30 Fully Funded Ph.D. Programs

These fully funded Ph.D. programs are in fields like business, computer science, education and nursing.

Two women standing in the modern library

(Getty Images) |

Many Ph.D. programs are fully funded.

Students interested in graduate research in various fields, from public health and English to computer science and engineering, have numerous options for Ph.D. programs that offer full funding. These programs typically provide waived tuition and fees and an annual stipend. Some also offer health insurance and other benefits. Gaining admittance into these small cohorts can be highly competitive, and the programs can be time-consuming . Here are 30 fully funded Ph.D. programs at U.S. colleges and universities. Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list – there are others out there.

A man handling papers from the Hulton Archives, wearing white gloves.

  • Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Chicago

Anthropology Ph.D. students at the University of Chicago can receive funding for up to eight years of study, assuming they are in good standing at the university. During that time, they will receive a full-tuition scholarship plus health insurance and a living stipend – which equated to $33,000 for the 2022-2023 school year – and can apply for external fellowships.

Radcliffe Quad undergrad housing at Harvard University in Fall in Cambridge, MA, USA on November 2, 2013.

Ph.D. in biological sciences in public health at Harvard University (MA)

Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston offers a Ph.D. in biological sciences in public health that aims to provide students with expertise in disease prevention and treatment. This program includes tuition, a stipend and health insurance for five years as long as the student maintains satisfactory academic progress. International students receive the same benefits. Current research in the school's laboratories involves diseases like AIDS, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, malaria and tuberculosis.

MIT, a private university

(Dominick Reuter) |

  • Ph.D. in business at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Students enrolled in the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can study a range of fields like organization studies, accounting and information technology. Those pursuing a Ph.D. will receive a full-tuition scholarship plus a monthly stipend of $4,267, capped at $51,204. They will also receive medical insurance, new laptops at the beginning of their first and fourth years of study and $4,500 over five years for conference travel expenses.

Rice University

(Tommy Lavergne | Rice University)

Ph.D. in business at Rice University (TX)

At the Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business in Texas, students enjoy full financial assistance upon admission to the Ph.D. program. Aiming to prepare students to teach in fields like accounting, finance, organizational behavior and strategic management, the program provides students with a research or teaching assistantship. Students receive a tuition waiver and a $40,000 annual stipend contingent on making satisfactory academic progress and maintaining full-time student status.

how to buy a phd

Office of Strategic Communication | University of Iowa

  • Ph.D. in business at the University of Iowa

The University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business offers Ph.D. degrees in fields such as accounting, economics, business analytics and marketing. The college says it provides full funding to "virtually all admitted students." This includes tuition and fees, a minimum nine-month stipend of about $20,000 with annual adjustments and comprehensive health insurance covered at 90%. Some departments offer funding for research presentations at major conferences, summer fellowships and paid time off for independent research.

Cornell University buildings viewed from McGraw Tower

Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Cornell University (NY)

According to Cornell University 's website, all students admitted to the chemical engineering Ph.D. program at the New York school receive a full tuition waiver, health insurance and a stipend. This funding can come from a teaching assistantship, research assistantship or fellowship, and full stipends are granted for nine months with the likelihood of additional aid in the summer.

how to buy a phd

Chris Taggart | Columbia University

Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Columbia University (NY)

Students enrolled in Columbia University 's Ph.D. program in clinical psychology at the Teachers College in New York receive fully funded tuition and a $25,000 stipend annually for three years. The stipend also carries into a student's fourth year. These doctoral fellows "may be expected to serve" as graduate teaching or research assistants. Students typically complete the mentor-matched program, which includes a full-year internship, in five to seven years.

Unidentified individuals, and University Hall  on the campus of Brown University.

Ph.D. in computer science at Brown University (RI)

Brown University 's Ph.D. students in computer science have access to "full financial support while completing the degree," plus the option to take classes at nearby schools without incurring additional costs, according to the school's website. In fact, doctoral students in any program at the Rhode Island university are guaranteed five years of financial support, which includes tuition remission, a stipend, health services fees and a subsidy for health insurance.

how to buy a phd

Georgetown University |

Ph.D. in computer science at Georgetown University (DC)

Georgetown University 's Ph.D. program in computer science provides scholarships and assistantships that cover full tuition at the Washington, D.C., school and include a stipend and health insurance for the first five years. Once enrolled in the program, students must complete the Apprenticeship in Teaching Program and ultimately write and defend a full research dissertation in a seminar open to the public.

