Sep 22, 2022
Whether you’re a registered nurse in Tampa ready to become a nurse practitioner, a teacher in Miami who wants to improve their curriculum design skills, or looking to advance your career in a different field, doctoral and PhD programs in Florida can dramatically expand your job options and increase your earning potential.
Florida residents get an especially good deal on doctoral programs at public universities. There are also plenty of online programs available that provide the flexibility to continue working while completing your doctorate. Continue reading to see which Florida universities offer standout doctoral programs and which type of program could be right for you.
Top-Rated PhD and Doctoral Programs in Florida for 2022
While pinpointing the best is challenging, this guide spotlights leading doctoral programs in Florida. These Florida doctoral and PhD programs were chosen as the best based on quality academics, flexible online options, and reasonable tuition rates—especially for in-state students. Read on for an overview of three public universities, the degrees they offer, how much they cost, and how to decide which school is right for you.
University of Florida
Based in Gainesville, the University of Florida (UF) is the Sunshine State’s premier public institution. In addition to bachelor’s and master’s programs, UF is home to multiple online and in-person PhD programs. From the clinically-focused doctor in nursing practice to a PhD in Latin and Roman studies, these flexible and affordable degrees allow working students to complete coursework while keeping up with professional responsibilities.
Education programs make up the bulk of UF’s online doctorates. Popular options for these EdD and PhD programs include computer science education, educational leadership, educational technology, and higher education administration. Many utilize both synchronous and asynchronous coursework, and students typically graduate in about four years.
Florida State University
Established in 1851, Florida State University (FSU) is a large public research institution with more than 45,000 students. Year after year Florida State ranks among the best public universities in the United States, and the school offers some of the best doctoral programs. This Tallahassee-based institution is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and offers numerous undergraduate and graduate programs.
Alongside in-person doctoral programs, FSU offers fully online options for students seeking standout academics, flexible delivery, and affordable tuition. FSU’s online doctoral programs include the doctor of nursing practice and two education programs: educational leadership and policy and instructional systems and learning technologies.
FSU’s online doctoral programs are exceptionally affordable for resident students—the hourly tuition rate for Florida-based online graduate students is about $444 per credit. Out-of-state degree seekers pay about $1,075 per credit. The school offers numerous scholarships, grants, and fellowships from internal and external funding sources available to both residents and nonresidents.
University of Central Florida
Located near Orlando, the University of Central Florida (UCF) is another sizeable public research institution. Serving more than 70,000 students, UCF enrolls over 6,500 online learners each year. From aerospace engineering to hospitality management, UCF offers a deep roster of doctoral degrees in education, nursing, sciences, and engineering and computer science.
UCF’s catalog of doctoral programs includes flexible online programs that allow you to complete coursework at any time and from any location. In addition to an EdD program in curriculum and instruction, UCF provides two nursing PhD tracks and two doctor of nursing practice pathways.
UCF is an affordable option, with in-state grad students paying just $288 per credit. Out-of-state learners pay an additional $785 per credit.
Types of PhD and Doctoral Programs Available in Florida
Not all doctoral programs are structured the same way; programs vary in length, delivery, and admission requirements. Given the variety of options, Florida is home to a PhD program that can fit your unique needs. Keep reading to see which type of program is right for you.
Popular Fields to Earn Your PhD and Doctoral Degree in Florida
Not every program topic is available in every format. Some lean more heavily toward on-campus programs, and others work nicely as online programs. Take a look at this list of popular PhD and doctoral degrees in Florida to see which match your interests and fit your lifestyle.
Earning Your PhD or Professional Doctorate Online in Florida
Some doctoral programs in Florida aren’t practical for online learners, but other programs work especially online. For example, online doctorates in education fit nicely in an online environment. Additionally, well because most of these doctoral students are working educators, the flexibility of online coursework allows them to keep up with both regular work and college coursework.
Similarly, online DNP programs are doable for working nurses because these professionals already hold the necessary licensure. Conversely, a student completing an associate degree in nursing needs the extensive hands-on, in-person learning environment that registered nursing programs provide.
When reviewing potential online programs in Florida, ask if there are any in-person requirements. Some programs may require intensive weekend workshops once per semester, while other programs may require live lectures on specific days and times throughout a semester.
Where to Get Help Paying for Your PhD or Doctoral Degree in Florida
While some doctoral students receive ample funding, others most will need a plan to pay for school. Doctoral students not receiving full funding still have access to a sizeable list of financial aid opportunities from both inside and outside their college or university, including scholarships, grants, fellowships, work-study programs, and graduate assistantships. Before enrolling, reach out to your school’s financial aid office to inquire about funding options. Here are a few Florida-based financial aid opportunities to get you started.
- McNair Graduate Assistantship Program
- McKnight Doctoral Fellowship
- University of South Florida Scholarships and Fellowships
- Florida Institute of Technology Graduate Student Assistant
- Florida State University Prospective Student Fellowships
Earnings for Doctorate Holders in Florida
Earning a PhD usually requires a significant investment of both time and money. Fortunately, in many fields that commitment pays off financially. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for registered nurses is about $77,600. But a family nurse practitioner with a DNP can make more than $130,000 per year. Similarly, BLS reports that high school teachers make about $62,000 annually, while top-earning high school principals with an EdD can make more than $122,000 per year.
In the table below, review BLS data for various professions in Florida that require or often call for a doctoral degree.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021