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Best PhD and Doctoral Programs in Utah: Online & Campus

Are you thinking about advancing your education to upskill for new career opportunities? Discover how PhD programs in Utah can help you achieve your goals and learn what you can expect when you enroll.

Search hundreds of top schools for the doctorate YOU want.

Written By

Kenya McCullum

Last updated

Jan 31, 2024

Are you considering furthering your education and career by enrolling in one of the many quality PhD programs in Utah? While you may not know many people who choose this path, you’re far from alone in the desire to earn a terminal degree. In fact, according to the Utah System of Higher Education, 25.6 percent of all graduates from public institutions around the state have earned a graduate degree, 1.3 percent have completed a doctoral research degree, and 8.6 percent graduated with a professional degree. This is a significant amount of state residents who have taken the reins of their education to the highest levels.

Continue reading if you’ve been wondering about how doctoral programs in Utah may help you achieve your goals and increase your standing in your profession. This guide tells you about the types of doctoral and PhD programs in Utah and the schools offering them. You’ll also find ways to pay for your education and data on how much money you can make after earning your degree.

Top-Rated PhD and Doctoral Programs in Utah for 2024

Considering the amount of time and money you’ll invest, you want to make sure you’re enrolling in one of the best PhD programs in Utah from one of the top schools. While what’s considered best for one student may not be the right choice for another, there are common denominators that all students care about. Those factors were used to create the list of top-rated programs below, which includes details about online PhD programs in Utah. Even if these schools aren’t for you, you’ll have an idea of how to judge other institutions and programs.

University of Utah

The University of Utah offers dozens of doctoral and professional degrees ranging from disciplines like business to engineering to humanities to dentistry. No matter what type of degree you choose, the University of Utah’s graduate school has many useful resources to help you succeed. For example, the Thesis Office offers dissertation advice that includes details on how to format and submit it. There are also several mentoring opportunities students can take advantage of to get the assistance they need with research or just navigating the graduate experience in general. Additionally, the University of Utah has professional development resources for all graduate students.

Utah State University

Utah State University has traditional doctoral programs in areas like biology, plant science, economics, and computer science. It also has unique programs like a career and technical education PhD that is offered online. Utah residents pay about $827 per credit while out-of-state students pay about $2,717. To help students afford their education, the school offers its Seely-Hinckley Scholarship to graduate students who demonstrate financial need. There are also graduate assistantships available that provide stipends in exchange for working 20 hours per week for the school in a graduate teaching or research assistant position or as a graduate instructor.

Weber State University

Weber State University offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program designed to train nurses to provide care at the top of their license. Students also gain leadership skills and learn about research science, so they have a well-rounded view of nursing practice and protocols. There are two options available, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to DNP and Master’s to DNP programs. The BSN to DNP program gives those who already have bachelor’s degrees a pathway to becoming nurse practitioners where they can provide the highest level of clinical care. The Master’s to DNP program is for nurses who want leadership roles at healthcare facilities.

Types of PhD and Doctoral Programs Available in Utah

One of the ways to figure out if a PhD program in Utah is the right choice for you is to consider the types of programs available. Some may fit better into your lifestyle than others. To help you with your decision, the different types of programs available are described below along with examples of schools offering them.

Full-Time PhD/Doctoral Programs in Utah

Although it can be a rigorous experience, enrolling on a full-time basis may be worth the challenge if you want to complete your degree in a reasonable amount of time. In addition, full-time PhD programs in Utah can give you a more well-rounded experience because you’re able to fully immerse yourself in your studies and take advantage of increased opportunities to network with professors and peers.

Quality Examples of Programs

Part-Time PhD/Doctoral Programs in Utah

Not everyone can work a full-time PhD program in Utah into their schedule, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from pursuing your education. Fortunately, some schools offer part-time doctoral degrees. Even though they take longer, they’re a much better option than abandoning your dream of earning a doctorate altogether.

Quality Examples of Programs

Fully-Funded PhD/Doctoral Programs in Utah

Since paying for a PhD program in Utah is often a big concern, some schools help students financially by providing opportunities for full funding. This can take the form of scholarships and grants from the school as well as assistantships. If you’re chosen for an assistantship position, you’ll work for your department a certain number of hours per week in exchange for having your tuition waived. 

Quality Examples of Programs

No-GRE PhD/Doctoral Programs in Utah

You already have a lot on your plate, and you may not want to deal with taking a GRE to be admitted into a PhD program in Utah. Luckily, you don’t necessarily need to. Schools started offering no-GRE doctorate options in recent years, so you don’t have to also invest time in preparing for the standardized test as you juggle your professional and personal responsibilities.

Quality Examples of Programs

Accelerated PhD/Doctoral Programs in Utah

Full-time PhD programs in Utah help you complete your degree in a reasonable amount of time, but you can finish even faster through an accelerated program if you’re able to dedicate more of your schedule to your studies. Accelerated PhD programs are an intensive experience, many only take a year and are offered online, but often worth it to graduate significantly faster than is usual. 

