Best Accredited Online Ph.D. Programs 2024

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Erin Treder

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Rachel Miller

Updated January 2, 2024

Danika Miller

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Lonnie Woods III

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A Ph.D., or doctor of philosophy, is the highest level of academic degree that you can attain. Consisting primarily of research, a Ph.D. prepares you for a career in academia or research in the field you study.

Students who choose to pursue a Ph.D. online will find it can be completed in less time. Online students also get the added benefit of being able to complete their work from the comfort of home. The overall cost may also be less compared to an in-person program.

We've compiled a list of the best accredited online Ph.D. programs to help you start your search.

Are Online Ph.D. Programs Worth It?

An online Ph.D. program is an ideal choice if you want to balance your career and family responsibilities along with your education.

While there are some preconceived notions that online programs aren't legitimate, as long as the program you choose is accredited, the degree is the same as one earned in person.

While the annual tuition cost to earn a Ph.D. online averages $12,394 for a public institution and $26,621 for a private university, doctoral graduates enjoy a lower unemployment rate and higher weekly salary than those with less education, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Did You Know...

  • According to the BLS , workers with a doctoral degree earned a median of $651 more per week than workers with a bachelor's degree in 2022.
  • Doctorate-holders boast some of the lowest unemployment rates at 1%.
  • In 2019, research found that 39.8% of graduate students were enrolled in online learning.
  • The number of doctorates awarded between 2020 and 2021 dropped by 5.4%.
  • Not all Ph.D.-holders end up working in academia.

Explore Our Featured Online Doctoral Programs

Jump to top schools with online ph.d. programs, top schools for online accredited ph.d. programs.

We use datasets from sources like the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.

Capitol Technology University

  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit: In-State | $950 Out-of-State | $950

Credits to Graduate: 60

Founded in 1927, Capitol Technology University features 40 doctoral programs, which you can complete online. Majors include aeronautical science, artificial intelligence, computer science, cybersecurity, military leadership, occupation risk management, and supply chain management. 

Programs require about 60 credits, but you can choose from a doctoral degree without any research requirements. Coursework focuses on doctoral research, proposal writing, and oral defense. Capitol also offers a dual master's and Ph.D. in technology combination program. 

Admission requirements vary, but generally you need a master's degree in a related major and five years of work experience.

Clemson University

  • Clemson, SC

Cost per Credit: In-State | $515-$1,319 Out-of-State | $515-$1,319

Clemson's graduate catalog features 52 doctoral programs with the flexibility to study on campus, online, or in a hybrid format. Fields like digital history, entomology, genetics, or business administration offer on-campus programs for traditional doctoral students. You have the opportunity to study virtually in nine doctoral programs, including nursing, educational leadership, and parks, recreation and tourism management.

To obtain a doctoral degree, candidates must complete approximately 60 credits over a span of 3-5 years and successfully defend their dissertation.

Keiser University

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

Total Cost: In-State | $31,712 Out-of-State | $31,712

Keiser University , which was established in 1977, offers 19 flexible doctoral degrees. You can attend classes on the 100-acre main campus or study at one of 23 satellite campuses. Programs offer evening, online, and daytime courses. Keiser's “student first” policy lets you take 1-2 classes at a time, depending on your availability. It takes about 2-5 years to earn your doctoral degree.

To apply for a doctoral program, you need to submit your master's or doctoral transcripts, a resume, personal statement, and an application with a fee.

Mississippi State University

  • Mississippi State, MS

Cost per Credit: In-State | $537 Out-of-State | $1,074-$1,468

Credits to Graduate: 60-65

The public research university MSU , which began admitting students in 1880 as an Agricultural and Mechanical College, now boasts 71 doctoral degrees, including 15 virtual programs. Ph.D. programs include engineering, computer science, agricultural sciences, mathematical sciences, and educational leadership. In addition to coursework, you'll need to complete a dissertation and defense on an independent research topic.

As a doctoral candidate, you can access ample research opportunities. The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station runs 16 stations throughout the state. Applicants need a recommended 3.4 GPA for their master's-level coursework.

Nova Southeastern University

Cost per Credit: In-State | $969-$1,386 Out-of-State | $969-$1,386

Credits to Graduate: 51-64

Nova Southeastern University , the largest private research university in Florida, boasts 14 colleges and 11 campuses. NSU offers 37 doctoral programs, with 19 of them available online. Earn a doctoral degree online in subjects such as criminal justice, computer science, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology. 

Departments such as the NSU Fischler College of Education and the School of Criminal Justice offer dissertation resources, including templates and mentor support. Each program sets distinct admission requirements, but you generally need a master's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Old Dominion University

  • Norfolk, VA

Cost per Credit: In-State | $599 Out-of-State | $1,439

Credits to Graduate: 31-60 

Old Dominion University offers 10 online doctoral programs through its seven colleges and three schools. The program covers a range of subjects such as nursing, community college leadership, educational leadership, engineering management, English, instruction design and technology, and workforce and organizational development. 

Admission requirements vary across programs. For instance, the Ph.D. in business administration requires GMAT or GRE scores, while the Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction asks applicants to submit master's transcripts, an essay, and three references.

Saybrook University

  • Pasadena, CA

Cost per Credit: In-State | $1,416-$1,590 Out-of-State | $1,416-$1,590

Credits to Graduate: 54-76

Offering hybrid online degrees since 1970, Saybrook University now delivers 11 online doctoral degrees. You can earn a doctoral degree completely online or in a hybrid format with a low-residency option.

Doctoral students can pursue studies in counseling, integrative social work, organizational systems, mind-body medicine, integrative and functional nutrition, psychology, and wellness. To get admitted, you need at least a master's degree. And you complete up to 76 credits over about 4-5 years.

Texas Tech University

  • Lubbock, TX

Cost per Semester: In-State | $2,107-$6,877 Out-of-State | $2,107-$6,877

Credits to Graduate: 60-96

Created in 1923, Texas Tech's 13 colleges and schools offer 98 doctoral degrees. Texas Tech offers doctoral degrees in agricultural and applied economics, animal science, computer science, curriculum and instruction, and special education. 

Many of the doctoral programs, such as the Ph.D. in psychology and Ph.D. in wind science and engineering, offer STEM OPT Extension eligibility to extend your F-1 visa for up to two years. Programs require about 60 credits on average and a dissertation. Depending on the program, you may need to submit GRE scores to apply.

How We Rank Schools

Accredited Schools Online uses a custom ranking system to evaluate schools on their quality, affordability, and reputation.

We rank schools using factors like graduation rate, admission rate, tuition costs, financial aid, and program offerings. All our ranked schools hold institutional accreditation .

For this page, we created a directory of online accredited Ph.D. programs that meet our criteria. The list is organized alphabetically rather than ranked.

Learn more about how we create school rankings on our methodology page .

Does Accreditation Matter for Online Ph.D. Programs?

A college is accredited after being recognized by an independent institution that verifies the school's courses and programs meet set quality standards.

The school you choose must be accredited in order for your Ph.D. to be recognized by employers , earn professional licensures, and qualify you for federal financial aid.

Legitimate accreditors are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

How Much Does an Online Ph.D. Cost?

In general, you can expect to pay around $13,000-$30,000 per year in tuition and fees for your online Ph.D.

Several factors affect how much your Ph.D. program will cost, including:

  • Whether the program is fully funded
  • Whether your school is public or private
  • Whether you're an in-state or out-of-state student
  • How long your program lasts (most Ph.D. programs take 5-7 years to complete)
  • How much financial aid you get

While many in-person and online doctoral programs in the U.S. are fully funded, these tend to be highly competitive.

One way to save money on your online Ph.D. is to attend a program that offers in-state tuition to residents. Make sure you submit the FAFSA each year so you can secure federal financial aid .

You may also need to budget for occasional travel to and from campus and research sites, especially as you work on your dissertation.

What's the Difference Between a Ph.D. and a Doctorate?

While a Ph.D. and a doctoral degree, or doctorate, both signify the same level of education completed, their uses are different.

Doctorate is the broader term — a Ph.D. is a type of doctorate. Specifically, a Ph.D. is an academic degree that prepares you for a career in research or teaching in your field of study (such as science, English, or economics).

Besides a Ph.D., other types of doctorates include a doctor of medicine (MD), a doctor of education (Ed.D.), and a doctor of psychology (Psy.D.). These degrees are typically used in either an academic or professional setting.

Online Ph.D. Programs That Don't Require a Dissertation

A dissertation is a final written project culminating in a student's original research at the end of their Ph.D. program. A dissertation is typically presented and defended by its author. It's typically required for degrees with an academic or research focus.

Not all Ph.D. programs require a dissertation. For example, some Ph.D. programs in humanities, education, business administration, and criminal justice require simple or no dissertations for a quicker completion time .

What Jobs Can You Get After Earning an Online Ph.D.?

Once you finish your online doctoral program, you can explore a variety of career paths both within and outside academia.

Many Ph.D. graduates, especially those who studied the humanities, go on to become professors. Other popular roles include administrator, scientist, and psychologist.

Graduates of online Ph.D. programs earn a relatively high average base salary of $105,000 a year, according to Payscale .

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Ph.D. Programs

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What is the quickest Ph.D. to get?

The quickest Ph.D. to earn are those that award professional degrees and don't require extensive research projects or dissertations at completion. These Ph.D. programs can include accounting, business, education, and media.

To finish your degree faster, you can also look for accelerated programs that quicken the pace of a program and shorten the time it takes to complete.

Are online doctoral programs legit?

If the online doctoral program is accredited, it is legitimate. Accreditation ensures that the program meets the rigorous educational standards of other comparative doctoral programs.

