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types of doctorate degree

A doctorate degree is the highest level of education one can pursue in their field. It doesn’t matter whether you attend college in person or pursue an online doctorate degree. Either way, this designation indicates that you have mastered a specific area of study. Graduates will have a competitive edge in this ambitious job market. And, of course, earning a doctoral degree can qualify you for some of the highest-paying roles in your field. 

However, before committing to a doctoral program, knowing the different types of doctorate degrees is crucial. In this post, we will discuss a few of the many types of doctorate degrees and the average salary of each. 

The Different Types of Doctorate Degrees

There are two primary types of doctorate degrees. They include the Ph.D. and the Professional Doctorate. Both represent the highest achievement in academia and are equal in terms of prestige. As a result, those who hold either academic degree are sometimes referred to as “Doctor.” Next, we’ll briefly discuss the differences between these two advanced doctorate degrees.

The Ph.D.: An Academic Doctorate

The Ph.D. stands for Doctor of Philosophy. But it does not imply that the individual has advanced knowledge of philosophy. In this instance, the term comes from two Greek words: philein sophia. And it literally means lover of wisdom. So in this sense, philosophy applies to any area where an advanced level of understanding and knowledge is expressed. 

The Ph.D. is a research degree. It is sometimes also called an academic doctorate or terminal degree. And it is conferred to graduates in many areas of study. There are many PhDs to choose from at universities and colleges worldwide. A few examples include:

  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
  • Doctor of Business Management (Ph.D.)
  • Doctor of Public Health (DPH)
  • Doctor of Arts (D.A.)
  • Doctor of Theology (Th.D.)

Academic doctorate programs train graduates to apply different methods of discovery and evaluation. They spend a lot of time conducting research and applying what they have learned to solve problems in new ways. An academic doctorate generally requires a dissertation. 

The Professional Doctorate

A professional doctorate may also be called an applied doctorate. Unlike an academic doctorate, this degree focuses less on academia and conducting research. Instead, it centers around applying knowledge within real-world scenarios. If you are trying to advance your career or move into a leadership position, you will likely pursue a professional doctorate. Among these, there are many different doctorate degrees. Some common ones include:

  • Doctor of Finance (DPH)
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
  • Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
  • Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)
  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

In an applied doctorate program, students will look at problems within their field of study. And they will focus on real-world solutions to those problems. In their studies, they will touch upon the theory surrounding a topic. But they will also practice what they are learning. A professional doctorate may or may not require students to write a dissertation.


Earning a Doctorate Online 

Many people don’t pursue a 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 may already have families, children, spouses, or aging parents. Additionally, they typically have established careers. These factors can complicate the process of pursuing research degrees. 

However, over the past decade, many prominent colleges now offer online degree programs. This includes undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees, and, yes, even online Ph.D. programs. These popular programs are in high demand because they offer flexible study options. 

According to the National Science Foundation, the number of research doctorate degrees awarded in 2021 was 52,250. And women earned almost half of all professional doctorates. Additionally, the National Science Foundation reports that the number of professional doctorates in Engineering has increased the most in the past two decades. 

In the past, doctoral students needed to plan their whole lives around their coursework. They may have even relocated to attend a college or university. Additionally, studying for an academic doctorate or research degree requires a lot of time and effort. For example, you may need to network with professionals at the school, conduct research, and teach in addition to attending classes. But these added responsibilities leave little time for family, a full-time job, or social activities. 

Many of these issues can be solved with online degree programs. Now, students have the option to study remotely virtually anywhere in the world. So it’s easier than ever to work classes around your busy schedule and prior commitments.

Keep reading to discover some of the most popular doctorate degrees and average salaries. We’ll also show you some schools offering online graduate programs. Additionally, check out our list of some of the top accredited online doctorate programs.

Types of Doctorates and Potential Career Paths



This comprehensive list of doctorates shows some of the most popular doctorate programs online. It also accounts for those that can be most financially beneficial for candidates. All of the listed schools are fully accredited and have a positive reputation. Each category has at least one online doctoral program listed. In cases where multiple schools are shown, they are ordered from the lowest to the highest tuition. 

