Doctoral Degree Completion Programs
Upon completion of a master’s degree, students may consider pursuing a doctoral degree. Depending on the area of study, an online doctoral completion program may take between two to four years of full time study, which includes writing and defending a dissertation in a specialized area pertinent to the degree. In some cases, doctoral students may finish their studies, leaving only their dissertations to complete. In this case, they are doctoral candidates with the designation ABD, which means “All But Dissertation."
In the U.S.A., the doctoral degree is the highest level a student can attain, and is therefore a terminal degree. Doctoral degrees may be either research or professional degrees, and grant the recipients the designation of being experts in their respective fields. Among the doctoral degrees a student may earn are the following:
Ph.D.: the most common, this is the Doctor of Philosophy degree, awarded in various areas of specialization.
Ed.D. : Doctor of Education degree.
Psy.D.: Doctor of Psychology degree.
D.B.A.: Doctor of Business Administration degree.
J.D.: Executive Juris Doctor.
D.NSc.: Doctor of Nursing Science.
Five of the top accredited colleges for online doctoral completion programs are as follows:
1. Capella University: offers about four dozen doctoral degrees in specialized areas under the designations of Ph.D., Ed.D., Psy.D., D.B.A., and others.
2. University of Phoenix: offers about a dozen doctoral degrees in various fields under the designations of Ph.D., Ed.D., D.B.A., and others.
3. Walden University: offers over five dozen doctoral degree specializations in a wide variety of fields primarily under the designation of Ph.D., as well as several post-graduate certificates.
4. Northcentral University: offers over five dozen doctoral degrees in various fields under the designations of Ph.D., Ed.D., and D.B.A. *NO residency requirements.*
5. University of the Rockies Online: offers over a dozen doctoral degrees in specialized areas of psychology under the designation of Psy.D.