Programs
- Gainesville, GA
Based in Gainesville, Georgia, Brenau University offers online doctoral programs in many academic and professional subjects. This private university's online learning format caters to busy students balancing school with other responsibilities. Distance learners can access services like academic advising, library access, and career counseling.
As the terminal degree in most fields, a doctorate confers detailed expertise and advanced professional credentials. Doctoral students usually spend 3-6 years pursuing their degrees. Ph.D. graduates can work in academic, research, business, or government careers.
Prospective applicants can contact Brenau for more information about admission requirements and start dates.
Brenau University Fast Facts:
Graduate Tuition: $13,356
Average Cost per Credit: $816
Admission Rate: 92%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1
#4 Best Affordable Online Ph.D. Programs
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
- Indianapolis, IN
A public university, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis offers several online doctorates. These terminal degrees build on students' previous education and professional expertise to help prepare graduates for advanced roles in their fields.
Earning a Ph.D. online can help learners achieve this valuable credential while working full time. Online doctoral students can visit campus to meet with faculty advisors, use campus services, or walk at graduation. Most of the school's programs feature no on-campus requirements.
Ph.D. programs often require 4-6 years of study depending on students' enrollment status. Many doctoral graduates go on to careers in academia and research or to advanced positions in diverse business sectors.
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Fast Facts:
In-State Graduate Tuition: $9,090
Out-of-State Graduate Tuition: $24,864
Admission Rate: 79%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1
#5 Best Affordable Online Ph.D. Programs
- Lynchburg, VA
A private university, Liberty University educates degree-seekers through 242 in-person and online programs that incorporate a Christian worldview. Liberty's online format offers a convenient, affordable route to a Ph.D. in many disciplines.
Earning a doctorate takes a significant amount of time, but attending an online program gives degree-seekers flexibility. To earn their degrees, students must complete coursework, take exams, and conduct research for their dissertations. Support resources at Liberty include academic advising, career services, and financial aid counseling, all of which doctoral candidates can access online.
Liberty University Fast Facts:
Percentage of Students Awarded Financial Aid: 99%
Percentage of Students Receiving Loans: 55%
Average Per-Credit Price: $750
Transfer Credits Toward Degree: Yes
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Reasons to Apply to Online Ph.D. Programs
- Doctorate-holders earned median weekly earnings of $1,909, compared to just $1,334 for those with only a bachelor's degree in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
- Online Ph.D. programs offer more flexibility than on-campus programs, making balancing your studies with other obligations easier.
- As of 2021, the unemployment rate for those with only a bachelor's degree (3.5%) was more than double the rate for those with a doctorate (1.5%).
- In an online Ph.D. program, you can conduct specialized research and become an expert in a field you're passionate about.
- Some online doctoral programs may be more affordable than in-person programs.
Why Accreditation Matters for Online Doctoral Programs
Accreditation ensures that an institution meets a certain learning standard and awards recognized credentials. Attending an accredited school also means you can apply for federal student aid .
In certain fields, individual programs may receive programmatic accreditation. Licensure for professions like nursing and law usually requires completing an accredited program.
Make sure all schools you're applying to are accredited by a recognized agency .
The average tuition and fees for graduate programs in the U.S. have risen a whopping 378% between 1989 and 2021, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
How Much Do Online Ph.D. Programs Cost?
According to NCES data, the average annual tuition and fees for graduate programs were $19,749 in 2020-2021.
Private nonprofit institutions had an annual average cost of $28,445, while public universities had a lower annual average cost of $12,394.
Other factors that can affect how much your online Ph.D. or doctorate will cost include textbooks and supplies, distance learning fees, and whether you're attending an in-state or out-of-state institution.
You can offset some of these costs by submitting the FAFSA and applying for scholarships and fellowships.
Check Out These Popular Online Doctoral Programs
- Behavioral Psychology
- Computer Science
- Criminal Justice
- Early Childhood Education
- Healthcare Management
- Health Informatics
- Higher Education
- Human Resources
- Human Services
- Information Systems
- International Business
- Organizational Leadership
- Physical Therapy
- Public Health
- Public Policy
- Social Work
- Supply Chain Management
Jobs You Can Get With an Online Doctorate
Doctorates and equivalent professional degrees can qualify you for a number of high-paying, in-demand jobs, like physician and lawyer.
Many jobs requiring a doctorate or professional degree boast high median salaries in the six figures — well above the median annual salary for all jobs. Some, like medical scientists and veterinarians, are also experiencing above-average growth over the next decade.
How to Choose an Online Doctoral Program: 4 Tips
Want to figure out which online doctoral program is right for you? Heed these four essential tips.
Understand Your Goals
Students considering online doctoral programs should understand their professional goals and know what jobs they'll qualify for after graduation.
Not all careers require a doctorate; however, a doctorate can benefit you greatly in terms of salary potential and leadership opportunities, especially in fields like healthcare and education .
Ask yourself: Do you need a Ph.D. for your chosen field? If not, how will a doctorate help you?
Research Accredited Online Programs
There are many online Ph.D. programs to choose from, but not all are created equal.
Make sure the schools you're considering for your online doctorate are accredited by a recognized agency , ideally a regional accreditor. If you're applying for a doctorate in a professional field like nursing , medicine, business , law, psychology , or education, you should also look for programmatic accreditation.
As you research online doctoral programs, consider how you wish to learn. Do you want a hybrid or 100% online format? Does the program require any in-person components? Decide what works best for your goals and schedule.
Consider Your Budget and Financial Aid Options
Before you apply to online Ph.D. programs, take time to understand your budget and the cost of each program you're considering. Some programs will cost far more or less than others. Some doctoral programs may even be fully funded, making them highly competitive.
Submitting the FAFSA can help you qualify for federal financial aid , such as grants, scholarships, and low-interest loans. You should also research institutional grants, external scholarships and fellowships , and private loans.
Reach Out to Faculty, Students, and Alumni
Consider reaching out to faculty members, current students, and recent alums of the graduate program you're interested in. This way, you can better tailor your application and have a clearer idea of what to expect during and after the program.
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Doctoral Programs
Can you do a ph.d. fully online.
Yes, you can complete some Ph.D. programs fully online. Other doctoral programs, especially those in healthcare, education, and service fields, may have in-person requirements in the form of practicums and internships.
For instance, professional fields like nursing and pharmacy may require an in-person internship or residency hours before you can earn your doctorate.
Are online doctoral programs legitimate?
Just like in-person Ph.D. programs, online doctoral programs can be legitimate — so long as they're accredited. An online program with the same accreditation as an in-person program will have completed the same vetting process and meets the same quality standards.
You can check a school's accreditation status by using the directories on the Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation websites.
Can you get a Ph.D. without a master's?
In some fields, it is possible to get a Ph.D. without earning a master's. Some programs require or prefer applicants with a master's degree , often in a related field.
Other Ph.D. programs, however, may allow you to enroll directly in the program with just a bachelor's. Usually, this means you'll earn a master's degree along the way toward earning your Ph.D.
Be sure to check the admission requirements for any Ph.D. programs you're considering.
How long does an online Ph.D. take?
The time it takes to complete an online Ph.D. varies depending on the field and program, whether you attend part or full time, and whether you opt for an accelerated program. A typical online Ph.D. program takes at least three years to complete, though it may take as many as 5-7 years.
What is the fastest Ph.D. to get online?
The shortest online Ph.D. programs take around one year to complete . These accelerated programs may follow quarter-based or trimester-based schedules. They may also require you to take classes year-round instead of just during the spring and fall semesters.
Explore More Doctoral Resources
Related articles that may interest you, what is an accelerated doctorate degree online.
One-year online doctoral programs can help you advance your career. Learn more about earning a terminal degree as fast as possible.
Best Accelerated Online Nursing Programs
Accelerated degrees allow motivated students to graduate as soon as possible. Many top colleges and universities offer this degree entirely online.
Women Of Color Ph.D. Programs
The following guide looks at the current educational landscape for women of color in doctoral programs, why their experience can be challenging and what colleges and universities can do to...
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Explore your possibilities- find schools with programs you’re interested in and clear a path for your future.
- Student/Faculty Portal
- Learning Hub (Brightspace)
- Continuous Professional Development
Discover the Ph.D. Program at Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Ph.d. program, ph.d. program overview.
At Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, you’ll discover a unique research training environment of academic inquiry and scientific discovery, combined with exceptional intellectual and technological resources designed to help you achieve your highest scientific career goals.
Through the Ph.D. program, you’ll acquire a broad expertise in biomedical science with the opportunity to go deeper into your primary area of research interest.
year average time to degree
Best graduate school rankings
a top school for biological sciences as ranked by U.S. News & World Report
Guaranteed 5-year internal fellowship
includes full tuition, stipend, and benefits
Whether you’re preparing for graduate school or applying now, the Mayo Clinic experience for biomedical science Ph.D. students is different.
- Research training by leading investigators in fields ranging from molecules to populations, all in the context of exceptional health care.
- Embedded within a top academic medical center, you’ll have access to clinical data from more than 6 million patient histories.
- A Career Development Internship program where senior students experience networking opportunities in career settings different from those of their research mentors.
- A national destination for research training of students from backgrounds underrepresented in science. Mayo’s NIH-funded IMSD is more than two decades old, and Mayo invented the NIH PREP concept.
- Join about 250 students who have access to 300+ faculty members in small class sizes.
- 87% of graduates since 1989 are employed in academia or industry.
- Three campuses in Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona with diverse research opportunities.
- Every student is awarded a fellowship for five years that fully covers tuition.
- Ph.D. students receive a stipend and health benefits.
See yourself here
Hear from students and faculty to get an idea of what it's like to learn here, live here, and be a Ph.D. student at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.
"I can be the scientist I want to be"
Choosing your area of specialization
You'll choose from one of eight biomedical science specialty tracks within our Ph.D. Program. Track choice is indicated during the application process and confirmed after admission. But you'll be able to do research and learn in any Mayo laboratory that interests you, even if it's not within your track.
Perspectives on our Ph.D. Program
"Collaboration is massive here"
Collaborative research and learning environment
The hallmark of research at Mayo Clinic is the highly collaborative interaction that occurs between investigators in basic science and clinical areas. While each investigator has a competitively funded independent lab, collaboration with graduate students and staff across the institution is common. As a Ph.D. student, you’re free to select any Mayo mentor, regardless of which track you choose.
"Allowed me to build my own team"
Tutoring and teaching opportunities are available and optional for our Ph.D. students. If you’re interested in developing these skills, serving as a tutor or a teaching assistant can help cement the knowledge you gain from your coursework.
Apply between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1 for the following academic year.
To get in touch with the Ph.D. Program, fill out the form on the Contact Us page .
Ph.D. and master's degree program catalog (2023-2024), rev. 5-11-23
Explore our virtual visit options or sign up for a video chat to get a personalized look at our program.
January and Spring Term 2024 course registration is now open!
Biology Master’s Degree Program
1 weekend or one 3-week course
$3,220 per course
Learn how to apply critical thinking to real-world scenarios in the life sciences while exploring cutting-edge research and theory.
You’ll gain deeper insight into a range of biological fields, such as molecular biology, genetics, genomics, cell biology, neurobiology and behavior, and ecology.
Through the master’s degree in the field of biology you:
- Enhance your understanding of the biological sciences, including molecular biology, genetics, genomics, cell biology, physiology, neurobiology and behavior, evolution, and ecology.
- Build a foundation in scientific practice, including experimental or case study design and implementation, scientific data collection and analysis, and ethical practices.
- Develop advanced professional communication skills, with an emphasis on sharing scientific results in written, oral, and graphical forms.
