types of doctorate degree

A doctorate can allow graduates to achieve the highest heights within their field. This degree can mean furthering your career for the betterment of you and their family. And of course, having a doctoral degree can certainly maximize one’s annual income.

Graduates will also have a competitive edge in this ambitious job market. But before committing to a doctoral study or program, it is crucial to know the different types of doctorate degrees, the most common ones, as well as their averaged median salary. 

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A Ph.D. is the most common doctorate and earned in several different areas of study. It is the highest academic degree that one can get from a university. There are also doctorate degrees labeled as “Doctor of.” These titles are more specific to the subject area studied. 

An online Ph.D. degree represents academic achievement, and the recipient has a basic understanding of the subject area’s concepts by learning from reliable studies and the previous groundwork. A “Doctor of” degree is more specific and considered to be more of a professional degree.

Earning a Doctorate Online 

Most people choose to opt-out of getting their doctorate because it does not fit into their daily lives. Adulthood comes with a multitude of responsibilities. Doctoral students tend to be older, which means they have families, children, spouses, aging parents, or already established careers. 

These factors can complicate their progress even more. But in today’s world, things are a lot simpler with the internet. Several colleges and universities now offer online doctoral degree programs that have grown in popularity and are in high demand. 

Traditionally, a doctoral student would have to design and plan their school schedule around their everyday lives. Studying towards a doctorate requires a lot of extra work, like networking with professionals at the school, researching, and teaching while attending classes. These added responsibilities leave little to no room for family, full-time jobs, and social activities.

Now you have the option to study remotely virtually anywhere in the world, It is easier than ever to work classes around your busy schedule and prior commitments.

Check out this list of accredited online doctorate programs to simplify your life and journey to getting that degree. Also, keep reading to discover some of the most common doctoral degrees, which ones offer online graduate programs, as well as their median annual salary.

Types of Doctorates and Potential Career Paths


This comprehensive list of doctorates shows what’s popular and carries the most benefits financially. Earning a doctorate can cause further debt because students might need to apply for a loan to invest in their education. With that in mind, conduct your research meticulously.

Each school listed shows a positive reputation, popularity, accreditation, coursework offered, tuition, and satisfaction rating according to Google and Niche.com. 

Doctor of Law 

Many people believe that having a law degree means you can only be a lawyer. There are several other positions one can have with a doctorate in law. A doctoral law degree exposes various other professional and respected careers, like academia, finance, government, or politics. 

Holding a doctorate in law can be a very profitable decision—law student graduates earn an average of $135,000 annually. This amount of money makes it one of the most financially rewarding doctoral degrees out there, which is why it is so popular. 

Like most Ph.D. and doctoral degree programs now, you can complete and earn your doctorate in law online. Through proper research, select an accredited university, especially if you want to practice law.

The American Bar Association requires applicants to have a law degree from an accredited institution. This information is critical if one aims to practice law with their online doctoral degree. Obtaining a law degree from an accredited school also grants graduates to practice law anywhere within the United States. There’s one small exception for the state of California. 

The state of California holds its own accredited Bar Program. If you were to obtain a doctoral degree certified by the California Bar, but not the national one, you could only practice law in California. 

Looking for a doctoral law program that’s also online-only will benefit residents of California and a few other states. The journey to a doctoral degree is personal and unique as the student, so be sure to conduct further research when looking for the perfect school. 

Purdue University Global (California only) 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Apply Online 

• Complete Concord Law School Online Admissions Exam

• Submit Required Documents, like College Transcript 

• Credits Required: 92 

• Program completed in 4 years with a 25-35 hours a week commitment 

• Can only practice law with a degree from this school in the state of California 

• Can pursue licensure in the state of Wisconsin and North Carolina after passing the California bar 

Additional Program: Executive Juris Doctor (EJD)

Emory University 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Two Letters of Recommendation 

• CAS Report (College Transcript & LSAT Score) 

• Personal Statement 

• Application Fee 

• Credits Required: 90 

• Accredited by the American Bar Association

Walden University 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Complete Online Application

• Submit Transcript 

• Ph.D. in Criminal Justice Law and Public Policy 

• Can transfer up to 38 credits from other accredited university 

Doctor of Pharmacy 

Being a Pharmacist requires more than just a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. The student also needs to pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and have a doctoral dissertation to become a Pharmacist. Pharmacists earn about $125,000 a year. The projected growth in ten years is only 3 percent, but this career is beneficial to those who have a passion for human and public health. 

A Doctor of Pharmacy can look like more than just being a pharmacist as well. Graduates of this Ph.D. program can also work as a clinical research associate, professor, or medical scientist. 

Duquesne University 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Holding a 4-year degree at an accredited college or university in the United States 

• Completion of the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) 

• The First 3 years requires a minimal amount of instruction located in Pennsylvania. 

John Fisher College

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Complete online application

• 62 semester hours of pre-professional education at an accredited college/university 

• Official Transcripts 

• Two letters of recommendation

• Credits to Graduate 151 (4 years) 

Rutgers University 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Complete online application before the deadline 

• Three Letter of Recommendation 

• Official Transcript 

• Personal Statement 

• GRE Test Scores

• Resume 

• Credits to Graduate 151 (4 years) 

Doctor of Physical Therapy 

A Doctor of Physical Therapy, also known as DPT, helps graduates become not only Physical Therapists but Occupational Therapists, Audiologists, or Chiropractors. 

