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Where Can I Get Help Writing My Thesis Online?

phd in public health no dissertation

You’ve spent years preparing for your master’s degree or PhD. You’ve read, studied and spent hours of time and energy writing papers. Now you’ve arrived at the culmination of all this effort: writing your thesis. There are plenty of compelling stories about the time and energy that students have spent drafting their dissertations and theses.

The good news is that you’re not alone. While you certainly don’t want to hire someone to write your thesis for you, which goes against most institution policies and puts your academic integrity at risk, you can get plenty of help with certain aspects of your thesis online. Whether you’re looking for a little guidance or extensive assistance, various services can make writing or editing your thesis go smoothly.

Dissertation Editor

One of the greatest challenges of writing your thesis can be juggling your family or job responsibilities with your studies. The time that writing takes can add another layer of obligation to your already-packed schedule. Dissertation Editor is a company whose founder is a PhD-educated writer and professor, and it promises to help you complete your thesis or dissertation on time and in compliance with your university’s rules and regulations.

phd in public health no dissertation

Dissertation Editor’s primary function is to guide you along in the writing process and provide a helping hand in understanding everything you need to take care of. It places you with a writer who specializes in your area of study, and this individual can help you organize and analyze your research while making sure that your thesis fits your writing style and personality. This company also specializes in helping with any statistical analysis that you use in your thesis.

Thesis Helpers

If you’re concerned about using a service to help you write your thesis because you think it’ll be obvious that you hired help, don’t worry. Thesis Helpers puts its team of experienced writers to work for you to help you craft a thesis that finishes your degree on a high note. No matter what level of help you need, from narrowing down a topic to advanced editing and proofreading, they’re available to help.

phd in public health no dissertation

The writers have advanced degrees in their areas of expertise, and one of the best things about Thesis Helpers is that it gives you ultimate say in the final product of your thesis. This company can help you with revisions and additional research, and you can rest assured that your thesis will meet anti-plagiarism standards.

Best Dissertation

Sometimes when you’re writing a thesis or dissertation, you can get stuck on one section or chapter. You may not need assistance writing the whole thing, but getting some help with the exact portion you’re struggling with can come in handy. That’s one of the strengths of using Best Dissertation . You don’t have to rely on it for help with your entire thesis if it’s not what you need.

phd in public health no dissertation

Like most of the top thesis-assistance services, Best Dissertation employs writers with advanced degrees who specialize in various fields of study. What truly sets this company apart is the live support that it offers any time of the day or night. It claims to take the stress and strain out of writing your dissertation or thesis.

While some companies place a premium on helping you get your thesis written, others emphasize the editing and proofreading process. If you don’t need help with writing but need a hand with proofreading and editing, Scribbr is a good option for you. Its editors can help you get a grasp on the grammar and tone that are appropriate for academic writing.

phd in public health no dissertation

Scribbr doesn’t just provide boilerplate feedback that you can find anywhere. It offers personalized feedback aimed at helping you become a better writer in the long run. You can even see examples of how its editors work by looking at the company’s website.

My Assignment Help

Writing a thesis has its own challenges that other academic writing simply doesn’t, which is why the team at My Assignment Help offers its particular brand of expertise. If you need assistance with a dissertation or thesis at the PhD or master’s level, its writers have the level of education and experience to help you write an expertly crafted and edited thesis.

phd in public health no dissertation

My Assignment Help prides itself on hiring subject matter experts, meaning you can pair up with a helper who already has an advanced degree in your field. They understand the nuances of academic writing that are specific to your area of study, and they can provide advice on everything from making your abstract more unique to crafting a thought-provoking conclusion.


phd in public health no dissertation

50 Best Doctorate Degree Online No Dissertation Programs – EdD, DBA, DNP, PsyD, PhD [2023 Edition]

Finish your doctoral program faster without a dissertation! Explore 50 doctorate degree online no dissertation programs: DBA, EdD, DNP, PhD, PsyD.

Doctorate Degree Online No Dissertation

In the past, the majority of doctoral programs always required students to write a dissertation.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

Now, instead of spending years working on a dissertation, a growing number of universities offer doctoral students an alternative to the dissertation process: a capstone project.

List of Doctorate Degrees without Dissertation Requirements

Here is a list of doctoral programs that don’t require a dissertation. Instead, you complete a capstone project or a doctoral study project.

Click on your desired field to see a complete list of programs:

  • Business A dministration
  • Co mputers & Information Technology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Homeland Security
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health

Like dissertations, capstone projects are a culmination of your education. They usually involve some original research or some type of applied practical knowledge in your field. It all depends on the school and program.

Be sure to check out the specializations available, as well as the particular requirements for each of these non dissertation PhD programs to be sure you select the one that will best suit you and help you achieve your goals.

Online Accounting Doctoral Programs

Accounting DBA no dissertation

The Doctor of Business Administration offers specializations in accounting and focuses on domestic and international managerial accounting.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , financial managers are in high demand with a mean salary of $134,180.

These accounting programs do not require a dissertation:

  • Online Doctor of Business Administration – Accounting
  • Online Doctor of Business Administration – Finance

In addition, the need for financial managers in leadership positions is growing by 17% over the next ten years. And if you’re interested in academia, the need for business educators is growing at the rate of 6% over the next ten years.

Online DBA Without Dissertation – Doctor of Business Administration

Business professionals walking

A Doctor of Business Administration is the highest academic degree program in the business world and is ideal for business professionals in corporations, the public sector, or academia.

Quite a few Online DBA concentrations are available without involving the dissertation process and associated research. Instead, you complete a capstone project or doctoral study project. These projects provide real-world learning and leadership opportunities.

An online DBA program focuses on advanced decision-making and leadership skills, integrating business theory and applied research. The capstone project or doctoral study project will relate to the specialization you have chosen and prepare you for that particular career path.

Most online DBA programs allow you to tailor your education by selecting the specialization that best suits your interests and aspirations.

No Dissertation DBA Programs:

  • Online DBA – Leadership
  • Online DBA – Project Management
  • Online DBA – General Business
  • Online DBA – Accounting
  • Online DBA – Finance
  • Online DBA – Human Resource Management
  • Online DBA – Supply Chain Management
  • Online DBA – Information Systems Management
  • Online DBA – International Business
  • Online DBA – Marketing
  • Online DBA – Entrepreneurship
  • Online DBA – Healthcare Management
  • Online DBA – Homeland Security
  • Online DBA – Social Impact Management
  • Online DBA – Technology Entrepreneurship
  • Online DBA – Energy Management

Whether you work full time as a business consultant or manager, as an entrepreneur, as a school administrator or in government, online PhD no dissertation programs like this can help you take your education – and your career in business – to the next level.

Online Doctorate in Computers & Information Technology

Computer Science managers inspecting server

A doctoral degree in computer information systems or information technology trains you for senior management roles in corporations, government agencies, and non-profits.

These IT programs don’t require a dissertation:

  • Online Doctor of Information Technology

The Doctor of Information Technology and the Doctor of Business Administration are applied doctorate degree programs.

These online doctorate programs can prepare you for top-level positions such as IT strategist, IS manager, chief information officer, or even college faculty member.

Online Doctorate in Criminal Justice Programs

phd in public health no dissertation

Earning your doctorate in criminal justice gives you the tools needed to analyze and operate in the social sciences in areas such as law and society, crime, policing, homeland security, and criminal behavior.

Criminal Justice programs are offered as follows:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Criminal Justice
  • Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Criminal Justice
  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Criminal Justice
  • Doctor of Management (DM) in Criminal Justice
  • Doctor of Criminal Justice (DCJ)

Of these five degree program types, the PhD in Criminal Justice is the most common. However, the other four types of doctorates are professional doctorates and are more likely to require a capstone project in place of the dissertation process.

Online Doctoral Programs in Education without Dissertation

Online Doctoral Programs in Education Without Dissertation

Having an advanced level degree in education can really set you apart and open new doors. That’s where Doctor of Education programs come into play.

More and more universities are now offering online doctoral programs in education without dissertation requirements, which means you may be able to complete the program sooner, without neglecting your other obligations, and without writing that massive research paper!

Unlike a PhD in Education which is heavily focused on research, a Doctor of Education (EdD) program is more focused on the real world practical application of knowledge. With the creation of the Carnegie Project for the Education Doctorate (CPED) which looks at EdD curriculum and its development, an increasing number of universities are adopting a more practical approach in their curriculum.

For this reason, Doctor of Education programs are starting to offer capstone projects (or similar applications) as an alternative to the lengthy, research-intensive dissertation process.

Online EdD Programs without Dissertation:

  • Online EdD – Educational Leadership & Administration
  • Online EdD – Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment
  • Online EdD – Reading, Literacy, & Assessment
  • Online EdD – Higher Education Leadership & Management
  • Online EdD – Community College Leadership
  • Online EdD – Educational Technology
  • Online EdD – Special Education
  • Online EdD – Early Childhood Education
  • Online EdD – Higher Education Leadership and Adult Learning

There are two main education doctorate options: a Ph.D. in Education and Doctor of Education (EdD). So which is the best choice?

A Ph.D. in Education is ideal for someone interested in academic and/or research positions in higher education, or in a corporate, military or government position. Unfortunately, this path does not have an online PhD without dissertation process. It is founded in research and theory, and you will be required to complete a traditional dissertation.

Doctor of Education programs, however, focus more on developments in the field and prepare you to work in a classroom or for a school district. Quite a few schools now offer online Ed.D. programs without dissertation programs.

If you are comparing online doctoral programs no dissertation, some of the specializations you may be able to choose from include:

  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Educational Administration and Leadership
  • Personalized and Competency-Based Instruction
  • Early Childhood
  • K-12 Studies
  • Special Education
  • Educational Technology
  • Higher Education Leadership

The University of Southern Mississippi, for example, offers a part-time, fully online EdD program that culminates in a capstone project in educational administration instead of a traditional dissertation process.

Southern Mississippi No Dissertation Doctorate

Be sure to select one of the degree programs and specializations that will work with your lifestyle and commitments, and help you achieve your long-term career goals.

Online Doctoral Programs in Finance

Financial managers downtown

The Doctor of Business Administration offers specializations in finance and focuses on international finance, entrepreneurial finance, law, and compliance.

These finance degree programs do not require a dissertation:

In addition, the need for financial managers is growing by 17% over the next ten years. And if you’re interested in academia, the need for business educators is growing at the rate of 6% over the next ten years.

Online Healthcare Administration Doctoral Programs

Healthcare administrators talking

The Doctor of Business Administration with a specialization in Healthcare Management provides advanced training in organizational leadership, professional management, and human resource development.

DBA in Healthcare Management degree programs will prepare you for senior-level leadership positions in the healthcare field.

No dissertation required:

Explore cutting-edge strategies in leadership and decision-making while gaining a deep understanding of both theory and practice.

Online Homeland Security Doctoral Programs

Criminal justice bachelors programs

With the global increase in terrorism and natural disasters, the need for homeland security leaders well-trained in crisis planning is on the rise.

The Doctor of Business Administration with a specialization in Homeland Security addresses global terrorism, risk analysis, policy challenges, organizational leadership, and emerging trends.

Does not require a dissertation:

Courses include an in-depth look into homeland security policies, homeland security business planning, and business infrastructure vulnerability analysis, among others.

Online Management Doctoral Programs

Phd in Management

A Doctor of Business Administration with a focus in management is designed to prepare you for strategic leadership. Not only will you develop advanced research skills, but you will also have the opportunity to learn new ways to address complex problems within your industry.

A Doctor of Business Administration is a professional doctorate that can help prepare you for high-level management positions in corporations, non-profits, or government agencies.

These degree programs don’t require a dissertation:

  • Online DBA – Leadership
  • Online DBA – Project Management
  • Online DBA – Supply Chain Management
  • Online DBA – Information Systems Management
  • Online DBA – Human Resource Management
  • Online DBA – Healthcare Management
  • Online DBA – Social Impact Management

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for management professionals is $109,760, which is the highest wage of all major occupation groups.

  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

DNP students

Instead of following a traditional dissertation process in your studies, you will complete a DNP practicum.

Nurses participating in the DNP program will learn to take evidence-based research and put it into practice to improve patient outcomes.

This DNP can be completed in as little as two years:

Leadership and innovation are also areas of focus to help encourage innovation and positive change in the healthcare system.

Online Doctor of Public Administration

Government workers in meeting

The Doctor of Public Administration is an applied doctorate that gives you the in-depth knowledge you need to lead effectively and help create positive change in non-profits, government agencies, or similar organizations.

Doctor of Public Administration degree programs can help prepare you for a career in academia or to work in the public, private, or non-profit sectors.

Does not require dissertation:

  • Online Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows high-demand in the field. For example, the need for social and community service managers will grow by 15% in the next ten years.

