20 Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021

If you earned an online doctorate from an accredited college or university, can you call yourself a “doctor”? Yes, you can, and it’s an honor that you can be proud of, too, considering your blood, sweat, and tears! 

Take the case of Dr. Jill Biden, the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS), who earned her Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership from the University of Delaware. Don’t let the sexist controversy that surrounded her use of the title deter you from pursuing your dreams of an online doctorate, either! 

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What exactly is a doctorate, doctoral, or doctor’s degree? From the Latin words “docere” (to teach) and “doctoratus (teacher), a doctorate is a terminal academic degree awarded by four-year accredited colleges and universities. Since it’s a terminal degree, it’s considered the highest possible academic degree earned or awarded. 

Students pursuing doctorate degrees must be prepared for a significant level of advanced articulation, research, and study. Indeed, we must say that even the 20 easiest online doctorate degrees discussed below aren’t as easy as they sound! You must apply yourself to the rigorous coursework, including class discussions, examinations, and research. 

But these are easier in the sense that there’s less focus on the uber-challenging math and science coursework. Instead, there’s more focus on communication skills and critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving skills. Students must also prove their ability to conduct new research, provide new interpretations or solutions, and inject new ideas into their field of study. 

Once you have achieved your doctorate, you can call yourself a doctor! More important, you must prove that, indeed, you are an authority in your field. You can pursue different career routes depending on your professional goals and type of doctorate, too, including: 

  • Teach in a college or university as a professor 
  • Provide consultancy services in your field of study 
  • Assume a leadership role, such as become a college dean, university president, provost, or principal 
  • Engage in research activities that provide new information in your field 

Earning a doctorate also means changing the demographics of education and contributing to society’s betterment! While men were awarded 73% of the doctorates throughout the 20th century, the ratio of women who earned doctorates increased from 15% to 41% by the end of it. Members of minority groups also earned a higher percentage of doctorate degrees, from 6% in 1975-1979 to 14% in 1995-1999. 

Of course, you will enjoy several personal and professional benefits from earning a doctorate from a well-respected institution. These benefits will last a lifetime, too, for education is among the intangible wealth that cannot be taken away. In the course of your doctorate education and after earning it, your life will be changed in the following ways. 

  • Develop advanced critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 
  • Enhance skills that can be translated across diverse industries 
  • Open doors of opportunities for higher-paying work 

In a way, you’re creating your own opportunities by earning a doctorate in your field! Employers and clients see doctorate degrees as a testament to the person’s commitment, perseverance, and determination to get things done. 

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Most jobs at the management and executive level require a doctorate for good reasons. After all, doctorate degrees aren’t designed for fresh college graduates but for experienced professionals who have established reputations as credible authority figures. No wonder then that doctorate holders enjoy higher pay and lower risk of unemployment! 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says doctoral degrees earn $1,885/week and experience a 2.5% unemployment rate. In contrast, workers with master’s degrees earn $1,305/week (or a $580/week difference) and experience a 4.1% unemployment rate.

Of course, a doctorate isn’t a fool-proof guarantee that you will get the juiciest job in your company or get the best clients in your field! But it’s a step in the right direction, considering that you have an edge – higher education – that many others won’t be able to achieve. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021


When we started looking at doctorate degrees, we kept in mind that earning a doctorate demands a significant investment!  But since we were looking for the easiest doctorate degrees, we considered the following factors in our selection: 

  • The degree requirements must be easy enough that a working professional can meet them on a timely basis. Most of these programs have a dissertation requirement, but their respective schools provide appropriate student support. You will then have an easier time meeting dissertation requirements with the assistance of your professors and others.  
  • The curriculum and coursework emphasize math, science, technology subjects, and quantitative research. Instead, students focus more on their field of specialization, soft skills, and qualitative research. You won’t have to struggle with complicated math and science subjects, but you must also be prepared for some math and science work. 
  • The class schedules should ideally be convenient and flexible. While there are always start and end dates for every course, students must also fulfill their personal and professional duties. Asynchronous delivery, 24/7 access to the learning materials, and the opportunity to take as many or as few classes are among the features we looked for. Many of these programs have short-term residency requirements, too. 

When choosing the featured schools in the list, we looked at the following factors. 

  • The college or university must be accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the Department of Education. Accreditation is a must to ensure academic quality, including the faculty’s credentials and the relevance of the curriculum. Being accredited also means that the educational institution meets the standards related to its facilities, finances, administrative practices, and student support services and satisfaction. 

We considered both institutional and program accreditation whenever present. We also considered the schools’ overall reputation in the academic community and their specific communities. 

  • The programs should fulfill certification or licensure requirements, as necessary, for the field of study. This is important for fields that require individuals to get a license or certification, such as taking national exams, to practice their profession. 
  • The programs have a structure that allows their students a certain level of flexibility, as mentioned above. Students may be able to study at their own pace, access their learning materials at any time, and enjoy other benefits of asynchronous learning. But we also recognize the importance of an organized structure and. Thus, most of the featured programs have a specific curriculum design. For example, prerequisites must first be fulfilled, and the post-graduate courses should be sequential. 
  • The faculty members must possess the appropriate credentials, including their professional qualifications, past and current research interests, and work experiences. Student success partly rests on their shoulders, too, so their engagement in it must also be present, if not overtly manifested. 
Easiest Online Doctorate fact

FAQs on Online Doctorate Degrees

What are the types of doctorate degrees? 

First, the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D. or Ph.D.) are research-oriented doctorate degrees, emphasizing original research, evaluation of theory, and data analysis. These are designed for professionals in pursuit of knowledge, including theoretical and applied research activities. The common Ph.D. programs include: 

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Doctor of Arts (D.A.)
  • Doctor of Business Management (Ph.D.)
  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
  • Doctor of Theology (Th.D.)
  • Doctor of Public Health (D.P.H.)

As a Ph.D. student, you will learn the following skills: 

  • Analysis of theories and concepts in your field of study 
  • Identification and assessment of gaps and needs in Research Literature 
  • Evaluation of the relevance of new theories and concepts in your field 
  • Advancement of the body of knowledge through new and original research 
  • Communication of research findings and applications to the target audience 

All Ph.D. programs have dissertation requirements due to the emphasis on new research. The dissertation process includes drafting and defending the dissertation prospectus, conducting the research, and writing the dissertation. The final stage is the oral defense before a committee or panel. 

Second, the professional doctorate is also known as the terminal doctorate or the applied doctorate because of its emphasis on applying knowledge. Said application must be within real-world scenarios and contexts wherein practical solutions or effective practices are created in response to complex issues. 

Students who pursue professional doctorate programs typically include those who want to: 

  • Pursue career advancement 
  • Establish teaching authority or credibility 
  • Meet the professional requirements for executive-level jobs in the corporate world 
  • Build a consultancy business 

The most common professional doctorate degrees include: 

  • Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
  • Juris Doctor (JD)
  • Doctor of Professional Studies – Instructional Design Leadership
  • Doctor of Social Work (D.S.W.)
  • Doctor of Healthcare Administration (D.H.A.)
  • Doctor of Finance (D.P.H.)