Quality Examples of Programs

No Dissertation PhD/Doctoral Programs in Utah

Completing a dissertation can be a valuable experience if you’re interested in pursuing a research-related job. However, a PhD program in Utah that doesn’t require a dissertation may be a better option if your aspirations don’t include research. Instead of a dissertation, these programs often require a practicum that demonstrates your understanding of course material by completing a project. 

Quality Examples of Programs


If you’re an engineer looking to specialize your knowledge and advance to the highest levels in an engineering firm, a PhD is the right choice for you. These degrees are often earned by those who want to conduct research and become professors. There are several concentrations in these programs, including industrial, electrical, civil, and mechanical engineering.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs


There is an abundance of opportunities for nurses in Utah, especially since the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity considers life sciences and healthcare to be among the state’s targeted industries. In fact, Intermountain Health and the University of Utah Health are some of the biggest employers in the state. Whether you want to teach future nurses or provide advanced care at the top of your license, a nursing doctoral degree opens up a wealth of opportunities in already fertile ground for growth.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

Quality Examples of Hybrid/Online Programs


If you’re studying psychology or working in a psychology-related job and want to specialize, you can gain expertise in a branch of the discipline when you earn a doctoral degree. Concentrations in a psychology PhD program in Utah include social, school, sports, and abnormal psychology.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs


On the doctoral level, biology degrees are the most earned in the state. Since this is such a large field, these degrees prepare you for numerous positions whether you want to work in industrial, academic, or governmental settings. Also, those with biology PhDs can become consultants for organizations in the life sciences sector.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs


A terminal degree is for educators who want to take their pedagogical skills and knowledge to the highest levels. As a result, doctoral education degrees prepare you for specialized teaching in a specific subject. If you aspire to elevate outside the classroom, consider enrolling in a program that prepares you for an administrative position.

Quality Examples of On-Campus Programs

Earning Your PhD or Professional Doctorate Online in Utah

It’s important to understand how online learning works as you look for doctoral programs. Online PhD programs in Utah provide the same level of quality as in-person ones with the added benefit of increased flexibility. They allow you to easily fit your studies into your schedule in different ways. For example, some programs are delivered completely online, so you don’t have to worry about traveling to campus for your coursework. Some schools offer partially online programs where you go to campus for a certain amount of time, from a one-time activity held at the beginning of the program to being expected to come to campus every week.

The time when you can participate in your coursework also differs depending on the online doctoral program in Utah you enroll in. Some schools offer synchronous programs that, although delivered remotely, are not entirely flexible because you’re required to attend classes on a set schedule just as with a traditional program. An asynchronous program, on the other hand, gives you more flexibility because there are no scheduled class meetings.

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

Just as the type of program is an important consideration when deciding on a PhD program in Utah, the cost is also crucial to consider as you look at schools. There are numerous ways to pay for your education. No matter what your financial situation is, you’ll likely find financial aid opportunities that work for you. For example, you may be eligible for scholarships and grants from multiple sources, including government agencies, professional associations, and private companies. Fellowships are also available for PhD students.

The school you attend can also be a huge source of funding. Each school has different financial aid options, so check out what each school you’re considering is offering. The University of Utah, for example, provides fellowships and scholarships for graduate students.

Earnings for Doctorate Holders in Utah

In addition to obtaining advanced knowledge and skills that can help you earn a higher-level position, completing a doctoral program in Utah also usually results in a bump in salary. According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, an increase in education results in significant salary increases. Utah residents with bachelor’s degrees on average earn $55,000 a year after graduation, while master’s degree graduates make $79,100. The average salary amount increases to $104,365 after earning a doctoral degree and to $106,721 with a professional practice degree.

Review the table below for information about the earnings of doctoral degree holders in specific jobs.

Job TitleRelated Doctoral Degree(s)Median Earnings90th Percentile Earnings
Chief ExecutivesDoctor of Business Administration (DBA) / Online PhD in Business$160,660$239,200
Civil EngineersDoctorate in Engineering (DEng/PhD)$80,300$132,540
Clinical and Counseling PsychologistsDoctor of Psychology (PsyD) / PhD in Psychology$82,280$163,580
Computer and Information Research ScientistsPhD in Computer Science$91,920$135,100
Education Teachers, PostsecondaryPhD in Education / PhD in Special Education$76,470$139,210
EpidemiologistsDoctor of Public Health (DrPH)$60,320$91,520
Financial ManagersFinance Doctorate (PhD/DBA)$123,220$220,090
Instructional CoordinatorsDoctor of Education (EdD)$56,560$98,210
Nurse PractitionersDoctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)$112,490$163,780
Physical TherapistsDoctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)$86,280$125,440

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022