Doctoral Programs

Individuals seeking to expand their knowledge may enroll in doctoral programs online or in a traditional classroom environment. Obtaining a doctoral degree will provide individuals with the necessary skills to research, teach, or advance in an executive position.

Depending on the focus of the doctoral program, the opportunities are endless. Salaries for doctoral graduates are also typically more than a Master’s degree graduate or Bachelor’s degree graduate. Most doctoral graduates will earn over $100,000 per year in their given profession.

A Master’s degree is required to enter most doctoral programs. Students should also possess a strong academic record and solid recommendations from professors or professionals. Individuals entering an Executive Doctoral program must also have a certain degree of professional work experience prior to entering a program of study. Professors prefer students that have some practical frame of reference for the discussions and principles taught in lectures.

Students may study nearly any course of study to obtain a doctoral degree. Some of the most popular doctoral programs include the following:

  • Medical Doctor
  • Dentistry
  • Law
  • Education
  • Mathematics
  • Economics
  • Theology
  • Ethics
  • Engineering
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Business Administration
  • Leadership
  • Public Health

Doctoral Curriculum

The doctoral curriculum will depend largely upon the area of study. A mathematics doctoral program, for instance, will focus on mathematical models and theory. Alternatively, a doctoral program in Business Administration or Leadership will focus on developing skills that may be applied in an executive position within a corporation or small business. Despite the program, doctoral candidates must learn critical thinking skills, strategy skills, research principles, and strong communications skills.

Doctoral programs may take anywhere from 3 years to 10 years to complete. Doctoral candidates must complete a dissertation and defend the dissertation. The defense of the dissertation will include faculty of varying experience that must approve the dissertation prior to awarding the student a doctorate in their field of study.

Doctoral candidates must demonstrate their ability to lead within their chosen field. Candidates who intend to teach in their chosen field must demonstrate effective teaching skills through a Teaching Assistant position and through other teaching experiences. These opportunities are integrated into doctoral or PhD programs.

Example of Doctoral Curriculum

Individuals enrolled in an Executive Doctoral program may include the following:

  • Research Methodology
  • Global Marketing Strategy
  • Organizational Leadership Training
  • Management Leadership
  • Data Analysis
  • Research Design
  • Advanced Business Theory
  • Dissertation Seminar

Online Schools Offering Doctoral Programs

Doctoral programs are challenging to obtain in any environment. Whether online or in a traditional setting, the student must be self-motivated and self-directed. In an online environment, the challenge becomes greater, because students will not have exposure to their peers in a physical setting. The program is more flexible because students are allowed to work around their schedule. Furthermore, all textbooks and lectures will be offered online. Some online programs are hybrids. These courses offer physical classes in addition to online studies.

Students must have updated computer equipment and a fast Internet connection in order to complete their classes online. Students in online studies will not have other students to collaborate with in order to complete their studies. Therefore, individuals must be organized and self-directed to find information that may easily be found by consulting another peer.

Students must also verify that the online PhD program is offered by an accredited school. Many students in the past have signed up for a degree program online, only to find that no employer will recognize the program because of its lack of accreditation. These students lost precious time and money as a result.

Technology for online curriculum is improving. Collaboration tools and interactive tools are available to create an atmosphere that encourages interaction among peers. Some of the schools offering online PhD programs include the following:

Each of these programs are accredited and recognized nationally. Some of the programs are even recognized internationally. Some other leading online PhD programs, according to the U.S. News and World Report, include the following:

  • Boston University’s Doctoral in Occupational Therapy:
  • Capella University’s PhD in Organization and Management & PhD Informational Technology:
  • Walden University’s PhD in Management:
  • A.T. Still University’s Doctor of Health Sciences:
  • Benedictine University’s Doctor of Education and Organizational Change:
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Executive Doctorate in Health Leadership:
  • Syracuse University’s Doctorate of Professional Studies:

Offline Doctoral Programs

Stanford University possesses doctoral degrees in many different disciplines. One of their more popular disciplines includes a PhD in Bioengineering through their school of Medicine and Engineering. See for more information.

The University of Pennsylvania offers PhD programs in the Annenberg School for Communication, Dental Medicine, Design, Education, Engineering and Applied Science, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Social Policy and Practice, Wharton School of Business and Veterinary. See for more information.

The University of Chicago is offering several PhD programs for students to enroll in. The university offers PhD programs in Ethics, Business, Humanities, Social Sciences, Medicine, Economics, Art History and more. See for more information.

George Washington University offers an Executive Leadership Doctoral Program in Human and Organizational Learning. See for more information.

