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Best PhD and Doctoral Programs in Oregon: Online & Campus

Ready to discover the best PhD and doctoral programs in Oregon? Whether you prefer online or on-campus learning, here you’ll find programs that will elevate your academic credentials and career.

Search hundreds of top schools for the doctorate YOU want.

Written By

Shannon Daigle

Last updated

Jan 31, 2024

Whether you’re a professional on the rise, a passionate researcher with an eye for innovation, or simply someone looking to make a difference, there’s a doctoral or PhD program in Oregon for you. As a prospective doctoral student contemplating higher education options in the Beaver State, you’ll find a vibrant landscape of potential options. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know as you choose the best doctoral program in Oregon for you. Read on to learn more about these degrees, potential funding sources, and the different formats for in-person and online PhD programs in Oregon.

Top-Rated PhD and Doctoral Programs in Oregon for 2024

In this section, you’ll find three premier universities where you can pursue a doctorate or PhD in Oregon. While no one school or program is ideal for every student, these institutions consistently excel in providing various high-quality doctoral programs. They’re known for flexible study options and affordable tuition, making them solid choices for anyone considering PhD programs in Oregon. 

Pacific University

Pacific University, a private institution in Forest Grove, Oregon, stands out for its diverse range of 12 PhD and doctoral programs. These programs encompass various fields of study, including healthcare, education, clinical psychology, and the sciences. Pacific University also offers low-residency, partially online PhD programs in Oregon with the PhD in Education and Leadership. Students are only required to be on campus for one week each January to attend a research symposium.

Tuition rates vary by degree and school of discipline. For example, the PhD in Education and Leadership costs $19,100 per year, while the Doctor of Pharmacy costs $27,927 per semester. Financial aid opportunities are extensive, with department-specific scholarships available, including exclusive PhD in Education and Leadership program scholarships.

Oregon State University

As the largest university in Oregon, Oregon State University (OSU) offers more than 50 doctoral programs, spanning traditional fields like engineering, science, and liberal arts. Unique subjects, including agricultural science, earth, ocean, and atmospheric sciences, and forestry, are also represented. OSU stands out for providing online students with the same close-knit experiences and faculty connections as on-campus students.

OSU provides two hybrid online programs among its doctoral offerings: the EdD in Adult and Higher Education and the PhD in Counseling. Tuition rates vary by program, and financial aid opportunities abound. Graduate assistantships are available for doctoral students, offering tuition coverage, stipends, and health insurance. Additionally, OSU offers graduate fellowships and scholarships, making doctoral education more accessible.

Portland State University

Portland State University, a public research university in Portland, Oregon, boasts an impressive array of 42 doctoral programs. While most programs are traditional and on-campus, students looking for online PhD programs in Oregon may be interested in the flexible PhD in Educational Leadership. The hybrid program offers a convenient option for working professionals. Other doctoral choices are offered in fields like public affairs and policy, electrical and computer engineering, epidemiology, and mathematical sciences.

Tuition varies by program but remains affordable for Oregon residents, ranging from $453 to $663 per credit. Graduate assistantships are also available, providing valuable experience and financial support. PSU’s commitment to graduate education is evident through its diverse range of doctoral offerings and the resources it offers to support doctoral candidates.

Types of PhD and Doctoral Programs Available in Oregon

As you consider doctoral programs in Oregon, you’ll find that each has its own unique admission criteria, student funding opportunities, and learning formats. To help you consider which one might be your perfect match, we’ve outlined the major types of PhD programs in Oregon, along with examples of each.

Full-Time PhD/Doctoral Programs in Oregon

Full-time doctoral programs in Oregon, like the Doctor of Education program at Oregon State University and the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at George Fox University, allow students to graduate as quickly as possible. Usually, students earn a degree in four to six years. While these programs are faster than part-time options, the course load is also more intense. However, some students find they can continue working while attending full-time online doctoral programs in Oregon.

Part-Time PhD/Doctoral Programs in Oregon

Part-time PhD programs in Oregon allow students to tailor their academic pursuits to their unique pace and commitments. While these programs typically take longer to complete than full-time options, they provide the valuable advantage of accommodating students’ responsibilities outside of academics. Two examples of quality part-time doctoral programs in Oregon are the PhD in Education from Oregon State University and the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Oregon.

Fully Funded PhD/Doctoral Programs in Oregon

These programs cover students’ entire tuition, often with an additional stipend for expenses. They’re ideal for students who want to advance their education while minimizing debt. At Oregon State University, most doctoral students in the Public Health program are funded through teaching or graduate assistantships. Meanwhile, those in the Communication and Media Studies Doctoral program at the University of Oregon receive four years of funding that covers tuition, health insurance, and a monthly stipend.

No-GRE PhD/Doctoral Programs in Oregon

While doctoral programs have a history of requiring applicants to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), you won’t necessarily need to submit them to PhD programs in Oregon. Several schools have streamlined the admissions process to no-GRE doctorates, allowing students to provide transcripts or proof of practical experience rather than standardized test scores. Two doctoral programs in Oregon with no GRE requirement are the Doctor of Education from George Fox University and the Doctor of Nursing Practice at Oregon Health & Science University.

Accelerated PhD/Doctoral Programs in Oregon

Accelerated programs offer shortened courses that fast-track students through the doctoral process so they can earn a degree in less time than traditional programs. They appeal to highly motivated learners looking to expedite their academic journey, reduce tuition costs, and enter their desired career or research field sooner, sometimes in as little as one year. Accelerated PhD programs in Oregon are rare, but Pacific University offers a three-year accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy program and an accelerated Doctor of Audiology degree.

