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Best Online Doctoral Programs
Top Consensus Ranked Schools for Online Doctorates 2021

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An online PhD or professional doctorate is the real deal. Working professionals who want to earn the highest degree in their field – along with the expertise, respect, and career advancement that comes with it – no longer have to take time away from their career to go back to school. They don’t even have to spend their evenings commuting to night classes, or lose their weekends to intensive courses. The revolution in online learning over the last decade means that many of the most prestigious, reputable, and influential universities in the nation offer fully online doctoral programs in a wide variety of fields. 

You may not be able to get your MD fully online, but you can get an online Doctor of Public Health from the University of North Carolina’s Gilling School, the highest-ranked public school of public health. You can get doctorates in engineering, computer science, social work, education, psychology, and more – the list goes on and on. Building on your experience as a working professional, and using cutting-edge technology, you can complete an online doctorate in just a year or two in some cases, often without ever having to go to campus. Not from fly-by-night diploma mills, but from trusted institutions with vast reach and job market advantages. 

Ranking the Best Online Doctoral Program: College Consensus Methodology

To rank the best online doctoral programs, College Consensus editors turned to the best tool we have: the Consensus itself. We researched Consensus-ranked institutions offering at least one fully online doctoral program, then ranked them according to their Consensus Score. With the Consensus method, we offer students a ranking based on a wide range of expert opinion and student reviews. 

1

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

UPenn
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
86.5
College Consensus
95.7
Publisher Consensus
77.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League school and the first university in the United States. This school has always been a leader in education, which is one reason why it has some of the best online doctoral programs. Pennsylvania’s online programs provide rigor and challenge, but they also leave room for flexibility.

2

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI

michigan ann arbor
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
86
College Consensus
92.8
Publisher Consensus
79.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Michigan Ann Arbor has earned high rankings as one of the nation’s top public research universities, including recognition for some of the best doctoral programs online. With high-quality academics and a commitment to innovation, UMich Ann Arbor sets a high bar for doctoral education and more.

3

Columbia University in the City of New York
New York, NY

columbia
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
85.2
College Consensus
94.1
Publisher Consensus
76.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Columbia University is a private, Ivy League institution that’s full of opportunities. Among other things, Columbia has some of the best online doctoral programs. Being adaptable to student needs, Columbia is poised to provide a strong online doctoral education. Plus, this recognizable university can help students further their careers.

4

University of Virginia-Main Campus
Charlottesville, VA

U Virginia
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
85.1
College Consensus
90.4
Publisher Consensus
79.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Virginia is a public research university with a long history dating back to education reformer and President Thomas Jefferson. Today, it has many strong online programs, including some of the best doctoral programs online. Online doctoral programs dive deeply into specialized knowledge, helping students advance their skills.

5

University of California-Berkeley
Berkeley, CA

berkeleycampus
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
85
College Consensus
93.3
Publisher Consensus
76.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Often ranked the nation’s best public university, the University of California, Berkeley offers some of the best online doctoral programs. Berkeley’s doctoral programs and online learning platforms draw some of the brightest minds who want to change the world. These programs let students take their knowledge to new heights.

6

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

unc CH
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
84.1
College Consensus
88.9
Publisher Consensus
79.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

As the oldest public research university in the US, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has no problem leading the way. That’s one reason why it offers some of the best doctoral programs online today. UNC embraces online education and delivers it from a flexible learning platform. Online doctoral students can expect a rigorous education.

7

University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

palm trees and a large brick campus building
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
82.7
College Consensus
90.3
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Florida is a large, recognizable, and well-respected public research university. An online doctorate degree UF can help students go far, especially because UF has some of the best online doctoral programs available today. UF offers the resources, support, and flexibility that online students need.

8

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI

madison UW
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
81.5
College Consensus
83.1
Publisher Consensus
79.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Wisconsin offers a top-tier education. Known for its research, UW-Madison has always embraced innovation. It’s no wonder this school performs so well in online education. In fact, UW has some of the best doctoral programs online. These programs are both challenging and flexible.

9

Purdue University-Main Campus
West Lafayette, IN

purdue
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
80
College Consensus
81.8
Publisher Consensus
78.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Purdue University embraces questions, discovery, and innovation. It encourages students to think big. This school’s commitment to innovation is just one reason why its online programs are so strong. Purdue is a leader in online education, with programs that rank among the best online doctoral programs.

10

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL

Illinois Urbana
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
80
College Consensus
83.8
Publisher Consensus
76.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

With its focus on leadership and innovative research, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is in a class of its own. This is true in a lot of areas, including online advanced education. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has some of the best doctoral programs online. Many doctoral students put this school at the top of their lists.

11

Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
79.4
College Consensus
88
Publisher Consensus
70.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Johns Hopkins University is deeply respected as a challenging and innovative school. As America’s first research university, Johns Hopkins has always forged new pathways. That’s part of the reason why Johns Hopkins has some of the best doctoral programs online. This school is no stranger to innovative education.