Georgia State University’s Executive Doctorate in Business. See for more information.

Job Employment Opportunities

Academic Professors

Employment Opportunities for PhD graduates are as vast as the number of PhD programs available. The most common profession that doctoral graduates assume is Academic Professor. Professors are currently in demand due to the number retiring. Once professors gain tenure at a particular college or university, it is highly unlikely that any professor will lose his or her job, except in instances of gross misconduct. This is comforting to those who experienced the effects of the economic recession. Professionals do not enjoy wondering whether or not their job will be safe or not in a recession.

Furthermore, doctoral graduates had the lowest unemployment rate of all graduates. Doctoral graduates also tend to earn almost $1,000 more per week than their Bachelor’s Degree counterparts. This number surges to almost $1,500 more than an individual with a high school diploma.

Tenure protects professors during this time period. Obtaining tenure is difficult. Universities need to verify the professor’s commitment to the standards and values of the academic institution, as well as the credibility and consistency of relevant research.

Professional Researchers

PhD graduates may also become professional researchers at an academic institution or in a corporation. Most academic professors are required to perform a certain number of hours of research in order to remain relevant in the field.

Professors are also required to write publications regarding their research. Whether in an academic environment or in a professional environment, doctoral graduates are considered to be leaders in their industry. PhD candidates command higher salaries in professional industries because they develop leading edge technology, theories, or methodologies that propel the industry forward.


Successful Executive PhD graduates’ main goal is to obtain a promotion within an organization or corporation where their skills may be applied daily. Roles that Executive PhD graduates typically obtain are as follows: Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Finance, Vice President of Marketing, Professional Consultant, and Financial Analyst.

These individuals have highly stressful but monetarily rewarding jobs. The organizations may be small, of 30 to 100 employees, or large with several thousands of employees. The range of responsibilities and the number of direct reporting employees vary depending upon the size of the organization. These individuals must remain calm and focused on the task at hand.

Executives must possess a vision for the organization they are leading and a drive to motivate individuals to implement the vision. Executive PhD graduates focus more upon the application of the principles learned rather than the theoretical.

High-level or C-level executive positions are difficult to obtain. Individuals pursuing this path must make strategic moves in their careers in order to prepare for these types of positions. An advanced degree will improve their resume or curriculum vitae. However, job experience is equally as important.

Salaries of PhD and Doctoral Graduates

Salaries differ based upon the area in which the PhD applicant is employed. While most PhD graduates are paid over $100,000 per year, some PhD graduates are paid more to perform C-level jobs or jobs with more liability or responsibility.

Executive PhD Salaries

Nearly 300,000 individuals are employed as executives. Executive PhD graduates boast a median average salary of $167,280. This salary varies based upon the region of the country, as well as the profession. An individual living in San Jose, CA; Santa Clara, CA; Sunnyvale, CA; New York, NY; White Plains, NY; Bridgeport, CT; Stamford, CT; Norwalk, CT; or Durham, NC may expect a median salary between $217,080 and $210,380 each year. Delaware executives boast a median average salary of $201,460.

PhD Researcherís Salaries

Research scientists have varying salaries depending upon the employing company and the experience attained over the years. The average median salary is $85,000 per year. Some scientists may expect lower or higher salaries depending upon the role on the research assignment. A principal research scientist may earn more for his or her responsibilities than an Assistant.

Individuals seeking to negotiate salaries with their employers should also research the salaries of other graduates from the research scientistís alma mater, as well as salaries of other employees in similar positions. This information will provide the potential employee with leverage for negotiating a higher salary.

PhD Professors’ Salaries

A professor’s median average salary varies depending upon the level the professor has achieved. For instance, a post-secondary professor may expect an average salary of approximately $93,000 annually. However, a professor who has only attained Associate’s status may expect $70,000 per year. Professors who graduate from top schools such as Dartmouth may expect an average median salary of $134,000 per year.

Professors often earn more from the publications of their books, as well as speaking engagements. Supplemental income often comes from a variety of sources. This may significantly boost the professorís salary as time progresses.

Growth Opportunities for PhD Graduates

Growth opportunities vary depending upon the discipline of study. Currently, individuals obtaining a PhD in Software Engineering, Nursing, or Health Care may expect excellent growth from 2008 to 2018. Moderate but steady growth is expected for Educational Doctoral programs. Executives are also expecting a number of retirees. Executive doctoral graduates may expect moderate, but steady growth in the field.

