Best Schools with Online PhD Programs: List of Top Schools

Jul 18, 2018

The U.S. has many reputable schools with online Ph.D. programs. These colleges and universities provide graduate students with the chance to earn Ph.D.'s in a variety of areas, including environmental science, nursing and classical civilizations.

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Some schools offer Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs fully online or in hybrid formats that combine online coursework with on-campus training. The University of Florida, the University of Missouri, and Michigan Technological University all give students the chance to earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree online. Each of these schools was nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. It is important to note that only some subjects are available, and some programs require time on a campus.

University of Florida

The University of Florida in Gainesville offers several Ph.D. degree options in a variety of disciplines. Doctoral candidates can graduate with a Ph.D. in Classical Civilization, Latin and Roman Studies, Nursing Practice, Pharmacy, Audiology, or Education. For 2017, the school's online education program was ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report. The university's online degrees are suited for high school and community college instructors who want to improve their resumes, begin careers in research, or enhance their overall knowledge and teaching skills. The programs are comprised of 90 total credits, and 30 must be completed on campus in a two week-long summer residency program.

University of Missouri

At the University of Missouri in Columbia, graduate students are provided with the opportunity to earn a Ph.D. in Art Education, Human Environmental Sciences with a concentration in architectural studies, or a Ph.D. in Nursing. The online graduate education program was ranked #61 in the country by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

Students in the art education program are trained for careers in college-level teaching and research. The environmental sciences doctorate program examines the complex relationship between human beings and their physical, social, and cultural environments. It is intended for people interested in research, consulting, or teaching in the field of architecture or interior design. The nursing doctoral program utilizes Adobe Connect online technology. Nurses pursue the degree to improve their credentials and to become involved in academic research and teaching in their clinical specialties, and may need to attend some physical classes. Both the art education and nursing Ph.D. programs require some face-to-face class time.

Michigan Technological University

At Michigan Tech in Houghton, MI, an online Ph.D. program is offered in mechanical engineering with a focus in engineering mechanics. Students in the program complete extensive advanced coursework requirements and conduct high-level research. While classes are available online, students usually do their research at their place of work or a local lab, where they have access to the necessary technology. Ph.D. programs culminate in a final dissertation. For 2017, U.S .News & World Report ranked Michigan Tech's program as #47 in online graduate engineering programs.

Top Online Ph.D. Programs

Here are some more schools that offer excellent Ph.D. programs in online formats:

School Name Location Distinction
Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS Offers online Ph.D. programs in community college leadership, electrical and computer engineering, industrial and systems engineering, aerospace engineering and civil engineering
University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE Offers a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Higher Education that can be completed almost entirely online - only six credit hours of on-campus coursework are required
Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC Offers an online Ph.D. in Nursing Science
Oregon State University Corvallis, OR Students can earn a Ph.D. in counseling almost entirely online - students only need to take two classes per term on the Wilsonville campus
Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA Offers an online Ph.D. in Nursing

There are many top-notch universities in the United States through which it is possible to earn a Ph.D. online. These programs are available in many different subjects, and most require few or no on-campus appearances.

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