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Ph.D. by Distance Education: College and University Options

Distance education, or distance learning, has become more prevalent because of advances in computer and Internet technologies. Distance learning Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs are offered by many universities, most commonly in the fields of nursing, business and education.

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Distance Learning Ph.D. Programs

The format and curriculum of a distance education Ph.D. program is usually identical to its on-campus counterpart. Each Ph.D. program stipulates the specific technology and computer requirements that students need to participate in Web seminars and complete coursework. Most distance learning programs use the Internet to deliver course materials and conduct classes, though other types of media, such as CD-ROMs and DVDs, may also be used. Additionally, some distance learning Ph.D. programs require students to travel either to regional meeting points or to university campuses for occasional residencies.

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University (NSU), founded in 1964, is the ninth largest private, not-for-profit university in the U.S. and enrolls more than 27,000 students. NSU offers many online programs in both asynchronous and synchronous formats. Of its online programs, 70 have been certified by the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus. Undergraduate and graduate programs are offered. Some of the Ph.D. programs offered through distance education at NSU include:

  • Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
  • Ph.D. in Health Sciences
  • Ph.D. in Nursing
  • Ph.D. in Criminal Justice

University of Florida

The University of Florida (UF), established in 1853, enrolls around 50,000 students each year, which makes it one of the largest universities in the nation. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered online through the University of Florida, and all require formal admission to the university. Some programs also require separate admissions. UF provides the following online Ph.D. degrees:

  • Ph.D. in Classical Studies - Classical Civilization
  • Ph.D. in Classical Studies - Latin and Roman Studies

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University of Colorado at Denver

The University of Colorado offers several hundred courses and over a dozen degree programs completely online through CU Online. All online courses are taught by the same professors that teach on-campus courses. The University of Colorado at Denver (UCD) was one of the first universities in the U.S. to offer fully accredited online degree programs. Programs have been available since 1996 and are accredited through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Exams may be taken online at home or at a physical testing center. The school currently offers four online doctoral degree programs, including a Ph.D. in Nursing program.

Indiana State University

Indiana State University, established in 1865, offers courses, degree programs and professional development programs in distance learning formats. Other programs are offered as distance friendly, meaning they require minimal campus visits. More than 30 programs are offered in a distance education format via the Web. Technologies like Web conferencing, audio streaming and video feeds may be used to deliver courses. Distance education doctoral degree programs offered include:

  • Ph.D. in Technology Management
  • Ph.D. in Educational Administration - Higher Education Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Educational Administration - School Administration
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