Tuition is based on each school’s in-state graduate tuition rates for one academic year. Bear in mind that fees and non-resident tuition costs can differ.

Financial Assistance For Doctoral Students

Pursuing an advanced degree can be expensive. However, financial assistance is not just for undergraduates. If you truly desire to earn your Ph.D. online, don’t let finances stand in the way. There are plenty of options for students who need help funding their graduate studies. Generally, financial aid for doctoral students comes from a variety of sources. These sources may include:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Teaching Assistantships
  • Research Assistantships
  • Fellowships
  • Student Loans

Most financial assistance is awarded by each specific school or department. So prospective Ph.D. candidates will want to research funding options for whichever programs they are most interested in. 

Doctor of Law 

Many people believe that having a law degree means you can only be a lawyer. However, one can have several other positions with a doctorate in law. That includes respected careers in academia, finance, government, politics, and other fields. 

Doctorate degrees in law can be extremely profitable. Those with this degree typically earn between $167,988 – $202,585 annually. These potentially high earnings make it one of the most financially rewarding doctoral degrees on our list.

Like most Ph.D. and doctorate degree programs now, you can complete and earn your doctorate in law online. However, 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 an online doctoral degree. 

A law degree from an accredited school allows graduates to practice law anywhere in the U.S. except California. The state of California holds its own Accredited Bar Program. If you obtain a doctorate degree certified by the California Bar but not the national one, you can only practice law in California. 

The journey to a doctoral law degree is as personal and unique as the student. So be sure to conduct further research when looking for the perfect school. Below are some of the best colleges for earning a Doctor of Law online.

Purdue University Global (California only) 

Los Angeles, California

Online Juris Doctor Degree

Doctoral research degrees: Purdue University Global

PG offers an online Juris Doctor Degree Program for those who want to practice law in California. The program is administered through the Concord Law School. A total of 92 credits are needed to earn the degree. The program takes about four years to complete for law students who devote 25 to 35 hours a week. There are three start dates each year. Some of the required courses for this doctorate degree include:

  • Legal Analysis and Writing
  • Electronic Legal Research
  • Civil Procedure 
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Real Property
  • Criminal Law 
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Corporations and Business Organizations
  • Constitutional Law 

PG offers some unique benefits with this online program. For example, they provide law students with exciting externship opportunities. And they have a competitive moot court program. Additionally, the school has a legal incubator for those who want to launch their own practice after graduation.

Law students collaborate with their instructors through PG’s intuitive online platform. And there are plenty of support services to ensure you succeed. Candidates can access online tech support, academic support, the law library, and much more. 

Purdue University Global also offers a three-year Executive Juris Doctor (EJD) program.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Tuition: $8,730

Walden University 

Minneapolis Minnesota

Online Ph.D. in Criminal Justice: Law and Public Policy Specialization

Doctoral research degrees: Walden University 

Walden University offers an online Ph.D. in Criminal Justice with a specialization in law and public policy. The program prepares candidates with a wide range of skills for roles in the field. And topics covered include homeland security, criminal justice theory, and more. Law students can choose from two tracks. The first is for those with a master’s degree in criminal justice. The second is for those with a master’s degree in an unrelated field. Some of the courses for this doctorate degree are:

  • Fundamentals of Law and Public Policy
  • Legal Research for Public Policy
  • Contemporary Cases and Issues in the Courts
  • History and Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice 
  • Policy and Analysis in Criminal Justice Systems 

Students have eight years to complete the program. However, motivated law students may wish to finish sooner. Through Walden’s Fast Track program, you can take additional courses each term and graduate faster. In addition, students can transfer up to 38 credits from other accredited universities into the program. 