12

University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

UofSouthernCalifornia
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
79.2
College Consensus
80.2
Publisher Consensus
78.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Southern California is one of the top private research universities in the US. It draws students from all over the world who want to make a difference and advance new discoveries. And for students who can’t spend their time on campus, USC has some of the best online doctoral programs available.

13

Texas A & M University-College Station
College Station, TX

Texas AandM
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
78.4
College Consensus
80.4
Publisher Consensus
76.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Texas A&M University is a practical, well-recognized school. This flagship university provides an excellent value and ROI, both for undergraduate and graduate students. This school has some of the best online doctoral programs for students who want a career-boosting education.

14

Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA

CMU Pitt
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
77.5
College Consensus
82.3
Publisher Consensus
72.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

As one of the top research universities in the US, Carnegie Mellon University thrives across the board. From the sciences to the arts, Carnegie Mellon provides a complex education. It also has excellent online programs, including graduate programs. In fact, it has some of the best graduate programs online today.

15

Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA

Lehigh University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
76.5
College Consensus
76
Publisher Consensus
77
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Lehigh University is a private school with a penchant for research. This school has a long history of change and innovation, so it’s a leader in online higher education. Lehigh University’s online doctoral programs are counted among the best online doctoral programs for students in the United States.

16

California State University-Channel Islands
Camarillo, CA

auditorium benches chairs 207691
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
74.5
College Consensus
74.3
Publisher Consensus
74.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

California State University, Channel Islands has thousands of degree options, including many master’s and doctoral programs. A lot of Cal State’s programs are available entirely online, including some of the best doctoral programs online today. Cal State provides a challenging education no matter the learning platform.

17

University of Georgia
Athens, GA

UGA Arch
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
74.1
College Consensus
69.2
Publisher Consensus
79
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Highly ranked for its research, the University of Georgia provides an innovative education. One result of this innovation is its excellent online learning programs. Graduate students enjoy these programs, too. In fact, the University of Georgia has some of the best online doctoral programs. These programs help students reach their academic and career goals.

18

North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Raleigh, NC

NCSU
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
74
College Consensus
73.1
Publisher Consensus
74.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

North Carolina State University is a leading public research university with a deep commitment to its students. NC State provides a highly relevant education with a focus on career success. That career focus extends to its online programs, which is one reason why this school has some of the best doctoral programs online.

19

Ohio State University-Main Campus
Columbus, OH

Ohio State U
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
73.1
College Consensus
69.8
Publisher Consensus
76.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The Ohio State University is the highest-ranked public university in Ohio, and with good reason. It provides lots of resources and student support to help learners reach their goals. This school excels in many areas, but it’s especially strong in medicine, science, and similar fields. It also has some of the best online doctoral programs available in the state.

20

Appalachian State University
Boone, NC

App state
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
73.1
College Consensus
68.3
Publisher Consensus
77.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Appalachian State University is known for innovation and discovery. It spreads this innovation and discovery far and wide, which is why it offers some excellent online programs. In fact, it has some of the best doctoral programs online, so students with a master’s degree often take notice of this school.

21

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Minneapolis, MN

University Minnesota Twin Cities
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.8
College Consensus
72.4
Publisher Consensus
73.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities has a lot to offer, including a wide range of educational focuses. As a large university with a dual-city location, this school can help students make important connections. It also has great online programs, including some of the best online doctoral programs in the region.

22

Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL

fsu
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.7
College Consensus
67.5
Publisher Consensus
78
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Florida State University is one of the most distinguished universities in Florida and beyond. FSU is innovative, both in research and learning, which is why it offers excellent online learning opportunities. These opportunities include online doctoral programs. In fact, FSU’s doctoral programs rank among the best doctoral programs online.

23

George Washington University
Washington, DC

George Washington University 1
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.5
College Consensus
74.4
Publisher Consensus
70.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

George Washington University is a respected, forward-thinking university. It attracts students who are interested in policy change and want to see how that policy change works from up close. Even online students benefit from the Washington DC location, and George Washington University has some of the best online doctoral programs.

24

Boston University
Boston, MA

Boston University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.5
College Consensus
72.5
Publisher Consensus
72.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

As a leading private research institution, Boston University offers some of the best doctoral programs online. This school has always been a leader in advanced education. Both challenging and flexible, Boston University’s online programs can help students take their careers to new and exciting levels.

25

Rutgers University-New Brunswick
New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University New Brunswick
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.6
College Consensus
70
Publisher Consensus
73.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Rutgers University in New Brunswick is one of the top universities in New Jersey. All Rutgers campuses offer great online programs, and the Rutgers campus is no exception. Rutgers New Brunswick succeeds in online doctoral education. It has some of the best online doctoral programs available for today’s students.