With accreditation, employers and other institutions of higher learning will recognize your degree. As more universities turn toward online programs to serve a more diverse student population, there are a growing number of legitimate, accredited online Ph.D. programs.

How long are online Ph.D. programs?

Online Ph.D. programs, like any other doctoral program, can vary in length but typically take 5-7 years to complete. A doctoral degree balances coursework with research. Usually, students must meet a certain number of course requirements before they can start original research.

While coursework may take only a year or two, writing a dissertation that meets the program requirements varies from candidate to candidate.

Can I earn my Ph.D. entirely online?

Yes, many accredited colleges and universities offer 100% online Ph.D. programs. That said, some programs may require on-campus experiences, such as library research and a dissertation defense.

What do employers think of online doctoral programs?

It takes a high level of discipline and persistence to obtain a graduate degree, no matter the context. Most employers will recognize and value the hard work it takes to get a Ph.D., whether you completed your doctorate online or in person.

Make sure you research potential programs. If you're attending an accredited, well-regarded school, employers will value your online Ph.D. just as much as a traditional one.

Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by Accredited Schools Online. Page last reviewed November 20, 2023.

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Online Doctoral Degrees

Didn't find what you were looking for.

An online doctoral degree can help you gain advanced knowledge and specialized expertise to further your career. Earning an online doctoral degree from an institution within the Purdue University system provides you access to a world-class education, with the flexibility and convenience of anytime, anywhere learning. Prepare to perform at the highest levels of your profession with an online doctorate from a prestigious institution within the Purdue University system.

Choose a degree level below to see the programs we have to offer.

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Doctoral Degree Programs

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Purdue University West Lafayette is a Top 10 public university with online and hybrid programs.

The PhD program in educational leadership develops leaders for the schools of Indiana and the nation. The West Lafayette program offers preparation in educational leadership for PK-12 schools and school districts.

  • Total Credits:  90
  • Aug 19, 2024

Gain an understanding of the administrative, political, financial, legal and sociocultural aspects of higher education and prepare to become a change agent in institutions of postsecondary education.

The Doctor of Technology will help you apply heightened technical and conceptual understandings of technology, research and development as you work to develop strategies to advance within your career.

  • Apr 29, 2024
  • Jan 13, 2025

Purdue Global Logo

Purdue Global is Purdue’s online university for working adults, offering 175+ programs, including degrees, concentrations, certificates, and micro-credentials.

Develop educational leadership and research skills to become a changemaker in the field of education. Explore innovative instruction, education policy, diversity, equity, inclusion, and more.

  • Apr 17, 2024
  • Jul 3, 2024
  • Sep 18, 2024
  • Dec 4, 2024

Prepare to drive change and address challenges in fields related to health, health care, and public health. The program focuses on professional practice and allows you to personalize your degree with health science micro-credentials.

  • Total Credits:  88

Want the advanced knowledge and skills of a lawyer but don't want to practice law? Build the legal expertise needed to make an impact in health care, IT, business, finance, criminal justice, education, and other professions.

  • Total Credits:  72
  • May 1, 2024
  • Aug 28, 2024

If your goal is to become a licensed attorney, consider Purdue Global Law School's Juris Doctor (JD) program. JD graduates meet the legal education requirement of the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California.

  • Total Credits:  92

Complete the DNP online and earn a valuable health care credential while you continue to work. Deepen your specialty practice through practicums focused on quality improvement and population health.

  • Total Credits:  50

Purdue University Northwest

Purdue University Northwest offers nationally ranked online programs through the College of Nursing and an MS in Technology degree.

Graduates from the Doctor of Nursing Practice program will acquire the knowledge to allow them to plan, manage and deliver cost-effective, evidence based care to improve evidence-based healthcare.

  • Total Credits:  38 - 43

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Online doctorate degrees

Invest in your future. Take the next step in your career journey.

Why a doctoral degree?

Expert curriculum.

Learn from some of the best in the industry with an online doctoral program that’s led by award-winning faculty and industry giants.

Flexible online learning

Study online, in your own time. Many of the doctorate programs have two learning tracks: accelerated or standard.

Networking opportunities

Collaborate online with like-minded peers and faculty. On-campus immersions may be available for those interested.

Explore online doctoral programs

Online doctorate of social work programs, online doctor of nursing practice programs, online ed.d. programs, online doctor of physical therapy programs, online doctor of pharmacy programs, online doctor of public health programs, earn your doctorate degree online from leading universities.

Pursuing a doctoral degree may seem like a daunting task if you’re working full time or have family obligations, but it doesn’t have to be. The edX platform has a variety of doctorate programs from some of the best schools in the country — and they’re all online. With an online doctoral program, you can choose when and how you study, from anywhere in the world. Many of our programs offer a choice of two learning tracks — take your time with the standard track, or speed through the program content with the accelerated option. Online learners receive much of the same support as on-campus doctorate learners: guidance from admissions counselors, academic advisors, and career services.

Frequently asked questions

A doctorate degree is a type of doctoral degree. The other type of doctoral degree is a PhD. Both doctorate and PhD degrees represent the pinnacle of the academic experience — a culmination of one’s academic lifejourney. A doctorate degree can either be a research degree or an applied degree. A doctorate typically requires several years of advanced coursework, independent research, and the completion of a dissertation. Doctorate degrees are generally pursued by individuals seeking to become experts and leaders in their professional field or industry.

Although both types of degrees fall under the umbrella of doctoral degrees, there is a subtle difference between a doctorate and a PhD. A doctorate degree can either be academic or professional. Candidates in doctorate degrees may want to advance, through research, their professional practice within a given industry. A PhD, on the other hand — and which stands for “Doctor of Philosophy” — is an academic research degree. Unlike a professional doctorate degree, a PhD tends to be heavily theory-based and aims to advance academic knowledge within a field of study.

The length of time it takes to complete a doctorate degree varies depending on the field of study and the individual program. A doctorate degree takes anywhere from three to seven years to complete, with some taking even longer. The length of time may also depend on whether the student is studying full time or part time, as well as on any breaks or interruptions in their studies. The number of credit hours required may also affect the duration of the doctorate degree.

You typically need to complete several years of advanced study in a particular field to obtain a doctorate degree. The specific requirements for earning a doctorate degree vary depending on the program and the field of study, but typically involve a combination of coursework, independent research, and the completion of a dissertation. The process may also involve taking comprehensive exams and defending your research in front of a panel of experts in your field. A bachelor's or master's degree in a related field is usually needed to apply, among other requirements.

There are several types of doctoral degrees, each tailored to a specific field of study or profession. The most common type of doctoral degree is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which is awarded in a wide range of disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Other types of doctoral degrees include the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), Juris Doctor (JD), Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and Doctor of Social Work (DSW) , among others.

The cost of a doctoral degree varies depending on the program, the institution, and the field of study. On average, a doctorate will cost you $103,700, with the average loan debt for a doctorate degree at $126,800. Footnote 1 However, some programs may cost significantly more, particularly in fields like medicine or law. Several factors can influence the total cost of a doctorate degree, including the type of institution, the specific program pursued, the duration of the program, and the availability of financial aid.

Whether a doctorate degree is worth it depends on various factors, including your career goals and personal aspirations, as well as the field of study and the job market in that field. Pursuing a doctorate degree can open up opportunities for high-level positions in academia, research, and industry. But it may also require a significant investment of time, money, and effort.

An honorary doctorate degree is an academic degree that is awarded by a university or college to an individual who has made significant contributions to a particular field, society, or institution, but who may have not completed the usual academic requirements for a doctorate degree. Honorary doctorate degrees are typically given to prominent public figures as a way of recognizing their contributions to society or their field of work.

The job opportunities available to individuals with a doctorate degree depend on the area of study and expertise. Generally, doctoral degree holders are qualified for leadership careers in academia, research, and other specialized fields. Some common career paths for these degree holders include university professors, researchers, scientists, medical doctors, lawyers, and top-level executives. Additionally, some individuals with doctorate degrees may pursue careers in government, nonprofit organizations, or as independent consultants or entrepreneurs. The job opportunities available to someone with a doctorate are varied and depend on individual interests and qualifications.

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Can you get a doctorate online, and should you?

Anne-Laure Le Cunff

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest level degree awarded in a specific academic field. Beyond the title, a PhD can be exciting for many reasons. It’s a way — not the only way — to collaborate with passionate people on important problems, to contribute new knowledge to the world, and to open doors to careers at the highest levels. In many fields, a PhD is a requirement to be hired as a researcher, a scientist, or a university professor.

However, a PhD is time consuming. If you are not living close to a university and if you already have other obligations that prevent you from joining an in-person PhD program, you may be considering an online PhD. The short answer to whether you can get a doctorate online is: yes, it is possible. The longer answer is that it comes with many caveats, limitations, and risks that need to be navigated carefully. But, with the right approach and some good amount of preparation, some fields of research can be great candidates for an online PhD.

The pros and cons of an online PhD

Similar to all distance learning programs, the main advantage of an online PhD is the flexibility. You can work from anywhere and in your own time. This flexibility may be attractive if you already have other obligations, such as being a stay-at-home parent, being a caregiver for a family member, not being able to move cities to get closer to a university, or having a job that you cannot quit.

The main disadvantage of an online PhD — provided that it is provided by a reputable university — is the isolation, which is especially problematic in academic research, where a lot of the ideas are generated through serendipitous conversations with colleagues. When getting a doctorate online, you will be working on your own most of the time, which can feel lonely and demotivating.

However, this challenge can be mitigated by participating in academic conferences, whether online or in person, where you can meet with fellow colleagues, exchange ideas, and grow your network. With social media, it has also become easier to share your work with the world and to foster conversations outside of your immediate academic group, which can be particularly helpful if you are pursuing an online doctorate.