Unlike Ph.D. programs, professional doctorate programs may or may not have a dissertation requirement. These aren’t academia-focused post-graduate programs but are instead programs designed to encourage students to tackle real-world issues. 

But students may still be required to submit a study that involves the following steps in general: 

  • Create a proposal with a description of a specific problem as well as the design and methodology for its identification and solution 
  • Defend your proposal in front of a committee 
  • Collect data on the identified problem 
  • Write the research paper
  • Defend your work in front of a panel

Students can tap into student support services in both cases, including guidance from their advisors to complete their dissertation or research paper. 

How many years does an online doctorate take to complete? 

The answer depends on your chosen path. Doctorate degrees require between 60 and 120 semester credit hours, translating to approximately between 20 and 40 courses. In general, applied doctorates are at the 60 credit mark but nowhere near the 120-mark. But Ph.D. programs are typically 120 semester credit hours in length, so these take longer to complete. 

With that in mind, an applied doctorate can be earned in 4-6 years, while a Ph.D. may take eight years for completion, but these are average times only. You can decide on taking either a shorter or longer time depending on the program, your status as a student (part-time or full-time), and your completion of graduation requirements. 

You may also find accelerated programs or innovative programs that allow for shortened study time. Franklin University, for example, has streamlined programs wherein the dissertation requirements are already embedded in the courses. Students can then earn their doctorate degrees within three years! 

How much will it cost to earn a doctorate?

Like the period it takes to earn a doctorate, there’s no set answer. Your total costs will depend on where you’re enrolled, what financial assistance options you’ve taken advantage of, and how much time you’ve spent on your studies. You must consider your tuition and fees, textbooks and software costs, hardware expenses and Internet costs, and incidental costs. 

The tuition and fees will also vary depending on where you live. Many schools have different rates for in-state and out-of-state students. For others, it makes no difference.

Students can spend between $11,900+ per year to upwards of $62,000 per year depending on the doctorate being pursued. 

What are the typical admission requirements?  

Keep in mind that doctorate programs tend to have competitive admission requirements including but not limited to the following: 

  • GRE or GMAT scores may be required depending on the program’s requirements. You will likely be required to present proof of relevant professional experience, minimum G.P.A. on your master’s and bachelor’s degrees, and others. 
  • Letters of recommendation 
  • Portfolio/resume 
  • Personal statement or essay 
  • Official transcripts 
  • Prerequisite courses 

Most programs also require interviews that candidates must undergo to determine their suitability. 

What are the typical components of a doctorate curriculum? 

There are four stages of coursework in a typical doctorate program. 

  • The research core consists of classes that establish your foundational skills in advanced writing, applied statistics, research methodology, and qualitative and quantitative research and analysis. 
  • The focus courses are the classes specific to your chosen course of studies. If you’re taking up Doctor of Healthcare Administration, your coursework can include healthcare economics and finance. 
  • The electives are designed to provide students with a well-rounded perspective that will allow them to apply their skillset in real-world scenarios. These may or may not be specific to your chosen field of study, too. 
  • The dissertation is typically the last stage, and it can take different forms depending on the doctorate program. 

Let’s get to our list of the easiest online doctorate degrees and their featured schools. 

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Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021

Doctor of Arts (DA)

Individuals who want to become acknowledged experts in a specific field of study but with a teaching emphasis can pursue a Doctor of Arts (D.A.) degree. This was created as a discipline-based terminal degree and an alternative to the education-based Doctor of Education (EdD) and the research-centric Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Indeed, it’s the easiest doctorate because there’s less theoretical research and more emphasis on teaching methods and internships. 

Most graduates are in the academe, usually in teaching positions in colleges and universities. But many also pursue leadership careers in other industries armed with their exceptional research and writing and writing skills. Their careers also depend on their chosen concentration, such as history, literature, or music. 

Students are provided with comprehensive training in pedagogy and the development of their teaching philosophy. 

Holy State University


3206 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19134

The 100% online D.A. program offers its students with outstanding flexibility and convenience that working professionals appreciate. Students from around the country can be admitted into the program, and the technology requirements are reasonable. There are no admission tests and fees required, although careful evaluation of admission documents will be done. 

Students must complete the academic requirements for 60 credits with the option to submit a dissertation or not; the doctoral thesis is recommended but not required. The program needs to be completed within two years since only a minimum number of credits and optional dissertation requirements. 

Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Educational Standards of Schools and Universities

Why choose this online school_

The accelerated curriculum means earning your doctorate in much less time than in other programs. You can choose from more than 40 concentrations, too, including liberal arts, fine arts, and advertising. You may even complete your dissertation in your native language! 

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Murray State University 

DA – English Pedagogy

102 Curris Center, Murray, Kentucky 42071 
(800) 272-4678

Teachers who are currently teaching English and its related studies at the secondary and post-secondary levels will find the D.A. English Pedagogy program is an excellent fit. Here, the faculty members work with students to make them better, if not the best, teachers. 

Students can choose from four specializations – Literacy, Language, Literature, and Writing – although academic explorations beyond their chosen specializations are strongly encouraged. There are also routes to choose from: 

  • The traditional D.A. path is designed for students with a master’s degree, and it has 48 semester credit hours in the curriculum. 
  • The accelerated M.A.-to-D.A. route consists of 72 semester credit hours, and it’s designed for students with only a bachelor’s degree. Students earn both a Master’s in English and a D.A. in English Pedagogy (Literature) after program completion.  

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges or SACSCOC 

Why choose this online school_

You can complete the program completely online and apply year-round (rolling admissions). You can even enter the program without a master’s degree, thanks to the accelerated route. 

Doctor of Design (DDes)

Professionals seeking to conduct intensive and rigorous research into design-related subjects should look into the Doctor of Design (DDes) programs. While the curricula are different between schools, these programs emphasize applied research that adds to the store of knowledge in design. The applied research covers a wide range of topics from building design and urban planning to product design to understand that the research will improve society. 

The multidisciplinary approach used in DDes applied research combines theoretical, technological, and applied topics. Many of the research activities result in partnerships between students and seasoned investigators in current research projects. Students work with their professors and supervisory committee to ensure high-quality work. 

North Carolina State University Online


Campus Box 7113, Raleigh, NC 27695-7555
(919) 515-9030

Design practitioners with a deep desire to create new knowledge and applications in design and a transformative educational experience are welcome to apply to this program. Students pursue design research that will create the environment, structures, and systems for the future of design. 

The 54-credit program lasts for six semesters and consists of an on-campus, week-long workshop every semester (mandatory physical attendance) and online classes. Students agree that the connections made in the program boost not just their careers but their understanding of the connectivity of design. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Why choose this online school_

You can choose to earn your DDes degree in three years, the program’s ideal length, but you can also choose to shorten or extend it according to your needs. You will closely work with your academic advisor and committee members in your dissertation. 