26

Indiana University-Bloomington
Bloomington, IN

Indiana University Bloomington
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.2
College Consensus
64.1
Publisher Consensus
78.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Indiana University’s Bloomington campus offers some of the best doctoral programs online today. This school offers challenging, career-boosting academics, all while providing a flexible schedule that allows students to keep up with their jobs and families. Indiana University Bloomington helps students rise to meet the challenge of a doctoral education.

27

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Socorro, NM

new mexico tech campus
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
70.1
College Consensus
67.8
Publisher Consensus
72.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is a unique school. With its deep focus on STEM subjects, this school is a top choice for engineering students, aspiring math teachers, and others who value science and numbers. It also has some of the best online doctoral programs for these students.

28

University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL

University of Illinois at Chicago
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
70
College Consensus
73.5
Publisher Consensus
66.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Chicago is one of the most important cities in the United States, and the University of Illinois at Chicago is one of the most important parts of this city. UIC puts students at the heart of innovation and advanced learning, helping them make important connections. This is true even for online students, as UIC has some of the best doctoral programs online.

29

Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX

SMU
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.9
College Consensus
64.5
Publisher Consensus
75.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Southern Methodist University is a distinguished research university. It also has some of the best online doctoral programs available in Texas. SMU’s online programs give students access to high-quality educational programs, but they also let students learn from virtually any location. Many of SMU’s online students work full time.

30

New York University
New York, NY

NYU
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.4
College Consensus
65
Publisher Consensus
73.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

As a prestigious school with influence all around the world, New York University also has some of the best doctoral programs online. A doctoral degree from NYU will certainly get attention, and it can help open doors. Meanwhile, the online learning platform lets students pursue that prestigious degree from home.

31

University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA

University Iowa
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.3
College Consensus
62.1
Publisher Consensus
76.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Iowa offers some of the best online doctoral programs in the Midwest. Iowa’s graduates include artists, scientists, and others who want to make a difference with their careers and skills. Iowa’s online doctoral programs provide convenience alongside academic challenges and leadership building.

32

University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

U Arizona
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.3
College Consensus
64.6
Publisher Consensus
73.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Arizona has a lot to offer for online students, including some of the best doctoral programs online today. A degree from this school can boost students’ earning potential. Furthermore, the University of Arizona has no out-of-state tuition fees. Students outside of Arizona pay the same amount as any other student.

33

Goshen College
Goshen, IN

Goshen
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.2
College Consensus
72
Publisher Consensus
66.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

As a liberal arts college, Goshen College offers and deep and connected approach to education. Students benefit from a broad range of knowledge. Goshen also has some of the best online doctoral programs, which also take a liberal arts approach while diving more deeply into specialized subjects.

34

Villanova University
Villanova, PA

Villanova
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.2
College Consensus
63.7
Publisher Consensus
74.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Villanova University is the only Augustinian Catholic University in the United States today. With some of the best doctoral programs online, Villanova attracts students who want to make positive changes in the world around them. Villanova is also highly diverse and very inclusive of students from all walks of life.

35

California State University-Fresno
Fresno, CA

Fresno State
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.9
College Consensus
67.8
Publisher Consensus
70
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Cal State Fresno has a lot to offer its students, including some of the best online doctoral programs available today. This school provides all the resources one would expect from a school in the Cal State system, so students have everything they need for academic success. Cal State Fresno also helps students reach their career goals.

36

University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Amherst, MA

University of Massachusetts Amherst
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.6
College Consensus
62.8
Publisher Consensus
74.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is the flagship university of the broader UMass system. It began as an agricultural college, but it has a long history of innovation across all disciplines. For example, UMass Amherst now offers some of the best doctoral programs online. Its online classes provide a great education without compromise.

37

Clemson University
Clemson, SC

Clemson University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.5
College Consensus
59.3
Publisher Consensus
77.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

As a leading public research institution, Clemson University makes positive changes in South Carolina and beyond. It also offers some of the best online doctoral programs, so it makes a good choice for students who want to take the next steps in their educations. Clemson has a large students population and the resources to meet those students’ needs.

38

Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY

Stony Brook University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67.2
College Consensus
69.4
Publisher Consensus
65.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

As part of the SUNY system, Stony Brook University has a lot of resources to help students succeed, both in their educations and their careers. Stony Brook provides a deep and challenging education. It also has some of the best doctoral programs online. The online courses add flexibility to a challenging education.

39

Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN

Saint Marys College Indiana
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.9
College Consensus
64.4
Publisher Consensus
69.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Saint Mary’s College is a Catholic women’s university that values discovery and learning. Though Saint Mary’s is a women’s college, this school does admit men into its graduate programs. This school has some of the best online doctoral degree programs, especially for those who want to deepen their spirituality.

