Top 25 Most Affordable Online PhD Programs

Our list of the top 50 affordable online Ph.D. programs is a ranking that takes into account base tuition for ranking. Many of the programs have further fees and we encourage all readers to research the various fees associated with the various institutions. Because online Ph.D. programs have become more common, students are looking, not only for ease of access, but also for institutions that are affordable.

Our top 50 affordable online Ph.D. programs gives potential students a handy guide to compare their budget with their potential institutional match. Some of the programs are entirely online while others are hybrid programs. All information is researched and incorporated in the descriptions with as much care as possible. All those who are looking for an online Ph.D. program should double-check the information since institutions have the right to change what they charge at their discretion. Official information is contained on the institution’s website and should be thoroughly consulted.

1. Texas Tech University

A public institution located in Lubbock, Texas on 1,839 acres, Texas Tech University was founded in 1923. The university offers an online Doctor of Education in Agricultural Education, Doctor of Education in Higher Education, Doctor of Philosophy in Systems and Engineering Management, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Technical Communication and Rhetoric. Texas Tech makes it to the top of our list because tuition for the Doctor of Education program in Higher Education is $166.50 per credit hour for in-state student and $216.50 per credit hour for out-of-state students.

A professional degree meant for full-time professional higher education employees, the Doctor of Education in Higher Education program is delivered in a blended format with an annual on-campus intensive course for a full-week. The program is 60 credit hours long. A joint program with Texas A&M, the Doctor of Education in Agricultural Education has 29 faculty from both institutions. A first of a kind program, it was approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2000. Admission takes place on a two-year, cohort cycle. Utilizing Blackboard, WebEx, Skype, and Interactive Video Conferencing, the program utilizes a number of delivery tools. There are occasional face-to-face meetings on campus and professional locations. In-state tuition is approximately $1060 per credit hour and out-of-state tuition is $1485 per credit hour. The program is 64 credit hours long.

Entirely delivered online, the Doctor of Philosophy in Systems and Engineering Management is 72 credit hours in length and costs $325.00 per credit hour for non-residents and $275.00 per credit hour for residents. Housed in the English department, The Doctor of Philosophy in Technical Communication and Rhetoric is mostly taken online but includes a two-week mandatory annual workshop on campus. The program is 60 credit hours long and costs $300 per credit hour for non-residents and $250 per credit hour for residents. Non-residents pay higher fees for all programs.

U.S. News and World Report ranks Texas Tech University at #176 nationally and #93 among top public schools nationally. Further, the university is ranked at #17 for best online graduate engineering programs nationally, at #109 for best online graduate education programs nationally, #94 for best engineering schools nationally, and #112 for best education schools nationally. Texas Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

2. University of Nevada

Founded in 1864, our third public institution on the list is The University of Nevada – Reno. Located in Reno, Nevada, the university sits atop our list because of the very competitive tuition of $269 per credit hour. University of Nevada offers an online Doctor of Nursing Practice. Designed to prepare experts in advanced nursing practice, The Doctor of Nursing Practice focus is on evidence-based and ground-breaking practice because of rigorous research and theory.

The program offers two tracks through which students matriculate into the program: a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice in which the student enters with a master’s degree in Nursing in hand or with a bachelor’s in nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice where the student enters the program with a bachelor’s degree in the field. The later extend the time in which the student will be working toward their degree.

Those entering the program can choose from two focuses in the post-master’s degree track: Advanced Practice Nurse or Nurse Executive. Those entering the program with a bachelor’s degree have the choice of three tracks: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. The program is almost entirely online, but all post-master’s students are required to attend a two-day on-campus orientation and the dissertation/project defense requires a one day on-campus visit. The program is completed once 30 credit hours have been obtained. The BSN to DNP degree also has a two-day on-campus orientation but also includes one to three days onsite immersion classes each semester as well as on-campus visits for project proposal and defense. The program is 72-76 credit hours long.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Nevada – Reno at #197 among universities nationally and #106 among top public schools in the nation. In line with other programs of the same kind, The University of Nevada – Reno is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

3. California Coast University

California Coast University is a for-profit online university based in the Orange County city of Santa Ana, California. The institution was founded in 1973 in order to meet the needs of working professionals in the fields of business, industry, and education who needed further education but could not be on a traditional campus. Tuition comes in at a very competitive $290 per credit hour.

California Coast University offers online doctorates in the field of Education. There are three emphasis in this area: Doctor of Education in Educational Administration, Doctor of Education in Educational Psychology, and Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership. The program in Educational Administration attempts to help leaders understand educational administration and improve their decision-making processes. The program seeks to train leaders in learning theory, educational leadership strategies, interpreting educational research, and developing leadership skills in both domestic and multicultural learning communities.

