Best Online PhD & Doctoral Programs

Getting a PhD or doctorate can help you reach the highest levels of your career. We've handpicked a ranked list of the best PhD and doctoral degree programs and schools.

Best Online Ph.D. and Doctoral Programs

If you are searching for a top doctoral program that offers the freedom of online learning, you're in luck! Study.com has created a list of schools offering the best Ph.D. and doctoral programs in the country that are available in hybrid or fully online learning formats. To compile this list, we looked at several pieces of data from the Department of Education, including each school's student retention numbers, tuition costs, and graduate rates. Our list also took into consideration the types of academic support these schools offer online students, including library database access, writing assistance, and tutoring help.

Study.com's online degree rankings are unique in that they emphasize accessibility, affordability, and quality of education, which we considered the most important attributes in our school rankings. Keep reading to find a great doctoral program that meets your needs.

1. Purdue University

Purdue Universitym in West Lafayette, Indiana offers more than 175 online degree options, including programs for students looking to secure their doctoral degree in areas like nursing and education. Online programs include the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Technology, while the university also offers the Ph.D. in Higher Education and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in hybrid on-campus/online program formats. Students in these programs get plenty of support in their studies through one-on-one educational advising, free tutoring services, and career counseling assistance.

2. A. T. Still University of Health Sciences

A. T. Still University of Health Sciences in Kirksville, Missouri helps students pursue their goal of earning a doctorate in a variety of fields through flexible online degree options. Doctoral degrees include the Doctor of Health Administration, Doctor of Health Education, Doctor of Medical Science, and Doctor of Occupational Therapy. To support its online students, the university offers access to library databases specific to the health professions like ClinicalKey, the LWW Health Library, and Stat!Ref. The university also provides subscriptions to mobile apps like AccessMedicine, EBSCO eBooks, BrowZine, and Merck Manual Professional.

3. George Washington University

At George Washington University in Washington, D.C., students can choose from several fantastic online doctoral programs, including the Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, Ph.D. in Nursing, and Doctor of Engineering in Engineering Management. Depending on the program students choose, coursework could be completed totally online or require a residency that needs just a couple of campus visits. The university's online programs could include synchronous courses in which students and faculty interact in a live online environment or asynchronous courses in which students learn through a self-paced approach. Online students can feel supported in their studies thanks to a wide range of services, including online writing assistance as well as library resources for off-campus students like web-based journal searches.

4. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

At Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania, students have the opportunity to enroll in a comprehensive four-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) online distance learning program. In this program, which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), students take mostly online courses that focus on basic science in the first year, clinical science training in years two and three and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) in community and clinical settings in the fourth year. On-campus visits are required for casework, labs, and presentations. Pharmacy students are able to delve deeper into their field by learning valuable information from the LECOM School of Pharmacy Center for Drug Information and Research.

5. Liberty University

Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia offers more than 90 doctoral online programs in areas ranging from business administration and strategic leadership to ministry and worship studies. The Office of Online Student Life helps students stay on track throughout their academic studies with fantastic resources like online tutoring, access to a video library, and an online writing center. Students even get the opportunity to take part in Supplemental Instruction (SI) in which they work with peer tutors to overcome academic challenges that could stand in the way of their ability to excel in their programs.

6. University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus

The University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus offers more than 50 fully online certificates and degrees, including three doctoral degrees: iPharmD, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Ph.D. in Nursing. Students enrolled in degree programs that use the Canvas online learning system can get acclimated with help from free training and tutorials. Online students can also take advantage of a variety of resources like access to 24/7 librarian support and an online writing center.

7. Utica College

Utica College in Utica, New York provides a phenomenal online doctoral program for students interested in physical therapy. The Post-Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (pptDPT) is a clinical doctoral degree designed for individuals looking to start careers in school-based physical therapy or geriatric physical therapy. The college offers resources that online students can utilize to excel, including articles that offer information about specific academic programs. To help prepare students for life after graduation, the college offers career services that include an online resume builder and the ability to practice your interviewing skills through a virtual interview prep module.

8. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas is home to more than a dozen distance learning programs, including several doctoral degree options. Students could enroll in the Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy or Doctor of Physical Therapy, Transitional if interested in the field of physical therapy. The university also offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program and a traditional DNP program. Services available to online students include web-based access to the TTUHSC Libraries and TTUHSC Writing Center.