40

Iowa State University
Ames, IA

ISU
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.3
College Consensus
56.8
Publisher Consensus
75.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Iowa State University has been ranked as the most student-centered university in the United States. Iowa State puts its students’ needs first, which is why it has some of the best doctoral programs online today. These programs are designed to provide excellence without compromising on flexibility and student resources.

41

Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO

Colorado School of Mines
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.9
College Consensus
58.5
Publisher Consensus
73.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Colorado School of Mines is a public research university that focuses on engineering, science, math, and environmental impact. For students who want to pursue these subjects, Colorado School of Mines offers unique opportunities, including some of the best online doctoral programs.

42

American University
Washington, DC

American University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.8
College Consensus
58.3
Publisher Consensus
73.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

American University has ranked highly for its online learning programs. Specifically, it has earned recognition for providing a great value. Located in Washington DC, American University draws students who are interested in politics and social change. It also has some of the best doctoral programs online.

43

Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.3
College Consensus
57.4
Publisher Consensus
73.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Syracuse University has a long history, but it also has no problem keeping up with the times. Syracuse has provided a deep educational experience since it was founded. These days, its course offerings include excellent online classes. In fact, Syracuse has some of the best online doctoral programs in its region.

44

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester, MA

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.1
College Consensus
55.7
Publisher Consensus
74.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

For students who want to study math, science, and technology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute makes a great choice. It provides excellence across all levels, and it has some of the best doctoral programs online. Students can have all the challenges of a doctoral tech education with all the flexibility of online learning.

45

Howard University
Washington, DC

howard u
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.9
College Consensus
59.5
Publisher Consensus
70.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Howard University is a top private university and an historic HBCU. This school draws ambitious learners who want to harness their talent and make a difference. Howard has many excellent programs, including some of the best online doctoral programs in the United States. These programs are both challenging and impactful.

46

Radford University
Radford, VA

bookcase books bookshelves 1850021
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.7
College Consensus
56.2
Publisher Consensus
73.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Radford University is one of eight doctorate-granting institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Not only does it offer doctorate degrees, but it also offers some of the best doctoral programs online. These programs give Virginia’s students access to a challenging education, all while letting them learn from home.

47

University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL

University Central Florida
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.6
College Consensus
55.4
Publisher Consensus
73.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

As one of the top universities in the state of Florida, the University of Central Florida can help students connect to opportunities. Here, students can make the most of their educations by taking advantage of all the resources this school has to offer. Those resources include some of the best online doctoral programs in the region.

48

La Salle University
Philadelphia, PA

La Salle University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.5
College Consensus
61.9
Publisher Consensus
67.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

La Salle University has some of the best doctoral programs online. This is especially true for doctoral students who want a private Catholic education. La Salle draws students who have a passion for faith and discovery. This school gives them the opportunity to explore and deepen both as it fosters academic growth.

49

West Chester University of Pennsylvania
West Chester, PA

West Chester University Pennsylvania
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.3
College Consensus
61.4
Publisher Consensus
67.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

West Chester University of Pennsylvania is one of the largest universities in its state. As such, it has a lot to offer for its students, including some of the best online doctoral programs in the US. The DNP and DPA programs let students learn from talented and knowledgeable faculty members as they study from home.

50

Towson University
Towson, MD

towson university
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.2
College Consensus
59.7
Publisher Consensus
68.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Towson University began as a school for teachers, but these days, Towson succeeds all across the board. It’s a leading public university that offers a great education, including some of the best doctoral programs online. Towson offers the tools and flexibility that many students need for academic success.

51

Michigan Technological University
Houghton, MI

Michigan Tech
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.2
College Consensus
53.2
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Michigan Tech is a large public research institution. It has many successful programs, but it’s particularly strong in fields like IT, engineering, marketing, and business. For students who want to delve deeply into these subjects, Michigan Tech offers some of the best online doctoral programs.

52

Webster University
Saint Louis, MO

Webster University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.7
College Consensus
56.9
Publisher Consensus
70.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Webster University is a private school with many branches, including branches outside the United States. In addition to its many locations, Webster University also has some of the best doctoral programs online. These online programs were designed to provide an excellent learning experience.

53

Winona State University
Winona, MN

Winona State University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.7
College Consensus
55.9
Publisher Consensus
71.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Winona State University is a community-centered public university that invites a diverse range of learners. It’s also one of the oldest universities in Minnesota, and it has some of the best online doctoral programs available. These online programs provide excellence and convenience while minimizing hassle.

54

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
Pittsburgh, PA

University of Pittsburgh Campus
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.5
College Consensus
50.8
Publisher Consensus
76.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Pittsburgh is a top-notch public research university. It has earned distinction all over the world, so it’s no surprise that it also offers some of the best doctoral programs online today. These programs provide a very high quality education for students who want to deepen their specialized knowledge.