A unique feature of this program is Waldens Doctoral Degree Coach™. This interactive online program supports students on their academic journey. Each step of your education and research is broken into manageable steps. There are checklists and milestones to chart your progress. And every to-do list includes all the materials needed to complete the assignment. 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Tuition: $9,651

Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York

Online Juris Doctor Degree

Doctoral research degrees: Syracuse University

Syracuse University College of Law offers an excellent online interactive J.D. program. It was the first real-time ABA-approved online law degree program in the country. The program is designed for those who can’t relocate due to prior commitments. However, it is taught by the same professional faculty members as the residential J.D. program. 

Courses are a mix of self-paced classes and live online sessions. During the live online sessions, students and professors interact in real-time. And students can see and hear each other and even work together in virtual break-out groups. Some of the courses in this doctoral degree program include:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Legal Applications
  • Legal Communication & Research 
  • Property Law
  • Constitutional Law 
  • Criminal Law
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Administrative Law
  • Federal Income Tax Law

All students are required to complete six residential courses during the program. These are condensed courses usually scheduled in August and January. The first four are week-long courses on the main campus in Syracuse. The final two courses last between three to five days. And they typically take place at another SU location. 

Each candidate in the JD online program will have the opportunity to complete an externship. These are hands-on externships that allow you to apply your skills in a legal setting. Students will work closely with staff to identify a location appropriate for the practicum. In most cases, they can be conducted from your own location. Students also can participate in in-person seminars if they wish to travel. 

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Tuition: $41,616

Doctor of Pharmacy 

Being a Pharmacist requires more than just a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. You must also pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX). Plus, those pursuing these doctorate degrees must complete licensing requirements in their state. With a PharmD degree, you don’t need to limit yourself to the role of a pharmacist. Instead, you can pursue roles in academia, medical science, research, and other fields. There are also many specialized areas a pharmacist may choose to pursue. A few examples include:

  • Community Pharmacist
  • Clinical Pharmacist
  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Compounding Pharmacist
  • Drug Information Specialist Pharmacist
  • Industry-Based Pharmacist

Individuals with doctorate degrees in pharmacy in the US earn between $85,000 and $216,000 annually. The projected growth in this field through 2031 is around two percent. But while this is slower than the average growth rate of most occupations, it is still relatively steady. 

University of Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Online Doctor of Pharmacy

Doctoral research degrees: University of Colorado

The UC Anschutz Medical Campus offers an online PharmD program. This one is specifically for licensed pharmacists seeking advanced knowledge of practices. The program requires 60 to 90 credit hours for completion. It can be completed 100% online, and students can finish in as little as two years.

To be eligible, you must already have an undergraduate degree in the field. Some of the courses in this program include:

  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Drug Information Fundamentals & Portfolio
  • Evidence-Based Pharmacy Medicine & Literature Evaluation
  • Public Health
  • Geriatrics, Neurology & Psychiatry
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Clinical Reasoning & Decision Making
  • Innovation Entrepreneurship
  • Integrative Health & Medicine

Clinical rotations are required with this program. However, students will work with an academic advisor to find opportunities near them. Of course, students can also come to Colorado for their rotations if they choose to do so.

A unique aspect of this program is that students can earn credit for past experience. There is an option of credit by challenge. It is available for those who have been working in the field within the six years prior to enrollment. 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Tuition: $6,984

St. John Fisher University

Rochester, New York

Online PharmD Degree Program

Doctoral research degrees: St. John Fisher University

SJF (formerly John Fisher College) offers an online PharmD program. It is provided through the Wegmans School of Pharmacy. Applicants must have 62 semester hours of pre-professional education to be considered. Candidates must complete 151 credits for this online program. And some of the classes include:

  • Pharmacy Calculations
  • Pharmaceutics
  • Systems Pharmacology 
  • Biosystems
  • State Pharmacy Law 
  • Applied Pathophysiology and Therapeutics
  • Population-Based Health Care
  • Ethics in Pharmacy Practice 

There are six campus immersions required to complete the degree. Additionally, candidates will complete 11 clinical rotations at pharmacy locations in their communities. There are also many opportunities locally and globally to work among underserved communities. All courses are taught by the same faculty members who teach the on-campus version of the program. 

