10 Best Online Doctoral Programs in Texas

Texas is as Texas does, and one thing Texas does is online higher education. Why not? With wide open spaces, Texans scattered across almost 300,000 square miles, and a population that is booming bigger than any oil strike, Texas needs to keep Texans educated any way they can. With one of the nation’s best public higher education systems, a vast network of religious colleges and universities, and some world-class private research universities, students can get an online PhD in just about any field, from any kind of school they please – whether they’re living in Texas, or in Timbuktu.

1. Texas Tech

Texas Tech University was originally called Texas Technological College when they first opened their doors in 1923. Their campus is located in Lubbock Texas, and they have the sixth largest student body of any school in the state that likes things big. They are known for their high level of research, as classified by the Carnegie Foundation in 2016. This university is home to 71 distinct research institutes and centers. Fun fact-  in collaboration with Harvard University researchers at Texas Tech developed a treatment that has the possibility of counteracting the effects if HIV!

Texas Tech has exciting online degree program offerings, including nine online PhD programs through their eLearning & Academic Partnerships division. These programs were designed to be flexible with a variety formats for which courses are administered, including synchronous, asynchronous, discussion boards, and live video conferencing; there will, however be a number of in person sessions and peer meet ups required. Some programs require short two week on campus residencies.

2. Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University–Commerce (or A&M Commerce) is a public research university that serves over 12,000 students each year. They are the third largest institution in the Texas A&M University System. Commerce is a Level II Doctoral Research University, classified by the Carnegie Foundation.

A&M-Commerce offers an online Doctor of Education degree in Educational Administration, one of only a few like it in the state. The program is designed with a K-12 public school administration emphasis. This online PhD program is designed with the school practitioner in mind. The department encourages applications from candidates with strong academic achievement, scholarship ability, leadership experience, and commitment to education. A&M-Commerce has the highest graduation rate among Texas public institutions for doctoral programs. Coursework includes administration, governance, organizational behavior, research methods and more. The College of Education & Human Services Office of Research is also available to provide support for students in the areas of Statistics and Writing.

3. Texas A&M College Station

Texas A&M College Station was the first public institution of higher education in Texas, opening its doors in 1876 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. TAMU, as they are called, is a public research university in College Station, Texas, and is a member of the Texas A&M University System. Texas A&M’s student body is the largest in Texas and the second largest in the United States. They hold designations as a land, sea, and space grant institution indicating a wide range of research with ongoing projects funded by major governmental and NGO science and health organizations.

TAMU offers 3 online doctoral programs through their Distance Education program. These three are a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Agricultural Education, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Plant Breeding, and finally a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Curriculum and Instruction. Each of these allows for flexibility in the students work, and access to outstanding faculty at Texas A&M.

4. Texas Woman’s University

Texas Woman’s University was founded at the turn of the 20th century in 1901. It is a coeducational but is overwhelmingly female with approximately 90% of the student body identifying as women. They continue to place a heavy emphasis on meeting the educational needs of women.

The major areas of research at TWU includes research that impacts the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity, osteoporosis, stroke and diabetes. With this emphasis institutionally, TWU offers a fully online PhD in Nursing Science from the Denton campus. A Ph.D. in Nursing Science is for those nurses who wish to integrate their vast nursing knowledge with that of other health care disciplines to research and solve problems as well as to teach and mentor other nurses. The application process beyond gaining admittance to the graduate school of nursing should be acquired by contacting the Ph.D. Program Coordinator.

5. University of Texas at Tyler

The University of Texas at Tyler was founded in 1971 and is a dedicated to being an outstanding institution of learning, culture and, natural beauty in East Texas. They offer four doctorate programs, three of which are offered as online degrees.

The UT Tyler School of Nursing online PhD program offers doctoral education to those who have limited access to doctoral education. It is offered entirely online with the exception of a five-day orientation each summer prior to beginning course work. With the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, Nurses are able to study online in the communities where they live, undertaking collaborative scholarly projects while they prepare to become change agents who influence the future of healthcare. These students must participate in on-campus, week-long summer orientation and returning-student workshops before their course work each year.

The Ph.D. in Human Resource Development is the final online doctorate program that UT Tyler offers. The program is designed to prepare researchers and practitioner leaders for a rapidly changing and culturally diverse global workforce. The goal of the program is to develop scholars who are capable of making independent contributions to the profession and serving in leadership positions in higher education, primary and secondary education, and other government and industry-roles.

6. Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University was founded in 1879 in Huntsville, Texas. They are classified as a “Doctoral Research University” by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education and were recently recognized by U.S. News and World Report for being among the best in the country for online graduate programs. The Carnegie Commission also classified SHSU as a “Community Engaged” university.

They offer two online doctoral degrees, in Developmental Education Administration (Ed.D.) and in Instructional Technology, Ed.D. The Doctor of Education in Developmental Education Administration is a fully online interdisciplinary doctoral program designed to prepare educators to develop and administer programs for underprepared community college and university students in math, reading, and/or writing.

The Doctorate in Instructional Technology is a fully online professional practice doctoral program designed to prepare individuals to lead the integration of technology into curriculum. Primarily, this doctoral program prepares individuals as leaders of instructional technology who will guide their organizations toward achieving meaningful integration of technology.

7. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is located in Lubbock, TX and was founded in 1969. They boast that they educate students, provide patient care and, conduct biomedical and clinical research. They graduate the most health care professionals in the state of Texas. Nationally recognized for innovative programs, academic achievement, and cutting-edge research; in fact, to date, TTUHSC has trained more than 25,000 health care professionals who are serving patients and driving medical research and discovery.

The Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy (ScD) program at TTUSHC is the first of its kind in the Southwest. The Program is a logical means for physical therapists to achieve needed levels of expertise and specialization by providing an advanced skill set that is increasingly essential for successful practice in modern society. During the course of study, ScD students will attend courses on long weekends. During these courses they will participate in both lecture and laboratory experiences. Courses will be enhanced with web-based curriculum components that include reading assignments, interactive sessions, Website links, and case studies. Students in the ScD Program will complete a clinical dissertation focused on clinical teaching or research.

8. University of North Texas

The University of North Texas is a public research university located in Denton, Texas founded in 1890. They offer programs in natural, formal, and social sciences, engineering, liberal arts, fine arts, performing arts, humanities, public policy, graduate professional education, and post-doc research. UNT’s research is driven by 38 doctoral degree programs. The university operates a budget of $865 million, of which $40 million is allocated for research.

UNT offers a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies that is available as an online distance-delivered format for those who, due to distance or reason, cannot attend the UNT campus. The program focuses on defining, understanding, and expanding the synergy of technology and learning/instructional systems theory. The core of this. program is the application of technologies within the learning process. Towards this end, a successful doctoral candidate demonstrates proficiency in skills and knowledge that allows the individual, upon graduation, to become a contributing scholar/practitioner in the field. Graduates work as faculty, instructors, teachers, instructional designers, directors of distance education, technology coordinators, trainers, and other professionals in the instructional, educational, and learning technology fields both in educational and corporate settings. The program has a focus on academic research and writing, which has resulted in a majority of graduating doctoral students holding positions at universities.

9. Baylor University

Baylor University in Waco, Texas, is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution. The school was founded in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through considerable effort by the Baptist church. It is the oldest continually operating university in the state of Texas. In the latest count, 44 percent of entering freshmen were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class, with a mean SAT score of 1276 and mean ACT score of 28.2.

Baylor offers DNP Neonatal Nurse Practitioner online track. As a student in the Louise Herrington School of Nursing, the online Doctor of Nursing (DNP) program with a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) track is designed to prepare registered nurses for leadership positions as advanced practice neonatal nurse practitioners. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of neonatal nursing, research utilization, critical thinking, diagnostic reasoning, patient management, program planning, and systems management.

10. Lamar University

Lamar University is one of the fastest growing colleges in Texas and is a member of The Texas State University System. Lamar University, located in Beaumont, Texas offers more than 100 programs of study in the most dynamic career fields leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university has been nationally recognized for the quality of its core curriculum and the diversity of its student body.

Lamar also offers an online Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Global Educational Leadership and it is purposefully designed with a unique and distinctive focus. They strive to equip leaders in education to be innovative change agents in local, national, and international settings. They acknowledge that our world is increasingly interconnected and that our responsibility and influence as educators extends to all regions and peoples of the world. Graduates of this innovative doctoral program are prepared to work as transformational leaders at the highest levels of education to improve the lives of the citizens of the world.