A faculty of life science instructors from Harvard University
Personalized academic and career advising
In-depth thesis experience with faculty advisor
Entrepreneurial opportunities through the Harvard Innovation Labs
Paid research options supporting faculty
Harvard Alumni Association membership upon graduation
Customizable Course Curriculum
Our curriculum is flexible in pace and customizable by design. You’ll experience the convenience of online learning and the immersive benefits of learning in person. You can study part time, choosing courses that fit your schedule and align with your professional goals.
As you work through the program, you’ll take courses in essential biology topics like genetics, neurobiology, biochemical engineering, and molecular biology.
9 Online Courses
- Synchronous and asynchronous formats
- Fall, spring, January, and summer options
You’ll complete 1 biology elective course in person, at an accelerated or standard pace:
- An online course with an intensive weekend on campus in fall or spring
- A 3-week summer session
You’ll complete a 9-month independent research project on a topic in biology in consultation with a thesis director.
The path to your degree begins before you apply to the program.
First, you’ll register for and complete 3 required courses, earning at least a B in each. These foundational courses are investments in your studies and count toward your degree, helping ensure success in the program.
We invite you to explore degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.
Our Community at a Glance
Students in the biology degree program are accomplished professionals who are pursuing the degree to continue their career advancement or prepare for further advanced study in biology. They work in a variety of fields, including education, research, and healthcare.
Average Courses Taken Each Semester
Work Full Time
Would Recommend the Program
Professional Experience in the Field
Pursued for Career Advancement
Careers & Alumni Outcomes
Biology alumni have gone on to doctoral programs in a variety of fields, including bioethics, biomedical sciences, biomedical forensic sciences, chronic disease epidemiology, education, medical/veterinary sciences, neuroscience, oncology, and pubic health at top research universities.
Roles held by recent graduates include:
- Senior Research Technician
- Clinical Research Coordinator
- Medical Student
Alumni work at a variety of organizations, including:
- Boston Children’s Hospital
- Harvard University
Career Advising and Mentorship
Whatever your career goals, we’re here to support you. Harvard’s Mignone Center for Career Success offers career advising, employment opportunities, Harvard alumni mentor connections, and career fairs like the annual Harvard Biotech, Pharma, & Healthcare Expo on campus at Harvard.
Your Harvard University Degree
Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, you will receive your Harvard University degree — a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Biology.
Expand Your Connections: the Harvard Alumni Network
As a graduate, you’ll become a member of the worldwide Harvard Alumni Association (400,000+ members) and Harvard Extension Alumni Association (29,000+ members).
Tuition & Financial Aid
Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.
After admission, you may qualify for financial aid . Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.
Learning & Connection
Deep learning springs from human connection. That’s why we work so hard to bring people together — whether in a live virtual classroom or an in-person seminar on campus.
Our approach to online learning fosters interaction without sacrificing flexibility. Each week, you’ll engage with your instructor, participate in peer discussions, and receive one-on-one support from teaching staff—all from your home or office.
Harvard Division of Continuing Education
The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) at Harvard University is dedicated to bringing rigorous academics and innovative teaching capabilities to those seeking to improve their lives through education. We make Harvard education accessible to lifelong learners from high school to retirement.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biology
The PhD in Biology is a research degree requiring graduate-level coursework, completion of a dissertation, and two semesters of participation in teaching (usually as a teaching fellow in laboratory or discussion sections of lecture courses led by Biology faculty). For most students, obtaining this degree typically involves five or more years of full-time study.
A summary of Biology PhD student expectations by year can be found here . Full details can be found in the Graduate Program Guide .
The Biology Department guarantees support for five years for all PhD students, contingent on satisfactory performance in the program.
How to Apply Frequently Asked Questions
1. Demonstrate academic mastery in one of three areas of Biology: Ecology, Evolution, Behavior & Marine Biology; Neurobiology; or Cellular & Molecular Biology.
2. Attain research expertise , including grant writing experience, and complete original research that advances a specific field of study within one of three broad subject areas represented in the department: Ecology, Behavior, Evolution & Marine Biology; Neurobiology; or Cellular & Molecular Biology.
3. Attain teaching experience and expertise in one of three broad areas of Biology: Ecology, Behavior, Evolution & Marine Biology; Neurobiology; or Cellular & Molecular Biology.
4. Attain the skills and qualifications needed for employment in an academic, government, or private sector position related to the life sciences.
Students must complete 64 credits with a minimum grade point average of 3.0; at least 32 of these credits must be accrued from lecture, laboratory, or seminar courses. Students with prior graduate work may be able to transfer course credits. See the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) Transfer of Credits policy for more details.
- 2 semesters of Progress in Research Seminars (2 credits each):
Cell & Molecular Biology: BI 583 & BI 584 (CM section)
Ecology, Behavior, Evolution & Marine Biology: BI 579 & BI 580
Neurobiology: BI 583 & BI 584 (NEURO section)
- 1 semester grant-writing course (2 credits):
Cell & Molecular Biology: BI 581
Ecology, Behavior, Evolution & Marine Biology: BI 671
Neurobiology: BI 581
- 1 semester pedagogy course (1 credit): All Biology PhD students take BI 697
- 1 quantitative course (3–4 credits): from a list of recommended courses .
- Additional courses vary by specific track below:
Cell & Molecular Biology
1. GRS BI 791/GRS BI 792 Graduate Rotation Credits (2 credits each/4 credits total)
2. GRS BI 753 Advanced Molecular Biology (4 credits)
3. GRS MB 721 Graduate Biochemistry (4 credits)
4. GRS BI 735 Advanced Cell Biology (4 credits)
5. Two electives (8 credits, 500-level and above), see the Graduate Program Guide for recommendations
6. Research credits (remaining credits)
Ecology, Behavior, Evolution & Marine Biology
1. Six electives (24 credits, 500-level and above), see the Graduate Program Guide for recommendations
2. Research credits (remaining credits)
Ecology, Behavior, Evolution & Marine Biology PhD candidate coursework is highly variable. Students, in consultation with advisors, develop a plan of coursework and research. Students are required to take a minimum of 32 credits of coursework. The remainder of the credits should be research.
2. GRS BI 755 Cellular and Systems Neuroscience (4 credits)
3. GRS BI 741 Neural Systems: Functional Circuit Analysis (4 credits)
4. Four electives (16 credits, 500-level and above), see the Graduate Program Guide for recommendations
5. Research credits (remaining credits)
The department requires a minimum of two semesters of teaching as part of the Doctor of Philosophy program. During the first semester of teaching, students are required to enroll in our first-year seminar course, GRS BI 697 A Bridge to Knowledge . The course provides guidance and training on pedagogy and other aspects of graduate school.
The qualifying examination must be completed no later than six semesters after matriculation. In most graduate curricula in the department, this consists of a research proposal—often in the form of a grant application—which the student submits to their committee and subsequently defends in an oral presentation. In the Cell & Molecular Biology and Ecology, Behavior, Evolution & Marine Biology curricula , this is preceded by a comprehensive written examination testing the student’s general background from coursework.
Dissertation & Final Oral Examination
Candidates shall demonstrate their abilities for independent study in a dissertation representing original research or creative scholarship. A prospectus for the dissertation must be completed and approved by the readers, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Biology Department Chair. Candidates must undergo a final oral examination in which they defend their dissertation as a valuable contribution to knowledge in their field and demonstrate a mastery of their field of specialization in relation to their dissertation. All portions of the dissertation and final oral examination must be completed as outlined in the GRS General Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree . The results of the dissertation must be presented at a department colloquium.
Forms and additional information about PhD graduation can be found on the GRS website .
9 – 12 months before proposed graduation date
- Dissertation Prospectus & approval form due to Graduate Program Specialist for departmental review and submission to GRS
Semester prior to your intended graduation cycle
- Intent to Graduate Form completed online
About 2 months before dissertation defense
- Meet with Graduate Program Specialist, Director of Graduate Studies, and Faculty Advisor to review requirements for defense
- Arrange for Special Service Appointments if committee members are not BU faculty
- Send first draft of dissertation to readers
Once defense date is confirmed with committee
- Reserve room(s) for public seminar and defense
At least three weeks prior to dissertation defense
- Schedule of Final Oral Exam with Abstract Approval due to GRS
- Properly formatted draft of dissertation submitted as PDF to [email protected]
At least two weeks prior to dissertation defense
- Send dissertation to all committee members
At least one week prior to dissertation defense
- Send program information to Graduate Program Specialist
See the Graduate Program Guide for final dates to submit dissertation to ETD
- Submit final dissertation to ETD (online submission)
- Complete electronic signature page and forward confirmation to Graduate Program Specialist along with a copy of your submitted dissertation
MS Degree (En Route to PhD)
Option one: A PhD student who has advanced to candidacy (as demonstrated by passing the PhD qualifying exam), and has completed 32 credits of graduate-level coursework (not including research) may apply to the Graduate School for an MS degree in Biology. This must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies within the Biology Department. The student’s major professor will receive notification of this application process.
Option two: A PhD student who has taken, but has not advanced to candidacy based on the PhD qualifying examination, may still receive an MS degree. This student may receive a Coursework MS degree provided they have completed 32 credits of coursework (not including research credits). Alternatively, this student may receive a Scholarly Paper or Research Thesis MS degree if the written portion of the qualifying examination is adapted to ensure it is of sufficiently high quality for a MS degree, and approved by a majority of the qualifying exam committee and the Director of Graduate Studies.
Interdisciplinary Study Options
Biology PhD students have the option to participate in the Boston University Graduate Program in Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health (BU URBAN), the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship Program Understanding the Brain: Neurophotonics (NSF NRT UtB: Neurophotonics), and the Biogeoscience Advanced Graduate Certificate Program . These programs require separate applications in addition to the standard Biology PhD application; those interested in BU URBAN are encouraged pre-apply .
Officially, the PhD must be completed within seven years after the first registration for doctoral study. PhD degrees are conferred in either May, August, or January, as specified on the GRS website . In addition, the PhD candidacy expires after the fifth anniversary of passing the Qualifying Examination. Petitions to extend this deadline are possible at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies, the Department Chair, and the Dean of the Graduate School, and can be obtained from the Office of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
The Biology Department guarantees support for five years for all PhD students, contingent on satisfactory performance in the program. PhD students are encouraged to apply for fellowships and grants at funding agencies. All domestic students should apply for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships in the Fall semester of their first or second year.
Travel Grants may be available to assist students in their travel to professional scientific meetings; students presenting papers or posters on their research will receive first consideration.
Common Types of Funding:
Dean’s Fellowships: These are non-service fellowships allocated to first-year PhD students that do not have immediate teaching requirements.
Teaching Fellowships: These provide a stipend plus full tuition and fees for up to four full courses per semester plus a 2-credit teaching course. Teaching responsibilities usually require approximately 20 hours per week. Full or partial awards may be given.
Doctoral Research Fellowships: These awards are given to students who assist individual faculty with specific areas of research. These Research Fellowships provide a stipend and full tuition. The supervising faculty member determines the specific duties of the Research Fellow.
In addition to the above funding sources, several competitive Department awards and fellowships are available to graduate students in the Department of Biology.
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The 15 Fastest Online Ph.D. and Doctorate Degrees in 2023
Find your perfect graduate degree.
Many professionals pursue doctorate degrees because of their fairly strong employment prospects ! About 70% of the 2020 new PhD holders reported “definite commitments” from prospective employers from academia and industries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, doctorate holders earned the highest median weekly pay ($1,885) and the lowest unemployment rate (2.5%) among bachelor’s and master’s degree holders.