The program meets all the requirements for graduates to sit for the NAPLEX. And SJF has partnerships with many major health systems across the country. As a result, this represents unique placement opportunities for eligible candidates.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Tuition: $18,054

Duquesne University 

Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Online PharmD Degree Program

research doctorate and professional doctorates degree: Duquesne University 

Duquesne University School of Pharmacys offers an excellent online Pharm.D. program. A unique feature of this program is that it benefits candidates almost immediately. DUQ students can choose the school’s Direct Entry option. This allows first-year students to automatically transition from the pre-professional to the professional phase. This eliminates competition for spots in the professional phase. That way, students can focus on their academic progression. 

This six-year program is rigorous and requires the completion of 209 credit hours. In addition, students can select from six optional concentrations. These include:

  • Acute Care
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Community Practice
  • Entrepreneurial Pharmacy
  • Geriatric Pharmacy
  • Health Services & Outcomes Research

Those enrolled in the program automatically earn a BS in Pharmacy Foundations. The degree is earned simultaneously with no additional cost or time. 

Accreditation: Council for Higher Education 

Tuition: $24,534

Doctor of Physical Therapy 

A Doctor of Physical Therapy, also known as DPT, helps graduates become Physical Therapists. But it’s also for those pursuing careers as Occupational Therapists, Audiologists, or Chiropractors. 

A student who obtains this doctorate needs to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE). However, the courses they take in a DPT program will give them the knowledge to pass the exam. 

These professionals earn between $63,000 and $87,000 annually. However, those with a doctorate degree may pursue leadership roles in the field. And this can lead to much higher annual earnings. 

The ten-year growth projection for the PT profession is 17 percent. This is much higher than the average for all other occupations. With this much growth, doctorate degrees in Physical Therapy are an excellent choice for financial stability. 

Winston-Salem State University 

Winston-Salem North Carolina

Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy

research doctorate and professional doctorates degree: Winston-Salem State University 

WSSU offers an online Transitional DPT program. It is designed for practicing professionals who hold a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in PT. Students must complete 24 credit hours of coursework, which can be done entirely online. Candidates have up to three years to finish their professional degree. Some of the online courses include:

  • Health Care: Global View Point
  • Clinical Decision-Making in Physical Therapy
  • Pharmacology
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Woman’s Health or Health and Wellness
  • Differential Diagnosis

WSSU has one of the most affordable doctoral programs on our list. In addition, the curriculum can be customized to address each candidate’s specific professional goals. 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Tuition: $3,872

University of North Carolina 

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy

research doctorate and professional doctorates degree: University of North Carolina 

UNC also offers a Transitional DPT program. It is designed for licensed professionals who want to gain advanced skills in the field. This 27-credit program is only offered part-time, and students can complete it within two years. There are three core components to the curriculum. They include Clinical Foundation, Clinical Practice, and Specialty Practice. Some of the courses include:

  • Advanced Patient Management
  • Topics in Health and Wellness
  • Advanced Practice Issues
  • Advanced Neuromuscular Intervention
  • PT Education and Instructional Technology
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Child and Family Assessment and Intervention

All students are required to complete a Capstone project and comprehensive portfolio. In addition, candidates are provided with many opportunities for mentored teaching experiences in this program. This will help them to develop as educators in academic or clinical settings. 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Tuition: $10,552

Northeastern University 

Boston, Massachusetts

Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy

research doctorate and professional doctorates degree: Northeastern University 

Northeastern University offers a terrific Transitional DPT online program. Students can take courses full or part-time and earn the degree in one to three years. There are four start dates a year, so it is an excellent option for students who need a flexible schedule. Some of the industry-aligned courses in the program include:

  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Medical Screening and Nutrition
  • Pharmacology
  • Comprehensive Case Analysis
  • Motor Control
  • Research Methods and Statistical Analysis

All students take a Capstone course called Comprehensive Case Analysis. This course serves as a culmination of all the work they complete throughout the program. Each student will prepare a scholarly work or case report to fulfill the requirement. 

