Easy Accredited Online Ph.D Programs

What Is the Benefit of Easy PhD Programs?

easy online PhD programs

Enroll in one of our top easy accredited online Ph.D. programs. Don’t let the “doctor” in our title intimidate you!

Less than 2% of the U.S. population has earned a doctoral degree. By taking your education as far as possible, you’ll distinguish yourself from millions of Americans. And with a flexible, online, easy PhD, you don’t need to put your life on pause to gain the credential of a doctorate degree.

Online doctoral programs are ideal for students deeply invested in their academic studies. Beyond satisfying your own intellectual itch, your doctoral research can forever change the way people think about your field. 

From a money standpoint, advancing your education is a wise investment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that weekly earnings rise the higher your education level. It found that, on average, workers with doctoral degrees make 30% more than those with only a bachelor’s degree.

See Also: Easy Online Master’s Degree Programs

What’s the Difference Between a Ph.D. and a Professional Doctorate?

Before we look at the top easy accredited online Ph.D. programs, it’s important to know the difference between a Doctor of Philosophy and a professional doctorate.

In short, these programs differ in their research expectations. Ph.D. programs require a dissertation. They are designed for those who want to teach at a four-year university. A dissertation is a large research project that focuses on a big idea in your field. 

Professional doctorates are ideal for those who want to advance their careers. Doctorates are available in business, education, and nursing. This is just a few examples, though.

In a professional doctorate, you might focus more on applied research. Usually, you’ll do a capstone project to offer a solution to a problem within your organization, for example.

See Also: Top 15 Accredited Online PhD Programs

Can I Really Earn a Doctoral Degree Online?

Yes, you can get a doctorate degree online! That’s why we have this ranking of the easiest PhD programs.

Fully online doctoral degree programs exist. However, for most programs, expect a few in-person requirements.

If you are considering a doctorate degree, you may consider online doctorate degrees. Online doctoral degree programs are a flexible and convenient way to further your education.

See Also: Financial Aid Tips for Online College

What Are the Best Online Doctoral Degrees?

You want to know about online doctoral degree programs. You’re in the right place to learn about the easiest PhD to get!

Accredited Online College uses the most recent data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Each program is scored individually. It’s then compared to all other universities offering that degree. This is done to determine the final score you see by each ranking.

Accredited Online College considers many factors. This includes the affordability, student-to-faculty ratio, and the number of programs offered on-campus and online. To learn more about our online programs, visit our methodology page. 

Narrow down your school search with these easiest online PhD programs!

1. Capella University

capella logo vertical RGB 2

Some universities focus more on undergraduate studies.But more than 60% of Capella University students are earning graduate-level degrees. This fully online institution has 18 online doctoral degrees. These degrees include social work, human services, business, and education. 

Capella has both Ph.D. and professional doctorate programs. For example, you can choose between a Ph.D. in business management or a Doctor of Business Administration. In both doctoral programs, you are assigned a faculty mentor. This mentor will guide you through your studies and help with your dissertation or capstone project.

Capella’s programs are already affordable. However, if you get a doctorate degree in behavior analysis, business or psychology, you might be able to eligible for a $20,000 scholarship. The Capella Progress Reward is a scholarship granted to new students in these programs. You must show good academic standing and pass your first course on the first try to qualify.

This is a great chance to pursue one the easy doctorate degrees while saving money.

Online DBA program focuses:

  • DBA in General Management
  • DBA in Organizational Leadership and Development
  • DBA in Strategy and Innovation

Examples of the PhD programs:

  • PhD Psychology
  • PhD Counselor Education and Supervision
  • PhD Business Management

Learn more about the easiest doctorate at Capella University here.

2. Walden University


Walden University’s mission is to provide working professionals with a flexible pathway to a Ph.D. Today, Walden offers 25 online doctoral degrees. There are Ph.D. and professional doctorate programs. You can choose from areas like psychology, public health, and social work. 

At Walden, you’ll connect with a peer mentor. This mentor is a fellow doctoral student. They will be further along in their studies than you. This support is in addition to your dedicated faculty mentor.

