Can You Get a Doctorate Online?

Earning a traditional or online doctorate degree in any field is the pinnacle of academic success. It takes a lot of commitment of time and resources to complete the requirements for a post-graduate degree. Fortunately for many doctorate candidates, there are several options to consider when deciding on a program.

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Traditional On-campus Doctorate Program

Under a traditional program, you will complete all the requirements on campus. This program works if the university is accessible from your place of work or your home. For instance, if you already work for the university, completing your doctorate with the same university makes a lot of sense. When there were no alternative programs, doctorate candidates would live on or near campus while completing course requirements.

Online Doctorate Program

Many universities have made it possible to earn an online doctorate degree. Under this type of program, candidates can fulfill all or almost all of their requirements online, making it a convenient option if you are working full time or if the university is not located within an accessible distance. The online doctorate program was created for professionals who cannot or choose not to take time off from their busy careers to work on their requirements. Some programs may require an appearance to present the doctoral dissertation in front of your committee and the faculty chair. Some online universities allow a dissertation defense via conference call. The doctoral dissertation is the culminating requirement to earn your degree, and you might have to undertake the oral defense more than once if the committee requests revisions of your work.

Hybrid Program

A third option combines the traditional program with an online curriculum. Some courses may be completed online while others are taken on-campus. Courses in the on-campus segment may be scheduled singly if the campus location is convenient to your residence or workplace, but you also have the option of scheduling on-campus studies for a semester usually heading toward your dissertation phase to get more access to faculty assistance and campus resources.

Advantages of an Online Doctorate Program

The primary advantage of an online doctorate program is flexibility in scheduling coursework. You can take your online classes at your convenience and collaborate with your peers according to an agreed time frame that has nothing to do with class schedules. For professionals with high-flying careers and busy schedules, an online program may be the only way to work toward a doctorate degree.

An online graduate program will not require relocation to access the university. You can stay in place and work at the same job and still enroll in a specialized field with courses offered only at select universities. You may be given the flexibility of starting and completing your degree based on your own schedule. Make sure to choose a program and a university with the proper accreditation to ensure recognition by professional organizations, licensing agencies and employers.

You have many options if you are considering a doctorate degree to boost your expertise and build up our credentials. By far, an online program presents your best chances of making time to complete all the requirements and actually complete the degree while working at the same time. Established brick-and-mortar universities offer online doctorate degrees that can enhance your career opportunities. Online learning has gone mainstream and is expected to be a key component of the educational landscape including graduate studies.

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