55

Rutgers University-Newark
Newark, NJ

rutgers newark
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.5
College Consensus
55.7
Publisher Consensus
71.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Rutgers University’s Newark campus has earned a lot of distinctions. One of those distinctions is having some of the best online doctoral programs in its region. Rutgers Newark is one of the oldest universities in the United States, so it has a long history of adapting to what students need most from their educations.

56

University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY

University at Buffalo
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.4
College Consensus
58.9
Publisher Consensus
67.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University at Buffalo is a distinguished SUNY school that can help students reach their career goals and take their educations up a notch. Among other things, the University at Buffalo offers some of the best doctoral programs online, so students can get a thorough education from a distance.

57

University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT

University of utah
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.1
College Consensus
54.1
Publisher Consensus
72
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Utah is the flagship university of the Utah System of Higher Education. Its size and resources give students plenty of opportunities to move forward. For instance, the University of Utah offers some of the best online doctoral programs in the area, helping learners get a leg up in their careers.

58

Illinois State University
Normal, IL

Illinois State University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.9
College Consensus
55.1
Publisher Consensus
70.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Illinois State University is a high-ranking research university and the oldest university in the state of Illinois. This school has grown over the years to meet students’ needs and provide excellence in education. This school excels in online learning, with some of the best doctoral programs online today.

59

Colorado State University-Fort Collins
Fort Collins, CO

Colorado State University Fort Collins
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.7
College Consensus
50.1
Publisher Consensus
75.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Colorado State University has earned many distinctions. For instance, as a doctorate-granting university, this school is recognized for “very high research activity.” Furthermore, Colorado State has a great online learning platform. As a result, this institution has some of the best online doctoral programs available.

60

Baylor University
Waco, TX

Baylor University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.6
College Consensus
50.2
Publisher Consensus
74.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Baylor University is a private Baptist school that blends faith and learning. With its vibrant academic culture, Baylor values discovery and has a lot to offer for its students. One of Baylor’s best features is its online learning options. In fact, Baylor offers some of the best doctoral programs online in Texas.

61

University of Minnesota-Duluth
Duluth, MN

University of Minnesota Duluth
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.8
College Consensus
53.2
Publisher Consensus
70.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Minnesota Duluth is an important part of the broader University of Minnesota system. Among other things, the Duluth campus produces impactful research and top-quality academics for career-seeking students. It also excels in online learning, with some of the best online doctoral programs.

62

The University of West Florida
Pensacola, FL

University West Florida
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.5
College Consensus
49.5
Publisher Consensus
73.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Located in America’s oldest settlement, the University of West Florida has a far-reaching history. That history includes lots of growth, research, and providing resources for academic success. One of those resources is a thriving doctoral program. UFW has some of the best doctoral programs online.

63

Saint Louis University
Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.3
College Consensus
50.6
Publisher Consensus
71.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Saint Louis University is a Jesuit Catholic university with campuses all around the world. It’s also one of the oldest Jesuit Catholic universities in the US, so its reach extends far and wide. Saint Louis University online doctoral programs rank among the best online doctoral programs in the Midwest region.

64

Notre Dame of Maryland University
Baltimore, MD

Notre Dame of Maryland University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.8
College Consensus
56.2
Publisher Consensus
65.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Notre Dame of Maryland is a private Catholic university with a lot to give. Among other things, it has the only women’s college in Maryland, and it offers PhD programs. Those programs include some of the best doctoral programs online, as they provide both convenience and academic excellence.

65

Bradley University
Peoria, IL

Bradley
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.8
College Consensus
48.9
Publisher Consensus
72.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Bradley University is a private university that offers small class sizes. Its doctoral programs are especially appealing to those who would rather not get lost in the crowd. Plus, its online options include some of the best online doctoral programs, so students can learn from a distance while still getting a personalized approach.

66

University of South Florida-Main Campus
Tampa, FL

University South Florida Main
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.6
College Consensus
50.4
Publisher Consensus
70.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of South Florida has multiple campuses. Its main campus stands out because it has some of the best doctoral programs online. These programs come with convenience, excellence, and all the resources doctoral students need to succeed in their studies. USF also produces quality research.

67

University of Denver
Denver, CO

U Denver
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60
College Consensus
46.7
Publisher Consensus
73.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Denver is the oldest private research university in the Rocky Mountain area. It has a long and rich history. Throughout that history, the University of Denver has always remained committed to student success. These days, the school has evolved, with some of the best online doctoral programs.

68

Gonzaga University
Spokane, WA

gonzaga
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.9
College Consensus
45.9
Publisher Consensus
73.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Gonzaga University is a private Christian school with a unique approach to education. Gonzaga focuses on educating the whole person instead of just educating the mind. As a result, students get a full and well-rounded educational experience. Gonzaga also has some of the best doctoral programs online.