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Florida International University 


11200 SW 8th Street P.C.A. – 280 Miami, Florida 33199
(305) 348-1323

FIU designed its DDes program to produce a generation of architects ready to meet the rigorous challenges of their profession and field. This is a two-year online program with minimal residency requirements and with students trained to contribute new knowledge into the existing body of knowledge in design. Students are encouraged to do so through a combination of research, scholarly activities, and innovation. 

The program accepts as many as 15 master-level transfer credits so that eligible students can earn their DDes degree in two years. The 60-credit program welcomes working professionals who are either teaching or aspire to teach architecture in colleges and universities, too. The curriculum includes the latest computer technology, including digital fabrication, robotics, and advanced visualization tools. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Why choose this online school_

You will earn a post-professional degree that will open up diverse paths in your career. You can pursue a teaching career or a career in research, innovation, and scholarship, perhaps even pursue both paths. You are also eligible to apply for three-year employment under the O.P.T. system. 

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Individuals who want to work in government, non-profit organizations, and the K-12 system can apply to the Doctor of Education (EdD) programs. Take note that these programs are different from the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education programs since these are designed to: 

  • Develop leadership and administrative skills for diverse settings 
  • Equip students with practical skills instead of philosophical abilities 
  • Prepare students to research with practical implications on policy and practice in the world of education 

Students in EdD programs can also work full-time while pursuing the terminal degree. In contrast, a Ph.D. in Education is more suitable for individuals who want a career in the academe, such as post-secondary teachers. The latter spend part of their time conducting research, getting their papers published in journals, and speaking in conferences while pursuing their degree. 

Graduates of EdD programs can apply for leadership positions in schools, such as education administrators, academic deans, and provosts. 

Walden University 


7065 Samuel Morse Drive Columbia, MD 21046
(866) 492-5336

Walden has established a reputation for being the Educator of Educators for more than 50 years, and its top-ranking EdD program is part of the reason. Students learn and master skills that can be applied in real-world environments and contribute to the body of knowledge in education. 

The program requires students to submit a research capstone project, but it’s easier than expected. Students can rely on the Doctoral Support Services, which include peer mentors and research coaches, for this purpose. 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (H.L.C.) and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

Why choose this online school_

You can choose from several specializations, including Community College Leadership; Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment; and Educational Administration and Leadership. You may even choose two self-designed specializations – Higher Education and P–20 Education. Of course, Walden is a well-renowned university, so earning your EdD from it will boost your resume’s attractiveness. 

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Maryville University

EdD – Higher Education Leadership

650 Maryville University Drive St. Louis, MO 63141
(888) 266-0574

Students are taught to become future-focused, responsive, and reflective leaders in education. With the program’s focus on exploring leadership theory and practice for higher education settings, students develop effective methods in gaining actionable insights into policy, governance, and finances. Indeed, graduates have been known to usher in an institutional change in their workplaces due to their Maryville training. 

This is a 48-credit program designed to be completed in 32 months, an easier and faster route than Ph.D. programs. Graduates can become leaders in their workplaces, such as presidents, deans, or provosts.

Accreditation: H.L.C.

Why choose this online school_

You can complete both your coursework and dissertation at the same time, as well as enjoy the support of faculty members on your dissertation. 

Doctor of Hebrew Letters (DHL) 

Rabbis are the typical students of Doctor of Hebrew Studies (DHL) programs, mainly because of their desire to enrich knowledge and the enhancement of Jewish society. This is widely considered as an unconventional degree in that students are encouraged to pursue individualized learning. 

Students must exercise their analytical and critical thinking skills to create, analyze, and communicate key ideas, issues, and practices related to the Jewish faith. The extensive coursework involves studying the Talmud and its codes and commentaries and the Bible, the Midrash and Hasidic work. There’s a significant emphasis on reading and writing and little to no quantitative coursework. 

Jewish Theological Seminary

Doctor of Hebrew Literature

3080 Broadway, New York, NY 10027
(212) 678-8000

Offered at the Gershon Kekst Graduate School, the Doctor of Hebrew Literature (DHL) program is offered in many concentrations, including: 

  • Ancient Jewish Studies
  • Medieval and Early Modern Jewish Studies
  • Jewish History
  • Jewish Thought 
  • Modern Jewish 
  • Midrash 

Students typically want to pursue advanced academic work in these fields but aren’t planning on establishing a traditional academic career. But students may also teach at the undergraduate level and in non-university settings if they wish to do so. 

Accreditation: MSCHE

Why choose this online school_

The school is well-known for its fair approach toward issues regarding Jewish studies and, in the process, allow their students the freedom to form their own opinions. You will find that the faculty members also maintain an open mind toward dissenting ideas resulting in a more conducive and welcoming learning environment. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Doctor of Hebrew Letters

1299 Church Road, Wyncote, PA 19095
(215) 576-0800

Students at R.R.C.’s DHL program learn the deeper connections between contemporary and traditional Jewish faiths and learn to communicate them to others. Most are practicing rabbis who have already completed their respective doctoral dissertations at other educational institutions before applying to the program. 

The program consists of three distinct learning phases: 

  • Mekhinah Year, a preparatory year 
  • Years 1-3, a Core Program phase 
  • Years 4-5, also a Core Program phase 

The curriculum is designed for completion in five years. 

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Why choose this online school_

If you want to study within the context of Reconstructionist Judaism, then this may well be the best program for your needs. You will also appreciate the small class sizes and how students are involved in the school’s decision-making process. 

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)

The Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) is less research-oriented than Ph.D. degrees in musical arts. The typical D.M.A. programs combine post-graduate academic study and advanced applied studies in an area of specialization. The former includes a wide range of subjects from music theory to music pedagogy, while the latter can include practical skills in music composition, performance, or conduct.

Graduates of D.M.A. programs are likely to become professional conductors, composers, and performers and work in teaching positions in colleges and universities. Specializations are available, such as voice pedagogy, instrument pedagogy, and music literature. (If you want doctoral training in music theory, music therapy, or musicology, you should consider a Ph.D. program instead).  

Boston University 

D.M.A. in Music Education

855 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
(617) 353-3350

BU’s D.M.A. in Music Education program welcomes students who want to boost their teaching careers, keep their musician skills in tiptop shape, and develop their scholarly skills. The university itself is a highly respected institution that has produced many of the country’s best teachers, performers, and musicians! 

Students learn from their professors and peers, thanks to small class sizes and a conducive online learning environment. Candidates should have at least three years of experience teaching music, demonstrate leadership in the education sector, and a minimum of 3.0 GPA. Admission requirements include letters of recommendation, transcripts, and personal statements. 

Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC) and National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

Why choose this online school_

You will become a valued contributor to the advancement of music education in the country through your research and teaching skills, as well as your dissertation. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Rutgers University


33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(848) 932-9360

Offered at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers’ D.M.A. program is considered the best because of its exceptional academic and practical training. Students choose from three concentrations: 

  • Choral Conducting 
  • Instrumental/Wind Conducting 
  • Orchestral Conducting 

Each concentration requires performances in selected venues along with academic coursework. Students also get weekly, hour-long lessons with their teachers during the 12-week semester. 

