What Are the Top Online Doctoral Degree Programs?

Many of the best graduate schools ranked each year by U.S. News and World Report offer online programs leading to doctoral degrees. Some of the doctoral programs selected by students for online degrees include a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). There are also popular online doctoral degrees in health-related fields.

Top Online Doctoral Programs in Education

Accomplished professionals looking to gain more experience or bolster their resumes often return to school to obtain a doctoral degree. These degrees are highly specialized and available in almost every academic field, meaning individuals from all sorts of careers can pursue a degree. For example, many teachers and education administrators decide to resume their studies to gain a doctoral degree in education. An online college doctoral degree program in education may be a Ph.D. in Education or an Ed.D., either of which can prepare graduates for positions as school administrators or college-level faculty.

Important Facts About Online Doctoral Degrees

Prerequisites Graduate degree, or undergraduate degree and relevant work experience
Degree Fields Accounting, human resources, marriage & family counseling
Common Courses Strategic planning, professional services management, learning & behavior change
Possible Careers Postsecondary professor, psychologist, surgeon

Top Online Programs

Top-ranked programs for doctoral degrees can be found across the country. The list below contains a few examples of universities that boast highly-ranked online doctoral degree programs.

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

The University of Nebraska offers an Ed.D. in Educational Administration designed for students who are interested in (or have already begun) an academic career. Students begin a non-credit orientation class, and then fulfill core requirements. A large portion of this program is dedicated to electives, which allow students to take classes in areas that truly interest them. These courses can be taken once a student has completed the orientation and core classes.

The University of Florida

The University of Florida offers an online Ed.D. in Educational Technology. Though the Ed.D. is offered online, it does require students to attend three mandatory campus-based summer sessions. The program consists of two years of coursework, followed by a series of competency exams taken at the end of the second year. Upon completing these, students then work on dissertations with the help of campus faculty.

Boston University

Boston University's College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences offers a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) online degree program. Their OTD program was tied first by U.S. News and World Report in 2016. This elite program is offered online and includes two brief on-campus portions at the program's beginning and end. Students enrolled in the OTD program take two consecutive, seven-week courses while simultaneously completing a doctoral project each semester. BU's program contains 10 courses, for a total of 33 credits. Students who lack prior coursework may need to take six foundation courses before beginning their studies.

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:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Doctoral

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  • Grand Canyon University

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    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

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  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

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  • Northcentral University

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  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

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  • Saint Leo University

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    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Doctoral

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  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • Stanford University

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    • California: Stanford
  • Duke University

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    • North Carolina: Durham