The Doctor of Education in Educational Psychology attempts to train leaders in the developing knowledge of the philosophical, historical, as well as legal underpinnings for student success; becoming familiar with the broad theories in education psychology, applying skills in measurement theory and the interpretation of scientific data in educational research; and training in the ability to analyze the larger political, social, economic, and cultural environment and the potential impacts on education.

California Coast University is accredited by the Distance Education Accreditation Commission.

4. New Mexico State University

A public institution founded in 1888, New Mexico State University is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico on 900 acres. New Mexico State University offers online degrees including a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership, a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing. All programs cost $291.30 per credit hour for residents and $897.90 per credit hour for non-residents. There are various other pricing structures for regional residents.

The Doctor of Education and the Doctor of Philosophy in Education Leadership degrees understand the training of leaders to be centered in the application of theory in practical ways. The Doctor of Education program is 63 credit hours long while the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership is 78 credit hours long. There are face-to-face mandatory parts of the program and, therefore, it is a hybrid program. Training scholars in theory, design, and the practical application of curriculum and instruction, The Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction is a hybrid program with mandatory summer sessions that last two-weeks and must be attended through three consecutive summers. The program is 48 credit hours long.

Training nurses in the area of leadership in both academic and health care context, The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing emphasizes teaching, research, and activities in the professional environment. There is a mandatory summer course at the beginning of the program along with one-week course sessions every year. The program is 72 credit hours long.

U.S News and World Report ranks New Mexico State University at #220 nationally and at #125 among the top public schools in the nation. Further, it ranks the university at #101 for best education schools in the nation and #131 for best Doctor of Nursing Practice programs in the nation. New Mexico State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College and Schools. The program in Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

5. Valdosta State University

Our second state institution on the list, Valdosta State University was founded in 1906 and is located in Valdosta, GA. Being at the top of the list, tuition for the online Doctor of Public Administration program comes in at a highly competitive $293 per credit hour. The central focus of the program is on practical issues in administration including leadership, management, communication, and problem solving within the contexts of various professional environments.

Aimed at current working professionals in their respective professional work environments, the courses are geared toward expanding on the student’s skills already obtained in their various and varied work situations. 54 hours in length, the program has both a series of foundation and core courses, theory and methods courses, electives, and a final project. At the center of the program is training in how to use web technology. Further, students must attend residency seminars throughout the program as well as meetings during the first weeks of both semesters on campus. The rest of the program is delivered online

Valdosta State University’s program attempts to train up leaders within the context of government, non-government organizations (NGOs), or in non-profit organizations. Students entering the program must have a master’s degree from an accredited institution, GRE scores, an undergraduate GPA that meets the universities standards, a comprehensive resume, a statement of goals for the program, and three letters of recommendation. Possible careers include assistant city manager, budget analyst, budget director, city administrator, city manager, public policy analyst, public works director, town manager, finance officer, environmental health director, court administrator, college professor, and many more.

U.S. News and World Report ranks Valdosta State Universities online Graduate Education programs at #123 nationally. Valdosta State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

6. University of West Georgia

The University of West Georgia is located in Carrolton, Georgia on 645 acres. It is a public institution that was founded in 1906. The university offers three concentrations in their Doctor of Education Program: Nursing Education, Professional Counselling and Supervision, and School Improvement. Tuition for their online graduate programs is $312 per credit hour before fees.

The Doctor of Education with a concentration in Nursing Education is a 60-credit hour program which includes 15 hours for writing the dissertation. The time allotted for the program is 11 semesters. The objectives of the program center on training students to take on complex and advanced faculty and leadership roles, be a part of curriculum design, develop courses, and evaluate programs and learner outcomes through evidence-based strategies. The program also attempts to train change agents in the field of nursing education.

The Doctor of Education in Professional Counseling and Supervision attempts to train graduates for advancement and achievement in counseling-related positions. Building on the graduate’s previous degrees and work experience, the program builds on the graduate’s knowledge through emphases on program evaluation, clinical and administrative supervision, and advocacy and leadership. The program is 60 credit hours for those students entering without an Ed.S. and 39 credit hours for those who have already obtained an Ed.S. The Doctor of Education with a concentration in School Improvement is 60 credit hours long. The goal is to train leaders who can implement systemic and sustainable improvements to schools. The dissertation project is worked on during coursework, creating a sort of synergy between applied coursework and theoretical implementation.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the online education programs at the University of West Georgia at #84 in the nation. The University of West Georgia (UWG) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).

7. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is another public institution in our top 10. located in Lincoln, Nebraska on 622 acres, the institution was founded in 1869 and provides online doctorates in the area of Education. The tuition for the online doctorate is very competitive, placing the institution in our top 10. For in-state students, the tuition is $326 per credit hour and for out of state students it is $609 per credit hour. The doctorates include a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration, A Doctor of Education in Educational Studies, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Studies.

Not unlike other institutions, the Doctor of Education degrees attempt to train professionals who have advanced knowledge in their field in order to apply it to real-world situations. The Doctor of Philosophy in Education Studies, however, trains students to be researchers in the field.  The Doctor of Philosophy in Education Studies has three areas of concentration: Special Education and Communication Disorders, Educational Administration, and Teacher Education.

The program, while mostly delivered for distance students, requires six hours of on-campus research seminars. The Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies is 90 credit hours. The Doctor of Education degree is intended to train educational administrators either in the P-12 or higher education contexts. The program is built to support and education administrators already working in their own contexts. Through the use of internships, gaining group skills by working on collaborative projects, and work in groundbreaking cognate areas historically important to practitioners, the program seeks to train successful leaders in education.

U.S. New and World Report ranks the University of Nebraska-Lincoln at #111 nationally and is ranked #51 among top public schools, #4 among best online graduate education programs, and #43 among best education schools nationally. The University of Nebraska – Lincoln is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

8. American College of Education

American College of Education is a for-profit college based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The schools is an online institution with programs at the master’s and doctoral level as well as specialist degree programs and graduate-level certificates in Education. Founded in 2005, the college is entirely focused on training educators and provides only degrees and certificates in the area of education. American College of Education provides one doctoral program. The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) with a concentration in Leadership. Tuition for the program comes in at $336 per credit hour, placing the institution within our top 10.

The online Ed.D. program is meant for professionals working full-time in their respective fields. Applicants to the program should already have an earned M.S., M.B.A., or M.Ed. with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Up to 18 credit hours can be accepted from other institutions. There are no residency requirements for the program in order to keep costs down. Instead, virtual meetings take place and all seminars are self-paced.

The program looks to train leaders to be change agents in their respective communities. Areas of study include Adult and Continuing Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Early Childhood Education, Educational and Community Organizations, Higher Education, Instructional Leadership, International Education, Online Learning and Teaching, STEM Leadership, and General Track. The final project in the degree requires original research.

Since the program does not require any residency, the college attempts to connect the student with peers and professors through seminars, study groups, and online Doctoral commons discussion forums. Once the degree is completed, students have an opportunity to attend commencement either virtually or in person. Full time is 6 to 7 cred hours per 10-week term and assignments have a certain degree of flexibility in order to encourage research in leadership in a number of fields and venues.

American College of Education is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

9. Delta State University

Delta State University is another public institution that lands in our top 10. It is located in Cleveland, Mississippi on 339 acres and was founded in 1924. Delta State University provides an online Doctor of Nursing Practice that allows students to take the Family Nurse Practitioner certification. Tuition for the program is a competitive $374 per credit hour.

In terms of admissions, there are two different paths: one in which the student holds a bachelor’s degree upon admission and on in which the student holds a master’s degree upon admission.  For those being admitted with a bachelor’s degree, the RN-DNP consists of 9 semesters at 114 credit hours lasting approximately 4.5 years. The BSN-DNP consists of 7 semesters at 83 credit hours. For those being admitted with a master’s degree, the Non-Family Nurse Practitioner DNP consists of 7 semesters at 74-83 credit hours lasting about 3.5 years and the Family Nurse Practitioner DNP consists of 3 semesters at 31 credit hours lasting 1.5 years.

Non-Family Nurse Practitioner student do 1,020 clinical hours. Family Nurse Practitioner students and all doctoral level students do 420 clinical hours. The program is almost entirely delivered online. However, students do have to make 1-3 on-campus visits per semester. There are also options to take the program on a part-time basis.

U.S. News and World Report ranks Delta State University’s online graduate programs in nursing at #76 nationally. Delta State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. For the PhD in Clinical Psychology, years 1 and 3 are online mixed with clinical practice and dissertation work. The second year has on-campus clinical instruction.

10. University of the Cumberlands

University of the Cumberlands is a private institution that was founded in 1888. Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, the university is located on 150 acres and provides a number of online doctoral programs. Included among the online doctoral programs are a Ph.D. in Leadership (Business and Education), a Doctor of Education in Counselor Education and Supervision, a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, A Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (hybrid program), and a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (hybrid program). Most programs are $375 per credit hour, placing University of the Cumberlands in our top 10. The degrees in the field of psychology are $550 per credit hour.