Accreditation: MSCHE

Why choose this online school_

Rutgers is among the country’s top 100 colleges and universities, and that’s saying something for a public university! The D.M.A. program also features small class sizes, dedicated and experienced teachers, and great learning experiences. 

Doctor of Health Administration (D.H.A.)

Being a leader in healthcare settings is a tough job! While work experience is a must, higher education comes in handy, too, and this is where a Doctor of Health Administration or D.H.A. degree comes in. Graduates have an excellent shot at becoming clinical directors, health service managers, and health program managers in hospitals, nursing homes, and other settings. 

Students can choose from specializations or tracks, such as an executive track focusing on practical leadership skillsets and internships. The coursework varies, but common courses include: 

  • Healthcare finance
  • Healthcare system administration
  • Healthcare policy
  • Health economics
  • Organizational theory and behavior

Earning a D.H.A. can be your ticket to higher-paying jobs with faster-than-average growth. 

Franklin University


201 S Grant Ave., Columbus, OH 43215 
(614) 797-4700

Franklin’s D.H.A. program consists of 58 semester hours divided into: 

  • 16 hours of research core 
  • 20 hours of major area courses 
  • 12 hours of electives 
  • 10 hours of dissertation 

The best thing about it: You can finish it in approximately three years! You may even finish it in less time, provided that you have at least 24 transferable credits.  

During the program, students learn advanced leadership-level skills in research, writing, and communication. There’s also an emphasis on organizational strategies to improve healthcare operations, services, and outcomes. It’s a competitive program with tough admission requirements, such as a minimum 3.0 GPA and a personal statement. 

Accreditation: H.L.C. 

Why choose this online school_

You won’t have to dread the dissertation process as Franklin provides ample support every step of the way! You will enjoy peer-to-peer support, faculty mentoring, and other student support services, so your dissertation becomes a joy to make. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Medical University of South Carolina


151-A Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29425
(843) 792-2536

Healthcare practitioners and professionals who want to use their clinical and administrative experiences for better career opportunities can take the first step by enrolling in MUSC’s D.H.A. program. Graduates become eligible for teaching positions in colleges and universities and leaders in public policy organizations, among others. 

Students can finish the program in less than three years on full-time status and enjoy the fairly small cohort size (average size: 26). Their coursework consists of three aspects – core courses, track-specific courses, and electives. There are two tracks – the Health Administrator and the Health Professional tracks. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Why choose this online school_

Your doctorate education will be well-rounded with a balanced perspective on healthcare administration’s professional, cultural, and societal influence. 

Doctor of Health Education (DHeD) 

Healthcare educators, practicing clinicians, and leaders in the healthcare industry will find DHed programs a boost to their careers and crucial for their professional development. Here, students sharpen their leadership, communication, critical thinking skills, and teaching and research skillset. Their ability to collect, interpret and apply public health data also increases by leaps and bounds. 

Plus, these programs generally don’t require a dissertation. Instead, students complete a Doctoral Research Project (D.R.P.), a written document published in peer-reviewed journals. Students also choose from several concentrations, including: 

  • Public Nutrition 
  • Epidemiology 
  • Health Education Administration 
  • Behavioral Theory 
  • Health Policy 
  • Health Services Planning 

Graduates can work in public and private sectors in various capacities, such as health educators and leaders. 

A.T. Still University 


800 W. Jefferson Street, Kirksville, MO 63501
(660) 626-2121

The DHeD program at ATSU consists of 55 credit hours or 15 courses, with each core course equivalent to three credit hours. Students complete a Doctoral Research Project (D.R.P.) consisting of five 5-hour courses. Every student can choose a topic that will promote practical knowledge in health education, and he/she will be guided during every step from proposal to dissemination. 

Health professionals who want career advancement are more than welcome to apply. Graduates become better leaders, researchers, and educators in the field of health education. Maximum time for completion is seven years. 

Accreditation: H.L.C.

Why choose this online school_

Your doctorate education will be characterized by the highest awareness of cultural diversity and ethical standards, as well as the courage to examine current issues in health education. You will benefit from the problem-based curriculum, web-based instruction, and a close-knit community of students and professors. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Logan University 

Doctor of Health Professions Education (DHPE)

1851 Schoettler Rd., Chesterfield, MO 63017
(800) 782-3344

Logan’s DHPE program is a 100% online program that allows students the benefits of self-paced study. Students can even complete their practicum and applied research projects in the comfort of their homes! Earning a doctorate without putting your life and work on hold has never been easier! 

Students are encouraged to apply their clinical experience, education skillset, and content expertise to become the best possible health professionals they can be. Full-time and part-time status are allowed so students can complete their studies on their own time. 

Accreditation: H.L.C. 

Why choose this online school_

You gain the practical skills and theoretical foundation vital in sharing your skillset in academic and non-academic healthcare settings. Your career may even be more rewarding than ever, not only because of the promotion and salary boost but also because of your increased contributions. 

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The beauty of Ph.D. programs partly lies in the sheer number of concentrations offered! It’s safe to say that there’s a Ph.D. program in every possible area of study, from the sciences to the arts. The actual coursework depends on the specific area of study, but the curriculum consists of academic coursework and a dissertation. 

Since Ph.D. programs are heavy on research, most of their graduates become professors, researchers, and post-doctoral fellows. The academe has a strong pull among Ph.D. graduates because it’s where their advanced teaching and research abilities can be showcased, even pushed to the limit. 

Faulkner University 

Ph.D.  in Humanities

5345 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery, AL 36109
(800) 879-9816

The Ph.D. in Humanities program at Faulkner combines a worldly perspective with a Christian education, which results in challenging and engaging discussions. The 100% online program includes an effective online learning platform and several courses, including: 

  • A foundation course in the philosophy and history of the humanities 
  • Seven core courses 
  • Two dissertation courses 
  • Two interdisciplinary seminar courses
  • Three independent tutorials in a specific area of interest 

Students can complete the program in three to five years, depending on their status and dissertation completion. Credits may be transferred – up to six hours – upon the director’s approval. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC 

Why choose this online school_

You will learn from prominent thought leaders in the Western traditions of philosophy who have the professional credentials to show for it, too. Your mind will be stimulated by the Christian interpretations of these traditions, too. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Amridge University 

Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies

1200 Taylor Road, Montgomery, AL 36117
(888) 790-8080

Students choose numerous courses across multiple disciplines, including Marriage and Family Therapy, Counselling, and Biblical Studies. Their stay in the program is marked by an individualized plan of study, outstanding instruction from professors and mentors, and ample student support services. 

