Part Time Doctoral Programs

Professionals seeking to obtain a Ph.D. may enroll in a part-time program to meet their educational goals. Part-time studies allow working professionals to obtain their degree without accepting a reduction in salary.

The program of study requires that students fulfill the same requirements as their full-time peers. Students who are enrolled part-time are afforded between 7 and 10 years to complete the program of study. Full-time students pursuing a Ph.D. may complete their program of study in 2 to 3 years depending upon the curriculum.

Many universities will place restrictions on the number of courses a student can complete part-time. However, most universities will require that professionals enroll each quarter to complete their program of study.

About Part-Time PhD Programs

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), half of the students enrolled in graduate school are enrolled part-time. Between 2007 and 2018, the National Center for Education Statistics expects a 10 percent increase in graduate student enrollment.

Ph.D. programs differ based upon the desired curriculum the student wants to study. Some Ph.D. programs, such as the Executive Doctoral program, require professionals obtain a specified amount of work experience prior to enrollment. Academic teaching Ph.D. program requirements vary from program to program. All Ph.D. programs require students complete a Master’s degree prior to entering a Ph.D. program.

Some academic programs place other limitations on students enrolled part-time. These restrictions may include limited financial aid awards and limited insurance benefits for part-time students. Part-time students must be approved by the school’s administration prior to enrollment into any academic program. These students may take longer to finish their programs. However, part-time students do not tolerate a pay reduction. Doctoral degrees may offer advancement for executives. Alternatively, doctoral degrees may offer advancements in the academic arena.

Part-time doctoral programs may take place online or in a traditional classroom setting. Distance-learning classes may consist of Web 2.0 technology to disseminate tasks, case studies, video instruction, and other instructional tools.

Experts at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) state that academic institutions award more Doctorate degrees in engineering, education, health professions, biomedical sciences and psychology. Individuals who receive doctoral degrees in these areas have earned a Doctor of Education, Doctor of Philosophy or a Doctor of Medicine.

Part-Time Doctoral Degree Curriculum

Ph.D. curriculum varies depending upon the course of study chosen. In general, however, students will be required to learn critical thinking skills that may be applied to their chosen professions. Some of the curriculum may be centered on the following concepts:

  • Strategy / Strategic Thinking
  • Research Methodology
  • Data Analysis
  • Management Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Theory
  • Dissertation Thesis Seminar

Online Part-Time Doctoral Programs

Kansas State Institute

Kansas State Institute of Personal Financial Planning possesses a Ph.D. program that is conducted largely online. The program allows individuals who wish to remain in their careers to enroll in a Ph.D. program. The program is offered by the School of Family Studies and Human Services.

Most students may complete this program of study in as little 5 years. This program involves primarily online courses with intensive summer courses for 10 days. The final summer session will take place abroad to allow students to witness global markets in action. Students will learn how the global economy affects financial planning in the United States.

Students of this program will be given case studies to assist them in solving practical problems in the workplace. Knowledge of personal finance and relationships will be imparted. Teaching, researching, publication, professional groups, and leadership skills will all be taught as a part of the curriculum. Those who complete the program will be qualified to become a registered financial consultant, certified retirement counselor, registered financial associate, or an accredited financial counselor.

Syracuse University

Syracuse University offers professionals access to a part-time online Ph.D. program for working professionals. This program focuses on developing the skills of working professionals who would like to advance in the executive world. Promoting positive change through executive leadership is the goal of the doctoral program. Executives learn to manage, evaluate, and implement strategies that direct change in organizations.

Information management is a primary focus of the doctoral program. Syracuse University believes that organizational change relies upon efficiency of information management. The university trains professionals to direct change and implement programs to improve the flow of information in the organization and to clients. These skills are necessary in the field of public administration, network management, library management, military, and information management.

Sixteen courses are required to complete the Executive Doctoral program. The 16 courses consist of 6 residential seminars, 4 methods courses, 4 online doctoral seminars, and 2 master’s level practical courses. The 2 master’s level courses will be in one of the following areas: Network Management, Library Science, Information Management, and Telecommunications.

Offline Part-Time Doctoral Programs

Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology

The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology offers students a part-time program in the Doctor of Psychology (PSYD) in Clinical Psychology Program. The academic school accepts students on a limited basis part-time. Students will be admitted into the Doctoral Clinical Program with an option of initial part-time enrollment. These students require special permission and will be accepted on a space available basis. Students desiring enrollment must indicate this request on their application.

The first year of this program must be completed in a maximum of two years. The remainder of the program must take no longer than 7 years to complete. Massachusetts requires students take a minimum of three academic courses per semester. Two of the courses must be either theory-based or clinically focused courses.

The first year will primarily consist of academic coursework. The second-year students are required to enroll in Clinical Seminar I and Practicum I, in addition to another course. In the third year, students are required to enroll in Clinical Seminar II and Practicum II.

Students must also enroll in an internship that must be completed in two consecutive years. The two half-time internships are integrated with coursework from classes during those same years. Students must work with their advisors in order to establish a program tailored to their specific needs.

Waiting lists are available for part-time academic programs. Students may be placed on the list until a space opens up for the student to matriculate into school.

The University of Western Ontario

The Faculty of Information and Media Studies is offering a part-time doctoral program in Library and Information Science. This particular program admits between 1 and 2 students per year. Students should meet the same requirements that are required of full-time students for enrollment. Students must complete a four-year academic degree with Honors. This requires that students have a B average or higher upon graduation.

Applicants must also possess a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. Those students with Master’s degrees in another program of study must complete five courses in the Library and Information Science Master’s program. Additionally, the students must complete six doctoral programs as well.

