Earning a doctoral degree—or a doctorate—is a great achievement. This degree establishes you as a master in your field. The doctorate is the highest possible degree in an academic area of study and prepares you for a long and lucrative career. You can begin your studies for a doctoral degree after you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree and completed a master’s program.
The most common type of doctoral degree program is the PhD. Many fields of study in higher education offer this doctorate. A PhD requires years of intensive research, so a normal PhD graduate certificate generally takes between four and six years to earn.
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Not everyone wants to dedicate themselves to five or more years of graduate study. So, some universities offer more accelerated doctoral programs that you can finish in one year. And to make your doctoral degree program even more accessible, a handful of universities even offer online programs! Here is a look at how you can earn a one-year online doctoral degree, the best fields to study in, the costs you can anticipate, and some of the top programs in the United States.
How to earn an online doctorate in one year
It is possible to earn an online doctorate degree in just one year. But before you enroll in this type of degree program, make sure you’re ready! One-year programs are very intense and leave little time for anything except studying. As a doctoral student in a one-year program, you will have to dedicate yourself to your schooling.
How is it possible to earn an online doctorate degree in one year?
You can earn a one-year online doctorate degree in a handful of fields. One very lucrative field in particular is clinical psychology. This is a growing industry that can lead you to a high-paying job and a long career. Each university has different curriculum and class credit requirements, so be sure to do your research to find out exactly how long you can expect your graduate program to last.
Many doctoral degree programs take several years to complete. But if you find the right program—and are willing to dedicate yourself completely to earning your graduate certificate—you can earn a degree in one year. And your classes could be completely online!
What are the requirements for earning a doctorate degree?
Every university that you apply to will have requirements that you must fulfill before they’ll accept you as a doctoral student. These prerequisites vary a bit per university. But here are a few basic requirements to get you started:
- A bachelor’s degree. This is your undergraduate diploma. Your bachelor’s degree does not have to be from the same school as your master’s degree program—or from the same school that you’re applying to as a doctoral student.
- A master’s degree. Similar to your bachelor’s degree, you do not have to earn this diploma from the same school. Students often study at different universities for their bachelor’s, master’s, and graduate certificate.
- Grade Point Average (GPA). Your degree program will require a minimum GPA from your bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Many universities look for a 3.0 minimum GPA. But be sure to find out what your specific doctoral degree program requires.
Keep in mind that you always need to study at an accredited school. This really just means that your university has gone through a rigorous evaluation process to make sure they’re meeting—or exceeding—universal education standards. If you have earned your bachelor’s or master’s degree at a non-accredited school, you might not be eligible to enter a doctoral degree program.
Your graduate degree program will also have requirements during your studies. You’ll need to finish a predetermined number of courses with a certain GPA in order to graduate. And many doctoral degree programs will also require you to write and defend a dissertation before you graduate. This is a very long essay that requires a lot of research. Your dissertation helps establish you as a thought leader in your field.
Which one-year PhD degrees are most in demand?
As a doctoral student, you want to make sure that you’ll be able to put your degree to good use. That involves finding a field that’s fast growing so that you have a good chance of finding a job after you graduate. It’s always best to research the field you’re interested in to make sure that your degree is in high demand. Here are a couple of career ideas to start with:
- Nursing practice
- Clinical psychology
- EdD (Doctor of Education)
- DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)
One of the best resources to help you find out whether your degree is in demand is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Check out its website to learn about the job growth in your field. You’re going to spend time and money on your degree—make sure you’ll have a job waiting for you when you graduate!
Fields in which you can earn a one-year doctorate
Academic life isn’t for everyone. Many people don’t want to—or aren’t willing to—dedicate themselves to intense classwork, writing, and overall studying. And when you enter a one-year online doctoral degree program, you are signing up for twelve full months of eating, breathing, and living school! It will be intense and difficult, but the payoff of a secure career in a high paying job will be worth it.
You’ll have to choose your field of study before you can start applying to doctoral programs. What did you study as an undergraduate and in your master’s program? Are you interested in medicine? Business? Criminology? These are all industries that offer some type of one-year online degree programs. They are also industries that will be around for a long time. People will always need access to professionals in these fields, so they are safe bets for your graduate study and future career.
Keep in mind that not all positions in each industry are eligible for one-year programs. For instance: you might be able to earn a one-year online business degree to join a hospital’s organizational leadership. But if you want to become a nurse practitioner or surgeon, you’ll need even more education than a one-year program will provide.
So, what are some fields that offer a one-year doctoral degree? And how do you get started on your path to a graduate certificate?
What is the difference between a PhD and a doctorate?
A doctorate is a great achievement in higher education. But all degrees are not created equal. As a prospective student interested in pursuing a doctoral degree, you will come across both PhD and applied graduate programs. So, what’s the difference?
Here’s one easy way to think of it: all PhDs are doctorates, but not all doctorates are PhDs.
A PhD is a type of doctorate. A PhD student concentrates very heavily on research. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the knowledge in their field. These students look to their school’s educational leadership like professors, mentors, and counselors to create a research plan. This is all aimed toward creating a dissertation, which is usually required to graduate with a PhD.