Many of the online doctoral programs at University of the Cumberlands are extensions of the Ph.D. in Leadership. The program specifically in Leadership concentrates on training leaders in teaching and administrative methods. The program trains leaders who will go on to work in community organizations, higher education, and K-12 schools. The doctorate in Leadership has two primary emphases outside of the primary leadership degree: Educational Leadership and Counselor Education and Supervision.

The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership is a 60 credit hour program. The program can be completed in less than 3 years and can be completed 100% online. On-campus classes are available and meet on Saturdays. The Doctor of Education in Counselor Education and Supervision attempts to train people who want a career in higher education instruction. The program lasts approximately 3 years.

The Psy.D. program is 73 credit hours in an executive weekend format with 16 credit hours being offered online in a bi-term format and 5 credit hours being offered online in a semester format. At the end of the program, students participate in clinical training. Psy.D. students go on to a variety of professions including Psychotherapist, Faculty Member, Administrator, Researcher and Consultant, or Consultant.

U.S. News and World Report ranks University of the Cumberland’s online graduate education programs at 92 in the nation. University of the Cumberlands is  accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

11. University of Alabama

Established in 1831 and currently residing on 1,026 acres, the University of Alabama is a public institution located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. University of Alabama offers a number of online doctoral programs including in the areas of Education, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, and Nursing. The Doctor of Education programs include one for Nurse Educators and one in Higher Education Administration. Tuition for the graduate programs come in at $375 per credit hour with the exception of a few programs.

Entirely delivered online, the Doctor of Nursing Practice program attempts to prepare nurses for positions in leadership in the healthcare industry or to take part in specialty practice. The program is 40 credit hours. The primarily online Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics PhD is a research based degree. There are required campus visits and they are planned between students and advisors. The program is 72 credit hours long.

A hybrid program, The Doctor of Education for Nursing Educators requires some weekend formatted courses (Friday evening and all-day Saturday). Intended to train practicing nurses, the program attempts to transform students into leaders who will become faculty teaching in colleges and universities. Both nursing and education faculty make up those who teach in this researched based program. The program is 72 credit hours long.

The Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration (Executive Cohort) is a blended program. This program is a more expensive program and the exception to the above-mentioned tuition. There is an international component to this program with trips to other countries to learn about administration and running schools. Students must be on campus one weekend a month for classes. The program is three years long and 66 credit hours total. The program costs $667 per credit hour.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Alabama at #103 nationally and at #46 among top public schools in the nation. Further, it is ranked #51 among online graduate engineering programs nationally, #93 among the best education schools in the nation, and #34 among the best among Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees in the nation. The University of Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

12. California Southern University

California Southern University is a private university that was founded in 1978. The institution is entirely online and the headquarters is located in Costa Mesa, California. California Southern University offers online programs such as a Doctor of Business Administration, a Juris Doctor, and a Doctor of Psychology. Tuition is $375 per credit hour for the Juris Doctor.

The Juris Doctor is an online doctoral degree that offers a way for busy working professionals who need flexibility and want to study law or become a lawyer. Graduates that have complied with Title 4, Division 1 of the Rules of the State Bar of California can sit for the California Bar Examination. The program is rigorous and challenging with an emphasis on analytical thinking and ethical responsibility. The program uses case books and materials used at the top law programs in the nation. The program is 88 credits long.

The Doctor of Business Administration provides a degree program for senior leadership roles. For students with MBA, the advanced doctoral degree helps students gain business expertise at the highest academic level. The Doctor of Business Administration is a practical degree that trains leaders to develop practical, specialized knowledge. The degree can be focused on specific business expertise per the student’s needs, giving the student flexibility in their program. The program is 60 credit hours long.

The Doctor of Psychology degree is an applied, clinically focused degree that trains students to meet licensure requirements in the state of California. The Doctor of Psychology degree finishes on a project that focuses on a topic centered on the student’s passion in the field. The program is 66 credit hours long.

California Southern University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission.

13. Indiana State University

In 1865, Indiana State University was founded as a public institution located in Terre Haute, Indiana. Indiana State University offers online programs including a Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctorate of Athletic Training, Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration: Higher Education Leadership, Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration: School Administration, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Technology Management. Tuition for each program costs $396 per credit hour, placing Indiana State University in our top 10.