Another disadvantage is that you will be limited in terms of areas of research, as many academic fields rely on the use of specific equipment that can be costly, or even impossible, to acquire on your own. There is little you can do about this limitation, except choosing an area of research that doesn’t require such equipment.

Finally, it is a common misconception that getting a PhD online costs less than in-person ones. Most universities charge the exact same price for online doctorates as they do for the ones delivered on campus, though some of them include the price of plane tickets and accommodation for when you absolutely need to be on-site, namely for the final oral examination where you present your thesis. In addition, it is very rare — practically unheard of — to obtain institutional funding for an online PhD, so you will need to cover the costs of your tuition and your research, which can be a considerable amount of money.

Avoiding online PhD scams

The pros and cons outlined above only concern legitimate online PhD programs. Unfortunately, bad actors are capitalizing on the fact that many people would like to pursue a doctorate without having the ability to do so in-person.

Diploma mills are organizations that claim to be a higher education institution, and that deliver diplomas in exchange for a fee. Those diplomas are either fake or practically useless. Diploma mills exist at all levels of study, but they are particularly problematic at the doctorate level where you will find yourself working for three to six years, which is a significant investment of time and money.

It can be hard to tell these organizations apart from legitimate institutions, as they often have beautiful websites, a brochure, and a call center where you can ask questions. To make matters worse, diploma mills are often supported by accreditation mills, set up for the purpose of providing an appearance of legitimacy.

There are several red flags you should pay attention to if you are considering an online PhD. 

  • Accreditation. Is the organization accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency? Beware of buzz words such as “licensed”, “authenticated”, or “notarized”, which are not relevant to academic credentials. It is always worth looking up the accreditation agency to ensure it is legitimate itself.
  • Admissions. What are the criteria to join the PhD program? Do you have to submit transcripts, go through an interview process, submit an implication that includes referral letters? If not, it is a good indication that the organization is a diploma mill that is only interested in your credit card.
  • Studies. Will you need to conduct actual research, work under a supervisor, submit a thesis, and defend it at the end of your PhD, or do you only need to maybe watch a few pre-recorded videos, or submit some work that will not be evaluated?
  • Duration. How long will you need to study for the PhD? Depending on the country, a PhD can take anywhere between three and six years, sometimes longer. If the organization promises a fast turnaround for the obtention of your doctorate, this is a massive red flag.
  • Faculty. Who are the members of the academic team? All reputable universities have very transparent registries of their staff, so you can have a look at their publications, and even email them to discuss your PhD project. Diploma mills will have fake team members with stock photos, and of course no academic publications to their names.

A lot of universities, even the smaller ones, will have a Wikipedia page where you can read about their history, departments, and alumni. This is not in of itself a guarantee that you are looking at a legitimate institution, but you should be extra careful when the only material you can find about an organization is the one they have published themselves.

Now that you are sure that you are looking at a legitimate institution, let’s figure out what research areas would be good candidates for pursuing an online doctorate.

Research areas compatible with an online doctorate

While in the vast majority of cases, it is more productive to be working on-site with your team, including your supervisors, there are three main factors that make an online PhD a reasonable option.

  • All the research can be conducted online. This is obviously the most important factor. Psychology, philosophy, history, mathematics, sociology, theoretical physics, and marketing are some examples of fields where you may be able to conduct all of your research online, without impacting the quality of your output. Focus groups, interviews, content analysis, questionnaires and ethnography are all methods that can be used online. The research could also be done by accessing online librairies, conducting web-based experiments, or analyzing existing datasets. 
  • The research benefits from being conducted off-campus. In some cases, you may actually need to be away from campus to conduct your research! Many scientists who work in anthropology, botany, or animal studies need to study their subjects in their environments. They spend their time in the field, whether they collect data, and rarely spend time on campus.
  • The research does not require in-person resources. Will you need access to a laboratory or expensive equipment that you cannot acquire on your own? If you want to conduct brain scanning experiments, an MRI machine costs between $300,000 and $1 million, and even if you somehow had access to that kind of money, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to fit one in your living room. In contrast, if you are doing computer neuroscience, you may be able to build computational models of the brain from your laptop, without needing access to a laboratory.

Again, a PhD is an intense endeavor, and most PhD candidates will benefit from having in-person interactions with their team, but an online PhD is feasible if some of these criteria are met.

How to apply to an online doctorate

The process should be fairly similar to applying to an in-person PhD program. First, you need to identify an area of research that is compatible with being conducted fully online and does not require in-person resources. Bonus points if the research actually benefits from being conducted off-campus.Once you have an area of research in mind, you need to find a relevant PhD program.

In some cases, you will need to first find a supervisor that is willing to work with you. Go through the university’s directory and email potential supervisors, explaining what your research interests are, sharing your previous experience and why you think they would be a good match as a supervisor. Once you have a supervisor onboard, they will walk you through the application process.

In other cases, you will be assigned a supervisor once accepted onto the PhD program. Then, it’s just a matter of following the instructions on the university’s website, which will often require you to upload your transcripts from previous studies as well as one or several letters of referral.

You will often have to go through some interviews with faculty members, who will assess whether you would be a good fit for the program and for academic research in general. These are very similar to job interviews.

Only once you are done with the application process and have been extended an offer will you be asked to pay for your fees — and it is very common for the payment to only be required after a few months of studies, rather than before you start. Again, pay attention to red flags when applying for an online PhD, as there are many scams out there that only care about getting you to pay the fees.

List of online PhD degrees from reputable universities

Finding an online doctorate is not hard. A quick search will bring up hundreds of results. Finding an online doctorate from a reputable university where you will conduct original research and connect with a network of academics in your field is much harder. However, many universities are now offering the option to get a doctorate online, provided that your research project is compatible.

  • Education (Online) MPhil/PhD (UCL)
  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (Duke University)
  • Online Education Doctorate (John Hopkins University)
  • Online PhD in Counseling (Oregon State University)
  • PhD by Distance Health in Social Science (University of Edinburgh)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Northcentral University)
  • PhD by Distance Learning, Life and Environmental Sciences (University of Birmingham)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology, Online or Evening Program (Grand Canyon University)
  • PhD by Distance Learning, Environment and Arts, Humanities and Cultures (University of Leeds)
  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (University of Pittsburgh)

In addition, the Open University offers many PhD degrees by distance learning in areas as varied as psychology, philosophy, design, economics, engineering, history, law, sociology, geography, music, and mathematics.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and all of these universities are based in the United States or the United Kingdom. It is just a way to demonstrate that you can obtain an online doctorate without being scammed by a diploma mill.

Not all of these universities have the same reputation. Some are non-profit organizations, others are for-profit and may have more lenient admission criteria, but all of them are accredited which means that you will obtain a legitimate online doctorate. They also all have a Wikipedia page where you can read about their research and their alumni.

Now, as it is very unlikely that you will obtain funding for an online doctorate, you still need to ask yourself whether the considerable amount of time, energy, and money you will need to invest is worth it to achieve your goals. There are many other ways to conduct research and contribute new knowledge to the world, such as working as a researcher for a private company or as an independent researcher.

Pursuing a doctorate, whether online or in person, is a massive commitment. Whatever decision you make, take your time to evaluate the pros and cons, and to consider alternative paths that may be less costly, and still a lot of fun!

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The Savvy Scientist

Experiences of a London PhD student and beyond

PhD FAQs – A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Doctoral Study

how to do phd online

Tempted to do a PhD but have lots of questions? Hopefully this collection of popular PhD FAQs will help you to tick a few off the list!

Note – If you’re already sure that you want to do a PhD, and are looking for guidance on the applications process, check out my post on How to apply for a PhD which includes advice from successful PhD applicants. My post-PhD reflections on the things I regretted from my own PhD may be useful for you too, you can find that post here .

Let’s start with the absolute basics of PhDs!

What does PhD stand for?

PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy. Doctor of Philosophy ? No matter which subject area your PhD is in you’ll become a Doctor of Philosophy because philosophy derives from Greek to mean “Love of wisdom” which make a bit more sense.

What is a PhD?

A PhD is a type of research degree classified as a doctorate. You get a PhD by doing original research into a topic, typically for at least three years.

There are loads of other types of doctorate and a PhD is simply the most common. EngD is another which is relatively common for industry-funded engineering students here in the UK.

PhD & DPhil what’s the difference?

There is no real difference between a PhD and DPhil, they’re both Doctor of Philosophy qualifications. A small number of historic institutions in the UK such as Oxford and York offer DPhils but the degree itself is equivalent.

How common are PhDs amongst the population?

Approximately 1% of the working population (25-64 years old) have a PhD. This varies a lot by country:

how to do phd online

Can you call yourself Doctor with a PhD?

Yes you can. Though to avoid confusion with medical doctors, rarely will PhD-holders use the “Dr” title outside of their workplace.

Sometimes PhD-holders will add the abbreviation PhD after their name if they want to make it clear they are a non-medical doctor, for example “Jeff Clark PhD”.

What have I done about my title since getting my PhD? Nothing so far!

Why do a PhD?

Unlike a lot of other degrees, most PhD students get paid to study . Read more in the finances section below.

There are lots of potential reasons to want to do a PhD. The PhD students from our monthly PhD Profiles series said the following:

how to do phd online

Sara found research the most enjoyable part of her undergraduate degree and a PhD was a way to carry on with research.

how to do phd online

Ornob wants to pursue a career in evolutionary biology so began with a PhD in the field.

how to do phd online

Vivienne has aspirations to be a professor so a PhD is a job requirement to progress in academia.

how to do phd online

Jeff (me!) had an interest in the field and enjoyed research. I wrote a whole post with a deep dive on why I decided to do a PhD here .

how to do phd online

Floor had enjoyed research during her Masters and didn’t think that she wanted a career in industry, so decided to do a PhD.

