What Is The Easiest Doctorate Degree

It’s no secret that earning a doctoral degree is a long and challenging process. The best doctorate degrees can be completed in just three years, allowing individuals to quickly advance their careers without having to sacrifice much time. These degrees tend to focus on research or teamwork skills, but there are many others out there including real estate and education. This guide will help show you what the easiest doctorate degree is and how to go about getting it.

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Online Doctoral Programs

Online doctoral degree programs, the highest attainable degree in America’s educational system, is rightly considered the peak of an academic challenge as well. It is often said that this prestigious post-graduate achievement requires students to produce long-term effort in order to define, develop, and complete original and significant research in their area of expertise. Therefore, “easiest online doctorate programs” can sound like a contradiction in terms. However, due to the nature of online Ph.D. programs, some amount of flexibility, accessibility, and availability can make online doctoral programs somewhat easier to finish.

Distance learning formats have made acquiring a Ph.D. much more accessible to many people. The ability of online doctoral students to conduct their work in virtual classrooms as opposed to keeping strictly fixed study and class schedules has reduced the necessary time and effort required to complete accredited online doctoral programs.

An easy online doctorate enhances one’s capacity to earn and raises eligibility for top-level careers in a given area of expertise. A Ph.D. degree online prepares students for university professorships, as well as leadership positions and highly skilled professions in various sectors. Any one of these 30 easiest online doctoral programs will, in the most efficient way, grant these opportunities to their holder.

What types of jobs does a Doctoral degree lead to?

In most cases, a Doctor of Philosophy, or a Ph.D., is required to teach at a four-year college or university. If you dream of being a professor, you’ll need a doctorate in your field. 

Keep in mind, academia does not work like Corporate America where employees are often promoted from within. Departments do not typically hire their own Ph.D. candidates after graduation. This might make pursuing your degree online even more attractive. You then won’t need to move for your program and then move again for your job.

Easiest Doctorate | Accredited Degrees | PremiumDegree.com

Teaching or conducting research at a university, however, is not the only goal among doctoral candidates. If you want to work as a clinical psychologist, you’ll likely need a doctorate. A doctorate degree can also help you reach the highest leadership roles in healthcare or education systems, working as a chief health officer or chief academic officer, for example.

Bottom line: as a doctoral candidate your goal will be to advance knowledge in your field. This degree might not be a requirement for reaching the next step in your career. But by becoming a thought leader in your industry, it will undoubtedly help. 


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is one of the easiest and best online doctoral programs to pursue, at least in the healthcare field. It usually takes one to two years to complete.


Most online Ph.D. programs in the STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) tend to earn the most money; therefore, they will provide you with a lucrative living although they will not be the easiest doctorate to earn by far. An Electrical Engineer will earn between approximately $98,530 – $155,880 annually, according to the BLS.


Although dissertations are required by most schools, through careful research you can find Doctor of Education programs that permit the less conventional approach. They do not require disserations; however, are geared more towards a capstone project or the “dissertaton-in-practice” method. These types of requirements still focus on your knowledge, research and writing but the subject matter does not have to be an original piece of work; it focuses on an existing problem that you can expand on in your given situation, such as your current workplace, either to improve upon learning methods or leadership.


Anything worth working for is not always easy, right? Your chosen doctoral program is one of the most important decisions you can make along your educational journey. Although most accredited online phd programs are rather costly, there are some that are easier than others, as well as less time consuming and less expensive.

Typically, there are three areas of concentration that students focus on if in search of an “easy” doctoral degree program through an online distance learning format. Specifically, they are in the fields of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education (EDD). The following list suggests a few career choices and their annual salaries relevant to earning an easy online doctorate degree:

  • Advertising & Marketing Executive – $141,490 (BLS)
  • Law/Attorney – $126,930 (BLS)
  • Political Scientist – $125,350 (BLS)
  • Economist – $108,350 (BLS)
  • FBI Agent – $83,320 (BLS)
  • Professor – $80,790 (BLS)
  • Human Resource Specialist – $63,490 (BLS)
  • Social Worker – $51,760 (BLS)
  • Communications/Journalist – $49,300 (BLS)
  • Counseling – $47,660 (BLS)

The best doctorate degrees will open up doors of opportunities that have remained previously closed, and it can be a source of pride and inspiration for people planning on pursuing a doctorate degree. Professor positions in universities and colleges, for example, require a doctorate degree since it demonstrates the person’s capacity to add to the field’s store of knowledge, follow academic standards and produce original work, even answer previously unanswered questions in the field. 

