Jan 31, 2024
What’s your reason for going after a PhD or professional doctorate? Are you a mid-career professional aware that the path to the top of your field passes directly through a doctoral degree program? Maybe you’re looking to make the transition into a career in advanced research or academia. Or maybe you just want to make more money and enjoy the other benefits that come with adding PhD, EdD, DNP, or a similar credential to your name.
Whatever the reason, if you’re in Michigan and seriously considering making the substantial commitment to earning your doctoral degree, we want to help. Below you’ll find tons of valuable information on doctoral and PhD programs available in Michigan today. Plus, we’ll introduce you to the variety of formats used by Michigan colleges and universities to deliver program content. We’ll also fill you in on the many benefits — financial and otherwise — that await you once your doctorate is in hand. Ready to take that first big step? Keep reading to discover how you can earn your degree through one of the best PhD or doctoral programs in Michigan for 2024.
Top-Rated PhD and Doctoral Programs in Michigan for 2024
To give you an idea of what to look for as you explore your degree options, we’ve spotlighted three of the very best Michigan schools offering doctoral degrees today. Our selections were made by weighing factors important to most graduate students, including quality academics and faculty, accreditation, affordability, and the availability of valuable student support services for both on-campus and online students. Here’s who’s leading the way in doctoral education in Michigan.
Western Michigan University
Located in the southern Michigan City of Kalamazoo, Western Michigan University (WMU) is one of the 15 campuses that make up the Michigan Association of State Universities system. WMU currently offers nearly three dozen doctoral programs in a wide range of liberal arts and science disciplines, including computer science, economics, education, engineering, chemistry, geological and environmental science, physics, political science, psychology, sociology, and more. Most doctoral programs at WMU are campus-based. However education professionals interested in earning their doctorates online can choose from eight degree options, including two degrees in education leadership and six science education PhDs in the areas of biology, chemistry, geology, and physics. All of the online doctorate programs are available in both fully online and partially online formats. Current graduate per-credit tuition rates are $764.76/credit (Michigan residents and all online students) and $1,147.14/credit (out-of-state residents).
Central Michigan University
Befitting its name, Central Michigan University (CMU) is located in the very center of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula in the community of Mount Pleasant. Seventeen doctoral degrees are offered currently at CMU, with multiple programs available in the education, healthcare, and psychology fields, among others. Science-related programs include PhDs in neuroscience, the science of advanced materials, and biochemistry, cell, and molecular biology. As with Western Michigan University, the bulk of doctoral programs at CMU are campus-based. Three online programs are available, however, in educational leadership, educational technology, and health administration. Central Michigan offers affordable tuition rates for doctorate programs: $858/credit for all U.S. residents and online students, and $1,040/credit for international students in campus-based programs. The school also offers a variety of graduate scholarships, tuition awards, and more to help doctoral students pay for their studies.
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan (UM) is consistently ranked among the best postsecondary institutions in the United States, public or private. Its flagship campus in Ann Arbor is home to more than 140 doctoral degree programs encompassing practically every academic and professional field you can think of; most are offered through the Rackham Graduate School. Of particular note is UM’s highly regarded Ross School of Business, which offers PhD programs in seven areas of study. Regardless of academic discipline, you can be assured that earning your doctorate from UM-Ann Arbor will hold prestige within your profession.
Doctorate tuition rates vary by field of study, but you can expect costs in line with UM’s high level of academic quality. The good news is that practically all doctoral students are eligible for substantial financial aid support. For example, all business PhD students at Ross receive full funding for their doctoral program (five years’ tuition plus health insurance and stipend) through a combination of fellowship funding and a graduate assistantships.
Types of PhD and Doctoral Programs Available in Michigan
Beyond your specific field of study, you’ll have lots of variables to consider when choosing the right doctoral program for you. We’ve listed several of the most important and provided examples of current doctoral and PhD programs in Michigan for each. See which best fit your academic needs and study preferences.
Popular Fields to Earn Your PhD and Doctoral Degree in Michigan
Earning Your PhD or Professional Doctorate Online in Michigan
As graduate schools tailor their doctoral degree programs to better meet the needs of working students, the trend includes offering more doctoral programs either fully or partially online. The reason for this is obvious: study convenience. Online programs substantially reduce the extra time, effort, and expense of attending classes on a college’s physical campus.
Online academics take a number of forms. For example, online classes may be delivered asynchronously or synchronously, with synchronous classes often scheduled in the evenings or weekends. Online doctoral students also find themselves regularly attending live-streamed meetings with instructors and faculty advisors. It’s also common for some online programs (such as the DNP at Northern Michigan University and Cornerstone University’s EdD in Organizational Leadership & Development) to include short-term on-campus residencies.
While most doctoral programs in Michigan remain campus-based, plenty of online and hybrid options are available, particularly in the fields of nursing and education. For a better idea of what’s out there, take a look at the college spotlights above, as well as these websites:
These aren’t the only schools offering online doctoral programs in Michigan, however, so be sure to check for additional online options in doctoral programs in your field. And for a deeper dive into the world of online doctorates, be sure to visit the PhDs.me Guide to Online PhD and Doctoral Programs.
Where to Get Help Paying for Your PhD or Doctoral Degree in Michigan
The costs associated with getting your doctorate can be discouraging. Fortunately, you’ll find that graduate schools today are bending over backward to provide their students with access to a full range of financial aid opportunities to help them afford their educations. These include scholarships and grants, fellowships, teaching and research assistantships, work-study programs, and, of course, student loans. All of these resources will help you lower — and maybe even eliminate — out-of-pocket costs for your degree. On top of that, some of these resources, particularly assistantships and work-study positions, offer you invaluable professional experience and networking opportunities that you can’t get anywhere else.
A good place to start your funding search is on the graduate financial aid websites of the colleges and universities you’re considering. Here are a few examples:
Earnings for Doctorate Holders in Michigan
A bigger paycheck is a major incentive for most people pursuing their doctorate. So, let’s take a look at the bottom line, financially speaking, of earning your PhD or doctoral degree. And that bottom line looks pretty encouraging. According to talent.com data released in December 2023, for example, the average annual salary in Michigan for PhDs is $90,000, as compared with $73,996 for those with a master’s degree and $42,910 for those with a bachelor’s degree.
For a bit more detail, the chart below offers recent median annual earnings figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for several of the most popular careers filled by doctoral degree holders. Just remember that these figures are for the country overall. What you actually make will depend on several variables, including your specific employer and job title, your level of professional experience, and your geographic location.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022