69

Concordia University-Saint Paul
Saint Paul, MN

nathan dumlao ewGMqs2tmJI unsplash
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.7
College Consensus
47.1
Publisher Consensus
72.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Concordia University is a private university and a tight-knit community. Concordia takes a student-centered approach to academics, always striving to meet their needs. For example, Concordia has a thriving online program to benefit distance learners. Its online options even include some of the best online doctoral programs.

70

Fordham University
Bronx, NY

Fordham University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.6
College Consensus
44.5
Publisher Consensus
74.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Fordham University is a well-recognized Jesuit University in the city of New York. It combines New York connections with all the benefits of a private university education. Among its other benefits, Fordham University provides some of the best doctoral programs online, and all from a Jesuit perspective.

71

SUNY at Albany
Albany, NY

SUNY Albany
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.3
College Consensus
54.3
Publisher Consensus
64.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

SUNY at Albany is a vital part of the broader SUNY system. Among other things, SUNY at Albany produces excellent research and a great educational value compared to some other New York schools. SUNY at Albany makes a great choice for doctoral students, with some of the best online doctoral programs in its area.

72

Florida International University
Miami, FL

FIU
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
58.9
College Consensus
46.4
Publisher Consensus
71.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Florida International University has a lot of growing resources, including some of the best doctoral programs online. FIU truly thrives in its online programs, providing high academic standards with an accessible and convenient online learning platform. This way, FIU students don’t have to compromise.

73

University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS

University of Kansas
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
57.4
College Consensus
39.1
Publisher Consensus
75.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Kansas is a member of the Association of American Universities, a distinction that only belongs to 65 schools. Among everything else that the University of Kansas has to offer, this school has some of the best online doctoral programs. Doctoral students can learn with flexibility.

74

Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, TX

Texas Christian University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
57.4
College Consensus
36.9
Publisher Consensus
77.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Texas Christian University isn’t just a school that blends faith and learning. It’s also home to some of the best doctoral university programs online. Ranked as one of the top US colleges, Texas Christian University fosters growth so that its students reach their highest potential.

75

Auburn University
Auburn, AL

Auburn University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
56.1
College Consensus
34.8
Publisher Consensus
77.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Auburn University is a public land-grant institution. As one of the largest universities in the South, it has many resources and all the educational power that students need. This high-energy school also hosts some of the best online doctoral programs, so students can earn a doctorate from home.

76

Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
56
College Consensus
44.9
Publisher Consensus
67
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Drexel University has a global focus, helping students find their place in the world around them. Because of this focus, it provides some great online learning opportunities, letting students learn from a distance. Among those programs are some of the best doctoral programs online. These programs are comprehensive and flexible.

77

University of Dayton
Dayton, OH

dayton chapel
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
55.9
College Consensus
35.3
Publisher Consensus
76.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Dayton is the second-largest private university in Ohio. It’s a Catholic school rooted in the Marianist tradition. The University of Dayton has high standards for academic excellence, encouraging learners toward bright futures. It also has some of the best online doctoral programs.

78

Creighton University
Omaha, NE

creighton
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
55.8
College Consensus
39.8
Publisher Consensus
71.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Creighton University is ranked as the #1 university in the Midwest, so it’s not a surprise that Creighton has a lot to give. It has lots of opportunities for students to grow and discover. Among its other resources, Creighton University has some of the best doctoral programs online, so learners can take their next educational steps.

79

University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO

University of Missouri Columbia
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
55.8
College Consensus
36.6
Publisher Consensus
75
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Missouri is a comprehensive research university. It fosters students’ leadership potential and helps them become competitive in their career fields. With some of the best online doctoral programs, students can learn at the highest levels, but they can do so at a convenient and accessible pace.

80

Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

OSU
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
55.3
College Consensus
36.4
Publisher Consensus
74.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Oregon State University is a large institution with a wide variety of degree options. Among those degree options are some of the best doctoral programs online. Learners can benefit from this dynamic and effective university, but they can still take advantage of the flexibility that online learning offers.

81

East Carolina University
Greenville, NC

East Carolina University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
55
College Consensus
31.6
Publisher Consensus
78.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

East Carolina University helps students forge their own pathways to success. It connects them with the tools they need to move forward in their lives and careers. Its doctoral programs help students take that success even further. The school even offers some of the best online doctoral programs in the Appalachian region.

82

Lewis University
Romeoville, IL

lewis u
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
55
College Consensus
45.3
Publisher Consensus
64.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Lewis University is a Roman Catholic school that takes a practical approach to academics. Known for its goal-centered approach, Lewis University helps students define and then achieve what they want. It also has some of the best doctoral programs online, with programs that challenge and uplift students.

83

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Knoxville, TN

Tennessee Knoxville
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
54.9
College Consensus
38.1
Publisher Consensus
71.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Tennessee Knoxville is widely respected in every area from athletics to the arts. It centers creative learning and academic excellence, with resources to get students where they want to go. Those resources include some of the best online doctoral programs, which stand out in the Southeast.

