Accelerated Doctoral Degree Programs Online

Sep 26, 2019

Most doctoral programs take an average of eight years. However, there are accelerated doctoral programs that can be completed between two to five years online. Nurse practitioner, education, and audiology are some examples of accelerated doctoral programs.

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Unlike PhD programs which are research focused, doctoral programs focus on practice. They are hands on and practical, often containing clinical or work-experience components. Accelerated doctoral programs are available to those individuals who are up to the fast-paced workload in several fields with practical purposes. Nurse Practitioner doctorates, as well as Education, or Audiology are a few of the more readily available online programs and are discussed below.

Accelerated Online Doctoral Programs Examples

Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)

If you want to pursue a career in nursing, a DNP is one of the highest degrees you can obtain. It opens doors for professorships, advanced nurse practitioner positions, and other academic opportunities that would not be available to a nurse without this accreditation. Most DNP programs require applicants to present a nursing certificate, such as a Registered Nurse (RN) or Nurse Practitioner (NP) certificate. Programs average about 2 years to complete and include clinical hours or practicum. Some go on from here to obtain a PhD in nursing as well.


Accelerated programs to obtain a Doctorate of Education (EdD) are available in traditional and All But Dissertation (ABD) formats. Specializations in leadership, religion, human development, and many others are options to EdD students. Generally, a GRE score of 155 or higher, or a 3.5 or higher GPA is preferable for entrance into Accelerated EdD programs. A masters' in an education field is a prerequisite for most programs.


There are a several accelerated doctorate of audiology (Au.D.) degree programs available throughout the country. Programs last three rather than four years. Accelerated programs in Audiology are more rigorous and selective. They usually require letters of recommendation, graduate coursework, and a 3.5 GPA or higher. Some programs require proficiency in sign language while others do not.

Program Admittance Requirements

Some of these programs require a practical certificate for entrance (such as a nursing certificate for the DNP program) or a masters' degree. Minimum GRE and GPA scores apply. Letters of recommendation are almost always a part of the application process to these selective programs, as well as curriculum vitae or resumes. Applicants should be prepared for interviews to be a part of the application process.

Benefits of Accelerated Doctoral Programs

One of the main benefits to an accelerated doctoral program is the time saved in the course room. Accelerated doctoral programs generally take around 3 years whereas other doctorates can last four to eight. The faster students achieve their doctorates, the faster they can start practicing and working in the field with enhanced accreditation. The less time students spend in university, the less their tuition bills will be. Some accelerated programs combine bachelors' or masters' work, saving people money on tuition as well. Acceptance into a prestigious accelerated program can also be a boon to a student's resume or curriculum vitae. Lastly, online work provides a certain flexibility to students.

This article went over several options available to prospective students in accelerated doctoral programs. Some options include doctorates in nurse practitioner, education, and audiology. Accelerated doctoral programs are selective and have higher expectations in prerequisites.

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