Cherry trees in bloom in the campus of Washington university in springtime

Ph.D. in computer science at Washington University in St. Louis

Ph.D. students in the computer science or computer engineering program at Washington University in St. Louis receive full tuition support and health insurance. According to the university's website: "As a doctoral candidate, you will also receive a generous stipend to cover living expenses and a new, high-end Apple laptop computer. This support is guaranteed as you continue to make satisfactory progress towards your degree." Doctoral students may also qualify for one of three fellowships.

how to buy a phd

Jeff Miller | UW-Madison

  • Ph.D. in counseling psychology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison

Incoming Ph.D. students at the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin—Madison are guaranteed full funding for the duration of the time that they are expected on campus, according to the university's department of counseling psychology website. Doctoral students also receive a benefits package that includes health insurance. Funding may come from financial aid, fellowships, assistantships and/or traineeships.

how to buy a phd

Emory University |

Ph.D. in economics at Emory University (GA)

Students enrolled in the economics Ph.D. program at Emory University typically receive full funding, according to the Georgia university's website. The stipend provided to students is $36,376 per year for five years, starting in fall 2023, and the full tuition scholarship is worth $70,200 per year. Funding for admitted students also includes a $4,370 annual subsidy that covers 100% of a student's cost of health insurance. First-year students have no stipend-related work requirements.

New York City, New York, USA - September 13, 2013: Street view of New York University NYU in Greenwich Village Manhattan. There are people visible in this image.

  • Ph.D. in education at New York University

New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development offers more than 30 degree programs. Many can be pursued on campus or online. Ph.D. degrees are offered in areas like developmental psychology, educational leadership and childhood education. Full-time NYU Steinhardt Ph.D. students are eligible for a funding package that includes an annual stipend – $32,000 for the 2022-2023 academic year – tuition coverage for required coursework and student health insurance for five years.

how to buy a phd

L.A. Cicero, Stanford News Service |

Ph.D. in education at Stanford University (CA)

Stanford University's Graduate School of Education allows students numerous fellowship and assistantship opportunities at the California school, along with a "five-year funding guarantee that provides tuition aid, fellowship stipend, and assistantship salary, and covers the standard cost of attendance," the program website reads. At the Graduate School of Education, doctoral students can choose from a range of academic areas like curriculum studies and teacher education, and developmental and psychological sciences.

Two friends working in a public library, using a computer to find some specific books for their studies together.

  • Ph.D. in education at the University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education provides full funding to Ph.D. students as part of a fellowship and research apprenticeship package. This funding includes a living stipend, health insurance and coverage of tuition and fees for up to four years if the student maintains full-time enrollment. Some students may also qualify for additional summer funding.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - November, 20 2010: The Computer Science and Engineering Building on the University of Michigan's North Campus has an eco-friendly design.

  • Ph.D. in engineering at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor

Doctoral students in engineering at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor can choose from numerous areas of specialization under umbrella categories like aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, macromolecular science and engineering, and robotics. All engineering doctoral students are guaranteed full funding, a monthly living stipend and health insurance. The exact amount can vary, according to the program's website, and funding comes from a range of sources, including graduate student instructor positions and fellowships.

how to buy a phd

Boston University Photography |

  • Ph.D. in English at Boston University

Annually, doctoral students studying English at Boston University receive a stipend plus full tuition, fees and basic health insurance. This funding is guaranteed for at least five years, with two of those years typically free from teaching requirements. Funding can sometimes be extended up to seven years, according to the university's website, but it's not guaranteed. Students may also apply for various prizes, fellowships and short-term research and travel grants.

how to buy a phd

(Stephanie Diani) |

  • Ph.D. in English at the University of California—Los Angeles

Applicants to the Ph.D. in English program at the University of California—Los Angeles are automatically considered for various funding options. A six-year funding package includes "a minimum of two years of full fellowship, four years of summer stipend support and up to four years of teaching assistantships," according to the school website. Beyond tuition, fees and health insurance are also covered.

how to buy a phd

Jeff Watts |

Ph.D. in international relations at American University (DC)

American University offers doctoral students in its international relations program who do not have external funding a renewable four-year Dean's Fellowship that is contingent on making satisfactory academic progress. The fellowship includes the cost of tuition, fees and a stipend that must be earned via a part-time role as a teaching or research assistant. Students also must "demonstrate competency in a modern foreign language" before graduating.