A professional degree, the Doctor of Nursing Practice is meant for working nurses striving to increase their skills in leadership and in the field in general. The program is 39 credit hours long with no dissertation requirement. Further, it requires 1,000 hours of supervised clinical preceptorship. Another program at Indiana State University that is one of kind is the Doctorate in Athletic Training which seeks to advance the skills and knowledge of credentialed athletic trainers. The program is in a cohort format with 57 total. Face-to-face on-campus requirements total about 12-15 days annually with 4-5 days at the end of each semester.

The Ph.D. in Educational Administration: Higher Education Leadership is 63 credit hours long post master’s degree. Students must attend a three-week residency during the summer. The Ph.D. in Educational Administration: School Administration is meant for students seeking jobs in educational administration at the K-12 level. It is 30 credit hours post-master’s degree. The program has four mandatory face-to-face sessions in the regional area of the student. Lastly, a 66 credit hour program, the Ph.D. in Technology Management is meant to train students who wish to work in the public and private sectors of society.

U.S. News and World Report ranks Indiana State University at #81 for best online graduate nursing programs nationally, #113 for best online graduate programs in education nationally, at #156 among education schools in the nation, and at #107 among Doctor of Nursing Practice programs in the nation. Indiana State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

14. Ball State University

A public institution founded in 1918, Ball State University located in Muncie, Indiana on 1,140 acres. Ball State University offers three online doctorates, two in the field of Education and one in the field of Nursing. In nursing, the university offers a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. In education, the university offers a Doctor of Education in Adult, Higher, and Community Education and a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision. In-state tuition for all degrees is $394 per credit hour and, for out-of-state students it is $590 per credit hour.

A post-master’s degree for currently active nurses, The Doctor of Nursing Practice has courses that are offered completely online. Besides a mostly online experience, there are mandatory one-day meetings which can be attended in person but have a virtual option. The program is 90 credit hours with a minimum of 40 credit hours having to be done at Ball State University. The Doctorate of Education in Adult, Higher, and Community Education focuses on knowledge, skills, attitudes and values regarding teaching, learning, evaluating, planning, program development, leadership, policy, and research. Concentrations include those in Adult Community Education, Community College Leadership, or Higher Education. As a hybrid program, there is a mixture of both on-site courses as well as online courses. The program is 91 credit hours long with at least 48 needing to be taken through Ball State University.

Targeted at administrators, the Doctorate of Education in Education Administration and Supervision the program seeks to train leaders who are interested in advancing the profession through teaching, research, and service. With both face-to-face and online delivery, The program is a hybrid program with some courses needed to be taken on Ball State University’s campus. The program is between 89-95 credit hours including a master’s degree, which can be transferred in for a certain amount of credits.

U.S. News and World Report ranks Ball State University at #176 among national university and #93 among public schools. Further, the university is ranked at #13 in online graduate nursing programs and at #16 in online graduate education programs. Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

15. University of Arkansas

A public institution located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, The University of Arkansas was founded in 1871 and currently resides on 718 acres. Offering hybrid programs, The University of Arkansas have on-campus requirements at various rates. The degrees that are offered are in the fields of Education and Nursing. The online and hybrid doctorates include a Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning, a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, a Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. All programs are $409.94 per credit hour.

Focusing on assessment, design, and implementation of programs for adult learners, the Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning is mostly online with four face-to-face sessions that occur on the Fayetteville campus. The program is 96 credit hours long.

A very flexible program with a wide range of possible jobs, the Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education has a wide range of applications and students who enter the program often have degrees in psychology, organizational behavior, organizational development, consulting, program design, among many others. All coursework is delivered online. Like other programs in the field, The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a practical degree for practicing nurses. The program is 79 credit hours long with coursework done completely online. Students do their clinical hours locally.

The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership is targeted at students pursuing jobs as principals, administration, superintendents, federal and state governmental persons, or other educational leadership professionals. The coursework for the program is almost entirely online with a mandatory campus seminar to be attended once per semester. The program is 42 credit hours long.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Arkansas at #135 nationally and #64 among top public schools nationally. Further, the university is ranked at #47 for top online graduate education programs nationally, at #104 for best online graduate nursing programs nationally, at #66 for best education schools nationally, and at #76 for best nursing schools in doctor of nursing practice nationally. The University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

16. University of Missouri

Mizzou offers more than 100 degree and certificate options online, including 16 doctoral degrees in subjects including agricultural education and leadership, art education, architectural studies, and nursing. All online graduate students pay in-state tuition, regardless of their state of residence. The estimated program cost for doctoral students ranges from $23,000 to more than $46,000, depending on your chosen degree. Online Mizzou students are subject to additional fees, as well, including the information technology fee, and certain MU schools charge supplemental course fees. Moreover, each self-paced course enrollment incurs a nonrefundable $25 administrative fee.