Quite naturally, the above salaries will depend greatly upon your previous work experience, job location, and your educational accomplishments and certifications. Careers involving the fields of Health, Science, and Engineering will pay considerably more with an online doctoral degree.

Easiest Online Doctoral Degree Programs

We help you take the easy route to your Ph.D.! On this list are 30 online schools in the country that welcome advanced scholars to their easy Ph.D. degree online programs. We feature each of the school’s doctorate curricula and highlight how the flexibility in schedule and self-paced formats translate to convenience in completing the program. OSC has chosen to list the Top 30 Online Schools for Easy Online Doctoral Programs in random order, so you may carefully research each selection to locate a program that is right for you! The following factors were considered:

  • Completion of a program through a 100% online format; offering asynchronous classwork through an easy-to-use Learning Management System,
  • Acceptable retention rates,
  • Offers proper school accreditation, as well as, other recognitions relevant to the field of study,
  • Instructed by exceptional professors experienced in their field of study,
  • Job placement, Career Services, and networking opportunities available to graduates,
  • Offers a variety of easy online doctoral degree options; providing opportunities for students to easily earn their graduate degree through accelerated programs, by saving money, and by earning a Ph.D. while maintaining their current job and family commitments,
  • Displays positive student reviews,
  • Easy dissertation process; often completed entirely through the online distance learning format,
  • When applicable, clinical experience, hands-on training, capstone projects, or professional life credit experience may be required.

Of course, we only listed the accredited online PhD programs in education, counseling and psychology, among other fields! Accreditation is key in the acceptance, reliability and credibility of online doctoral programs – without it, students have put in the work but will be unable to reap the rewards. While they may have learned the expert knowledge and skills they sought for, their diplomas and the professional credentials that come with them are unacceptable in the eyes of others.   

Accreditation is crucial because it helps in the determination of an institution’s capacity to meet or exceed minimum quality standards; assists students in determining acceptable policies for transfer of credits, instruction and graduation; and helps employers decide on the validity of the applicants’ diplomas and, thus, their suitability for employment, among other reasons. Plus, it’s crucial in applying for scholarships and financial aid – private donors and government agencies will not grant scholarships, grants and loans to students enrolled in non-accredited schools. 

Regent University


Located in Denver, Colorado, Regent University offers easy online doctorate degree programs such as Ph.D. in Communication, Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies, and Ph.D. in Adult Education. Another easy online doctorate degree is the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. This program is ideal for nurses seeking advanced expertise and career advancement in the field. The 51- to 60-credit program curriculum is composed of courses that aim to enhance students’ skills.  Learning is made easier through the university’s virtual mentoring for the whole span of the dissertation research. The program has 2-year and 3-year summer options on an eight-week coursework format. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Walden University


walden university

Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota offers easy online doctorate programs such as Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, Ph.D. in Nursing, and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology. It accepts the transfer of 55 credits for easier completion in two to three years, featuring highly accessible online resources. Walden University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Liberty University


liberty university

Situated in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University offers easy online doctorate degree programs like Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, Ph.D. in Theology & Apologetics, and Ph.D. in Worship Studies. Another doctorate degree which is purely online in format is the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program. Doctoral students can hone their ministry skills and acquire an effective understanding of biblical principles required to land pastoral roles. Students also engage with known church leaders while pursuing their doctorate. The 33-credit curriculum is composed of a nine-hour credit thesis and six transferable credits. Utilizing the Blackboard platform, Liberty Flames accepts 45 to 70 credits. Liberty University Ph.D. programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and allow for completion of the online doctorate program within two to three years.