84

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE

unl
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
54.7
College Consensus
38.8
Publisher Consensus
70.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Nebraska is a widely-recognized name in the academic world. It has great educational programs, including some of the best doctoral programs online. As the oldest university in the state of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska has grown into a dynamic and impactful institution.

85

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
Baton Rouge, LA

lsubr
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
54.5
College Consensus
30.7
Publisher Consensus
78.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College has some of the best online doctoral programs. LSU is Louisiana’s flagship university, and it doesn’t just stand out for agriculture. It has thriving programs across a wide variety of academic pursuits, providing a challenging education.

86

Temple University
Philadelphia, PA

Temple University 1
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
53.9
College Consensus
41.3
Publisher Consensus
66.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Temple University has made important strides in research and learning. It also has a highly successful online learning program, with some of the best doctoral programs online. These programs are taught by talented and dedicated faculty members, and they provide flexible learning outside the classroom.

87

University of Wisconsin-Stout
Menomonie, WI

nicole honeywill dGxOgeXAXm8 unsplash
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
53.4
College Consensus
30.7
Publisher Consensus
76.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Wisconsin-Stout takes a practical approach to education. This school values hands-on learning, but not all of that learning takes place in the classroom. In fact, the University of Wisconsin-Stout provides some of the best online doctoral programs for students who want to take their careers to new levels.

88

University of South Carolina-Columbia
Columbia, SC

SC
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
52.3
College Consensus
27.1
Publisher Consensus
77.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of South Carolina is a public research university with many campuses. The Columbia campus is the flagship campus, and it offers som of the best doctoral programs online. With more than 200 years of history, the University of South Carolina has made a big impact on the Southeast region of the US.

89

Holy Family University
Philadelphia, PA

backpacks college college students 1454360
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
52
College Consensus
37.7
Publisher Consensus
66.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Holy Family University is a Catholic school that infuses faith into education. Among private Catholic schools, Holy Family University provides an excellent value. It also has some of the best online doctoral programs, combining value with a convenient learning platform and an excellent education.

90

DePaul University
Chicago, IL

DePaul University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
51.9
College Consensus
31.6
Publisher Consensus
72.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

DePaul University is both the largest Catholic university in the US and the largest private university in Chicago. This school appeals to those who want a private education with all the resources of a large university. DePaul also offers some of the best doctoral programs online, with a convenient learning platform.

91

University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
Denver, CO

University of Colorado DenverAnschutz Medical Campus
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
51.8
College Consensus
30.8
Publisher Consensus
72.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus focuses entirely on healthcare. That’s why it’s a top choice for future nurses and doctors. It’s also a top choice among doctoral students, with some of the best online doctoral programs available in the area. Students get a focused, goal-oriented learning experience.

92

Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX

Texas Tech University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
50.3
College Consensus
25.4
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Texas Tech University is a hub of achievement. It attracts students who are interested in STEM, business, and similar fields. Texas Tech provides a highly relevant education with highly relevant resources, including some of the best doctoral programs online today. Those online programs heighten student success.

93

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL

UAB
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
49.4
College Consensus
24.1
Publisher Consensus
74.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is an important branch of the University of Alabama system. Many UAB courses are available completely online, so students can learn at a convenient schedule. Among UAB’s online offerings are some of the best online doctoral programs, which rank highly.

94

Azusa Pacific University
Azusa, CA

Azusa Pacific University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
49.4
College Consensus
24.4
Publisher Consensus
74.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Azusa Pacific University is an evangelical Christian school with many excellent online degree programs. Those programs range from bachelor’s degrees all the way up to doctoral degrees. In fact, Azusa Pacific has some of the best doctoral programs online, especially among Christian schools.

95

Bethel University (MN)
Saint Paul, MN

Bethel University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
48.6
College Consensus
23.1
Publisher Consensus
74
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Bethel University is an evangelical university that started as a Baptist seminary. These days, Bethel University has a lot more to offer, including some of the best online doctoral programs. These programs, like all of Bethel University’s programs, are taught from a faith-based perspective and promote excellence in learning.

96

University of North Carolina Wilmington
Wilmington, NC

unc Wilmington
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
48.2
College Consensus
19.9
Publisher Consensus
76.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

One of many excellent UNC campuses, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington has great doctoral programs. These programs include some of the best doctoral programs online, so students can learn at a flexible pace and keep up with the day-to-day responsibilities as they pursue their educational goals.

97

Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, PA

Duquesne
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
47.8
College Consensus
24.7
Publisher Consensus
70.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Duquesne University is a top-ranked Catholic research university, and it has some of the best online doctoral programs among Catholic schools. Duquesne offers a faith-based education with deep academic challenges. Doctoral students can expect a rigorous education, but online students can also expect flexibility.