This online doctorate is designed for physical therapists currently working in the field. And those who hold either a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in physical therapy are welcome to apply. 

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

Tuition: $25,801

Related: The 25 Best Online Doctorates in Occupational Therapy

Doctorate in Accounting and Finance 

Graduates with a Ph.D. in Accounting and Finance can work in a wide range of different fields and industries. This includes management, consulting, research, academia, healthcare, business, and more. But a doctorate prepares students for high-level leadership positions. For example, many CEOs and CFOs have a Ph.D. in accounting. And the average salary for chief financial offers is between $81,000 to $234,000 a year. 

According to BLS, the financial management field is expected to grow by 17 percent through 2031. This is much higher than the average for most other occupations. Accountants and financial experts are needed in nearly every field. So those with these credentials can pick and choose among the industries they prefer to work in. Here are three colleges offering online doctoral degrees in this sector:

Liberty University 

Lynchburg, Virginia 

Doctor of Business Administration in Accounting degree

research doctorate and professional doctorates degree: Liberty University 

Liberty University offs an online DBA in Accounting program. Students can complete this 60-credit-hour program in three years, and all courses are 100 percent online. You can even transfer up to 50 percent of the credits needed to complete the degree. Some of the featured courses in this business administration program include:

  • Tax Research and Jurisprudence
  • Advanced Auditing
  • Accounting Ethics
  • Accounting for Decision Making

This program is designed for those interested in applying real-world business concepts in the field. It is also ACPSP accredited. And it is among only three percent of business schools worldwide to receive the designation. Additionally, the degree can lead to a career in teaching accounting and finance at higher institutions.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Tuition: $7,847

Walden University 

Minneapolis Minnesota

Online Doctor of Business Administration

professional doctorates degree: Walden University 

Students at Walden University can pursue this excellent online DBA program. It is designed for experienced professionals who want to become leaders and influencers in their fields. The program covers a range of financial topics and offers specializations in the following areas:

  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems Management
  • International Business
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Project Management

Doctoral students at Walden have an immense toolbox of resources available to them. A unique aspect of this DBA is the school’s Doctoral Degree Coach™. System. This interactive online system walks students through each step of their academic journey. And it provides a way to keep track of all assignments and materials sequentially. 

Walden students also have access to a whole online suite of student resources. They include tech help, career support, writing assistance, and much more. 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Tuition: $9,651

See Also: 10 Best Online Doctorate in International Business

Northcentral University 

San Diego, California

Online DBA with Finance and Accounting Specializations

academic doctorate and professional doctorates degree: Northcentral University 

This 60-credit hour online doctorate program from NU is one of the most flexible doctoral programs on our list. Northcentral offers weekly start dates and fully asynchronous online courses. This means there are no scheduled classes or group assignments. And students can coordinate their studies around their existing obligations. Turn in your assignments as early as you want and stay well ahead, or take a little more time if you need it. 

Another unique aspect of NU is that they boast a 100% doctoral faculty. As a result, all students are mentored by professionals in their field of study. Additionally, online students will have plenty of opportunities to interact with their instructors one-on-one. 

The online DBA offers several specializations for students who want to focus on particular areas or industries. They include:

  • Advanced Accounting
  • Financial Management
  • General Business
  • Global Business Management

Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission

Tuition: $16,881

Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering 

A doctorate in the biomedical engineering field opens up several positions that have high annual incomes. Engineering in itself is a profitable and prestigious field. And earning a doctorate in engineering only shows additional expertise in the industry.  

According to Payscale, Biomedical Engineers earn up to $100,00 a year. However, leadership and management positions in this field can be worth significantly more. 

There are very few Biomedical Engineering programs online. However, there is one online doctoral program to help candidates reach that goal:

University of North Dakota 

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Ph.D. program in Biomedical Engineering 

professional doctorate: University of North Dakota 

UND offers an online Ph.D. program in Biomedical Engineering. This doctorate program is offered jointly through UND and North Dakota State University. Each student is associated with at least one of six Biomedical Research Groups.