9. MCPHS University

MCPHS University in Boston, Massachusetts prepares students for careers in health professions through a variety of online terminal degrees. Programs include a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Doctor of Acupuncture and Integrative Health (D.A.I.H.), Doctor of Health Sciences (D.H.S.), and Doctor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. To aid in the pursuit of their career prospects, students can enjoy the support of the Center for Professional Career Development, which offers access to the Career Center Blackboard for interviewing assistance, resume building help and networking opportunities.

10. University of the Cumberlands

The University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky makes it easy to jumpstart your career in industries like business, education, and information technology with comprehensive online doctoral degrees. Program options include the Doctorate in Business Administration (D.B.A.), Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, and Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision. This university's online learning experience stands out from the pack because of students' ability to take both synchronous and asynchronous classes for top-notch flexibility. The university also offers online tools and resources to help students conduct quality research, communicate regularly with their instructors, and interact effortlessly with their peers.

11. University of New England

The University of New England in Portland, Maine offers a three-year, 51-credit Doctor of Education in Transformative Leadership (Ed.D.) program that is available completely online. This program does not require campus visits and even allows students to present their dissertations online. Students in this and other online programs can enjoy a wide range of resources, including online access to the library and Blackboard learning management system tutorials. The Student Academic Success Center offers online services like help with study skills and academic support via phone conversations, video conferencing, or even synchronous online workshops with other students.

12. University of South Alabama

The College of Nursing at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama is home to an online Doctor of Nursing Practice program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education that offers a variety of pathways to the doctoral degree. Students have the opportunity to train for careers in nursing informatics, public health administration, executive nurse administration, or one of several nurse practitioner or specialist roles. While enrolled in their online programs, students can benefit from a variety of resources, including access to online nursing job searches and a comprehensive online collection of evidence-based resources for nursing..

13. Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University in Saint Louis, Missouri offers a Ph.D. in Nursing as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice for students interested in online terminal degrees in the nursing field. The DNP program offers five concentrations in areas that can lead to careers as nurse practitioners for adult and pediatric populations as well as for families and mental health. In both programs, students are able to strengthen their academic journeys with help from an online library and writing center. They can also benefit from a faculty advisor who guides them from the beginning to the end of their programs.

14. Frontier Nursing University

Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, Kentucky offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice program that can be completed in as few as 15 months. While all courses are taken online, the program requires students to take part in a three-day on-campus experience, complete the clinical-based, eight-week DNP Project, and gain clinical experience through a practicum. Program specialties include Nurse-Midwife, Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner, and Family Nurse Practitioner. Online students are supported by distance education services like the ability to search online journals and full-text databases through the Alice Whitman Memorial Library.

15. The University of Tennessee - Health Science Center

Students interested in securing an online nursing doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee - Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee will be happy to learn about the school's fantastic Doctor of Nursing Practice program. This program, which received the first Faculty Practice Award from the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, offers concentrations that include Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Practitioner. Students enrolled in this and other online programs can benefit from great support services like educational coaching, online access to the Health Science Library, and learning resources such as online writing assistance.

16. St John's University - New York

St John's University - New York in Queens offers phenomenal online doctoral programs that stand out from the pack, including the Doctor of Professional Studies in Homeland Security that offers online and hybrid delivery modes and a fully online Ph.D. in Literacy. Students in these programs are prepared for success during their schooling and after graduation with access to career services, mentoring, and networking opportunities. The Office of Online Learning and Services also offers student resources like tutoring and writing help.

17. Brandman University

At Brandman University in Irvine, California, students can enroll in an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership program available in a hybrid (on-campus/online) or fully online format. The program is designed for completion in three years with the first two years focused on coursework and the final year focused on the dissertation. While enrolled in this program, online students can benefit from a variety of resources, including virtual meetings with academic advisors who help them during the admissions process and throughout their academic journeys. Tutoring services are also available along with tech support from the Center for Instructional Innovation (CII).

18. Lamar University

Individuals studying education who are interested in an online doctorate could enroll in the 100% online Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. This program, which begins in the summer, is designed for completion in eight semesters with summers included. While enrolled, students can enjoy online tools designed to support their learning and study processes like library research databases. The university also helps students start or further their careers with online career tools like the Handshake online job database and InterviewStream for interviewing practice.