It’s important to mention that you don’t need to have a desire to stay in academia to do a PhD. In fact, even if you do want to go into academia afterwards, it’s probably good to know early on just how competitive it can be. Many people sadly cannot make a career out of academia long term.

Enjoy the subject matter and want to spend a few years researching it? That is reason enough to do a PhD. I’ve also now written a whole post about the benefits of having a PhD .

Applying for a PhD

Do you need a masters degree to do a phd.

No you don’t necessarily need a Masters degree to do a PhD as long as you can demonstrate you’d be suitable for a PhD without it.

For a more in-depth answer see the separate post here :

Can You Get a PhD Without a Master’s?

If you don’t have a Masters, I’d recommend checking out Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) which offer combined Masters + PhD courses. We have discussed CDTs with a graduate in Floor’s post here .

What grades do you need to do a PhD?

Entry requirements for PhDs can vary. In regards to the UK system usually you’d generally be expected to have at least a 2:1 from your undergraduate degree, plus some research experience.

My experience : I (narrowly) got first class honours in my undergrad (MEng) which certainly does help. But if you can demonstrate aptitude in research you usually don’t need a 1:1. It would be expected for you to have done well in any research projects. If you can get your name on a publication then even better!

The easiest way to find out what is expected is to check the PhD advert for entry requirements. For details on applying for a PhD, including how to find PhD adverts, check out my guide here :

How to apply for a PhD

I work in industry, can I come back and do a PhD?

Absolutely! I worked for almost four years between finishing my first degree and starting my PhD.

A PhD is more similar to a job than any other point in your education, so if you’ve spent time in a structured role it can provide you with a good work ethic. If your time in industry adds relevant skills and experience to your application, even better!

I’ve met loads of people older than me who are pursuing PhDs. If it’s your dream, it’s never too late to start a PhD!

What is the social life of a PhD student like?

Let me get this out the way first: PhD students should be able to have a life outside of the lab! If a PhD student has no time away from research I would personally suggest that they were doing things wrong.

Even if you really enjoy your project, it is good for your mental health to have a social life!

No matter the size of your research group there are often departmental and university-wide events. Plus, besides everyone you may meet through your research and department, PhD students can still join societies and sports clubs through the students’ union. I spent one of my birthdays during my PhD on the beach in Morocco with the surf club, don’t let being a PhD student put your off getting involved!

Check out the full post I’ve written: Do PhD Students Have a Social Life? Sharing My Experiences Making Friends and Avoiding PhD Loneliness

If you do go on to do a PhD, make sure to make the most of all the opportunities ! Your time as a PhD student is fantastic for personal growth.

How much holiday do PhD students get?

Sadly unlike undergraduates, PhD students don’t follow fixed semesters. This means no more three month long summer holiday, sorry!

However most departments recommend PhD students take 7-8 weeks of holiday a year , which is more than practically any job outside of academia.

I kept track of all the time off I took during my PhD and you can find the details here , including a month by month breakdown:

Do PhD Students Get Holidays? Sharing How Much Annual Leave I Take

Getting a PhD

How much work is a phd.

For a month I tracked how many hours I was working and what I was working on, so you can see a breakdown of my calendar here . I found I was working for roughly 40 hours a week. Now that I’ve recently finished my PhD, I’d say that that amount of hours was pretty representative of the whole PhD.

How Much Work is a PhD?

I do of course know some people who worked much longer hours, but most PhD students were on a similar schedule to me. Working roughly 9-5 on weekdays. Treat it like a job and you’ll be fine. PhD students don’t need to be slaving away long hours.

I managed to be strict with my time, largely avoiding work late nights or going in at the weekends. One of the main perks of doing a PhD is that you have autonomy and can be flexible with when you work. As long as you get the work done, any reasonable supervisor won’t mind when you’re there.

Yes I’ve heard stories of PhD students having to clock in and out with an expectation that they spend a certain number of hours in the office. I personally think this is stupid and doesn’t build trust. Try to speak to current PhD students from the group when choosing a supervisor .

How is a PhD assessed?

What you submit at the end of your research varies between universities and countries. Sometimes it’s a thesis and other times it can be a bunch of published papers. In all situations you give some kind of presentation and answer questions about your work.

In the UK you usually submit a thesis in preparation for a viva voce . The viva is an oral exam where you discuss your research with several academics and at least one will be an expert in your field. My viva wasn’t as scary as I thought it might be, but nonetheless it was five hours ( FIVE HOURS! ) long. At the end of your viva you’ll get told the outcome of your PhD with any changes to be made to your thesis.

There is often no requirement , to publish your work in journals during a PhD in the UK but it does help.

In other countries you may have to publish a certain number to pass your PhD and effectively these can be submitted instead of the thesis. This approach makes much more sense to me.

How long does it take to get a PhD?

In the UK, typically between three and four years to complete your research and submit the thesis. It can then take a few months for the exam (viva voce) to take place and then for any corrections to the thesis to be made.

Nosey about my PhD? For me personally, I started the PhD on 1st October 2016, submitted my thesis on 17th February 2020, had the viva on 25th March, submitted my minor corrections on 30th March and had the email to say it was officiated on 1st April 2020. Yep, April Fool’s Day…

When you realise your degree certificate will forever say your PhD was awarded on April Fools Day! #academiclife @imperialcollege — Jeff Clark (@savvy_scientist) April 14, 2020

We cover all the stages of a PhD here, including putting the length of a PhD in the perspective of a whole career:

How Long Does It Take To Get A PhD?

Are PhDs really difficult?

No, well not how you might think.

You don’t need to be a genius, but you do have to be smart with how you work. Here I go into how a PhD is pretty different to all the prior years spent in education:

How Hard is a PhD?

Check out my new post covering academic challenges and failures relating to my own PhD: Overcoming Academic Challenges and Failure During a PhD

Money-Related Questions

How much does a phd cost.

If you have funding, which is explained below, all your fees are paid for by the funding source. If you are looking to self-fund, then you’ll have to pay bench-fees/tuition fees, which are usually approximately £4,000 a year for home students in the UK.

Fees vary massively depending on both the country the PhD work takes place in and where you’re from. For example, I believe Australian universities charge around $100,000 in fees to overseas PhD students. Of course ideally you have funding which covers both this and pays a stipend!

Do PhD students pay taxes?

In the UK, PhD students do not pay income tax, national insurance, council tax and student loan repayments. This means that if you can secure funding, even though you may earn less than friends in typical jobs, you get to keep all your earnings!

Do PhD students get paid?

Most PhDs, at least in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) get a stipend: basically a tax-free salary.

How much do PhD students get paid?

At the time of writing, most PhD students in the UK get around £16,000 a year . Doesn’t sound like a lot, but:

  • As mentioned above, you don’t pay income tax, national insurance, council tax or make any student loan repayments. My most popular post is this one , comparing the income of PhD students vs grad jobs and the difference really isn’t that big. Plus it’s only for 3 to 3.5 years!
  • You’re getting paid to learn science, working on something you’re really interested in. It’s amazing.
  • You have a lot more freedom than practically any “proper job”.
  • You’re getting paid, to be a student…
PhD Salary UK: How Much Do PhD Students Get Paid?

In summary, PhD stipends are really not that different to grad starting salaries. Please don’t be put off from a PhD simply because for a few years you might be earning a bit less than if you were working in another job.

Depending on what you want to do with your career, having a CV may lead to higher salaries. What is 3 years of lower wages out of a 40+ year career? The answer: nothing!

Where do I find PhD funding?

Getting funding will likely be the biggest hurdle for you to secure a PhD. I have a post here detailing the different types of funding and how you can find a project with funding attached.

How to Find PhD Funding in the UK

Can you self-fund a PhD?

Yes you can self-fund a PhD, and some students are in a position to do so. Just be careful that you account for university fees and not just your living costs.

Are you allowed to have another job at the same time?

Most universities encourage you to get involved with work within your department as a graduate teaching assistant (GTA). Some countries even insist that you work a certain number of hours as part of a contract for your monthly stipend.

Working as a GTA you might be invigilating exams, helping in tutorials, marking coursework etc and at Imperial you usually earn around £15-£26 an hour.

If you’re looking to work a full time job in tandem with your PhD (and doing the PhD full time), it is best checking your university’s policy. Some may have regulations against you working over a certain number of hours which could impede you from concentrating on the PhD.

There are extra ways to make money on the side which I address here :

How to Earn Money Online for Students

Can you get a mortgage as a PhD student?

Since I did my PhD in London I didn’t even consider buying somewhere during my PhD. I’m not interested in being tied into a massive mortgage for 25 years to buy a shoebox!

If I’d accepted my PhD offer for a CDT at Leeds I certainly would have tried to buy somewhere with my partner. I found this page useful when doing research. Buying a property with a partner who has a normal job would definitely make the mortgage application a whole lot more successful.

Will a PhD help your career?

This depends on what you want to do with your career. Some example scenarios:

  • Staying in academia – a PhD is usually required
  • Certain technical jobs in industry – a PhD may be required or a big bonus
  • Non-technical jobs – a bonus

I do not imagine any scenarios where having a PhD is worse than not having one. It is true though that for certain careers there may be other things you could do which would be a better use of your time, for example gaining more direct work experience.

If you want to do a PhD that shouldn’t stop you though, and considering the length of your career taking a few years out for a PhD is inconsequential.

Whichever career path you fancy taking, if you are at all interested in doing a PhD I think you should at least apply.

PhDs in London

Can someone afford to live in london as a phd student.