Online Public Health Doctoral Programs

Public health programs

The Doctor of Public Health is a professional doctorate degree intended for individuals already working in the field of public health.

The field is interdisciplinary and covers topics ranging from advocacy and marketing to communications and leadership.

A number of concentrations are available such as epidemiology and biostatistics.

Career options vary but can include health officer, health policy advisor, and community health director.

Online PsyD Programs Without a Dissertation

Online PsyD without dissertation

The Doctor of Psychology is a professional degree program that covers both Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology.

There are a few online PsyD programs that require no dissertation .

Some common fields of specialization include:

  • Behavioral Health Leadership
  • Behavioral Psychology
  • Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Couple or Family Therapy
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
  • Mental Illness
  • Neuropsychology

Instead of a dissertation, some PsyD programs (like Capella) allow you to complete a capstone project related to your field of specialization.

What is a Doctoral Dissertation?

A doctoral dissertation, the culmination of most doctoral degree programs, is a substantial written document in which the student uses the teachings and skills gleaned from the entire program to develop and discuss an original concept, theory or practice that will help advance the field.

Writing a dissertation is no easy feat! They are typically hundreds of pages long, and students work on them for over a year, reviewing research, conducting experiments and analyzing data.

Because this project is daunting, demanding, and often requires years of research, many universities have come up with alternatives that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and provide worthwhile contributions to their field without completing a traditional dissertation.

What Are All But Dissertation Completion Programs?

“All But Dissertation” (ABD) completion programs, also known as PhD completion programs, are designed to help students who have completed all the requirements of a doctoral degree program except the dissertation.

Quite often, students work diligently through the coursework of their doctoral program, but fall short when it comes to completing the required dissertation. In fact, only about 56% of those who start a doctoral degree program earn their doctorate or PhD within 10 years. Completing a dissertation is an enormous project that entails extensive research… and life, family, careers and other obligations sometimes get in the way.

For example, the Dissertation Completion Pathway (DCP) offered by National University is one example of a structured program that transfers credit for prior academic coursework and provides guidance and mentorship as you work to finish your dissertation. This type of program typically takes 2-3 years.

Is a Dissertation Required for a PhD?

Not always. In the past a dissertation was required for a PhD, but a growing number of institutions have started to offer online doctoral programs no dissertation.

Instead, students may complete a capstone project to demonstrate their knowledge and provide new contributions to the field. This may be a combination of a research paper and fieldwork, or perhaps you might do some consulting work at a functioning business. However, it most cases, it will require considerably less independent research than what is required for a dissertation.

Capstone projects vary from school to school, and program to program.

One of the benefits of non-dissertation doctorate degrees is that you can finish in less time. Check out our post on accelerated online doctoral programs for a deeper look.

Is Financial Aid Available for Online PhD Programs?

Financial Aid for Online PhD Programs

Yes, financial aid is available for online PhD programs.

Federal Financial Aid

First, you should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) , just like you did when you were an undergraduate student. This will open the door to federal grants and loans, as well as many other resources.

State Financial Aid

In addition to federal financial aid, almost 40 states offer student loan programs. Like Federal loans, the interest rates offered by most state programs are generally less than those charged by private student loan lenders. You can check out the individual State Financial Aid programs here.

Scholarships and Grants for Online Doctorate Programs

Additionally, online PhD and doctoral students are often eligible for grants, fellowships, and scholarships. These may be available through the school, large corporations, or professional associations that take your work experience into account.

Here are some helpful doctoral scholarship resources:

  • CollegeGrant Scholarships and Grants
  • College Scholarships for Doctoral Students
  • PhD Scholarships for Women
  • Graduate Scholarships

You can also check with the financial aid office at the university or college you choose to learn more about institutional funding and financial aid opportunities.

Can You Get a No Dissertation Doctorate Online?

Yes! A growing number of reputable, accredited colleges and universities offer non-dissertation doctorate programs. We’ve compiled a list of universities offering online doctorate degrees without dissertation requirements.

Universities Offering No Dissertation Online Doctorate Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

These programs can work around your existing obligations such as family or work commitments, and will allow you to advance in your career and contribute to your field in ways that don’t require a massive research paper and the massive amount of dissertation research that goes along with it!

Are There Any PhD Programs Without Dissertation Requirements?

Yes, there are quite a few doctoral programs without dissertation requirements, but PhD programs without dissertation requirements are few and far between. In these cases, instead of the dissertation most commonly used in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program, a capstone project is required to help you put your new-found skills to good use.

In the past, dissertations were required so that you could demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in your field. But universities have started to realize that there are quite a few ways you can do that.

As you can see with the online DBA programs , a few colleges are no longer requiring dissertations. They allow you to complete a doctoral capstone project instead. No, it’s not technically a dissertation. But you do prove that you have acquired a high level of expertise in your field of study.

Higher education is continuing to change at a rapid pace. As another example, a number of PhD programs without GRE requirements are appearing.

How Many Credits Do PhD Programs Require?

Most PhD programs require between 54 and 90 credit hours. That’s between 18 and 30 courses. That is a huge range! This is true for both campus-based PhD programs and online PhD programs.

Let’s look at one of National University’s online programs as an example. The online DBA in Accounting is 54 credit hours and consists of 18 courses (most courses are 3 credit hours).

In contrast, if you attend a state university campus program like the University of Illinois , the PhD in Business requires 64 credit hours (around 21 courses), provided you already have your master’s degree.

Are There Any EdD Programs Without dissertation?

EdD Programs Without dissertation

Yes, there are a number of EdD programs without dissertation research papers. Here is a list of Ed.D. concentrations / specializations without a dissertation requirement: Online Doctor of Education list .

Are There Any Online Educational Administration Doctorate Degrees with No Dissertation required?

Yes! You can get a without completing a dissertation: Online EdD – Educational Leadership & Administration

Do All Doctoral Programs Require a Dissertation?

No. A wide-range of doctoral programs do not have a dissertation. Instead, graduate schools allow you to complete a capstone project which focuses on solving a real-world problem.

You can also earn your doctorate through an accredited online program if you don’t want to attend on campus.

Is a PhD Program Without a Dissertation Respected?

A dissertation allows students the opportunity to demonstrate expertise in their field of study through extensive research and an associated dissertation research paper.

In certain fields, a dissertation will be the measure of quality. This is true for academia should you ever want to be a tenured professor at Harvard. But if that’s not your goal, doctoral programs in higher education, leadership, or business administration are reputable – provided you earn your doctorate from a graduate school with regional accreditation.

Can I Get an Online Doctorate Degree Without a dissertation?

Yes. There are dozens of online doctorate degrees with no dissertation being offered from accredited universities. The most common doctoral degree programs are the Doctor of Education, Doctor of Business Administration, Doctor of Psychology, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Are There Any 18 month Doctorate with No Dissertation Programs?

Yes. Some online PhD no dissertation programs can be completed in as little as 18 to 24 months.

To finish in a short time like this, you will need to be enrolled full time and progressing through your courses successfully. You will also need your capstone project to be approved in a timely manner. Again, in order to complete your doctorate in less than 18 months, you’ll need to enroll in a PhD without thesis or dissertation requirement.

Are There Any PhD Without Dissertation Programs Online?

PhD Without Dissertation Programs Online

Yes, a number of universities offer online doctoral degree programs without dissertation to help working professionals juggle full time jobs with their studies. We’ve compiled a list of them above. As more universities offer no dissertation doctorates, we will update the list.

It’s worth noting that while these programs do not require traditional dissertations, there will usually be a research project (usually known as a Capstone) through which you demonstrate what you have learned. Each program should detail the capstone experience requirements and the opportunities you will have while enrolled.

You can complete your program as a full time, working professional from the comfort of your own home!

phd in public health no dissertation

Best Online Doctorate Degree No Dissertation Programs

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www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Have you always wanted to get a Ph.D., but the thought of writing a whole dang book makes your stomach turn? Forget about it. We've discovered 15 quality online doctorates that don't require a dissertation .

Our collection of no-dissertation doctorates spans subjects and industries, so there is something here for everyone — whatever your career goals might be.

Featured Online Doctorate Degrees

Enroll in your favorite program today; folks will call you “Doctor” before you know it.

What Doctorate Degrees Do Not Have Dissertation Requirements?

Degree programs in professional fields often focus on practical skills and real-world experience over strictly academic research . But that doesn't mean a no-dissertation degree program is for slouches.

They still include rigorous coursework, field experience, exams, and other assessments (like capstone projects or research papers) to ensure students become true experts in their fields.

Check out these 15 doctoral programs:

  • Business Administration
  • Business Management
  • Computers and Information Technology
  • Criminal Justice and Legal
  • Education and Teaching
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Nursing and Healthcare
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health
  • Science and Engineering

1. Accounting Degrees

Learn about accounting, auditing, taxation, and business law in an online accounting program . Many accounting doctorates culminate in a capstone project, which may include working directly with a client.

An accounting doctorate opens the door for in-demand finance careers like financial manager, budget analyst, and tax examiner.

Featured Online Accounting Doctorate Programs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that finance occupations will grow by 7% from 2021-2031. The median wage for finance occupations was $76,570 per year in May 2021.

2. Doctorate in Business Administration Degrees

An online doctorate in business administration (DBA) is a smart move for anyone aiming for an executive position in corporate management . A DBA's focus is organizational and tactical: Common specializations include finance, marketing, and management. You'll likely complete an internship and a capstone project in your chosen specialization.

Featured Online Business Administration Doctorate Programs

There's a lot of money to be made with a DBA. Finance managers , for example, made a median annual salary of $131,710 in May 2021 (BLS).

3. Doctorate in Business Management Degrees

A doctorate in business management focuses on leadership and strategy. You'll learn to analyze market trends, find growth opportunities, and develop a long-term vision for your company.

Capstone projects typically include a real-world problem that requires the practical application of high-level business management concepts. Graduates often become executives, management consultants, and entrepreneurs.

Featured Online Business Management Doctorate Programs

The median wage for management occupations was $102,450 in May 2021 (BLS) This was the highest of all major occupation groups. The BLS reports that marketing managers made a median of $133,380 in the same year.

4. Doctorate in Computers and Information Technology

A doctorate in computers and information technology program (DCIT) focuses on advanced computer and information technology topics. Examples include data structures, algorithms, and artificial intelligence. Other topics you'll study are machine learning and cybersecurity.

Even non-dissertation DCIT degrees require a major research project. Graduates can work in academia, research, and high-level industry roles.

Featured Online Computers & Information Technology Doctorate Programs

People with a DCIT can apply for some of the highest-paying jobs. In May 2021, computer and information systems managers earned a median annual salary of $159,010 (BLS).

5. Online Doctoral in Criminal Justice and Legal Degrees

A doctorate in criminal justice prepares you for leadership roles in law enforcement, policy, the government, or the private sector. You'll study public policy, criminal justice, and behavioral psychology. Other study topics include research methods and statistics.

Instead of a dissertation, you may need to complete a research paper, portfolio, case study, or exam.

Featured Online Criminal Justice and Legal Doctorate Programs

Doctoral graduates may become professors, police chiefs, public policy directors, or forensic scientists. The median annual salary for police and detective supervisors in May 2021 was $99,330 (BLS).

6. Online Doctorate in Education and Teaching Degrees

Earn a doctorate in education or educational leadership to compete for advanced leadership roles in education. You can become a principal, superintendent, dean, or university department chair.

These rigorous programs cover topics like educational leadership, psychology, and research methods. They also cover curriculum design and education policy.

Featured Online Education and Teaching Doctorate Programs

In May 2021, university administrators made a median salary of $96,910 per year (BLS), and secondary school principals made a median annual salary of $98,420 (BLS).

7. Online Doctorate in Finance Degrees

In a doctorate in finance program, you'll master topics like advanced finance theory, international and corporate finance, and econometrics. The curriculum will also cover global markets, value creation management, and investment analysis. You can apply this rigorous training to top executive roles, like chief financial officer (CFO).

Featured Online Finance Doctorate Programs

Advanced finance expertise can lead to high-paying jobs. According to the BLS, CFOs in manufacturing or technical services earned over $208,000 per year as of May 2021.

8. Online Healthcare Administration Doctorate Degrees

An online doctoral degree in healthcare administration prepares you for top administrative roles in healthcare . You'll learn to set policies, ensure legal compliance, and manage budgets. The degree will also prepare you to improve outcomes and make strategic organizational decisions.

A non-dissertation capstone project may require you to design and implement real-life solutions for a local healthcare organization.

Featured Online Healthcare Administration Doctorate Programs

With this degree, you'll qualify for high-level positions like hospital CEO, CFO, or medical and health services manager . The latter role earned a median annual salary of $101,340 in May 2021, as per the BLS.

9. Online Doctorate in Liberal Arts and Humanities

If you just really love learning and teaching, a doctorate in liberal arts and humanities might be a good fit for you. There are several online English , history, art, theology, and philosophy programs to choose from.