19. The University of Texas Medical Branch

The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston is proud to offer a comprehensive online DNP This program can be completed in 8 semesters and features 16 courses with flexible curriculum and small class sizes that help students get to know their instructors and peers intimately. While in this program, students can access online career resources like interviewing assistance and nursing specialty career guides. School of Nursing students can also enjoy free academic tutoring that helps with assignments, lab work and information about supplemental learning resources.

20. Saybrook University

At Saybrook University in Pasadena, California are doctoral programs that are considered low-residency, hybrid, which means they are completed mostly online but require some in-person instruction. Available programs include the Ph.D. in Mind-Body Medicine, Ph.D. in Organizational Systems, Ph.D. in Transformative Social Change, and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Students enrolled in these online programs can access fantastic online library resources like Ebrary, NetLibrary, Sage Journals Online, and PsychiatryOnline.

21. Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas is home to Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, both of which are available in an online format. Students in these programs have the opportunity to utilize online tools like the OneSearch database for the Dean B. Ellis Library that searches journals, databases, and catalogs. While enrolled or upon graduation, students can take advantage of career services like resume writing assistance and job search help.

22. Wilkes University

Among the many fantastic online programs available at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania are the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, DNP, and Ph.D. in Nursing. To help online doctoral students excel in these programs, the university offers online access to library resources like a resource collection and other distance learning resources like tutorials for using other library tools. The Center for Career Development and Internships prepares students for job placement while in school or upon graduating.

23. Augusta University

Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia is proud to offer several online doctoral programs in nursing, including the Ph.D. in Nursing (a hybrid program) and Doctor of Nursing Practice options that are either hybrid or online. DNP concentrations include the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP Post-Master's, and Nurse Executive track. As students navigate their educational experience, they can take advantage of resources designed to support online learners like the library online academic databases.

24. Idaho State University

Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho offers several online doctoral programs like the Ed.D. in Education Administration, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Ph.D in Nursing, and Ph.D in Instructional Design. Online students on track to becoming future educators can benefit from support in their programs from the Kent Center, which offers advice to educator preparation candidates. The Career Center is also available to assist students in job searches, which can be conducted online.

25. Maryland University of Integrative Health

At Maryland University of Integrative Health in Laurel, Maryland, students can enjoy access to a variety of programs available in online and hybrid formats. The university's Doctor of Clinical Nutrition is offered in multiple formats depending on the level of education already attained prior to enrollment. Students who opt for the online experience utilize Canvas, a platform that allows them to learn on their own time in a flexible, asynchronous environment. The Office of Digital Learning helps students who are learning online to meet their academic obligations through technology consultations and training for Canvas.

26. Medical University of South Carolina

Students interested in securing online doctorates in health-related fields could find what they're looking for at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Program options include the Doctor of Nursing Practice, Ph.D. in Nursing Science, Doctor of Health Administration, and Clinical Doctorate in Nurse Anesthesia. With help from the Office of Enrollment Management (OEM), students can get help with every aspect of their academic experience from enrollment to graduation. Library services available for online students include JoVE Video Collection and online journal and ebook searches.

27. Shenandoah University

Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia offers more than half a dozen online doctoral degree programs, including the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to DNP, MSN to DNP, Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy, and Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Public Health dual degree program. Students in these and other online programs at the university can enjoy academic assistance that includes email tutoring from the Writing Center and even math help for distance learners.

28. Concordia University - Portland

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program from Concordia University - Portland in Oregon is a fantastic option for students interested in earning their doctoral degree in an online or hybrid format. This program offers a 'virtual residency' feature that allows students to receive the same support they would in face-to-face residencies. Financial opportunities available to Ed.D. students include the $10,000 - $15,500 District Partnership Scholarship and $5,000 Seasonal Scholarship. Students can also benefit from online academic and technical support when taking online courses.

29. University of Nevada - Las Vegas

The UNLV is happy to offer 200 hybrid and online courses each semester, many of which are found in online doctoral programs like the Ph.D. in Nursing: Nursing Education track, Ph.D. in Nursing: Post Doctor of Nursing Practice track, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Online students have the ability to create their own schedule so they can learn during times and in locations that are most convenient to them. While enrolled in these programs, nursing doctoral students have the opportunity to take elective courses through NEXus, which provides access to courses offered at other schools.

