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Best PhD and Doctoral Programs in Nevada: Online & Campus

Discover the top PhD and doctoral programs in Nevada and embark on your journey to advanced education and career success in the Silver State.

Search hundreds of top schools for the doctorate YOU want.

Written By

Shannon Daigle

Last updated

Jan 31, 2024

Are you considering pursuing a PhD in Nevada? You’re in the right place. As the third fastest-growing state in the nation, Nevada offers more than dazzling lights and desert landscapes. It’s also home to excellent online and on-campus doctoral programs. Whether you’re a professional looking to elevate your career or an aspiring scholar seeking academic excellence, this guide is your roadmap to discovering the best PhD programs in Nevada. Each student’s needs and expectations for doctoral programs in Nevada are unique — we’ll help you explore the possibilities in this comprehensive guide. From healthcare to business and beyond, there are PhD programs in Nevada to help you achieve your goals. Keep reading to learn how to unlock your highest potential with doctoral programs in Nevada.

Top-Rated PhD and Doctoral Programs in Nevada for 2024

When considering PhD programs in Nevada, finding the best degree for your needs is crucial. Below, we’ve outlined two of the top universities offering doctoral programs in Nevada. Each one provides diverse PhD and doctorate programs to suit a wide range of students. Finding the “best” program will be a different decision for each person, but these two schools are excellent examples of strong choices. They provide multiple degree options at a reasonable cost, making them stand out when it comes to PhD programs in Nevada.

University of Nevada, Reno

The University of Nevada, Reno stands out with its impressive array of over 60 doctoral programs, catering to diverse academic interests ranging from psychology to nursing and liberal arts to computer science. UNR strongly emphasizes accessibility, with several graduate programs waiving the GRE requirement to expedite the application process.

Those interested in online doctoral programs in Nevada may be interested in UNR’s two hybrid doctoral degrees: Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Occupational Therapy. The university maintains an affordable tuition structure, with a per-credit rate of $321.75 for residents and non-residents, ensuring accessibility to quality education. To support doctoral students further, UNR collaborates with students to provide funding opportunities, offering numerous scholarships and graduate assistantships.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas offers a range of doctoral programs, including online options catering to various academic and professional interests. UNLV also offers several online PhDs and doctoral programs in Nevada, including a PhD in Nursing with a nursing education track, a post-MSN Nursing Education accelerated degree track, and a post-DNP to PhD track. Additionally, UNLV provides online Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Occupational Therapy programs.

UNLV’s 60 doctoral programs span various disciplines, such as criminal justice, music, education, business, and nursing, offering comprehensive educational opportunities for students in all subjects. Tuition at UNLV is competitive, with a semester rate of $3,607 for residents and $12,085 for non-residents. To support students’ academic pursuits, UNLV offers graduate assistantships and scholarships to doctoral candidates.

Types of PhD and Doctoral Programs Available in Nevada

When it comes to PhD programs in Nevada, choosing the correct format for you is as important as selecting a school. Here, you’ll find more information about the different types of doctoral programs in Nevada. We’ll cover diverse formats, from full- and part-time options to dissertation-free degrees.

Full-Time PhD/Doctoral Programs in Nevada

There are several full-time doctoral and PhD programs in Nevada. These programs offer intensive study and immersive learning experiences for students. They are also typically the quickest path to earning a doctoral degree, taking four to six years to complete. Two excellent full-time doctoral programs in Nevada are the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Roseman University of Health and Sciences, offered exclusively full-time, and the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Touro University.

Part-Time PhD/Doctoral Programs in Nevada

Many PhD programs in Nevada are flexible, allowing students to choose between full- and part-time status. While part-time doctoral programs in Nevada often take longer to complete, many students prefer them for their convenience when balancing academic pursuits and other commitments. Two examples of part-time PhD programs in Nevada are the PhD in Educational Leadership at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the PhD in Computer Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Fully Funded PhD/Doctoral Programs in Nevada

In a fully funded PhD program, the university covers tuition and fees for doctoral students. Additionally, the student will typically receive a salary or stipend to support their living expenses, making it possible for them to focus entirely on their studies without the burden of finances. While fully funded PhD programs in Nevada can be hard to find, one example is the PhD in Public Health at the University of Nevada, Reno. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the University of Nevada, Reno also offer considerable funding to all doctoral students.

No-GRE PhD/Doctoral Programs in Nevada

Traditionally, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores have served as a way for students to prove their academic credentials to a university while applying for an advanced degree. However, many doctoral programs in Nevada are streamlining the admissions process and choosing to forego the GRE in favor of academic transcripts or professional experience. Two no-GRE doctoral programs in Nevada are the Doctor of Occupational Therapy at Touro University and the PhD in Chemistry at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Accelerated PhD/Doctoral Programs in Nevada

Accelerated PhD programs fast-track students through doctoral studies, typically taking less time to complete than traditional programs. Some take as little as one year. They offer a quicker graduation date and the ability to enter the workforce sooner, making them an attractive option for motivated learners. Accelerated doctoral programs in Nevada are rare, but the Doctor of Pharmacy and the Dual Accelerated PharmD and MSPS at Roseman University of Health and Sciences offer a quicker path to graduation.