A student who obtains this doctorate needs to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE). The classes they take beforehand to get their Ph.D. will provide them with the knowledge needed to pass the exam. 

Physical Therapists earn about $85,850 annually. The 10- year projection for the Physical Therapy profession is 28 percent. With this much growth, obtaining a Ph.D. in Physical Therapy is an excellent choice for financial stability. 

Northeastern University 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Complete online application 

• Statement of Purpose 

• Professional Resume 

• Two letters of recommendation 

• Transcripts 

• Must be prerequisite outlined on the university’s website 

Winston-Salem State University 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Complete online application 

• Review & follow the admission checklist 

• Open to the applicant with a Bachelor’s or Master’s 

University of North Carolina 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Online application 

• Personal Statement 

• Copy of Physical Therapist License 

• Transcript 

• Two Letters of Recommendation 

• Applicants must have a Master’s degree already. 

• This doctoral program is for an already licensed physical therapist who wants a doctorate and wants to expand their current knowledge and expertise.

Doctorate in Accounting and Finance 

Graduates with a Ph.D. in Accounting can work in many different fields besides an accountant. According to Accounting.com, A Ph.D. graduate can also work as college professors, financial managers, consultants, or a public policy researcher. 

Accounting and finance careers are expected to grow 18 percent in the 10-year projection. 

Walden University 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Complete online application 

• Send in a transcript from an accredited college or university. 

• Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

• Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

• Transfer up to 17 credits into their program 

Northcentral University 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Must have a Master’s Degree from an accredited university 

• Advanced Accounting, PhD-BA

• 60 Credit Hours needed to Graduate 

Liberty University 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Apply online and submit necessary documents 

• Allowed to transfer up to 50% of credits 

• 60 credit hours needed to Graduate 

Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering 

A doctorate in the biomedical engineering field opens up several positions that have high annual income. The profession itself is very lucrative and profitable, so the added degree shows more expertise.

In this profession, one can work as a Biomedical Engineer or Research Scientist. 

The median annual salary for a doctoral graduate in biomedical engineering is $98,773, according to Payscale. Here’s an online doctoral program to help reach that goal:

University of North Dakota 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• GRE General Test Scores; only if Accreditation Board does not accredit current degrees for Engineering & Technology (ABET) 

• Statement of Goals 

• Minimum GPA of 3.0 required 

• Bachelor of Science from an accredited engineering program overrides GRE requirements.

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

A Ph.D. in Psychology permits someone to work at the highest levels of the clinical psychology field. A doctoral degree in psychology opens several psychological professions, like a family psychologist, organizational psychologist, or school psychologist. 

The median salary for a graduate in clinical psychology is $85,000. There are also other licensure and certification to apply for. Working towards this can also boost your value in the workplace, which can, in turn, increase one’s annual salary. 

Walden University 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Complete the online application 

• Have a Bachelor’s or higher to be considered for the program 

• Can transfer up to 45 credits from another accredited school 

Capella University 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Complete online application

• Submit previous Transcripts 

• Meet the minimum GPA for the program applied for 

• Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, and other professional organizations 

• Options: Ph.D. Advanced Studies in Human Behavior; Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision 

Simmons University 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Must have Master’s in the related field already 

• 3.0 GPA from previous institution 

• Two years of social work experience after Master’s 

• Previous Transcript 

• Personal Statement

• Writing Sample 

• Doctoral Degree in Social Work; gives similar job opportunities to Ph.D. in Clinical Psych. 

• Full & Part-Time Options 

• No GRE scores are required. 

Doctorate in Education

Getting a Ph.D. in Education opens up a lot of additional job opportunities that pay well over six-figures. Many think of working in education means a teacher, but there are other job professions too. Like most positions, a doctoral degree elevates your status at work as well as salary. 

With a doctoral degree in education, one can work as College President, Chief Learning Officer, Provost, School Superintendent, Academic Dean, Grade School Principal, or College Professor.

There is an emphasis on teaching in this field, but there’s also room for other astounding careers and prospects. 

Below are three accredited universities that offer online doctorate degrees to earn Ph.D. in Education.

University of Arizona Global Campus 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Must meet three levels of admission requirements to be accepted

• Conditional: Master’s degree obtained; access to a computer; able to study in English 

• Provisional: must attend beyond Week 3 of their first course and have submitted transcript 

• Full: submit an official transcript from an accredited school

• No standardized test is needed.

• Accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) 

Northeastern University 

Admission Requirements and Details:

• Complete online application 

• Transcript 

• 1-3 Letters of Recommendation 

• Professional Resume

• Standardized Test Scores (GRE) may be required for the program. 

• Full/Part-time Opportunities 

• Take 3-4 years to complete 

• Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

Grand Canyon University

Admission Requirements and Details:

• No out-of-state tuition 

• Accredited by Higher Learning Commission 

• Graduate Admission based on unweighted GPA and/or GRE/GMAT scores 

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