And if you’re looking for no GRE PhD programs, look into Liberty University’s programs! The university is among the handful of institutions that have acknowledged the little correlation between graduate school success and GRE scores. The standardized test for admission into graduate and post-graduate programs is also seen as putting underrepresented groups at an unfair position. 

Hampton University


Hampton University

Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia offers easy online doctorate degree programs such as Ph.D. in Business Administration, Ph.D. in Educational Management, and Ph.D. in Nursing. These degree programs can be easily completed through professional life experience credits, more interesting coursework, and hands-on training in 36 months or less. Hampton University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Nova Southeastern University


nova southeastern university

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University offers easy online doctorate degree programs such as Ph.D. in Health Sciences, Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution, and Post-Professional Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy. Online coursework is readily accessible 24/7. Learning is also easier through the Blackboard program and the university’s summer sessions. Online doctorate students can choose from three majors, which can all be completed in two to three years. The university is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Keiser University


keiser university

Keiser University at Fort Lauderdale, Florida features 11 easy online Ph.D. programs such as Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, Ph.D. in Business Administration, and Ph.D. in General Psychology. Learning is convenient through the Blackboard program, particularly for dissertation research. Keiser University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of Tennessee – Knoxville


University of Tennessee, Knoxville - easiest online doctorate degree programs

Situated at Knoxville, Tennessee, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville offers an online Doctor of Social Work in Clinical Practice and Leadership (DSW) program under the College of Social Work. Because of its fast-track format, students can quickly complete the doctorate in three years. They attend three-credit-hour courses every semester over eight continuous semesters including during the summer. The 48-credit coursework is delivered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Bradley University


bradley university

Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois offers two easy alternatives to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree online. Looking for the shortest dnp program online? First is the DNP – Leadership Track (MSN Entry), which can be completed in three years. Those who started with the BSN pathway towards a DNP usually finish the program in four years. The DNP- Leadership Track is composed of 39 credit hours and takes typically nine semesters to complete. What makes this doctorate easy to earn is that it does not require residency; instead, students need to accomplish a clinical practicum and a clinical project. Students can also be easily admitted into the degree program three times a year. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Monmouth University


monmouth university

West Long Branch, New Jersey is home to Monmouth University, an academic institution that offers the online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program. This program is ideal for practicing nursing professionals who desire career advancement. The 36-credit hour online program allows students to choose one or two courses every semester during the summer, spring, or fall. The online doctorate program emphasizes organizational or systems leadership and scholarship. Earning the doctorate is also easier through practical immersion experiences. The university has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The Maryville University of St. Louis


maryville university of st louis

Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Maryville University offers an online Doctor of Nursing (DNP) program. Its 33-credit hour curriculum is ideal for working nurses who want to take higher courses for career advancement. Are there 12 month online dnp programs available? Yes! Since online learning is often self-paced, you can attain a DNP program in 12 months but we will say that “easy” completion of this nursing program can be attained in 20 months. On the other hand, the Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership is regarded as an easy doctorate as it features personalized coaching in a cohort learning model-based online setting. This degree can be completed in less than 32 months. Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Seton Hall University


seton hall university

Seton Hall University at South Orange, New Jersey, offers an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program for students and working adults who want to acquire the highest clinical degree in the nursing field. Students learn advanced knowledge in population health, business and evidence-based approaches, and healthcare systems.

Accredited by the university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Seton Hall University’s DNP doctorate program features two pathways, namely the BSN to DNP pathway with 73 to 79 credits, and the MSN to DNP pathway which has 32 to 33 credits. Easy completion of the degree program can be expected through a final scholarly project that mainly focuses on quality improvement and translational science for the advancement of care systems, safety, and patient outcomes. On the other hand, the Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy have only 45 credits, with topics that develop students’ research-based administrative and supervisory skills. There are two unique areas of focus, namely Management and Administration, and College Teaching that can be completed in three years or less.