But we all know that the path to higher education isn’t all roses! Candidates in PhD and doctorate programs take between four and eight years to earn their degrees, and spend $114,300 on average . With the cost of attendance comes student loan debts that can reach $108,400 on average, and it can be as high as $159,625 for PhD holders .
No wonder individuals interested in enjoying the benefits of a doctorate look for the fastest programs and fields of study!
Quick audio summary:
Fastest online ph.d. and doctorate degrees, doctor of audiology.
Hearing issues have adverse effects on an individual’s quality of life and, thus, preventing and addressing these issues is crucial. This is where audiologists come in through their expertise in diagnosing, preventing, and treating hearing issues. Note that hearing issues also affect balance and, thus, audiologists empower their patients to enjoy daily activities better.
Aside from prescribing medical devices, audiologists also provide counseling services for their patients in dealing with their hearing and balance issues. Their job also includes providing reliable and relevant information to family members, caregivers, and the community.
Audiologists must possess a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree and a state license. The AuD degree can be earned in four years, but accelerated three-year programs are the fastest. The shortened curriculum in accelerated programs doesn’t mean lower academic quality – it just means the courses have been compressed aside from being fast-paced. Students must be 100% committed to earning the degree within the three-year timetable.
Students progress through the foundational courses in:
- Normal and Abnormal Communication Development,
- Pharmacology in Audiology,
- and Diagnosis and Treatment of Hearing and Balance Issues.
The curriculum also includes internships in hospitals, clinics and outpatient facilities where students develop their clinical skills in healthcare settings. Students observe licensed audiologists in action and have direct patient interactions through patient consultations. The hands-on experience strengthens the theories learned in the virtual or blended classroom.
Audiologists find gainful employment in healthcare settings and other industries. Industrial audiologists, for example, prevent hearing issues by developing safety protocols while educational audiologists work with children with hearing issues.
Median Pay: $81,030 per year
Job Outlook: 16%
Job Opportunities: Audiologists
Best Schools: Western Michigan University , Salus University , and University of Cincinnati
Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering
The typical time-to-completion among PhD in Biomedical Engineering is 5-6 years, but accelerated programs decrease it to 3-4 years. Of course, your time-to-completion will be determined by your commitment, enrolment status and compliance with the scheduled milestones. The third-year mark, for example, is typically dedicated to the completion of the dissertation, fulfillment of teaching and a research assistantship, and compliance with remaining academic requirements.
Accelerated programs are hands-on learning experiences for candidates who must be 100% committed to their post-graduate studies, including their research and teaching assistantships. Candidates progress through the fast-paced, rigorous programs of study that integrate didactic coursework with world-class independent research. Close collaborations with faculty members in faculty-led research projects are also typical, and these allow candidates to develop their interdisciplinary skills and establish professional networks.
Admission requirements vary, but most accelerated programs require applicants to possess a master’s degree in biomedical engineering or other related fields. Minimum GRE/GMAT scores and cumulative graduate GPA are also common requirements:
- a personal statement,
- letters of reference,
- and statement of purpose.
Admission is competitive in accelerated PhD in Biomedical Engineering programs due to their above-average rigorousness, not to mention that universities benefit from a track record of high year-to-year completion rates.
Candidates usually undergo several stages in their PhD journey, from acceptance into the program to pass the qualifying exams, making their dissertation proposals and passing the approval stage. Teaching and research assistantships are required, too, which pays for part of their tuition cost and develops their teaching and research skills.
Holders of the PhD in Biomedical Engineering degree work in the healthcare, industrial and commercial manufacturing, engineering sectors, and academia.
Median Pay: $106,919 per year
Job Outlook: 6%
Job Opportunities: Biomedical engineering director, biomedical engineering educators and researchers, and biomedical research scientists
Best Schools: University of North Dakota and Boise State University
Doctor of Business Administration
The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is a professional doctorate and terminal degree in business administration that enables its holders to become business professors, researchers and professionals. Many programs offer it as a standalone degree, while others offer it with technology-related fields of study. Holders of the DBA degree may represent themselves with the academic title doctor and attach the post-nominal DBA letters, too.
Like its equivalent PhD in Business Administration, the DBA degree is also considered a research degree by the National Science Foundation (NSF). As such, its holders are qualified to perform research projects related to business topics and perform management roles in government agencies, corporations and nonprofit organizations. Many occupy senior-level positions, such as organizational development directors and chief executive officers.
Candidates in non-accelerated DBA programs earn 54-60 credits in 3-5 years. Accelerated programs with compressed coursework enable candidates to earn the degree in three years, but it’s crucial to hit the milestones as scheduled. Many, if not most, students don’t have external employment but work as teaching and/or research assistants.
Accelerated programs may offer human resources, international business, and global supply chain management concentrations. Choosing a concentration may involve taking three additional courses and the core coursework. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of business administration, the DBA coursework includes:
- business research,
- international business
- and accounting.
On-site residences or internships may be required in addition to the culminating project. The latter requirement can be a dissertation or a special project highlighting the candidate’s DBA-related insights and interests.
Median Pay: $146,600 per year
Job Outlook: 12%
Job Opportunities: Business researchers/fellows and university professors
Best Schools: Baker College , University of Wisconsin Whitewater , and Bellevue University
Doctor of Education in Community College Leadership
Community colleges are crucial to the American education system because of their inclusive approach resulting in diverse student bodies, among other roles. But there are unique challenges, too, in their management that demands appropriate formal education and training in addition to work experience. The EdD in Community College Leadership degree is the best for the education and training part!
Candidates in accelerated EdD in Community College Leadership programs learn essential competencies identified by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC):
- organizational strategy,
- institutional finance,
- community college advocacy,
- and resource management.
Candidates become qualified for leadership positions at two-year colleges upon graduation with their knowledge and skills. Their future roles and responsibilities include overseeing the academic curriculum, student support services, business operations, and human resources of community colleges.
Many EdD in Community College Leadership programs is standalone programs, while many are specializations within the EdD generalist programs. Both, nonetheless, are excellent educational preparations for roles as presidents, provosts and deans at community colleges.
Between 50-66 post-master’s credits are required in accelerated programs, meaning a three-year time-to-completion. The curriculum consists of core and concentration courses, electives and dissertations; the first two years may be spent on the academic aspect, while the third year is for the dissertation. The core courses include:
- qualitative and quantitative research methods,
- advanced learning theory,
- leadership and ethics,
- and program development and evaluation.
Fiscal responsibility, student and faculty relations, and workforce training are common courses.
Median Pay: $241,727
Job Outlook: 8%
Job Opportunities: Community college presidents, academic deans, and admissions directors
Best Schools: New Jersey City University , Old Dominion University , and Mississippi State University
Doctor of Computer Science
Individuals interested in gainful employment in the fast-growing computer and information technology field may want to consider the Doctor of Computer Science (DCS) degree! With a projected growth rate of 13% (2020-2030) and the highest median pay at $126,830 per year, it’s a degree that’s well worth the time, energy and money. With public and private organizations recognizing the need to use digital technologies in data management, DCS degree holders will have plenty of work waiting for them.
Non-accelerated online programs have a six- to seven-year time-to-completion, but accelerated programs cut the time in half! Candidates can complete an accelerated program in three years but must be fully committed to achieving the milestones as recommended.
Many programs have a minimum of 60 post-master’s credits to complete before the DCS degree is awarded. The first two years focus on the didactic coursework, while the last year is spent on completing the dissertation. The fast-paced coursework is rivaled only by the fast-paced progress through the dissertation, which usually takes 2-3 years for completion. But fast-paced doesn’t mean rushed and reduced quality – candidates must still meet high academic standards!
Note that the DCS degree isn’t equivalent to the Doctor of Science in Computer Science (DSc) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science! The DCS degree is suitable for professionals whose main career goals include making meaningful contributions to the existing body of theories, principles and practices of computing. The DSc and PhD degrees are more suitable for professionals who want to teach in academia as professors and researchers.
Median Pay: $126,830 per year
Job Outlook: 22%
Job Opportunities: Computer scientists, computer and information systems managers, and computer network architects
Best Schools: University of North Dakota , Aspen University , and Colorado Technical University
Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor in Grief Counseling
Licensed psychologists pursue either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or a Doctor in Grief Counseling for career advancement and personal fulfillment. With the degree, their public or private practice can be expanded in terms of types of patients and professional scope resulting in more impact. Indeed, a doctorate in grief counseling degree holders has numerous paths possible, from becoming well-recognized published researchers to well-respected grief counselors with pioneering therapy techniques.
Many also pursue successful careers in academia, such as university professors training future psychologists and grief counselors. The opportunity for scholarly activities is also a come-on for candidates in doctorate programs. There’s also the possible increase of their median annual salary by as much as 50%!
A doctorate in Grief Counseling can be earned in 1-5 years. But a 3-year time-to-completion is more realistic if you want a good work-life-studies balance. In accelerated programs, students tackle a compressed curriculum that includes:
- research methodologies,
- and psychotherapy techniques.
Candidates also gain a professional understanding of grief and bereavement in several situations, from job loss to divorce and death. Psychological first aid is an essential topic, too, along with loss and trauma. Since an entire community can also grieve, candidates also learn about community grief and crisis counseling, emphasizing multiculturalism and group counseling.
Grief counselors work in a wide variety of settings, including the public and private sectors. Many are in private practice, while others are in hospitals, mental health facilities, and retirement communities, as well as the military. As professors and guidance counselors, being in academia is also a lucrative career path.
Median Pay: $51,340 per year
Job Outlook: 15%
Job Opportunities: Grief counselors, family and marriage therapists, and mental health counselors
Best Schools: Regent University , Breyer State Theology University , and American International Theism University
Doctor of Health Sciences
The Doctor of Health Science (DHS) is an academic terminal degree for professionals interested in leadership positions in health sciences, including healthcare delivery systems. The leadership positions cover:
- clinical practice,
- applied research,
- critical thinking
- and analytical thinking skills.
The ideal candidates for DHS programs are allied health professionals, who must be either duly licensed or certified in their respective professions and want to advance their careers. Healthcare managers, practice clinicians, health science teachers and professors are common in accelerated DHS online programs.
Candidates develop the knowledge and skills vital in finding solutions to issues based on evidence, applying the principles and best practices in healthcare management, and building their positive impact on healthcare systems. The DHS coursework then includes courses on:
- advocacy and ethics;
- strategies for improving healthcare services;
- organizational strategies for healthcare leadership;
- and equity, inclusivity and diversity in healthcare systems.
Internships, research and teaching assistantships, and even community immersions are part of the graduation requirements in DHS programs. These hands-on experiences strengthen the candidates’ professional proficiency and dissertation, the typical culminating requirement. The dissertation is undoubtedly the most challenging aspect of accelerated DHS programs, which have a three-year time-to-completion due to the extensive research necessary.
Upon graduation, DHS degree holders can pursue leadership positions that allow them to initiate positive changes in their workplaces and the healthcare industry. The opportunities to shape or influence public healthcare policy, support best practices in clinical settings, and conduct breakthrough research are also in their future. Many also become top-level healthcare managers, consultants, and community advocates.
Median Pay: $104,280 per year
Job Outlook: 32%
Job Opportunities: Healthcare administrator, health sciences researcher, university professor
Best Schools: George Washington University , Drexel University , and Bay Path University
Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies
Both PhD and EdD in Leadership Studies degrees emphasize the interdisciplinary characteristic of effective leadership in public and private organizations. These degrees are also versatile in the career paths that these can be applied in, from academia to business and industry, including healthcare, engineering and social work. Many holders, particularly the PhD in Leadership Studies degree, also become prolific researchers-scholars whose leadership studies advance its theories, principles and practices.
