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Education Reference Desk | Online Education Resources for Students and Teachers

Most Affordable Colleges Offering Online Ph.D. Degrees

most_affordable_online_phd_programsAre you ambitious and driven, determined to expand your field and contribute new ideas to established practice, or maybe even invent a new one altogether? With a Ph.D.–short for “Doctor of Philosophy”–your professional opportunities can become virtually boundless, so you’ll be able to do all of this and more. Often, people find it difficult to decide whether pursuing a higher executive-level degree is worth the cost, which is where EduRef comes in. Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the most affordable online colleges that offer Ph.D.s. First and foremost, these schools are ranked according to cost, but also quality of education, accreditation, and reputation.

Methodology

All schools considered for these rankings

  • Are regionally or nationally accredited
  • Offer at least one fully online doctoral degree (with no more than two weeks of required in-person work)
  • Were collected from official accrediting agency websites.

Schools are ranked solely by the average net price as released in the most recent IPEDs database collected in July of 2020.

2020 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Doctoral Degrees

Rank School Average Net Price
# 1 Amridge University $3,905
# 2 New Mexico State University $9,930
# 3 University of Florida $10,457
# 4 Jacksonville State University $10,689
# 5 Murray State University $11,512
# 6 Troy University $12,951
# 7 Valdosta State University $13,502
# 8 University of Arkansas at Little Rock $13,751
# 9 University of Southern Mississippi $14,485
# 10 University of North Dakota $15,654
# 11 University of Missouri $15,850
# 12 University of Arkansas $16,263
# 13 University of the Cumberlands $16,340
# 14 Mississippi State University $16,471
# 15 Old Dominion University $16,681
# 16 Northern Illinois University $18,346
# 17 University of Alabama $20,623
# 18 Virginia Commonwealth University $20,968
# 19 The University of Tennessee – Knoxville $21,024
# 20 Bay Path University $22,740
# 21 Auburn University $23,562
# 22 Bethel University – MN $26,468
# 23 Hampton University $27,441

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Doctoral Degrees

1. Amridge University

Average Net Price: $3,905
School Type: Private
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 95%

Amridge University is an excellent choice for students who want a well-rounded Christian education. Ministry degrees include Doctor of Ministry, Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies, Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies – New Testament, and Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies – Old Testament, and is the #6 most affordable accredited online college. The theological degrees can help prepare students for work in congregational and academic settings.

Other online doctorate programs include Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration, Doctor of Ministry in Family Therapy I, and II, Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies, and Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Leadership and Management. As the #2 most affordable online college offering doctoral degrees, this university is a good value for those pursuing online Ph.D. programs.

2. New Mexico State University

Average Net Price: $9,930
School Type: Public
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Acceptance Rate: 63.8%

New Mexico State University’s history dates back over 100 years, giving the institution an authentic pioneer heritage. The school has a high satisfaction rate amount both students and past graduates, with a range of online Ph.D. degrees that help students in an increasingly competitive job market.

The university offers one doctoral degree in Nursing delivered through a hybrid/ITV format that is very beneficial for distance learners with busy schedules. U.S. News & World Report ranks New Mexico State University among the best schools for graduation and retention rates, as well as faculty resources.

3. University of Florida

Average Net Price: $10,457
School Type: Public
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Acceptance Rate: 39%

The University of Florida offers one of the most accessible options for online doctoral programs. There are 170 degrees and certificates offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels that prospective students may choose. This university is responsible for creating 1,000 new jobs in Florida yearly, making the school vital to the state’s workforce. The school also made the Top 50 Colleges That Pay You Back list in the Princeton Review.

Doctorate degree options that are available through distance learning include Ph. D. programs in Classical Civilization and Latin and Roman Studies. Education-related doctoral degrees include Educational Leadership, Educational Technology, Higher Education Administration, and Teachers, Schools, and Society. UF also offers a DNP in Nursing Practice. All of these degrees provide the foundation that students need for careers related to their fields, making each of the programs a good value for the money for students who want to enhance their current careers or seek new careers.

4. Jacksonville State University

Average Net Price: $10,689
School Type: Public
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Acceptance Rate: 54%

Jacksonville State University is one of the more affordable schools for a Ph.D. online, as well as one of the top social mobility performers. The school’s social mobility performance helps make it a sought-after option for ambitious students who want to succeed and get the most out of future careers.