how to buy a phd

Jonathan Cohen | Binghamton University

  • Ph.D. in management at Binghamton University—SUNY

All students admitted to the interdisciplinary management Ph.D. program at the Binghamton University—SUNY School of Management in New York receive a combination of a full-tuition scholarship and a teaching or research assistantship for each academic year, up to four years. This STEM-designated business doctoral degree prepares students for careers in academia and work in the public and private sectors, and has a student-faculty ratio of 1-to-1, according to the university's website.

how to buy a phd

Duke University Communications |

Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at Duke University (NC)

Doctoral students at Duke University in North Carolina studying materials science and engineering generally receive full tuition, a stipend and fee support for the first five years. Students also receive up to six years of health insurance if they are on the university's student medical insurance plan. The doctoral program aims to help students publish with a faculty adviser and develop research skills, with the opportunity to present research at professional conferences.

how to buy a phd

Homewood Photography | JHU

Ph.D. in nursing at Johns Hopkins University (MD)

The School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland provides most doctoral students with three fully funded years of study. Available financial aid includes graduate assistantships, targeted fellowships and nursing-specific funding. The university aims to "advance the theoretical foundation of nursing practice and healthcare delivery" with the degree, its website reads. "By graduation, most Hopkins nurse scholars have been awarded grants that continue their research and set them well on their way to a successful career."

"The Lawn in late afternoon at the historic University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Virginia. The lawn was part of Thomas Jefferson's campus design."

  • Ph.D. in nursing at the University of Virginia

All students admitted to the University of Virginia 's Ph.D. in Nursing program are eligible for four years of scholarship funding to cover tuition, insurance and fees, as well as annual stipends. To receive certain aid, students must work 10 hours per week as a graduate teaching assistant. With a heavy research focus, students can expect courses in qualitative, quantitative and historical research, and will have to submit a research proposal for peer review.

Yale University

Ph.D. in nursing at Yale University (CT)

At Yale University in Connecticut, the School of Nursing offers full funding to its Ph.D. students. They receive a monthly stipend for four years in addition to paid tuition and health care. The program allows students to gain in-depth knowledge in a particular area of study. Every incoming Ph.D. student gets paired with a faculty adviser "whose area of expertise and active research most closely matches with the student’s scholarly interest," according to the school's website.

how to buy a phd

University of Minnesota |

  • Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program to study psychology at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities are guaranteed full funding for five years as long as they maintain satisfactory performance and degree progress. This funding includes full-time tuition, a nine-month stipend and subsidized health insurance. Funding comes from some combination of teaching assistantships, traineeships, research assistantships and fellowships. Students in the program can specialize in areas like cognitive and brain sciences, industrial-organizational psychology and social psychology.

how to buy a phd

Matt Cashore | University of Notre Dame

Ph.D. within the Romance languages and literatures department at the University of Notre Dame (IN)

University of Notre Dame doctoral students who focus on French and Francophone studies, Iberian and Latin American studies or Italian studies are guaranteed five years of funding. Funding includes a full scholarship, including tuition and fees, plus a stipend and health insurance. Anyone who completes the Ph.D. degree requirements at the Indiana university within five years will automatically receive a one-year postdoctoral fellowship via the university's 5+1 Program. Fellows will have a teaching load limited to one course per semester.

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Ph.D. in social work at Bryn Mawr College (PA)

Students admitted to Bryn Mawr College 's Ph.D. program in social work receive full tuition waivers and "substantial stipends" toward living expenses. The Pennsylvania college's website says: "Consistent with our model, all Ph.D. students are funded equally, and do not compete for basic financial support during coursework." The program's cohorts typically include only three or four students each year. According to the college, it awarded the first Ph.D. degree in social work in the U.S. in 1920.

how to buy a phd

Vanderbilt University |

Ph.D. in special education at Vanderbilt University (TN)

Funding is guaranteed for all admitted doctoral students enrolled in the special education Ph.D. program at the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. This includes full tuition, a "competitive" monthly stipend and health insurance for up to four years. Students may also be nominated for additional honor scholarships and fellowships. Areas of focus within the Ph.D. program include high-incidence disabilities and early childhood education.

Chicago, Illinois in the United States. Entrance to Northwestern University - School of Law.

