25 Fastest Accredited Online PhD Programs

Embarking on a Ph.D. program is a long-term commitment to career advancement and excellence in a field. While a doctoral program can take five to six years, or even longer, there are accelerated Ph.D. programs available from accredited universities. You just need to know where to look. This list is a starting point for working professionals that are interested in earning an advanced degree in less time. Many of these programs are available full- or part-time, and entirely or mostly online, so you can study on your schedule.

Use the information here as a launching point for program research. Maybe the perfect degree for you is listed here, or maybe this will provide the motivation you need to find the Ph.D. degree program that will take your career to the next level. Once you know that a Ph.D. can be earned in less time, what's stopping you from taking the next step?

We presented the list in alphabetical order. These are 50 top programs, all accredited, but rating one over the other in terms of importance (is a nursing Ph.D. any more valuable than a doctorate in education?) wasn't a logical thing to do. Instead, enjoy the range of options available. If you are contemplating moving forward to get a Ph.D., one of these schools might have a program fit just for you and your academic skills.

Bowling Green State University

The Ph.D. in Technology Management from Bowling Green State University is a web-based program that attracts students from a diverse set of backgrounds. With five specializations to choose from, including Construction Management, Digital Communications, Human Resource Development and Training, Manufacturing Systems, and Quality Systems, there is a course of study for any technical professional. The program is offered in cooperation with five other accredited institutions and can be completed within 66 credit hours. This program offering is a great fit for working professionals with industry experience that are highly motivated to advance their career.

East Carolina University

Prepare for a leadership role in nursing science and health care. East Carolina University offers a hybrid online curriculum for students pursuing a Ph.D. in nursing, with a progressive number of online courses available to students as they advance through the program. The paths of study available in the College of Nursing include BSN to PhD, MSN to PhD, and DNP to PhD. The DNP to PhD program is an accelerated pathway that allows students to apply coursework from a DNP program to fulfill PhD requirements.

Georgia State University

The Ph.D. in Nursing program at Georgia State University is almost exclusively online, with minimal on-campus meetings. As one of the oldest nursing programs in the state, it's a well-established and well-known programs for students looking to advance their nursing career. As opposed to other advanced nursing degrees, the Ph.D. does not require clinical practice.The program can be accomplished full time or part time to accommodate the needs of working professionals. In total, the program is 60 credit hours in length.

Hampton University

The Ph.D. in Educational Management program at Hampton University teaches students innovative educational strategies to advance their careers. This online, accelerated program focuses on relevant current topics in education leadership. Students can select one of four specialization areas: pre-K-12, higher education, special education, or STEM. Students typically complete the program in 66 degree credits over 2.5 years. As education becomes more complex, this program helps students gain the skills they need to be at the forefront of the field.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

The nursing program at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania will prepare students for a teaching career in the dynamic nursing field. Attend courses with experiences faculty and conduct cutting edge research as you advance your career. This program can be completed in as few as 11 semesters and courses are offered in a hybrid format to meet the needs of working professionals. The university also offers a DNP to Ph.D. program that students can select to shorten the time to earning a Ph.D.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University's Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning is an outstanding program for working professionals. It's the first program of its kind in the nation to be offered almost entirely online, and students in the program can earn their degree in 5 years or less. Annual, on-site summer intensives and a cohort model help students feel connected, even when studying remotely. Full time and part time program options are available, and students can opt to complete the program on campus. This program is proud to be one of five doctoral programs currently registered with the CFP Board.

Walden University

Walden University offers multiple advanced degree programs in an entirely online format. The university caters to working professionals and has a diverse student body. As a Certified B Corporation, Walden University prides itself on giving back and fostering growth in its students. Doctoral programs available from the university include Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, Ph.D. in Education, Ph.D. in Management, Ph.D. in Public Health, Ph.D. in Nursing, Ph.D. in Social Work, and more.