Walden’s student support system is also designed with its online learners’ families in mind. The university chooses kid-friendly locations, like Orlando, for its doctoral residencies. They recognize that many students need to bring their families with them for any in-person requirements. As an easiest doctorate degree, you might have time to enjoy with your family, too.

If you are curious about the dissertation process, check out more here.

Examples of doctorate program:

  • PhD Developmental Psychology
  • PhD Education
  • PhD Forensic Psychology
  • PhD Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Learn more about doctoral programs at Walden University here.

3. University of Florida

University of Florida

U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Florida at No. 34 on its Best National Universities. It is also at No. 7 on its Top Public Schools.

UF is one of the most well-respected universities in the country. Its distance learning classes create more access to the Gators’ leading academic programs.

UF offers six online doctoral degrees. They are in education, nursing, and pharmacy. It has two additional online doctoral options within its Department of Classics. These focus on classical civilizations and Latin and Roman studies. 

At UF, educators can earn a Doctor of Education in educational leadership. You can also choose higher education or educational technology. An additional specialization allows you to examine the role of teachers and schools in society. Doing so allows you to use your research to address a specific problem within your school. If you are considering a doctorate degree online UF is a solid choice.

Doctorate Degree Programs include:

  • Classic Civilization
  • Computer Science Education
  • Nursing Practice
  • Teachers, School and Society

Learn more about doctoral programs at University of Florida here.

4. Liberty University

Liberty University

Liberty University is not new to distance learning. In the 1980s, this faith-based university started expanding the reach of its Lynchburg campus. It did so through mailed correspondence courses. Today, it offers more than 400 online degree programs. Well done, internet!

Liberty has more than 20 online doctoral programs. Many of these programs have several options.

For example, Liberty’s Doctor of Business Administration includes 14 specializations. They range from international business to real estate development.

Some of Liberty’s online doctorates can be earned entirely online. Any in-person requirements are done through on-campus visits. These visits are offered several times throughout the year. This is to accommodate students’ schedules. Coursework is divided into 8-week units. Liberty’s programs have eight start dates throughout the year.

Liberty’s mission is to train “Champions for Christ.” As such, this university has several faith-based programs. There is a Doctor of Ministry. There is also a Doctor of Worship Studies. You can get a Ph.D. in theology and apologetics. A doctorate degree online from LU is definitely one to consider.

Doctorate Degree Programs that can be completed online include:

  • DMin (Doctor of Ministry)
  • EdD (Doctor of Education
  • PhD Criminal Justice

Learn more about doctoral programs at Liberty University here.

5. University of North Dakota

university of north dakota

Based in Grand Forks, the University of North Dakota is the state’s largest institution of higher education. It is also the only school in North Dakota offering graduate-level degrees in law and medicine.

But you don’t need to live in North Dakota to benefit from this university’s reputable degree programs. Ten of UND’s doctoral programs are available online.

Currently, UND ranks at No. 128 on U.S. News & World Report’s Top Public Schools. This university has really set itself apart in engineering, aviation, and medicine. Interested engineering students have several options in online doctoral programs at UND. Here, you can choose to pursue a doctorate degree such as:

  • biomedical
  • chemical
  • electrical
  • energy
  • environmental
  • petroleum engineering

UND also offers online doctoral programs in aerospace sciences, education, and nursing. 

All of UND’s doctoral degrees require 90 credit hours. However, the time it takes to complete each program differs. This ranges from three to seven years. A doctorate degree online from UND offers a range of possibilities!

Learn more about online doctorate programs at University of North Dakota here.

6. Northcentral University

Northcentral University

As a doctoral student, you’ll want guidance from someone who has done the same academic journey. All of Northcentral University’s faculty have earned a doctoral degree. Furthermore, you’ll be in the majority. As an online graduate student at NCU, you’ll join 95% of students that are pursuing an advanced degree.

Northcentral has more than 20 online doctoral degrees in disciplines like:

  • education programs
  • criminal justice
  • psychology

NCU employs a one-to-one learning model.

