Top 10 Easiest PhD Degrees to Earn
Professors, researchers, and scientists need a Ph.D. to work in settings such as universities, research institutions, and nonprofits. Earning a Ph.D. typically takes 4-7 years. Accelerated Ph.D. programs allow degree-seekers to save time and money. The fastest Ph.D. programs allow students to enter the workforce earlier and begin building their postdoctoral careers.
Anything worth working for is not always easy, right? Your chosen doctoral program is one of the most important decisions you can make along your educational journey. Although most accredited online Ph.D. programs are rather costly, there are some that are easier than others, as well as less time consuming and less expensive.
Typically, there are three areas of concentration that students focus on if in search of an “easy” doctoral degree program through an online distance learning format. Specifically, they are in the fields of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education (EDD).
One of the fastest ways to earn a doctorate is by matriculating into a program with graduate-level credits and having previous academic or research experience. Students can also find programs that offer an accelerated option.
Online doctoral degree programs, the highest attainable degree in America’s educational system, is rightly considered the peak of an academic challenge as well. It is often said that this prestigious post-graduate achievement requires students to produce long-term effort in order to define, develop, and complete original and significant research in their area of expertise. Therefore, “easiest online doctorate programs” can sound like a contradiction in terms. However, due to the nature of online Ph.D. programs, some amount of flexibility, accessibility, and availability can make online doctoral programs somewhat easier to finish.
Here are the top 10 easiest PhD degrees to earn.
- Doctor of Nursing (DNP) program through the Maryville University of St. Louis
This is one of the easiest distance learning doctoral program. Its 33-credit hour curriculum is ideal for working nurses who want to take higher courses for career advancement. Are there 12-month online DNP programs available? Yes! Since online learning is often self-paced, you can attain a DNP program in 12 months but we will say that “easy” completion of this nursing program can be attained in 20 months. On the other hand, the Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership is regarded as an easy doctorate as it features personalized coaching in a cohort learning model-based online setting. This degree can be completed in less than 32 months. Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program through Seton Hall University
This is an online PhD program for students and working adults who want to acquire the highest clinical degree in the nursing field. Students learn advanced knowledge in population health, business and evidence-based approaches, and healthcare systems. Accredited by the university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Seton Hall University’s DNP doctorate program features two pathways, namely the BSN to DNP pathway with 73 to 79 credits, and the MSN to DNP pathway which has 32 to 33 credits. Easy completion of the degree program can be expected through a final scholarly project that mainly focuses on quality improvement and translational science for the advancement of care systems, safety, and patient outcomes. On the other hand, the Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy have only 45 credits, with topics that develop students’ research-based administrative and supervisory skills. There are two unique areas of focus, namely Management and Administration, and College Teaching that can be completed in three years or less.
- Ph.D. in Theology & Apologetics, and Ph.D. in Worship Studies
Another doctorate degree that is purely online in format is the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program, Ph.D. in Theology & Apologetics, and Ph.D. in Worship Studies. Doctoral students can hone their ministry skills and acquire an effective understanding of biblical principles required to land pastoral roles. Students also engage with known church leaders while pursuing their doctorate. The 33-credit curriculum is composed of a nine-hour credit thesis and six transferable credits. Utilizing the Blackboard platform, Liberty Flames accepts 45 to 70 credits. Liberty University Ph.D. programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and allow for completion of the online doctorate program within two to three years.
- Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at the College of St. Scholastica
This tDPT program is designed for practicing therapists. Learning is easier since the program curriculum is condensed into six, 16-credit-hour classes. The doctorate is expected to be completed in two years. The doctorate is geared towards intensive career preparation and hands-on experiences in the field of physical therapy. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Executive Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership ABD completion program at Gwynedd Mercy University
This completion program is ideal for those who were able to complete their coursework in the same field but need to work on their dissertation. What makes this program an easy one to take is that it does not focus on the completed dissertation as the university itself permits students to leave their ABD (All but Dissertation) status and still obtain a doctorate in education. In 18 months, students can complete 27 to 54 credit hours of coursework and practical experience. Students can also complete their doctorate through comprehensive research, school administration, or policy analysis. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree program under the College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the Boston University
The 33 to 37-credit program curriculum is composed of 10 courses. Aside from this, students can also complete six foundation courses, depending on past educational experiences before taking up a doctorate. Learning is easier because online students can take two courses every semester, with each semester lasting seven weeks.
- Doctor of Social Work and Global Executive Doctor of Education degree programs at the University of Southern California
The Doctor of Social Work can be easily completed in two to three years through numerous specializations. The coursework can be accomplished with full-time pacing and students can access an open virtual community through the Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. As for the Global Executive Doctor of Education, students are given the opportunity to travel abroad for 25 months. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Management degree programs with nine fields of specialization at the Drexel University
The coursework can be quickly completed in four 10-week quarters a year, allowing students to take more courses within a short timeframe. This Ed.D. program can be completed in three to five years. It does not require residency, and all coursework and dissertation requirements can be completed online. Students also become part of cohort systems, exposing them to academic network opportunities. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Leadership and Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership at the University of Arkansas
The Adult and Lifelong Leadership online doctorate can be completed in 30 months, while the Educational Leadership doctorate can be completed in 36. The university has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
- Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree program California Intercontinental University
It provides numerous opportunities for online Ph.D. scholars to major in a specific area that is most appropriate for their research and career objectives. Some specializations include Entrepreneurship and Business Management, Global Business and Leadership, Healthcare Management and Leadership, and Information Systems and Enterprise Resource Management.
The online DBA program features state-of-the-art online resources for convenient learning. It is ideal for veterans, working professionals, Department of Defense employees, as well as military service members and their families. The degree program can be completed in 24 months. California Intercontinental University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
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Tips to Help You Finish Your PhD Faster
- Keep your topic as narrow as possible
Believe me, as much as you want to save the world, nobody wants to spend 10 years doing their Ph.D. So, let’s keep this straight and simple. Focus your thesis on one specific scientific problem. First, get the question right. Are you trying to challenge existing literature? Do you have enough scientific resources to support your hypothesis? Next, make up your mind. What direction are you going to take? Are you positioning yourself as the antagonist or protagonist? Then, you can start from there. Narrowing your topic helps you sift your resources and filter the issues that won’t really matter in the end.
- Write a funding proposal ahead of time
Many people will tell you that your funding application should only come after completing your Ph.D. Don’t fall into this trap. The government, including great organizations, foundations, and private corporations can offer you a funding opportunity for your research while you are doing your Ph.D.
In fact, writing a thesis can never feel so real unless you also have your funding proposal on hand. For more motivation, you can check BioTeckNika’s scholarship programs and funding offers. Who knows you might stumble upon an offer that can take your Ph.D. journey to a whole new level?
- Have your thesis examined from time to time
A smarter way to avoid major revisions in the future is to keep your thesis in check. Consult your supervisor you make minor progress. For example, if you’re done with the Review of Related Literature, I suggest you send it to your supervisor right away for checking.
This gives you the opportunity to correct minor mistakes at the earliest opportunity rather than discovering them only too late. Also, check with your science department for updates and new discoveries that could add more direction to your thesis. Keeping your thesis updated helps you to avoid inevitable delays caused by sudden changes in the course of your journey.
Are you confused about the choice of PhD degree to pursue? Take advantage of the top 10 easiest PhD degrees shared in this post. You can choose any of the degrees featured in this post. The beautiful part is that you can successfully complete your studies between 1-2 years.