The coursework is divided into:
- core and major courses,
- concentration courses,
- dissertation-related courses,
- research/teaching assistantships,
- and community activities.
The typical curriculum has a specific sequence, particularly for cohort-based accelerated programs, meaning candidates should ideally hit their milestones based on the recommended timeline. Completing the degree in three years is, thus, possible.
The courses usually include leadership-centric topics like leadership theories and intra- and inter-organizational leadership; applied leadership courses like communication, management, law and ethics; and policy development and implementation. As doctorate degrees, there’s an emphasis on generating original, perhaps thought-provoking, research with the dissertation as the culmination project. Leadership research courses, such as intermediate and advanced research methods, statistics, and experimental design, are part of the curriculum for this reason.
Graduates can write, present and defend their research projects in a scholarly manner; demonstrate a proficient understanding of leadership studies in the personal, organizational and international perspectives; and foster positive relationships as part of their leadership.
Median Pay: $97,500 per year
Job Outlook: 8%
Job Opportunities: School administrators, university professors, executive coaches and leaders
Best Schools: Ashland University , Hofstra University , and Gonzaga University
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Candidates in Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs are planning on pursuing advanced leadership roles in nursing, but with less focus on research. The DNP degree has a more clinical focus, while the PhD in Nursing degree has a strong research emphasis. Thus, DNP degree holders have more hands-on, direct patient interactions that enable them to make an observable impact on their patients.
Between the DNP degree and the PhD in Nursing degree, the former has a shorter time-to-completion, too. DNP degree programs have 1-4 years time-to-completion, while PhD programs typically require 3-5 years of full-time commitment. Accelerated DNP programs have three years time-to-completion with the assumption of full-time studies, no failing grades, and hitting the milestones on time.
The DNP degree opens opportunities for jobs as advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), among other leadership positions. The DNP degree is currently considered the minimum educational requirement for entry-level APRNs in many healthcare institutions. Since it’s also a terminal degree, there’s no higher educational level available for aspiring APRNs, too.
Accredited online DNP programs must cover eight essentials identified by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, namely:
- Scientific foundation for practice
- Organizational and systems leadership concerning systems thinking and quality improvement
- Essentials for evidence-based practice including analytical methods and clinical scholarship
- Information technology and systems for the improvement of quality of services and transformation of the healthcare system
- Healthcare policy and advocacy
- Improvement of patient and population health outcomes through interprofessional collaborations
- Population health and clinical prevention concerning improvement in national health
- Advanced nursing practice
These essentials are covered through didactic courses, internships, clinical experiences, and a culminating project. Direct care and indirect care concentrations are also offered.
Median Pay: $117,670 per year
Job Outlook: 45%
Job Opportunities: Nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives
Best Schools: Gwynedd Mercy University , University of Texas Arlington , and Maryville University
Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapists perform vital roles in improving the quality of life among patients with illnesses, injuries, and disabilities that prevent them from enjoying everyday activities in a normal manner. Their expert assistance enables patients to recover, improve, develop and maintain occupational skills necessary for daily working and living. Their patients include people with cerebral palsy, autism and Down syndrome, and patients who have physical disabilities caused by illness and injury, such as stroke.
The minimum educational requirement for occupational therapists is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree in addition to their license. The OTD degree is a post-professional degree, meaning candidates usually have a master’s degree, a license in occupational therapy, and sufficient work experience. The standard OTD doctorate programs take 3.5 years to complete, but accelerated online programs cut the time to completion in half! For example, Boston University’s OTD program can be completed in 18 months.
The coursework for post-professional OTD programs includes:
- clinical kinesiology,
- and therapeutic techniques in contemporary practice.
Concentrations are available in some programs, with prime examples being mental health and productive aging.
There are also PhD in Occupational Therapy or Occupational Science programs, which are research-centric in contrast with the practice-based approach of OTD programs. The PhD programs are more suitable for professionals who want careers in research and academia, which may take up to six years.
Occupational therapists must also possess soft skills to provide excellent patient care and work well with others. Adaptability, effective communication and interpersonal skills, and patience and compassion are desirable traits.
Median Pay: $86,280 per year
Job Outlook: 17%
Job Opportunities: Occupational therapists, rehabilitation counselors, and university professors and researchers in occupational therapy
Best Schools: Boston University , Quinnipiac University , and St. Catherine University
Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Leadership
While there are differences in the curriculum requirements among PhD in Organizational Leadership programs, their candidates develop the right knowledge, skills and mindset vital in their success as leaders. The combination is the result of core, major and elective coursework on the one hand and significant internship, research, and teaching experiences. These experiences are considered among the culminating projects that include an approved, publication-worthy dissertation.
Most online doctorate programs have 3-5 years time-to-completion depending on the candidate’s enrolment status. But accelerated programs enable students to earn the degree in three years, tops, with the first two years for coursework and the last year for the dissertation. There are even shorter programs, but these can be extremely challenging in course load and other demands.
A master’s degree in organizational leadership or related discipline, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation are common admission requirements. Many programs also require applicants to present relevant work experience, even research experience, because of the research focus. In-person and virtual interviews are also used to determine an applicant’s suitability for the program of study and its learning outcomes.
Once accepted, candidates in PhD programs tackle interdisciplinary coursework that covers:
- organizational design and leadership,
- law and finance in education,
- and ethics in leadership.
Learners also gain the theoretical framework and practical foundation for organizational leadership in government agencies and for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
Concentrations are offered in many programs, too, including missional leadership, educational leadership, and healthcare leadership. International consulting and entrepreneurial leadership are popular among business-focused candidates.
Median Pay: $121,220 per year
Job Outlook: 9%
Job Opportunities: Human resource managers, organizational development consultants, organizational development directors, and
Best Schools: Regent University , University of Arizona , and National University
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Online Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs have a three-year time-to-completion, on average, but full-time students can earn the degree in less time. Accelerated programs can compress the coursework and internship components even more! But students must be aware of the increased demands on their minds and bodies in accelerated programs, starting with full-time engagement.
DPT curriculum varies between programs, but just the same, students learn the essential knowledge and skills vital for their professional success. Said success starts with passing the licensure exam for physical therapists, but there’s no end to it either, as licensed physical therapists must have a passion for lifelong learning. Physical therapists with sufficient work experience may also pursue board certification in their desired clinical specialty, such as geriatrics, sports or orthopedics.
Diagnostic imaging, pharmacology, and motor control are among the career-specific courses in DPT programs. Research methods, including statistical analysis, are also discussed in-depth in preparation for a culminating research project, if necessary. Students apply their learning in life sciences and promote research in physical therapy.
Residency programs are typical experiences among physical therapists after they graduate from DPT programs. These are typically one-year programs that provide residents with additional hands-on training, which comes in handy for specialization.
During their practice, licensed physical therapists assist people with illnesses or injuries that affect their movement and pain management capacity. Preventive care, treatment and management, and recovery and rehabilitation among patients form a significant part of their healthcare services. Their job also includes interprofessional collaborations with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses and the family members and caregivers of patients.
Median Pay: $91,010 per year
Job Outlook: 21%
Job Opportunities: Physical therapists, sports clinical specialists, and geriatric specialists
Best Schools: University of North Carolina , University of Southern California , and Northeastern University
Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Social Work
Candidates in Doctor of Social Work (DSW) programs prepared for clinical careers with direct client interactions and clinical research (i.e., practice-based). For candidates in PhD in Social Work programs, their training emphasizes teaching and theory, meaning their focus is on original, if not innovative, multidisciplinary research.
Both DSW and PhD in Social Work candidates can choose a concentration if their respective programs offer specializations, such as:
- advanced clinical practice,
- social work education,
- and mental health.
However, note that DSW candidates usually undergo more advanced internships than their PhD counterparts, mainly because of their practice-based focus.
Candidates can take 4-6 years to complete a standard online program, but there are programs with an accelerated format, meaning candidates earn the degree in three years. The compressed coursework is complemented by the shorter periods between milestones, particularly in the dissertation phase. Both standard and accelerated programs have 45-60 post-master’s credits for candidates to complete.
Regardless of their differences, both programs enable candidates to further develop their knowledge and skills in making a positive difference in others. Along with deeper insights into social work and its corresponding theories and principles, candidates also learn leadership and advanced research methodologies. The typical courses include:
- public policy issues,
- financial management in social work,
- and psychopathology.
Holders of a doctorate in social work degree may also choose to pursue continuing education for career advancement and personal fulfillment. Possible paths include an MBA that will enable effective leadership in nonprofit settings, a doctorate in psychology, and advanced certifications related to social work. Pursuing a license, such as a licensed master of social work, is also popular.
Median Pay: $69,600 per year
Job Opportunities: Community service administration managers, clinical social workers, and university professors or researchers
Best Schools: Baylor University , University at Buffalo , and University of Pennsylvania
Doctor of Philosophy in Sports Management
The typical candidates in PhD in Sports Management programs have a keen interest in the business aspects of sports and recreation and relevant educational attainment and work experience. Their extensive training includes principles and practices in sports organizations and teams’ day-to-day operations and overall direction.
- overall administration,
- finance and accounting,
- human resources,
- law and ethics,
- and consumer behavior.
The coursework may include:
- sports facility and event management,
- sports communication,
- and public policy concerning the sports and recreation industry.
While a master’s degree in sports management may be an advantage, it isn’t a must-have requirement in most online accelerated programs. But it pays to possess relevant work experience in sports management since it will add a deeper dimension to your rigorous doctorate training!
Concentrations may be offered by colleges and universities, thus, allowing candidates to gain specialist skills that can be used in niche aspects in sports and recreation. Examples of specializations are marketing, finance and facilities and events management.
While PhD programs have a research-centric approach, some PhD in Sports Management programs may have other culminating projects instead of a dissertation. These include practical capstone projects identifying issues and offering viable solutions to current sports concerns.
Candidates also develop the important qualities that will contribute to their success as sports coaches, researchers and directors. Effective communication, analytical and problem-solving skills are prioritized, followed by decision-making, organizational and motivational skills. Add creativity and thinking out of the box, particularly for marketing purposes, and you’re on your way to success!
Median Pay: $141,490 per year
Job Outlook: 10%
Job Opportunities: Sports promoters or sports agents, marketing directors, and university professors
Best Schools: Troy University and East Tennessee State University
Doctor of Philosophy in Technology Management
The field of technology management is concerned with the design, development and applications of technological products and services to numerous organizations. These products and services are intended to deliver excellent value, increase effectiveness and efficiency, and promote the organizations’ respective goals. These technological products and services include software programs, hardware devices, and communication and network systems specific to the organization’s needs.
Candidates in PhD in Technology Management programs must have an interdisciplinary perspective since technology management draws from diverse fields. These include:
- computer science and information technology,
- business intelligence and analysis,
- strategic and innovation management,
- and user experience design.
More often than not, organizational issues can be resolved by combining several disciplines and using them in creative ways.
The extensive PhD training is more practice-based, but it also has a strong research component. Candidates prepare for leadership positions in for-profit and nonprofit organizations, government agencies, community institutions, and academia. Their doctorate-level skills include research methodologies and instructional processes, thus, their professional value in these sectors.
Concentrations are offered in some programs, too, with popular ones including:
- digital communication systems,
- construction management systems,
- and manufacturing and quality systems.
Regardless of concentration, candidates are usually required to submit an approved dissertation and undergo an intensive residency/internship. Candidates gain hands-on experience while also strengthening their professional network, a crucial aspect of landing viable jobs.
