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Best PhD and Doctoral Programs in Idaho: Online & Campus

PhD programs in Idaho provide advanced knowledge and expertise to boost both your career and your salary prospects. Explore top-rated programs and more in this guide.

Search hundreds of top schools for the doctorate YOU want.

Written By

Kenya McCullum

Last updated

Jan 31, 2024

Are you a seasoned professional considering a doctoral degree to enhance your expertise and further your career? Are you an undergraduate thinking about where you can ultimately go with your education and how a doctorate may help you shape your future?

If you’re thinking about pursuing a doctoral degree in Idaho, you’re not alone. According to the Education Data Initiative, every year about 22,000 students graduate from colleges and universities in Idaho; 2.2 percent of the graduates (about 500 students) earn a doctorate or professional degree. Having a doctoral degree helps you build on your current knowledge, skills, and experience and opens you up to more job opportunities and higher earnings.

Three institutions grant doctoral degrees in Idaho. Continue reading to find out the types of programs available at these schools (including convenient online options), how you can get help paying for your education, and the careers you can pursue after graduation.

The Best PhD and Doctoral Programs in Idaho: 2024 College Spotlights

As you research PhD programs in Idaho, you’ll want to look at what various schools offer — which is why we’ve curated the list below. Though what prospective students consider “the best” can be highly subjective, the schools below represent high-quality programs you’d expect to find on the doctoral level. These schools are perfect for working professionals because they offer flexible programs, some of which are at least partially online. 

Boise State University

From education to engineering to public policy, Boise State University offers doctoral programs in Idaho in a range of disciplines. No matter what degree program students enroll in, state residents attending classes full time pay $10,486 per year, while part-time students pay $510.43 per credit. Graduate students who aren’t Idaho residents pay $28,605 per year full-time and $941.43 per credit part time. To help students handle the cost of their education, Boise State University offers graduate assistantships, scholarships, and fellowships.

Additionally, students have access to an array of support services provided by the school’s Graduate Student Success Center, including workshops to help them tackle the challenges of graduate school and dissertation and professional development services. Boise State students in doctoral programs in Idaho are also eligible for health services and technology resources.

Idaho State University

Idaho State University offers different types of online doctoral degrees, so students can find a program that best fits their lifestyle. For example, the school’s Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is offered mostly online; nurses take the majority of courses remotely but are required to travel to campus to participate in a practicum. There’s also an EdD in Instructional Design and Technology, which is offered on an asynchronous basis so you don’t have to attend classes at a specific time. The school’s synchronous doctoral programs — such as the EdD in Higher Education Administration, PhD in Instructional Design, and PhD in Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences— have a set schedule for when lectures are conducted.

University of Idaho

The University of Idaho offers doctoral degrees in areas such as geography, food science, engineering, and education. Students get support as soon as they enroll in a doctoral program, participating in the school’s Graduate Student Orientation before they begin their first semester. Other support includes dissertation and research resources, workshops addressing issues that affect graduate students, and professional development services.

Also, the university helps students fund their doctoral program in Idaho. For example, assistantships are available to provide funding to students who work as research or teaching assistants. Similarly, students may receive scholarships from their specific academic department. This can go a long way toward paying tuition, which costs $10,548 per year for Idaho residents and $29,784 for nonresidents taking nine to 20 credits. Part-time students who are Idaho residents pay $586 per credit and nonresidents pay $1,655 per credit.

Types of PhD and Doctoral Programs Available in Idaho

Now that you’ve learned about some of the best PhD programs in Idaho, you have a foundation to think about what type of school will meet your specific needs. To help you further understand your options, this section describes the different types of programs you can choose from.

Full-Time PhD/Doctoral Programs

If you’re in a position to dedicate all of your time to your studies, or your schedule is flexible enough to accommodate a full-time course load, enrolling in a full-time online doctoral program in Idaho would be a good choice for you. These programs take at least three years to complete, so students who are in the position to make a commitment to their studies may choose a full-time program to complete their PhD program in Idaho in a relatively timely manner.

Quality Examples of Programs

Part-Time PhD/Doctoral Programs

While online PhD programs in Idaho provide some flexibility, incorporating full-time studies into your day-to-day schedule can still be challenging. However, you may be able to lighten the load by enrolling in a PhD program in Idaho on a part-time basis. While part-time studies add to the time it takes to complete your degree, this is a solid way to ensure you don’t have to set aside your goals because you’re not able to commit to a full-time doctoral program in Idaho.

Quality Examples of Programs

Fully Funded PhD/Doctoral Programs

PhD programs in Idaho may be fully funded in different ways. For example, students may receive tuition reimbursement in exchange for working in their department as a research, teaching, or administrative assistant. Some schools provide fully funded options in the form of scholarships, so in these cases students aren’t required to make any commitments to work for the school. While there are no doctoral programs in Idaho offering a fully funded option, online schools in other states may have these opportunities available.

No-GRE PhD/Doctoral Programs

If you’re concerned about taking the time to prepare for the GRE, here’s good news: Many graduate schools no longer require GRE scores for admission. Instead you’ll be judged on factors such as your previous grades and professional experience. In some cases, GRE scores may be optional, so if you want to bolster your application for a PhD program in Idaho, taking the test may be a good idea.