The program consists of 51 semester credit hours, consisting of research, academic areas, dissertation, and comprehensive exam courses. Combining these courses means that students gain specialized yet multidisciplinary knowledge and skills that make them better prepared for a positive impact in their communities. Full-time students can complete the program in four years. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Why choose this online school_

You will learn alongside the best professionals with diverse backgrounds, including ministry, education, and business. Your training will prepare you for a more challenging yet rewarding career.  

Doctor of Public Health (D.P.H.)

Most D.H.P. programs require 3-4 years of study that includes academic work in education, business, and public health. Students may be required to pass an approved dissertation and pass a comprehensive oral and written exam, perhaps a short-term residency program. Specializations include global health, occupational health, and environmental epidemiology, while the coursework can include: 

  • Health psychology
  • Data and statistical analysis
  • Quantitative and qualitative research issues
  • Pharmacoeconomics
  • Ecological toxicology
  • Epidemiology

Career opportunities include policymakers, administrators, and educators in health departments, academic institutions, and pharmaceutical companies. 

Johns Hopkins University 


3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218
(410) 516-8000

Early to mid-career public health practitioners flock to J.H.U.’s top-notch D.P.H. program because it’s considered a golden ticket to executive-level positions in national and international public health organizations. Indeed, the Johns Hopkins reputation precedes it! The program itself trains its students for these positions through intensive education in: 

  • Leadership and communication 
  • Policy and program design 
  • Management and ethics 
  • Data and analytical skills 

Students choose from several concentrations, too: 

  • Environmental Health 
  • Health Policy and Management 
  • Health Equity and Social Justice
  • Implementation Science

Graduation requirements include completion of practicum and dissertation requirements. This program demands long-term commitment, too – full-time students complete it in 5-7 years while part-time students have nine years for completion. 

Accreditation: MSCHE

Why choose this online school_

You will earn a degree from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University, among the top 10 nationally-ranked universities in the country! Need we say more? 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

University of South Florida 


4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620, U.S.A.
(813) 974-2011

The U.S.F.’s D.P.H. program offers two concentrations: 

  • Advanced Practice Leadership in Public Health 
  • Public Health, Clinical Laboratory Science and Practice

Both have 43 credits for completion, consisting of core, concentration, and elective courses and a doctoral project as a culminating requirement. Students must finish 13 credit hours at the 7000 levels. Candidates may request a maximum of 12 post-master credit hours. 

Students gain skill sets in management and leadership, community engagement, and evidence-based public health and education. Their practice-oriented training prepares them for executive-level positions. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC, Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH)

Why choose this online school_

You will have plenty of opportunities to expand your understanding of public health, including practice, leadership, and research, through the blended format. You will take online classes and participate in on-campus learning through three on-campus, one-week sessions. 

Doctor of Theology (ThD)/Ph.D. in Theology

The current ThD programs are regarded as a cross between Ph.D. and Doctor of Ministry (DMin) programs. While the Ph.D. programs are intensive and research-focused and the DMin programs are less intensive and application-oriented, the ThD programs have a balanced approach. These are research-oriented but with more focus on practical applications, particularly toward the improvement of practice. 

Experienced theology practitioners who want a more expansive theological foundation upon which innovations can be created will benefit the most from ThD programs. Those who also seek leadership positions in the academe or denomination will also find the ThD training to their advantage. 

But it must also be emphasized that most educational institutions, including seminaries and theology schools, prefer graduates of Ph.D. programs for professor positions. 

Regent University

Ph.D. in Renewal Theology

1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464
(800) 373-5504

Regent’s Ph.D. in Renewal Theology is a low-residency program that requires students to attend on-campus, two-week residency sessions every semester. These face-to-face sessions include in-seat class time, orientations, and academic and fellowship opportunities. The rest of the semester, however, is spent online. 

Students in the 60-week program can choose from these concentrations: 

  • Biblical Studies
  • Christian Theology
  • Church History
  • Practical Theology

Pastors, missionaries, and educators are the typical students in the program, and it’s designed to ensure that they can continue their work while pursuing their terminal degrees. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Why choose this online school_

You learn from competent and compassionate professors whose careers span a broad range of theoretical research and work experience. Your training will pave the way for better opportunities in faculty positions, academic research, and ministry leadership. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Pontifex University 


4465 Northside Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30327
(404) 252-4513

The ThD program at Pontifex University is a research-focused one where students must complete a lengthy scholarly dissertation. But the dissertation process is easier, thanks to the full support of the faculty members and peer-to-peer support. The dissertation can also be completed online, from drafting to defense, the latter through video-conferencing.

Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory moral theology, systematic theology, Old and New Testament, and ecclesiastical history, among other subjects. 

Accreditation: Georgia Non-Public Secondary Education Commission (GNPEC)

Why choose this online school_

Your student life will be characterized by fascinating discussions, shared responsibility for your education, and the highest intellectual and ethical standards. You will gain a deeper appreciation of the Roman Catholic faith, too, which you can apply in real-life situations.  

Ph.D. in Recreation 

Students enrolled in Ph.D. in Recreation programs can spend between three and five years on their studies, depending on their enrollment status. Their graduate-level academic coursework is complemented by comprehensive examinations and a dissertation project, common graduation requirements. The choices in concentration include: 

  • Recreational Behavior and Cultural Studies 
  • Recreation and Leisure Administration 
  • Resources for Recreational and Leisure Activities 

Core classes vary between programs, but the most common are: 

  • Contemporary issues in the field of recreation 
  • Resources, policies, and emerging trends in recreation 
  • Work, health, and safety in leisure 
  • Qualitative and quantitative research data analysis 

While many Ph.D. holders pursue careers in the academe, many also enter non-academic pursuits. Career opportunities include park recreation administrator, tourism coordinator, and athletic director. 

Clemson University 

Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

263 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0735
(864) 656-3400 

Students have greater flexibility in determining their coursework within Clemson’s program, but there are general rules regarding the program of study. These include completing the academic requirements of at least 30 credit hours with the coursework, including Philosophical Foundations, Behavioral Aspects of PRTM, and Research Seminar. Students must also meet the minimum 15-credit hours in on-campus research for a continuous 12-month period. 

A comprehensive exam and a final doctoral oral exam are also a must for graduation purposes as part of the final dissertation defense. Both of these aspects test the student’s general and specialized knowledge and his/her knowledge of his/her research topic. 

Students must complete the program’s requirements within eight years from the date of first matriculation. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Why choose this online school_

You will develop your real-world competency in research and hone your communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills concerning parks, recreation, and tourism management. These are also transferable skills that will serve you well in other occupations. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Troy University 

Ph.D. in Sports Management

600 University Ave, Troy, AL 36082
(800) 551-9716

Troy’s Ph.D. program welcomes sport management educators and sports practitioners who want to contribute to the body of knowledge in recreation, leisure, and sports management. Students are provided with plenty of amazing opportunities to produce new, innovative, and theoretical knowledge with possible practical applications. This is a research-oriented program, so students are encouraged to look for gaps and their possible solutions. 

