10 Best Online Doctoral Programs in Virginia (or DC)

With an increase in demand for specialized professionals in fields such as healthcare and nursing, business, education, plus the arts and sciences, earning a fully online doctoral degree is becoming a desirable path for students and professionals who wish to advance their careers to become leaders in their fields while maintaining a relatively low student loan debt and high degree of flexibility in learning. All institutions in this list are fully accredited and offer fully or hybrid doctoral degrees online.

1. Regent University

A fully accredited institution, Regent University offers over 100 fully online degree programs from the undergraduate to doctoral levels. The main campus of the Christian institution is located in Virginia Beach and the university's rigorous academics are grounded in Christian principles. Within the seven graduate schools Regent offers thirty-three fully online doctoral programs in a variety of disciplines including Communications, Education, Ministry and Divinity, Healthcare Leadership, Psychology, STEM, and fourteen programs with varied options in Business and Leadership. Through consistent and exponential growth as a global center for Christian thought and action, students from around the world now come to Regent in order to complete their doctoral programs in an online environment that supports flexibility in learning while fostering education and Christian leadership.

2. Liberty University

Degree programs at Liberty University Online prepare students for leadership roles in their fields through rigorous academics and accessible advisement and guidance from qualified professors. The university has twenty-three online doctoral programs in areas such as Business Administration, Nursing, Ministry, Worship, Education, and Philosophy. The Doctor of Business Administration includes eleven concentrations. Students serious about a career in Christian theology flock to the Doctor of Philosophy in Theology and Apologetics. All online programs at Liberty have the highest possible accreditation available through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Additionally the school is focused on affordability and has not increased the tuition costs for any online doctoral program in over three years.

3. Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University, founded in 1930 by the College of William and Mary, is today one of the most prestigious universities in the nation, and a leader in sharing an entrepreneurial approach to problem-solving across degree programs and disciplines like government, business, education, industry and more. Doctorate Programs offered at Old Dominion University are equally accredited and as competitive as the doctoral degree programs offered on campus. Instructors bring real world experiences to the virtual classroom through research opportunities. Students can choose from a PhD in Education for Instructional Design and Technology or Human Resources Training, or degrees in Nursing or Philosophy. There are a total of seven online doctoral degrees offered in all.

4. Virginia Commonwealth University

Students at Virginia Commonwealth University annually participate in vigorous research opportunities, over 1.3 million hours of community service, and thrive as ‘the Rams' in the vibrant Richmond, VA culture. Both online and on campus students are given a wealth of options for furthering their professional careers through rigorous and competitive academic programs, including their online doctoral degree programs. Virginia Commonwealth University online school offers a total of five degrees at the doctoral level offered in a variety of formats: synchronous, asynchronous, fully online and through video conference. All degrees are focused on healthcare including a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), a PhD in Nursing or Health Related Sciences, plus a Doctorate in Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP), which is one of the most prestigious and sought after careers for nurses seeking to specialize their practice.

5. George Washington University

George Washington University, located just outside Virginia in our nation's capital, the District of Columbia, has long been one of the most well known liberal arts colleges along the east coast, a prestigious institution founded in 1821 and with alumni J. Edgar Hoover, Colin Powell, and Anousheh Ansari. Annually students from around the globe come to George Washington University online to study the arts, engineering, law, education, medicine and health, and more. Online doctoral degrees can be earned in Nursing or Engineering, including a Doctor of Engineering in Engineering Management or a Doctor of Philosophy in Systems Engineering. The online university offers a total of five doctoral nursing degrees, including post-BSN or post-MSN opportunities in areas such as Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, and Executive Leadership.

6. Hampton University

Steeped in tradition, and rich in history, Hampton University is today a progressive institution offering a wide range of degree programs from the undergraduate to graduate levels in areas from the arts to business to specialized doctorate degrees online and on campus. Located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, students from across the globe attend college at Hampton annually, both on campus and online. Web based programs are available for students who wish to advance their professional careers while attending school and maintaining freedom in scheduling and learning. Online doctoral degrees offered at Hampton include PhDs in Business Administration, Counselor Education and Supervisions, Educational Management, and Nursing. Students cna also earn their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) fully online at Hampton.

7. Shenandoah University

Shenandoah University, located in Winchester, Va and founded in 1875, if a private institution with a liberal arts background. Students from around the world come to Shenandoah to participate in the close-knit community while attending invigorating courses both online and on campus. Innovative exploration is a part of every department at Shenandoah and students participate in on-the-field training and progressive research opportunities. At Shenandoah University online students can earn two fully online doctoral degrees in the education field for Administrative Leadership, or in the field of Pharmacy. The Nontraditional Doctor of Pharmacy (NTDP) degree provides practicing pharmacists with the opportunity to further their careers while still having the flexibility to continue work in such a competitive and ever changing field of work.

8. University of Virginia in Charlottesville

The University of Virginia in Charlottesville was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson and today follows the same mission it sought to fulfill at its commencement: To develop tomorrow's leaders. The university is made up of eleven schools that offer degrees from the undergraduate to graduate levels, including doctoral programs. With increasing healthcare costs nationwide, students from across the US flock to UVA Charlottesville for their renowned Health System and academic medical center, which is committed to offering outstanding outpatient care while educating tomorrow's health care leaders. UVA in Charlottesville has two online doctoral programs to choose from. The School of Nursing offers online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees for both post-BSN and post MSN students. The Nursing degrees are hybrid and require students to attend classes on campus in addition to their online work. The PhD program in Instructional Science & Technology can be obtained fully online.

9. Radford University

Radford University is a comprehensive public university located in the breathtaking blue ridge mountains of Virginia. The institution prides itself in its history of sustainability and is recognized nationally for it's efforts. Today the school embraces a healthy combination of innovation and tradition while educating students across disciplines from around the world. The online university at Radford offers a number of degrees at the post-baccalaureate levels, including one Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The research-based DNP degree can be attained both post-BSN or post-MSN and promotes flexibility while maintaining quality, and students benefit from 1,000 clinical hours each in addition to their coursework.

10. University of Fairfax

Recently accredited in 2012, Fairfax University, though a relatively new institution, is far from lacking when it comes to rigorous coursework and competitive academics. The university was established in 2002 and exclusively focuses on cybersecurity. University of Fairfax offers a unique fully online degree in cybersecurity, the Doctorate of Information Assurance (DIA) and students from across the nation come to learn from the most distinguished cybersecurity educators and leaders in the world. All coursework is project driven and can be accessed from any part of the world with an internet connection. Students benefit from flexible scheduling, one on one advisement, and opportunities to easily communicate with professors and other students through the online platform.