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Accredited Online Doctoral Programs

Reach the Pinnacle of Prestige with an Online Doctorate Degree

Online doctoral programs are becoming more popular for many reasons.

Much of the world around you is built on centuries of accumulated human knowledge, the work of a few innovative thinkers and industrious researchers, giants standing on the shoulders of giants who came before.

To reach the heights of many professions and academic fields and to enter the realm of giants, you have to earn a doctorate degree.

To help you understand what it takes to reach the pinnacle of academic achievement, eDegreeSteps.com answers some frequently asked questions about online doctoral programs.

Why Pursue an Online Doctoral Degree?

More and more universities are offering significant doctoral degree programs online, making it easier for busy learners to complete their doctorates entirely online in less time than the traditional path, which takes on average 7 years. You can finish some online doctoral programs in as few as in 4 years.

Obviously, doctoral programs that require extensive lab work are not suitable for distance learning, but for many professional and academic fields, the online learning environment is ideal. You will have more control over your research schedule and more time for independent study.

Many graduate students are flocking to online doctorate programs for the convenience, economy, and freedom distance learning provides, all without compromising academic standards.

What Are the Benefits of a Doctoral Degree?

Earning a doctorate degree establishes you as a leading authority in your field of study, qualified to teach at any university. If you aspire to having a leadership role, a doctorate degree is a key.

People holding doctorate degrees have higher lifetime earning power and more job security than the general population. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with doctorate degrees experienced less unemployment in early 2013.

How to Earn an Online Doctoral Degree?

In most cases, the term "doctorate degree" refers to the PhD, the Doctor of Philosophy degree awarded by most universities in a variety of academic fields. But other professions have doctorate degrees that are not PhDs, including:

  • Doctorate in Social Work (DSW)
  • Juris Doctor (JD, also known as a law degree)
  • Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)
  • Doctor of Professional Counseling (DPC)
  • Doctor of Management (D. Mgt.)

You must hold at least a master's degree to be qualified for most PhD programs. Many lawyers, for example, earn an MBA before entering law school.

Even though earning an online doctorate degree generally takes less time than a traditional doctorate, most online doctoral programs take between 2 and 7 years to complete.

If you are enrolled in a professional doctorate program, your studies will culminate in a comprehensive exam and, depending on your program, a written dissertation as well. To earn a PhD online, you will conduct original research under the guidance of your advisors that will culminate in a written dissertation and defense.

Your dissertation defense is a peer review process, your final challenge before entering an exclusive club and enjoying all of the benefits that entitles you to.

What Should You Consider When Choosing Online Doctorate Programs?

Many online doctorate programs have highly competitive, merit-based application processes and only accept the best of the best. For this reason, many graduate students apply to several doctoral programs at once, allowing them more options should their first choice fail to accept them.

But while the application process can be challenging for some online doctorate programs, many offer specially earmarked grants and other financial aid and incentives.

Many online doctoral programs offer all of the required coursework online. Nevertheless, some face-to-face meetings will be necessary, especially to defend your dissertation. Inquire about residency requirements and research demands with each program you apply for to find the best options for your needs.

What's Next? Beyond the Doctoral Degree

After completing your online doctoral program, you will find a wealth of career opportunities at your fingertips.

In some professional fields, a doctorate degree is essential before beginning your career. In other fields, a doctorate opens lucrative speaking, teaching, and consulting opportunities.

With an online doctoral degree in hand, your career possibilities are endless.

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