Some of the courses in this doctorate program include:

  • Anatomy-Physiology
  • Advanced Electrical Engineering Problems
  • Animal Physiology
  • Electromagnetic Compatibility
  • Biomedical Instrumentation
  • Digital Image Processing
  • Introduction to Biomaterials

Of course, this is just a sampling of the many engaging courses in this online doctorate program. Candidates must hold a BS from an ABET-accredited engineering program. However, those with a bachelor’s degree in other disciplines may be admitted on a case-by-case basis. A Minimum GPA of 3.0 or a 4.0 scale is required for this research degree.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Tuition: $11,503

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

A Ph.D. in Psychology permits individuals to work in high-level roles in the field. A doctorate degree in psychology can open the door to several career paths, including (but not limited to):

  • Couple and Family Psychologist
  • Organizational Psychologist
  • School Psychologist
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Psychology Professor

Those with a Ph.D. in Psychology typically earn between $90,542 and $134,517 a year. And growth in this field is expected to increase by six percent over the next decade. This is about fast as the average for all other occupations. There are also various licenses and certifications one can pursue in psychology. Additionally, there are many specializations in the field. Working toward these can also boost your value in the workplace. And in turn, it can increase your annual salary. Unlike a psychology research degree, doctorate degrees focus on the more practical aspects of the field.

Walden University 

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

professional doctorate: Walden University 

Walden University offers a general Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. In addition, they also provide several specialized doctoral degrees, such as:

  • Forensic Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Industrial Organizational Psychology
  • Health
  • Teaching

However, the general Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology allows students to choose other focus areas not listed. And candidates can tailor parts of the curriculum to their professional goals. 

Students have up to eight years to complete the doctorate program. And they will need to attend four 4-day residencies to fulfill the professional degree requirements. All candidates are also required to complete a dissertation and a doctoral writing assignment. Some of the courses include:

  • Lifespan Development
  • Biopsychology
  • Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology and Social Change

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Tuition: $9,651

Regent University

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Online Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies

Doctoral research degrees: Regent University

Regent University offers a Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies. The program is entirely online and requires a total of 51 credits for completion. It includes a common core in statistics, research, and psychometrics. Students will also focus on Christian leadership. All candidates will need to complete a dissertation and capstone project 

Students can tailor this program with 11 unique concentrations to meet their own professional goals. Some of these include:

  • Addictions Counseling
  • Biblical Counseling
  • Grief Counseling
  • Human Services Counseling
  • Life Coaching
  • Marriage & Family Ministry
  • Pastoral Counseling
  • Trauma & Crisis Counseling

Regent uses Blackboard as its online learning management system. From there, students can access all their lectures, assignments, and exams. And they can participate in discussion forums and interact with instructors. 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Tuition: $15,590

Northcentral University

Online Psychology Ph.D. Degree 

San Diego, California

Doctoral research degrees: Regent University

Northcentral University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology program that is fully online. Students in this professional degree program will focus on applied experiential learning. And the coursework will prepare students to excel in the field. Additionally, candidates can choose from many specializations, including:

  • Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders
  • Psychology of Gender and Sexual Fluidity
  • General Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Health Psychology
  • Industrial Organizational Psychology
  • Social Policy and Behavioral Health Administration
  • Trauma and Disaster Relief
  • Counseling Psychology

The program requires the completion of 60 credits, and most students can graduate in about 46 months. A unique aspect of Northcentral’s online program is that the school offers start dates every Monday.

Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission

Tuition: $16,881

You may also like: Can I Earn A Doctorate Degree In Psychology Part-Time?