University of Florida


university of florida

The University of Florida offers doctoral students an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program under the College of Nursing. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is regarded as one of the state’s pioneer doctorate programs. There are two doctorate tracks for this discipline, namely the BSN to DNP and the MSN to DNP tracks that are delivered online with minimal attendance required on campus. The 35-credit doctorate program can be completed in five semesters or two and a half years. Acquiring practical knowledge without the hassle of research projects is made easier through this DNP doctorate program. Meanwhile, the BSN to DNP program requires 75 credits and can take around eight semesters or three years to be completed. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

College of St. Scholastica


Located in Duluth, Minnesota, the College of St. Scholastica features and online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT) program. This tDPT program is designed for practicing therapists.  Learning is easier since the program curriculum is condensed into six, 16-credit-hour classes. The doctorate is expected to be completed in two years. The doctorate is geared towards intensive career preparation and hands-on experiences in the field of physical therapy. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Duquesne University


Duquesne University

Duquesne University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania offers an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program. This program is ideal for doctoral students who are prepared for career advancement. What is makes this program easy to take is that each student can connect and interact with one faculty member and work on a one-on-one study plan. The 35-credit hour program is delivered entirely online and is divided into nine three-credit courses and two four-credit courses. Learning is much easier since the program is geared toward offering students with advanced knowledge and preparation while learning more about themselves and how they can contribute to the academic community. Students also may benefit from the 14:1 student-to-faculty online ratio. Students can easily complete the program in two years or less. The university offers PhD programs without GRE required, and opportunities to study abroad are also available. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Gwynedd Mercy University


gwynedd mercy university

In Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, Gwynedd Mercy University offers an easy, accelerated Executive Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership ABD completion program. This completion program is ideal for those who were able to complete their coursework in the same field but need to work on their dissertation. What makes this program an easy one to take is that it does not focus on the completed dissertation as the university itself permits students to leave their ABD (All But Dissertation) status and still obtain a doctorate in education. In 18 months, students can complete 27 to 54 credit hours of coursework and practical experience. Students can also complete their doctorate through comprehensive research, school administration, or policy analysis. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Boston University


boston university

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts offers an online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree program under the College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. The 33 to 37-credit program curriculum is composed of 10 courses. Aside from this, students can also complete six foundation courses, depending on past educational experiences before taking up a doctorate. Learning is easier because online students can take two courses every semester, with each semester lasting seven weeks.

Frontier Nursing University


frontier nursing university

Situated in Hyden, Kentucky, Frontier Nursing University offers the online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program. The DNP program is ideal for registered nurses who wish to take their careers and knowledge to the next level. Two pathways exist for easy completion, namely a Post Master’s DNP and an MSN or Post-Graduate Certificate (PGC) leading to a DNP. Easy completion of the doctorate can be attributed to the fact that students have the option to earn a DNP in 12, 15, or 18 months. Online classes consist of only 20 to 25 students. The MSN pathway requires 28 credit hours for completion. While most online, the doctorate program at Frontier Nursing University also features an interesting three-day-on-campus experience. The university received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill


university of north carolina chapel hill

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, North Carolina features online doctorate degree programs in the health sciences such as Ph.D. in Nursing,  Master of Public Health to Doctor of Pharmacy, and Transitional Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy degrees. On a part-time basis, the DPT program can be easily completed in two years. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Southern California


University of Southern California

Located in Los Angeles, California, the University of Southern California offers the online Doctor of Social Work and Global Executive Doctor of Education degree programs. The Doctor of Social Work can be easily completed in two to three years through numerous specializations. The coursework can be accomplished with full-time pacing and students can access an open virtual community through the Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. As for the Global Executive Doctor of Education, students are given the opportunity to travel abroad for 25 months. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of North Dakota


University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota offers online students easy doctorate programs such as Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Ph.D. in Nursing, DNP – Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, DNP-Family Nurse Practitioner. DNP-Nurse Anesthesia, and DNP-Nursing Practice.