Advanced liberal arts graduates often pursue academic careers, though your robust research and critical thinking skills will serve you well in any industry.

Featured Online Liberal Arts Doctorate Programs

Outside of academia, liberal arts doctorate-holders can find rewarding careers in just about every field, as journalists and writers, marketers and managers, analysts, and administrators.

10. Online Management Doctorate Degrees

A doctor of management degree (DM) expands your research, analysis, and leadership skills. You'll learn to respond strategically to complex organizational challenges and opportunities. A DM can help you secure leadership positions in the education, industry, and government sectors.

Graduates can secure executive and C-suite roles like director of operations and chief operating officer.

Featured Online Management Doctorate Programs

According to the BLS, the median pay for management occupations was $102,450 in May 2021. Chief executives earned even more: a median annual salary of $179,520 in the same year (BLS).

11. Online Doctorate in Nursing Practice and Healthcare (DNP)

A DNP is a clinically focused doctorate for nurses who want to continue working with patients as advanced practice registered nurses or who want to qualify for senior leadership roles.

As demand for highly skilled healthcare providers continues to rise, DNP graduates will likely find themselves in a strong position in the job market.

Featured Online Nursing Practice and Healthcare Doctorate Programs

DNP graduates who specialized as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, or nurse practitioners earned a median annual salary of $123,780 in May 2021 (BLS).

12. Online Doctorate of Public Administration

An online doctorate of public administration prepares you to create and shape policy for organizations and industries. You'll study organizational structures, management and governance, ethics, and social justice. Coursework will also cover different program and policy evaluation methods.

You can then pursue public policy roles like nonprofit executive director, city manager, policy analyst, or government affairs officer.

Featured Online Public Administration Doctorate Programs

In May 2021, the median annual pay for social and community service managers was $74,000 (BLS). Top executives in the social assistance sector made a median of $154,650 in the same year.

13. Online Public Health Doctorate Degrees

Get an online doctorate in public health if you want the expertise needed to protect and advance your community's health. You'll study subjects such as environmental health, biostatistics, and epidemiology. Other topics include health policy and behavioral science.

You can use this knowledge to qualify for various research, policy, and practice positions in public health.

Featured Online Public Health Doctorate Programs

Common careers for doctors of public health include biostatistician, professor, health and safety engineer, and epidemiologist. According to the BLS, health and safety engineers earned a median annual salary of $99,040 in May 2021.

14. Online Doctorate in Psychology

A doctorate in psychology opens the door to niche clinical positions that offer high pay, more responsibility, and more opportunities to make a meaningful impact on your clients and community.

In an online program, you'll explore practice ethics, research methods, and human development before focusing on a specialization.

Featured Online Psychology Doctorate Programs

Your advanced degree can help you become a clinical psychologist, professor, or industrial psychologist. The BLS reports that industrial psychologists earned a median salary of $105,310 per year in May 2021.

15. Online Doctorate in Science and Engineering

A Ph.D. in science and engineering can help STEM professionals land high-expertise roles in research and development, academia, the government, and industry.

Specialized doctoral programs like chemical engineering or industrial engineering may require a capstone project or technical report. During these projects, you'll investigate an engineering-related problem and propose innovative solutions.

Featured Online Science and Engineering Doctorate Programs

Graduates secure cool jobs as research scientists, engineering managers, professors, and product development engineers. In May 2021, engineering managers made a median yearly salary of $152,350 (BLS).

Frequently Asked Questions About Doctorate Programs With No Dissertation

Can you get a ph.d. without a dissertation.

You sure can. Several Ph.D. programs (especially those with practical business applications) accept a capstone project, research paper, or exams instead of a dissertation.

Are doctoral programs without a dissertation available online?

Yes, many doctoral programs without a dissertation requirement are available online, providing more flexibility and cost savings.

Are online Ph.D. programs eligible for financial aid?

Of course! Prospective online Ph.D. students can qualify for financial aid , including public and private loans, grants, scholarships, and reduced tuition.

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Best Doctorate Degree Online No Dissertation

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Best Online Doctorate Degree No Dissertation

Some doctoral programs require you to be on-campus. Many other degree programs are entirely online. Others involve mostly online studies with a few campus visits.

And while some doctorate degrees online require a traditional dissertation, many other programs don’t. This means you can get your doctorate online and without a dissertation requirement.

What is Required Instead of a Dissertation?

Many online PhD programs include capstone projects (which are also known as a doctoral research project or a dissertation in practice) in lieu of traditional dissertations. A summative project like a capstone project or dissertation in practice puts your learning to the test. You solve real-world problems using the knowledge and skills you’ve gained during your studies.

To say that these are easy PhD programs might be a misnomer, but they are certainly the easiest PhD to get. A dissertation alone can take years to prepare for; without such a requirement, these online programs are easier and less time-consuming than many of your other options.

Why You Should Get a Doctorate

Getting an easy doctorate degree online is a great way to advance your career, build new skills, and acquire new knowledge. These doctoral programs are easier than on-campus, traditional dissertation-based doctorate degree programs. However, they still represent an academic challenge. These doctoral degrees without dissertation enable you to become a well-rounded student and more prepared for your chosen field of work.

Which Doctorate Should You Get?

Which online doctorate programs should you pursue? If you Google “the best doctorate degree online no dissertation,” you’ll get many results from various fields, including:

  • nursing practice
  • business administration
  • public administration
  • health care

But sifting through all those results for doctoral programs can be laborious and confusing. So, we’ll do it for you!

Below is a ranking of some of the easiest PhD programs online. These online doctoral programs represent some of the best options currently available. You can find an easy doctorate program online, no matter your area of interest. You can even find an 18 month doctorate without dissertation!

Many of these online doctoral programs allow transfer credits. You can shorten the time needed to complete the doctoral degree program by transferring credits. Likewise, many of the higher education programs listed below are quite affordable, so you can get the doctorate you want while also saving money.

Online Schools Report’s Methodology for Ranking the Best PhD Without Dissertation

The online doctorate programs listed below weren’t just randomly chosen from a Google search. Instead, each doctorate degree online meets a set of criteria that we use to determine the best options available for you. Our methodology includes several factors, including:

  • online program criteria
  • ancillary services
  • school criteria

Let’s explore each doctoral degree online no dissertation in more detail.

Online Program Criteria

The largest component of our ranking methodology is program criteria. It is worth 50 percent of the total score.

When evaluating doctoral programs online with no traditional dissertation, we consider the following critical questions:

  • Is the doctoral program 100 percent online? If not, how much of the program can be completed remotely? If campus visits are required, how long are those visits, and how frequent?
  • What methods are used to deliver the program? Is it synchronous or asynchronous? Is the online experience intuitive and easy to use? Are there flexible due dates?
  • Do the doctorate degree programs have good retention rates? What are the graduation rates like? How long does the program take? Is there an  18-month doctorate without dissertation option?

Using these and other program-related criteria, we can determine the value of an online doctoral program and rank it accordingly.

What Services are Provided?

Another important factor in determining the best online doctoral degree programs to list here is the ancillary services that the doctoral program offers.

For example, online doctoral programs with career services programs, job placement services, and tutoring are ranked higher than online programs that don’t.

Likewise, doctorate degree programs that offer “extras,” like internship placements or practicum placements in or near your hometown, get more points. These programs offer more value than those requiring you to do an internship at a location of their choosing.

Some doctoral programs even offer one-on-one learning. This benefits distance learners because you can work directly with a professor or mentors and discuss concepts you might need help mastering. It’s nice to have that one-on-one time with a professor to pick their brain, ask questions, and build rapport as well.

In other words, this component, which is worth 30 percent of the total score, is all about the flexibility a program offers.

Additionally, the services provided indicate the support you can expect during your learning experience.

School Criteria

The final 20 percent of our score for the easiest PhD degree programs is related to school criteria. This component relates to:

  • Institutional accreditation
  • The breadth and depth of the curriculum
  • The school’s acceptance rates
  • The experience level of the school’s professors

These are but a few examples. However, you can see how accredited schools with a high percentage of professors with a terminal degree would be ranked higher than a similar program that lacks both criteria.

Additional Criteria

Additionally, we narrowed our list down by selecting doctoral degree programs that meet the following criteria:.

  • Positive reviews from students
  • Offers a variety of online doctoral degree programs
  • Offers some form of field experience, be that job shadowing, practicum, internship, or clinical experience.
  • Offers an easy-to-use online learning portal

Additional Methodology Details

So, keep this methodology in mind as we explore some of the best doctoral degree online no dissertation. More details about this methodology are available here as well.

Note that these degree programs tick more of these boxes than most other online doctoral programs. This means they might provide you with a more well-rounded higher education.

Also note that the rankings below of the doctoral degree programs are in random order. Doing so allows you to determine which of these doctoral programs is a good fit without the distraction of numerical rankings to influence your choices.

Ranking the Best PhD Without Dissertation

Doctor of education in learning and organizational change, baylor university.

Baylor University offers this PhD program with a focus on educational leadership. The result is a Doctor of Education. This doctoral program aims to help doctoral students understand how to manage organizational change. This is done using the processes of teaching and learning.

Designed for education professionals, this is a top choice among online doctorate programs. It’s for teachers, administrators, and other educators who want a more prominent role in leading and managing school systems.

Likewise, this doctoral degree program prepares you to lead change-making in:

  • government agencies
  • businesses and corporations
  • non-profit organizations

If you want online doctoral programs in education without dissertation, this is a great option.


This is a practitioner-oriented doctoral degree program. This means you put what you learn about educational leadership into practice.

For example, you’ll take nine credits of learning foundations courses. There are 24 credits of organizational change courses. There are also nine credits of research methods courses. Then, you’ll put it all together at the end of your studies. Using the knowledge and skills you’ve gained about educational leadership, you’ll work on a Problem of Practice (PoP) and Capstone project.

The PoP experience challenges you to consider your professional experiences. You’ll explore what you’ve learned about educational leadership. You’ll consider how you can use your experience and learning to make measurable organizational change.

Program Features

  • Weekly online courses provide you with guided learning opportunities and group discussions. Courses are delivered via video. You can interact with your professors and classmates in a real-time, face-to-face digital environment.
  • On-campus immersion experiences are held twice during the program. These experiences give you and other doctoral students much-needed collaborative time to work on skill-building and knowledge-building about educational leadership.


Baylor University is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges .

Get more information about Baylor’s Online Doctor of Education Program in Learning and Organizational Change .

Doctor of nursing practice, bradley university.

Bradley University offers this online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). It’s a top option in terms of the easiest doctorate to get.

Bradley University has three different doctoral program tracks to make it more accessible for students.

This doctoral degree program is for nurses interested in family practice. You need a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from a regionally accredited college or university to apply. Likewise, the BSN must be from a nursing program accredited by either:

This track is for nurses with a master of science in nursing (MSN) from an NLNAC, ACEN, or CCNE-accredited program. If you’re interested in learning the administrative part of healthcare and want to take on a leadership role within a healthcare organization, this is the track for you.

Psychiatric Mental Health NP

The psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner track is a great option if psychiatry interests you. You’ll learn therapeutic treatments, advanced nursing practice, and improve your psychological communication skills. You need a BSN from an NLNAC, ACEN, or CCNE-accredited program to apply.

Regardless of which track you choose, you’ll learn from outstanding faculty with years of real-world nursing practice experience.

The program also takes a student-centered approach. You have access to Bradley’s learning tools and resources. You also get individualized attention that helps make your online studies a success. The emphasis on student support, working collaboratively with other doctoral students and professors, and the flexibility of choosing your preceptors for fieldwork are further reasons why this is on our list of easy doctorate degrees.

The Higher Learning Commission  accredits Bradley University. It’s recognized  by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional universities in the midwest.

Additionally, this Doctor of Nursing Practice doctoral degree online (DNP program) is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education .

Get more information about Bradley’s Online Doctor of Nursing Practice .

Doctor of Criminal Justice


Northcentral University

Northcentral University offers this doctoral program. It’s likely to show up when searching for “what is the easiest doctorate degree?” There are many reasons for this.

First, the program is online. There is no residency requirement. There are no on-campus visits required.

Second, this online doctoral program doesn’t require GRE or GMAT scores. You can forgo those testing experiences, keep a little money in your pocket, and begin your studies faster. Of course, you must meet other admissions criteria (like already having a master’s degree). There’s no traditional dissertation process or dissertation in practice required, either!

Third, Northcentral University’s program is in a one-to-one format. You get individualized attention, guidance, and support to help you make your way through the program. This also means you can begin the program at virtually any time. You have the flexibility to start your studies when it works best for you.

Credits and Timeline

You’ll complete 18 courses worth 54 credit hours for this professional doctorate. You’ll need 45 months to meet these course requirements. This timeline might be reduced or expanded depending on your specific needs.

Coursework adapts to your interests as well. For example, this online PhD program offers specializations in:

  • Organizational Leadership
  • Homeland Security
  • Public Administration

Whichever specialization you select, you’ll explore many different topics.

Sample Courses:

  • Criminal justice
  • Management and budgeting
  • Civil and criminal liability
  • Public safety

By completing doctorate degree programs like this, you set yourself up for career advancement in criminal justice.

For example, if you’re already a law enforcement officer, this degree could help you become a detective or criminal investigator. Likewise, if you work for a federal agency like the FBI, you could get a doctoral degree online and get a promotion to Special Agent in Charge. 

Other Possible Career Tracks:

  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Immigration and Customs Inspector
  • First-Line Supervisor
  • Compliance Manager
  • Loss Prevention Manager
  • Sheriff or Sheriff Deputy
  • Police Detective

Northcentral University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission .

Get more information about Northcentral University’s Doctor of Criminal Justice Online .

Doctor of business administration, walden university.

This Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree is offered entirely online by Walden University. It’s a top choice among online doctoral programs without dissertation.

One of the best features of this doctoral program is that there are many different options you can use to customize your learning experience.

Multiple Degree Tracks

For example, there are no less than 16 individual tracks from which you can choose, including:

  • International Business
  • Social Impact Marketing
  • Global Supply Chain Management
  • Energy Management

Of course, more traditional tracks like accounting, finance, marketing, and leadership are also available.

Capstone Project Possibilities

In addition to these specializations, you also get to choose among three capstone project options. These include:

  • Traditional doctoral study

This allows you to pursue higher education in a manner that’s right for your interests and needs. A traditional doctoral study might be preferable for some doctoral students, particularly if they already have experience in research or higher education.

But for other students, a portfolio capstone project that reviews the knowledge and skills gained throughout the program might be preferable. Likewise, the consulting track allows you to get real-world experience working as a consultant, which you could then use to land a consulting job upon graduation.

Leadership Focus

In addition to focusing on specialized tracks and capstone projects, this program puts leadership and management skills front and center. You’ll learn how to think critically, become an excellent problem solver, and you’ll acquire the communication skills needed to be an effective leader in business administration.

Yet another factor that makes this a desirable program is that you can transfer up to 17 credits. So, if you’ve started your doctoral studies elsewhere, you might be able to move those credits to Walden and reduce the amount of time needed to finish your doctoral degree.

Upon enrolling in this program, you get access to many doctoral studies resources from Walden University. This includes access to a writing center that will help you develop your written communication skills.

Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission .

Get more information about Walden University’s Online Doctor of Business Administration .

Doctor of physical therapy, arcadia university.

If you wish to continue your higher education in physical therapy, Arcadia University’s online Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a good option.

This doctoral program is not entirely online. But, the bulk of it is remote. Over six semesters, you’ll complete 110 credit hours. This includes coursework in:

  • Differential Diagnosis and Intervention
  • Integrated Patient Management
  • Management and Leadership Principles in a PT Settings
  • Exposure to Physical Therapy in a Health Care System

There are immersion experiences and clinical rotations as well.

Immersion Experience Details

Immersion experiences bring the cohort together on campus. These experiences allow you to study alongside your classmates and learn from professors in a real-world environment. They also let you practice the skills you’ve learned while using therapy equipment in a lab setting.

Additionally, there are 32 weeks of clinical practice. During practice, you’ll put what you’ve learned to the test in various settings.

For example, you’ll work in different clinical situations, with different patients, and with different supervisors. This gives you a complete picture of what it’s like to work as a physical therapist. This arrangement also allows you to practice your skills. You’ll get feedback on your work from multiple supervisors.

On top of all these features and benefits, this program is one of the top-ranked physical therapy degree programs in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Arcadia University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education as well.

Get more information about Arcadia University’s Online Doctor of Physical Therapy .

Doctor of education in curriculum and instruction, university of wyoming.

This program is from the University of Wyoming. The EdD program in Curriculum and Instruction is 100 percent online. As part of your studies in this Doctor of Education program, you’ll take various curriculum design and instructional practice courses. This might include:

  • Learning and cognition
  • Action research
  • Curriculum development
  • Diversity in education
  • Educational leaders as communicators
  • Educational leaders as change agents

What is an Applied Program?

Unlike many doctoral programs, this is an applied program. It’s also a PhD no dissertation option. So, rather than traditional PhD studies with a research-based dissertation process, this program includes problem-based research, curriculum design activities, and field experiences. These experiences give you practical experience in curriculum and instruction.

You’ll complete a dissertation in practice. A dissertation in practice involves working on a highly complex education-related problem. You must solve the problem using innovative, research-based solutions. You have the option of working with:

  • public schools
  • private schools
  • community-based educational organizations

You can also worth with other learning facilities to complete the dissertation in practice.

In-Person Option

While this is a 100 percent online doctoral program (which uses blended delivery methods like video conferencing, audio conferencing, and web chats), you have the option of attending courses on campus in Laramie, Wyoming, if you so choose.

Faculty members for the online courses are the same as for online courses. Whether you study online or make your way to Laramie, you’ll get the same high-quality higher education.

Other features of this education doctorate no dissertation include:

  • the availability of assistantships on campus
  • the ability to pursue a minor in a different field
  • the opportunity to participate in high-tech teaching at the University of Wyoming Shell 3-D Visualization Center

At the Shell 3-D Visualization Center, faculty members engage in designing immersive learning experiences for students.

The University of Wyoming is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission .

Get more information about the University of Wyoming’s Online Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction .

Doctor of leadership, andrews university.

Do you have a few years of work experience? Do you want to enhance your skills and abilities? The online Doctor of Leadership degree from Andrews University might be a good fit.

This is a project-focused doctoral program. There is no dissertation process or dissertation in practice requirement for this higher education leadership program.

Instead, you complete a final capstone project. A capstone project aims to meet competencies and use data to inform your decision-making process.

Hybrid Program

This is a hybrid program. Most work is remote. However, there is also a yearly visit required. The first visit is an orientation. Subsequent visits to campus are for an annual leadership conference. You’ll have roundtable discussions with your classmates and others in the leadership field during the conference.

One of the advantages of this program is that it’s short. There are 16 courses required for graduation. This is in addition to the doctoral project described above.

Andrews University works with you to build a learning program for your specific needs. You develop a plan of study that helps you meet your educational needs and achieve your career goals.

Other Features

  • The ability to develop your own specialty
  • Opportunities to learn from leaders from around the world
  • A portfolio creation process with professional artifacts that are valuable when applying for jobs

This 54-credit program is shorter if you transfer applicable credits. This could make it one of the shortest doctoral programs on this list.

Andrews University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission .

Get more information about Andrews University’s Online Doctor of Leadership .

Doctor of public administration.

Northcentral University’s online Doctor of Public Administration degree is one of the best PhD degree programs for working adults. This doctoral degree is 100 percent online. It’s a one-on-one learning format.

In other words, you can begin your degree when it’s right for you. Then, you can pursue your studies based on your schedule. You can continue working in your full-time job without school getting in the way.

Like other easy doctorates from Northcentral, this program doesn’t have a residency requirement. There isn’t a dissertation process or a dissertation in practice. In fact, there is no group work required. Instead, you can work at your own pace to get a doctoral degree and advance your career.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learning how to formulate solutions to public policy issues at home and abroad
  • Developing an understanding of how to contribute to the field of research in public administration
  • Evaluating ethical issues and other problems in public organizations
  • Creating strategies for improving organizations through evidence-based research
  • Developing an understanding of the values that drive public administration

Additionally, you’ll learn about administrative law, principles of organization, and public management theory. The learning experiences in this program are many. They prepare to take the next step in your career.

Prepare for a Future Career or More Education

These outcomes are applicable in many areas of public administration. You might use this degree to advance to a higher position in your current workplace. You might also use it to find new employment at the management or executive level of:

  • corporations
  • state agencies
  • federal agencies
  • non-profits

This doctoral program includes 18 courses. You can finish in less than four years – all while continuing to work in your current job.

As a fully online, accredited program, the Doctor of Public Administration degree is a good option if you want a way to advance your career on your own terms.

Northcentral University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission . Accreditation is important to ensure that you’re getting the best possible education and that the learning outcomes are aligned with industry standards.

Get more information including scholarship and financial aid for Northcentral University’s Online Doctor of Public Administration .

Doctor of health administration, capella university.

Are you passionate about making positive changes in the healthcare system? The online doctoral program in healthcare administration from Capella University is worth a look!

This program includes multiple areas of specialty. You can tailor your learning to a specific area about which you are passionate.

General Health Administration

This is a good option if you want to become a health care leader. It has a focus on problem-solving and communication. Additional focuses are on collaboration and ethics.

Health Care Leadership

This track focuses on developing 21st-century leadership skills. You’ll also gain financial management skills and research skills. Together, this enables you to evaluate and interpret health care data.

Health Care Quality and Analytics

This option guides you in learning how to use analytics to improve patient outcomes. You’ll also learn how to increase the effectiveness of health care organizations and shape health care systems.

Health Policy and Advocacy

Studies in this track assist future health care professionals in developing skills needed to make organizational changes at the executive level that will positively impact patients’ lives.

A unique feature of this doctoral program is that it has an integrated capstone project and practicum experience.

Rather than completing a dissertation, you work with professors to solve a real-life health care organization problem in your capstone project. At the same time, you gain real-world experience by completing a practicum in a health care setting. Combined with a capstone project, this gives you excellent real-world experience before graduating.

If you’ve already begun doctoral studies in this field, you might be able to transfer up to 18 of those credits to apply towards this doctoral degree.

Capella University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission .

Get more information about Capella University’s Online Doctor of Health Administration .

Doctor of public health, university of south florida.

The Doctor of Public Health online program from the University of South Florida is broad-based. It focuses on advanced education and training in public health.

Specifically, this doctoral program concentrates on the leadership roles you’ll be qualified for after completing this program. This can lead to employment in a wide range of settings, including:

  • Health departments
  • Community-based health organizations
  • Non-profit organizations
  • International agencies

To prepare you for competent practice, you’ll explore many topics. You’ll take courses related to lab management, global health assessment, and biocomputing, among others.

Throughout your course of study, you’ll develop advanced expertise in evidence-informed public health practice.

This is a hybrid program. This means that most courses are remote. But there is also an on-campus learning requirement. This on-campus experience includes three institutes. They allow you to collaborate with classmates and learn together in a real-life campus environment.

By mixing in-person learning with online learning, you can get the bulk of your studies done from home. However, you can still reap the rewards that in-person learning offers to students.

Another flexible feature of this doctoral program is the chance to choose from two tracks. You can select the Advanced Practice Leadership in Public Health option or choose the Public Health and Clinical Laboratory Science and Practice option.

Either way, it’s a doctorate degree without dissertation. However, there is a doctoral project requirement that you complete in the field. This involves the delivery of three evidence-based outcomes as part of the project.

The University of South Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges .

Get more information about the University of South Florida’s Online Doctor of Public Health .

Doctor of education in policy and leadership, american university.

This online EdD program from American University focuses on helping you develop the skills to be a leader and change-maker in the educational system.

In addition to allowing you to learn about educational theory, this doctoral program also emphasizes practice experience. The combination of the two enables you to lead the charge to change the American educational system for the better, and for all students.

Areas of Focus

You can use this doctoral degree to narrow your practical application of knowledge to one of many areas, including:.

  • Policymaking
  • Educational instruction
  • Organizational leadership
  • Strategic budgeting
  • Talent management
  • Collaborative inquiry

Additionally, you’ll take courses that help build skills related to:

  • social justice
  • systems change
  • personal leadership
  • educational research

This Doctor of Education program involves 40 credit hours of study. The coursework takes less than three years to complete. The bulk of the program is online. However, there are three required campus visits. There is one visit each in the first, fourth, and sixth terms of the program.

Like some of the other options on this list, this EdD program is cohort-based. This gives you the chance to build personal and professional relationships with your classmates over the course of the program. American University strives to create diverse cohorts that provide a rich learning environment.

Some of the courses are synchronous, meaning they are offered online and live at a certain time. Other courses are asynchronous and self-paced. This is a big bonus if you have work and family obligations. You can complete the self-paced courses as time allows. This makes this program a prime choice for an online doctorate no dissertation.

American University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education .

Get more information about American University’s Online Doctor of Education in Policy and Leadership .

Doctor of psychology, southern california university.

Southern California University’s Doctor of Psychology program is for students with a bachelor’s degree. Likewise, if you have a master’s degree in psychology or a related field, this is the program for you.

This program allows you to extend your studies. You can develop a higher level of skills related to clinical practice.

This 4-5 year program. Courses prepare you to meet the requirements for licensure as a clinical psychologist.

This program includes courses related to:

  • Advanced theories of personality
  • Ethical and professional issues
  • Physiological psychology
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Psychological assessment

In addition to these required core courses, you’ll take various elective courses. These classes are in your areas of interest as part of this doctoral program. Possible courses include sports psychology, the psychology of learning, and brief therapy, just to name a few.

But this program isn’t just about classroom learning. Instead, you also have the opportunity to participate in supervised clinical experiences. These experiences enable you to apply what you’ve learned to real-world clinical settings.

Rather than completing a lengthy dissertation, this program culminates with a doctoral project. The project is a practical application of your knowledge and skills. So, unlike a PhD, which focuses on research, this Doctor of Psychology program is much more focused on applying your learning in a clinical setting.

  • Understanding appropriate communication skills for working with a variety of clients
  • Understanding how social and cultural institutions influence each clients’ worldview
  • Understanding how to design evidence-based treatment plans
  • Understanding how to design psychometric assessments that are solidly based in proper theory
  • Understanding how to study advanced psychological concepts

This program is 66 credits. It takes most students about four or five years to complete. However, California Southern University allows up to 30 transfer credits to speed up the process.

Likewise, you can take more classes each semester to shorten the timeline. Having that kind of flexibility is extremely valuable for any student. This is especially so if you have work or family obligations.

In addition to offering this easy doctorate degree online, California Southern University is also fully accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission .

Get more information about California Southern University’s Online Doctor of Psychology .

Doctor of education in leadership for educational equity, university of colorado – denver.

This EdD program from the University of Colorado at Denver is cohort-based. You’ll study with the same group of students throughout the program.

You have additional flexibility because the program comes in a three-year or five-year format. It’s a great option if you currently work full-time.

This EdD program is specifically for people with experience as educators. The concentration of this program is on higher education.  You’ll gain the tools necessary to affect positive changes in higher education settings.

Rather than working on a traditional dissertation, this program requires you to complete a dissertation in practice. The goal of a dissertation in practice is to conduct research, problem-solve, and integrate principles of leadership and equity into this long-term assignment.

Topics of Study

  • Leadership and equity
  • Power and privilege
  • Research methods
  • Predictive analytics
  • Finance and strategic resource allocation
  • Strategic enrollment management
  • Policy and governance / Law & ethics
  • Organizational culture and performance

In addition to the 54 credit hours of online study, you must visit campus twice each year of the program. This equates to six or 10 campus visits, depending on which track you choose.

Admission to this program is much like the other online doctoral programs on this list. You must already have a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. You also need to submit a curriculum vitae or resume and three letters of recommendation. Also needed are official transcripts, two professional artifacts, and a statement of purpose.

The University of Colorado at Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission .

Get more information about the University of Colorado at Denver’s Online Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity .

Doctor of business administration in financial management.

The PhD in Business Administration (PhD-BA)degree from Northcentral University concentrates on building skills related to financial management.

You’ll conduct research, analyze data, and learn how to manage financial resources. Likewise, your courses build knowledge to develop strategic financial planning measures. You’ll also learn how to maximize return on investment for your clients.

To do so, you’ll work closely with the faculty to explore topics such as:

  • Financial statement analysis
  • Investment selection techniques
  • Risk management
  • Financial business decision models

This program includes 20 courses worth 60 semester credit hours. It takes less than four years to complete this degree. Faculty with terminal degrees guide your studies.

Additionally, there are no scheduled class meeting times. There is no group work, and there are weekly course start dates.

This program has flexible due dates and the ability to schedule your courses around your work and life obligations. You can also work directly with your professors in a one-on-one format.

As a result of this, graduates of this program have the ability to:

  • Evaluate business practices
  • Defend business theories to diverse audiences
  • Evaluate the interconnectedness of globalism and business decisions
  • Develop a clear understanding of current business and finance theories
  • Formulate solutions to critical business problems

You can also choose from a variety of related specializations.

PhD Specializations

You can choose from any of the following:

  • Project Management
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • Homeland Security Leadership and Policy
  • Health Services
  • Advanced Accounting
  • Global Business Management
  • Information Technology
  • Strategic Marketing

Get more information about Northcentral University’s Online PhD in Business Administration in Financial Management . 

The university of arizona – global campus.

The University of Arizona Global Campus’ online doctor of psychology program is flexible. You can complete your doctoral degree on your terms.

The program includes 10 core courses. There are seven specialization courses and a capstone project as well.

You must complete an Applied Doctoral Project. This is instead of a dissertation. The Applied Doctoral Project consists of two planning courses. There are also five units of applied coursework.

This online doctoral program is 62 credits. Those credits consist of courses that are mostly six to nine weeks in length. There are also several on-campus weekend residencies.

Degree Outcomes

  • The ability to apply best practices when working with clients
  • Exhibit culturally diverse standards when working with different groups, communities, and individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Develop a deep understanding of psychological theories, evidence-based methods, and appropriate research methods in psychology
  • Exhibit leadership skills
  • Possess the ability to critically evaluate applied psychological research methods

Additionally, this program offers three specialization areas. You may choose between Criminology and Justice Studies, Health and Wellness Psychology, and Sport and Performance Psychology. 

The University of Arizona Global Campus is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission .

Get more information about the University of Arizona Global Campus’ Online Doctor of Psychology .

Doctor of social work, the university of tennessee- knoxville.

The doctor of social work program at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville is a specialized program that focuses on clinical practice and leadership.

Students who enroll in this program are typically working professionals in social work. The program helps advance your knowledge and skills to deliver improved services to your clients.

This is an intensive, accelerated program. It takes just three years to complete.

  • An opportunity for advanced clinical practice rooted in evidence-based theory
  • Synchronous and asynchronous courses
  • Yearly on-campus sessions

As part of the online coursework and yearly on-campus sessions, you participate in activities to develop clinical leadership skills. You also gain applied research skills and advanced practice skills in social work.

Sample Courses

  • Neuroscience
  • Psychopathology
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Clinical Research
  • Trauma-Focused Interventions

You must meet several criteria to gain admission. You must have a master’s degree in social work. The master’s degree must be from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Additionally, you must have at least three years of clinical practice experience beyond your clinical practice from your master’s program.

It’s important to note that this is a professional practice degree – a DSW rather than a PhD. The difference is that a professional practice degree prepares online doctoral students for clinical practice and leadership in social work. A PhD in social work focuses on research and contributing to the research knowledge base in social work.

The University of Tennessee is fully accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges .

Get more information about the University of Tennessee’s Online Doctor of Social Work .

Occupational therapy doctorate, quinnipiac university.

Are you already a registered occupational therapist? The occupational therapy doctorate from Quinnipiac University allows you to gain advanced knowledge and skills. You can use what you learn to deliver improved services to your clients. Likewise, you might find that career advancement is more straightforward with a doctorate.

This program allows you to bring your past experiences as an occupational therapist to the virtual classroom. You can blend those experiences with skills development, new professional knowledge, and opportunities to learn from other professionals.

You’ll find that this program offers good flexibility. Courses are in a single module format. Each course’s duration varies depending on the content.

Most coursework is online. There is one campus visit, though. It’s a weeklong class in the summer. There’s also a Symposium Day after the final semester. Additionally, there is an optional on-campus orientation. It’s highly recommended that you attend that as well.

Furthermore, this occupational therapy program doesn’t interfere with your work schedule. Instead, the goal is to build new skills you can apply in your current job.

  • Critical inquiry of scholarship
  • Studies in evidence-based practice
  • Innovations and emerging issues in children and youth
  • Adult health care

There is also a doctoral capstone project. It allows you to contribute to the body of research in occupational therapy. You’ll also gain critical skills to apply in the field.

If you only have a bachelor’s degree, you can still enter this program. This is a unique feature. It might help you get your doctorate more quickly. You’ll have to complete Quinnipiac’s Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Occupational Therapy first.

Quinnipiac University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education .

Get more information about Quinnipiac University’s Online Occupational Therapy Doctorate .

Frequently asked questions about the best doctoral degrees online with no dissertation, are there any 1-year phd programs online.

There are some 1-year PhD programs online. Typically, online doctoral programs take at least three years to complete. In many cases, your studies might take up to five years.

Usually, 1-year PhD programs online are accelerated degree programs. You need prior knowledge and experience to enroll in a program like this. So, for example, if you have a master’s degree in business administration, you might be able to complete a PhD program in business administration in as little as one year or two years.

These higher education programs require you to attend school year-round to meet the year deadline. This means taking summer courses. You might also take intersession courses between the spring and summer semesters and again between the summer and fall semesters.

What is the easiest PhD without dissertation to get?

While PhD programs are rigorous, some online doctoral programs are less challenging than others. The level of challenge depends on other factors, too:

  • your study habits
  • your ability to finish coursework
  • your existing level of education and experience

For example, if you already have a master’s degree in counseling psychology and have worked as a counseling psychologist for ten years, getting a PhD in counseling psychology will be easier for you than for those with less experience.

Having said that, there are some disciplines known for being easier than others. This might make getting a PhD in those areas easier.

PhDs with a reputation for being easy include:

  • Educational Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Leadership
  • Educational Leadership and Management
  • College Policy and Administration
  • Health Sciences
  • Business Administration
  • Nursing Practice
  • Technology Management
  • Safety Sciences
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Many of the easiest PhDs to get are in the field of education. Again, a large part of this is because people that seek out education-related PhDs already have a great deal of practical experience in education. They likely already have a master’s degree in education as well.

How are PhD programs for working adults structured?

Many colleges and universities offer PhD programs for working adults that are highly flexible. You can get a higher education degree while working around your work and family schedules.

In most cases, these PhD courses are online. Completing your course requirements is much easier by removing the need to travel to a college campus for class and doing distance learning.

You can do this without sacrificing the classroom experience of working with your classmates and professors. This is because many online doctoral programs offer video conferencing and live streaming. You and your classmates can see and hear one another, interact with your professors, and work together on collaborative projects.

In some cases, online courses for working adults are in an asynchronous format. You can take courses in an order that best fits your schedule.

Furthermore, many of the courses in these types of degree programs are self-directed. This means you can complete assignments and other course requirements on your own schedule, not the professor’s.

Granted, self-paced learning is not a feature of all online courses that working adults might take. It is reasonable to assume that at least some of your courses will follow that format.

Another feature of online PhD programs is that they are often flexible in terms of how long you take to complete them. For example, if a higher education program normally takes three years to complete, you might be able to work on graduation requirements for four or five years to get the same degree. If going part-time works better for you, it might take longer but can still be accomplished.

There are typically many different class options as well. For example, a course might be offered in the spring semester and the fall, and perhaps even in the summer. This gives you greater flexibility for completing the necessary courses.

In some cases, you might also find that colleges and universities work with you to transfer existing credits or give you credit for work experiences. Doing so reduces the number of course credits you need to take to get the desired PhD.

This, in turn, reduces the amount of time you need to complete your PhD program. Not all schools accept transfer credits, though. Check with the schools you’re considering to be sure your existing credits are accepted.

Related Reading:

  • Best Online Doctorates in Sports Medicine
  • Best Online Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice

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Best 18-Month Doctorate without Dissertation Programs

Lisa Marlin

A PhD  helps you advance your career and secure senior leadership positions. However, if you’re a busy working professional struggling to manage your family, work, and personal commitments, full-time enrollment with dissertation requirements might not be an option. Most PhDs take 3-7 years to complete, with lots of time spent on dissertations.

But what if you could study a PhD without dissertation requirements or lengthy durations?

Sure, online PhD programs  offer more flexibility; however, you’ll still spend years studying.

Luckily, many schools offer 18-month doctorate without dissertation programs that you can complete in record time, often while studying online on your own schedule. Does that mean you can find the easiest PhD without dissertation requirements? Let’s find out.

Here are some of the top universities and no-dissertation PhD programs you can finish in just 18 months or a little more.

Table of Contents

Top 18-month Doctorate without Dissertation Programs

We’ve separated our list of doctorate degrees without dissertation into a few categories: education, nursing, physical therapy, and business management.

Walden University

PhD in Education (P-20 Education)

Walden University logo

Walden University is known for offering research doctorates to African-American students and has many flexible options in various disciplines to extend education to everyone. This flexible PhD without dissertation requirements is a fabulous education program where you can design your study based on your interests.

  • Courses:  Leading the future of education, governance & politics of education, and learning experiences in supportive environments.
  • Credits:  86
  • Delivery:  Online
  • Tuition: $692 per quarter hour
  • Financial aid:  Grants, education assistance, and loans.
  • Acceptance rate:  100%
  • Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Nebraska Methodist College

Online Doctorate in Education & Leadership in Healthcare

Nebraska Methodist college logo

Nebraska Methodist College is one of the country’s most famous allied healthcare colleges and offers more than 40 healthcare and education programs online and on-campus. You don’t need to complete a dissertation or submit GRE scores to apply for this doctoral degree online; no dissertation. You can also balance your studies with other parts of your life by choosing between part-time or full-time options.