Doctorate in Education

Getting a Ph.D. in Education opens up several job opportunities that pay well over six figures. Many think that working in education means being a teacher, but there are other professions to pursue as well. Like most fields, earning a doctorate degree typically elevates your work status and salary. Here are a few examples of high-paying roles with a doctoral degree in education:

Director of Instructional Technology: $72,000-$122,000

School Superintendent: $88,000-$178,000

Assistant Professor: $56,000-$100,000

Acadrmic Dean: $67,000-$138,000

So, while there is an emphasis on teaching in this field, there is also room for other impressive careers. Those pursing doctorate degrees in the field have many options. They can choose a program that focuses on real-world practice. Or they can look into obtaining a research degree. Below are three accredited universities that offer online doctorate degrees in education. 

University of Arizona Global Campus 

Tucson, Arizona

Doctor of Philosophy in Education

Doctoral research degrees: University of Arizona Global Campus 

UAGC offers a fully online Ph.D. in Education. The program provides students with the knowledge and skills to become leaders in the field. This research degee is geared toward candidates who plan to pursue academic careers. As such, much of the focus in this online program is on scholarship and research skills. Some of the courses in this doctorate degree program include:

  • Learning & Cognition
  • History of Education & Social Change
  • Scholarly Argument
  • Transformative Issues & Trends in Education
  • Educational Leadership Theories & Strategies
  • Diversity in Education
  • Culture, Curriculum & Learning
  • Governance & Politics of Education
  • Integrating Technology

Students complete each course one at a time, lasting from six to nine weeks each. You can transfer up to 30 credits into the program. A doctoral dissertation and a capstone seminar are required to earn this professional degree.

UAGC offers online students a wide range of support services. Candidates have access to a doctoral mentoring plan and career development services. Additionally, all students have 24/7 tech support, a Library, and the UAGC mobile app. And everyone gets free access to Microsoft Office 365.

Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission

Tuition: $12,106

University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Champaign, Illinois

Online Doctor of Education (EdD)

Doctoral research degrees: University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

UIUC offers one of the best online doctor of education programs. This 64-credit-hour program requires two written exams and two oral exams. Candidates will also need to complete a Doctoral Dissertation. All students are assigned a faculty advisor to help them navigate through this professional degree program.

Courses consist of scheduled online video synchronous sessions. The sessions are required for students to interact with their peers and instructors. This synchronous format is ideal for remote students who prefer a more structured learning environment. Courses are approximately six to eight weeks long. Some of the topics covered in this research degree include: 

  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Educational Practice
  • Educational Organization & Leadership 
  • Educational Policy Studies
  • Educational Psychology
  • Human Resource Education
  • Special Education

The graduate college has a wide range of support services for remote students. For example, the University of Illinois library is one of the largest in the country. And it offers extensive research services. Other online resources at UIUC include:

  • Workshops and Certificate Programs
  • Leadership Education and Training
  • A Technology Entrepreneur Center
  • Writers Workshop
  • Career Development Services

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission 

Tuition: $14,635

Northeastern University 

Boston, Massachusetts

Online Doctor of Education

Doctoral research degrees: Northeastern University 

Northeastern offers a flexible Doctor of Education program. This professional degree is designed for working professionals and learners from a variety of backgrounds. And it was selected as the Carnegie Project EdD Program of the Year for 2022-2023.

All of the courses for this research degree can be completed online. However, students will need to attend annual in-person two-day residencies at one of the NU campuses. 

The program can be taken full or part-time. And most students can complete it within three to four years. Start dates are in the Fall and Winter. There are five unique concentrations to choose from within this doctorate degree:

  • Higher Education Administration
  • Innovative Teaching and Learning
  • Transformative School Leadership
  • Workplace Learning
  • Integrative Studies

This professional degree program allows educators to remain at their workplaces. They can then use research and experiential learning opportunities in those environments. This means that candidates receive hands-on experience applying their new skills right away. 

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education 

Tuition: $25,801

Considering a master’s degree in education? Check out The 30 Best Online Masters in Education Programs.