In general, PhD candidates should examine the growth rate of the program before entering the field. Entering a field with little demand may mean that the person will be less likely to obtain a position in their desired field. Research the discipline before enrollment to avoid wasting income on a degree not in demand.

Top Ranked Doctoral Programs

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41 Responses to “Doctoral Programs”

    I have LL.M from Bangladesh, How I can do Phd from any cheaper and without campus study.Please Let me know.

  2. Demovia Gooden

    I am looking to obtaining a Doctoral degree in Organization and Management

    • Helena Kamenye

      Am a student in Namibia i would like to study doctor at uk

  3. Muslim Khan

    I am intrested in phd in mathematics. I am teaching in Sharjah (UAE).
    I got master degree in mathematics(57% marks) in 2001


    Am interested in persuing a PHD PROGAMME in education specialised in Vocational education an area which has not been well researched on at PHD level. Am appealing to be awarded a scholarship to specialiase curriculum

    have acquired the current level of education through a long process and ambition is to be a leading professor in area of education. Your consideration for my request will be highly appreciated.Getting this scholarship will of high motivation in my life. Thanking you in advance opening up this opportunity,i remain for an early and positive reply

  5. James Runaku

    Tell me where I can do Ph.D in History online and where I can find funding.
    Thank you

  6. rao

    Interested in puruing Ph.d in Business Management or Marketing


    I am a Spanish Armenian citizen, living in Madrid, Spain. I am a neuroeconomist. I have a Ph.D degree in Economics, a Ph.D in Sociology from Spain and a D.B.A. from the U.S.A. As I am currently fully engaged in researches about the Neuroeconomics, I was wondering if I could start an online/off-campus postgraduate or Ph.D program in Behavioral Neuroscience or Cognitive Psychology from any accreditated North American universities. I speak and write fluently in Spanish, English, Armenian and Farsi languages.
    I would be grateful to your empathy and prompt answer.
    Sincerely Yours;
    Varooj Sahakian

    • Dr. Steven Seay

      I work for Saudi Aramco. We are looking for experienced organizational leaders to offer workships in Saudi Arabia. If you have 10 years experience as a leader in a company with 10 years of experience facilitating workshops, please email me at

  8. Carrie Causey

    Please email me the admission requirements for the Business Management Doctoral Program.

  9. Nzuki S. Mwania

    The information herein is very useful to people who wish to study on-line. I have made my mind to register in a PhD program.

  10. Stonard Majogo

    University of Chicago Ph.D. in Ethics or Business is what I am interested in.

  11. Jennifer Somali Angeyo

    Area of interest is legislative drafting and information technology (Artificial intelligence)…any prospects on this being offered??? Modalities, duration and cost implications.

  12. Annette Velarde

    I’d like to find an online PhD program in ethics. Suggestions?
    Thank you!

  13. Ergin Akman

    I would like to learn more about doctoral programs in Business

  14. Tangai Charamba

    How do I go about to register to do the online doctoral Programme? I am interested in the field of Education. I would like to do it in Teacher Education or Science Education. I may also be guided by the University. I hold a Master of Science degree. Please advise.

  15. Rick Wards

    I’m based out of Panama City, Panama and I’m trying to find an online PHD program, that’s very inexpensive and that perhaps will allow me to teach (13 years teaching experience) in one of their other programs to off-shoot the tuition.

    Any advice would be deeply appreciated.

  16. Wardell McGhee

    I’m interested in earning my PhD. I seen very little on Homeland Security. That what my masters degree is in…

  17. Charles Hohaia

    Am I able to still pursue a Doctorate degree in a specified area despite not having a marsters degree, however having years of practical experience in a chosen field of passion and recognised by other professionals because of this experience. I currently own my own practice in a particular field and have developed a model which is generating great interest from both statutory and non-statutory organisations.

  18. Ryan

    What online Ph.D Program does Penn State have? I looked and cannot find anything over a Master’s via Online Learning.

  19. Suzanne Cromlish

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Thank you for constructing such a user friendly website! It is very informative! I graduated this past Aug. with an MHA (4.0 GPA), am currently enrolled in an MBA program (expect to graduate in Aug. of 2012) & would like to enroll in a Ph.D. program in Business with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. I’d really enjoy a hybrid program; however, what would you recommend? I’m not totally opposed to an online degree. According to your website, Capella has a good degree; however, I’ve heard in the past that their reputation was not the best. Are there any good universities that do not require the GMAT or GRE? I’m 60 yrs. old, have been a business owner for over 20 yrs., have also been a skilled nursing & assisted living administrator for both for-profit & non-profit firms, & would now like to teach at the university level. Thank you again for your assistance & I’ll look forward to hearing from you! Personal Cell: 704-797-1157

    • Trish Powell

      Please take down your cell number. It’s a security risk to post so much personal information, including your age & contact details. You sound very nice & i just wanted to share this warning. When posting do not use personal identifying information of any kind. Best wishes to you in your studies.

  20. Molumo aderemi

    I will appreciate a good refference to accredited university for an executive phd in international relations and strategic studies.

  21. Esther Walker

    I already have a JD/MBA and would be highly interested in exploring the possibility of enrolling into one of the Executive PhD programs in Colorado, North Carolina, or Texas. Please forward all information regarding tuition requirements to my email address. Thank you.


    I am MBA from Symbiosis International University, India working with an MNC in Kenya. I want to pursue online Ph.D or Dorctoral program in Management/ Marketing. Please advise me. I am an Indian by orgin working with an African MNC in Kenya.

  23. Harris Manova

    I’m hand Occupational therapist by practice for about 10 years in the field and would like to enhance my education skills and scope of practice. I want know do you have any integrated program offering PhD with masters in Occupational therapy. Since being father and running a family studeis are becoming a dream, thus if some scholorship assistance is there kindly let me know. I’m from India and working in qatar currently I don’t get any assistance for study program here and have great will to learn more.

    With warm regards

  24. Arjun


    I am Arjun, I have completed my masters in “Wireless networks & Applications”, currently i am looking for an online PhD programme in “wireless domain. Will you provide some relevant information regarding this.

    thank you for your time and support

  25. simeon okehie

    I applied to Southeastern University sometime ago and was given a scholarship to study PhD International Relations online but was unable to meet up with the date of commencement. Is that opportunity still avail. Is there any other institution offering the same course under the same conditions?


  26. Khalid Hossain

    I want to do on line PhD. I have First Classes in SSC (O Level),HSC (A) level , Post Graduate and Masters. Can you please send me detail procedures to apply. My recommended fields are: Security, International Relations, Leadership etc.

    I live in Dhaka, Bangladfesh.

    Thanking you.


  27. Muhammad Zafar Saeed

    I have recently done MPhill in Mangement sciences
    I am living in Lahore
    I want to apply in PhD Management/ Leadership etc

  28. Alejandro Jimenez

    I would like some information on doctorate programs either in California or online.

  29. zek Ukinamemen

    I want to do an online PhD in Banking & Finance or any related course in Finance. I will be glad if you can locate a university for me.

  30. Behrang Badrzadeh

    I would like to ask about to phd at law at maritime law field.some universities like Hawaii,University of oregon at portland,Tulane university & Mine state university have this programme in campus education system.I desire to know any university in the mentioned area does activate by external phd education?if other universities has online programme in relative fields such as in maritime tort,maritime labour,maritime arbiteration is useful for me.please let me know as soon as possible.

    Best Kinds


  31. Raghunathan Ramachandran


    I am a Indian aged 51 years. My qualifiation is Master of Commerce; Master of Business Administration and M.Phil – all are from Indian University (University of Madras and Alagappa University). I have worked in Industry and subsequently worked in Colleges affiliated to University. I have also worked in Asmara,State of Eriteria, N.E.Africa in College of Busienss and Economics. Now prefer to have Phd in Finance or Business Administration.


  32. Jawad Haider

    Pl. send me your requirements for Doctoral Degree with thesis. How much time required for completion of this program.


    am looking for a cost friendly online phd program in counseling psychology i hold a masters in science counselling psychology degree.

  34. raina shamiri

    I have done my masters in nutrition science fron lucknow university, India. Currently I am interested in pursuing PhD in community and public health department. I can only do online studies. I am from India but presently residing in South Korea. Suggest some universities offering such courses preferably Indian universities.

  35. James Ruai Biel

    I have master degree in IT, I am looking for online Phd in internetworking technology or IT in general, I am from south sudan.

  36. Paul

    There are several good online programs out there. Northcentral University in Arizona is not one of them. Very poor instructors; poor quality material; very low level of difficulity; and not very veteran friendly. Promised a discount, or as they call it, a “scholarship”. I had taken a class earlier and they accepted VA documnetation. Later, would not accept documentation from either the DAV or VA after previously doing so.

  37. muhammadulawwal muhammadsirajudeen

    I have masters degree in islamic studies, I am now seeking for phD degree in islamic civilization or islamic theology through your online programmes.I am from Nigera.

  38. protic

    I have M.s.c from Bangladesh . how can i do PHD from any cheaper and without campus study ( online) .please Let me know .

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