There are many different online degree options for doctoral students to choose from. Online programs are typically designed for working professionals who want to go back to school to increase their qualifications for advancement in their field. While different online schools have strengths and weaknesses among their doctoral degree options, some schools have separated themselves by providing their PhD candidates with interesting coursework and helpful academic advisors that keep candidates engaged and working towards completing and defending their dissertation. For reference to some of the best online programs for a doctoral student, check out our list of the Top 20 Best Online Colleges With Doctoral Programs. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top programs for online doctoral students.
The University of Southern California
The University of Southern California (USC) is a private research university that was founded in 1880 and is located in Los Angeles, California. USC offers two online doctoral programs, a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). USC’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work is one of the first schools to offer an online DSW. The program requires students to complete 42 credit hours of coursework. While all of their coursework can be completed online, students are required to attend two in-person residencies that last six days each, during their third and sixth semesters. The USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy is a number one ranked Physical Therapy school by US News and World Report, and they offer an online DPT. USC’s DPT program is a full-time, three-year program that prepares students to become physical therapists. Most of the coursework can be completed online, though students are invited to attend immersion experiences held on campus.
John Hopkins University
John Hopkins University is a private research university that was founded in 1876 and is located in Baltimore, Maryland. John Hopkins offers fully online doctoral degrees in ten different fields of academic study, including Computer Science, Education, and Nursing Practice. John Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering offers a full-time PhD in Computer Science that allows students to collaborate with their professors to conduct cutting edge research on dynamic new technologies. The university’s School of Education offers an online Doctor of Education (ED.D.) that will prepare students for positions as teachers or education administration. Their School of Nursing offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) that is designed to prepare students to lead health care innovations and influence health policy. John Hopkins offers a number of other great online doctoral programs, so be sure to check out their full catalogue.
Vanderbilt University is a private research university that was founded in 1873 and is located in Nashville, Tennessee. The university’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development offers an online Doctor of Education degree that is designed for experienced professionals to gain the leadership skills necessary to take their careers in education to an administrative level. Their curriculum bridges theory and practice to help their graduates make a widespread impact on educational policy. The program requires students to complete 54 credit hours, which is generally completed in 3-4 years.