Quality Examples of Programs

Accelerated PhD/Doctoral Programs

Depending on the accelerated program you enroll in, you may be able to complete a doctoral degree in Idaho in about two years. In other cases, some degree programs allow you to concurrently work on a doctoral degree along with a master’s or even a bachelor’s. These types of accelerated programs can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a PhD program in Idaho.

Quality Examples of Programs

No Dissertation PhD/Doctoral Programs

If you’re planning on becoming a researcher or college professor, then PhD programs in Idaho that require a dissertation may be the best choice. However, in other cases, students benefit from programs that don’t have that requirement. Oftentimes, instead of a dissertation students complete a capstone project, which is designed to demonstrate an understanding of program material.

Quality Examples of Programs


Do you want to become a school principal? Do you want to train future educators to be the most effective in the classroom? Or would you rather become a consultant, using your expertise to evaluate the effectiveness of education programs and providing strategies for improving them? Doctoral education programs in Idaho provide an advanced understanding of pedagogy while providing the students with skills to become effective leaders and researchers.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

Quality Examples of Hybrid/Online Programs


PhD programs in psychology in Idaho are generally designed for those who want to focus their career on research or teaching at the college level. These programs focus on the research of the field and how academics conduct studies and present results in psychology journals or events such as conferences. On the other hand, professionals who focus on practice are likely to earn a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), which focuses on working directly with patients, whether they’re in individual sessions or in groups.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs


Nursing PhD degrees help advance the field by focusing on research that informs the way professionals work with patients. Additionally, people with these degrees may go on to become nursing educators, which also helps move the profession forward. Those focusing on the practice side of nursing can earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice, where they learn high-level clinical skills that help them specialize in a specific area of nursing.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

Quality Example of Hybrid/Online Program


If you’ve completed a master’s degree in engineering and have professional experience, a Doctor of Engineering (DEng) can help you enhance your scientific acumen and prepare for a job in technical leadership. On the other hand, if you’re interested in dedicating your career to theory, earning a PhD in engineering will provide the skills you need to conduct original research and contribute to the innovation in your area of the field, whether you specialize in mechanical, environmental, industrial, or chemical engineering.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs


A Doctor of Philosophy degree in geoscience is for those who want to focus on research in geology, soil science, and hydrology. Through this doctoral program in Idaho, students learn how to do creative and original research suitable for publication in peer-reviewed journals. 

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

What It’s Like to Earn Your Doctorate Online in Idaho

Online PhD programs in Idaho allow you to take advantage of the flexibility of distance education, while still getting the high-quality course content that your counterparts on campus receive. These programs are flexible enough to comfortably fit into your schedule because of how they’re delivered. If you enroll in an asynchronous program, then you don’t have to log into the learning management system at specific times. You can watch lectures during the times that are most convenient for you, so the coursework for your online doctoral program in Idaho fits into your lifestyle. 

Some schools offer synchronous programs, which means that you do have to attend lectures at specific dates and times, just like you would in a traditional program. This may be a good choice if you prefer to interact with your professors live, rather than working on your online doctoral program in Idaho on your own.

Financial Aid Options for Your PhD or Doctoral Degree in Idaho

If you think that the cost of a PhD program in Idaho may preclude you from reaching your goals, think again. There are multiple financial aid opportunities available, and you may be able to receive scholarships and grants from sources such as government agencies, private companies, or professional organizations. These types of funding opportunities may be available from your school, in addition to fellowships provided by a specific academic department.

For example, the University of Idaho provides assistantships for students who support professors with teaching and research. Similarly, Idaho State University offers scholarships, grants, and assistantships to its graduate students, and Boise State University also has multiple graduate school funding opportunities.

Salary Prospects for Doctorate Holders in Idaho

After graduating from an in-person or online doctoral program in Idaho, professionals can generally expect a significant increase in their earnings. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who have a doctoral degree make $2,083 per week, while those with master’s and bachelor’s degrees make $1,661 and $1,432 respectively. For information on how much professionals in specific careers earn when they complete a doctorate, review the table below.

Job TitleRelated Doctoral Degree(s)Related Doctoral Degree(s)90th Percentile Earnings
Chief ExecutivesDoctor of Business Administration (DBA)/Online PhD in Business$90,970$239,200
Civil EngineersDoctorate in Engineering (DEng/PhD)$75,530$107,000
Clinical and Counseling PsychologistsDoctor of Psychology (PsyD)/PhD in Psychology$64,720$165,060
Computer and Information Research ScientistsPhD in Computer Science$139,310$165,400
EconomistsPhD in Economics$100,530$138,410
Education Administrators, PostsecondaryDoctor of Education (EdD)$88,790$168,590
Education Teachers, PostsecondaryPhD in Education/PhD in Special Education$80,240$104,960
EpidemiologistsDoctor of Public Health (DrPH)$55,000$104,070
Financial ManagersFinance Doctorate (PhD/DBA)$101,500$185,070
Instructional CoordinatorsDoctor of Education (EdD)$51,680$81,720
Nurse PractitionersDoctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)$116,710$159,920
PharmacistsDoctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)$133,540$156,450
Physical TherapistsDoctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)$85,870$105,970

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022