Jan 31, 2024
From Shreveport to New Orleans, Louisiana is home to dozens of world-class graduate schools. As each of the state’s 64 parishes offers something special and unique, so do the numerous PhD programs in Louisiana. Whether you’re looking to move your career to the next level or embark on an entirely new one, doctoral programs in Louisiana offer a variety of learning structures, including full-time, part-time, online, and on-campus – and you can bet that there’s at least one that’s a good fit for you.
Learn everything you need to know about PhD programs in Louisiana as we highlight top programs, break down the logistics of finding and paying for a program, and explore what earning a doctorate can do for your career. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have all the information you need to move forward with your program search.
Ranking the Best Doctoral Programs in Louisiana for 2024
People considering a doctoral program are concerned about academic quality, cost, opportunities for specialization, and student support. We’ve evaluated PhD programs in Louisiana based on these factors and more. Each university on our list stands out for its diverse and high-quality doctoral programs, availability of study preferences such as online, hybrid, and on-campus formats, and affordability. Whether these align perfectly with your goals or serve as a benchmark, our spotlights provide valuable insights to aid your research and ensure you make informed decisions about your academic journey.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
If caring for others is your calling, the graduate school at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) could be a perfect fit. ULM offers five doctoral programs in health sciences and education, including multiple degree options in pharmacology, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, two psychology tracks, and a Doctor of Education program.
We particularly appreciate that ULM offers online options for their Doctor of Education and PhD in marriage and family therapy programs. The EdD program is a particularly flexible option. This accelerated degree is a no-dissertation program that can be completed in as few as two years, and the GRE is not required for admission.
Online and in-person students alike benefit from top-tier instruction and the chance to build close relationships with their cohorts. Students in most programs can also apply for graduate assistantships to cover their tuition fees and earn a stipend during their studies.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Doctoral programs at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL) cover an astonishing breadth of subjects. Whether you’re in the humanities, STEM, education, or healthcare, you’ll find multiple programs that might work for you. In total, ULL offers 11 doctoral programs. Alongside traditional topics like English, mathematics, and education, future PhDs may also be interested in options like Francophone Studies that are unique to Cajun country generally and ULL in particular.
Nurses statewide may be drawn to ULL’s online DNP program that allows working healthcare professionals the opportunity to earn new credentials while continuing to work. This program has tracks for everyone, including recently graduated BSN nurses and nurses who have already earned their MSN.
ULL boasts extremely reasonable tuition costs, especially given the school’s quality. To make its programs accessible for all scholars, the university has gone one step further. ULL offers an array of funding opportunities, including graduate assistantships, fellowships, and a robust scholarship program.
Louisiana State University
The doctoral programs at Louisiana State University (LSU) have a lot going for them. For starters, LSU is one of the largest graduate programs in the state, with the funding, resources, and diversity to match. LSU is extremely research oriented and encourages its PhD students to participate in groundbreaking work throughout their programs. Students looking to generate and use new knowledge will be right at home at LSU.
LSU offers over 50 doctoral programs ranging from accounting to theater, including the only veterinary medicine PhD in the state. The sheer size of LSU’s graduate school ensures you’ll have access to an incredible community of intellectuals among your faculty and cohorts.
The chance to live and study in Baton Rouge is another selling point for LSU, but even if the Red Stick City isn’t for you and you’re focused on advancing your career, LSU still has you covered. The school’s online doctorate in leadership studies is a dynamic, affordable opportunity for up-and-comers across industries and across the nation.
Types of PhD and Doctoral Programs Offered in Louisiana
Every PhD student has their own unique set of circumstances. Maybe you’re fresh out of undergrad and want to get right into the next phase of your studies. Perhaps you’ve been out of school for a while and want an advanced degree to give your career a major bump. Maybe you’re wrangling kids and a career but want to go back to school. Wherever you’re at, there PhD programs in Louisiana for you. Here, we’ve outlined six popular PhD formats. Read on to see which one is right for you.
Popular Fields to Earn Your PhD and Doctoral Degree in Louisiana
Earning Your Doctorate Online in Louisiana: What to Expect
Earning your PhD or doctoral degree online is a relatively new concept, but it offers some distinct benefits. Most importantly, online degrees let you study from wherever you are, so you won’t have to uproot your life to attend a specific program. You can select from any number of online PhD programs in Louisiana without ever leaving your house and study on your own schedule. Many schools offer asynchronous class options, so you can schedule your coursework around work or other obligations. This can be a lifesaver if you are trying to work full time while earning your degree on the side.
Online degrees are most common in fields like nursing and education that require professionals to undertake continuing education to maintain their licenses. Incidentally, these fields also benefit from in-person experience. Most online programs manage this by coordinating with programs in your area to oversee clinical or field hours. However, some PhD programs in Louisiana will require you to visit campus from time to time. Before you commit to an online program, be sure you know what your school expects.
If you’re considering an online program but still have questions, you are not alone. We’ve put together an overview of what to expect from your online PhD to help you get oriented.
Where to Get Financial Aid for Your PhD in Louisiana
When it comes to tuition, less is more, right? Students of PhD programs in Louisiana have tons of options when it comes to paying for their degrees. Because doctoral-level students come to the program with a high level of expertise, many schools are happy to cover their tuition and offer a stipend in exchange for part-time work teaching or doing research. These assistantships are one of the most common ways that PhD students cover their tuition costs. Southern University’s assistantship program is a great example of this setup. Depending on the school, assistantships are awarded by individual departments. Or at places like University of Louisiana, Monroe, students can apply for school-wide positions.
You can also consider applying for grants and fellowships, and LSU Health has a great database to help you start your search. If you plan to work during your degree, check with your employer to see if they offer tuition reimbursement.
Funding can be confusing, but it is worth your time and energy to explore all your options. We’ve put together a few great guides to help you out. Start with our general guide on financial aid, then continue your research with our guides to grants and fellowships.
How Much You Could Earn with a Doctorate in Louisiana
Some people pursue their PhD out of a deep interest in their field and the desire to explore specific research. A love of learning is an essential element of a successful PhD experience, but if you’re going to commit to a degree, the math must make sense too.
No matter your industry, a diploma and a few extra letters after your name come with a significant pay increase. The average PhD holder in Louisiana earns between $82,000 and $153,000 annually. When you consider that the median per capita income in Louisiana sits at $30,340 per year, you can see that earning your doctoral degree has a huge impact on your earning potential.
But let’s get specific. In the table below, we’ve looked at the earnings of professionals in various positions that require a doctoral degree. Take a look and see where you fit in.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022