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Accredited Online Ph.D. Programs Offered by Online Universities

Colleges and universities that offer accredited online Ph.D. programs allow students to earn doctoral degrees at their own pace. Students typically must hold both a bachelor's and master's degree to pursue an online Ph.D. Learn about the importance of accreditation, and get information about other considerations for choosing an online doctorate program.

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Students seeking online Ph.D. programs can find numerous fields of study available at accredited schools, including international education and occupational therapy programs, among many others. You'll need to consider the time constraints and flexibility the program offers to find the one that will best suit your lifestyle and align with your career goals or objectives.

How to Choose an Accredited Online Ph.D. Program

Although Ph.D. programs are increasingly offered remotely, it's important to make sure that any selected universities are accredited. This ensures that the school is reputable and that the degree you earn will be widely accepted by employers. You'll complete most of your coursework over the Internet, but some online doctoral programs may also feature in-person components, such as on-campus sessions or internships.

Time Constraints

One of the biggest advantages of acquiring a Ph.D. degree online involves the flexible scheduling options. Whereas on-campus programs require students to commit to a full-time course schedule, online degree programs are designed to allow students to continue working while completing their coursework. The asynchronous learning format lets students watch lectures and finish readings when it is most convenient, and some programs have a part-time option that lets busier students study at a slower pace.

Program Flexibility

Online learning also allows students to pursue majors not offered in their home state or at nearby programs. For example, a student living in Florida who's unable to find a specific program in his or her area can apply for admission to schools in Georgia, Maryland, and even Oregon without having to move across the country and upset work or family commitments.

Online Ph.D. Programs

International Education

This major is designed for students either intending to work or already working as educators who want to become college instructors or administrators. Hybrid programs are also available in which students take online courses during the spring and fall semesters, and then attend classes on campus during the summer.

Coursework is devoted to theoretical and practical issues in contemporary international education. Common course topics in these programs can include cross-cultural leadership training, educational policy, organizational development, economics of education, and program evaluation.

Occupational Therapy

Offered by a number of accredited universities, online Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy programs emphasize topics such as advanced practice, leadership, entrepreneurship, and research. Online Ph.D. candidates may also be expected to participate in clinical work in hospitals and other medical facilities.

Students seeking admission to these programs will need to be certified with the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Other admissions considerations may include letters of recommendation, a strong GPA from an accredited master's degree program, and prior coursework in relevant subjects.

Schools with Online Ph.D. Programs

Students desiring to obtain a Ph.D. in international education have a variety of choices. This interdisciplinary doctoral program is offered at the University of Minnesota through its Comparative International Development and Education (CIDE) program. The Ph.D. program is a hybrid/cohort-based curriculum. Students will spend 3-4 weeks on campus during the summer months, usually from late June to mid-July, and complete online courses during the fall and spring semesters. The program helps working professionals, trainers or teachers obtain their Ph.D.s while working regular jobs. Students will study courses on topics such as organizational development and change, comparative education systems, education policy and economics of education.

Boston University offers a completely online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy. The program is designed for occupational therapists with either a BS or MS in occupational therapy. To be admitted to the program, students need to complete their degree from an ACOTE- or WFOT-accredited program. A student can also provide a National Government Recognition document that states their degree is in occupational therapy. Applicants do not have to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) if they maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better on the US 4-point scale in their occupational therapy program.

Online Ph.D. programs give students the opportunity to pursue a doctorate without affecting their careers or moving their families to other states. Today, online Ph.D. programs are widely available and accessible to those wishing to obtain a terminal degree in education, occupational therapy, and other fields.

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