No Dissertation PhD/Doctoral Programs in Oregon

Dissertation-free PhD programs in Oregon offer an alternative to the traditional dissertation experience, emphasizing practical projects or coursework instead. These programs are ideal for students in practical skills-based doctoral programs or those who prefer hands-on, experiential learning over extensive research and writing. Two examples of no-dissertation doctoral degrees in Oregon are the Doctor of Occupational Therapy from Pacific University and the Doctor of Nursing Practice-Family Nurse Practitioner at the University of Portland.


Earning a doctoral degree in education opens doors to leadership roles in academia, administration, and policymaking. This path is ideal for educators and administrators dedicated to enhancing Oregon’s educational landscape. Oregon has a growing need for qualified educators and leaders within the educational system. In light of the current teacher shortage, doctoral candidates have a unique opportunity to support, lead, and innovate within the state’s educational system and significantly impact the future.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

Quality Examples of Hybrid/Online Programs


A doctoral degree in nursing is tailored toward healthcare professionals seeking advanced clinical and leadership roles. It’s an excellent choice for registered nurses aspiring to become nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse educators, or nurse leaders. In Oregon, the supply of nurses and healthcare providers must grow to meet the population’s needs, particularly in rural areas. As primary caregivers in such regions, nurse practitioners play a pivotal role in addressing healthcare disparities and improving access to quality medical services.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

Quality Examples of Hybrid/Online Programs


Both Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and PhD in Business degrees are designed for professionals aiming to excel in leadership, research, and academia within the business world. In Oregon, this degree is particularly suitable for individuals seeking to drive economic growth and innovation. It’s a strong fit for entrepreneurs, executives, and business educators who wish to contribute to Oregon’s vibrant economy, spearhead innovative ventures, and nurture the next generation of business leaders.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

Quality Examples of Hybrid/Online Programs

Computer Science

A Doctoral Degree in Computer Science is ideal for tech enthusiasts, researchers, and aspiring academics in Oregon. It offers an opportunity to delve into cutting-edge technology, advanced algorithms, and computer systems. As Oregon continues to foster a tech-driven economy, individuals pursuing this degree can actively contribute to innovation, cybersecurity, and data science initiatives in the state. Whether you aspire to develop software, advance artificial intelligence, or teach the next generation of tech professionals, Computer Science PhD programs in Oregon can be a rewarding path.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

Occupational Therapy

A Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) is a promising avenue for those passionate about improving people’s lives through rehabilitation and therapy. The demand for occupational therapists continues to surge nationwide, and Oregon is no exception. With its diverse healthcare landscape and emphasis on holistic well-being, the state offers an ideal environment for aspiring occupational therapists to make a meaningful impact. An OTD program equips students to address the evolving healthcare needs of Oregonians and contribute to their overall quality of life.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

Earning Your PhD or Professional Doctorate Online in Oregon

Online doctoral programs in Oregon offer students flexibility and accessibility in their studies. However, the hybrid model is more popular than fully online PhD programs in Oregon, especially at the major universities. In hybrid programs, like the Counseling PhD at Oregon State University, students usually access course materials and lectures online and participate in hands-on training, workshops, and networking opportunities on campus. The Educational Leadership Doctorate at Portland State University follows a similar model, blending the flexibility of online learning with the practicality of in-person sessions for collaboration and skill development.

While online and hybrid learning provides convenience, students should be prepared for time management and self-discipline challenges. They must strike a balance between online coursework and on-campus commitments, ensuring they can meet program requirements effectively.

Although fully online doctoral programs are less common in Oregon, hybrid options empower students to pursue their doctoral ambitions while accommodating their busy lives.

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

Students of PhD programs in Oregon have access to various financial aid opportunities to offset the costs of their advanced degrees. Many universities across the state offer various scholarships and grantsfellowships, work-study programs, and graduate research assistantships to support doctoral candidates.

For instance, the Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing provides scholarships to Nurse Practitioner students, assisting them in pursuing their education and career goals. Oregon State University’s Public Policy graduate program offers scholarships and graduate teaching or research assistantships to most PhD students enrolled in the program. The University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication offers numerous scholarships to advanced journalism students. These types of opportunities help doctoral students in Oregon manage the costs associated with earning their degrees.

Earnings for Doctorate Holders in Oregon

Higher education pays off, as is shown in the table below of median earnings for doctoral degree holders nationwide. This trend holds true in Oregon as well. According to the United States Census Bureau, scholars who earned an educational doctoral degree from the University of Oregon make an average annual salary of $89,295 within five years of graduation. In contrast, those with a master’s degree in education from the university earn around $53,103 with their degrees.

This table further illustrates the potential earnings for careers requiring a doctorate or where professionals benefit from adding a PhD to their credentials.

Job TitleRelated Doctoral Degree(s)Median Earnings90th Percentile Earnings
Chief ExecutivesDoctor of Business Administration (DBA) / Online PhD in Business$214,280$239,200
Clinical and Counseling PsychologistsDoctor of Psychology (PsyD) / PhD in Psychology$126,940$230,490
Computer and Information Research ScientistsPhD in Computer Science$171,700$239,200
EconomistsPhD in Economics$121,720$167,380
Education Administrators, PostsecondaryDoctor of Education (EdD)$101,940$211,980
Education Teachers, PostsecondaryPhD in Education / PhD in Special Education$65,410$125,760
EpidemiologistsDoctor of Public Health (DrPH)$67,410$100,710
Instructional CoordinatorsDoctor of Education (EdD)$81,800$116,290
Nurse PractitionersDoctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)$132,230$167,690
PharmacistsDoctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)$141,380$177,400
Physical TherapistsDoctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)$98,050$116,500

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022