Six various specializations are offered to students for them to choose as majors, and these take three years or less to complete with full-time and part-time attendance options. Students are also given the opportunity to interact with their professors and peers through the university’s virtual environment. The university has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Drexel University


drexel university

Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel University offers easy online doctorate programs such as Doctor of Health Science, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Management degree programs with nine fields of specialization. The coursework can be quickly completed in four 10-week quarters a year, allowing students to take more courses within a short timeframe. This Ed.D. program can be completed in three to five years. It does not require residency, and all coursework and dissertation requirements can be completed online. Students also become part of cohort systems, exposing them to academic network opportunities. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Bridgeport


university of bridgeport

The University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Connecticut features an easy online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership degree program and the D.H.Sc. Health Sciences degree program. Students may specialize in International Education wherein they can master the principles of educational leadership and integrate multi-cultural global concerns into organizational settings. In the D.H.Sc. Hybrid program, students can focus on education and curriculum enhancement, public health, evidence-based care delivery, and research. The flexible coursework allows for quick degree attainment in three years or less. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Bridgeport.

Jefferson University


Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jefferson University offers an online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program. Learning is easier for these two online doctorate programs since the goal of the university is to allow students to engage in an interactive online community, where there is an open exchange of ideas and creativity is given more significance. For the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program, nurses can easily adapt to changes in the healthcare industry due to intensive, yet enjoyable hands-on training. As for the Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, students are prepared for an intensive career in the field of occupational therapy. This university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Arkansas


University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas has two easy online doctorate programs, namely, Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Leadership and Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. The Adult and Lifelong Leadership online doctorate can be completed in 30 months, while the Educational Leadership doctorate can be completed in 36. The university has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

California Intercontinental University


california intercontinental

Based in Diamond Bar, California, California Intercontinental University offers an easy and accelerated online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree program. It provides numerous opportunities for online Ph.D. scholars to major in a specific area that is most appropriate for their research and career objectives. Some specializations include Entrepreneurship and Business Management, Global Business and Leadership, Healthcare Management and Leadership, and Information Systems and Enterprise Resource Management.

The online DBA program features state-of-the-art online resources for convenient learning. It is ideal for veterans, working professionals, Department of Defense employees, as well as military service members and their families. The degree program can be completed in 24 months. California Intercontinental University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Bowling Green State University


Bowling Green State University

The Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio features a convenient online Ph.D. in Technology Management degree program. This doctorate program is designed for working adults who already have a competitive edge in technology management. Students can easily choose from five areas, namely Construction Management, Digital Communications, Human Resource Development and Training, Manufacturing Systems, and Quality Systems for their Ph.D. research focus. Degree completion takes two and a half years. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania


Indiana University of Pennsylvania

The Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, features an online Ph.D. in Safety Sciences degree program. The program features six-week-long summer workshops in the university’s laboratories. The university takes pride in its strong online dissertation support and mentorship program. The 24-credit hour coursework can be completed in three years.

Grand Canyon University


grand canyon university

Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona features accelerated online doctorate programs such as Ph.D. in General Psychology degree program that covers numerous topics such as social cognition, evaluation, and the establishment and assessment of learning outcomes. Learning is also easier because the 60-credit coursework is delivered in eight-week terms. Degree completion is 39 months. The university has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Concordia University- Chicago


Concordia University-Chicago

Located in River Forest, Illinois, Concordia University- Chicago offers 14 easy online doctorate programs including Ph.D. in Gerontology, Ph.D. in Sports Leadership, and a Doctorate in Business Administration with emphasis on Innovation in Healthcare and Leadership and Innovation. Online courses are flexible and are delivered in eight-week terms for speedy degree completion in three to four years. Students can readily coordinate with their online mentors for dissertation consultations towards the end of their third year. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Maryland University College


University of Maryland University College

The University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, Maryland offers an easy online doctorate program such as the Ph.D. in Community College Policy and Administration featuring 24/7 flexibility, online dissertation support, and short on-campus visits. The 48-credit hour Ph.D. in Community College Policy and Administration degree can be easily earned in three to four years with a cohort system, short residencies, top-notch scholarships, and intensive dissertation support.  The university has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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