What Types of Doctorate Degrees Are Offered Online?

A number of busy professionals who are interested in earning doctorates choose to enroll in online education programs. Some schools may offer programs such as psychology, education and human services through distance education. This article discusses these types of doctorate programs. Read on for further details about them.

Online Doctoral Degrees

Students can earn doctorates in several disciplines and, in some instances, this can be done largely via the Internet. To be admitted into an online doctorate program, applicants generally must hold master's degrees in a subject related to their intended doctorate field of study.

It usually takes from one to three years to earn a doctoral degree, and students can sometimes transfer credits from classes they've previously completed. While there are several available designations of doctoral degrees from standard schools, online programs typically award a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Common types of online doctoral degrees are noted below:

  • Psychology
  • Education
  • Human Services

Important Facts About Three Online Ph.D. degrees

Psychology Education Human Services
Online Availability Hybrid options are available Hybrid options are available Hybrid options are available
Prerequisites Bachelor's/master's degree in psychology or related field; minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is sometimes required Master's degree in education or a related field, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or MAT scores; letters of recommendation are often requested Master's degree; minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher may be required
Common Courses Critical Thinking and Scholarly Writing, Introduction to Transpersonal Psychology, Advanced Inferential Statistics, Qualitative Analysis, Foundations of Theory and Practice Education Leadership, Education Law, Policy & Governance, Leading and Managing Professional Development Fundamentals of Social Science Research, Quantitative Research Methods in Public Service, Program Development & Management, Strategic Planning, Ethics and Decision Making in Human Services
Possible Careers Regulatory affairs managers, compliance mangers, neuropsychologists, clinical neuropsychologists, postsecondary psychology teachers Teacher, principal, superintendent, college instructor or other academic positions requiring leadership and decision-making skills Case manager, community programs director, development director, director of human service, director of community service


Some schools offer online psychology Ph.D. degrees in several specializations. Students can focus on general psychology, or they can learn to apply psychological principals in industrial, health or educational settings. As with traditional doctorate programs, the online versions require the completion of a dissertation on a particular idea or theory. People who complete doctorate programs in psychology might become psychologists, teachers, consultants, administrators or counselors.


Most doctorate programs in education require students to choose specialized areas of education, like curriculum design, special education or school administration. Students might earn either the Ph.D. in Education or the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degrees. Such education is designed to prepare graduates for advanced careers in education administration or public policy. Additionally, these programs can satisfy requirements to teach at the collegiate level.

Human Services

The broad field of human services refers to benefits or facilities provided to the public. Government organizations and private firms offer various human services to neighborhoods and communities. Online doctorate programs in human services usually teach students how to administer community support services, but some programs allow students to focus on aspects of social work, counseling or nursing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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