  • Courses: Information technology in healthcare & education, legal & ethical issues in organizations, and healthcare policy.
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Cost per credit hour : $817
  • Financial aid: Scholarships, grants, and loans.
  • Acceptance rate:  92%
  • Location:  Omaha, Nebraska

Nova Southeastern University, College of Education & School of Criminal Justice

EdD – Educational Leadership

NSU Florida logo

Nova Southeastern University is a nationally renowned private institution that embraces social mobility and diversity. The institution offers an EdD that doesn’t require a dissertation. Instead, you’ll need to complete a Strategic Research Project (SRP) amounting to 12 credits.

  • Courses: Leadership, communication, & technology, legal & ethical issues in educational leadership, and leading an educational organization.
  • Credits:  55
  • Delivery:  On-campus
  • Tuition : $1,505 per credit
  • Financial aid:  Scholarships, employer assistance, and veteran benefits.
  • Acceptance rate:  76%
  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Maryville University

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Maryville University logo

Maryville University is renowned for innovative and comprehensive education, using advanced technology to deliver distance learning programs across a range of disciplines. If you are a working nursing professional, this doctoral degree without dissertation requirements will qualify you to reach the highest levels of nursing leadership.

  • Courses:  Principles of epidemiology & biostatistics, ethics for advanced nursing practice, and professional role development.
  • Credits:  33
  • Duration:  20 months
  • Delivery: Online
  • Tuition : $813 per credit
  • Financial aid: Scholarships, grants, and employer assistance.
  • Acceptance rate: 95%
  • Location:  St. Louis, Missouri

Monmouth University

Online DNP Program

Monmouth University logo

Monmouth University has a low student-faculty ratio and believes in immersive learning experiences beyond the classroom. This DNP doctoral program without dissertation requirements helps students analyze evidence to improve clinical policies and practices.

  • Courses: Translating evidence to clinical practice, organizational leadership in healthcare, and health care economics and financial management.
  • Credits:  36
  • Tuition :  $1,348 per credit hour
  • Acceptance rate: 79%
  • Location:  West Long Branch, New Jersey

Bay Path University

Doctor of Nursing Practice – Family Nurse

Bay Path University logo

Bay Path University is a non-profit institution that offers a range of opportunities for lifelong learning, especially for women. This DNP program seeks to prepare nursing professionals with modern evidence-based knowledge to handle advanced nursing practitioner roles, especially in the family health sphere. You can complete this online doctorate (no dissertation) at your own pace.

  • Courses:  Managing healthcare delivery systems, healthcare informatics, and biostatistics & epidemiology.
  • Tuition : $995 per credit
  • Financial aid: Federal loans and private loans.
  • Acceptance rate: 78%
  • Location:  Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Physical Therapy

The university of north carolina at chapel hill, school of medicine.

Transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy

The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill logo

The University of North Carolina is ranked #5  for research among public universities and has two Nobel laureates. This non-thesis PhD helps licensed physical therapists gain advanced knowledge and skills in their area of practice. Additionally, physical therapists earn a median salary of $91,010, making this program one of the highest-paid PhDs . Balance familial and work responsibilities easily as you complete this doctorate degree online (no dissertation).

  • Courses: Advanced patient management, advanced neuromuscular intervention, and advanced practice issues.
  • Credits: 27
  • Tuition :  $902 per credit
  • Financial aid: Scholarships, loans, and employee benefits.
  • Acceptance rate: 25%
  • Location: North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Gannon University

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Gannon University logo

Gannon University is a private Christian institution with a low student-faculty ratio that offers various online programs. This is one of few occupational therapy doctorate degrees without dissertations that help physical therapy professionals translate knowledge from cross-disciplinary theories and research into practice, enabling them to grow beyond a therapist-clinician role.

  • Courses:  Applied research in clinical practice, advanced leadership & ethics, and entrepreneurship for the IT professional.
  • Credits:  34
  • Duration:  2 years
  • Tuition :  $770 per credit
  • Financial aid:  Scholarships, grants, loans, and veteran benefits.
  • Acceptance rate:  79%
  • Location:  Erie, Pennsylvania

Business Management

Capella university.

Doctor of Business Administration in Strategy & Innovation

Capella University logo

Capella University is a private institution that strives to extend education to all by offering programs that fit with busy routines. As a result, many of its programs are highly flexible, allowing you to finish at your own pace. The institution also makes it easy to manage study costs by only requiring payment for 12 weeks instead of per credit. This doctorate without dissertation offers two streams: the GuidedPath, where you have a pre-fixed curriculum structure, and FlexPath, where you can modify the structure and complete the program according to your pace and convenience.

  • Courses:  Effective organizational leadership, strategic decision making, and teaching business in higher education.
  • Credits:  45
  • Tuition : $545 – $810
  • Financial aid: Grants, scholarships, loans, and military benefits.
  • Location:  Minneapolis, Minnesota

Liberty University

Online Doctor of Business Administration

Liberty University logo

Liberty University has been named one of the top 5  online universities and is known for its quality, accessibility, and affordability. This flexible DBA program allows you to specialize in one of a range of business areas, from international business to healthcare management. No dissertation is required for this doctorate degree online.

  • Courses:  Strategic allocation of financial resources, marketing for competitive advantage, and quantitative research methods.
  • Credits:  60
  • Tuition:  $595 per credit
  • Financial aid:  Scholarships, grants, loans, and military benefits.
  • Acceptance rate: 50%
  • Location: Lynchburg, Virginia

What Is a Dissertation and How Does it Work?

A dissertation, sometimes called a thesis, involves conducting research before writing a final report to summarize the research’s findings. It is a fundamental requirement of many graduate programs, especially doctorates, and allows students to develop advanced research, writing, and analytical skills. If a panel approves your dissertation, it will become a part of the field’s current body of knowledge.

The student may choose the topic independently or in consultation with an advisor. In some cases, students can collaborate with faculty members to conduct research. Once complete, the university evaluates the dissertation, and their assessment often decides whether the candidate achieves their PhD .

Why Do So Many Programs Require Dissertations?

A dissertation is usually the most involved and longest-running assignment you need to complete as part of a graduate program. Many schools include a dissertation in the program to develop and test students’ research abilities and set them up for careers in academia.

However, some universities offer graduate programs that don’t require a dissertation. Instead, these programs involve additional research-oriented courses for the students to make up their credits.

Ranking Methodology for 18-month Doctorate without Dissertation Programs

We put together the above list of universities and doctorate programs across various disciplines based on their requirements for a dissertation and the total duration of the program. Of course, we gave preference to 18-month programs, but we also included some slightly longer programs.

Most programs don’t require any dissertation at all, while some require fair research activity for satisfactory completion. We ranked the programs based on accessibility, delivery mode, courses, faculty, and school reputation.

Key Takeaways

While most doctorate programs include a mandatory dissertation, several universities now offer no-dissertation programs. These are ideal for working students who may not be able to attend full-time, on-campus programs involving extensive research that can take years to complete.

But you might wonder whether an 18-month doctorate without dissertation status is still valuable. The good news is that it is — a doctorate without a dissertation is nonetheless a respected advanced degree that can significantly boost your career and secure well-paid, senior positions in the field of your choice.

Looking for other ways to speed up your post-graduate education?

Explore the Best 1-Year PhD Online Programs!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get a doctorate without doing a dissertation.

Yes. Many universities offer doctorate programs that don’t require a dissertation at all. Review the ones we’ve listed in this article for more information.

What Is a Doctorate Without a Dissertation Called?

There’s no particular term for doctorates without dissertations. Instead, they’re simply known as PhDs, EdDs, DNPs, or doctorate degrees. However, some institutions call them “no-dissertation programs” on their official websites.

Is a Dissertation Required for a PhD?

At many universities, a dissertation is an important and indispensable part of a PhD curriculum. However, some universities offer doctorate programs that don’t require a dissertation or thesis for completion. This can be a good option if you’re uninterested in research, don’t wish to work in academia, or are looking for an accelerated option.

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phd in public health no dissertation

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Home » Degrees » Doctorate » DRPH

Explore Doctor of Public Health Programs (PhD & DPH)

Pursuing higher positions in public health can prove to be beneficial for individuals with leadership characteristics. Those in public health that seek the most out of their degree should consider enrolling into Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Health or Doctorate of Public Health (DrPH) in Public Health programs across the country.

The Doctorate of Public Health (DrPH) and the PhD in Public Health are advanced terminal degrees for public health, meant for experienced public health professionals that already have their Masters in Public Health (MPH) or similar degree. Specific degree nomenclature varies based on university and specific public health school. Some offer DPH degrees, while other universities name the terminal degree PhD in Public Health, Doctorate in Public Health, or Doctoral Public Health.

These terminal degree programs in public health can prepare learners for careers in research, education, or even management within the public health sector. Graduate level public health specialists are in great need across the country to assist with nationwide epidemic research as well as the implementation of vital government programs.

phd in public health no dissertation

George Washington University

School of public health.

Earn your DrPH online from the George Washington University. Our CEPH-accredited program combines interactive, online classes and an on-campus immersion to prepare you to become a thought leader. You will graduate poised to shape public health policy, programs, and initiatives in the U.S. and worldwide. No GRE required.

  • Complete the online DrPH program in as few as 36 months. 
  • The online DrPH program is CEPH accredited. 
  • No GRE required.


PhD in Public Health vs. Doctor of Public Health

A PhD in Public Health will be focused on developing the skills needed to become an advanced researcher. The understanding of research theories and methodologies is an important part of this degree. Even though a PhD in Public Health is more narrowly focused, it lends itself to careers in various health sectors, such as academia, governmental agencies, and pharmaceutical companies.

A DrPH is an advanced graduate-level degree that focuses on the professional and practical elements of the field, rather than the academic. It is designed for public health practitioners and is geared towards practice and fieldwork. It is multidisciplinary and will cover everything from communications and marketing to advocacy and economics. It was developed to train students and practitioners for careers in public health leadership. 

Both the DrPH and PhD have career options in academia available to them. These two degrees are suited for individuals who have received an MPH or another graduate-level degree and have worked in their field for a number of years. The DrPH is ideal for the public health practitioner looking to advance their career to positions needing additional education. The PhD may suit an individual earlier on in their career who is looking to embed themselves in a career of research.

What are the Typical Pre-Requisites of a DrPH/PhD Degree?

As mentioned above, the prerequisites for advanced degrees require a master’s degree and post-graduate work experience. For some programs, if an individual applying does not have their master’s in public health they will require master’s level classes in public health up to a certain amount of credit hours. A recent Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score is often required along with academic transcripts. An additional requirement for admittance into a Doctorate program is a personal statement or statement or purpose.

Concentration Options for a DrPH/PhD

The degree options for a DrPH or a PhD become more specialized within those concentrations. Those receiving their PhD in public health will have to pick a program by the department they wish to specialize and conduct research in. This could be Health Policy and Administration, Health Economics, Health Systems, etc. A DrPH will also specialize by department, but will often pick from the core public health concentrations (Epidemiology, Environmental Health, etc.) along with a few additional departments (i.e. International Health and Social and Behavioral Sciences).

Online Doctor of Public Health Options

Entering the right educational program is important to the success of a career. Students that are interested in obtaining their degree online should research their chosen school’s accreditation status prior to applying. Since this program is highly research-oriented, learners are expected to take part in a lot of independent learning in an online environment.

Online Doctorate programs will have the same requirements and courses as a traditional degree. Online programs allow for greater flexibility with work and family life but also require self-discipline and accountability. Some online programs will require site visits to the campus or alternate sites for orientations, leadership development, adviser meetings, etc. Classes will be taught online either through live streams or recorded video. Online discussion forums and group work are also the main parts of the online curriculum. A dissertation is still a requirement for online doctorate programs and it may be required that it is presented in person.

Typical Curriculum & Classes

In general, the DrPH degree curriculum will consist of core courses, research courses, and a culminating project such as a capstone course, dissertation, or thesis. The core courses, much like the MPH, will cover the main concentrations in Public Health (Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Health Policy, etc.) and will also include statistics and data management. Each of these classes are taught with a focus on Leadership and Organization. Additional classes may include:

  • Marketing and Public Relations
  • Community and Cultural Understanding

These will guide the focus of the degree. A Dissertation or thesis is often required at the end of each semester, year or at the end of the program.

PhD in Public Health

The PhD in Public Health is much less straightforward and will vary significantly from program to program and within degrees. A PhD in Public Health is much more research-based and will cover topics ranging from disease and injury prevention to health informatics and communication. Many schools do not offer a PhD in Public Health per se, but in Health Policy, Bioethics, Environmental Health Sciences, Chronic Disease Epidemiology, etc. Each of these is rooted in public health but are much more focused in their scope. Because of this, classes and curriculum will be much more focused and centered around research.