Ph.D. in theatre and drama at Northwestern University (IL)

This interdisciplinary Ph.D. program at Northwestern University in Illinois combines coursework in humanities, social science and the visual arts. The program's students receive a five-year full-tuition scholarship plus an annual living stipend. Ph.D students enrolling at this program in fall 2022 will receive a living stipend of at least $36,960 during the 2023-2024 school year. Stipend amounts may change from year to year. Students can apply for subsidies to facilitate conference travel and summer language study.

COLLEGE PARK, MD - OCTOBER 4:   Testudo is pictured on the University of Maryland Campus. The University of Maryland announced a transformative investment of $219486,000 in the university on October 4. In a first of its kind announcement, university and government officials unveiled the investment in a celebration event for the campus community.

(Photo by Sarah L. Voisin | The Washington Post via Getty Images)

  • Ph.D. in women, gender and sexuality studies at University of Maryland

At the University of Maryland 's Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Ph.D. students without a master's degree usually have five years of guaranteed funding. Those with a master's degree usually are funded four years, with awards stemming from a mix of departmental fellowships and graduate teaching assistantships. Since the program's establishment in 1999, the department has granted 36 Ph.Ds, according to UMD's website.

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Learn more about paying for graduate school.

Finding a fully funded program isn't the only option to offset the costs of graduate school. See these seven strategies to pay for graduate school to learn more. Check out the latest Best Graduate Schools rankings to see the country's top business, medicine and law programs – and more. For additional grad school tips, follow U.S. News Education on Facebook , Twitter and LinkedIn .

Locust Walk with students in fall, University of Pennsylvania, University City area, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Ph.D. programs that are fully funded

  • Ph.D. in biological sciences in public health at Harvard University
  • Ph.D. in business at Rice University
  • Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Cornell University
  • Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Columbia University
  • Ph.D. in computer science at Brown University
  • Ph.D. in computer science at Georgetown University
  • Ph.D. in computer science at Washington University—St. Louis
  • Ph.D. in economics at Emory University
  • Ph.D. in education at Stanford University
  • Ph.D. in international relations at American University
  • Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at Duke University
  • Ph.D. in nursing at Johns Hopkins University
  • Ph.D. in nursing at Yale University
  • Ph.D. within the romance languages and literatures department at the University of Notre Dame
  • Ph.D. in social work at Bryn Mawr College
  • Ph.D. in special education at Vanderbilt University
  • Ph.D. in theatre and drama at Northwestern University

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30 Best Online PhD Programs [2024 Ultimate Guide]

Explore Online PhD Programs from accredited colleges offering online PhD, DBA, EdD, PsyD, DNP – 100% online. Accelerated classes are available.

Online PhD Programs

With millions of Americans now pursuing and completing graduate degrees, employers have their pick of the most qualified and trained employees in their field.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in the last decade, about one million Americans earned a PhD. Many fields, like education and the humanities, value doctoral degrees. A person who holds a PhD is almost guaranteed to have higher level critical thinking and problem solving skills.

If you currently have a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degree and are considering pursuing a doctoral degree, consider accelerated PhD programs online if they are available in your field.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

List of 30 Online PhD Programs (and related doctoral programs)

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

1. Andrews University

Located in Berrin Springs, Michigan, Andrews University was established in 1874. It is affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

The university offers PhD programs in Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, Higher Education Administration, and various concentrations in Leadership. These programs have various credit requirements ranging between 61 and 94. The programs can be completed in 5-6 years on a full-time basis.

  • PhD Curriculum and Instruction
  • PhD Educational Leadership
  • PhD Higher Education Administration
  • PhD Leadership

Andrews is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

2. Catholic University of America

Established in 1887, the Catholic University of America is located in Washington, DC.

The PhD in Nursing program is offered by the university’s Conway School of Nursing and requires 79 credit hours. Students can transfer in 24 credit hours from graduate course-work if they have been successful in comprehensive exams.

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing

CUA is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

3. Central Michigan University

Located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, Central Michigan University was established in 1892. It has more than 60 other locations worldwide.

The online PhD program in Educational Technology requires 54 credits and consists of 12 courses followed by a dissertation. The program is in an online cohort format with no face-to-face requirements.

  • Doctor of Educational Technology

CMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

4. Clemson University

Consisting of 7 colleges, Clemson University was established in 1889 and located in Clemson, South Carolina.

The online PhD programs are offered in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (60 credit hours), Rhetoric, Communication & Information Design (on-campus to defend dissertation), and in Healthcare Genetics (70 credit hours).

Out-of-state applicants must check whether the program is available in their states.

  • Ph.D. in Healthcare Genetics (HCG)
  • Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (PRTM)
  • Ph.D. in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design

Clemson is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

5. Colorado State University

Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Colorado State University was established in 1870.

The online PhD programs offered by the university are the 60-credit PhD in Higher Education Leadership (can be completed in 5 years) and the 72-credit PhD in Systems Engineering (varies based on previous coursework and intensity of study).

  • Higher Education Leadership Ph.D.
  • Systems Engineering Ph.D.

Colorado State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

6. Concordia University Chicago

Founded in the Lutheran tradition, Concordia University Chicago was established in 1863 and is located in River Forest, Illinois.

The 100% online PhD in Leadership: Gerontology program has a course length of 8 weeks. Students must complete 58 credit hours. The application deadline is rolling and is in a synchronous format with 3 or 4-year tracts being available.

  • PhD in Leadership: Gerontology

Concordia University Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

7. George Fox University

Located in Newburg, Oregon, George Fox University is a Christian institution that was originally founded in 1891 as a school for Quakers.

The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program is delivered in the online format with an annual residency of one week on campus. There is a 56-credit-hour requirement to complete the course, and it takes 3 years to complete.

  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

George Fox is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

8. George Washington University

Established in 1821, George Washington University is located in Washington, DC.

The online PhD in Nursing program consists of 57 credit hours with some on-campus requirements and is delivered in a synchronous format.

The online PhD in Systems Engineering program consists of 54 credit hours and must be completed within 5 years.

  • Online Ph.D. in Nursing
  • Online Ph.D. in Systems Engineering

George Washington is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

9. Hampton University

Located in Hampton, Virginia, Hampton University is a historically black university established in 1888.

The university offers PhD programs in Business Administration (61 credit hours), Counselor Education & Supervision (61 credit hours), Educational Management (66 credits), and Nursing (54-60 credit hours).

A DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) program (33 credit hours) is also available.

  • PhD in Business Administration
  • PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision
  • PhD in Educational Management

Hampton U is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

10. Indiana University

Established in 1820, Indiana University is located in Bloomington, Indiana.

The PhD in Nursing Science program (90 credit hours) is delivered 80-99% online in a hybrid, distance-accessible format, with synchronous video-conferencing to provide classroom interaction and two on-campus intensives to interact with peers and faculty.

  • Ph.D. in Nursing Science

Indiana U is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

11. Iowa State University

As the largest university in the state of Iowa, Iowa State University is located in Ames, Iowa and was established in 1856.

The PhD program in Apparel Merchandising and Design is delivered in a hybrid format. It features 1-2 on-campus summer coursework sessions and has a 72-credit-hour requirement to complete the degree.

  • Apparel, Merchandising, and Design – Doctor of Philosophy

Iowa State University  is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

12. Keiser University

Located in West Palm Beach, Florida, Keiser University was established in 1977.

The university offers a flexibly designed Doctor of Business Administration program that is delivered 100% online. Students can benefit from being able to pursue their careers, along with enhancing their educational qualifications. The program is offered at multiple locations in Florida.

  • Business Administration, DBA

Keiser is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

13. Liberty University

Established in 1971, Liberty University is an Evangelical Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia.

The university offers a range of PhD programs in Bible Exposition, Communication, Counselor Education and Supervision, Criminal Justice, Education, Higher Education Administration, History, Nursing-Nursing Education, Psychology, Public Policy, Strategic Media Online.

Most are 100% online, delivered in an 8-week course format.

  • Ph.D. in Bible Exposition
  • Ph.D. in Communication
  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Ph.D. in Criminal Justice
  • Ph.D. in Education
  • Ph.D. in Higher Education Admin
  • Ph.D. in History
  • Ph.D. in Nursing – Nursing Education
  • Ph.D. in Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Public Policy
  • Ph.D. in Strategic Media Online

Liberty is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

14. Medical University of South Carolina

Located in Charleston, South Carolina, the Medical University of South Carolina was established in 1824.

The university’s College of Nursing offers both full-time and part-time PhD in Nursing programs. Both have 52 semester hours of coursework and 9 semester-hours for dissertation requirement and a 3-4-year plan of study. Only 10-12 students are accepted per year.

  • PhD Nursing Science

MUSC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

15. Mississippi State University

Chartered in 1878, Mississippi State University is located adjacent to Starkville, Mississippi.

