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    Fastest Online Doctoral Programs in 2021

    September 15, 2021 | Staff Writers

    Fastest Online Doctoral Programs
    Degree Finder
    BestValueSchools.org 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.

    Earning a doctoral degree prepares professionals to become leaders in their chosen career field. One obstacle to completing a doctoral degree for many professionals, even if there were 1 year online doctoral programs available, is the time constraints. Time constraints and other obstacles, such as inability to take time off work does not have to be an issue. The fastest online doctoral programs provide the opportunity to earn the degree without having to take off work. The convenience of completing the program online is just one of the benefits.

    Discover why pursuing an academic or research-based doctoral degree online is often the ideal choice for professionals that want to excel in leadership positions in their chosen career.

    What are the Benefits of Completing a Fastest Online Doctoral program?

    One benefit of enrolling in one of the fastest online doctoral degree programs is the fact that it provides the means for gaining the latest skills and knowledge that helps propel emerging leaders to the top of their profession. Individuals that hold a doctorate degree, including those that have completed one of the fastest online doctoral programs, obtain the tools necessary to effect change when and where necessary in any career field.

    The employment outlook for professionals with a doctoral degree explains how having an advanced education pays in the real world. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) explains that employment in occupations that require a doctoral degree is expected to grow faster than average over the next several years, compared to all other occupations that do not require a doctoral degree.

    The difference in employment is clearly evident when comparing the unemployment rate for workers with a doctoral degree and workers that have attained other educational levels. The BLS indicates that the unemployment rate for individuals with a doctoral degree was 1.6 percent in 2018, while the unemployment rate for individuals with workers with less than a high school diploma was 7.4 percent. Workers that held a bachelor’s degree experienced a 2.7 percent unemployment rate, still well above the unemployment rate for workers with a doctoral degree.

    Another important fact to consider when deciding whether enrolling in a fastest online doctoral degree program is the right choice for you is the salary difference. A 2019 report published on the BLS site from Career Outlook provided the average weekly salary for workers with various educational levels. A worker with an associate’s degree had median weekly earnings of $887, while an individual with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $1,248 per week. A person with a doctoral degree had median usual weekly earnings of $1,883 for the same period.

    Rank School Location
    1University of FloridaGainesville, Florida
    2Georgia Southern UniversityStatesboro, Georgia
    3University of the CumberlandsWilliamsburg, Kentucky
    4University of ArkansasFayetteville, Arkansas
    5University of Southern MississippiHattiesburg, Mississippi

    These schools offer the fastest online doctoral degrees, with some of the lowest tuition rates across all programs. It is important to note that the cost of tuition covers only costs associated with attending the class. It does not include the cost of materials, fees, transportation or other costs unless specifically stated in the description of an individual school.

    1

    University of Florida

    • Gainesville, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 87%
    University of Florida

    The University of Florida offers three doctoral-level nursing programs in an online format. The Nursing, PhD program takes longer to complete, compared to the other two programs, yet offers an outstanding opportunity for program graduates to serve at the forefront of the ever-changing nursing field. There are two options for this program, either the BSN to PhD or the MSN to PhD option.

    The Online Nursing Practice DNP, Executive Track encourages nurses to emphasize evidence-based practices, enhance their leadership skills, and to focus on innovation. Graduates are prepared to work in nursing leadership roles, and navigate complex clinical situations.

    The Nursing Practice, DNP, Advanced Track, Challenges students to become dynamic and influential leaders in nursing, focus on change in the healthcare industry, and to build upon existing research and nursing practice.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $327.32 per credit hour
    Program Length: Est. 2 Years
    Visit School Website
    2

    Georgia Southern University

    • Statesboro, Georgia
    • Graduation Rate: 46%

    The Georgia Southern University Public Health D.Ph.. is a 60-credit-hour program with a concentration in public health leadership. Students take courses such as leadership foundations and strategies for health organizations, scientific basis of public health, public health research methods, and financial management of public health organizations and programs. Students also complete the Doctoral Preceptorship in Public Health.