98

Bellarmine University
Louisville, KY

Bellarmine University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
47.6
College Consensus
26.6
Publisher Consensus
68.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Bellarmine University is a private Catholic school with abundant opportunities. Options like internships and study abroad trips make Bellarmine stand out. Bellarmine also has some of the best doctoral programs online, which means that students can add flexible scheduling to their opportunity-filled studies.

99

Quinnipiac University
Hamden, CT

Quinnipiac University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
46.6
College Consensus
19.7
Publisher Consensus
73.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

Quinnipiac University is a dynamic and highly engaging university that encourages its students’ passions. Students can make the most of their talents here with hands-on learning opportunities. Quinnipiac University also has some of the best online doctoral programs, so students can make the most of their opportunities, even at the highest level.

Are Online Doctoral Programs Respected? 

When professionals think of pursuing their doctorate degrees, what comes to their mind is “are online PhDs respected?”All online programs are respected as long as they are from institutions that are accredited by relevant bodies, and online doctoral programs are no exemption. Most people who want to pursue a doctoral degree are busy professionals who are not able to accommodate a traditional course of study. The best online PhD programs are offered in regionally accredited institutions. An independent body such as WSCUC reviews the degree programs offered in the institution and judges them on different factors before giving accreditation.

Accredited online PhD programs are available in many U.S. universities, both public and private. Online PhDs are just as challenging as traditional PhDs. Students that choose to pursue a doctorate degree online are self-motivated and enjoy the freedom of choosing how long they want to take to finish their doctorate. This aspect of online education helps students prove to their employers or prospective employers that they are disciplined and self-driven. Actually, 79% of organizations see the value of online degrees and say that they had hired an applicant with an online degree in the last year according to research by Society for Human Resources Management.

How Long Do Online Doctorate Programs Take?

Enrolling in a doctorate program is a big commitment and a huge step towards advancing one’s career and achieving excellence in any field. The length of time it takes to complete an online doctorate program depends on the type of program and how many credits it requires to complete. Most traditional PhD programs take between four to seven years but students are allowed up to ten years to complete.

Online programs give students the flexibility to pursue their doctorate at their own pace. There are accelerated doctoral programs online that take as short as one year to complete. The length also depends on whether you have a master’s degree or you are pursuing a direct entry PhD. A master’s degree may allow students to transfer some credits to their doctorate. On the other hand, direct entry programs may require students to take extra credits. The shortest doctoral programs online are found in public service, law, government, engineering, education, and arts programs.

The quickest PhD ever is a PhD in philosophy. As long as one already has some publications, one can become a doctor of philosophy in less than a year. One can also pursue 1-year doctoral programs online in other fields of study as long as they are ready to spend enough time studying and researching.

Do I Have to Write a Dissertation for an Online PhD?

As much as getting a doctoral degree has many benefits, the work that goes into achieving it requires much dedication. There are many roadblocks on the road to achieving your PhD, including family responsibilities, work, time, and money. Many professionals looking to further their educations are always asking, “What is the easiest doctorate degree?” Well, there are no dissertation PhD programs. Accelerated PhD programs do not require a dissertation to graduate and take one year to complete. One-year doctorate programs are available in select universities across the country but are more intensive and require students to study full time. Some of the programs that do not require a dissertation include Doctor of Management (DM), Juris doctorates, law degree (JD), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), and Doctor of Education (EdD).

The most common doctorate degree online no dissertation is the Doctorate in Leadership. This is a doctorate that applies in many disciplines including Organizational Leadership, Leadership and Management, and Higher Education Leadership. Traditional doctoral programs use dissertations to assess the student’s knowledge in the field. Universities that offer accelerated doctoral programs understand that it is not the only way to assess the student’s knowledge in the field and they use other parameters such as doctoral capstone projects. Students that already have published books and journals can also take their doctoral degree programs without a dissertation.

Are There Any PhD Programs Without GRE or GMAT Requirements?

The online no GRE PhD programs are gaining popularity in many universities. These universities instead use the student’s professional experience, academic merits, and their motivation among other factors to admit them to their graduate programs. The GRE can be a big hurdle for students who want to pursue their PhD programs but do not have the time and money to invest in studying for the standardized exams. There are a number of PhD programs that do not require GRE online and others that the GRE can be waived under special circumstances.

Do I Need a Master’s Degree to Enroll in an Online Doctoral Program?

There are a number of PhD programs without requiring a master’s degree in many universities in the U.S. Some accept students with undergraduate degrees into their doctoral programs and award them the master’s degree during the course after a certain amount of coursework has been completed. Others have specific stipulations for students applying for their doctoral programs without a master’s degree. For example, many universities will allow registered nurses to pursue their doctoral degrees if they pass an interview. There are universities that will confer a master’s degree once a student is admitted to the doctoral program. Universities offering PhD without a master’s admit exceptional students with outstanding grades and sometimes at least two years of professional experience.