Here, you’ll get individualized support. In each course, you’ll be paired with a professor in a “class size of one.” Your professor gives personalized feedback as you work through each topic. They also work with you on your dissertation.

NCU’s cost-effective doctoral program tuition rates can be further reduced with its “2020 Vision” scholarship. The university awards six full-tuition scholarships to students with the best essays. These essays describe how their degrees will help them achieve a lifelong goal.

If you are considering a doctorate degree, you may decide to apply for that scholarship. Financial aid is a great way to reduce the cost of doctoral programs.

Learn more about the online doctorate programs at Northcentral University here.

7. East Carolina University

East Carolina University

When looking at your doctorate degree, you can become an ECU Pirate. ECU is located in Greenville, North Carolina. It’s just a short drive from the ocean. It has a national reputation as the No. 109 school on U.S. News & World Report’s Top Public Schools. ECU is also one of North Carolina’s top producers of nurses and educators. 

At ECU, you can choose between four online doctoral programs. The online Doctor of Education offers two specializations. They are in higher education and Pre-K through 12th grade.

Candidates in the Doctor of Public Health program can focus on either environmental and occupational health or health policy, administration, and leadership.

Lastly, nurses can advance their education with either a professional doctorate, the Doctor of Nursing Practice, or the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing. 

The online distance learning format makes it easy to complete doctorate degrees anywhere.

Learn more about online doctorate programs at East Carolina University here.

8. University of Missouri

University of Missouri

If your goal is to earn a Ph.D. without taking on student loans, the University of Missouri might be the school for you. Nearly half (48%) of Mizzou’s students graduate debt-free.

Not only is this university affordable for a doctorate degree, but it ranks at No. 64 on U.S. News & World Report’s Top Public Schools. 

More than 16,000 students enroll in Mizzou’s online courses. Mizzou Online offers ten online doctoral programs. Most of these doctorate degrees are from the Sinclair of Nursing. Nurses can earn either a Ph.D. or a professional doctorate in nursing. The Doctor of Nursing Program has five specializations. This includes pediatric nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology, and family nurse practitioner. 

Educators have two online doctorate choices in education programs at Mizzou. There is either a Ph.D. in art education or a Doctor of Education in educational leadership. Mizzou also has a Ph.D. in agricultural education and leadership and a Ph.D. in architectural studies. That’s a lot of doctorate degrees from which to choose!

Learn more about online doctorate programs at University of Missouri here.

9. Indiana State University

Indiana State University

Indiana State University is based in Terre Haute, Indiana. This school is all about applied learning. All of its programs require experiential learning. This is part of ISU’s vision to be a leader in hands-on education. 

So, while you can earn six of Indiana State’s doctoral degrees online, you can also expect in-person requirements in each program. These on-campus meetings guarantee that you know how to put the knowledge you gain in the classroom to work. 

At ISU, health professionals can earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice or a Doctor of Health Sciences. Educators can pursue a Ph.D. in higher education leadership or school administration.

You can also pursue a Ph.D. in technology management or a Doctor of Athletic Training. Indiana State’s DAT is the only program of its kind to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. 

Learn more about online doctorate programs at Indiana State University here.

10. University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas

Become a University of Arkansas Razorback!

Arkansas holds the No. 72 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s Top Public Schools. The University of Arkansas also has the highest classification awarded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For this award, Carnegie takes into account the quality of a university’s doctoral programs. It also considers the number of research grants it receives and the productivity of its scholars. 

The U of A has four online doctoral programs. Its Doctor of Education offers three tracks. These are in adult and lifelong learning, educational leadership, and human resources and workforce development education. Lastly, the U of A has a Doctor of Nursing Practice among its doctorate degrees. 

All doctorate degree programs are in the same academic departments that serve on-campus students. This means you’ll have the same access to faculty as on-campus students. 

Check out the doctor of nursing practice information here.

Learn more about accredited online PhD programs at University of Arkansas here.

11. Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University is based in Phoenix, Arizona. GCU is a Christian institution with more than 60,000 online learners. A growing percentage of these students are pursuing graduate-level degrees. Currently, about half (47%) are graduate students. 