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program educates advanced practice nurses that want to lead efforts to improve healthcare delivery, to gain skills in advanced science-based practice, and leadership in public and private healthcare organizations. Students gain enhanced knowledge in interacting with other healthcare practices and agencies, and focus on developing and implementing new health care practices, and evaluating healthcare outcomes.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $389 per credit hour
    Program Length: 2 Years
    Visit School Website
    3

    University of the Cumberlands

    • Williamsburg, Kentucky
    • Graduation Rate: 78%

    The University of the Cumberlands offers a variety of affordable online doctoral programs for professionals that want to work in administrative or leadership positions in their career field. The school features doctoral programs that allow students to complete their program in less time than some schools that do not offer their doctoral programs in an online format.

    Complete the online PhD Information Technology program and become an expert in areas such as cybercrime, and smart technology. Choose to earn the Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D), and focus on the educational issues of today so that you can provide leadership into the future. Some other programs include the Ph.D. in Leadership program, the Doctor of Business Administration and the online Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision.

    School Overview

    Tuition: Est. $450 per credit hour
    Program Length: Est. 2.5 Years
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    4

    University of Arkansas

    • Fayetteville, Arkansas
    • Graduation Rate: 64%

    The University of Arkansas offers a few online doctoral programs, and others that are offered in hybrid format. The hybrid programs require some in-person component, although most coursework is available online.

    Consider earning the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, the Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education, or the online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Tuition for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program is slightly higher than the tuition for other online doctoral programs.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $430.69 per credit hour
    Program Length:  3 Years
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    5

    University of Southern Mississippi

    • Hattiesburg, Mississippi
    • Graduation Rate: 57%

    The University of Southern Mississippi invites students to ‘pursue what matters’ and to expect to carve their own path. A student seeking to earn a doctoral degree at the school has already carved their own path and has the opportunity to take on new roles in research, administration, or leadership.

    The school offers what it calls a revolutionary online Educational Administration Doctorate (Ed.D.) program for educators that want to become administrators. Students in this program, and the Educational Administration Specialist (Ed.S.) program do not have a GRE requirement. Other options offered online include the Higher Education Administration program and the Nursing Leadership Ph.D. program.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $488 per credit hour
    Program Length: Est. 3 Years
    Visit School Website
    6

    Mississippi State University

    • Starkville, Mississippi
    • Graduation Rate: 60%

    Mississippi State University features several online doctoral programs in engineering, including the Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering, the Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Engineering, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering with a concentration in Engineering Education program.

    A unique online doctoral program at the school is the Doctoral of Philosophy in Instructional Systems and Workforce Development. This program is an individualized program where students build on their existing work experience, education, and career goals. This program is developed for future educators, high-level managers, administrators, faculty or researchers.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $489 per credit hour
    Program length: Est. 3 Years
    Visit School Website
    7

    University of North Dakota

    • Grand Forks, North Dakota
    • Graduation Rate: 55%

    The University of North Dakota offers a variety of online doctoral degrees. The school offers the online Educational Practice and Leadership (Ed.D) program, and the Nursing PhD program. If you are looking for a unique doctoral program, the University of North Dakota may be the right choice for earning your degree. Match your career goals and interests to one of several doctoral degrees in engineering-related fields. Choose the Electrical Engineering PhD program, the Energy Engineering PhD, or the Environmental Engineering PhD program. Another unique doctoral program is the doctoral degree in Aerospace Sciences. The program intersects engineering, science, law, policy, and business. It takes four to seven years to complete this program.

    Do you have an interest in developing medical devices and having a role in impactful medical technologies? Consider the Biomedical Engineering PhD program, which takes less time to complete than some other doctoral programs at the school.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $504.03 per credit hour
    Program Length: 3 Years
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    8

    University of South Carolina

    • Columbia, South Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 74%

    The University of South Carolina offers four doctoral degrees in education. The Doctor of Education in Educational Practice and Innovation – Curriculum Studies Concentration guides educators through gaining in-depth knowledge and understanding of social justice throughout diverse communities. Students focus on identifying and addressing existing problems in various academic settings. The Doctor of Education – Learning Design and Technologies is also delivered in a 100 percent online format. Educational leaders develop and implement sound principles and techniques of instructional systems design plus demonstrate technological competence, and competencies in other required areas.