17. University of South Dakota

A public institution founded in 1962, The University of South Dakota is located in Vermillion, South Dakota on 276 acres. The University of South Dakota provides an online Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy and a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences online. The degree in Occupational Therapy is targeted at professionals in the field while the Health Sciences degree seeks to train researchers in the field. Tuition for the inter-professional Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences places University of South Dakota on the list with a competitive tuition of $444.25 per credit hour.

The core curriculum for the inter-professional Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences concentrates on teaching, leadership, advanced practice, and scholarship. The majority of the doctorate is delivered online but there are a few mandatory face-to-face sessions including the initial orientation, a two-week dissertation boot camp, and for the dissertation defense. The program is 72 credit hours in length with the ability to transfer in a maximum of 36 credit hours from a master’s degree or professional doctorate.

The Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy is designed for licensed occupational therapists who have a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. The program is flexible, allowing each student to tailor their own programm. Applicants must hold a U.S. license to practice occupational therapy and hold a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. The Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy is a 24 credit hour online degree and costs $860.90 per credit hour.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of South Dakota at #202 nationally, tied with the University of North Dakota above, and at #110 among top public schools. Further, it ranks the university at #86 among top medical schools in research nationally and at #74 in primary care nationally. The University of South Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.

18. University of Colorado – Denver

Founded in 1912, The University of Colorado – Denver provides a number of online doctorates at competitive tuition prices. The university is a public institution located in Denver, Colorado on 126 acres. The university offers an online Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, Doctor of Pharmacy, and a hybrid of Doctor of Education, Leadership for Educational Equality. Prices for tuition are different for each program but the graduate programs in Education places them high on our list. Tuition in the Education field is $448 for out of state students as well as in-state students.

The Doctor of Education, Leadership for Educational Equity program hopes to train educators to be catalysts for change. The program is a hybrid program with online classes and some on-campus courses throughout. While the Ph.D. in Nursing is a research degree, most of the online programs target professionals in their respective fields so they can advance in their careers. The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree prepares nurses to be experts in clinical practice. The program is 41 credit hours long and costs $585 per credit hour for residents and $1,020 per credit hour for non-residents. The Ph.D. is a research-based degree is almost entirely online with visits to campus only occurring once a semester. The program is 72 credit hours long post MS and has three primary focuses: Biobehavioral Science, Health Care Systems, and Caring Science. The program costs $550 per credit hour for residents and $1,020 per credit hour for non-residents.

The Doctor of Pharmacy degree has no visits to campus are necessary for the North American track while students visit campus for 36 credit hours of their training in the international track. The North American track is 65 credit hours at $800 per credit hour. The international track is 90 credit hours at $800 per credit hour for 70 of the credits and $300 per credit hour for 20 of the credits.

U.S. News and World Report ranks University of Colorado – Denver at #197 nationally and at #106 among top public schools nationally. Further, the university is ranked at #47 among best online graduate education programs and #120 among education schools nationally. The University of Colorado – Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

19. University of Florida

There are a number of online doctoral degree programs offered through The University of Florida. They offer doctorates in Audiology, Classical Civilization, Education, Educational Leadership, Educational Technology, Higher Education Administration, Latin and Roman Studies, Nursing Practice, and Pharmacy. The Doctor of Education programs places University of Florida in a competitive position on our list with tuition costing $449 per credit hour for residents but non-residents are charged $690.21.

The Doctor of Education programs are intended to prepare practicing educators to apply current research and practice to their own working contexts. The program is 60 credit hours long. The PhDs in Classical Civilization and Latin and roman Studies are 90 credit hours each beyond the bachelor’s degree. No more than 30 credit hours from an earned master’s degree may be transferred into the program. An on-campus visit must be made before the application deadline. During the visit, the applicant takes a 90 minute Latin sight reading exam and has interviews with select faculty. Tuition is $544.56 per credit hour.

The Audology PhD is 45 credit hours and can be completed at a distance. The degree can be completed in 18 months, if one follows the track set out by the program, taking one course at a time in the sequence. The Doctor of Nursing practice degree requires a master’s degree in nursing. Further, students must be a licensed nurse. The program focuses on working professionals and advancing their knowledge of innovative and evidence-based practice. It is not a research degree. Tuition is $12,740 per year and $30,134 for out of state students.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Florida at #50 nationally, #1 in education schools in the nation, and #14 in top public schools. The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

20. Mississippi State University

A public university founded in 1878, Mississippi State University is located near Starkville, Mississippi on 4,200 acres. Mississippi State University offers distance doctoral degrees in the areas of Community College Leadership, Computational Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Industrial and Systems Engineering. Mississippi State University lands this high on the list for the program in Community College Leadership which is $451.25 per credit hour.