Students learn about sports management and develop their advanced skills in data analysis, statistics, and other soft skills for the workplace. Graduates are more than prepared for the challenges of leadership and executive positions in areas like higher education, sports research, and athletics. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Why choose this online school_

You will be able to demonstrate your intensive knowledge and skills regarding sports management and related subjects and conduct relevant research. 

Doctor of Church Music (D.C.M.)

The D.C.M. programs are considered easy because of their emphasis on musicianship skills in preparation for careers as professional composers, conductors, and performers of church music. Since students already have proficient music skills through education and experience, the requirements are fairly easy. 

But students must still apply themselves to the curriculum and meet the academic requirements, including the capstone project. The typical curriculum includes training in musical instruments, such as the church organ, and a survey of past and current liturgical music. Most programs have a three-year duration. 

Graduate Theological Foundation 

Doctor of Sacred Music (D.S.M.)

116 E Sheridan Ave, Ste 207, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
(800) 423-5983

The D.S.M. program consists of two parts – 30 credits of 10 courses and six credits with the choice between an exit project or a non-project option. The exit project can be in the form of one of three tracks with the choice belonging to the student and with the guidance of an advisor, including: 

  • The academic track consists of a traditional thesis with 35,000-40,000 words 
  • The performance tracking can be a recital or a lecture with a recital; an instrumental or choral performance; or composition and performance of original works 
  • The administrative or ministerial track, which features teaching hymnody or facilitating workshops combined with a written thesis  

Individuals with experience in parish music ministries and a master’s degree in music are welcome to apply. 

Accreditation: Chartered by the State of Indiana

Why choose this online school_

You can fill in the gaps in your training about church music, take your expertise to a higher level, and be a better instrument of faith with a D.S.M. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Southern Methodist University

Doctor of Pastoral Music (D.P.M.)

S.M.U. Perkins School of Theology, P.O. Box 750133, Dallas, TX 75275-0133
(214) 768-8436 

The 30-credit hours D.P.M. program at S.M.U. enables church music practitioners to become even better at their vocation. The curriculum consists of: 

  • Vocation and leadership courses (9 hours) including The Person and Role of a Leader in Ministry and Vocation, Leadership, and Community
  • Concentration courses (15 hours) with classes on Music and Arts in Missional Ministry, Applied Studies in Church Music, and Music in Worship and Renewal
  • Elective courses (3 hours) with choices like Directed Studies in Pastoral Music and Contextual Analysis
  • Project, practicum, and thesis (12 hours) 

Candidates must have a master’s in sacred music or its equivalent and suitable experience as church musicians and a passion for pastoral music. 

Accreditation: Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada

Why choose this online school_

Your studies will become the robust foundation upon which you can tackle the challenges and changes of church music in the 21st century. 

Juris Doctor (JD)

Formerly known as a Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B.), the Juris Doctor (JD) is a three-year professional degree that requires its holders to pass a state bar exam before becoming law practitioners. Emphasis must be made that there are accelerated J.D. programs with a two-year duration. Fordham, Columbia, Rutgers, and Drexel are among the foremost universities that offer the shorter option. 

While holders of other doctorate degrees can call themselves “Doctor,” individuals with a J.D. degree don’t because it isn’t a research doctorate. But J.D. holders who passed their state’s respective bar exam can practice law or become law professors. 

If you’re interested in a law-related research degree, you can look into two options. First, a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree and, second, a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D./J.S.D.) degree. The LL.M. degree requires a J.D. degree as a prerequisite, while an S.J.D. degree has LL.M. degree as a prerequisite. 

New York University


40 Washington Sq. South, New York, NY 10012.   
(212) 998-6100

NYU’s J.D. program is known for its outstanding quality of instruction, where students learn an extensive range of subjects in legal studies. Students whose professional trajectory includes business and law will find an excellent outlet for their passions in the Mitchell Jacobson Leadership Program.

With N.Y.U. Law’s reputation for being the best in the business, students benefit from the intensive law coursework complemented by corporate skills. Students also benefit from collaborations with non-law students, particularly business students, which expand their perspective about law’s importance. 

Accreditation: MSCHE 

Why choose this online school_

You will learn not just about the laws of the land and their applications! Your training will also include creative and critical thinking, real-world experience in N.Y.U.’s 40+ clinics, and an international and interdisciplinary perspective. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Abraham Lincoln University


Galleria Office Tower, 100 W. Broadway, Ste 600, Glendale, CA 91210
(213) 252-5100

ALU’s J.D. program provides a conducive environment for working professionals and other non-traditional students who want to plunge into the diverse careers that a J.D. degree opens. Students learn the laws of the land and conduct legal research, apply advanced thinking skills, and create legal documents during their training. 

This is a 140-quarter unit program that includes core courses in criminal law, contracts and obligations, constitutional law, criminal procedure, and advanced legal research and writing. Students are expected to develop their competence in these areas through study, peer and faculty discussions, and experience. 

Accreditation: Registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California

Why choose this online school_

After graduation, you can sit for the California Bar Examination and other professional exams to become a full-fledged lawyer. Not only will you have a lawyer’s license, but your education is perhaps the best start to a successful career. 

Doctor of Criminal Justice (D.C.J.) 

Holders of the D.C.J. degree have the skillset to become effective professionals in the academe, research industry, and administrative units in public and private organizations. Keep in mind that, like all doctorate degrees, it’s a professional terminal degree emphasizing applied research. 

In contrast, the Ph.D. in Criminal Justice or Criminology focuses on theoretical research. Both doctorate degrees, nonetheless, have overlapping functions considering that theoretical and applied research may overlap. But if you’re looking for a doctorate, you will gain the skillset to solve current issues using existing knowledge. Then a D.C.J. is a way to go. 

California University of Pennsylvania 


250 University Ave., California, PA 15419
(724) 938-4000

Cal U’s D.C.J. program was the first regionally accredited program of its kind in the country, and, through the years, it has established a reputation for being one of the best. Students learn from the experts about applying existing knowledge in responding to and addressing the current issues of the criminal justice system. Graduates become leaders in the field, too, with their exceptional ability to apply their experience to challenging problems. 

This is a 42-credit program with a two-year completion timeline, including part-time enrollment. Students must study well, nonetheless, because the coursework can be demanding. The curriculum includes the completion of a doctoral research portfolio and passing a comprehensive exam. 

Accreditation: MSCHE and a member of the Association of Doctoral Programs in Criminology & Criminal Justice

Why choose this online school_

Your career will get a definite boost with a D.C.J. degree from Cal U, thanks to its brilliant reputation as a university and its high quality of instruction for the program. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Saint Leo University 


33701 State Road 52, St. Leo, FL 33574
(800) 334-5532

Saint Leo offered the second accredited D.C.J. program in the U.S., and, like Cal U, it has improved its curriculum and other aspects of instruction through the years. This is a 30-credit program that can be completed in three-and-a-half years with full-time enrollment in the fall, spring, and summer terms. The low-residency program requires students to spend three short residences on its campus and in other education centers. 