    The school also offers several engineering-related doctoral programs, including the PhD in nuclear engineering and the PhD in mechanical engineering. Perhaps your preferred career focus is in computer engineering. Master computing techniques, computer science research, and other skills when you choose the PhD in computer science program. Focus on artificial intelligence, big data and data mining, multiagent systems, strategic and economic impacts of information technology and other topics.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $572.25 per credit hour
    Program Length: Est. 3 Years
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    9

    Walden University

    • Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Graduation Rate: 26%

    Walden University invites prospective students to choose a doctoral program that is designed to promote their professional excellence. The university offers an outstanding variety of online doctoral programs, including a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). There is a doctoral program in criminal justice and one doctoral program in information technology. There is a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degree or a PhD in Social Work program. Nurses that want to become a leader in the profession focus on completing requirements for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

    Are you a leader in education that wants to excel in the profession? Walden University features an impressive list of online doctoral degrees in education, including the Doctor of Education (Ed.D) and the Doctor of Education (Ed.D) with a Specialization in Educational Administration and Leadership.

    There are seven options to choose from in psychology and counseling doctoral programs. There are five doctoral programs in the Public Health and Health Sciences department. Complete your Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA) degree or the Doctor of Public Health (D.Ph.) degree, which is used for the program length information for this school.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $590 per credit hour
    Program Length: 2.5 Years
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    10

    University of Tennessee Knoxville

    • Knoxville, Tennessee
    • Graduation Rate: 68%

    The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Social Work explains that the online Doctor of Social Work (DSW) in Clinical Practice and Leadership program is the only program of its kind offered by a major college or university. Students learn to advance knowledge and skills to at-risk populations in a variety of settings, and strive to become leaders in their fields of clinical practice.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $639 per credit hour
    Program Length: 3 Years
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    11

    Northeastern University

    • Boston, Massachusetts
    • Graduation Rate: 84%

    Excel in a physical therapy career when you complete the Northeastern University Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree in an online format. The school explains that students can complete this program in a 100 percent online format. The program is designed for currently practicing physical therapists, and offers concentrations such as advanced nutrition, geriatrics, or orthopedics.

    Prepare for the highly qualified leadership position by completing courses such as differential diagnosis and medical screening, motor control, and pharmacology. There is a capstone project as part of the program.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $755 per credit hour
    Program Length: 2 Years
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    12

    Grand Canyon University

    • Phoenix, Arizona
    • Graduation Rate: 32%

    Grand Canyon University offers helpful resources, convenience, and affordability in its fastest online doctoral program options. Enjoy the flexibility of completing courses in a fast-paced format of eight-week sessions. Students pursuing the doctoral degree at the school prepare to become scholar-practitioners in their chosen field.

    Choose your program from options such as the Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology, Doctor of Business: Data Analytics, or the Online Ed.D Degree: Doctor of Education program. The school offers several other online doctoral degrees, including the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Health Care Administration program.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $695 per credit hour
    Program Length: Est. 3 Years
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    13

    Gwynedd Mercy University

    • Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania
    • Graduation Rate: 50%

    The Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Gwynedd Mercy University is an accelerated program that expands the knowledge and skills of current nurse practitioners that want to take on additional responsibilities. Nurses work closely with the graduate nursing faculty and engage in more-advanced theoretical concepts, gain advanced clinical skills, and develop an evidence-based practice project. Students also obtain skills necessary to provide systems leadership, advance the practice of nursing as a highly-qualified nursing scholar, and to engage in social policy changes.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $930 per credit hour
    Program Length: 2 Years
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    14

    Nova Southeastern University

    • Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 62%

    Nova Southeastern University offers an impressive 16 online doctoral programs. These programs showcase the opportunity for professionals to excel in administrative or leadership positions in their chosen profession.

    Some online doctoral programs at the school include the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) with several concentration options, the Conflict Analysis and Resolution (Ph.D.), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Information Systems (Ph.D.), or the Speech-Language Pathology (SLP.D).

    The Conflict Analysis and Resolution doctoral program is one of only a few programs of its kind in North America. Students choose one of four concentrations, such as the Conflict in Organizations concentration, or the Global Conflict concentration. The tuition for doctoral programs in nursing are typically lower than some other programs.