GCU offers five online Ph.D. programs, all in psychology. You can focus on:

  • Performance psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Industrial/organizational psychology

You can also specialize in counselor education or technology, learning, and psychology. All of these doctorate degree programs emphasize research. You begin working on your dissertations in your first course.

A series of courses will keep you on track to complete your dissertation. This helps you with steps in the process like developing a proposal and gathering data for your research. 

Learn more about the doctoral degree program at Grand Canyon University here.

12. Nova Southeastern University


Nova Southeastern University is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. NSU’s nickname is the Sharks. It also has a Ph.D. program in oceanography and marine biology. So, at NSU, you can both become a Shark and study sharks!

On top of this unique doctoral program, NSU has more than 16 online doctoral programs. These online doctoral programs include many academic disciplines. Examples are:

  • Criminal justice
  • Occupational therapy
  • Cybersecurity management
  • Speech-language pathology

By enrolling at NSU, you’ll have access to the university’s Center for Collaborative Research. Besides providing state-of-the-art equipment, this facility supports interdisciplinary discoveries. NSU’s faculty and students are currently working on more than 200 projects. They are researching solutions to issues like coral reef deterioration. Other research is on chronic fatigue syndrome and cardiovascular disease.  

Other Online Doctorate Degrees include:

  • computer science
  • health sciences
  • information systems

Learn more about online doctoral degree program at Nova Southeastern University here.

13. California Intercontinental University

California Intercontinental University

California Intercontinental University is an online university. It is located in Irvine. The school is committed to graduating business leaders. At the doctoral level, CIU has just one doctoral program. It’s a doctorate of business administration. If you are considering an online doctorate program in business, CIU might have what you need.

You might consider this program if you want to improve your organization through scholarly research. Likewise, you can become a thought leader in global economics, e-commerce, or consumer behavior. CIU’s graduates have gone on to work at Fortune 500 companies. Many others have started their own businesses.

CIU’s DBA candidates choose between four specializations:

  • Global business and leadership
  • Entrepreneurship and business management
  • Healthcare management and leadership
  • Information systems and enterprise resource management.

The DBA program requires 60 credits. You’ll write a dissertation as your final project. You’ll also take a comprehensive exam. This is done to ensure a firm grasp of the material covered in your courses.

Learn more about the doctoral degree program at California Intercontinental University here.

14. Colorado State University

Colorado State

Colorado State University is the No. 79 university on U.S. News & World Report’s Top Public Schools. Colorado State also boasts the title of the nation’s most sustainable campus. Nearly all (90%) of CSU’s departments are conducting sustainability-related research.  

CSU Online offers three doctoral degrees. It has both a Doctor of Engineering and a Ph.D. program in systems engineering. These highly competitive programs attract senior managers or executives. You’ll examine complex systems and discover innovative solutions to improve how they work.

Candidates come from diverse engineering experience. Students might have experience in aerospace, clean energy, or the automotive industry. 

CSU also has an online doctorate program in higher education. This program is for students who aim to teach at a college or university. 

Learn more about a doctorate degree from Colorado State University here.

15. University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus

The University of Maryland Global Campus has served the U.S. armed forces for more than 70 years. UMGC has locations across the state of Maryland. They are also at more than 140 military bases across the globe. 

UMGC offers two online doctoral degrees. Its Doctor of Business Administration is a 48-credit-hour program. The program is geared toward executive-level professionals. This degree finishes with a dissertation. There are required courses in data analytics and evidence-based research as well.

UMGC also has a Doctor of Management in community college policy and administration. This online doctorate is designed for those who want to successfully lead a community college. You will conduct research that will improve institutional operations across the country in this program. 

Both of UMGC’s doctoral degree programs utilize a cohort model. You’ll start and finish the online doctorate program with the same group of students.

Learn more about online doctorate degrees at University of Maryland University College here.

16. Trident University


Trident University International is based in Cypress, California. It is a 100% online institution.

