10 Best Online Doctoral Programs in Texas

Prospective students seeking their doctoral degree in Texas can opt to take coursework both on campus and online. As the second largest state in the U.S., students often find it difficult to commute to campus for studies. Many degree-seekers may even struggle to fit classes into their already busy work life. With new online options for in-demand degrees, students can obtain their education without worrying about traveling or paying higher on-campus living fees.

While many degrees require some on-campus time, many Texas institutions offer Ph.D. programs fully online for self-disciplined students able to focus and take control of their studies. These colleges and universities offer students scheduling flexibility that allows them to continue working while finishing their education, often at lower prices than on-campus offerings. Below, we have ranked the top ten, fully-accredited online Ph.D. programs in Texas to help prospective students choose the degree that best fits their future career goals.

1. Texas Tech

In 1966, Texas Tech University professors began traveling to different cities to teach master's programs to students unable to attend campus courses, with the university launching its official distance learning programs online in 1996. Online students living out-of-state pay comparable fees to that of Texas residents, with the same experienced, on-campus faculty teaching both in-person and online coursework. TTU currently offers 11 hybrid and online Ph.D. Texas programs, from the doctor of education in agricultural education to the doctor of philosophy in technical communications and rhetoric. Only three Ph.D. programs take place fully online through TTU, including the doctor of philosophy in educational leadership policy, the doctor of philosophy in family and consumer science education, and the doctor of philosophy in special education. Total credit hour requirements for these 11 doctoral degrees range from 60-99 hours for program completion.

2. Texas A&M University-Commerce

Founded in 1889, Texas A&M offers over 144 graduate and undergraduate degrees at its Commerce, Texas, campus. However, the doctor of education in educational administration (EDAD) remains the only degree option for students seeking a doctoral degree online. This graduate degree option benefits those interested in administration positions at K-12 schools. With extremely competitive admissions, the EDAD program only admits two cohorts per year. For acceptance, students must present a graduate studies GPA of 3.4, GRE scores, and prior administrative experience. Degree costs stand at $350 per credit hour, with 60 credit hours required for program completion.

3. Texas A&M College Station

Texas A&M University's distance education programs offer one undergraduate degree, 47 graduate degrees, and 24 certificates. Founded in 1876 as a farming and agriculture school, Texas A&M now boasts a doctor of education in agricultural education, a doctor of philosophy in plant breeding, and a doctor of education in curriculum and instruction online. Coursework generally coincides with on-campus classes, keeping all graduate students on the same timeline regardless of their location. Online students often must commute to testing facilities for proctored exams. All Texas A&M applicants must take the GRE and submit an application that shows previous experience, internships, and goals.

4. Texas Woman's University

As one of the largest U.S. universities for women, Texas Woman's University (TWU) hosts students at its Huston, Denton, and Dallas campuses, including e-learning options. Of TWU's 16 doctoral programs, five are offered online: Ph.D. in Health Studies, Ph.D. in Kinesiology, Nursing DNP, Nursing DNP to Ph.D., Ph. D. in Nursing Science. Prospective students can apply for a variety of scholarships available to TWU students to help offset tuition costs of $243 per credit hour. Ph.D. programs can take up to five years for completion, depending on whether the student takes classes full- or part-time.

5. University of Texas at Tyler

They offer four doctorate programs, three of which are offered as online degrees.

Part of the University of Texas system, the University of Texas at Tyler boasts more than 80 degree options taught by experienced faculty members. Prospective students can opt to take coursework fully online through the Canvas platform or in a hybrid format with some face-to-face classes. UT Tyler's online doctorate programs include a Ph.D. in human resource development, a Ph.D. in nursing, a doctor of nursing practice, a doctor of pharmacy, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. To apply, students must present transcripts with a minimum 3.0 GPA from previous coursework, GMAT scores, and three letters of recommendation.

6. Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University offers more than 40 degrees and 100 certificates fully online. Students can take classes at their convenience and at a speed that fits their needs. SHSU offers two fully online doctoral degrees, including the developmental education administration, Ed.D. and the instructional systems design and technology, Ed.D. Each degree requires 60 credit hours for completion at a rate of $490 per credit hour. The university also offers scholarship opportunities specifically for SHSU students. Sam Houston State University holds full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

7. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Founded in 1981, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) boasts on-campus research facilities for both rehabilitation and speech, language, and hearing. In addition, TTUHSC offers an online doctor of science in physical therapy that provides mentoring opportunities for prospective physical therapists. Some in-person coursework is required, particularly for lab time. For admission, students must present previous transcripts with a minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work, and applicants must currently work in physical therapy prior to applying for doctoral work. Students may pursue many scholarship opportunities specifically for medical students at TTUHSC to help offset tuition costs.

8. University of North Texas

At the University of North Texas, students can earn a Ph.D. in learning technologies online with only one face-to-face meeting once per year. As a Texas resident, students pay about $1400 per course. Flexible scheduling allows students to log in to classes at their convenience with no set class times, while using the Blackboard Learning model to complete all coursework and communicate with instructors. The cohort learning models begin each summer. Prospective students must submit official transcripts and GRE scores for consideration. Students can apply for scholarships and grants offered through the university to lower tuition costs.

9. Baylor University

Baylor University in Waco, Texas

Rooted in the Christian faith, Baylor University takes pride in offering a high-quality education to students, including many online doctoral options: the doctor of nursing practice-family nurse practitioner track, the doctor of nursing practice-neonatal nurse practitioner track, the doctor of nursing practice-nurse midwifery, the doctor of physical therapy, the doctor of education-learning and organizational change, the Ph.D. in social work, and the doctor of occupational therapy. With competitive admissions, prospective students should submit GRE scores, a curriculum vitae, and a sample of scholarly writing. Baylor University follows the cohort model of learning.

10. Lamar University

Lamar University, part of the Texas State University system, offers an accelerated online Ed.D. in educational leadership. Students can complete all coursework in just eight semesters, if they take courses year-round, and participate in Global Leadership Groups to earn degree credit. Prospective students must show a minimum 3.5 GPA through all undergraduate coursework from accredited universities. GRE scores are mandatory with all applications. Students participate in cohort learning models to graduate on track with other Ed.D. students. Tuition fees for Texas residents begins at $1500 for three credit hours but may apply for financial aid through the university.