    School Overview

    Tuition: Est. $1,164 per credit hour
    Program Length: 2 Years
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    15

    University of Maryland Global Campus

    • Adelphi, Maryland
    • Graduation Rate: 27%

    Achieve expertise in your career when you complete an online doctoral degree at the University of Maryland Global Campus. Choose the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) if you want to expand your executive skills and gain additional skills in strategic thinking, management theory, research and organizational leadership and change. Another focus area, which takes today’s business leaders into the future is the study on sustainability in the global business environment. There is no GRE or GMAT required for the program

    The Doctor of Management in Community College Policy and Administration is currently undergoing improvement and will be available in the near future.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $1,087 per credit hour
    Program Length: 3 Years
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    16

    Seton Hall University

    • South Orange, New Jersey
    • Graduation Rate: 64%

    The online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Seton Hall University is a practice-focused program that prepares nurses to provide care at the highest levels of nursing, today and into the future. Courses in the program concentrate on evidence-based practice, population health, statistics, healthcare systems, quality improvement, and other focus areas related to improving patient outcomes, along with safety and quality in clinical practice. Graduates typically hold leadership or administrative nursing positions.

    Students that currently hold a Bachelor of Science (BSN) are welcome to apply to the program as a BSN-DNP student, although the program, which is CCNE accredited, is considerably longer for these students.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $1,336 per credit hour
    Program Length: Est. 2.5 Years
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    17

    George Washington University

    • Washington, D.C., United States
    • Graduation Rate: 84%

    George Washington University offers online doctoral degree programs across a variety of disciplines. Some programs, such as the Doctor of Nursing Practice Executive Leadership program, require that students complete clinical hours or a project in addition to online courses.

    Choose your degree from several other nursing programs, such as the Post-BSN Doctor of Nursing Practice in Family Nurse Practitioner program. Educational leaders often choose the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree. Students that want to enhance their engineering career have the opportunity to choose from the online Doctor of Engineering in Engineering Management or the Doctor of Philosophy in Systems Engineering program.

    School Overview

    Tuition: Est. $1,525 per credit hour
    Program Length: 2 Years
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    18

    Arizona State University

    • Tempe, Arizona
    • Graduation Rate: 67%

    Arizona State University offers an online Doctor of Behavioral Health (DBH) Clinical degree program and a Doctor of Behavioral Health Management program. Both programs are the same number of credit hours, but provide a different focus that allows students to pursue the program more in line with their career goals.

    The Doctor of Behavioral Health Management program option prepares graduates for leadership roles in health care administration. Learn to improve the patient experience, strive towards positive clinical outcomes, and to adapt to the organizational demands of the profession.

    There is a required 240-hour internship with this program.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $1110.11 per credit hour
    Program Length: Est. 4 Years
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    19

    Baylor University

    • Waco, Texas
    • Graduation Rate: 74%

    Baylor University offers a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) Online in Learning and Organizational Change for students that want to learn to manage the dynamics of organizational change. The program is designed for professional educators that are interested in managing positive change in the school systems, in corporations, agencies, and community programs. Learn to demonstrate leadership in curriculum design and instruction, contextual learning and design, program assessment and evaluation, and in other areas of professional leadership and development.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $1,785 per credit hour
    Program Length: 3 Years
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    20

    University of California Rossier

    • Los Angeles, California
    • Graduation Rate: 18%

    The University of California Rossier offers the Doctor of Education (Ed.D) in Organizational Change and Leadership Online. Are you a leader in a private firm, college or university, a non-profit or government organization striving for systemic change in your agency or organization? This program is also for leaders that want to continue to grow in their respective industry.

    There are two options for this program. Students that hold a master’s degree can complete this degree with just 43 credit hours, or units of study. Students without a master’s degree complete the program in 60-credit hours.

    The school also offers a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership with K-12 Concentration online program. That Ed.D program prepares educational leaders in the K-12 setting to think strategically, use evidence-based research to assess program effectiveness, and to improve practice for all K-12 learners. Individuals in the program learn to work towards continuous improvement and to ensure compliance with all mandates, laws, and policies. There are a variety of other learning outcomes.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $1,995 per credit hour
    Program Length: 3 Years
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    Methodology

    Finding the fastest online doctoral programs is no longer a task because we did the research and ranked the schools for you. Each school is an accredited school and program. Schools are ranked by a unique score assigned for tuition and program length.

    We do not allow any school to pay us for a higher ranking. Any school that wishes to be sponsored is listed separately and labeled as SPONSORED.

    If you would like to have your school included in our rankings, or if you would like to update the information for your school, please feel free to contact us.

    Find the program that’s right for you

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    BestValueSchools.org 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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