The university is dedicated to adult learners. Most of Trident’s students are over the age of 30. A third of its doctoral students are over 50 years old.

Trident also has a long history of enrolling U.S. service members. Nearly half of its students are active-duty or veterans. 

At Trident, you can work on either a Ph.D. or a professional doctorate. These degree programs are in three areas:

  • Business administration
  • Educational leadership
  • Health services

All of these programs can be earned entirely online. There are no in-person visits. 

As a Trident student, you’ll complete about nine to 12 self-paced courses to graduate. Trident’s Career Services Center is available to help you. They will assist you with applying for jobs that fit your new credentials.  

Learn more about a doctorate degree at Trident University International here.

17. University of Tennessee is in Knoxville

Become a Tennessee Volunteer by enrolling at the state’s flagship university.

University of Tennessee Knoxville

The University of Tennessee is in Knoxville. UT ranks at No. 44 on U.S. News & World Report’s Top Public Schools. Through Vols Online, you can get a doctoral degree without stepping foot in the Volunteer State. 

The doctoral programs offered through Vols Online center include many disciplines. For example, you can get a Doctor of Nursing Practice or a Ph.D. in nursing online. Or you might choose to take on a Doctor of Social Work.

UT’s DSW program is designed for practicing clinical social workers. The program has flexible asynchronous online coursework. There are also real-time, interactive videos. This helps professionals like you to advance your education while continuing to help your clients. 

Lastly, UT has an online Ph.D. program in industrial and systems engineering. This degree program has an optional engineering management concentration.

Learn more about a doctorate degree at University of Tennessee – Knoxville here.

18. Concordia University Chicago

Concordia University Chicago

Concordia University Chicago started in 1864. It began as a teacher’s college. The university is grounded in the Lutheran faith.

This private school has now expanded to disciplines beyond education. Although its academic opportunities have grown, CUC has remained small in size. It enrolls under 5,000 graduate students. There is an 11:1 graduate student-to-faculty ratio. 

CUC has three options for online doctoral candidates. You can earn a Doctor of Business Administration in as little as three years. This 60-credit-hour program has four specializations:

  • Health care
  • Human resources
  • Leadership
  • Marketing

At CUC, educators can earn either a Doctor of Education or a Ph.D. Several specializations are available. This includes curriculum and instruction, literacy, and special education.

Dissertations can make the length of doctoral programs somewhat hard to predict. CUC guarantees that your tuition will not increase during your course of study, though. You simply have to maintain continuous enrollment in your degree program. 

Learn more about this online doctorate degree program at Concordia University Chicago here.

19. Lamar University

Lamar University

Lamar University is based in Beaumont, Texas. It’s a public university. It’s also part of the Texas State University System.

Lamar’s “Cardinal” community is quickly growing. Today, it serves more than 15,000 students. Roughly a third of these students are pursuing graduate-level degrees. 

Through LU Online, you can be part of one doctoral program – a Doctor of Education in educational leadership.

This 60-credit-hour program is meant for candidates who want to reach the highest administrative levels in their schools. Lamar’s Ed.D. program has a global focus. Required courses cover educational ethics, values, and leadership strategies from around the world.  

All faculty members in LU’s department of educational leadership have earned an Ed.D. or Ph.D. This ensures that you learn from experts with terminal degrees in the field throughout your degree program.  

Learn more about online learning at Lamar University here.

20. Keiser University

Keiser University

Keiser University is based in Fort Lauderdale. It also has locations across Florida

The university has more than ten online doctoral degrees. Keiser is focused on adult learners who continue to work as they study in their degree programs. More than 75% of its students work full- or part-time while enrolled in their degree programs. 

At Keiser, you’ll complete coursework that is designed by more than leaders in academia. Keiser maintains advisory boards with professional experts. Statewide community leaders are involved, too. This ensures that the school’s standards are informed by the industry’s specific needs and competencies.

Keiser’s doctoral degrees span academic disciplines. You can pursue a degree program in business or education. Psychology and nursing are other options. This university even offers a Doctor of Business Administration in Spanish. This kind of program gives you the chance to gain advanced business knowledge in your first or preferred language.

