Jul 18, 2022
Ready to deepen your knowledge and reach the forefront of your field? Already have your bachelor’s or master’s and want to take your expertise even further? A PhD or professional doctorate degree is the logical next step. But as you’re likely thinking, juggling an intense doctoral program while working full-time is a lot to take on.
Fortunately, part-time programs (including convenient online options) are available from quality universities that can make earning your doctorate much more manageable. This guide reveals the best part-time PhD and doctoral programs, explores common fields of study that offer part-time programs, and answers some of the most frequently asked questions about these programs. Keep reading to see if a part-time doctoral program is right for you and find the one that can take your career to the next level.
Top 5 Part-Time PhD and Doctoral Programs in 2022
Quality, affordability, and accreditation are important when searching for the best part-time PhD and doctoral programs. The best choice for you, though, often boils down to how well a program fits with your full-time work schedule and everyday life. We’ve rounded up the top part-time PhD and doctoral programs that are flexible for maintaining work, life, and education balance while also providing a high-quality education.
Wayne State University’s Part-Time PhD in Social Work
Wayne State University offers one of the best part-time doctoral programs in social work in the country for those who already have a master’s in social work. Students can also pursue dual PhDs with social work and either anthropology, gerontology, or infant mental health emphasis. The first three years in the program are comprised of coursework with the remaining time devoted to a dissertation. Alumni of WSU’s doctoral programs often take leadership roles in academia, clinical scholarship, and social welfare policy. While you can enroll part-time, there is a seven-year limit for the program.
Boston College’s Part-Time (Ed.D.) in Higher Education
Boston College’s Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education program exists for those looking to advance their careers in higher education. The program develops innovative leaders who are ready to tackle the big problems facing higher education today. A unique feature of this program is how the school designs cohorts so each student comes from a different background to increase the diversity of thought in the program. Courses are all offered online and at times that work around a typical nine-to-five career.
Program requirements include summer residencies in Boston and Dublin. This three-year program also boasts a global focus with research and networking opportunities across the globe. Successful applicants need at least seven years of professional experience and a master’s degree.
George Mason University’s School of Policy and Government Part-Time PhD Programs
George Mason University offers three PhD programs – biodefense, public policy, and political science – to those working in the public policy sector. The Schar School PhD programs are designed for those who want a heavy research focus and the opportunity to conduct ground-breaking research in their fields. Alumni find success working in academia, for government organizations, and at nonprofits thanks to the school’s robust dissertation program, rigorous coursework, and networking opportunities.
Each program is available part-time or full-time and offers opportunities to customize the curriculum to your career goals. Prospective students need previous educational and work experience in the public policy field.
Johns Hopkins University’s Part-Time Online DrPH
John Hopkins University provides public health professionals with a robust Doctor of Public Health (DrPH). The program helps early- to mid-career professionals working in international or domestic public health roles become leaders in their fields. There are ten concentrations, and the program helps connect students with the right courses, opportunities, and research projects to reach their individual goals.
Along with being a highly customizable program, this program also fits around a nine-to-five job. This doctorate takes one year when attending full-time, and you can enroll on a part-time basis. John Hopkins also offers competitive scholarships to help offset the costs. Applicants should have an MPH from an accredited university and at least three years of work experience in the field.
Drexel University’s Part-Time Online DBA
The Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program from Drexel University offers business professionals an online option to gain a high-quality doctoral education on their own schedules. The program prepares leaders for the business world and focuses on applying business theory to real-world scenarios. Students can also take PhD-level courses from other disciplines to integrate non-business ideas into their dissertations and projects.
Drexel designed its program for those with over ten years of experience in business, and the admissions process is highly selective with each cohort consisting of only 12-18 students. While most PhD programs are completed in three years, this program can be completed in two and a half when enrolled full-time, though part-time enrollment is also an option.
Popular Degrees for Earning Your PhD or Doctorate Part-Time
While there are part-time PhD or doctorate program for most fields of study, some are more popular than others. Professional doctorate programs that focus on applying research to real-world settings are more commonly offered in part-time, online formats versus PhD programs, which require a contribution to original, academic research. However, you can still find plenty of part-time PhD programs. Below are some of the most popular part-time doctorate and PhD programs to give you an idea of what’s available.