Other types of doctorate programs focus on applying knowledge to create results. These are commonly referred to as professional doctoral degrees or applied degrees. You can find online doctorate degree programs in some of these fields. And these programs often take less time to complete because there’s more application and less research than with a PhD.
Which doctorate degree is the quickest to obtain?
As a graduate student, you’ll have to dedicate yourself to your schooling. This applies to everything from the application process through your studies and eventual graduation. Many higher education degrees can take up to seven years to fully complete. But if you’re looking for a fast-track option, many schools offer options to earn an online doctorate degree quite quickly.
Every university has different requirements to enter and graduate from doctoral programs. So make sure you research your potential universities and fields of study. Some degree programs can create the foundation you’ll need to get a high-paying job off the bat, but you’ll need to continue schooling to obtain the best jobs.
Which fields allow you to earn a doctorate in one year?
Doctorate programs are intense. It takes a lot of time and dedication to earn a graduate degree in higher education. A PhD or other graduate degree could easily take up to seven years to earn. But there are other options available if you’re looking for an online degree that you can obtain in one year.
Not all academic fields will have options for an online doctorate degree—particularly a graduate degree that you can earn in twelve months. For instance: if you want to become a registered nurse or a law professor, you will need to spend much more time studying. Sometimes these degrees last five years or more!
If you are dedicated to obtaining a graduate certificate in one year, here’s a short list of possibilities to start researching:
- PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) – A PsyD can springboard you to a fulfilling and lucrative career in counseling psychology or clinical psychology.
- DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) – This degree can help you get a managerial position in human resources, computer science, and more.
- EdD (Doctor of Education) – The EdD is great for people who love teaching, higher education, and academia in general!
Some universities also offer one-year doctoral programs that can get you started in the following fields:
- Criminal justice
- Physical therapy
- Social work
It’s difficult to pick the field or industry that you’ll dedicate your life to for the foreseeable future. You want a fulfilling career that will let you live comfortably. This is a big decision. Do your research so you can be confident in your choice!
Costs of one-year online doctoral programs
Higher education is an investment. When you choose to continue your schooling, you are investing in your education so that you can secure an interesting and lucrative career. You spent a lot of time and money to earn your bachelor’s degree as an undergraduate, and more resources on your master’s program as a graduate student. Your doctorate degree will be no different.
Whether you’re going to attend a brick-and-mortar university or an online program, there are costs associated with every doctorate degree. Fortunately, there are many resources that can help you. Be creative when you look for financial aid. Don’t just stop at your school’s offerings. Look for national foundations, and even your employer!
Many companies offer tuition reimbursement programs. Employers see a lot of value in team members who want to continue to better themselves. And obtaining a doctorate degree increases your value as an employee! Talk to your Human Resources Department to find out if your company can help offset some of your costs.
What is the initial cost of a one-year online doctoral program?
As a graduate student, you’ll have a lot of school expenses throughout your doctorate degree program. The biggest initial cost, of course, is tuition. Just about every university provides some sort of financial aid for its students. You likely had to take out loans for your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. Your online doctorate program will be no different!
In addition to tuition, you will need to pay for resources required by each class you take. These costs include your books, library fees, and any applicable lab fees. An online program will, of course, also require a reliable internet connection. Don’t forget to budget for that as well.
What is the difference between a PhD scholarship, fellowship, and grant?
Financial aid resources are available in virtually every graduate school. Higher education degrees are expensive whether you attend classes in person or enroll in an online program. Student loans are one of the most common financial resources. But did you know that there are other options available to you as a graduate student?
Each university has its own funding for private tuition scholarship opportunities. In addition, there are many third-party organizations that are willing to contribute to graduate programs around the United States. The field of nursing practice in particular has a lot of funding because it’s such an important industry and will remain important for the foreseeable future.
But nursing isn’t for everyone. And that’s OK! Here are a couple of options for other financial aid resources:
- PhD scholarship. Several national foundations set aside money each year to help students fund their graduate studies. Since a standard PhD program can be quite pricey, this is a good option for many students. However, since most PhDs take as long as five to seven years to complete, it’s not the best academic path if you’re looking for a one-year online doctoral degree.
- Fellowship. This can be a partial or full tuition scholarship. A fellowship is an award that allows you to focus on your studies. It’s a sort of gift given to you as a graduate student. This differs from an assistantship, which requires that you work on campus at least part-time while you’re in school.
- Grant. If a fellowship is given to you as a student, then a grant is a gift given to a project that you can participate in. You’ll need organizational leadership to write the grant and a group of students and professors to conduct the research.
Your education is important. And you deserve to earn funding. Scour the internet for financial aid resources. Be creative! Apply to every scholarship, fellowship, and grant you can find!
How much does tuition cost at an accredited online university?
Your university absolutely must be accredited. This applies to your bachelor’s degree, your master’s program, and your doctoral studies. It also applies to every brick-and-mortar institution and their online programs. An unaccredited university degree might not land you the job of your dreams after you graduate.