Additionally, unique among Keiser’s programs is a Doctor of Chiropractic. Though coursework is administered online, this degree program does require in-person clinical training. 

Learn more about the doctorate degree at Keiser University here.

21. Pittsburg State University

Pittsburg State University

Based in Pittsburg, Kansas, Pittsburg State University’s mascot is Gus the Gorilla. Beyond its standout nickname, Pitt State boasts a unique flat-rate tuition. Here, you won’t pay more for taking more credit hours. Instead, full-time graduate students who are enrolled in at least nine credit hours pay a single tuition rate. 

Pitt State started as a teacher’s college. It has a long tradition in educational studies.

Doctoral students have one doctorate degree online option at this university. That degree program is an Educational Specialist degree in advanced studies in leadership. 

While there aren’t multiple degree programs, you still get variety. Pitt State’s EdS candidates can either pursue specializations in elementary or secondary school administration. Special education is also an option.

This degree’s 36-credit-hour curriculum builds on your master’s degree coursework. It also might serve as a stepping stone to a Doctor of Education.

Learn more about the doctorate degree at Pittsburg State University here.

22. Bowling Green State University


Bowling Green State University is near Toledo. It holds the No. 119 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s Top Public Schools.

BGSU offers one online doctoral degree program. That program is in technology management. If this is your field of choice, you’ll be impressed to learn that among BGSU’s alumni is Shantanu Narayen, the president and CEO of Adobe Inc. 

BGSU’s Ph.D. program in technology management is a five-for-one deal. It is administered in collaboration with Indiana State University, the University of Central Missouri, East Carolina University, and North Carolina A&T State University. 

This Ph.D. program attracts highly motivated professionals with significant work experience. As a candidate, you can choose to specialize in five areas:

  • construction management
  • digital communications
  • human resource development
  • manufacturing systems
  • quality systems

In addition to the required research and core technology courses, you’ll complete nine hours of professional studies. Online students might need to include an internship, too.

Learn more about the doctorate degree at Bowling Green State University here.

23. Johnson University

Johnson University is a Christian school. It has campuses in Knoxville, Tennessee and Kissimmee, Florida.

Johnson has one online Ph.D. program in leadership studies. This program is in the university’s Center for Global Studies. This department is led by board members from several Christian universities.

Johnson’s Ph.D. in leadership studies requires 60 credit hours. The curriculum is divided into course requirements in:

  • Leadership
  • Ethics
  • Research

Additionally, you will study a chosen specialization. There are three concentrations available in educational leadership. You can choose among organizational leadership, the philosophy and theology of leadership, and missional leadership.  

Coursework is completed entirely online. Your work is done in an asynchronous format. Classes last seven weeks. You get a one-week break before focusing on a new topic. Research summits provide you with opportunities to network with peers and professors in person.

This Ph.D. takes full-time students four years to earn or seven years for part-time students.

Learn more about the doctoral program at Johnson University here.

24. Hampton University

Hampton University

Founded in 1868, Hampton University is a historically black university. It is located near Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay.

Enrolling just over 4,000 students, Hampton has ten colleges. Most of its students pursue degrees in liberal arts, education, science, and business. 

Hampton U Online expands the reach of this university. There are several fully online degree programs. Doctoral students can earn a Ph.D. in business administration. This requires 61 credit hours in online coursework. It also includes summer on-campus residencies.

For educators, Hampton offers a Ph.D. in educational management. There are counselor education and supervision options, too. You can also choose to earn an educational specialist in counseling. 

Lastly, Hampton has a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program. This degree requires 33 credit hours and 500 clinical hours. Classes are delivered online. However, you can expect three in-person residencies. 

Learn more about this doctorate degree at Hampton University here.

25. Maryville University of St. Louis

Maryville University

Maryville University is near St. Louis, MO. It enrolls just over 10,000 students. More than half of students study online.

This university is focused on the jobs of tomorrow. It partners with companies like Boeing and Edward Jones. Doing so allows Maryville to predict jobs that currently don’t exist so it can design the educational programs for future leaders.

