Sep 22, 2022
Maybe you’ve just completed your bachelor’s degree and are dreaming about where you can ultimately go in your education and career. Or perhaps you’re already a seasoned professional and are ready to level up your education to land higher positions and increase your salary. Either way, North Carolina offers a variety of PhD and professional doctorate programs to get you where you want to go. Whether you’re looking for a traditional or online doctoral program in North Carolina, this guide provides an overview of what’s offered by schools around the state and an inside look at today’s top-ranked programs.
Top-Ranked PhD and Doctoral Programs in North Carolina for 2022
You know what you need in a grad program, and your needs will be different from the next student’s. That said, as students choose doctoral programs in North Carolina some common wish list items emerge, including affordability, study flexibility, and curriculum quality. The following schools with PhD and doctoral programs in North Carolina score high marks in all three of these areas and offer a variety of programs to choose from. Learn more about each option below.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Those in the healthcare field who want to enroll in online PhD programs in North Carolina will find options at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Programs focusing on nursing, public health, and physical therapy allow busy professionals to conveniently take classes online—and in some programs, courses are offered in a self-paced, asynchronous format. However the school also provides students with the hands-on training they need in advanced healthcare practices through experiences on campus and at healthcare facilities. Depending on the program, students may be required to also take their exams in person either on campus or at a proctoring center approved by the school.
North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University offers 60 PhD programs, including a mix of some that are entirely online and some with both online and in-person components. Those who enroll in hybrid programs take a portion of their coursework online and come to campus on evenings or weekends for other required activities—which still allows students to easily fit classes into their busy lives. No matter what the course format, these doctoral programs provide preparation for career advancement and for students to successfully complete their dissertations.
East Carolina University
East Carolina University (ECU) offers public health doctoral degrees online for students who want to concentrate on either environmental and occupational health or health policy, administration, and leadership. To be admitted, applicants are expected to have a master’s in public health and two years of work experience in the field. To help students defray the cost of their education, the ECU Department of Public Health offers the J. Craig Souza Scholarship, which is designed for those who aspire to become long-term care administrators. The award is $4,000; to be eligible, students must demonstrate financial need and submit a statement explaining why they want to enter this field. The school also offers an EdD in Educational Leadership, an EdS in Educational Administration and Supervision, a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP), and a PhD in Nursing.
Types of PhDs and Professional Doctorates in North Carolina
Whether you want to attend school full-time or part-time, want an accelerated degree to graduate faster, or want a school that doesn’t require GRE scores or a dissertation to graduate, the following are options to find the program that best fits your lifestyle and aspirations.
Popular PhD and Doctoral Degrees in North Carolina
With the large number of in-person and online PhD programs available in North Carolina, choosing the right one for you can be overwhelming. Get started by taking a look at these popular options.
What It’s Like to Earn Your PhD or Doctorate Online in NC
If you’re concerned about the quality of the education you might receive from online PhD programs in North Carolina, rest assured that schools provide the same quality education you receive in traditional programs. For example, students who enroll in the Doctor of Design program at North Carolina State University have the opportunity to reinforce their online studies by working closely with a mentor in the department, as well as committee members who help support their education.
Online PhD programs in North Carolina are a great option for busy professionals who want to work toward their career and education goals while they remain employed full-time. Oftentimes, these programs—like North Carolina State University’s PhD in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development—provide the option for students to take coursework during evenings and weekends to best fit their schedule.
Where to Get Funding for Your Doctoral Degree in North Carolina
Tuition costs shouldn’t put a wall between you and what you want to accomplish. Whether you’re interested in online PhD programs in North Carolina or degrees offered through traditional programs, there are financial aid opportunities, such as scholarships and grants, fellowships, graduate assistantships, and work-study programs. For example, students who enroll in PhD programs at Duke University receive guaranteed funding through scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships, while students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University can qualify for assistantships, scholarships, and fellowships.
In addition to support from your school, you may qualify for scholarships and grants through government agencies, private companies, and organizations that cater to specific professions. As you search for doctoral programs in North Carolina, be sure to explore all your funding options. What you find may save you thousands of dollars.
How Much You Could Earn with a PhD or Doctorate in North Carolina
One primary reason to pursue a PhD program in North Carolina is to qualify for higher-paying jobs. According to ZipRecruiter, in North Carolina, on average, those with a doctoral degree earn $103,361 per year—a huge jump from the average salary of $61,398 for those with a master’s degree in North Carolina. To get an idea of what people in specific doctorate-level professions in North Carolina make, review the table below.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021