If you are considering an online PhD degree in any given area of study, there are a few things to consider. A doctorate /doctoral degree is often referred to as a “terminal degree” as it is the highest level of education available for most fields of study. Distance Learning PhD programs are available by colleges that are traditional campus-based or fully online. Online doctoral degrees are research-based and are usually the highest degree you can earn for graduate study, and is thus a terminal degree for most disciplines. The doctoral degree classification includes degrees like the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Doctor of Public Health, Doctor of Education (Ed. D.), Doctor of Nursing Science (D. NSc.), and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in many field (e.g. arts, business, engineering, education, engineering, humanities, public administration, sciences, etc.).
Doctoral Training and Education
Those who possess a doctorate degree are considered experts in their area. In the United States there are different kinds of doctorate degrees. The research doctorate (Ph.D.) is the most common, but professional doctorates are awarded in professions of law and medicine for example. Other popular Doctoral Degrees are the Doctoral in Business (DBA), Doctoral in Education, Doctoral in Psychology, and Executive Juris Doctor (JD). Online PhD and doctorate programs are available in many areas, for example business (management and information technology), engineering, sciences (chemistry and biology), education, and many science and arts areas. In general doctorate programs begin with gaining broad knowledge in the field and then developing research project, taking comprehensive exams, and writing a thesis or dissertation.
Whether it is an accredited online doctorate degree or an on campus PhD, in the United States, PhD degrees take a few years to complete but this varies from program to program, but tend to range from five to seven years.
Full time PhD students can usually complete their online PhD requirements in about four years. Even with full time studies few people complete a program of study in less than four years, and part time students can take up to seven years.
Requirements for an online PhD include completing required and elective online PhD courses, internship or practicum requirements, research projects, and independent work in learning and direction, staff development, supervising, evaluation, and research synthesis.
Doctoral degrees are research degree and that typically include coursework, internships, and independent work in research designing, data analysis, and instructional theory. Ph.D. graduates tend to work in universities and research-based environments. Therefore a an online PhD is also based on original research.
As with the masters degree or professional degrees ensure that you do not take too long to or you will start to lose credit hours. Doctorate programs require the completion of residency requirements (each school will define their residency requirements). Candidates are also required to work on a dissertation after completion of the coursework. This phase of the program is often referred to as ABD (all but dissertation). Several universities offer a broad selection of online programs, and the offerings are diverse including the:
Careers with a PhD
Most people who graduate from an accredited online PhD degree program go on to teach in their area of specialization in academia, as college professors, deans, and other administrative levels in higher education. Since the PhD degree is a research degree, many of these college professors are also involved in research. Still, others are work in independent or private research firms, for government agencies such as NASA, the CDC, department of education, and other areas that require highly specialized personnel.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Growth
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average weekly income for someone with a PhD to be around $1500. Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and from payscale.com indicate the following salary scales:
- Psychology – Private practice – $70,000 to $120,000; Psychology professor – $60,000 to $105,000.
- Finance – A director of finance $130,000 – $150,000; Finance professor – $100,000 – $160,000.
- Business – $115,000 – $150,000
- Education – School superintendent $92,000 – $160,000; Education professor $65,000 – $93,000
- Economics – Corporate sector $85,000 – $105,000; Economics professor $65,000- $160,000
- Biochemistry – Pharmaceutical firm – up to $150,000; Biochemistry professor $65,000 – $110,000
- Health Administration – Hospital and clinic administrators $100,000; Health administration professor – $65,000 t0 $147,000
- Public Administration – City managers & county administrators average $95,000; Assistant professors – $55,000 to $70,000
- Computer Science – Software engineers – $85,000 – $120,000; Computer science professor – $70,000 – $168,000
- Engineering – Chemical and materials engineers – $80,000 – $120,000; Senior mechanical engineer – $100,000 – $110,000; Civil engineer – $106,000; Engineering professor – $80,000 – $130,000.
This is almost three times more that a person with a bachelor’s degree. Many graduates from campus and online PhD programs earn anywhere from $60,000 to $150,000 depending on the doctoral specialization.
Doctoral Degree Programs
- Personalized learning that’s guided by industry trends
- Technology-driven approach designed to help you reach your potential
- Access to real-world learning and strong thought leadership
- Convenient ways to complete your degree even with a busy schedule
- Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
- Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
- Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
- Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
- Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
Divine Mercy University (DMU) is a Catholic graduate school of psychology and counseling, founded in 1999 as the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. The University is dedicated to the scientific study of psychology with a Catholic understanding of the person, marriage and the family. The University offers Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctoral (Psy.D.) degrees in Clinical Psychology, a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Psychology and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Online Learning at Concordia University–Portland
If education is your passion, Concordia University-Portland is your university. One of the most respected names in learning today, Concordia offers several fully online Master of Education (MEd) programs—most of which can completed in one year—and a fully online Doctorate of Education (EdD) program. Our graduates stand out with the skills, integrity, and compassion necessary to meet the ever-changing needs of students today. Together, we're all making an impact in education.
Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.
Top-ranked by U.S. News & World Report, the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers its innovative Master of Social Work program online so students can make a lasting positive impact in their communities. Aspiring practitioners attend online classes with an average of just 12 students so they can get to know each other and expert faculty.
Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business is pleased to offer a 100% online MBA. At Northeastern, you can build on your current career success, expand your managerial skills and knowledge base, and put your new learning to use in your place of work.
- Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
- As a regionally accredited, private, online and graduate-focused university, NCU offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, technology management, education, and psychology, as well as doctoral and master’s degrees in marriage and family therapy.
You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.
At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.