Currently, online students can earn two doctoral degrees through Maryville’s online portal.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a robust program with six specializations. These focus areas include pediatrics, gerontology, and psychiatric mental health. As a DNP candidate, you’ll complete coursework online. Your clinical training is done at an approved site near your home. Maryville’s DNP can be earned in as little as 20 months. 

Maryville also has a Doctor of Education in higher education. This cohort program for this doctorate degree takes as few as 32 months and can be earned entirely online. 

Learn more this doctorate degree at Maryville University of St. Louis here.

26. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


The University of North Carolina is the highest-ranked university on this list. U.S News & World Report ranks it at No. 5 on its list of the Top Public Schools. It also ranks No. 29 in National Universities.

This school has an impressive 13:1 student to faculty ratio. This proves it continues to provide students with personalized attention.

UNC has one online doctoral degree option. That program is a transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy, or tDPT.  This program is in the School of Medicine’s Department of Allied Health Sciences. It is geared toward licensed physical therapists who want to teach in a clinical or academic setting.

This is a two-year, part-time degree. It’s designed to allow therapists to continue their practices. As a tDPT candidate, you’ll take 12 courses and complete a case study capstone project. 

Learn more about a doctorate degree from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill here.

27. Faulkner University

Faulkner University

Faulkner University is in Montgomery, AL. It is a Christian, liberal arts university. It has just over 3,000 students.

Faulkner’s online doctoral degrees reflect the university’s two main priorities. Here, you can earn a Ph.D. in biblical studies or humanities.

The Ph.D. in biblical studies is a four- to five-year program. It is delivered entirely online. As a candidate, you’ll not only delve into the books of the Bible, but you’ll also learn to read them in another language. Students must prove proficiency in either Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek.

Faulkner’s Ph.D. in the humanities focuses on an advanced understanding of the philosophy and history of learning. This fully-online program takes three to five years to finish. It is also highly customizable. You can choose to focus your dissertation on an author, an idea, or even a historical era.  

Learn more about online learning at Faulkner University here.

28. Regis University

regis University

Regis University is located in Denver, CO. It’s a Jesuit Catholic university. This Catholic order’s motto is “men and women in service of others.” As a result, you’ll find a strong tradition of service-learning at Regis. 

Fittingly, Regis’ sole fully online doctoral degree program is in nursing. Regis’ Doctor of Nursing Practice offers two tracks. There is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse or an advanced leadership in health care specialization. 

Regis’ DNP takes either two or three years to earn. Classes for a doctorate degree are organized into 8-week units. The program ends with a capstone project. This project helps to better your nursing practice.

Candidates typically choose to focus this final project on a problem within their organizations. You might use your research to determine a solution and offer steps to initiate it.

Students pursuing doctorate degrees should check out Regis University here.

29. University of the Southwest

University of the Southwest

The University of the Southwest is based in Hobbs, New Mexico. It is a non-denominational Christian university. Its mission is to “mold the next generation of leaders through Christ-centered values.” All of USW’s graduate programs are delivered online. 

Here, you can get a Doctor of Business Administration. You get a free laptop. All course material is covered by your tuition costs as well.

USW’s DBA is a three-year, part-time program. There are no in-person residencies. You can focus on strategy and innovation. Likewise, you can study leadership and organizational development.

Alternatively, you can choose a self-design track. If you do, you’ll work with your dissertation committee to tailor your studies to your specific career goals. 

Learn more about a doctorate degree at University of the Southwest here.

30. University of South Carolina

University of South Carolina – Beaufort

The University of South Carolina has the No. 44 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s Top Public Schools. Additionally, it has one of the most unique college mascots: Cocky the fighting gamecock. 

USC’s online programs apply the same rigorous academic standards as their on-campus counterparts. Online learners can pursue more than five flexible doctoral programs.

Teachers dreaming of adding “doctor” to their titles can pursue a 100% online Doctor of Education. This Ed.D. focuses on curriculum and instruction. You can further specialize your studies in educational technology, STEM education, or curriculum studies. The curriculum studies concentration focuses on social justice issues within education. You will learn how to create more educational equity across socio-economic backgrounds.