Median Pay: $151,150 per year
Job Outlook: 11%
Job Opportunities: Business information manager, network administrator, and e-business developer
Best Schools: Indiana State University , Bowling Green State University , and National University
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
One-year doctorate programs are rare because very few fields of study lend themselves well to such a short-term period. The more common time-to-completion for the fastest doctorate degrees is 2-3 years, significantly shorter than the 4-8 years average. These programs will demand more of your time, effort, and energy and demand more in terms of academic background, thesis exposure, and work experience than the typical programs. The common formats are:
- Accelerated programs usually have fast-paced coursework with courses spanning 6-8 weeks and multiple start dates and required full-time enrollment for all terms, including summers. Candidates must meet the scheduled milestones to meet the time-to-completion.
- Practical doctorate programs don’t have a dissertation requirement but require candidates to engage in “dissertation in practice.” Since there’s no dissertation, candidates can complete the graduation requirements in less time; the typical dissertation can take at least a year to complete.
- Programs that allow master’s degree credits to be transferred to the doctorate program in the same or similar field mean faster completion time, too.
But these programs don’t have much wiggle room for error – candidates shouldn’t fail their classes, or they won’t meet the scheduled milestones on time.
Yes, these accelerated online doctorate programs provide world-class post-graduate education and training! Accelerated and standard programs have valid accreditation, credentialed faculty members, and a contemporary curriculum that meets educational standards. When they earn their degrees, candidates in these programs reap the rewards of their labors, particularly improved employability and quality of life.
Of course, candidates must also make deliberate decisions and actions that will maximize the potential of their doctorate degrees! These include immersing themselves in the didactic coursework, applying the lessons learned in their workplaces, and ensuring that their dissertations, or other culminating projects, have a unique value.
- The accreditation must be from one of the regional accreditation agencies that, in turn, should be recognized by the US Department of Education. These include the Higher Learning Commissions, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and WASC Senior College and University Commission. This must be the first thing to look for when considering online programs!
- The program must have applied coursework, meaning that candidates have opportunities to apply their doctoral-level knowledge and skills in real-world situations. The applied coursework is of particular importance to working professionals, most candidates in post-graduate programs.
- There must be a wide range of satisfactory academic resources and support available to the candidates. Pursuing a doctorate isn’t a walk in the park, and there’s no sense in doing it alone! Ask about the quality of academic resources available, such as faculty advisors, library systems and access, and assistantships and financial aid.
- The curriculum should comply with the current standards and reflect the current needs of the industry where the doctorate will be applied. Take a look at the courses and their descriptions to determine their suitability for your career goals.
- The faculty members must possess top credentials in their field of expertise. Look at the program’s website where faculty members are featured, perhaps going the extra mile to research the faculty members’ professional profiles.
Read students’ actual experiences in the program and reach out to the faculty members. The latter is strongly recommended for future doctorate students, too, since it’s vital to their success to choose a faculty advisor as early as possible. Most programs require candidates to choose and connect with their respective faculty advisor on the first term.
Even if you’re planning on an online program, you may want to make an on-campus visit, if only once, before you submit your application for admission. The on-campus visit will open your eyes to the universities’ unique academic environment, including its research resources and facilities.
The primary factors are:
- The approach and methodology used for the dissertation is significant factor in the time-to-completion since it’s the culminating requirement. Most programs allot 1-3 years for the dissertation phase due to the complex and conscientious nature of writing a post-graduate research project. Accelerated programs, however, typically set a one-year timeline for the dissertation.
- The credits that can be transferred into the doctorate program from a master’s degree and life and work experiences. Look for MS-to-PhD programs that allow overlapping of credits between the degrees.
- The number of credits taken every term with candidates classified either part-time or full-time. Candidates who want to earn their degree in 2-3 years take on a full-time course load every term, including summers.
- The delivery mode of the courses, which can be in-person, online or hybrid, is also a significant factor as it influences the pace of study. Online programs are popular because they provide flexible scheduling for working professionals, including accelerating the courses. But accelerated programs demand diligence, drive and determination among candidates so that they can stay on track.
In the end, your commitment to earning a doctorate from an online accelerated program is the biggest influence in your time-to-completion.
Remember that a doctorate is neither about rote memorization nor about rehashing existing knowledge! Instead, it’s about your ability to create new knowledge via your dissertation, research project, or special project to your field of study. Your academic coursework, seminars and assistantships culminate in your dissertation or its equivalent, and your newly-acquired knowledge and skillsets are highlighted in it.
With that being said, you must be strongly passionate about the field of study and its specialized area that you’ve chosen to pursue as a doctorate student. The dissertation process is extremely challenging, and without your strong personal passion and professional commitment, you won’t be able to complete it.
Other traits that effective doctorate candidates possess are:
- Openness to new knowledge and skills combined with a strong sense of curiosity, creativity and flexibility
- The ability for independent work while also being able to work with a team, such as in research projects
- Skill in designing your work plan from start to finish and being able to carry it out as planned
- Personal accountability both to yourself and others
- Willingness to ask for assistance, including when, how and from whom, as well as the willingness to provide assistance
The best one: A doctorate can open doors of opportunities! A terminal degree is a must for leadership positions in many fields of study since it demonstrates expertise in relevant knowledge and skills. This is particularly true for leadership positions in academia, such as university presidents, provosts and deans, and university professors.
For certain industries, a doctorate is a strong competitive edge. The pharmaceutical and medical industries are prime examples because of their emphasis on research and new products and processes. There are also occupations where a doctorate is a must for licensure and career advancements, such as physical therapy and audiology.
Indeed, the shorter the time spent on their doctorate studies, the lower the cost of attendance and the faster you can compete in the job marketplace. But, of course, you don’t want to earn a doctorate only to discover later on that it doesn’t meet the standards of potential employers – no accreditation, prestige and usefulness in the contemporary workplace, among other reasons. The best among the fastest PhD and doctorate programs must have valid accreditation and be recognized by academia and industries due to their useful functions.
Accelerated Online Doctoral Degrees to Get Quickly [Shortest Ph.D. Programs]
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When envisioning a doctorate, people think of long years of intensive study. But that's not always the case. In fact, many disciplines offer accelerated doctoral programs that let you earn a terminal degree much quicker than you might imagine.
Throughout this page, we go through the shortest Ph.D. programs and the fastest doctorate degrees for various fields .
Featured Online Doctorate Degrees
Fastest doctorate degrees to get online quickly.
The shortest doctoral programs typically award professional degrees. While Ph.D. programs often require extensive research and lengthy dissertations, professional degrees have more practical and career-based studies.
Below we highlight fast doctoral programs for each discipline on this list.
Check out these 20 fast doctoral programs:
- Business Administration
- Business Management
- Counseling and Therapy
- Computer Science
- Criminal Justice
- Data Science
- Healthcare Administration
- Human Services
- Information Systems and Technology
- Media Communication
- Ministry and Theology
- Project Management
- Public Administration
- Public Health
- Public Policy
1. Fast Online Accounting Doctorate Programs
Online accounting programs at the doctoral level examine complex issues in ethics, auditing, and taxation. You learn to apply advanced theory to solve common problems or improve processes and policies.
With an accounting doctorate, you can pursue upper management and executive positions.
Featured Accounting Doctorate Programs
While a Ph.D. can often take up to five years, a DBA in accounting can take less than three years.
2. Fast Online Business Administration Programs [Ph.D. and DBA]
At the doctoral level, online business administration programs teach you to confront the biggest challenges in business. You'll discover ways to evaluate and analyze research and combine theory and practice.
Doctoral graduates can take on leadership and executive positions in various organizations or become an entrepreneur.
Featured Business Administration Doctorate Programs
The shortest doctoral programs in business are DBAs, which usually take around three years to complete.
3. Fast Online Business Management Doctorate Programs
Schools may offer online management programs with two practical degree types: a DBA in management and a doctor of management (DM).
These two professional degrees have similar components and outcomes, but the DM includes more research analysis. The DBA has more market analysis.
Featured Business Management Doctorate Programs
You can often complete both accelerated doctoral programs in management in less than three years. But a DBA may require more professional experience than a DM.
4. Fast Online Counseling and Therapy Doctorate Programs
Online counseling programs delve into the latest research and theories in counseling and therapy. You'll learn to apply your findings to improve counseling techniques, awareness, and leadership while furthering research and scholarship in the field.
With a doctorate in counseling and therapy, you can access counseling and postsecondary teaching positions.
Featured Counseling and Therapy Doctorate Programs
The shortest doctoral programs in counseling typically last between 3-4 years. However, the timeline may depend on how long it takes you to complete your dissertation.
5. Fast Online Computer Science Doctorate Programs
Doctoral students in online computer science programs typically pursue highly specialized or interdisciplinary studies. You'll research underserved or emerging fields to develop an innovative application or add to computing discussions.
Doctoral candidates typically pursue research, teaching, or industrial careers.
Featured Computer Science Doctorate Programs
While study times depend on the extent of your research, the shortest doctoral programs in computer science take about four years.
6. Fast Online Criminal Justice Doctorate Programs
You have several online criminal justice programs to choose from at the doctoral level, including a Ph.D., Psy.D., or doctor of criminal justice (DCJ). The DCJ was designed for experienced criminal justice professionals seeking leadership, policy, and administrative roles.
Featured Criminal Justice Doctorate Programs
As one of the most accelerated doctoral programs available, DCJ programs take 2-3 years to complete.
7. Fast Online Data Science Doctorate Programs
Data science doctoral programs examine the tools and techniques for managing, analyzing, and applying data. These programs empower you to develop new innovations and methods for using data to solve practical problems.
You can go on to developmental and analytical careers in data science .
Featured Data Science Doctorate Programs
The shortest doctoral programs in data science usually take between 3-5 years, but that time may vary depending on the dissertation process.
8. Fast Online Education Doctorate Programs
A doctorate in education helps you understand and improve educational policies, laws, technologies, and outcomes. You may specialize in curriculum, leadership, or teaching strategies.
Career paths vary, but Ph.D. graduates often pursue research and teaching careers. Ed.D. graduates often pursue administrator and policymaker roles.
Featured Education Doctorate Programs
The fastest doctorate in education may take between 2-3 years and award an Ed.D.
9. Fast Online Finance Doctorate Programs
Online finance degrees at the doctoral level typically result in a Ph.D. or a DBA. A Ph.D. program focuses more on research. It equips you with the knowledge to understand and analyze financial markets from a theoretical viewpoint.
A DBA in finance explores financial markets and questions from a practical and problem-solving perspective.
Featured Finance Doctorate Programs
DBAs in finance are usually more accelerated than Ph.D. programs and last between 3-4 years.
10. Fast Online Healthcare Administration Doctorate Programs
In a doctorate in healthcare administration program, you often have two options: a research-focused Ph.D. or a practical doctor of healthcare administration (DHA).
While the Ph.D. encourages you to find new research areas, the DHA pushes for new applications for research. As a result, Ph.D. graduates often go into academia, and DHA graduates may enter leadership positions in healthcare organizations.
Featured Healthcare Administration Doctorate Programs
Study times can vary, but the shortest doctorates in this field are DHA programs that take about three years to complete.
11. Fast Online Human Services Doctorate Programs
Doctoral human services programs typically come in two forms: a Ph.D. and a doctor of human services (DHS). The Ph.D. program takes a research and theoretical approach and prepares you more for roles in academia.
The DHS explores new and improved applications for evidence-based practices, leading to policy development and program and system director careers.
Featured Human Services Doctorate Programs
The DHS is the fastest doctorate degree of the two degree types, and you can complete it in less than three years.
12. Fast Online Information Systems and Technology Doctorate Programs
As in many fields, online information technology degrees are research-focused or professional-focused. A doctor of information technology (DIT) has a more practical approach and a shorter timeline than a Ph.D.