Preparing graduate students to be leaders at the community college level, the Doctor of Philosophy in Community College Leadership hopes to train leaders to deal with educational, social and economic changes, train leaders for both rural and urban community college environments, and to train leaders that are better decision makers. Post-master’s degree, the program is 76 credit hours.

Entirely online with no campus visits necessary, the program in Computational Engineering has courses delivered via the internet or in remote locations. The program hopes to attract engineers and scientists working already working in the nation’s major laboratories and having access to high-performance computing assets. Those already holding a master’s degree will need to take 50 credit hours to obtain the degree while those without a master’s degree will take 72 credit hours.

Almost entirely delivered online, the program in Electrical and Computer Engineering with some components needing proctors. The program is 66 credit hours long or 48 credit hours with an M.S. Cost for the program is $651.25 per credit hour. Delivered at a distance with the use of various research facilities across the country, the program in Civil Engineering is 62 credit hours without an M.S. and 42 credit hours with an M.S. Cost for the program is $651.25 per credit hour. Like the rest of the engineering programs, the degree in Mechanical Engineering, is delivered in a hybrid format. The on-line portion of the degree parallels the on-campus portion and all requirements apply to both. The program is 42 credit hours long and costs $651.25 per credit hour. With a variety of areas in which to study including industrial systems, operations research, manufacturing systems, and ergonomics/human factors, the program is 48 credit hours long and costs 651.25 per credit hour.

U.S. News and World Report ranks Mississippi State University at #176 nationally and at #93 among top public schools. The institution is also ranked at #24 for online graduate engineering programs and #84 for online graduate education programs. Mississippi State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

21. Georgia Southern University

Another public institution on our list, Georgia Southern University was founded in 1906 and is located in Statesboro, Georgia on 900 acres. Georgia Southern University provides a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree online. Tuition for the program is $462 per credit hour.

Targeted at practicing nurses, the Doctor of Nursing Practice program is a professional degree which seeks to help nurses expand their practical knowledge in the field nursing. The online Doctor of Nursing Practice boasts an educational level that trains nurses in the most advanced level of nursing care. Focus of the training concentrates on the direct care of individual patients, management of care for individuals and populations, developments and implementation of health policy, and administration of nursing systems. The program is constructed with busy, full-time nurses in mind and is eight semesters long. The program also prepares graduate students to become nurse educators.

In addition to the online coursework, students have to attend a mandatory on-campus annual graduate intensive prior to each fall semester. The student must also have a resident nurse license in the state of Georgia before matriculating. Non-asynchronous courses utilize Adobe Connect on Tuesdays while other courses meet asynchronously. Once the clinical courses start, students must come to campus on specific Tuesdays up to three times in a semester.

Those entering the program with a master’s degree may enter the Post-Master of Science in Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice program which is 43-46 credit hours. 9-12 credit hours may be applied to an elective such as Nurse Educator Certificate. If a student wishes to obtain a certificate in a cognate area, the students must apply to the program in which the certificate is housed and take all the courses in the certificate program.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at #113 nationally. Georgia Southern University is accredited by the Commission on Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

22. Governors State University

Another public institution in our top 20, Governors State University is located in University Park, Illinois on 750 acres. It was founded in 1969. Governors State University online has a Doctor of Education program in Interdisciplinary Leadership. This program has a number of concentrations including Higher Education Administration, Superintendent (P-12), Not for Profit/Social Entrepreneurship Leadership, and Public Safety Leadership. Tuition comes in at a competitive $467 per credit hour.

The Doctor of Education in Interdisciplinary Leadership is an interdisciplinary degree program that seeks to train scholars who can deal with real-world problems and issues with a sophisticated grasp of issues. The core courses in the program consist of course in leadership, research, planning, communication, globalism, and finance with advanced study in Higher Education Administration, Superintendent (P-12), Not For Profit/Social Entrepreneurship Leadership, and Public Safety Leadership.

The doctoral program is 60 credit hours long with 33 hours spent studying in the student’s chosen concentration. Program requirements include continuous enrollment with a mandatory six credit hour minimum per semester, a seven-year time limit with the possibility of extensions, qualifying exams, candidacy, and a capstone project. The program concentrates on leadership for educators, counselors, social service providers, not-for-profit managers, and public servants. Graduates are trained in organizational and social reform-oriented leadership, ethical practices, strategic planning, budgeting and finance, fundraising, globalization, environmental stability, community relations and social marketing, and in the design and implementation of qualitative and quantitative research.