Students enrolled in this program of study part-time are not eligible for the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies funding. Part-time students also may not hold external scholarships that require full-time status, if enrolled part-time. Part-time fees are simply the full-time rate divided in half.

New York University

New York University offers students desiring a part-time Ph.D. program the opportunity to pursue the computer science course of study. These students are required to complete two courses per semester. Students who enroll in this program of study are not eligible for insurance through the school or financial aid.

Students have 10 years to complete the computer science Ph.D. program part-time. Some courses may be exempted from the curriculum if students pass an exam with a minimum of an A-.

New York University is located in Manhattan. The school has educated several Pulitzer Prize winners and Nobel Laureates. Last year, 400 students were awarded their doctoral degrees from the university. The school has also had the opportunity to have educated 70 graduate students on the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in the past 17 years.

Job Opportunities for Part-Time Doctoral Programs

The majority of doctoral graduates are employed in health services and academia. In fact, according to a 2000 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 28 percent of doctoral graduates were employed in academia and 21 percent of doctoral graduates were employed in health services. The remaining graduates are employed in a variety of fields. The industries include Business, Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Legal Services, Education and Public Administration.

The unemployment rate for doctoral graduates is one of the lowest. According to a 2004 study, the unemployment rate for doctoral graduates is 2.1 percent. The same study indicated that the rate for people with an Associate’s degree is 4.0 percent. Of course, these studies were conducted before the recession. However, that is traditionally the case. Doctoral graduates also tend to earn more in the work place. Median earnings for a doctoral graduate can be as much as 62 percent higher.

Executives that earn their doctoral degrees may be employed in the following professions:

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Professional Consultant
  • Vice President of Finance
  • Vice President of Marketing
  • Academic Professor

Their salaries are some of the highest of all professions. The median salary of executive doctoral candidates is $167,280. Some areas such as the New York Metropolitan area, San Jose Metropolitan area, Bridgeport Metropolitan area and Durham, NC each have a median salary between $217,080 and $210,380. States with the highest median salaries for executives with Doctorates are Delaware, New Mexico, California, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Individuals with Professional Doctorates will primarily focus on applied use of the theory obtained during their studies. Doctor of Health Sciences, Doctors of Education, Doctor of Business Administration, Doctor of Professional Studies, Doctor of Dental Medicine, and Juris Doctor are all professional doctorates that apply their studies within their field rather than teach full-time. Some of these professionals also choose to teach in addition to their studies. However, their primary focus is applied use of the theoretical knowledge obtained during their course of study.

In 2009, the number of applicants applying to doctoral programs rose. However, recent graduates are accepting public service jobs, such as Teach for America and other public service jobs. At Ivy League schools, like Harvard, employer recruitment is down 19 percent. Employers expect to hire 22 percent less graduates from schools nationwide in all fields. In the Northeast, employers expect to hire 39 percent less graduates from all schools nationwide.

Currently, many areas are experiencing a shortage of doctoral graduates. Health care fields, computer science, and accounting are seeking doctoral graduates to replace executives and academic professors that are retiring. Professionals enrolling in these professions are more likely to find a position despite the current economic decline.

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18 Responses to “Part Time Doctoral Programs”
  1. Sandra Braga

    Are there any “classroom” part time doctoral (PhD) programs in Massachusetts?

    • Md. Kohinoor Hossain

      I would like to admitt into PhD in History. I am rigorous poor.

  2. Kevin Kutzavitch

    Can I please get more info on the phd part-time programs? Also, enrollment info would be appreciated.

    • Md. Kohinoor Hossain

      I am looking the worldwide accredited university where I can take PhD by monthly expending on $10.

  3. Mastufa Ahmed

    I am a tech journalist with over 8 yrs o exp. I am very much interested in pursuing a PhD Program in New age Media. May I know what systems do you have for working pros?

    I am based out of New delhi, India.

  4. amit sharma

    executive phd detail


    I wish tpo pursue an online programme with Phd in SAP Business systems.Please advise suitably.

    Thanks and Regards
    Saswati Chakraborti

  6. Sean Evans

    Trying to find an online history PH.D program..

    • JEL

      I would like to find a Phd online program in history also. If you find one, please let me know.

  7. Jatinder Kumar Samyal

    I have done masters in Library and Information Science and masters in Information Technology. I want to go for Ph.d in Library/Information Science with scholarship.

    Pls send details

  8. Voronika Kuwengwa

    Wish to pursue any doctoral program that enhances my skills in sustainable development work

  9. michael williams

    I am interested in furthering my education on a part time basis.

    I am completing my MIRHR at University of Toronto.

    I am looking at a PHD in organizational behavior, business management or

    Can you provide me with some options ?

  10. Abdullah Ayedh M. AL-Qarni

    I’m looking for PhD part-time program in clinical health psychology and I wonder Is it possiple to conduct the reseach at my work place?

  11. M. Kokila

    sir my wife finish,m .phil statistics she has 7 years experience now she is working engineering college she want to part ph.d statistics sir pls guide me i am tirunelveli distict tamilnadu state i am also middle class family

  12. Azeez M E


    I am a post graduate dgree holder in food safety management and 21 years industry experienec in food safety. I am looking for for a part time Phd programme any where in the world in food safety.

  13. Sujata


    plz tell me, is it worth doing online PhD in science? will i be getting post doc jobs after getting online PhD. please reply, that would be of kind help.

  14. mujeeb

    i am M.Sc chemistry i am from afghanistan i am interested Ph.D program this time i am in Finland as asylum saker please help me

  15. Phd prospective

    Looking fora online part time phd

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