Yes! I lived in London for my PhD and actually was able to save money every single month while taking many holidays and not living in a tent.

I have a few posts sharing my experiences living in London which you may find useful:

For a month last year I tracked all my expenses to get an idea of my costs living in London as a student, you can find it here .

Sharing my monthly living expenses as a student in London: September 2019

Related to reducing costs, I learned to cycle in London and loved it. It saved me about £100 a month too!

Learning to cycle in London: my first 1000 miles

On top of that, for the whole of 2019 (third year PhD) I tracked my money, and the report is here :

My personal finances report for 2019

Where is good to live in London?

I’ve lived in three different houses during my PhD in London and have a pretty good idea now of good places to live in London. You can read this whole post talking about living in London as a student and the associated costs including a breakdown of rent :

London student accommodation: Breaking down the cost of living in London for students

Bonus: Read the journeys of PhD students

Before I started my PhD I had a ton of questions and nobody who I could ask about their experience. The reality is that many of these PhD FAQs have a variety of answers as everyone’s PhD story is different. Therefore if you’d like to hear first hand from people who are going through the journey check out my series of PhD profiles , with a new profile every month. You can also discover some of their top tips for applying!

how to do phd online

If you’d like personalised help with your PhD application I am now starting to offer a small number of one-to-one sessions. Please contact me to find out more or click here to book a call.

Is there anything else you’d like to know to help with a potential PhD application? Let me know and I’ll write about it! You can subscribe to stay up to date here:

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Related Posts

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PhD Salary UK: How Much Do PhD Students Get Paid Compared to Graduates?

5th February 2024 5th February 2024

how to do phd online

The Benefits of Having a PhD

7th September 2022 30th January 2024

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My top PhD regrets: 10 lessons learned by a PhD grad

21st April 2022 25th September 2023

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5 routes to getting a Doctorate

While most of those studying for a PhD take the PhD by thesis pathway, there are five viable routes to achieving a Doctorate degree

PhD by thesis

This is the most common means of getting a Doctorate degree. Over the three or four years of research at university, your PhD supervisor will support you as you aim to produce a thesis based on your research proposal .

A thesis is typically 60,000-90,000 words in length - although this can vary between institutions. For instance, the University of Glasgow's College of Social Sciences expects a thesis to be 70,000-100,000 words including references, bibliography and appendices, while the University of Cambridge has set an upper limit of 80,000 words.

Once completed, you'll need to defend your PhD thesis in front of a panel of examiners during your viva voce .

PhD by publication

This route involves submitting previously published work - such as books, book chapters and journal articles, which together form a coherent body of work and show evidence of an original contribution to a particular field of study.

It's often taken by mid-career academics that haven't had the opportunity to undertake a standard Doctorate degree.

Generally, a minimum of five to eight published pieces are required, but this varies between institutions and depends on their length. The published work will be assessed to the same rigorous standards as a traditional PhD by thesis.

You must also provide a written supporting statement, which can range from 5,000 to 20,000 words, and present your work to an academic committee. A supervisor will assist you with selecting which publications to submit and with the supporting statement.

Some universities accept only their own graduates for a PhD by publication, while others restrict this route to their academic staff. In general, you should have graduated from your first degree at least seven years ago to be eligible.

For example, The University of Manchester has published its own Guidance for the PhD By Published Work , with eligibility only extending to current members of staff.

Professional Doctorate

Geared primarily towards current professionals in vocational sectors such as healthcare , teaching and education , and engineering and manufacturing , this type of Doctorate degree includes a significant taught component and a smaller research project.

Professional Doctorates are often taken on a part-time basis and can last between two and eight years. Like their standard PhD counterparts, they usually begin in October or January.

While you won't typically be looking to get an academic job , your research is expected to contribute to theory as well as professional practice. Projects often revolve around a real-life issue that affects your employer.

Several professional Doctorates, such as the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy), are accredited by a professional body - for instance, the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and The British Psychological Society (BPS) - and may also lead to a professional qualification .

Common titles for graduates of professional Doctorate degrees include:

  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • Doctor of Engineering (EngD)
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD).

Unlike many professional Doctorates, the EngD is typically offered as a full-time course and is aimed at young engineering graduates with little or no professional experience.

Explore what's currently available at Find a Professional Doctorate .

Integrated PhD

This four-year qualification, also known as the New Route PhD, involves studying a one-year research Masters degree (MRes) before progressing onto a three-year PhD.

Offered by a select number of universities across the UK, integrated PhDs are supported by the government and the British Council through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) . Visit Research Council funding for further information on research and funding for different types of PhD.

The integrated PhD involves a combination of taught materials, practical experience and advanced research. This allows you to learn subject-specific methodologies, while building the transferable skills that will enable you to become a leader in your chosen profession.

Institutions can also develop personalised integrated PhD programmes to meet each student's needs. For example, universities may offer you the opportunity to gain a postgraduate certificate (PGCert) in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education - perfect if you're considering a career as a higher education lecturer .

As PhDs are based primarily on independent research rather than time spent in lectures and seminars, distance learning has always been a viable route for many Doctoral students.

PhDs by distance learning offered by course providers such as The Open University are therefore a good option to consider if you've got family or work commitments or are an international student - as this gives you the chance to undertake Doctoral research without having to live close to your chosen institution. It's also a suitable mode of study if your subject requires you to be based in a specific location away from the university.

For the most part, you'll be in touch with your supervisor by phone, email or Skype/Zoom. You'll need to bear in mind that even if you opt for this form of research, you'll generally still need to attend university for one or two weeks of each academic year for meetings and to receive research skills training. Your final examination may be undertaken either face-to-face or virtually.

With online PhDs, you can usually register as a full or part-time student. The level of fees you pay varies between institutions - some charge the same as for a standard PhD while others offer a reduced rate.

Check that any funding you plan to apply for is available to distance learning students, as this isn't always the case.

Search for distance learning PhDs .

Find out more

  • Explore what is a PhD?
  • Sort out funding for postgraduate study .
  • Consider what to do after completing your PhD .

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20 Best Online PhD in Information Technology Programs [2024 IT Doctorate Guide]

An online PhD in information technology (IT) can help you advance your studies in one of the fastest-growing fields in America.

PhD in Information Technology

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Before you apply, however, there are a few things that you should know about eligibility, coursework, financial assistance, and the admissions process.

Online PhD in Information Technology Degrees

There are several ways to earn a doctorate degree in information technology. The first option is a generalist program the teaches broad, wide-ranging skills that can be applied to many different jobs. The other options involve specialized PhD programs where you are expected to concentrate your studies on a single area of expertise.

Information Technology

Information technology – cyber security.

Both of these fields offer plenty of opportunities for growth and careers to pursue.

IT Specialist working on his laptop

Information technology draws from many disciplines, including business, finance, mathematics, and computer science. A PhD program is designed to strengthen students skills in these core areas while also preparing them for high-level research projects or leadership positions in the industry.

A doctorate degree in IT comes in two forms:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Information Technology
  • Doctor of Information Technology (DIT)

Each type of online information technology degree can help you learn many of the same things, and there’s a lot of crossover between classes, internships, and fellowships. Some colleges even promote the programs interchangeably.

If you want a specific acronym after your name, however, make sure that you’re following the right academic track.

software developers working together on a project

Cybersecurity is just one of the specializations that you can focus on with a graduate degree in information technology. It is designed to teach students all about computer systems and how to build, organize, connect, modify, and defend them.

There are several sub-specialties within cybersecurity studies, including:

  • Data analytics
  • Research methods
  • Information systems

You might be required to take some or all of these courses even if you aren’t specializing. Many well-rounded cybersecurity degrees touch on many different disciplines to give students a diverse range of skills and abilities.

PhD in Information Technology Curriculum & Courses

PhD in Information technology student studying online

Your classes as a PhD student will depend on what and where you’re studying. Every degree program is different. Speaking very generally, however, here are some names that you will likely see in a course catalog:

  • Computer or Technology Foundation – Some colleges require these “entry-level” courses to make sure that you’re on par with other IT students. You might be allowed to waive them if you’ve already earned a bachelor’s or master’s in information technology.
  • Applied Research Methods – You’ll spend a lot of time reading and referencing materials as a PhD student. These classes can help you refine your methods while also teaching you how to find, organize, and present information in a professional way.
  • Data Analysis – Analytics are the backbone of an information technology degree, so you might be offered several courses in both quantitative and qualitative data analytics.
  • Information Systems – Information systems are another critical component of IT, so expect to see many high-level classes in networks, databases, algorithms, and systems administration.
  • Mathematics – Some IT programs offer graduate-level study in things like statistics and linear models. They’re usually optional unless you’re specializing in a math-heavy concentration.
  • Teacher Training Seminar – If your career goals are in the educational field, you might be required to take teacher-training courses. Be aware that they could have face-to-face requirements despite being part of an online program.
  • Cybersecurity – This is a degree in its own right, but many IT programs touch on the basics of data, privacy, and security. If you’re specializing in it, you may be able to expect advanced classes in cryptology, intrusion detection, systems design, web security, and information assurance.
  • Programming – You can take programming classes at every level of study, including the doctorate level. You’ll need them for coding, debugging, and testing software systems.
  • Dissertation Research and Preparation – Many PhD programs require a dissertation. You can usually take classes to help you prepare. They tend to offer research opportunities, technical skill-building, and academic guidance from professors, advisors, and mentors.

These few courses might be available to you if you’re seeking a PhD in information technology online. There will be plenty of others, so make sure to check out the course catalog.

PhD in Information Technology Careers & Salaries

PhD in Information Technology Careers & Salaries

Information technology can be a very profitable career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , computer and information systems managers make on average $151,150 per year or $72.67 per hour.

