Jan 31, 2024
Have you been thinking about what earning a PhD could mean for your career? Maybe a terminal degree is required for the type of position you ultimately want to land, or you want to boost your place in your industry and open more doors for advancement. Whatever your motivations, PhD programs in Iowa can help you become one of the many people in the state who have taken this educational path.
The Education Data Initiative reports that of the 42,740 students who graduate from colleges and universities around the state annually, 2,710 (just over 6 percent) earn doctorate or professional degrees. This page tells you how you can reach the pinnacle of your profession with a PhD program in Iowa by overviewing what you can expect when you enroll in one of the many doctoral programs in Iowa. Keep reading to get a glimpse of some of the best schools offering doctoral-level programs in Iowa.
Ranking the Best PhD and Doctoral Programs in Iowa for 2024
Below is a list of the top institutions offering PhD programs in Iowa. While what’s best for one student may not be best for another, this list can help you know how to judge other programs as you do your research. The colleges below have been selected based on their flexibility, affordability, and quality, so even if none of them are quite right for you, they give you an idea of what to look for when considering both traditional and online PhD programs in Iowa.
Iowa State University
Iowa State University offers doctoral-level degrees, some of which can be earned online, across several disciplines. Graduate students are generally charged $5,498 per semester; however, tuition is higher for certain disciplines. Engineering graduate students, for example, pay $7,038 per semester. The school offers assistantships where students dedicate time each week to an assignment — teaching, research, or administrative tasks within the department, for example — in exchange for having their tuition reduced in part or in full. To help students explore all their options for paying tuition, the school’s Office of Student Financial Success provides advice on how to manage money, handle student loans responsibly, and generally make the best personal finance decisions.
University of Iowa
Whether you’re interested in health, physical, or social sciences, the University of Iowa offers a variety of doctoral degrees. Additionally, if you’re a nurse who prefers a virtual option, the school has a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program that can be completed partially or entirely online.
To help students get the most out of their graduate school experience, the University of Iowa has a Grad Success Center that offers resources to help students succeed on an academic, professional, and personal level. There are workshops covering topics related to career preparation, research, teaching, and getting the most out of the graduate school experience. Students can also get assistance with grants and fellowships, so they’re most likely to be successful when they submit applications for research funding.
Graceland University offers online doctoral programs in healthcare disciplines, so busy professionals can advance their education as they continue working. The school’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program is delivered in a hybrid format that includes online classes and on-campus lab experiences. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapist Education and can be completed in two years.
Graceland University also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice program that can be completed entirely online. The degree is designed for registered nurses and advanced practice nurses who want to take on more responsibilities in their clinical work as well as on the administrative side of nursing. The program includes courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, nursing ethics, organizational leadership, and healthcare policy and regulations.
Types of PhD and Doctoral Programs in Iowa
Do you want to find a program that allows you to enroll on a part-time basis? Are you concerned about investing time to prepare for the GRE? Do you want the opportunity to earn your degree as quickly as possible? Whatever your situation, there’s a program that can accommodate your needs and lifestyle. This section looks at the available types of PhD programs in Iowa to help you choose the one that is right for you.
Popular Fields to Earn Your PhD and Doctoral Degree in Iowa
Earning Your PhD or Professional Doctorate Online in Iowa: Key Details
Online doctoral or PhD programs in Iowa can be found at schools like the University of Iowa and Iowa State University in various academic disciplines. You may even find an entirely online program, which can provide the most flexibility. With these programs, your lectures and assignments are delivered through the school’s online learning management system, and you don’t have to travel to campus at all.
Programs may also be delivered on a hybrid basis, so some elements may be online while others require campus visits. Hybrid programs vary in the number of on-campus activities required. You may be expected to only come to campus periodically for things like practicums, or you may have in-person activities held every week.
Where to Get Financial Aid for Your PhD or Doctoral Degree in Iowa
Earning a doctoral-level degree can come with a big price tag, even if you enroll in an online PhD program in Iowa. However, that doesn’t have to stand in the way of your aspirations. You may be able to find multiple financial aid opportunities, including scholarships, grants, and fellowships. For example, the University of Northern Iowa offers merit-based scholarships as well as need-based grants to its students. Awards may also be available through a specific academic department, such as the ones offered through the psychology department at Iowa State University.
Earnings for Doctorate Level Careers in Iowa
Generally, those who complete PhD programs in Iowa can expect their earnings to increase as they qualify for higher-level positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who complete doctoral and professional degrees make $2,083 and $2,080 per week respectively. However, those with lower-level degrees make significantly less, with master’s degree graduates earning $1,661 weekly and bachelor’s degree holders making $1,432.
Specifically for Iowa, the Future Ready Iowa Initiative reports that the median annual income of those with a doctorate, like a PhD or EdD, is $106,587. Similarly, those in the state who earn a professional degree like a JD or DDS make $132,049. These earnings are significantly higher than the salaries of those with master’s ($72,081), bachelor’s ($59,532), and associate ($45,969) degrees.
To learn what professionals in specific positions earn after completing doctoral programs in Iowa, review the table below, which includes salary information for several careers as well as what degrees these professionals earn.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022