USC also has several options to complete doctoral-level coursework online in its College of Engineering and Computing. Ph.D. programs in areas like computer science and nuclear engineering incorporate online components. However, in-person residencies should also be expected.

Learn more about a doctorate degree at University of South Carolina here.

Doctoral Program: Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important for a school to be accredited?

A doctoral degree takes time and determination. Before you begin, you want to guarantee the value of your efforts. Accreditation does just that. It lets you rest assured that you are receiving a quality education from a reputable university. 

There are two types of accreditation in higher education: institutional and programmatic. Agencies like the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education ensure that schools within their regions are meeting higher educational standards across all programs. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission (SACSCOC ) accredits degrees for higher education in the southern states.

Professional associations, like the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or the Council on Social Work Education, provide accreditation to specific academic programs. These ensure that a program’s curriculum is based on the core competencies that are needed in that line of work. 

When looking at PhD programs, check for accreditation.

What types of jobs does a Doctoral degree lead to?

In most cases, a Doctor of Philosophy, or a Ph.D., is required to teach at a four-year college or university. If you dream of being a professor, you’ll need a doctorate in your field. 

Keep in mind, academia does not work like Corporate America where employees are often promoted from within. Departments do not typically hire their own Ph.D. candidates after graduation. This might make pursuing your degree online even more attractive. You then won’t need to move for your program and then move again for your job.

Teaching or conducting research at a university, however, is not the only goal among doctoral candidates. If you want to work as a clinical psychologist, you’ll likely need a doctorate. A doctorate degree can also help you reach the highest leadership roles in healthcare or education systems, working as a chief health officer or chief academic officer, for example.

Bottom line: as a doctoral candidate your goal will be to advance knowledge in your field. This degree might not be a requirement for reaching the next step in your career. But by becoming a thought leader in your industry, it will undoubtedly help.

And regardless of which easiest doctoral degree you pursue, you can likely find many different places to work.

What’s a professional degree?

When you hear “doctoral degree,” you might first think of a medical doctor. Yes, doctors earn a Doctor of Medicine, but this degree is often referred to as a professional degree. Other professional degrees include lawyer, which requires a Juris Doctorate, and dentist, which requires a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry. 

How long does a Doctoral program last?

Your program might only take three years, but it also might take seven. The time it takes to graduate will depend on what you choose to study and your educational background.

Some Ph.D. programs admit students with only a bachelor’s degree. These programs often take longer to complete because you’ll earn your master’s along the way. If you already have a master’s degree, you might graduate faster, as long as your credits are transferable. 

Of course, the length of your program also depends on how long it takes you to finish your dissertation or capstone project. Many online programs incorporate research-focused courses to keep your dissertation on track. These classes cover steps in the process, like how to choose a topic, conduct a literature review, or submit to scholarly publications.

Do all Doctoral programs require a dissertation?

No, professional doctorate programs do not always require a dissertation.

Dissertations often focus on your field’s big picture ideas, or theories. You might decide to develop an applied research project instead.

For example, if you are earning a Doctor of Education because you want to lead your school district, you might choose to create a data-led solution to a problem currently faced by the district. 

If you’re wondering, “what is the easiest doctorate degree?”, one without a dissertation is a good place to start.

These universities all look great. How do I narrow my choices?

If you’re interested in earning a doctoral degree, you likely already have a research topic in mind. You’ll want to find a faculty mentor who is an expert on this topic. Not only will this provide you with a worthy guide, but it will also save you time.

Your research will require a survey of current literature on your topic, and a knowledgeable faculty mentor can help jumpstart this step in the process. 

It’s important not to just consider “what is the easiest PhD to get.” Instead, find your passion, too. If you’re interested in what you’re studying, the learning will be much easier!

Continue your school search with these rankings:

If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out our Top 30 Fastest Accredited Online Graduate Colleges and the Ten Best Nationally Accredited Online Colleges!