That’s just an average, too. The biggest earners in the field can take home as much as $208,000 per year or $100 per hour. Other careers can be just as rewarding:

Again, these are just averages, so be sure to look at the full ranges of what you can earn. It might be more; it might be less. You won’t get a realistic sense of a PhD in information technology salary until you look at all of the numbers.

Ultimately, these average annual salaries is what makes getting a PhD in this field worth it. The anticipated return on investment for a PhD degree is much higher than that of an accelerated information technology degree online , or even just a bachelor’s degree in IT.

Choosing an Online PhD in Information Technology Degree

PhD in information technology student studying at a cafe

Maybe you’ve decided to take the plunge and get an online PhD in information technology. Which universities should you consider? Where do you have the best chances of being admitted to a graduate program?

While everyone has their own criteria for a good school, there are some important things that students should think about.

  • Accreditation – You’ll want to get your PhD from a reputable university. Programmatic accreditation is optional but regional and national accreditation is not.
  • Selectivity – Some graduate programs are more competitive than others. Make sure to look at all of their admission requirements, and think about applying to back-up schools in addition to your top choices.
  • Online accessibility – Can you do everything online? Will any seminars or workshops require face-to-face meetings? Are the classes synchronous or asynchronous?
  • Specializations – This doesn’t matter if you’re going for a general information technology degree, but if you want to focus your studies on something specific, this means finding a doctorate program with the courses and concentrations that are relevant to you.

No matter if you are considering an online PhD or an online master’s in information technology , a general rule of thumb is that it’s a good idea to start your college search early. Don’t wait until the last minute to start gathering materials and filling out applications. Give yourself several months to do your research, make your inquiries, and talk to other PhD candidates.

Admissions Requirements

PhD in Information Technology student studying on his laptop

Admissions to a doctorate program can be quite competitive. Classes are typically kept small, and there’s usually a limited amount of funding for things like research projects and financial aid, so colleges have high standards for the PhD students that they’re willing to take on.

Here are a few things that might be required for a doctorate program:

  • College transcripts – All graduate schools will want to see your GPA. They might also look for interest and proficiency in related subjects such as computer science, data structures, software development, systems engineering, and network administration.
  • Graduate test scores – There are several standardized tests for graduate students, including the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Your school may or may not require them for admission into their IT program.
  • Resume or CV – Are you already active in the field? Would you bring any particular skills or experiences to the doctorate program? This is the place to make them known.
  • Letters of recommendation – These can come from professors, mentors, bosses, and other people in a position of authority, but they’ll hold extra weight from alumni of the school or graduate program that you’re trying to enter.
  • Statement of purpose – This is the graduate version of a personal essay. It’s your chance to sell yourself as a PhD candidate by detailing your work, education, research, career goals, and more.

At the end of the day, since every university is different, it’s important to do your homework about their individual graduate programs. They’ll have varying standards as well as their own unique practices and prerequisites.


PhD in Information Technology Accreditation

As a degree holder, you probably already know about the importance of college accreditation. But were you aware that it’s just as critical for graduate students as undergrads?

For starters, it can take a while to complete a PhD program. You might be in school for anywhere from 3 – 5 years, possibly longer. If you ever need to transfer, it’s important that your credits transfer with you.

Another potential issue is your eligibility for various projects and programs. You could be rejected for things like grants and research opportunities if you aren’t attending an accredited grad school. You could also struggle to find employment with an unaccredited degree.

All things considered, it’s worth the effort of finding an accredited PhD program. Here are the three types of accreditation to consider:

  • Regional accreditation
  • National accreditation
  • Programmatic accreditation

For more information, check out the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) . Not only do they explain the ins and outs of accreditation, but they also have databases, directories, and search engines for everything from individual colleges to overall program types.

PhD in Information Technology Professional Organizations

web developers attending a seminar

Industry organizations can provide many resources to students and working professionals. You don’t have to join one, but their benefits are often worth their membership dues. Here are just a couple of groups that might interest you as an IT student:

  • Association of I nformation Technology Professionals – CompTIA is a network for both students and professionals in the IT world. It offers scholarships, competitions, events, products, career counseling, and more. College attendees can take advantage of a reduced-rate student membership.
  • Society for Information Management – SIM is for senior professionals in information technology. You might not qualify for membership while you’re still in school, but when you meet their criteria, you’ll have access to all kinds of legal, technical, financial, and academic benefits.

There are other organizations that welcome IT students as well, so don’t be afraid to shop around. Look for a professional network that suits your exact needs, interests, and career goals.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial aid for PhD in Information Technology students

Financial aid is a little different as a graduate student, but it’s still possible to get it. Your first step should be filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You might have heard that PhD students aren’t eligible for Pell Grants anymore, but that’s only partially true; there are circumstances where low-income students can still receive it.

You may also have loan options with the FAFSA. You won’t qualify for a subsidized loan anymore, but you may be able to take out Direct Unsubsidized Loan or a Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate or Professional Students.

Outside of the FAFSA, you can look for grants, fellowships, internships, and work-study programs. Fellowships are particularly common for graduate students, so be sure to talk to your professors about opportunities.

Last but not least, consider applying for scholarships. Some are available to both undergraduate and graduate students; others are meant specifically for PhD candidates. As a future IT professional, you might have the best luck with scholarships that are earmarked for computer- and technology-based majors.

PhD in Information Technology

Is There a PhD in Information Technology?

Many colleges offer a PhD program for information technology. There are also PhD programs for related disciplines such as information systems, technology management and systems engineering.

They teach many of the same skills and subjects since there’s a lot of overlap in their fields. Additionally, you can choose to specialize in something like cybersecurity or database management with your information technology degree.

What Can I Do With a PhD in Information Technology?

You can do a lot with a doctorate in information technology. It can help qualify you for high-level jobs, especially if you specialize in a niche field where your skills will be in demand.

You can pursue a career in academia or research. You can even aim for a CEO job.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Information Technology?

software developer working in his office

It usually takes around 3 – 5 years to get a PhD in information technology. Depending on your school, your degree may require anywhere from 55 – 65 credits, and you might need to meet specialized course requirements as you go.

A highly motivated student could finish quickly, but a busy student with outside responsibilities could take longer. It all depends on your school, your schedule, and your specific doctorate program.

Can You Get an Accredited PhD in Information Technology Online?

It’s entirely possible to earn a PhD online. Many colleges have an “e-campus” where they offer the same classes with the same course requirements as their traditional, classroom-based degree programs; it’s just that all lessons are delivered virtually.

Most programs don’t mention on your transcript that you took online classes, either.

Is a PhD in Information Technology Worth It?

computer programmer working in an office

Yes, a PhD in Information Technology is worth it for many students. Computer and information technology occupations are projected to grow 11% over the next 10 years, much faster than the average for all occupations. Common careers in this field include digital forensics analyst, information systems professor, data scientist, information research scientist, and IT director.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that more than 531,000 jobs will be added to the industry in the next decade. An advanced degree can open a lot of doors in this quickly-evolving field.

Another thing to consider is your return on investment (ROI). This can be calculated by subtracting the total cost of your PhD program from the salary that you expect to earn once you graduate. How long will it take to pay off your loans? When will you start turning a profit?

What Jobs Can I Get with a Doctor of Information Technology Degree?

web developer working on her computers

An online PhD in information technology can lead to many career prospects, including:

  • University professor
  • Computer or technology specialist
  • Information security analyst
  • Web developer
  • Software engineer
  • Network or database manager

You can also take your degree and apply it to IT research and development in other fields such as business, law, finance, education, and health administration. Every industry needs technology experts.

What does an Online PhD Information Technology Degree Cost?

Tuition rates can be wildly different depending on your school, location, degree type, credit load, and overall length of study. In general, however, you can expect to pay at least $300 per credit, and it usually takes around 55 – 65 credits to earn a PhD in information technology.

Just remember that these numbers are averages and not guarantees.

Universities Offering Information Technology Online Ph.D. Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Bowling Green State University campus

  • PhD in Technology Management

Bowling Green State University  is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Capella University campus

  • PhD in Information Technology

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Capitol Technology University campus

  • PhD in Technology

Capitol Technology University  is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Universities and Schools.

City University of Seattle campus

  • Doctor of Information Technology

The City University of Seattle is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Colorado Technical University campus

  • Doctor of Management – Technology Management

Colorado Technical University  is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Dakota State University campus

  • PhD in Information Systems

Dakota State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Indiana State University campus

Indiana State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Iowa State University campus

Iowa State University  is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Liberty University campus

  • DBA in Information Systems

Liberty University  is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University campus

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University  is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

National University campus

  • PhD in Technology and Innovation Management

National University  is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Nova Southeastern University campus

NSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Texas Tech University campus

  • PhD in Business Administration – Management Information Systems

Texas Tech University  is accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Towson University campus

  • Doctor of Science in Information Technology

Towson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Arkansas campus

The  U of A is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Bridgeport campus

The  University of Bridgeport  is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

University of Central Missouri campus

The  University of Central Missouri  is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Illinois Chicago campus

  • PhD in Management Information Systems

The  University of Illinois at Chicago  is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of the Cumberlands campus

The University of the Cumberlands  is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Walden University campus

Walden is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your PhD in Information Technology Degree Online

Information Technology students studying online

If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, an online PhD in information technology might be just what you need to stand out from the crowd.

Not only can it help you qualify for specialized, high-paying jobs, but it can also help you learn the skills that you’ll need to know to thrive in the industry. Consider contacting your local university to ask about their graduate programs for IT.

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Ph.D. in India: Cost, Duration, and Eligibility for Admission

Complete guide to ph.d. in india: duration, costs, eligibility, and recent updates.