30. Faulkner University

Faulkner University, a Christian liberal arts school in Montgomery, Alabama, houses two distance-learning doctoral programs: Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies and Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities. These programs are both available completely online and take around four or five years to complete. A variety of resources can support students' journeys in these programs, including an online academic calendar, online student handbook and schedule for online classes.

31. Logan University

Logan University in Chesterfield, Missouri offers a Doctorate of Health Professions Education degree that is available totally online. The program features a three-trimester system that grants students the flexibility to begin their coursework in January, May, and September. To help students excel in their programs, the university offers the Learning Resources Center (LRC), which provides access to online library research guides, streaming media, and the Logan eBook libguide. Students can also enjoy career services and the Online Career Resource Center.

32. St. Catherine University

St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota offers a comprehensive online Doctor of Occupational Therapy (Post-Professional) (OTD-PP) degree that touts three alumni and university leaders who have been American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) presidents. Students engage with their professors and fellow students primarily through video chats; however, two on-campus visits are required at the beginning and end of the program. The university offers online writing assistance for graduate students and distance learners as well as online resources like workshop videos and library research help.

33. University of Memphis

The University of Memphis in Tennessee houses online doctoral programs that include a Ph.D. in Nursing, Doctor of Liberal Studies, and Doctor of Education degrees in Higher and Adult Education and Instructional and Curriculum Leadership. Resources for online students in these and other programs at the university include 24/7 online tutoring, access to online library databases and career services like FOCUS 2, a web-based career guidance system that helps you to assess career interests based on your personality, skills, interests, and values.

34. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles in California offers several online and online-residency doctoral programs, including a Ph.D. in Business Psychology, Ed.D. in Educational Psychology and Technology, Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, and Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis. Most online courses in these programs are taught in a self-paced manner but could require a synchronous component in which students interact in a live online environment. During their time in the program, students will receive a personal Student Advisor who aids in the academic journey from enrollment to graduation.

35. Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California is happy to offer comprehensive online and distant programs in areas like behavioral health, nursing and public health. At the doctoral level, students could enroll in program options like the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD), Doctorate of Marital and Family Therapy (DMFT) and Doctor of Public Health (DrPh) in Health Education. The OTD and DMFT programs are available 100% online, while the DrPH program requires students to visit the campus for specific projects like research for proposal defenses. To help students excel in their programs, the university grants web-based access to the Del E. Webb Memorial Library through which they can research journals, databases and catalogs online.

36. Indiana State University

Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana provides fantastic online learning opportunities for prospective doctoral students. Program options include a Doctor of Nursing Practice, Ph.D. in Technology Management, Doctorate in Athletic Training and Ph.D. in Educational Administration: School Administration. The university's Career Center offers great services for distance learners to plan for job opportunities while enrolled or after graduating through career advising that can take place over the phone or via video conferencing.

37. Mississippi State University

At Mississippi State University, students have access to a variety of online and distance doctoral programs, including a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership and a variety of engineering Ph.D. programs in areas like civil engineering, computational engineering, and mechanical engineering. The university offers student services that can benefit online learners, including online tutoring, online workshops, and tutorials from the Instructional Media Center. Students can also explore an informative YouTube channel from the Mississippi State University Libraries offering software tutorials.

38. Wilmington University

Students attending Wilmington University in New Castle, Delaware can work toward careers in education or nursing through the school's online doctoral programs. Program choices include the Doctor of Education, Doctor of Nursing Practice, accelerated MSN to DNP and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice combined accelerated option. To help students succeed in their programs, the university offers online tutoring as well as online workshops. Academic tools specific to doctoral students include assistance with figuring out how to interpret statistics results and free statistics lectures.

39. University of Western States

The University of Western States in Portland, Oregon offers an Ed.D. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Sport and Performance specialization. This 100% online program does not require you to make on-campus visits and even allows for flexible, asynchronous learning; however, during a practicum or internship, students will be required to meet at a certain time each week for online supervision in small groups. Online programs are supported through the Student Resource Center, which offers writing assistance via web chat, an online orientation and other services to making learning as convenient as possible.

40. University of Louisiana at Monroe

At the University of Louisiana at Monroe, students have the opportunity to pursue their career goals through the school's online Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction program or Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy program. Students enrolled in one of these 60-credit programs can benefit from the school's commitment to support distance learners in their academic journeys through intimate guidance and reliable assistance. While enrolled, students can enjoy great opportunities for academic growth through a variety of services, including library database access and the ability to explore online articles focused on specific careers.

