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Universities Offering Ph.D. Distance Education Degree Programs

Distance education Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs typically combine online course offerings with required residencies, seminars, research projects or internships. Online Ph.D. programs are available in many academic and professional areas, including management, psychology and business.

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What Universities Offer Ph.D. Distance Education Degree Programs?

A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is the highest academic degree awarded for many fields of study. While often used interchangeably, a Ph.D. and a doctoral degree are not the same degree. A Ph.D. is a type of doctoral degree, but there are other kinds of doctoral degrees besides the Ph.D., such as a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or a Juris Doctor (J.D.).

Many distance education programs that culminate in a Doctor of Philosophy are offered through private, for-profit universities. Such programs are available in a number of academic areas, including business, information technology, higher education leadership and general psychology.

School Examples

Some examples of schools that offer Ph.D. programs for distance learners include the University of Phoenix, Capella University and Walden University. These schools have large student populations and some of the most robust offerings at the Ph.D. level.

Program Requirements

While most of the courses and requirements for distance learning Ph.D. programs can be completed remotely, many programs require students to complete lab work, research, internships, residencies or clinical work on campus or at third party locations. Typically, students complete some courses online and make arrangements with the school to fulfill other program requirements onsite. Check with the school's admissions department for more details.

Sample Program

Some examples of online Doctor of Philosophy programs include a Ph.D. in Nursing, a Ph.D. in Education, a Ph.D. in Management and a Ph.D. in Public Health. Below is an example of the requirements for a distance education Ph.D. in Business Management with an emphasis in information technology (IT) management:

  • Foundation and core courses: 44 quarter credits
  • IT management specialization courses: 20 quarter credits
  • Elective courses: 32 quarter credits
  • Comprehensive exam and dissertation courses: 24 quarter credits
  • 12 days in residency (in-person opportunities to interact with staff, faculty, advisers and other students)
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  • Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Architecture
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts

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