Jan 31, 2024
Missouri is home to numerous PhD and professional doctoral programs. Any one of them can lead to professional growth, whether in a current profession or a new one, but you might wonder if it’s worth the time, money, and effort to earn a doctorate. This guide answers that question. You’ll learn about the most popular PhD and doctoral programs available in Missouri. It also addresses why you might choose one type of program over another and how you can pay for your graduate education. Towards the end of the guide, you’ll discover the type of jobs and compensation you can expect after earning your terminal degree.
Top-Rated PhD and Doctoral Programs in Missouri for 2024
There are many high-quality PhD programs in Missouri, and figuring out which one is perfect for you might feel daunting. Three top-notch Missouri schools that offer doctorate degrees are identified below to help you being your school search. They were selected based on several factors, including their program options, convenience, and affordability. These schools give you a good idea of what to look for during your doctorate program search.
University of Missouri-Columbia
The University of Missouri–Columbia is the largest university in the state and the flagship institution of the University of Missouri System. It boasts more than 70 doctorate programs, eight of which are online and can be completed without making any campus visits.Some of these doctoral programs are what you might expect a major university to offer, such as a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a PhD in Economics, but there are also several unique programs, like a PhD in Agricultural Education and a PhD in Natural Resources with an emphasis in forestry. In addition to these diverse and convenient learning options, University of Missouri–Columbia students have access to robust and generous graduate student funding opportunities with a plethora of internal and externship fellowships, assistantships, and graduate-student-exclusive scholarships to choose from.
Maryville University of Saint Louis
Students thinking about earning their doctorate from Maryville University of Saint Louis have several on-campus and online doctoral programs to choose from. For those looking for on-campus programs, they can choose from two Doctor of Education degrees in Educational Leadership and Teacher Leadership as well as the Doctor of Physical Therapy Direct Entry program for freshmen. Students requiring the flexibility of online learning can enroll in the Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership or one of three Doctor of Nursing Practice tracks. These include BSN to DNP, MSN to DNP, and DNP-Nurse Practitioner, the latter of which has five concentrations to choose from. These online programs typically include significant in-person learning elements, such as on-campus residencies and/or on-site clinicals. However, arrangements can be made for some of the in-person learning requirements to be completed at a location close to where a student works or lives.
Saint Louis University
At Saint Louis University (SLU), students have one of the widest selections of doctoral programs in the state. With more than 70 doctoral programs to choose from, prospective SLU doctoral students are sure to find a program that’s right for them. Many of these doctoral programs are joint-degree programs. For example, in addition to the traditional Juris Doctor (JD) law degree, students can earn their JD degree with many other potential degrees, such as a Master of Accounting or PhD in Health Care Ethics. Of the 70+ doctoral programs at SLU, four are mostly online. These include a Nursing PhD, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (Post-BSN and Post-MSN tracks), and a PhD in Aviation. Some of these programs are 100% online, like the Aviation PhD, but some, such as the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, have experiential learning components.
Types of PhD and Doctoral Programs Available in Missouri
There are multiple curriculum formats for PhD programs in Missouri available to accommodate the personal and professional needs of a diverse student body. These options largely exist to make it as convenient as possible to enroll, pay, and progress through the doctoral degree program. Below are some of the more common on-campus and online doctoral program formats to consider.
Popular Fields to Earn Your PhD and Doctoral Degree in Missouri
Earning Your PhD or Professional Doctorate Online in Missouri
Online doctoral programs in Missouri are popular because they make it much easier for working adults to earn graduate degrees. There are two main variables to be aware of when enrolling in an online PhD or doctoral program in Missouri. First, while there are some fully online programs, such as the EdD in Higher Education Leadership from Maryville University, many online doctoral programs aren’t 100% online. Instead, they combine online lectures with in-person learning requirements. DNP programs, such asthe one offered by the University of Missouri-Kansas City that combines online didactic instruction with in-person instruction, are great examples of this. Second, online classes can be offered synchronously and/or asynchronously, depending on the school. The former means online courses occur at scheduled times, while the latter means the online class lectures can be watched later, even in the middle of the night. Missouri University of Science and Technology’s online doctoral programs offer a combination of both, depending on the class.
Where to Get Help Paying for Your PhD or Doctoral Degree in Missouri
Doctoral students in Missouri have a variety of sources of financial aid, including traditional student loans from the federal government such as Direct PLUS Loans. One of the advantages of being a doctoral student is the greater availability of funding awards that don’t have to be paid back, like fellowships and assistantships. For instance, the University of Missouri-Columbia offers a plethora of assistantships where doctoral students assist in teaching and/or research.
Keep in mind that while these financial awards are sometimes guaranteed just by getting accepted into a program, students need to work for their financial assistance while completing their studies. Other schools, like theMissouri University of Science and Technology, also have graduate scholarships available. Finally, there are also scholarships and grants from outside organizations like corporations and nonprofit organizations.
Earnings for Doctorate Holders in Missouri
Graduating from a doctoral or PhD program in Missouri is likely going to lead to higher wages. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, someone with a doctoral degree has a median weekly income of $2,083. If they have a master’s degree, however, the median weekly income they can expect is $1,661. This difference is even more pronounced when examining data from ZipRecruiter, which says that the $2,262 average weekly compensation for someone with a doctorate in Missouri is more than double the $838 per week average someone who has a master’s degree can expect. Check out the following table to review wage data for specific professions that can benefit from a doctorate.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022