Dr. Somasundaram R

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Table of contents

How many years is a ph.d. in india, how much does a ph.d. cost in india, what qualifications are required for a ph.d. in india, what is the age limit for a ph.d. in india is 25 too old to start a ph.d., can i do a ph.d. without the national eligibility test (net), who is eligible for direct ph.d. admission, is it okay to do a ph.d. without a master’s degree, what are the recent rules for ph.d. admissions in india, 25 tips to join phd in india, 10 steps to join ph.d. in india.

Embarking on a Ph.D. journey in India is a significant academic and professional pursuit. Aspiring research scholars often have questions regarding the duration of a Ph.D., the associated costs, eligibility criteria, and recent developments in the field. In this comprehensive guide, ilovephd aims to address these queries and shed light on the essentials of pursuing a Ph.D. in India.

A Ph.D. program in India typically takes around 3 to 5 years to complete, depending on various factors such as the discipline, research area, individual progress, and university regulations.

The duration may vary, but it is important to be prepared for a substantial commitment of time and effort.

The cost of pursuing a Ph.D. in India varies across institutions. Generally, public universities offer Ph.D. programs with minimal or subsidized tuition fees. Private universities may have higher fees.

It’s advisable to explore funding options such as scholarships, fellowships, or research grants provided by government bodies, funding agencies , or individual institutions to support your Ph.D. journey.

To pursue a Ph.D. in India, a candidate typically needs a postgraduate degree (Master’s or equivalent) in a relevant field. It is important to note that specific eligibility criteria may vary between universities and disciplines.

Additionally, universities often require candidates to clear entrance exams or interviews and meet minimum academic standards to be considered for admission.

In most cases, there is no strict age limit for pursuing a Ph.D. in India. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria and demonstrate the necessary academic qualifications, you can pursue a Ph.D. at any age.

Therefore, 25 is certainly not too old to start a Ph.D. Many scholars begin their doctoral studies later in life, bringing valuable experiences and perspectives to their research.

While the National Eligibility Test (NET) is a common requirement for lectureships and research fellowships in India , it is not mandatory for all Ph.D. programs. Some universities may have their own entrance exams or selection processes.

It is important to check the specific requirements of the university or institution where you plan to pursue your Ph.D.

Direct Ph.D. admission is a pathway for exceptional candidates who have completed their undergraduate studies and wish to pursue a Ph.D. without a Master’s degree.

However, this option is typically available to a limited number of candidates, and universities may have specific criteria and guidelines for direct Ph.D. admissions. It is advisable to consult with individual institutions to understand their policies regarding direct Ph.D. admissions.

While a Master’s degree is generally the standard qualification for pursuing a Ph.D., some universities in India offer integrated Ph.D. programs that allow students to directly enter the Ph.D. track after completing their undergraduate studies.

However, this option may be limited to certain disciplines or institutions. It’s important to research and identify institutions that offer such programs if you wish to pursue a Ph.D. without a Master’s degree.

The rules and regulations for Ph.D. admissions in India are subject to change and can vary between universities and disciplines.

It is advisable to stay updated with the guidelines provided by individual universities and regulatory bodies such as the University Grants Commission (UGC) or the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to ensure compliance with the latest requirements.

25 tips to help you join a Ph.D. program in India:

  • Research your field of interest thoroughly to identify potential research areas and topics.
  • Explore various universities and research institutes in India that offer Ph.D. programs in your chosen field.
  • Check the eligibility criteria and admission requirements of each institution you are interested in.
  • Take note of application deadlines and ensure you submit your application well in advance.
  • Prepare a strong statement of purpose (SOP) that highlights your research interests, goals, and why you are interested in pursuing a Ph.D.
  • Contact potential supervisors or faculty members whose research aligns with your interests to discuss your research proposal.
  • Prepare for entrance exams that may be required for admission, such as the UGC-NET, GATE, or university-specific entrance exams.
  • Enhance your academic profile by participating in research projects, publishing papers, or presenting at conferences.
  • Build a strong recommendation letter portfolio by reaching out to professors or mentors who can attest to your academic abilities and research potential.
  • Seek out scholarships, fellowships, or research grants offered by government bodies, universities, or funding agencies to fund your Ph.D.
  • Familiarize yourself with the research facilities, laboratories, and resources available at the institutions you are considering.
  • Attend research seminars, workshops, and conferences related to your field to stay updated with the latest developments and network with researchers.
  • Develop good communication and writing skills, as they are essential for presenting research findings and publishing papers.
  • Create a well-structured and feasible research proposal that clearly outlines your research objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes.
  • Be prepared for interviews or presentations as part of the selection process, where you may need to defend your research proposal or discuss your academic background.
  • Gain teaching experience by assisting professors or taking up teaching assignments to enhance your profile for future academic positions.
  • Connect with current Ph.D. students or alumni of the institutions you are interested in to gain insights into the program and research environment.
  • Stay updated with any changes in the rules, regulations, or policies related to Ph.D. admissions in India.
  • Develop a strong work ethic and time management skills, as Ph.D. programs require dedication, self-discipline, and long hours of research.
  • Consider the location and infrastructure of the institution, ensuring it suits your research needs and provides a conducive environment for learning.
  • Explore interdisciplinary opportunities and collaborations to broaden your research scope and gain different perspectives.
  • Discuss funding options and financial support with the institutions you are applying to, and be prepared to seek external funding if necessary.
  • Keep track of your research progress and maintain regular communication with your supervisor or mentor.
  • Attend preparatory courses or workshops on research methodology or academic writing to enhance your research skills.
  • Finally, be passionate, persistent, and proactive in pursuing your Ph.D. dream. Embrace the challenges, stay motivated, and enjoy the journey of knowledge creation.

Remember, each institution may have its own specific requirements and procedures, so it’s crucial to carefully review their official websites or contact the admissions offices for accurate and up-to-date information.

Here are 10 steps to join a Ph.D. program in India:

  • Research your field: Explore different research areas and identify your specific field of interest for pursuing a Ph.D. in India.
  • Shortlist institutions: Identify universities or research institutes in India that offer Ph.D. programs in your chosen field.
  • Review eligibility criteria : Check the eligibility requirements of the institutions you are interested in, including minimum educational qualifications and entrance exam scores.
  • Prepare application documents: Gather the necessary documents, such as academic transcripts, recommendation letters, statement of purpose (SOP), and research proposal.
  • Prepare for entrance exams: If required, prepare for entrance exams like UGC-NET, GATE, or university-specific exams. Familiarize yourself with the syllabus and exam pattern.
  • Apply to institutions: Submit your applications to the shortlisted institutions within the specified deadlines. Pay attention to the required application fees and submission procedures.
  • Attend interviews (if applicable): Some institutions may conduct interviews or presentations to assess your research aptitude and fit for the program. Prepare well for these interactions.
  • Secure funding: Explore funding opportunities such as scholarships, fellowships, or research grants. Check if the institutions offer any financial support or external funding options.
  • Accept an offer : Once you receive acceptance letters from the institutions you applied to, carefully evaluate and select the most suitable offer based on research facilities, faculty expertise, funding, and overall fit.
  • Complete admission formalities: After accepting an offer, complete the necessary admission formalities as specified by the institution. This may include submitting additional documents, paying fees, and fulfilling any other requirements.

It’s important to note that the specific steps and procedures may vary between institutions. Therefore, always refer to the official websites and admission guidelines of the institutions you are applying to for accurate and up-to-date information.

Pursuing a Ph.D. in India is a rewarding and intellectually stimulating endeavor. Understanding the duration, costs, eligibility criteria, and recent developments is crucial to navigating the process effectively.

By considering these factors and conducting thorough research, aspiring Ph.D. scholars can embark on their academic journey with confidence and clarity.

Remember to reach out to universities or institutions directly for specific information and seek guidance from mentors or faculty members who can provide valuable insights into the Ph.D. application process in your chosen field. Good luck with your Ph.D. pursuit!

Also Read: Best 100 Institutions to Study PhD in India – 2023

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Master's Degree in Sociology Online

Prepare for positive career trajectories and advanced doctoral work in sociology.

Engage in hands-on activities that showcase your analytical, communication and data analysis skills to future employers or doctoral programs. UND's online master's in Sociology is a perfect fit for students with a four-year degree in sociology (or a related social science) looking to advance their careers.

Why earn a master's degree in Sociology online?

If you're an international student, refer to the international application process for deadlines.

Through UND's online Sociology master's program, you'll work with skilled faculty to create a program of study that aligns with your professional goals and facilitates concrete skill development. You'll cultivate essential skills including the ability to:

  • Synthesize existing information.  
  • Address research questions using diverse methods.  
  • Analyze data statistically at the multivariate level.  
  • Effectively communicate research in both verbal and written formats.

All courses will incorporate some aspect of experiential learning in which you will actively engage in sociological skill development. You'll work individually with professors on research that can lead to publications with professors. This unique aspect of the program ensures that you will acquire theoretical knowledge and gain practical insights, preparing you for success in whichever path you choose.

Customize Your Master’s in Sociology

UND’s online master’s degree in Sociology provides a broad overview of sociological concepts and theories, allowing you to explore various aspects of sociology. Plus, with the nine credits of electives, you can customize your coursework. We will work with you individually to create your own custom course load that aligns with your career goals, including careers across human services, higeher educatin, non-progit organizations, governmnet agencies, criminal justice and more.

UND's Online Sociology Master's Program

Explore engaging sociological projects led by highly qualified faculty actively involved in s oc iological scholarship .  

All coursework can be completed 100% online. No campus visit is required.

