PhD Programs

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PhD: Online vs. Campus Programs

If you’re interested in earning a PhD, you have two main options – go through a traditional program, where you travel to or live on a campus every day to complete research and attend classes or earn your PhD through a distance education program, where most of your work will be done online. There are pros and cons to each type of program, but you should consider both options when looking for the PhD program that is right for you.

Advantages to Online PhD programs

Online PhD programs are becoming more readily available as students start to recognize the advantages of this type of education. When you attend school online to earn your PhD, you get the following benefits:

  • Your class schedule is extremely flexible, so you can fit your education around your busy life.
  • Tuition is less expensive, on average, at an online school.
  • When you attend school online, you get more freedom, so it is great for students who work independently.
  • There are no travel expenses to commute to classes every day and you don’t have to pay room and board to live on campus.
  • Online PhD programs give you access to professors from around the world, so you can work with the best in your field even if you don’t live near them.

In general, online PhD programs are great for students who work better solo, and they’re best suited to those going back to school to earn a PhD after working in the field. With distance learning, you can get your advantaged degree while still working at your job and raising a family.

Advantages to Campus PhD Programs

While online school is a great option, campus PhD programs have their advantages as well. Most students still attend PhD programs at these more traditional schools, and with good reason – they’re also good educational options. Here are some of the advantages:

  • You get access to the campus’ research facilities and libraries.
  • If you prefer hands-on learning where you work closely with professors and other students, this gives you the opportunity.
  • Campus colleges often have more scholarships and grants available.
  • You can participate in campus activities while you’re a student there.
  • Campus programs have been around longer and are therefore more historically prestigious.

When considering programs, both online and offline options could be a good fit for you. Check out schools in both categories!

Guide to Accredited Online PhD Programs

Northcentral University – At Northcentral University, doctoral students rave about the school's personal approach to the online degree. While the curriculums are just as rigorous as most other accredited universities, it is taught in an environment that is learner-friendly. The programs feature flexible weekly start dates, 100% online degrees, and faculty mentored modules.
Walden University – Walden University offers more than 10 online doctoral programs with more than 60 specializations. As an accredited online university, Walden has been in the business of education for over 40 years, and strives to be on the cutting edge of innovative education. The curriculums blend theory, research, and practical application.
Grand Canyon University – At Grand Canyon University, students have the option to select from a variety of doctoral degrees, including Business Administration, Education, and Philosophy. The education degrees carry with it specializations in Organizational Development, Higher Education Leadership, Effective Schools, Behavioral Health, and Instructional Leadership. These degrees are both thought provoking and innovative.
University of the Rockies – University of the Rockies, a prestigious post graduate school, takes a practical approach to education. UoR combines hands-on assignments and relevant curriculum to engage students and help them obtain skills they can apply to real-world situations. While doctorates degrees can be completed in three years, they do require a bachelors degree for enrollment.
Liberty University – For over 40 years, Liberty University has offered students a new approach to learning, based on commitment, kinship, and faith. Prospective doctoral students can select from a wide variety of online programs, including counseling, education, and seminary studies. Graduates of these programs work as professors, clinicians, or theologians.
Concordia University - Portland – At the Concordia University - Portland, a variety of doctoral programs are available. These programs are designed to both enhance your leadership skills and build theoretical knowledge. The university's educational model provides an environment in which students are comfortable in collaborating with faculty, both online and through in person residencies.
University of Southern California – The University of Southern California currently offers two doctoral programs, in both general Management and Management in Community College Policy and Administration. The Management program requires completion of 48 credits, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation. These programs provide the student with the experience needed to serve in leadership roles in public and private organizations.

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