Doctoral options include Educational Specialist in School Counseling and Educational Specialist in Physical Education for those interested in an educational concentration. A Doctor of Science in Emergency Management is also available, as well as an Educational Specialist in Instructional Leadership or Library Media. The Doctor of Nursing Practice is ideal for both nurses and prospective nurse practitioners. Teacher Leader Educational Specialist degrees are also available for students to enroll in to further their studies.

5. Murray State University

Average Net Price: $11,512
School Type: Public
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Acceptance Rate: 81%

Murray State University has Ph.D. online programs to suit every need, ensuring that you have an excellent chance of finding the right program. The school is one of the best options for veterans, helping them to easily pursue new opportunities once they are finished with their military service and looking for new opportunities.

The Doctor of Nursing and Doctor of Arts in English Pedagogy are popular with students who want to further their education. DNP degrees help prepare students to meet the needs of patients in areas that are underserved medically. The Doctor of Arts programs help educators develop stronger foundations for their teaching experience. Students pursuing either of these concentrations are likely to see lot of benefits and find their new skills in high demand.

6. Troy University

Average Net Price: $12,951
School Type: Public
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 88%

Troy University is one of the most accessible online Ph.D. options that put the degrees of choice within easier reach. The university enjoys a history that dates back to being a teacher’s college in 1887. This university is one of the top military-friendly schools.

Troy University offers five doctoral degrees that are available online. Ph.D. degrees in Global Leadership and Sport Management offer education in fields that are likely to see an increased demand in the coming years. Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees at the post-bachelor’s level are available in Family Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Leadership concentrations. This school also offers a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

7. Valdosta State University

Average Net Price: $13,502
School Type: Public
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 88%

Valdosta University, is one of the most accessible places to seek online doctorate programs. The school offers affordable tuition to students residing in Georgia as well as the surrounding states.

The doctoral degrees that are available provide solid foundations for prospective job-seekers in educational and other leadership positions, with the university enjoying a #293 – #381 ranking among national universities. The Doctor of Education degree includes a major in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Learning & Development and Leadership. The university also offers a Doctor of Public Administration degree, which prepares students for work in a variety of settings. Graduates of these programs will have strong foundations for different types of work.

8. University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Average Net Price: $13,751
School Type: Public
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 79.3%

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s makes online Ph.D. programs more accessible for students, regardless of their circumstances when pursuing their degree of choice. This university enjoys a reputation for offering a broad range of degrees for students interested in some of the top fields.

The doctoral degrees available include a Ph.D. in Computer and Information Sciences, which gives graduates an advantage in seeking high-paying technology jobs. In addition to this online doctoral program, there are also dozens of graduate certificate and master’s degree programs available in multiple concentrations. The choice of programs ranges from healthcare-related certificates to business degrees, providing students with the opportunity to train for an ideal new career or to follow their true passion, with professors that are ranked among the best.

9. University of Southern Mississippi

Average Net Price: $14,485
School Type: Public
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 98%

The University of Southern Mississippi is one of the most convenient options for online doctoral programs. Students never have to worry about sacrificing educational quality to get a degree on their schedule. The Ph.D. online programs have high social mobility rankings, giving students the assurance of future success.

There are eight doctoral programs delivered in a 100% online format. The degree programs for those interested in education include Doctor of Education or Educational Specialist in Educational Administration P-12, and Doctor of Higher Education Administration. Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees include Family Nurse Practitioner, Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Clinical. There is also a Nursing Leadership Ph.D. program available. All of these programs can help students looking forward to growing careers in education or nursing to succeed.

10. University of North Dakota

Average Net Price: $15,654
School Type: Public
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 82%

The University of North Dakota offers one of the best places to get a Ph.D. online. This school is the largest university within the state. The programs, particularly the technical programs, enjoy an excellent satisfaction rate among the students. This university’s number of science degrees helps prepare students to compete in some of the job markets with high demand.

There are ten online Ph.D. programs. Science degrees available for high-paying fields include Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Sciences, as well as Biomedical, Electrical, Energy, Environmental, and Petroleum Engineering degrees. The National Science Foundation ranks the school #151 among schools nationwide. Doctor of Education degrees in Educational Practice and Leadership are in high demand. Degrees for those interested in healthcare include a Ph.D. in Indigenous Health, a Ph.D. in Nursing, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice.