Education, Home & Family

Getting an Online Doctoral Degree May be Easier than You Think

Would you love to add the word “Doctor” in front of your name? You’re not alone. Many busy adults dream of the respect and career possibilities associated with getting their doctorate. However, most also assume that attaining this high-level degree would be virtually impossible without ditching other important responsibilities like work and family.

Thankfully, quality online learning programs are making it simple for adults to achieve a well-respected doctorate around their schedule and from the comfort of their own home. These types of programs save the student time because they can avoid commutes and complete their work during the times of day when it is most efficient. Online doctoral programs also save the student money since there are no associated fuel costs, materials are often distributed online, and if the university exists solely online, low institutional overhead will translate to tuition savings.


There are so many benefits to pursuing an online Ph.D. Below are some tips to help you achieve the best results when seeking out a program:

  • Pay attention to accreditation. Make sure your school is accredited by a legitimate evaluating body with high standards.
  • Choose a school that specializes in online learning. Select a program from a school with a strong history of online learning. There are many technological details that need to be worked out over the course of many years for programs and technology to run smoothly. Don’t go with a newbie. Choose an established online college.
  • Check out the faculty. Make sure the sitting doctoral faculty earned their degrees from reputable institutions and are actively publishing academic research. It is important that your faculty members have a voice in the current global discourse within the field of your choosing.
  • Select a school with faculty whose interests match yours. Your faculty will also become your research mentors, so you’ll want someone who is very familiar with the latest research methods and literature associated with your specific areas of interest.
  • Don’t ignore the price tag. While earning your doctorate is certainly an investment that will pay off, you want to shop around to find the absolute best program you can for the lowest price. That way, you won’t become overburdened with debt and can achieve ROI much more quickly!
  • Ensure the program is rigorous and research-oriented. To achieve your goals, you will need to enroll in a program that is dedicated to providing challenging coursework based on thorough reviews of both foundational and current literature, a strong emphasis on qualitative and quantitative research methods, and opportunities for in-depth research and scholarly networking.
  • Talk to graduates. When choosing a school through which to earn your online Ph.D., be sure to contact people who have been in your shoes. Ask them what they thought of the program, what they are doing now, and whether they felt the investment was worthwhile. Uncovering what past students consider to be the program’s strengths and weaknesses will help you to determine if that program is right for you.

Pursuing an online Ph.D. can be simple and affordable. With some good time management, careful program selection, and hard work, your friends and coworkers could be calling you Doctor before you know it.

Best of luck!

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Sara Furlong is a writer, education activist, and homeschooling mother from upstate New York. Focused on providing information on alternative learning, she writes on a wide range of educational topics, including the politics of education reform, institutional advancement, college after the military, online learning, unschooling, and developmental psychology.




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