Become involved and discover leadership opportunities in Alpha Kappa Delta, the international honor society for socio logy.  

Work with faculty to create a program of study that aligns with your professional development goals.  

Enhance your professional skills at 60+ free workshops offered through the UND School of Graduate Studies. Our goal is to provide you with the workforce skills and job search strategies to succeed.

Study at a Carnegie Doctoral Research Institution ranked #151 by the NSF. Students are an integral part of UND research.

What can I do with a master's degree in Sociology?

Job outlook from 2022-2032.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Average salary for sociologist's with a master's degree.

A master's in Sociology opens a wide range of opportunities across various sectors. With a strong demand for these types of careers, you will be able to find a position as a:  

  • Data Analyst: Use statistical methods to analyze and interpret social data for informed decision-making in various industries.
  • Manager: Oversee and coordinate activities, applying sociological insights to enhance team dynamics and performance.
  • Nonprofit Director: Lead and strategize the operations of a nonprofit organization.
  • Nonprofit Program Manager: Develop and manage programs that address social challenges within the nonprofit sector.
  • Program Manager: Plan and execute programs addressing social issues.
  • Research Analyst: Conduct sociological research to provide valuable insights into social phenomena and trends.
  • Research Consultant: Offer expert advice to organizations based on sociological research findings, guiding them in decision-making.
  • Researcher: Explore and contribute to the body of sociological knowledge through original research.
  • Sociology Professor: Educate and inspire the next generation of sociologists, sharing expertise through teaching and mentorship.
  • Sociology Teacher: Educate students at various academic levels, fostering an understanding of sociological concepts and theories.

In addition to these specific roles, a master’s in Sociology offers opportunities in newer emerging fields such as:  

  • Advocacy and Lobbying: Champion social causes and influence policy decisions through effective advocacy and lobbying strategies.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Specialist: Promote equitable environments within organizations.
  • Environmental Sociologist: Study and address the social aspects of environmental issues, contributing to sustainable and socially responsible practices.
  • International Development Specialist: Apply sociological perspectives to international projects and promote cross-cultural understanding.
  • Media and Communications Analyst: Analyze societal trends in media and communications, providing insights into cultural dynamics and public opinion.
  • Public Health Analyst: Apply sociological knowledge to public health initiatives that address social determinants and community well-being.
  • Social Media Analyst: Examine the impact of social media on society.
  • Urban Planner: Incorporate sociological perspectives into urban planning, creating socially inclusive and sustainable communities.

Online Master's in Sociology Courses

SOC 510. Sociological Inquiry. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the processes by which sociologists perceive, understand, and study social phenomena.

SOC 520. Advanced Research Design. 3 Credits.

This course emphasizes the development of research design skills including survey research. Prerequisite: SOC 323 and SOC 326. S.

SOC 521. Advanced Statistical Methods. 3 Credits.

An in-depth examination and application of the following topics as they relate to survey research in sociology: data processing; quantification and analysis of data; analytical statistical design; and procedures. The student will apply the various analytical statistical methods to available data. Prerequisite: SOC 323 and SOC 326. F.

Code SOC 511 not found (or empty).

SOC 538. Seminar in Social Problems. 3 Credits.

An examination of special topics with a focus on social problems and potential solutions. Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate school or consent of instructor. F, odd years.

SOC 528. Seminar in Research Methods. 3 Credits.

An examination of special topics in the field of research methods. Prerequisite: SOC 323. Repeatable to 6.00 credits. On demand.

How is UND's online master's in Sociology offered?

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Flexible Online Sociology Master's Classes

With asynchronous classes, you do not attend class at a set time. If you need to balance work, family, and other commitments, this flexible format allows you to learn anywhere at any time.

Depending on your instructor, you’ll learn online through:

  • Lesson modules
  • Streaming video content
  • Virtual libraries
  • Posted lectures
  • Online simulations

There will be times when you interact with your instructor and classmates through online discussion boards, polls, and chat rooms.

Your learning revolves around materials that can be accessed on your own time within a set time frame. However, this is not a self-paced course. You’ll have structure and deadlines.

Top-Tier Online Master's in Sociology

Over a third of UND's student population is exclusively online; plus, more take a combination of online and on campus classes. You can feel reassured knowing you won't be alone in your online learning journey and you'll have resources and services tailored to your needs. No matter how you customize your online experience, you’ll get the same top-quality education as any other on campus student.

  • Same degree:  All online programs are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) . Your transcript and diploma are exactly the same as our on-campus students.
  • Same classes: You’ll take courses from UND professors, start and end the semesters at the same time and take the same classes as a student on campus.
  • Real interaction:  You can ask questions, get feedback and regularly connect with your professors, peers and professionals in the field.
  • Your own academic advisor:  As an invaluable go-to, they’re focused on you, your personal success and your future career.
  • Free online tutoring:  We're here to help you one-on-one at no cost. Plus, get access to a variety of self-help online study resources.
  • Unlimited academic coaching:  Need support to achieve your academic goals or feeling stumped by a tough course? We'll help with everything from stress and time management to improving your memory to achieve higher test scores.
  • Full online access:  Dig into virtual research from the Chester Fritz Library. Improve your writing skills with online help from the UND Writing Center. Get online access to career services, veteran and military services, financial services and more.
  • 24/7 technical support:  UND provides free computer, email and other technical support for all online students.
  • Networking opportunities: Our significant online student population means you’ll have a large pool of peers to connect with. UND has numerous online events and activities to keep you connected.

Best Online College

Our high alumni salaries and job placement rates, with affordable online tuition rates make UND a best-value university for online education. UND's breadth of online programs rivals all other nonprofit universities in the upper Midwest making UND one of the best online schools in the region.

UND ranks among the best online colleges in the nation for:

  • Affordability
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  • Academic quality (4-year graduate rate)
  • Student outcomes (20-year return on investment per

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3D Bioprinting & Biofabrication

Online Graduate Certificate

Do the Remarkable

What used to be impossible is now within reach. Learn the fundamentals of 3D bioprinting tissues and organs from the researchers who are pioneering the techniques of tomorrow’s medical innovations.

Become Empowered

With an Online Graduate Certificate in 3D Bioprinting & Biofabrication, tomorrow’s therapies are at your fingertips. The program’s unique, credit-bearing, transcripted curriculum  teaches the fundamentals of fabricating structurally complex 3D tissues, so you can bring actionable knowledge back to your organization using easily accessible materials. You will acquire the skills needed to bring us one step closer to creating bio-fabricated tissues for patients in need — and change the future of medical care. 

In this program you will learn:

  • How to design and fabricate biomedical scaffolds used in tissue engineering, drug delivery and medical devices.
  • How to identify biomedical material suitability based on fabrication method, physical properties and chemical properties.
  • The steps needed to translate from lab testing to FDA approval.
  • Advanced cellular and tissue engineering methods that apply physical, mechanical and chemical manipulation of materials in order to direct cell and tissue function.
  • How to adapt a standard 3D printer for bioprinting applications.
  • How to use the bioprinter for embedded 3D printing of soft biologically relevant materials.

When you finish the certificate program, you will have the information and tools needed to create structurally complex 3D tissues — all on your own. That future is a reality today; are you ready?

Designed to be Flexible

The Online Graduate Certificate in 3D Bioprinting & Biofabrication is offered 100% online to allow physicians and other biomedical professionals to fit this cutting-edge program into their busy professional lives. Live, weekly, online classes held in the evening with top CMU faculty are complemented by videos and activities that you will complete on your own time, at your own pace. Experience the best of both worlds - a flexible, convenient program you can take from wherever you are with the same rigorous academic experience you expect from Carnegie Mellon University. With this program, you really can have it all.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to attend an optional, on-campus, week-long lab session over the summer to immerse yourself in the techniques and collaborate with other like-minded professionals. Gain first hand experience in these groundbreaking techniques so you can implement them in your own labs or organizations.

For the Forward Thinkers

Thinking of applying? This cutting-edge program is best suited for:

  • Physicians leading translational research initiatives. Develop tangible bioprinting and biofabrication skills to bring back to your organization’s research programs. Participate in a bench-to-bedside project in which you will engage in simulated in vitro and in vivo testing of materials and follow key steps of the FDA approval processes.
  • Biomedical engineers in clinical departments. Acquire the key skills you need to begin bioprinting and biofabrication work within your clinical department. Learn by doing and work in pairs to brainstorm innovations using Miro.
  • Industry professionals developing tissue engineering technology. To innovate the next generation of technology, you need to know how to fabricate structurally complex 3D tissues yourself. This program allows you to work alongside clinical and engineering professionals while problem solving and engaging in eye-opening discussions.

At a Glance

Start Date May 2024

Application Deadlines Priority*: March 12, 2024 Final: April 9, 2024

*All applicants who submit by the priority deadline will receive a partial scholarship award.

Program Length 12 months

Program Format 100% online with optional on-campus lab experience

Live-Online Schedule 1x per week for 90 minutes in the evening

Taught By College of Engineering

Request Info

Questions? There are two ways to contact us. Call  412-501-2150 or send an email to  [email protected]  with your inquiries .

Learn from the Best

Taught by faculty from Carnegie Mellon’s top ranked College of Engineering, our researchers were the first to revolutionize 3D bioprinting by engineering working components of the human heart. In addition, these world-renowned faculty were the:

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First to develop Freeform Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydrogels (FRESH ), a groundbreaking technique that brings us closer to printing a full-sized heart.

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First to innovate a low-cost 3D bioprinter by modifying a standard desktop 3D printer and release the designs as open source so anyone can build their own system.

how to do phd online

First to publish an eye-opening viewpoint in Science Translational Medicine outlining the challenges researchers need to overcome in 3D bioprinting.


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