DIT programs equip you with the skills to innovate and find new uses for IT.
Featured Information Technology Doctorate Programs
While program lengths depend on the school, DIT programs often take between 3-4 years to complete.
13. Fast Online Media Communication Doctorate Programs
Online media communication programs investigate the media industry's technologies, institutions, and practices. You'll analyze the methods and means of communication and how it impacts people, organizations, and industries.
Graduates of these programs can enter organizational executive or academic roles.
Featured Media Communication Doctorate Programs
Media communication has some of the most accelerated doctoral programs, with many programs taking about 3-4 years to complete.
14. Fast Online Ministry and Theology Doctorate Programs
Online ministry programs give you a better understanding of biblical teachings, more diverse communication strategies, and enhanced outreach capabilities.
These programs often provide specialization and practical training opportunities in teaching, ministry leadership, and church management. Awarded with a doctor of ministry degree (DMin), you can pursue a role as a church leader or advance theological scholarship.
Featured Ministry/Theology Doctorate Programs
As one of the shortest doctoral programs, DMin programs may only take two years to complete.
15. Fast Online Nursing Doctorate Programs
A nursing Ph.D . and a doctor of nurse practice (DNP) program take you down different paths. Ph.D. students study nursing literature and theory to advance their understanding of illness and care.
DNP students strive to translate that research into more effective practices and systems.
Featured Nursing Doctorate Programs
Of the two degree types, DNP programs offer the fastest doctorate degree, taking 2-3 years.
16. Fast Online Project Management Doctorate Programs
Much like business degrees, project management doctorates usually come in Ph.D. and DBA forms. These programs focus on the theory and practice of managing projects. They cover topics in ethics, organizational theory, human resources, and communication.
With one of these degrees, you can pursue executive roles or help teach future business leaders.
Featured Project Management Doctorate Programs
The shortest doctoral programs in this discipline are DBA degrees, which usually last three years.
17. Fast Online Psychology Doctorate Programs
Online psychology programs at the doctoral level focus on research (Ph.D.) or professional practice (Psy.D.). Both degrees can lead to licensure for academia or clinical psychologist roles, but they typically have different formats.
For example, Ph.D. programs often require you to complete a dissertation, while Psy.D. programs may require a practical project and an internship.
Featured Psychology Doctorate Programs
While most Psy.D. and Ph.D. in psychology programs take five years to complete, you may find accelerated doctoral programs that take less than four years.
18. Fast Online Public Administration Doctorate Programs
An online doctorate in public administration (DPA) can prepare you for academia or executive leadership roles in public service. The DPA prepares you to use research and data-driven evidence to improve public program development, strategic planning, and community management.
Featured Public Administration Doctorate Programs
You can complete a DPA program in 2-3 years, making it the most accelerated doctoral program in this discipline.
19. Fast Online Public Health Doctorate Programs
You have two types of online doctorates in public health available to you: a Ph.D. research degree or a doctor of public health (DrPH) practitioner degree. A DrPH program focuses on interdisciplinary leadership and management skills for public health professionals.
You can pursue positions in the government and healthcare systems, developing and applying improved policies and programs.
Featured Public Health Doctorate Programs
The most accelerated doctoral programs in this field typically take at least three years to complete.
20. Fast Online Public Policy Doctorate Programs
You may pursue a Ph.D. in public policy or a doctor of public policy (DPP). In a DPP program, you learn to analyze, make, and implement public policy. You'll also learn to lead effectively at the top levels of government and other public service organizations.
Featured Public Policy Doctorate Programs
The fastest doctoral program of the two options, the DPP, allows you to graduate in about three years.
Frequently Asked Questions About Accelerated Online Doctorate Degrees
What is the quickest online doctoral program.
A DM in program might be the fastest doctorate overall, with some programs taking only two years to finish.
But the fastest doctoral degree varies depending on the school and student. The shortest doctoral programs take 2-3 years to complete, whereas the shortest Ph.D. programs take 3-4 years.
How quickly can I get a doctorate?
Study times for doctorates depend on the type of degree. Most Ph.D. programs take about five years, while professional doctorates take 3-4 years. Many schools offer accelerated doctoral programs that allow you to shave a year or so off of that timeline.
You should note that with accelerated programs come more condensed classes and more intensive study requirements.
Do all accelerated Ph.D. programs require a dissertation?
The answer to this depends on the program. In many cases, Ph.D. programs require a dissertation , regardless of whether they are accelerated. Some Ph.D. programs have alternative requirements, such as a project or a publishing requirement.
Professional doctorates often ask you to complete a project rather than a dissertation. As a result, these are often the shortest doctoral programs available.
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Doctor of public health (drph) program.
A doctoral degree for those who want to translate knowledge into powerful results as the leader of a public health organization:
Doctor of Public Health
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs
All PhD programs at Harvard University are administered by the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Harvard Griffin GSAS), and applications are processed through the Harvard Griffin GSAS online application system .
The following three PhD programs are based at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, designed for students seeking specialized scientific and technical expertise to propel an academic or research career:
PhD in Biological Sciences in Public Health PhD in Biostatistics PhD in Population Health Sciences
PhD in Health Policy The PhD in Health Policy is a collaborative program among six Harvard University schools, including the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The 20 Shortest Doctoral Programs Available
Find your perfect school.
According to PremiumSchools’ chief editor, Malcolm Peralty, “These speedy doctoral programs are your fast track to becoming a leader in what you love. Dive into a world of valuable knowledge, grab those must-have skills, and step out as the go-to expert in your field. Your shortcut to a successful career is right here, ready and waiting!”
With the rapid innovation of education, many academic institutions offer accelerated or shortest doctoral programs in various academic disciplines. Reputable colleges and universities are known for their state-of-the-art resources and tools, facilities, research works, and funding to support professional students.
The following article has been reviewed by Malcolm Peralty
Quick Summarization of the Shortest Doctoral Programs Available Completing the shortest doctoral program is an important aspect of professional students wanting to advance in the current roles of their profession. Since they come with convenience and flexibility, doctoral programs with shorter lengths allow students to work and study without compromising their obligations. These programs also provide non-traditional doctoral students and career shifters with excellent alternatives, especially those who can’t afford traditional doctoral programs or don’t have the luxury of time to complete their graduate studies.
While doctorate studies are considered the culminating term that marks students’ finale of their academic venture, they often require a lot of discipline, effort, time, and resources to obtain. Doctorate credentials are highly desired for professional students wanting to pursue advanced roles or participate in high research activities.
The 20 Shortest Doctorate Careers and School Selections
Let’s get started!
Doctorate in Psychology/General Psychology
Unlike the traditional equivalent, the online Doctorate in Psychology or Doctorate in General Psychology is one of the shortest doctoral programs available. Instead of completing the 6- to 8-year program, accelerated doctorate in psychology programs can be completed in less than three years.
This online program is a terminal degree that helps professional students understand how people behave and think, covering various specializations, including clinical psychology, health & wellness psychology, sport & performance psychology, and business psychology.
The online Doctorate in Psychology program is a heavy research-based academic program, emphasizing research and development of analytical and critical thinking proficiencies. Although each school has different study plans, some of the most common sets of coursework include:
- ethics and multicultural issues,
- quantitative research methods,
- qualitative analysis,
- counseling theories,
- and tests and measurements.
Doctoral students should also expect dissertations and practicums to be a part of the doctorate program’s culminating requirements.
Doctoral programs in Psychology help prepare students for numerous career opportunities in consultancy, academia, research, organization, healthcare, and private practices.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Psychology:
- Capella University
- The University of Arizona
- Walden University
Doctorate in Behavioral Health
With an average completion period of three years, the Doctorate in Behavioral Health is one of the shortest doctoral programs in psychology. It is designed for licensed, working clinical professionals interested in furthering their education and knowledge, offering holistic medical services to help individuals improve their well-being through behavioral changes.
Professional students pursuing an online Doctorate in Behavioral Health will receive advanced training and learning opportunities in entrepreneurship, medical literacy, and behavioral interventions. They will learn in-depth how mental health affects their clients’ overall well-being and discover the different approaches to resolving issues through counseling, therapies, behavioral interventions, and other clinical approaches.
Graduates with DBH credentials don’t have licensing requirements. However, they are required to have certifications in the practice of their profession. They also participate in and conduct extensive research studies that highlight the behavioral and mental health aspects. Unlike licensed psychologists and psychiatrists, DBH graduates aren’t allowed to diagnose clients with mental health issues.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Behavioral Health:
- Arizona State University
- Cummings Graduate Institute
- Freed-Hardeman University
Doctorate in Business Administration
Many schools offer a variety of online Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA), making it one of the most popular and shortest doctoral programs available. It is a doctorate program that prepares students for management and leadership roles in different organizations within the local and global markets.
The DBA program is ideal for professional students desiring advanced studies for career advancements in business, including government sectors, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies. Graduates can also work in the academe as professors, deans, and other school administrative roles.
Unlike MBA programs, the Doctorate of Business Administration program has a more exclusive curriculum. Although most schools offer online coursework, some will require in-person residencies during summer terms. Professional students are expected to complete a set of required courses, dissertation work, comprehensive examination, and final defense as part of the program requirements of their DBA programs.
Many schools also allow students to specialize in their preferred academic discipline, including marketing, management & organizations, leadership, information technology management, accounting, or finance. Students who are more inclined to work in the field of education can also pursue an online Ph.D. in Business Administration, focusing more on research work rather than applied learning.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Business Administration:
- Hampton University (Hybrid)
- National University
- Trident University
Doctor of Nursing Practice
One of the most popular doctoral programs offering fast-tracked learning is the Doctor of Nursing Practice. It is an ideal program for working nurse practitioners, helping them learn more about evidence-based practices.
Through the online Doctor of Nursing Practice program, students will have advanced knowledge of complex decision-making, management, and healthcare practices. Depending on the students’ learning commitments and pace, the online Doctor of Nursing Practice program can be completed within two years on average.
Considered a professional, practice-focused doctorate program, the online Doctor of Nursing Practice program will prepare nursing professionals to be industry leaders who deliver advanced-level nursing care and state-of-the-art healthcare outcomes.
Apart from advanced clinical roles, pursuing the Doctor of Nursing Practice program will help students conduct teaching and research initiatives in higher education. Doctor of Nursing Practice graduates complete a set of coursework that emphasizes healthcare ethics, statistical analysis, organizational social and behavioral policies, and evidence-based research and practice.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctor of Nursing Practice:
- Duquesne University
- The Pennsylvania State University
- The University of Alabama
Doctorate in Management
Completing a Doctorate in Management program is possible in less than three or four years, making it a popular option for professional students who prefer the shortest doctoral programs available. Many schools offer transfer-friendly Doctorate in Management programs that combine highly desirable skills in technology and communication with core technical components of quality research. It is a terminal degree that prepares students for various rewarding professions in the public and private sectors.
Professional students will develop crucial writing and research skills to publish a dissertation throughout the online Doctorate in Management program. Each dissertation of students will highlight their proficiencies to identify a particular area of interest within the modern workplace, test their hypothesis in real-world applications, and develop effective solutions to specific business-related challenges.
Some schools offer a variety of concentrations to choose from implemented into the online Doctorate of Management program, including information technology, human resource management, conflict management, and strategic management.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Management:
- Franklin University
- Indiana State University
- Sullivan University
Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Given that the online Doctor of Occupational Therapy program can be completed within 18 to 24 months, it is one of the shortest doctoral programs sought-after by students in the field. It is a post-professional occupational therapy program designed for licensed occupational therapists pursuing advanced skills and expertise applicable in the workplace.
