Online Doctoral Degree Programs

A doctorate is generally the most advanced degree available in any given field, and it may be necessary for those wishing to rise to the top of their profession in teaching, research or clinical practice. The intense nature of these programs, along with the required dissertation paper, means a doctorate can be much more time consuming than other degree levels. Unlike more structured associate, bachelor's and master's programs, the time it takes to earn a doctoral degree depends more on the student's research goals than a set schedule of coursework. Most doctoral programs include two to three years of coursework followed by a thesis proposal, research, and defense that can take years to complete.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 164,000 doctoral degrees were awarded nationwide in 2010-2011, with almost two thirds going to graduates of health-related programs (60,153) and legal studies programs (44,877).

Different Types of Doctoral Degrees

Advantages of an Online Doctoral Degree Program

Career and Salary Outlook for Doctoral Degree Holders