Students enjoy outstanding student support services, including effective partnerships between students and dissertation chairs. Coursework can be customized depending on your personal and professional schedules, yet you still have the opportunity for peer-to-peer and faculty interactions. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC 

Why choose this online school_

You can take your teaching career to a higher level with a D.C.J. degree! Your skill set and knowledge base will improve, which will make you more effective in the academe. 

Doctor of Liberal Studies (D.L.S.) 

Degree programs in liberal studies are a consistent presence in lists of the easiest degrees because of their generalist approach, including the lack of advanced math and science courses. This is true for the D.L.S. degree programs, emphasizing the humanities, including history, art, and social sciences. 

But this isn’t to say that D.L.S. programs are easy-peasy and students can be lazy! These programs are the best fit for accomplished professionals who want a rigorous interdisciplinary program that will boost their expertise in their field. Indeed, most programs have a competitive admission process with small cohort sizes and comprehensive coursework. 

Many students hold advanced degrees, too, perhaps more than two master’s degrees. Students are typically required to submit an original dissertation that will be published in an industry journal. 

University of Memphis Global 


Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-2000

Offered at the College of Professional and Liberal Studies, the D.L.S. program allows students to follow a customized course of study with the guidance of academic advisors. Both parties work toward developing a curriculum proposal that meets the Graduate School’s graduation requirements and the student’s interdisciplinary goals. 

Students must submit their respective Coordinated Study grid, a planning document that identifies their proposed classes, before admission into the program. The program requires the completion of 33 hours of coordinated study courses and 21 hours of core requirements or 54 hours at the 7000 to 8000 level. Comprehensive exams and a dissertation are also necessary for graduation. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC 

Why choose this online school_

If you want a more challenging D.L.S. program with satisfying rewards in the end, then go for U of M’s program! Here, you can establish your program of study based on your personal and professional goals. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Washington University in Saint Louis 


11 N. Jackson Ave, Suite 1000, St. Louis, MO 63105-2153
(314) 935-6700

WashU Saint Louis’ DLA program consists of 45 credits with nine credits dedicated for thesis and research. This is designed for working professionals and other adult learners with extensive experience with a passion for lifelong learning. Take note that it’s a rigorous interdisciplinary program that’s both easy and difficult – easy because it’s liberal studies; difficult because of the breadth of topics. 

Part-time students can complete the program in four years but must dedicate 1-2 years more for the comprehensive exams and thesis. Students work closely with academic advisors to ensure thesis completion and approval. 

Accreditation: H.L.C. 

Why choose this online school_

Students are provided with the resources for their academic success, from approachable academic advisors to small class sizes. Every student gets sufficient attention to learn well and apply their learning outside of the university. 

Doctor of Public Administration (D.P.A.) 

Every D.P.A. program offers a unique approach, curriculum, and graduation requirements that must be evaluated based on their merit. Most programs consist of at least 40 credit hours with academic coursework and dissertation components and take 2-3 years to complete. Many programs offer concentrations, such as ethical leadership, public management, and non-profit management, which allow for a specific field of study. 

Career opportunities are as varied as the D.P.A. programs, with popular examples being financial managers, college professors, and political scientists. Many also pursue careers as social service managers, urban and regional planners, and consultants. Such career diversity is a testament to the versatility of the skillset acquired in the best D.P.A. programs. 

Capella University 


225 South 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402
(888) 227-3552

Capella’s D.P.A. program is a breeding ground for future community leaders and advocates of effective public policy! Students get the crucial education through academic coursework, soft skills development, and community engagement. Soft skills are vital for success as these are transferable across diverse settings, including leadership, communication, and critical thinking. 

Aside from earning a relevant D.P.A. degree, students also deepen their passion for public service and strengthen their cultural awareness and ethics. The blended program – online coursework complements in-person experiences – features relevant courses like Theories and Concepts in Public Administration, Public Sector Policy Analysis, and Operational Strategic Management and Planning. 

Accreditation: H.L.C. 

Why choose this online school_

You won’t be pursuing just good grades, although it’s part of the deal. You will learn to promote your community’s interests, find practical solutions to real-world issues, and advance your career. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Northcentral University 


8667 E Hartford Dr Ste 100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

The 54-credit program provides students with a solid foundation in applied research concerning public administration, including its policies, principles, and practices. While there’s a research component, it’s geared more toward practical applications than theoretical implications. Students are expected to contribute to the existing body of knowledge and to offer practical solutions to current issues in public administration. 

Students can complete the graduation requirements in 42 months but have the option of meeting them within seven years after initial matriculation. Of the 54 credits, N.C.U. Requires completion of at least 48 credits in the university with a minimum of 3.0 GPA. Graduation requirements include a D.P.A. portfolio, a dissertation, and an oral defense. 

Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission or WSCUC

Why choose this online school_

All faculty members in the D.P.A. programs have doctorate degrees and, thus, the quality of instruction is among the best. This is a 100% online program with zero residency requirement, and there are no GRE/GMAT requirements and no group work involved. 

Doctor of Information Technology (D.I.T.)

The D.I.T. degree is a professional doctoral degree with a strong applied research orientation. Graduates of these programs can call themselves “Doctor” and attach the post-nominals “D.I.T.” to their names. This degree is at the same level as a Ph.D. in I.T., but the latter has a more theoretical framework. 

Concentrations are available, including software engineering, information systems, and information security. Candidates for admission generally have bachelor’s and master’s degrees in I.T. or related disciplines, a must since I.T. is also a specialized field. While the graduation requirements vary between schools, the common grounds are academic coursework, original research and dissertation with an oral defense, and comprehensive exam. 

Students must have strong backgrounds in math, including statistics, calculus, differential equations, and programming languages. 

Walden University 


7065 Samuel Morse Drive Columbia, MD 21046
(866) 492-5336

Walden’s D.I.T. program requires its candidates to possess a master’s degree in information systems, information technology, or cybersecurity, among other related disciplines. For candidates without a technical master’s degree, at least three years of relevant technical work experience must be admitted. General admission requirements, including resume, transcripts, and online application, also apply. 

Full-time working professionals will find the flexibility of the coursework to their advantage. The curriculum builds the foundation for a successful future as a researcher and practitioner, particularly in leadership roles. The concentrations offered are Applied Information Technology and Information Technology Leadership. 

Accreditation: H.L.C. 

Why choose this online school_

You will get individual mentoring that will ensure your academic success, including the completion of your dissertation. Your time at Walden will also mean building your network, which will be vital in your professional success. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

City University of Seattle 


521 Wall St., Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98121
(800) 426-5596/(206) 239-4500

When you complete the D.I.T. program at CityU, you can become a “change agent in the I.T. industry” due to your interdisciplinary training. This is a 90-credit program designed for I.T. practitioners who want to gain advanced skillsets in technology and computing. The concentrations offered are Cybersecurity, Computer Science, and Data Science. 

Students get intensive training in various topics to prepare them for senior-level or executive-level positions in public and private sectors. The curriculum consists of up-to-date courses in cloud computing, data science, and artificial intelligence intended to optimize performance on the individual and organizational levels. 