While most schools offer online doctoral programs in Occupational Therapy, their programs are integrated with on-campus opportunities. They provide students with a space to present their work to various professional audiences, participate in engaging services, and collaborate with professional leaders within the industry.
All courses are evidence-based, advocating a wide spectrum of knowledge of certain topics, including quality improvement, social policy & disability, educational theory & practice, theories of change, and health promotion & wellness.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctor of Occupational Therapy:
- Boston University
- Fairleigh Dickinson University
- University of Pittsburgh
Doctor of Public Administration
Professional students with a Doctor of Public Administration program have earned their doctorate credentials within three to four years. Considered one of the shortest doctorate programs, the DPA program only requires a minimum of 49 credit hours of coursework and dissertation work.
The doctorate program is designed to develop the skills and expertise of innovative leaders who prefer maximizing impact in non-profit, private, and public organizations.
While each university has a unique set of coursework requirements, most online Doctor of Public Administration programs include courses in employment discrimination law, ethics, and social justice, government regulations and administrative law, leadership in public sectors, and introduction to public service management.
Each course is developed to meet the needs of professional students seeking advanced knowledge in addressing unique and complex issues of organizations at the local, state, and federal levels. Developed with a holistic curriculum, the DPA program will highlight the essential components of social service, health management, policy, governance, criminal justice, and business.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctor of Public Administration:
- California Baptist University
- Old Dominion University
- University of Illinois-Springfield
Doctorate in Educational Leadership
The Doctorate of Educational Leadership is primarily designed for working professionals, allowing students to complete their doctorate studies in two years in a full-time learning format. Like the Doctorate in Business Administration, the online Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is one of the most popular options for students seeking shorter doctorate programs.
The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program helps prepare innovative leaders who have the knowledge and skill set to oversee complex organizations through uncertain times. While many students assume that the program is only applicable to education, many schools have offered an interdisciplinary doctorate program in Educational Leadership.
Some of the online Doctorate in Educational Leadership offer specializations in Sport Leadership, Special Education Leadership, Nursing Education, Human Resource Development, Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management, Global Education, and Health Communication & Leadership.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership:
- Drexel University
- Louisiana State University
- Spalding University
Doctorate in Public Policy
The Doctorate in Public Policy program is an excellent option for professional students seeking advanced roles in Education and non-profit, public, and government sectors. It is a practitioner-based terminal doctorate program that highlights a set of coursework, developing students’ problem-solving, communication, management, and leadership skills.
With an average completion time of 36 months, the online Doctorate in Public Policy program is considered one of the shortest doctorate programs available. It is an academic doctorate program that builds upon students’ expertise and skills in the development of applied research skills essential for professional students working in public administration.
Although program requirements vary per school, some of the most common include foundational, core and elective courses, writing assessments, residency programs, and dissertation requirements. Some schools also offer a variety of specializations for a Doctorate in Public Policy, including social policy, national security policy, foreign policy, education policy, and economic policy.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Public Policy:
- Liberty University
- Valdosta State University
Doctorate in Social Work
Professional students enrolled in the online Doctorate in Social Work program can receive their degrees in less than three years. It is designed for experienced clinical social workers with diverse professional experience, learning styles, and academic goals.
Through the doctorate program, students will develop characteristics of both scholars and practitioners. They also adopt the disciplinary habits of scholars through different methodological tools and rigorous study.
Regardless of professional background, the Doctorate in Social Work program will prepare students to pursue a variety of social work career pathways. It is a terminal degree with a clinically-driven curriculum, providing students with advanced practice methods and clinical overview essential to succeed.
Given that it is one of the shortest doctorate programs, professional students pursuing the DSW degree will only require a set of coursework and capstone projects. Depending on the nature of their program, some students will complete a leadership practicum and a teaching practicum.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Social Work:
- Simmons University
- University of Louisville
- University of Southern California
Doctor of Theology or Ministry
Design for professional students in religious studies, the Doctor of Theology or Ministry program will provide students with a practice-focused academic degree that focuses on solving real-world ministry or theological problems with advanced research and practice. Many online schools offer a Doctor of Theology or Ministry program that helps equip students with essential skills in the practice of Christianity.
Many students can already complete their Doctor of Theology or Ministry degree within 24 months, making it one of the shortest doctorate programs in Religious Education.
Students will immerse themselves in an in-depth journey through the New and Old Testaments through the program. It is an academic degree that will help develop students’ skills in bibliographies, theological methodologies, and doctorate-level writing and research.
Students may also choose a concentration in Theology, including Pastoral Theology, Theological Apologetics, Systematic Theology, Biblical Theology, and Church History.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctor of Theology or Ministry:
- Regent University
- Trinity College of the Bible & Theological Seminary
Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Change
Professional students interested in enrolling in one of the shortest doctorate programs available shouldn’t miss the Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Change program. It is an academic program that will prepare students to explore a diverse range of solution-building initiatives for complex social challenges.
As a terminal doctorate, the Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Change program features an extensive research-based study plan. It is a holistic, interdisciplinary program covering organizational behavior, business analytics, research design, statistics, and business methodologies and theories.
Due to the nature of the program, many schools require at least three years of professional experience for students to enroll. After completing the doctorate program, graduates will become effective leaders in various professional settings, including healthcare organizations, academia, non-profits, businesses, and ministries.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Change:
- Adler University
- Columbia International University
- Vanderbilt University
Doctorate in Healthcare Management or Administration
The Doctorate in Healthcare Management/Administration is one of the shortest doctorate programs designed for mid-to senior-level professionals to help them perform applied research in the healthcare setting. Students will become knowledgeable in performing and capitalizing on practice-based research, leading a diverse range of institutions, and shaping public health policies through the doctorate program.
The doctorate program can be completed in three years, depending on students’ pace and commitment. While schools have different curricula for their doctorate programs, the majority of Doctorate in Healthcare Management degrees will require the completion of the core, elective, and foundational courses, dissertations, and comprehensive examinations.
After graduation, professional students will focus more on achieving leadership in healthcare management, ethics of healthcare, healthcare information systems, and healthcare practices and theories. Working as healthcare consultants, healthcare data analysts, pharmaceutical product managers, or hospital CEOs are some of the career pathways for graduates with Doctorate in Healthcare Management credentials.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Healthcare Management or Administration:
- California Intercontinental University
- Loyola University Chicago
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Doctorate in Physical Therapy
A list of the shortest doctorate programs wouldn’t be complete without the Doctorate in Physical Therapy program. With one to three years of completion time, the doctorate program is designed for licensed physical therapists and physiotherapists, providing industry-standard experience, skills, and knowledge.
It is an ideal program for professional students seeking to maintain their relevance while pursuing the practice of their profession in the field of physiotherapy or physical therapy.
Through the program, professional students will take control of various therapeutic procedures, including diagnosis and implementation of physical therapy treatments tailored to every patient’s unique requirements. Its curriculum features a set of coursework in diagnostic imaging, foundations of autonomous practice, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and global healthcare issues.
Apart from coursework completion, students must accomplish practicum requirements in their chosen field of specialty areas.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Physical Therapy:
- AT Still University of Health Sciences
- Northeastern University
- Utica University
Doctorate in Education
Another option for educators and aspiring school administrators pursuing the shortest doctorate programs available is the Doctorate in Education program. The online, accelerated doctorate program can be completed within 36 months, depending on the student’s pace and preferences.
The doctorate program will develop an in-depth understanding of the educational process and build a skill set applicable to educational leadership settings. It is a doctorate program designed for experienced and skilled educators and other aspiring professionals in learning and development career positions.
Integrated with practitioner-oriented learning, professional students will become transformative leaders with a diverse range of expertise in organizational change, learning & teaching, and curriculum development.
Completing the Doctorate in Education program will equip graduates with the essential skills and knowledge to manage and lead positive transformations in community programs, non-government and government sectors, corporations, and academic systems.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Education:
- Baylor University
- John Hopkins University
- Marymount University
Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision
The Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision is another popular option for students seeking the shortest doctorate programs in counseling or psychology. Although the doctorate program has an average completion time of three to four years, many universities offer accelerated, web-based programs that can be completed within 24 months.
Professional students with CACREP-accredited master’s degrees can also transfer academic credits, making it the shortest way possible to complete their doctorate studies.
The majority of the curriculum is designed and aligned with the standards administered by the Council of Accreditation for Counseling & Related Educational Programs. It is a doctorate program that prepares graduates and other professionals to become practitioners, researchers, supervisors, and counselor educators in various clinical and educational settings.
The academic program will also provide graduates with the necessary credentials and knowledge to assume leadership roles in the counseling profession.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision:
- Adam State University Colorado
- Antioch University (Flexible, Low Residency)
- University of the Cumberlands
Doctorate in Criminal Justice
The Doctorate in Criminal Justice is one of the rarest doctorate programs available in the country, with only a few schools offering this type of program. It is a unique doctorate program that will explore and address the demand for highly skilled criminal justice practitioners in the US.
The doctorate program is also designed for professional students seeking teaching opportunities and other high-level positions within various educational and criminal justice systems. Many distance learners can complete their Doctorate in Criminal Justice credentials within two years of full-time learning.
Through the doctorate program, Criminal Justice majors will strengthen their skills in policy implementation, in-depth analysis, and evaluation for criminal justice practitioners. They will have an in-depth understanding of real-world problems concerning the criminal justice field, including reducing recidivism of cases, wrongful convictions, police use-of-force, and federal consent decrees.
Apart from online coursework completion, professional students will accomplish residency programs, dissertations, and comprehensive examinations.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Criminal Justice:
- California University of Pennsylvania
- Saint Leo University
Doctorate in Information Technology
Given that Information Technology is a rapidly evolving field, the Doctorate in Information Technology is a multidisciplinary academic program designed for innovative professionals and leaders seeking to advance their abilities, skills, and knowledge in computing systems and technology.
Apart from technical proficiencies, students will also develop relevant information technology abilities essential to influencing and leading a diverse range of organizations. The academic program will offer a comprehensive understanding of foundational theories and practices and how they can be applied to IT.
While every school has its unique program requirements, students can expect to complete foundational, elective, and core courses, specialization, comprehensive examination, dissertation, and residency programs. After completing the doctorate program, graduates can pursue senior-level roles in academic, government, and industrial sectors.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Information Technology:
- City University of Seattle
Doctorate in Grief Counseling
Another rare doctorate program with a shorter program length is the Doctorate in Grief Counseling . Unlike traditional doctorates in counseling, the Grief Counseling post-masters program emphasizes clinical practice instead of counselor supervision and education.
It is a doctorate program that helps professional students explore and gain a holistic understanding of community trauma and disaster, crisis management, critical incidents, forgiveness, inner healing, and grief management. The academic program will also prepare psychotherapists and professional counselors for leadership and advanced clinical practice.
Through a series of coursework, students will become knowledgeable in reviewing models, theories, and research on bereavement, grief counseling techniques, and factors that impact grief. Some of the most common topics include community & crisis counseling, grief & bereavement, counseling ministry for the bereaved, psychotherapy integration, and ethics in grief counseling.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Grief Counseling:
- American International Theism University
- Mississippi College
Doctorate in Public Health
Professional students completing the Doctorate in Public Health can graduate within 36 months, depending on their professional commitments and pace. It is a doctorate program designed for mid to senior-level practitioners with more than five years of professional experience in the related field.
The doctorate curriculum highlights advanced public health studies and training for preparing graduates for leadership positions in practice-based settings, including community-based organizations, international agencies, non-profit organizations, and health departments.
Completing the Doctorate in Public Health program will help graduates foster advanced expertise in evaluating, implementing, and developing evidence-based, applied public health practices.