41. Chatham University

With help from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, students can work toward careers in the health professions through the Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) or Doctor of Nursing Practice, both offered online with some residency requirements. Both programs aim to save students money on academic costs; in fact, members of the AOTA or other approved occupational therapy associations who pursue the OTD could receive a 20% reduction in their tuition. Online students are granted complete access to the Jennie King Mellon Library as well as career resources through the Programs for Academic Confidence and Excellence (PACE) Center. Online tutoring is also available to help students excel in their programs.

42. The University of Tennessee - Chattanooga

The University of Tennessee - Chattanooga gets students on the right track toward successful careers with an online Doctor of Nursing Practice program and hybrid Doctorate in Learning and Leadership - Executive Delivery. To enhance students' academic progress, the university offers student services like access to library services by phone or asynchronous conferences and assistance with writing development through the UTC Writing & Communication Center.

43. St. Thomas University

Miami Gardens, Florida is home to St. Thomas University, which offers a variety of online graduate programs including the Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation. This 60-credit program features an accelerated format that allows students to finish their studies in as few as 36 months. To help students excel in this program, the university offers library services for online learners, including research assistance by phone and email, online book ordering, and the ability to search for hundreds of thousands of ebooks and e-audiobooks online.

44. University of Michigan - Flint

At the University of Michigan - Flint, students can access several online programs as well as mixed-mode programs that require on-campus visits every four to six weeks. Online programs include the Doctor of Nursing Practice and Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy, and mixed online and in-person programs include the Doctor of Education. Students can enjoy the support of academic advising while enrolled in their doctoral programs. Financial opportunities are available through graduate student research assistantships and the Graduate Student Grant, which does not require repayment.

45. University of Northern Colorado

The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado is proud to help its graduate students pursue their doctorates while enjoying the convenience of online learning. Doctoral degree options include a Post-Bachelor's Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, and Post-Master's Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice as well as doctoral degree options in special education, nursing education, and educational studies. The university's library offers services to help distance learners excel, including access to ILLiad for article or book chapter requests and the ability to receive books, CDs, and DVDs by mail. Students looking for help in their career searches can use Handshake and get other assistance from the Center for Career Readiness.

46. New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico offers 100% online courses as well as distance learning courses that educate students via Interactive Television, online technologies and off-site classes. Doctoral programs at the university, which include a Doctor of Nursing Practice and Ph.D. in Nursing, are taught in a hybrid format that requires some face-to-face instruction at one of the campuses. Students in these programs can benefit from online tutoring assistance and access to online career services and online job boards.

47. The University of Findlay

Findlay, Ohio is home to the University of Findlay, a school providing several distance-learning degree options, including a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). This program is offered completely online, except for a three-day Summer Institute experience, and can be finished in just three years. The university supports students in the Ed.D. program through dissertation support, online tutoring through the Academic Support Center, and the ability to work with an academic counselor who helps with test-taking skills, time management, and more.

48. Northern Kentucky University

Students attending Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Kentucky can find a variety of online graduate programs, one of which being the Post-Masters Doctor of Nursing Practice Online program. This 100% online program requires the completion of 10 core courses as well as a DNP Practicum/Project. While in this program, students can benefit from access to opportunities that include the ability to search the library's databases online. The university also offers career services like interviewing assistance and a Career Library that offers industrial outlooks, resume writing insight, and job search strategies.

49. Clarke University

Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa is proud to offer a hybrid Doctor of Nursing Practice program that requires students to meet on-campus twice a month. The DNP, which can be earned in as few as three years, boasts a 100% pass rate for students taking national certification exams. The university also offers the mostly online Bridge Program for students who already possess a Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) and want to earn their DNP Among the many resources available to Clarke University online students are the Writing Center, which offers graduate writing assistance and job placement assistance.

50. Loyola University New Orleans

Loyola University New Orleans in Louisiana offers several online Doctor of Nursing Practice programs for post-baccalaureate and post-master's students. These degree options provide students with the opportunity to work toward careers as nurse practitioners, family nurse practitioners and executive leaders. The Office of Writing & Learning Services allows distance and graduate students in need of writing assistance to submit drafts online for feedback from tutors. The university also offers career development assistance for online students, including access to the Handshake career services platform.

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.