A dissertation and comprehensive exam are part of the graduation requirements. 

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. (NWCCU) 

Why choose this online school_

CityU is among the top-ranked educator of adults in the country, a recognition brought by its relevant programs where students acquire real-world, marketable, and transferable skills. 

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Becoming a well-respected ministry researcher or professor can start with earning a Dmin degree from an accredited university. Aside from the well-paying jobs, graduates can also look forward to becoming influential religious leaders. Many also become religious counselors, founders of churches, and chaplains, among other occupations. 

Most DMin programs allow their students to customize their program of study according to their interests, although general requirements must be followed. Concentrations are aplenty, too, including: 

  • Biblical Studies 
  • Applied Theology 
  • Children’s Ministry 
  • Pastoral Counselling 
  • Theological Research 

Be sure to check the graduation requirements and post-graduation credentials that come with a DMin program. You may want, for example, to be ordained in your faith, and it will change your criteria for a program. 

Duke University 


Duke Divinity School, 407 Chapel Drive, Duke Box #90968, Durham, NC 27708-0968
(919) 660-3400

Duke is among the world’s top research universities, and its enviable reputation extends to its Duke Divinity School, which offers a top-notch DMIn program. This is a hybrid program with five-week-long, on-campus residential seminars over the three-year program’s duration. The residencies are complemented by eight-week periods of structured online learning and group interaction using synchronous and asynchronous resources. 

Pastors and lay leaders of the Christian tradition find the DMin program affordable despite Duke’s private university status. Coursework includes contemporary leadership theory and practice, thesis writing, and theological reflection. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC and Association of Theological Schools (A.T.S.) 

Why choose this online school_

Students thrive in the conducive learning environment, small class sizes, and mentors truly concerned about their spiritual formation. Faculty members are engaged in every step of the dissertation process, too. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Emory University 


Rita Anne Rollins Building, 1531 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30322 
(404) 727-6322

Offered at the Candler School of Theology, the DMin program consists of 32 credit hours that can be completed in three years. The hybrid delivery means a combination of online instruction and on-campus residency, albeit short-term stays. The residency requirement consists of four stays, once for each year of the first two years and then twice in the third year. 

Experienced ministers are typical students, and their training enables them to strengthen their understanding of the relationship between theology and ministry. Students choose between two concentrations – first, Church Leadership and Community Witness and Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation. The final project must combine academic study and practical applications in ministry. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC and A.T.S.

Why choose this online school_

Your professors and other university staff provide the tools you will need for your academic success, from creating your study to completing your final project. The program emphasizes collaboration with peers and professors as well as independent study. 

Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc)/Ph.D. in Health Sciences

The Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) and Ph.D. in Health Sciences are academic doctorate degrees that combine academic coursework, clinical practice, and research. Both programs also require master’s credentials and work experience for admission, and both can open career opportunities in academic and non-academic settings. Due to their advanced nature, these degrees should lead to leadership or executive positions where high-level thinking abilities are a must. 

Bay Path University 


588 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA 01106
(800) 782-7284

Experienced practitioners in healthcare-related occupations who want to assume leadership roles in their fields find B.P.U.’s DHSc program an excellent credential. The intensive training provides them with a new way of looking at real-world issues and finding viable solutions for these problems. 

Students must complete the requirements for 48 credits, or 16 courses, regardless of their chosen concentration. The available tracks are: 

  • Health Informatics Management
  • Organizational Excellence in Healthcare
  • Online Teaching
  • Productive Aging
  • Advanced Occupational Therapy Practice

Courses include Healthcare Leadership, Cultural Competency, and Research Methods And Analysis. 

Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc (NEASC)

Why choose this online school_

You will love the small, yet interactive and dynamic online community filled with like-minded individuals and credentialed professionals who are invested in your success. Student support services include tutoring, mentoring, library resources, and career services. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

University of South Dakota

Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences

414 E. Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069
(877) 269-6837

The interprofessional Ph.D. in Health Sciences program prepares its students for leadership positions in health and human services, research, and the academe. Working professionals are at the heart of the program, and candidates must have sufficient relevant experience to be considered for admission. 

The program has four core components – teaching, scholarship, leadership, and advanced practice. Students benefit from the convenience of online course delivery with minimal residency requirements, including initial orientation, dissertation boot camp, and oral defense. 

Accreditation: H.L.C. 

Why choose this online school_

The university’s reputation for world-class instruction, small cohort sizes, and exceptional faculty means that the Ph.D. in Health Sciences program cannot be beaten! Earning a doctorate means boosting your credibility as an expert in the field. 

Doctor of Social Work (D.S.W.)/Ph.D. in Social Work  

Professionals with a doctorate in social work, whether a Ph.D. or a doctoral degree, as well as several years of experience and state licensure, have more rewarding career opportunities. Their advanced skillset is the most qualified for executive-level positions in organizations, including schools, non-profits, and research firms. 

While there may be differences between Ph.D. and doctorate of social work programs, there are similarities in coursework. The common courses include: 

  • Social science theories 
  • Advanced research methods and statistics 
  • Teaching in higher education 
  • Grant writing
  • Social welfare policy and practice analysis 

In both programs, an original dissertation combined with its oral defense is part of the graduation requirements. 

University of Buffalo


685 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, New York 14260
(716) 645-3381

The 39-credit D.S.W. program welcomes experienced licensed social workers with a master’s degree in social work or a related discipline who want to improve their career opportunities. Students can choose to be on full-time or part-time enrollment; if you choose the latter, you can finish the program in three years or seven semesters. The program starts during the fall semester only. 

Candidates must have access to willing clients or client populations as part of the admission process. The program is based on U.B.’s trauma-informed and human rights viewpoint, and candidates must consider whether it fits their goals. The coursework includes organizational characteristics, concepts in implementation science, and technology and human behavior. 

Accreditation: MSCHE 

Why choose this online school_

The program’s unique approach to social work appeals to social workers who work with vulnerable populations. Students learn to integrate digital technologies, best practices, and collaborative networks in formulating viable solutions. 

Easiest Online Doctorate Degrees in 2021 - Divider

Baylor University 

Ph.D. in Social Work 

811 Washington Ave., Waco, TX 76701
(254) 710-6400

Graduates of Baylor’s Ph.D. in Social Work program have an excellent shot at becoming leaders and educators in the field of social work. But they aren’t your run-of-the-mill types either since Baylor provides top-notch training that transforms them into visionary leaders and educators! Students learn early about the best practices that can aid in addressing the complex issues besetting social work, and these involve the integration of faith, ethics, and values. 

Coursework includes research and analysis methods, leadership and administration, and religious and cultural diversity. Even the faculty is actively involved in research, ranging from child welfare and adoption to grief and loss. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC 

Why choose this online school_

You will be equipped for leadership roles in the academe, government, and non-profit organizations and get the opportunity to become a significant contributor to research.

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