Sep 22, 2022
If you have a drive to be the best in your field, move into highly specialized roles, teach at the college level, or conduct high-level research, enrolling in a doctoral program in Georgia is a smart next step. The state is loaded with top-tier schools and standout programs that make pursuing your PhD or professional doctorate as convenient as possible. Read on to learn more about the best doctoral programs in Georgia, what they require, and what a doctoral degree can do for your future earnings and professional growth.
2022’s Top PhD and Doctoral Programs in Georgia
Trying to decide among the many outstanding doctoral and PhD programs in Georgia can feel overwhelming. To help you narrow in on the best doctoral and PhD programs for you in Georgia, we identified three top-tier schools that stand out in terms of academic quality, program variety, and affordability. Even if these schools aren’t a perfect fit for you, they’ll give you a solid starting point for your doctoral program search.
University of North Georgia
The University of North Georgia’s graduate school offers five doctoral programs, all of which are available partially or fully online. The Doctor of Physical Therapy offers a traditional doctorate and a post-professional doctorate for those who are already licensed physical therapists. Most of the curriculum is offered in-person, but some online synchronous coursework is available. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program is designed for advanced practice nurses looking to move into management or teaching. Most DNP classes can be completed asynchronously online. The Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership and Practice and the PhD in Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Intelligence are fully online and offer asynchronous classwork.
Georgia State University
If you’re looking for options, Georgia State University (GSU) is a school to consider. GSU offers almost 70 doctoral programs, five of which are offered fully online or in hybrid learning formats. Doctoral degree programs are wide ranging, from applied linguistics and computer science to business administration and kinesiology. Most programs are offered in person, at either the Atlanta or Buckhead Center campus. As far as program cost, GSU’s tuition is a very reasonable $11,680 per year for a full-time student who is a Georgia resident. GSU offers many forms of financial aid, including fellowships, graduate assistantships, and scholarships.
Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University offers 11 doctoral programs, including analytics and data science, educational leadership, business administration, and interdisciplinary engineering. Three programs can be completed online—the Doctor of Education in Instructional Technology, the Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership, and the Doctor of Education in Secondary and Middle Grades Education. Depending on a student’s residency status and learning format, they’ll pay between $296 and $1,066 per credit; online students usually pay $383 per credit regardless of their state residency. Kennesaw State University has a variety of financial aid options, including emergency assistance, graduate research assistantships, and scholarships.
Types of PhD and Doctoral Programs Available in Georgia
Just as there are many different fields of study for doctoral students to choose from, so too is the wide variety of ways you can earn your PhD or doctorate. From standard full-time programs to those that are waiving traditional exam requirements, there’s something for everyone. Learn more about the different options you have below, and see which one best fits your needs.
Popular Fields to Earn Your PhD and Doctoral Degree in Georgia
Georgia universities offer doctoral programs in just about every subject, and many are now offered in convenient online formats. Check out some of the most popular options below, along with quality examples of schools that offer each type of program.
What It’s Like to Earn Your Doctorate Online in Georgia
Many traditional PhD programs in Georgia have added online components. One reason for the shift to online doctoral programs in Georgia is because, at this level, most students have full-time jobs and/or a family to juggle with their studies. Even for degrees that include a lot of hands-on instruction and practice, classwork that doesn’t require hands-on learning now may be available online.
A great example of this type of hybrid learning format is the Doctor of Nursing Practice program from Georgia Southern University. Even though the clinicals and practicums must be completed at an approved clinical facility, almost all coursework can be completed online, and much of it can be completed asynchronously. Asynchronous learning is ideal because students can attend class at any time that works for them. Some online programs require synchronous learning, meaning students attend classes live online for maximum interaction with their professors and classmates. Sometimes synchronous online instruction is optional, such as at the University of North Georgia’s DNP online program.
Paying for Your PhD or Doctoral Degree in Georgia
Doctoral students are a lot like undergraduate students in that they need financial assistance to help pay for school. But they have two potential advantages that most undergrads don’t have.
First, because many doctoral students are working while in school, they may have access to an employment tuition reimbursement benefit. This is where an employer pays for some or all of an employee’s education. One such program is the Tuition Assistance Program open to eligible employees of the University System of Georgia.
Second, doctoral and PhD students in Georgia may have greater access to financial aid that doesn’t need to be paid back. In addition to scholarships/grants and work-study, doctoral students are more likely to obtain graduate research assistantships and fellowships. Many of these are school-specific, although most schools, like Georgia Southern University, have websites that explain the financial aid offerings.
Earnings for Doctorate Holders in Georgia
Getting a PhD or doctorate is one of the best ways to increase your salary and land your dream job. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings for someone with a doctorate is $1,909 per week. Contrast this with someone with a master’s degree, whose median weekly earnings are $1,574. Those with a doctorate also had the lowest unemployment rate, just 1.5%.
As for Georgia professionals with a doctorate, they also can expect higher incomes than those with just a master’s. The Georgia Governor’s Office of Students Achievement – Georgia Higher Learning and Earnings reports that just one year after graduating, the median income of someone with a PhD was $61,695, while the median income of someone with a master’s degree was $53,980. And in case you’re wondering, one year after graduation someone with a bachelor’s degree had a median income of $37,358. To learn more about earnings ranges for doctorate-level careers in Georgia, reference that chart below.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021