institutes that offer online ph.d programs


A few decades ago, no one would have imagined that the complex and technical fields of study can be taught online. But, with time and advancement of technology, everything is changing at a rapid pace. We are used to the traditional mode of learning. But the advent of online education has revolutionized learning. It has affected the process of learning so much, that now universities around the world are offering online courses. Top universities in the U.S. are offering online Ph.D. programs for local and international students. The advantages of online Ph.D. programs are flexibility, quality education at minimum cost, and the potential to earn a Ph.D. degree at a fast rate. There are hundreds of institutes in the U.S.that offer online Ph.D. programs. Thus, it is important to rank the top institutions that offer top quality online Ph.D. programs.

Before enrolling in a program, it is important to research the cost, duration, and requirements for an online Ph.D. program. After thorough research, I have completed a list. Read on to see the top 10 online Ph.D. programs in the U.S.

For Further Reading: Five Great Schools In The USA That Offer Online Doctoral Program In Education

US Institutes that Offer Online Ph.D Programs

1. Liberty University

Liberty University

Liberty University is in Lynchburg, Virginia. It is ranked as the best online college in America by Niche. Liberty offers online doctoral programs in education. Its online Doctor of Education (Ed.D) Program has 54 credit hours. The university charges $595 per credit hour. Liberty University’s Ph.D. program can be done in 3 years. This online doctorate in education offers specialization in Educational Leadership, and Curriculum and Instruction for elementary, middle, secondary, or special education. Once an individual acquires this Ed. Degree, he can become an educational administrator, educational policymaker, or join a university as a faculty member.

This college is one of the top US institutes that offers online PH.D. programs.

2. Johns Hopkins University

P.hd Program in Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University is located in Baltimore, Maryland. This university is one of the institutes that offer online ph.d programs. It offers online p.hd. in nine divisions. A student has an option to complete the program online or choose a hybrid format. Johns Hopkins University offers online Ph.D. programs in education, computer science, applied health sciences, nursing practice, and civil, mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering. A student plans a self-directed curriculum with the help of an advisor who supervises him throughout his Ph.D. journey. The curriculum must fulfill coursework requirements.  For completion of the program, a Ph.D. candidate must complete an exam, a graduate board oral exam, and a final thesis. A student usually takes up to 4 years to complete a Ph.D. program at Johns Hopkins. The graduation rate of the university’s program is 91%.

3. Concordia University of Chicago

The Concordia University of Chicago is in River Forest, Illinois. It’s the College of Graduate Studies and it offers an online doctoral program in leadership. The credit hour requirements for its Ph.D. are 67 credit hours. This Ph.D. program is not completely online, a student has to attend campus for a face-to-face discussion with his supervisor and peers. The university offers an online Ph.D. in leadership with a specialization in curriculum and instruction, which prepares students for leadership roles in K-12 schools. The Ph.D. covers topics related to curriculum theory and design, global perspectives on curriculum and instruction, and research-based instructional practices. A student has to pass a comprehensive examination and complete a dissertation to get a Ph.D. degree.

4. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois

The University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign is in Champaign, Illinois. The university offers online doctoral programs in education with various areas of interest and concentrations. These concentrations are Diversity & Equity in Education, HR Development, Global Studies in Education, and Learning Design & Leadership. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the online program of the university in the top 25 online programs nationwide. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In this program, students take online classes first and then prepare & defend a doctoral dissertation. The cost of its Ph.D. program is $15,186 per year. Lastly, the graduation rate of its online program is 84%.

5. University of Southern California

The University of South Carolina

The University of Southern California is in Los Angeles, California. The university has been providing distance learning education since 1972. The university offers 88 online degree programs and 3 online Ph.D. programs. These Ph.D. programs are a doctorate in education with a concentration in organizational change, doctorate in social work, and Global executive (Ed.D). This doctorate program requires in-person attendance, along with online classes. These online Ph.D.programs complete in 3 years. For successful completion of the program, a student has to complete four components of the coursework. These components include core courses, concentration courses, research methods courses, and the dissertation. The graduation rate of USC is 90% and the retention rate is 97%.

6. University of Florida

The University of Florida is in Gainesville, Florida. The university offers over 100 online degree programs. According to U.S. News & World Report, the online programs of this university are 2nd best in the U.S. The University of Florida is offering online Ph.D. programs in nine areas. These Ph.D. programs are in the fields of philosophy in Latin and Roman studies, audiology, nursing practice, philosophy in classical civilization, pharmacy, and several online doctoral programs in Education. The online program of UF is affordable and charges in-state tuition of $10,770 per year. A typical Ph.D. program in UF takes up to 4 years. Some online Ph.D. programs require in-person attendance besides online coursework. To complete a Ph.D. degree, a student must take part in seminars, give written and oral exams, and submit a dissertation. The graduation rate of the UF Ph.D. program is 85%.

7. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The University of Nebraska is in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is one of the leading teaching institutions in the U.S. Now, the university offers 180 distance learning programs, and three online Ph.D. programs in Education. These online Ph.D. programs include Ed.D in P-12 educational administration and Ed.D & Ph.D. in educational studies. The credit requirements of Ed.D are 96 credits, and 108 credit for Ph.D. Ed.D in educational studies is offered completely online, while Ed.D in P-12 and Ph.D. in educational studies follow a hybrid format of learning. For completion of a Ph.D. degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a student must complete 6 hours of study at Lincoln campus. The graduation rate of the program is 65%.

8. University of North Carolina

The University of North Caroline is in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The institute has been a pioneer in public health programs. UNC offers 16 online public health programs. The HPM executive doctoral program in health leadership is an online Ph.D. program at the university. This Ph.D. degree helps students become senior leaders in global public health. It comprises 45 credit hours of online study and campus visits. A Ph.D. student has to make 3-4 campus visits in every semester. The coursework of the online Ph.D. program includes a comprehensive written and oral exam, and a final doctoral dissertation. The graduation rate of the UNC program is 89%, and the student retention rate is 97%.

9. George Washington University

George Washington University is in Washington, District of Columbia. The university has two other campuses in D.C. and Virginia. The university has an e-Design shop, which is controlled and headed by IT experts. Experts help professors develop and design courses for online learning. GWU offers over 100 online degree programs and 10 online Ph.D. programs. These Ph.D. programs are offered in engineering and nursing. Although some programs require campus visits, students can complete most of the programs online. Online Ph.D. in nursing requires completion of clinical hours besides coursework. Another program requires on-campus visits, labs, seminars, and presentations. The graduation rate of its online program is 80%.

10. Indiana University

Indiana University is in Bloomington, Indiana. IU. It offers 154 online programs to attract local and international students. IU offers two online doctoral programs in education, which are two of the country’s best online Ph.D. programs. If a person is willing to get an online doctorate in education, he should check out this program. The university also offers a Ph.D. in nursing science, which requires 90 credits. The education degree is available in literacy, culture, and language education, and requires 60 credit hours. These programs are entirely online, with minimal on-campus visits. The curriculum of online programs requires the completion of the core, major and minor coursework, and a final doctoral dissertation. The graduation rate of IU is 75%, and the retention rate is 89%.


The above institutes offer some top online Ph.D. programs in the U.S. However, you might read a complete guide to the Ph.D. program before starting one. All these institutes are registered and accredited. International students who are willing to get a Ph.D. education in the U.S. can enroll themselves in these programs. Almost all these institutes treat online students as equal to their regular on-campus students.

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