Accreditation is a very thorough evaluation process of a school’s curriculum, teachers, and teaching method. It’s not easy for a university to get accredited, but it’s worth it! Accredited colleges are renowned as legitimate teaching institutions. Before you begin researching tuition, be sure to confirm that your school has earned accreditation.
Tuition will vary depending on your degree field. If your degree requires laboratory hours such as a medical or scientific study, your costs will increase. Tuition can also depend on your geographical location! Many state universities have different tuition rates for in-state versus out-of-state students.
Top one-year doctoral programs
You understand how important higher education is to your career advancement. And you’re excited to take your next step and enter an online doctoral program! Now it’s time to pick the best school, and to find out which programs will help you find that high-paying dream job.
Before you get too deep into your university selection process, make sure you’re entering the right field of study. Check out the labor statistics and projected job growth in your industry. You want to study toward a lucrative career. So make sure that you’re joining a fast-growing industry! Here are a few fields that are expected to be around for a long time:
- Nursing practice
- Social work
- Healthcare administration
- Criminal justice
- Business management
Once you’ve chosen your area of study, it’s time to choose the right school! The next step is to research the top doctoral programs available to you, and how you can turn your online degree into a fulfilling and lucrative career.
What are the top one-year doctoral programs?
Different universities are renowned for different fields of study. For instance: if you’re interested in nursing, the top school in the United States is Johns Hopkins University. Baylor University is known for its EdD program (Doctor of Education)—especially its online program. And Concordia University in Nebraska has one of the best Master’s in Accounting degrees in the country.
It’s relatively easy to find an online doctoral degree program. But finding the best program is a tougher task. It takes a lot of research to find the right fit for you as a student. There are a few key things to keep in mind during your search for the best school:
- Cost. Find out your expected tuition, book costs, and lab fees. Also look into every possible avenue for financial aid. What scholarships, fellowships, and grants does each school offer? What about financing? There are financial resources available to all prospective students—sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper.
- Accessibility. It’s great if you can be a full-time student! But many people have other life obligations such as work and childcare. So, an online program might be a better fit for you. Geographical accessibility can also be a challenge. Transportation is an issue for many students. Online programs bring the academic world directly into your home.
- Admission requirements. All universities will require a formal application, your student transcripts for your bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and an admissions essay. But many schools also insist that you have working experience in your field. This could be an internship, an assistantship, or a full-time position. Make sure that you fill all of the admission requirements before you spend time and money on an application.
- University reputation. Is your university accredited? Is its online program respected by professionals across the country? You’re going to put a lot of time and effort into earning your graduate degree. And you want to be sure that you’re picking a school that will pay off when you begin your job search!
You, as a graduate student, are unique. You will have other needs and challenges to keep in mind as you research where you will study. Just be sure to spend enough time and care in selecting the right university.
Which one-year PhD degree offers the highest salary opportunities?
The United States has become a popular country for graduate degrees. Prospective students attend stateside universities because of their overall curriculum, international notoriety, and rigorous accreditation process. And since so many American universities offer an online doctorate degree, these schools are very accessible to people across the globe.
This all means that as long as you choose an accredited university, your online PhD or other online doctorate degree will help you find a steady job. But each job opportunity will come with its own estimated salary. For instance: social work is a solid field that offers plenty of careers. You can earn a generous salary if you find work in a hospital or private practice. And if you choose to be a counselor at a smaller institution or a nonprofit, you won’t earn as much money.
As a graduate student, you can use your education and accomplishments as leverage when you look for high-paying jobs. Most online PhD programs will require you to write a doctoral dissertation before you graduate. Your dissertation will be a goldmine of research and knowledge that could be very helpful to your potential employer. You can speak as an authority on your dissertation subject as a way to increase your expected salary. Show each company that you’re a thought leader in your field!
Which one-year online doctoral degrees are most useful for career enhancement?
Every diploma helps advance your career. And all one-year online doctoral degrees will add to your employability and earning potential. You really can’t go wrong as long as you earn your professional degree at an accredited university. Prospective employers will see that you’ve completed a graduate program and immediately be impressed.
Graduate study provides you with expertise. Your doctorate proves that you have put in the hard work, thought, and research into becoming an expert in your field. Every company in the world wants experts on their team because it helps their business stay ahead of the competition. Employees are valuable resources. And you are proving your worth just by walking in the door with a doctorate!
Your potential for career enhancement is directly tied to your industry’s success. If you choose a fast-growing field like medicine or technology, chances are you’ll be able to keep advancing throughout your working life. People will always need access to medicine, computers, education, and law enforcement. So, consider an online program related to one of these industries.
One-Year Online Doctoral Programs Will Accelerate Your Career
Congratulations on beginning your doctoral degree studies! This is a very exciting time. You’ve established yourself as a serious academic. And working toward a doctorate degree proves that you are a dedicated student!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. Doctoral studies are difficult, from your initial application process all the way through graduation. Check out our bank of resources to give you a leg up on finding the best school and degree to fit your needs!