Different Career Opportunities

After completing a DrPH or Ph.D. in Public Health, graduates may seek out positions in government agencies, healthcare facilities, or even community organizations. Professionals at this level have the capacity to become instructors of public health at universities, researchers for public health associations, and directors of nonprofit agencies.

Having a doctorate degree in this discipline gives learners the most education available for this field. With a Ph.D. in Public Health, professionals in the field may have access to careers working with government organizations in the planning, implementation, and training of important public health procedures. Organizations, such as  American Public Health Association ,  accept members that are in public health careers that desire to communicate their studies and policies on different platforms. Getting involved with a society such as this one can allow professionals to spread their work to educational and professional settings across the country.

Information updated as of April 2020

Exams Know-how

Earning Your Do...

Earning Your Doctorate Without a Dissertation: Alternative Pathways to a PhD


What Is a Dissertation?

A dissertation is a lengthy and formal research document that is typically a requirement for the completion of a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D. or Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). It represents a significant scholarly project that demonstrates a student's ability to conduct independent research, contribute to the existing body of knowledge in their field, and make an original and substantial academic contribution.

Depending on the academic institution and subject of study, dissertations come in a variety of lengths and formats. Some master's programs may also include a thesis or dissertation as a final project, even though these types of projects are most frequently associated with doctorate degrees. However, these types of projects are generally shorter and less comprehensive than doctoral dissertations. Yocket is your go-to resource for information, insights, and support on non-dissertation doctoral programs.  

Read Also - What is Dissertation

How does a dissertation work?

Students are frequently required to conduct research for their dissertations. They may pick the subject. They decide on the dissertation's subject matter. This essay-length document is lengthier. It might include tens of thousands of words. The objective is to convey their research on a certain subject or issue. There are quite stringent guidelines for some programmes. Others let the pupils entirely decide what to talk about.

Dissertations need a significant amount of time to finish. They demand that students invest significant time in thorough research. They could influence whether a student earns a degree. They must thus be finished carefully and with great care.

Why Are Dissertations Required for So Many Programmes?

The majority of programmes need dissertations to be completed. They facilitate the sharing of knowledge by pupils. Many of them are research articles that offer various points of view. Some are designed to be more of a discussion that has a resolution. Making sure a student can finish an independent research report is an aim for many colleges. To some extent, these skills could be quite helpful. They serve as the last grade in several schools.

They require a lot of time to finish. The longest and most significant task that most students will complete is a dissertation. They can need months to plan and finish. A lot of pupils will get assistance from their lecturers. They could be perfect for people who are fervent about a subject. Others may find them to be among the most taxing kinds of tasks.

List of Doctorates that Do Not Require a Dissertation

Numerous Ph.D. programmes do not demand a typical dissertation as the final output. Instead, the dissertation requirement is frequently replaced with alternate research or academic initiatives in these programmes. Following are some instances of such doctorates:

  • Business Administration
  • Computers & Information Technology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Homeland Security
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health

The particular prerequisites for doctorate programmes might change significantly across institutions and even between different programmes at the same institution, which is an essential point to remember. In order to choose a programme that fits your academic and professional objectives, investigate and evaluate several options if you're thinking about earning a doctorate without the conventional dissertation. When selecting a PhD programme , accreditation and programme quality should also be carefully considered. Get personalized advice, program recommendations, and more on Yocket premium .

18-Month Doctorate Without Dissertation Online

There are certain online doctoral programmes meant to be finished in a shorter amount of time, such as 18 months, and may not require a traditional dissertation, although traditional PhD programmes normally contain a dissertation and take several years to complete. These programmes frequently provide a different final project. The following are a few instances of 18-month doctorate without dissertation online:

  • Business Programs-  You can obtain a PhD in business in either accounting or management. Obtaining a Master's degree in business administration with a focus in either of these two disciplines is often the initial step.
  • Education- It is also feasible to pursue your studies and acquire a PhD in education. However, there may be a distinction between the standards you must satisfy if you wish to receive an 18-month doctorate education programme without a dissertation.
  • Engineering- It's also feasible to obtain a PhD in engineering without completing a dissertation. The degrees, which may also be known as Doctor of Science in Engineering degrees, are often given out by institutions with a strong focus on research.
  • Law- Without doing further coursework connected to finishing a dissertation, law degrees are also accessible. The average length of time to earn a law degree is 18 months, and most institutions that offer these programmes normally require an internship or practicum before you can graduate.
  • Liberal Arts- A doctorate in liberal arts without a dissertation is also offered; it takes 18 months to complete. Schools that want their students to learn more in-depth information about specific subjects of study may give the degree, which may go by the designation of Doctor of Philosophy in Arts and Sciences.
  • Nursing- A doctoral programme in nursing can be completed via remote learning with or without the completion of a dissertation. Although some programmes can be finished in as little as 18 months, most students must still complete extra coursework and clinical training before receiving their diplomas.
  • Science- Doctoral science programmes are typically offered by colleges and universities to entice young scientists to complete their education. While some of these programmes could be more focused on encouraging students to conduct research, others might be more concerned with preparing students for the workforce.

For people looking to acquire a PhD while adapting their particular circumstances and professional aspirations, earning a doctorate without the traditional dissertation is an increasingly practical and well-liked choice. We have examined a number of alternate routes that enable people to obtain the greatest degree of academic acknowledgment without the sometimes difficult dissertation procedure throughout this investigation. Explore non-dissertation doctoral programs and take the next step in your academic journey today with Yocket.

Frequently Asked Questions about Doctorate Without Dissertation

1. Can you get a doctorate without doing a dissertation?

A conventional dissertation is required for certain online doctorate programmes, but not all of them. This indicates that you can obtain your PhD without submitting a dissertation online.

2. What does PhD without dissertation mean?

With the exception of completing the dissertation (or thesis) and presenting it for final approval at the conclusion of a PhD programme, graduate students who have earned the informal title ABD have completed all programme requirements.

3. What is the quickest doctorate degree to get?

Online Doctoral Programmes for One Year: 1. Doctorate in Behavioral Health. 2. Doctorate Ethereal Degree in Grief Counseling. 3. Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy 4. Doctor of Nursing Practice. 5. Doctor of Occupational Therapy 6. Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision.

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Why NMC's Online Doctorate Has No Dissertation

Why NMCs Online Doctorate Has No Dissertation

Projects are inspiring new program implementation and influencing policy and practice changes in healthcare and academic settings. 

If you’ve started researching online doctoral programs, you’ve probably discovered that some colleges require a scholarly research project instead of the traditional doctoral dissertation.

The doctoral dissertation has been a common requirement of a doctoral program. But more colleges and universities are allowing students to conduct translational research through a doctoral project.

These projects allow doctoral students to conduct research that has a narrower focus, solves a challenge or problem and can be implemented in a professional setting.

NMC is committed to teaching students to become change agents in healthcare through practice-based doctoral programs. Therefore, NMC’s online doctorates have adopted the doctoral scholarly project instead of the dissertation.

Discover what doctoral degrees are offered at NMC, the difference between a dissertation and a doctoral scholarly project, the benefits of a scholarly project and how to apply to a doctoral program.

Healthcare Doctorates at NMC

NMC offers online doctorate programs for those interested in advancing their career in healthcare.

Students in the Doctor of Education (EdD) and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs are learning to be leaders in their disciplines and organizations.

Doctoral programs at NMC are viewed as practice doctorates, which includes extensive coursework and a culminating scholarly project. 

With a Doctor of Education in healthcare , you’ll be able to develop effective management solutions for various settings. 

“An EdD provides a competitive advantage in attaining leadership roles in healthcare, community-based and private organizations, and education,” said Dr. Alice Kindschuh, director of doctoral studies at Nebraska Methodist College (NMC).

“It also demonstrates a commitment to your profession to employers and strengthens your skill-set as an innovative change agent.”

You can choose to study education and leadership to become a college or university professor, researcher, program director or administrator. A doctorate in public health policy will allow you to work as a public health consultant, health policy advisor, health and safety engineer, public health program specialist or an executive director of a public health non-profit.

NMC’s education doctorate program has two tracks:

  • Education and Leadership in Healthcare

A Doctor of Nursing Practice allows you to study advanced nursing practices and build leadership skills. You can choose whether to become a family nurse practitioner, an adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner, work in public health policy or earn your terminal degree.

“NMC’s DNP program should be your first choice because we have expert faculty who care about you as a person and student, and encourage communication and community while you are in the program,” said Tara Whitmire, BSN-DNP Director. “Our program prepares you to be an autonomous advanced practice nurse.”

NMC’s nursing doctorate program offers five tracks:

Dissertation vs. Scholarly Doctoral Project

Many students are unfamiliar with a doctoral scholarly project and how it differs from a more traditional doctoral dissertation.

The difference between a dissertation and a scholarly project is the type of research being conducted.

While a dissertation is original research with a goal to generate new knowledge, the doctoral scholarly project is translational research, which ‘translates’ the research into practice through quality improvement or evidence-based practice initiatives.

According to Online EdD Programs , the scholarly project is a recent and innovative development in EdD programs. It’s only offered by a relatively small number of programs.

The doctoral scholarly project requires research similar in rigor to the traditional dissertation. 

The Benefits of a Doctoral Scholarly Project

The doctoral scholarly project experience provides students with an opportunity to serve as change agents through project completion. 

The project process allows students to identify a gap or problem in practice. They review resources and research regarding best practices related to the issue. Students then implement evidence-based change to address the issue and evaluate the effectiveness of the change.

Projects are diverse and can include program implementation, policy change, practice change and many others. The capstone experience and doctoral programs at NMC are forming connections of professionals across diverse settings nationwide.

Upon project completion, students disseminate the project through a formal presentation or publication. Ideally, change initiated from the scholarly projects should be sustained and duplicated to facilitate continuous quality improvement and best practices.

Faculty support and guidance during the research process is a priority at NMC. The faculty-to-student ratio for the scholarly project is one faculty member to every four to five students. The same faculty member stays with the student throughout the entire 13 months of the project, from concept to dissemination.

The project is reviewed by a doctoral committee, NMC’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) and an outside organization, if applicable. The review ensures projects are designed to meet the rigor and ethical standards for a doctoral project.

Student Perspective of the Doctoral Scholarly Project vs. a Dissertation

NMC’s doctoral students say the capstone project is one of their biggest accomplishments.

“By attending NMC, I have accomplished my intended goal of becoming a more rounded educator and future leader within higher education and healthcare settings. I have a much better understanding of how to conduct original research and translational research to improve practices in both areas,” said Josey Harris, who received her EdD in 2022.

How to Apply to Get Your EdD or DNP

NMC’s EdD and DNP programs are 100% online, which allows you to get a professional education on a convenient schedule and balance coursework with a full-time job.

Students can choose full- or part-time plans of study to best fit their lives.

A full-time student in the EdD program can graduate in 24 months and a part-time student can graduate in 36-months.

The online application process for the EdD program takes about 10 minutes.

A full-time student in the DNP program can graduate in 36 months. A part-time student can graduate in four to five years. 

You can find the online application for your desired nursing program on the nursing doctorate program page .

After submitting your application, complete a written statement, fill out a program/career awareness questionnaire and submit your resume. Your official college transcripts can be sent to [email protected].

Visit the program webpage to review specific application requirements for your program of interest.

You can explore graduate school financial aid opportunities such as employer tuition assistance, scholarships, work study and loans.

If you have questions, contact our admissions team at (402) 354-7200 or [email protected] to learn more.

About the Author

Kari wade, edd, msn, rn, sign up so you don't miss a thing., follow us on:, featured blog articles, how to select an rn to bsn program, five reasons to become a clinical nurse specialist, 6 lesser-known healthcare mba jobs that are worth pursuing, healthcare degree programs.

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Inside the Fastest Doctorate Programs Online

Starting 1- and 2-year online doctoral programs, benefits & challenges of short online doctoral programs, online doctorate timeline: 2 years or less, faq: 1-year online doctoral programs.

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1-Year Online Doctoral Programs

It is rare, but not impossible, to get your doctoral degree in less than two years. Learn how to set yourself up for success in a fast-track doctoral program.

Search hundreds of top schools for the doctorate YOU want.

PhDs.me Staff

Last updated

Apr 24, 2023

It is never too early to consider pursuing an advanced degree. Doctoral programs often require a significant commitment of time, with the average time to completion ranging from six to seven years, depending on the field and educational background, as reported by the National Science Foundation.

While most doctoral programs require a significant time commitment, some universities now offer fast-track online programs that can be completed in as little as one or two years. While these programs are not available in all academic fields and are relatively rare, they can be an excellent way to distinguish yourself in a competitive job market. This guide will give you an overview of your options and provide a semester-by-semester timeline to help you understand what to expect in a fast-track doctoral program.