Best Schools Offering an Online Doctorate in Public Health:
- Indiana University
- University of South Florida (Low Residency)
Frequently Asked Questions
Regardless of the type of doctorate programs you enroll in, completing doctorate credentials requires significant commitment. While fast-tracked or the shortest doctoral programs online help students earn their doctorate in less time, online doctoral degree programs have a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum that can be completed faster, requiring hard work, grit, and dedication.
Professional students can choose any of the two major types of doctorate degrees, namely the following:
A doctorate program that emphasizes theories, data analysis, and research to have an in-depth expansion of a particular area of discipline.
- Professional/Applied Doctorate
It is a doctorate program that emphasizes developing effective professional practices, finding solutions, and applying research methodologies to a diverse range of practical problems within the field of discipline.
Although Ph.D. programs have 8.2 years to complete on average, some online schools offer fast-tracked programs as alternatives. Instead of application, Ph.D. programs focus more on theories. Due to the nature of applied doctorate programs, they’ve become an in-demand type of post-master’s degree since many working professionals prefer applied learning.
While students prefer shorter program lengths and affordability, others have more specific preferences. Each preference and school classification is considered by students when comparing and choosing academic institutions.
Since many professional students have unique criteria and goals for pursuing doctorate studies, it can be challenging to standardize the shortest doctorate programs. Students who prefer individualized and comprehensive mentoring from academic or thesis advisors can enroll in a private institution with a smaller student-to-faculty ratio. However, extra perks often involve more expensive programs.
The completion time for completing doctorate studies, such as the DBA or Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, will depend on students’ commitment and their chosen discipline area. Some universities have an average completion time of more than six years, while others have 5.5 years as the median completion time. With reputable online doctorate programs, students have the option to complete their doctoral studies in as few as three years.
Both traditional and online doctorate programs have become widely accepted in financial aid coverage. Given that doctorate students will complete their FAFSA requirements, they will receive financial assistance to help them complete their doctorate education.
Here are some of the types of financial aid options available for doctorate students:
- Private Loans
- Student Loans
- Work-Study Programs
Most students can obtain their doctorate degrees within two years when pursuing online, fast-tracked learning programs. However, some students extend their completion time to more than five years due to their personal and professional obligations.
Although online programs are mostly self-paced, schools have time limits to prevent their students from extending their completion time to almost a decade. The extension will depend on the academic institution and specific areas of study.
However, most universities offer a 7- to 8-year deadline from students’ admission date to their final thesis. At some point, the thesis requirements of students are slowed down due to their circumstances and work schedules.
Given the scenarios, it is hard to standardize exactly how long it will take to complete doctorate studies. Students’ pace and timetable significantly impact obtaining their doctorate degrees on time.
As distance learning has become a trend, many professional students have enrolled in fast-tracked online programs at the doctorate level without leaving their current professions.
For example, the field of education requires candidates to have a doctoral degree when taking on leadership roles in the academe, including associate deans, academic supervisors, and deans. Having doctorate credentials will help candidates negotiate higher salaries, career advancements, or licensing requirements in the business industry.
Here are the most popular academic fields for students pursuing the shortest doctorate online programs:
- Political Science
Since many colleges and universities offer a variety of online programs, it’s easier and more possible for students to pursue the shortest doctorate programs available. Gone are the days when online, fast-tracked doctorate degrees are not as good as traditional, on-campus degrees.
Many professionals and adult graduate students nowadays prefer the shortest online doctoral degree programs available due to their flexibility, convenience, and program duration, making them ideal for career advancements and career shifters.
On the contrary, pursuing the shortest doctorate program, such as the Doctor of Nursing Practice, can involve additional pressure. Since it is a fast-tracked program, students accomplish more deliverables in less time than traditional doctorate programs.
While pressure is subjective and depends on all graduate students, it is safe to say that more and more professionals have realized the benefits of pursuing the shortest possible option of completing doctorate studies. All it takes is to find the shortest doctorate program tailored to students’ personal and professional lives, learning preferences, and career objectives.
Related Article: Choosing a Short Doctorate Program: Factors to Consider
Malcolm Peralty Chief Editor
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Preparatory course (pre-university programme).
- Duration of study: September/October 2023 – July 2024.
- Start date: September – October.
- Exams: June 2024.
- Tuition: $7000.
- The level of Russian: All levels.
- Duration of study: March 2024 – July 2025.
- Holidays: July – August 2024.
- Start date: 1 March – 30 March 2024.
- Exams: June 2025.
- Tuition: $8900.
- The level of Russian: Beginner.
- 1 BUSINESS SCHOOL
- 2 FACULTY OF BIOENGINEERING AND BIOINFORMATICS
- 3 FACULTY OF BIOLOGY
- 4 FACULTY OF BIOTECHNOLOGY
- 5 FACULTY OF CHEMISTRY
- 6 FACULTY OF COMPUTATIONAL MATHEMATICS AND CYBERNETICS
- 7 FACULTY OF EDUCATIONAL STUDIES
- 8 FACULTY OF ECONOMICS
- 9 FACULTY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES
- 10 FACULTY OF FINE AND PERFORMING ARTS
- 11 FACULTY OF FUNDAMENTAL MEDICINE
- 12 FACULTY OF FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICAL-CHEMICAL ENGENEERING
- 13 FACULTY OF GEOLOGY
- 14 FACULTY OF GEOGRAPHY
- 15 FACULTY OF HISTORY
- 16 FACULTY OF JOURNALISM
- 17 FACULTY OF LAW
- 18 FACULTY OF MATERIALS SCIENCE
- 19 FACULTY OF MECHANICS AND MATHEMATICS
- 20 FACULTY OF PHYSICS
- 21 FACULTY OF PHILOLOGY
- 22 FACULTY OF PHILOSOPHY
- 23 FACULTY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
- 24 FACULTY OF SOCIOLOGY
- 25 FACULTY OF WORLD POLITICS
- 26 GRADUATE SCHOOL OF INNOVATIVE BUSINESS
- 27 GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT AND INNOVATION
- 28 GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC ADMINIASTRATION
- 29 HIGHER SCHOOL OF MODERN SOCIAL SCIENCES
- 30 HIGHER SCHOOL OF POLICY IN CULTURE AND ADMINISTRATION IN HUMANITIES
- 31 HIGHER SCHOOL OF STATE AUDIT
- 32 HIGHER SCHOOL OF TRANSLATION/INTERPRETING
- 33 HIGHER SCHOOL OF TELEVISION STUDIES
- 34 INSTITUTE OF ASIAN AND AFRICAN STUDIES
- 35 MOSCOW SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
- 36 SOIL SCIENCE FACULTY
- Admission procedure
Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University
Moscow Russian Federation
# 633 in Best Global Universities (tie)
Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University Data
Total number of students
Number of international students
Total number of academic staff
Number of international staff
Number of undergraduate degrees awarded
Number of doctoral degrees awarded
Number of research only staff
Number of new undergraduate students
Number of new master's students
Number of new doctoral students
Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University Rankings
Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University is ranked #633 in Best Global Universities. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Read more about how we rank schools .
- # 633 in Best Global Universities (tie)
- # 262 in Best Global Universities in Europe (tie)
- # 7 in Best Global Universities in Russia
Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University Subject Rankings
- # 342 in Biology and Biochemistry (tie)
- # 304 in Clinical Medicine (tie)
- # 333 in Pharmacology and Toxicology
2022-2023 Indicator Rankings
Thirteen indicators were used to calculate Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University's overall Best Global Universities rank. Here is a breakdown of how this institution ranked relative to other schools for each indicator.
Global research reputation
Regional research reputation
Normalized citation impact
Number of publications that are among the 10% most cited
Percentage of total publications that are among the 10% most cited
International collaboration - relative to country
Number of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited
Percentage of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited
Biology and Biochemistry
Biology and Biochemistry overall score
Biology and Biochemistry global research reputation
Biology and Biochemistry regional research reputation
Biology and Biochemistry publications
Biology and Biochemistry normalized citation impact
Biology and Biochemistry total citations
Biology and Biochemistry number of publications that are among the 10% most cited
Biology and Biochemistry percentage of total publications that are among the 10% most cited
Biology and Biochemistry international collaboration - relative to country
Biology and Biochemistry international collaboration
Biology and Biochemistry number of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited
Biology and Biochemistry percentage of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited
Clinical Medicine overall score
Clinical Medicine global research reputation
Clinical Medicine regional research reputation
Clinical Medicine publications
Clinical Medicine normalized citation impact
Clinical Medicine total citations
Clinical Medicine number of publications that are among the 10% most cited
Clinical Medicine percentage of total publications that are among the 10% most cited
Clinical Medicine international collaboration - relative to country
Clinical Medicine international collaboration
Clinical Medicine number of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited
Clinical Medicine percentage of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Pharmacology and Toxicology overall score
Pharmacology and Toxicology global research reputation
Pharmacology and Toxicology regional research reputation
Pharmacology and Toxicology publications
Pharmacology and Toxicology normalized citation impact
Pharmacology and Toxicology total citations
Pharmacology and Toxicology number of publications that are among the 10% most cited
Pharmacology and Toxicology percentage of total publications that are among the 10% most cited
Pharmacology and Toxicology international collaboration - relative to country
Pharmacology and Toxicology international collaboration
Pharmacology and Toxicology number of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited
Pharmacology and Toxicology percentage of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited
- About the Center
- Event Calendar
- Annual Retreat
- Sid Altman Memorial Symposium
- Job Opportunities
- Joan and Tom Steitz RNA Fellows Program
- Residents & Fellows
Vascular Biology & Therapeutics Program & Cardiovascular Research Center 2023 Retreat
8:20AM Welcome & Introduction Carlos Fernandez-Hernando PhD
8:30AM Keynote Elena Aikawa MD, PhD Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Naoki Miwa Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine Section Head, Cardiovascular Life Sciences Co-director, Center for Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Sciences Director, Heart Valve Translational Research Program Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
9:15AM Faculty Talks Moderator: Anne Eichmann PhD Jean-Leon Thomas PhD Lauren Biwer PhD Roland Assi MD, MMS
10:40AM Trainee Talks Moderator: Liana Boraas PhD Postdoctoral Fellow (Nicoli Lab) Payel Chatterjee PhD Postdoctoral Fellow (Martin Lab) Mean Ghim PhD Associate Research Scientist (Sadeghi Lab) Hanming Zhang PhD Postdoctoral Associate (Fernandez-Hernando Lab) Diego Saenz de Urturi Indart PhD Postdoctoral Fellow (Suarez Lab) Emily Meredith PhD Postdoctoral Fellow (Schwartz Lab) Hangqi Luo PhD Postdoctoral Associate (Qyang Lab) Yaqing Huang Graduate Student (Kyriakides Lab) Pengwei Ren PhD Associate Research Scientist (Tellides Lab)
11:25PM Pober Lecture in Vascular Biology Introduction Themis Kyriakides PhD Keynote William C. Sessa PhD Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Internal Medicine Research Unit, Pfizer
1:20PM Faculty Talks Moderator: Themis Kyriakides PhD Lawrence Young MD Michael Simons MD, FACC, FAHA Andres Hidalgo PhD Stephania Libreros PhD Hattie Chung PhD
3:25PM Reception with Posters
4:45PM Prizes & Closing Remarks Carlos Fernandez-Hernando PhD
If you are a member of the VBT & YCVRC labs, please email [email protected] for late registration.
Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital
Pfizer and Yale School of Medicine
- Vascular Biology and Therapeutics Program
- Yale Cardiovascular Research Center (YCVRC)