No Dissertation PhD/Doctoral Programs in Nevada

Dissertations are a traditional culmination project before receiving any doctoral degree. While they are still prevalent in PhD programs in Nevada, no-dissertation degrees are available. Experiential-focused programs, like the Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Doctor of Occupational Therapy at Touro University, replace dissertations with practical projects. These capstone experiences offer a streamlined and career-focused approach to a doctoral degree while emphasizing real-world knowledge applications.


As the population of Nevada grows, the educational standards are evolving to meet students’ needs. And with recent advancements in Nevada’s academic standards and increased funding, the state is primed for educational transformation. Pursuing a PhD or doctoral degree in Education equips future leaders to harness these changes and spearhead innovations in Nevada’s education system. As the state strongly emphasizes educational improvement, graduates of these popular doctoral programs in Nevada can play a pivotal role in shaping the future.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

Quality Examples of Hybrid/Online Programs

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists are already in high demand in the Silver State and nationally, and that demand will grow in years to come. Nevada needs more occupational therapists, with just 1,200 of these professionals serving a population of over 3 million. Pursuing a doctoral degree in occupational therapy opens doors to a rewarding career and addresses the demand for healthcare workers. Graduates can make a meaningful impact on the lives of Nevadans by providing vital occupational therapy services.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

Quality Examples of Hybrid/Online Programs


As Nevada leaders set their sights on creating well-established and robust economies throughout the state, the demand for business leaders will grow. Earning a PhD or doctoral degree in business prepares students to navigate the dynamic business landscape in the state, working at the forefront of companies as managers and strategists. As Nevada diversifies its industries, graduates can seize opportunities and drive economic growth, making them invaluable contributors to the state’s prosperity.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs


In a 2022 report, Nevada ranked as the lowest state for mental health services, underscoring the urgent need for qualified psychologists. Pursuing a PhD or doctoral degree in Psychology allows students to address this critical gap in mental healthcare. School psychologists in particular are in high demand, offering the chance to profoundly impact the well-being of Nevada’s residents by providing essential counseling and support services to those in need.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

Public Health

Nevada faces various health challenges, including substance abuse concerns, healthcare disparities, and an evolving healthcare landscape. Graduates with a doctoral degree in public health can play a pivotal role in addressing these pressing concerns or epidemiological research locally or globally. They can design and implement effective public health initiatives, conduct crucial research, and shape policies that improve the well-being of Nevada’s diverse population. Their work will make the state healthier and more resilient for the future.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

Earning Your PhD or Professional Doctorate Online in Nevada

Hybrid and online doctoral programs in Nevada are limited, with most available options being the field of nursing at three universities. Touro University has a Doctor of Nursing Program with 100% online coursework. The University of Nevada, Reno also offers an online DNP, while the University of Nevada, Las Vegas has a PhD in Nursing.

Online PhD programs and hybrid options typically allow students to complete some or all coursework online, offering flexibility in when and where they study. In these DNP programs, students can expect to engage in both online classes and in-person clinical experiences, ensuring a well-rounded education that blends theory with hands-on practice.

Online learning offers flexible study options for working professionals and potential cost savings over commuting or relocating to earn an advanced degree. While online doctoral and PhD programs in Nevada are limited, the available options in nursing can be an excellent choice for healthcare professionals seeking to advance their careers while accommodating their busy schedules.

Where to Get Help Paying for Your PhD or Doctoral Degree in Nevada

Doctoral students in Nevada have access to various financial aid options to help ease the cost of pursuing advanced degrees. Both the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas offer graduate assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, and grants, providing valuable financial support while allowing students to gain practical experience in the field.

At UNR, students can apply for $40,000 in funding through the Graduate Dean’s Fellowships program, or the Bilinski Education Foundation Dissertation Year Fellowship. UNLV has similar generous funding opportunities. For instance, the UNLV Department of Psychology strives to offer funding to all who request it through graduate assistantships, grants, and scholarships.

These financial aid options help alleviate the financial burden of doctoral education and provide valuable experiential learning and research opportunities.

Earnings for Doctorate Holders in Nevada

Earning a PhD or professional doctorate in Nevada can significantly boost one’s earning potential compared to their peers who hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The table below displays the median annual earnings for individuals with doctoral degrees, as reported by The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those with a doctorate tend to earn higher median salaries than those with lower-level degrees. In Nevada, professionals with doctorates can earn an annual median income of approximately $147,713, as reported by ZipRecruiter, surpassing the $102,569 median yearly income typically earned by master’s degree holders.

Job TitleRelated Doctoral Degree(s)Median Earnings90th Percentile Earnings
Civil EngineersDoctorate in Engineering (DEng/PhD)$89,630$157,650
Clinical and Counseling PsychologistsDoctor of Psychology (PsyD) / PhD in Psychology$87,770$156,640
EconomistsPhD in Economics$75,880$103,670
Education Administrators, PostsecondaryDoctor of Education (EdD)$80,250$170,220
EpidemiologistsDoctor of Public Health (DrPH)$78,010$105,210
Financial ManagersFinance Doctorate (PhD/DBA)$109,390$194,230
Instructional CoordinatorsDoctor of Education (EdD)$65,720$102,290
Nurse PractitionersDoctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)$130,050$173,970
PharmacistsDoctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)$134,120$164,700
Physical TherapistsDoctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)$101,980$147,630

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022