While one-year doctoral programs are quite rare, there are a few colleges and universities that offer two-year doctoral programs in select academic areas with varying requirements. We will outline the different options below to help you identify which program might be the best fit for you.

1-Year Doctoral Programs

There are only a few accelerated doctoral programs available, but they do exist. One such program is offered by Breyer State Theology University, which provides a one-year doctor of psychology program tailored to those interested in becoming grief counselors.

As with other accelerated programs, applicants are required to hold a master’s degree in psychology, counseling, or a related field. This prerequisite ensures that students possess the foundational knowledge needed to quickly build a more advanced, doctoral-level skill set. In order to graduate, students in Breyer State’s program must complete a “graduate thesis,” also known as a dissertation, or a final project in a specialized area of grief counseling. The program also requires completion of 11 six-hour classes.

Most doctoral programs, regardless of their length or curriculum, typically require a final project or dissertation. This is because earning a doctoral degree signifies that a student has expert-level knowledge in a very specific academic area, and a dissertation or final project is a way to document original ideas and contributions to a field.

Practical Doctorates with no Dissertation

There are doctoral programs that don’t necessitate a dissertation as a graduation requirement. For such programs, it’s typical for students to have a master’s degree in the related field or a closely related area before entering. Some EdD programs, like the one available at Baylor University, follow a non-traditional route by not requiring a conventional dissertation. Instead, students take “dissertation in practice” classes which offer more structured opportunities to explore higher education administration and organizational leadership. The degrees highlighted below can provide insight into what a practical program with no dissertation may entail.

Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership

Baylor University

Learners in this program take a total of 65 credit hours, including 48 hours of coursework, 11 hours of clinical experiences, and six hours of the dissertation-in-practice coursework.

Number of credits: 36

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Maryville University

This online program allows distance students to complete a doctor of nursing degree entirely online, except for clinical requirements. Most learners take 18 to 20 months to complete the program. Additionally, the program does not require a GMAT or GRE score for admission and there is no dissertation requirement for graduation.

Number of credits: 33

Doctor of Education

University of Dayton

Degree-seekers need to complete 60 credits of coursework focusing on healthcare organizations, nonprofit institutions, government agencies, and education systems. Most learners need 36 months to complete this program. Applicants must possess a master’s degree from an accredited institution with a 3.0 or higher GPA for consideration.

Number of credits: 60

Significant Amount of Master’s Credits

Currently, numerous doctoral programs mandate students to have either a master’s degree or some credits/prerequisites at the master’s degree level before being admitted into the program. Depending on the program’s design, you may be able to use some or all of the credits from your master’s courses towards your doctoral degree. These programs generally span between 18 to 24 months in duration.

If you wish to fast-track your graduate school journey, one option is to pursue your doctoral degree at the same institution where you obtained your master’s degree. Generally, there is some overlap between the two graduate curricula, and you can often receive credit for courses you have already completed. In a way, it is like earning “dual credit” for certain classes. Furthermore, if you pursue a doctorate at the same school where you completed your master’s degree, there will likely be no difficulties with transferring credits. The following programs demonstrate how you can complete a two-year doctorate degree by utilizing existing graduate credits.

Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision

Capella University

This doctoral program has no limits on the number of transfer credits from master’s programs that may be applied toward the Ph.D. For graduation, learners need to complete an internship and practicum in addition to 11 core classes.

After this program, degree-holders can pursue a wide variety of careers in higher education, research, and teaching roles. Common jobs for these graduates include academic counselor, university faculty, and counseling supervisor.

Doctor of Business Administration

Franklin University

While this program may take two or three years to complete, Franklin takes special care to ensure that you receive the most credits toward your doctorate as possible. Franklin students save time and money by transferring up to 24 credits of previously earned credits — that’s up to 40% of the credits you’ll need for graduation. Incoming students with 32 or more master’s credits can use that experience to satisfy elective requirements for this degree.

Number of credits: 58

Graduates of this program move on to careers as professors, management analysts, economists, business executives, and many more top business roles.

Accelerated Doctorate Programs

Accelerated programs are designed to help you complete your doctorate in a shorter timeframe than traditional programs. The pace of these programs is faster, with each class covering the same amount of material as a traditional course but within a shorter period of time. For example, an online accelerated finance course may take six to eight weeks to complete, in contrast to a 15- or 16-week semester-long course on campus. If all the mandatory classes for your degree are available in an accelerated format, you can save a substantial amount of time and finish your program in one or two years less than traditional programs.

While most accelerated programs, particularly research-oriented Ph.D. programs, necessitate completion of a dissertation, thesis, or a final project, professional doctorate programs in fields such as business or education administration may not need a traditional dissertation or final project. This requirement has a significant impact on the time it takes to complete your degree. Here are some examples of accelerated degree programs that can give you a better idea of what to anticipate.

University of Florida

For incoming students with master’s degrees, this MSN-to-DNP program takes only five semesters to complete. Students complete 15 courses, a residency, and a final project. Applicants should possess a 3.0 or higher GPA for consideration.

Number of credits: 35

UF graduates with a DNP often pursue careers as nurse educators, nursing officers, clinical nurse specialists, and advanced practice nurses.

PhD in Forensic Psychology

Walden University

In addition to offering an accelerated course schedule, Walden will waive up to six PhD-level classes if you enter the program with a master’s degree in psychology or closely related field. Learners can also transfer up to 53 credits toward the degree. Fast-track, accelerated students complete three courses per semester.

Number of credits: Depending on transfer credits, learners usually need around 60 credits of coursework to finish the program.

Graduates with this degree in forensic psychology seek out employment as researchers, college professors, analysts, consultants, and more.

There are several things to keep in mind as you prepare for an online doctoral program. If you already have a good idea of which type of degree you want to pursue, use that to your advantage by planning ahead and crossing some things off your list before you apply.

  • Get prerequisites out of the way If you know which degree you’re interested in, there are prerequisite and foundational courses that you might be able to take before entering a program. You might be satisfying many or all of these credits while working toward a master’s degree. You may choose to take prerequisites online or at a community college. Not only will this save you time when you enter your doctoral program, but you’ll probably save some tuition dollars, too.
  • Earn a master’s degree Sometimes a closely related master’s degree will get you pretty far in terms of transfer credits and being able to take a larger workload per semester. Master’s programs also give you the time and space to sort out some further research ideas that could become a part of your doctoral dissertation (if you’re going into a program that requires it).
  • Earn a competitive GPA Most doctoral programs expect applicants to possess a strong GPA, whether in their undergraduate or master’s coursework. You’ll likely need a 3.0 or higher GPA to receive consideration.
  • Produce a writing sample If you’re applying for a research doctorate (PhD) as opposed to a practical, career-focused degree (EdD), your writing sample should showcase your academic research skills and show promise for success in doctoral-level study.
  • Provide letters of recommendation Most applications require letters of recommendation from people who can speak to the likelihood of your success in your chosen field. Be sure to give your recommendation writers at least a couple of months of lead time before your applications are due.

Spend less money on tuition. You’ll often spend less money overall on expenses and tuition in accelerated programs, particularly if they’re online. Even if you live out of state, many online doctoral programs today will allow you to pay in-state tuition rates, which can be almost half the cost of out-of-state rates.

Less time spent in school. The faster you get through the program, the more time you can spend giving attention to other aspects of your life. Many graduate students have families, jobs, and other responsibilities that are challenging to manage in traditional, on-campus programs that take three to seven years to complete.

Begin your career more quickly. A short online doctoral program can propel you into the competitive job market more quickly. If you play your cards right, you’ll be out of school and earning a good salary in only a few years or less.

Lack of preparation time before the job market. Quickly preparing for the job market is not impossible. You’ll just need to use the time you’re in school wisely. This includes meeting with professionals from the career development center at your school, academic advisers, professors, and other mentors to make sure you’re covering your bases, making good professional contacts, and checking out a diverse set of resources.

Time away from other responsibilities. Even in a fast-track program, you’ll be dedicating a lot of time to your studies and research. Many students learn how to meet the demands of these busy schedules while still making time to take care of other responsibilities. You can get creative with your daily schedule so you can complete school assignments while juggling other things. Thankfully, online degree programs are often extremely flexible in terms of scheduling.

Less time to publish research and network. Professionals who want to work at universities and research institutions want to publish work that’s related to their dissertation or final project before they enter the job market. Spending less time in school shortens this window and means that you’ll have fewer opportunities to network with other students, make professionals contacts, and attend conferences. All of this is manageable if you’re proactive and organized student. By pooling your resources and making good contacts while you’re in school, you can still get a strong foothold in the job market upon graduation.

If you aim to complete a doctorate in one or two years, it’s crucial to adhere strictly to the school’s curriculum and schedule. There is no margin for failure or having to retake classes, as most doctoral-level classes are not available every semester. Here’s an example of what your one- or two-year program might look like.

Nebraska Methodist College offers a doctor of education and leadership in healthcare program for distance learners. Full-time students can finish the program in two years or less, while part-time learners can expect to earn their degree in about three years. Instead of a traditional doctoral thesis or dissertation, NMC requires students to complete a capstone project. This opportunity gives you the chance to demonstrate your expertise in the subject matter without having to spend the extra one or two years after coursework that students typically need to write a dissertation. This program also features an asynchronous course delivery format, allowing you to complete your coursework on your own timeline, provided you keep up with the department’s schedule.

One of the ways this program can maintain its streamlined path to graduation is that all incoming students must possess a master’s degree in an education- or healthcare-related field from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Applicants must also submit an official online application, an admissions essay, an updated resume, and their official transcripts. Additionally, applicants need complete an admission interview and meet the school’s English language proficiency before gaining admission to the online doctor of education program. The GRE is not required for admission.

In total, online doctoral students at NMC will need to complete 44 credits for graduation. Requirements for the degree include two on-campus learning intensives that take place during the summer months. In order to stay on track for a two-year graduation , full-time students need to take six to nine credits per semester, including summer semesters.

2-Year Online Doctorate Example Timeline

Capstone IV: 1 credit

Q: How can an online program help accelerate the doctorate-earning process?

A: In many cases, online programs allow you to work at your own pace and accommodate busy schedules outside of school. Asynchronous course delivery formats do not require you to log in or attend virtual meetings at any specific times. You’ll be viewing recorded lectures and reading course material when you choose in asynchronous formats. On the other hand, synchronous learning formats may require you to work in tandem with other students and interact in virtual classrooms online. In these cases, you’ll still be able to save time by avoiding commutes to campus.

Q: Can I work during this time?

A: It’s possible to work while completing your degree, but it largely depends on your personal learning style, schedule, and work ethic. Doctoral programs, by their very nature, require you to engage with and learn about advanced concepts in your field. In this way, they won’t necessarily rely on rote memorization as you might have encountered in an undergraduate program. If you manage your time well, and can find focused study time within your normal routine, you may be able to continue working while finishing an online doctoral program.

Q: Are fast doctorate programs as good as regular programs?

A: Yes, accelerated online doctorates are valuable programs. You will be getting some non-traditional training and professional development simply because you’re in a fast-track program. They are useful degrees, however, when it comes to securing employment and setting yourself apart from others in the competitive job market.

Q: What are the best fast doctorates to get?

A: The best doctorates for accelerated programs vary among schools and largely depend on your experience and abilities as a student. Practical, career-focused doctorates, such as the doctor of education degree (EdD) or doctor of business administration (DBA), might be better suited for accelerated formats than research-focused programs like doctor of philosophy (PhD) programs.

  • GradHacker Hosted by the well-known Inside Higher Ed blog, GradHacker provides you with some great tips, tricks, and student advice for getting the most out of your doctoral program.
  • Grad Resources This site specializes in providing resources for graduate-level students, mostly in terms of managing mental health and stress.
  • Imagine PhD Helping to bridge the gap between academic-focused knowledge and practical skills that are highly valued in outside degree paths, Imagine PhD provides excellent free online resources for graduate students and young professionals with advanced degrees.
  • Pearson Accelerated For students who are unsure which academic direction they’d like to take, Pearson offers an interactive college planning tool. Students can enter information that will help them choose academic paths, make financial decisions, and prepare for specific careers.
  • Purdue Writing Lab Purdue University offers excellent online resources for graduate students. You’ll be able to find answers to just about any academic writing-related question here, including how to avoid plagiarism, write for specific subjects and fields, and manage writing in English as a second language.
  • University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education UB’s list of doctoral student resources can help learners in just about any field get the most out of their online education. From conducting doctoral-level research, writing proposals, and publishing your work to stress and time management, this extensive list will come in handy.
  • Versatile PhD This site helps currently enrolled doctoral students and those who have recently graduated locate online resources to better prepare them for the academic and non-academic job market. Available resources include webinars, online networking opportunities, discussion forums, and options for in-person advising and mentorship.


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