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
- Southern New Hampshire University believes in your right to affordable access to higher education.
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- Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
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- Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
- 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
Join the community of thought leaders at University of the Rockies. Pursue your graduate degree from the University’s School of Professional Psychology or School of Organizational Leadership.
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.
The Chicago School is a not-for-profit, regionally accredited institution with more than 4,285 students at campuses across the country (Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.) and online. TCSPP has been an innovator in the field of psychology and related behavioral science for more than 30 years. TCSPP offers more than 20 degree programs and a wealth of opportunities for international experiences.
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University. We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.
Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program. You'll learn new strategies and techniques for your classroom while expanding your knowledge and skills as an educator.
UNE Online, through the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, strives to enhance, expand and enrich learning opportunities in online programs. The UNE Online staff is highly invested in the success of each enrolled student from application to graduation and beyond.
Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.
At Baker College, you’ll have the opportunity to choose between an on campus education or an online education, depending on what works best for you and for your schedule. Our ground campuses are located across Michigan and one campus in Reading, Pennsylvania.