The capstone project brings together the skills gained by the student and involves planning, implementation, completion, and oral defense of a comprehensive practicum project. Involved in the project is quantitative or qualitative inquiry which concentrates on the student’s concentration of study.

Governors State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

23. Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University is a public institution that was founded in 1930. The university is located in Norfolk, Virginia on 251 acres. Old Dominion University provides online doctoral degrees in Education, Community College Leadership, English, and Nursing Practice. Tuition for in-state students is $496 per credit hour while out-of-state students pay $538 per credit hour.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Education program has a number of concentrations including Technology Education, Instructional Design and Technology, Occupational and Technical Studies: Human Resource Training, and Career and Technical Education. All three programs are 60 credit hours long with mandatory core courses that are taken depending on which specialty the graduate takes. The Technology Education and Human Resource concentrations require the student to attend two 2-week summer institutions on Old Dominion University’s campus.

The Nursing program has two concentrations: Nurse Executive and Advanced Practice. The Nurse Executive emphasis focuses on training leaders in the nursing field at the executive level. The program is 36 credit hours long and includes executive internships throughout the program in the student’s home area. Further, students must travel to the campus once a semester for a weekend of advising and experiential activities. The Advanced Practice program seeks to train practicing nurses in advanced skills to be nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists. The program is 36 credit hours long and has similar weekend requirements as the Executive program.

The Ph.D. in English integrates writing, rhetoric, technology, and textual studies. Students must choose two of four emphasis areas including Literacy and Cultural Studies; Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse Studies; Technology and Media Studies; and Student-Designed Emphasis. The program is 48 credit hours long. The Ph.D. in Community College Leadership seeks to train leaders in community college leadership roles. The program is 54 credit hours long.

U.S. News and World Report ranks Old Dominion University at #210 among national universities, #118 among top public institutions in the nation, #61 for best online graduate nursing programs nationally, and #77 for best online graduate education programs nationally. Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

24. Idaho State University

Idaho State University if a public institution which was founded in 1901 and is located in Pocatello, Idaho. The university offers two types of doctorates in the field of education. The first is a Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design and the second is a Doctor of Education in Education Administration. Tuition is $496 for in-state tuition per credit hour and $1,317 for out-of-state tuition per credit hour.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design prepares students to become leaders in instructional design, research, measurement, or evaluation. Graduates are trained to work in positions to direct instructional design, research, measurement, or evaluation projects as faculty at colleges and universities, in private or public schools, or as consultants. The program is built around a cohort model which students follow throughout their program. The program is fifty-two credit hours long which are offered fully online. Fifteen core courses are taught using videoconferencing or through online at one’s own pace. While research is at the core of the program, the courses are meant to train students in real world application, giving them practical training in the field.

The Doctor of Education in Education Administration has a K-12 emphasis or a higher education emphasis. The program is taught through a combination of online supported courses and video-conferencing. The K-12 emphasis is 61 credit hours long while the emphasis in higher education is 64 credit hours long. At the core of the program is a deepening understanding of leadership theory and practice in order to further train leaders who already have substantial knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience in the field. Once students finish the program, they are trained to utilize their knowledge, dispositions, and skills as leaders, scholars, and researchers in their varied leadership settings.

Idaho State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

25. Indiana University

Indiana University provides another affordable state school for our top 50 online PhD programs. Indiana University was founded in 1820 and is located in Bloomington, Indiana on 1,937 acres in the middle of a wooded town. Indiana University provides programs in the Doctor of Education with emphasis in Instructional Systems Technology and Literacy, Culture, and Language Education; Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Occupational Therapy Post-Professional, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science. Residents pay $498.31 per credit hour and non-residents pay $584.17 per credit hour.

With a requirement that students have a master’s degree in hand when entering the program, the Instructional System Technology doctorate is a 60-credit hour degree program. The Literacy, Culture, and Language Education doctorate is also 60 credit hours long. During the course of one spring semester, students must attend one on campus conference. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program is unique in that it is the only graduate organizational and systems leadership program that trains nurses to be big thinkers who want to rebuild healthcare and healthcare education. Like most Post Master’s programs, the post master’s Nursing program takes into account the already earned graduate degree and is 37 credit hours.

The Occupational Therapy doctorate is 30 credit hours over three semesters ending in a summer session. Students must be on campus for one-day meetings at the beginning and ending of every semester. The Ph.D. in Nursing Science is a 90-credit hour program of which 30 credit hours can come from a master’s degree.

U.S. News and World Report ranks Indiana University at #86 nationally and #36 among top public schools nationally. Further, they rank the university at #22 for best online graduate education programs nationally and #32 among best education schools nationally. Indiana University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.