Other Doctorate Types To Consider

Different types of doctoral degrees

The doctorate degrees listed in this article are just a few of the many different types of doctorate degrees pursue. As we discussed previously, there are many Ph.D. types. And you can earn a doctorate degree in nearly any field of study. Online doctorate degree programs are not as plentiful as bachelor’s degree and master’s degree programs. However, they are becoming increasingly popular. And we are seeing more online doctorate degree programs created every year. Before we close, here are a few other different doctorate degrees worth mentioning.

Doctor of Dental Surgery and Doctor of Dental Medicine

In dentistry, there are two doctorate degree programs to pursue. The first is a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). The second is the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). A Doctor of Dental Medicine and a Doctor of Dental Surgery are the same degrees. And students will cover the same curriculum in both types of Ph.D. programs. However, it is up to each school to determine how to title the degree program. 

It takes about eight years to earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine or Doctor of Dental Surgery. The first four years are spent earning a bachelor’s degree. Students usually choose a bachelor’s degree in health sciences. The final four years of study are in pursuit of the DDS. Students can also pursue a master’s degree in dentistry.

This doctorate degree takes only a little less time than medical school. However, if you want to specialize in a particular area of dentistry, you will need to obtain additional training. 

Those with this professional doctorate earn between $98,000 and $218,000 annually. 

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

You’ll need to attend school for about eight years to practice veterinary medicine. The first four years are spent earning a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine or a related field. Generally, students will pursue a bachelor’s degree in zoology or health sciences. Master’s degree programs in veterinary medicine are also available. The final four years are spent pursuing a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

In the US, there are many doctorate degree programs in veterinary medicine. And in some cases, you can complete a large portion of this doctoral degree online. 

Those with these types of Ph.D.s earn between $68,000 and $128,000 annually. 

Doctor of Nursing Practice

A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is also called a Doctor of Nursing Science. This professional degree represents the highest level of nursing education. Students in Ph.D. nursing science programs have advanced skills and knowledge in the field. And they are prepared for leadership roles wherever they may choose to practice. 

You will need at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing to begin your pursuit of a DNP. Doctor of Nursing Science can take one to three years to complete. For example, if a student already has a master’s degree in nursing science, it can take less time for this type of Ph.D. There are also many MSN to DNP programs available. However, most programs require 33 to 43 credits. Additionally, students usually need at least 500 clinical practice hours to earn the doctoral degree.

Those with these professional doctorate degrees earn between $65,000 and $124,000 annually. 

Doctor of Podiatric Medicine

A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) is also known as a podiatrist. A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine is qualified to diagnose and treat foot and ankle conditions. Podiatrists are medical professionals who qualify as physicians based on their rigorous training. 

To earn a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, students must first earn a bachelor’s degree. Then, they can apply to a podiatric medical school. The course of study to become a DPM takes four years. During medical school, candidates will have basic instruction in medical sciences. And they will take all of the typical doctorate degree coursework other medical students do. That includes anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and more. Most medical students must also complete at least two years of residency training. After this, they can earn their Doctor of Podiatric Medicine.

Those with these professional doctorate degrees earn between $93,000 and $239,000 annually. 

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine doctors specialize in all-natural approaches to treating diseases and illnesses. The demand for naturopathic medicine specialists is high right now as people look for alternative ways to stay healthy. So this is an excellent doctorate degree to pursue.

There are several steps to earning your professional doctorate degree in naturopathic medicine. First, you need a bachelor’s degree in a related program. Most students focus on degrees like biology or chemistry. Then, you will need to attend a four-year naturopathic medical school. There are only a handful of such medical schools in the country.

During medical school, you will undergo the same training as those pursuing a medical degree. Then, depending on your focus area, you will typically complete a clinical residency that takes between two and four years. After this, you can apply to a graduate naturopathic medical school. This requires another four years of post-graduate study. Once you finish naturopathic medical school, you can take the licensing examination. 

Those with this professional doctorate earn between $38,000 and $103,000 annually. 

This concludes our article on the different types of doctoral degrees.

To explore different doctoral degrees further, check out How Are Doctorate Degrees Different From Each Other?

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