The university offers PhD programs in Aerospace/Civil Engineering, Community College Leadership, Computational Engineering, Electrical, and Computer Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

Students must complete at least 50 hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree, of which at least 20 are allotted to dissertation research.

  • Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Civil Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Community College Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Computational Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering

Mississippi State University  is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

16. Nova Southeastern University

With its main campus located in Davie, Florida, Nova Southeastern University was established in 1964.

The university offers online PhD programs in Conflict Analysis and Resolution (76 credit hours), Criminal Justice (60 credit hours), Nursing (60 credit hours), and Occupational Therapy (61 credit hours).

The university has 18 schools and colleges that offer 150 different programs, and students can select the appropriate one.

  • Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution
  • Ph.D. in Nursing
  • Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy

Nova Southeastern is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

17. Texas Tech University

Established in 1923, Texas Tech University is located in Lubbock, Texas.

The university offers several online PhD programs across its different schools and colleges, in Curriculum and Instruction (63 credit hours) in three different tracks, Educational Leadership Policy (60 credit hours), Family and Consumer Science Education (72 credit hours), Special Education (90 credit hours), Systems Engineering and Management (72 credit hours), and Technical Communication and Rhetoric (60 credit hours).

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (Track in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (Track in Language, Diversity & Literacy Studies)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (Track in STEM)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership Policy
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Family and Consumer Science Education
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education

Texas Tech is accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

18. University at Buffalo – SUNY

The State University of New York at Buffalo has campuses in Amherst and Buffalo and was founded in 1846. It had several notable alumni on its rolls.

The university offers an online PhD in Information Science (72 credits) with the requirement of a one-week residency per year. Students can complete the course in 4-5 years.

  • Curriculum, Instruction and the Science of Learning, PhD
  • Information Science, PhD

UB – SUNY is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education,

19. University of Alabama

Established in 1820, the University of Alabama is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The Bama By Distance online learning program offers a PhD in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics. The 72-credit-hour programs are designed for aerospace engineers with 5+ years’ experience in the field.

It is delivered primarily online with a campus visit requirement once each semester to meet faculty adviser.

  • PhD in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

UA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

20. University of Arkansas

Located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the University of Arkansas was established in 1871.

It has been judged to have one of the Best Online Programs in Grad Education by U.S. News & World Report . Online doctoral programs offered are Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, Doctor of Education in Human Resource & Workforce Education, Doctor of Education Adult & Lifelong Learning, and Doctor of Nursing Practice.

  • Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Online Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education
  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

UArk is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

21. University of Florida

Founded in 1893, it is located in Gainesville, Florida.

Online PhD programs offered are in Latin & Roman Studies (60 credit hours, with 30 hours of doctoral work on-campus) and Classical Civilization (60 credit-hours with 30 hours of doctoral work on-campus). Written examinations and public defense of the dissertation are required.

  • Classical Civilization (Ph.D.)
  • Latin and Roman Studies (Ph.D.)

UFL is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

22. University of Louisiana at Monroe

Located in Monroe, Louisiana, the University of Louisiana at Monroe was established in 1931.

The university offers an online PhD program in Marriage and Family Therapy with a concentration in Systemic Studies. It consists of 60 semester-units, two years of full-time course-work, and dissertation.

  • PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy with a concentration in Systemic Studies

ULM is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

23. University of Missouri

Located in Columbia, Missouri, the University of Missouri was founded in 1893.

Online PhD programs include a PhD in Agricultural Education & Leadership (72 credit hours, blended delivery mode) and aPhD in Human Environmental Sciences (emphasis architectural studies, 30 credit hours, delivery 100% online).

  • Doctor of philosophy in agricultural education and leadership (PhD)
  • Doctor of philosophy in human environmental sciences with an emphasis in architectural studies (PhD)

Mizzou is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

24. University of Nebraska – Lincoln

The state’s oldest university, it is located in Lincoln, Nebraska and was founded in 1869.

The online blended/hybrid Doctor of Education degree in Educational Studies (specialization: Higher Education & Educational Leadership) has a 90-credit-hour and a short residency requirement.

  • PhD in Educational Studies (90 cr) with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Higher Education

UN – Lincoln is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

25. University of North Dakota

Established in 1883, the University of North Dakota is located in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Online PhD programs are offered in Aerospace Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Energy Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, and Nursing, all requiring 90 credit-hours. Indigenous Health requires 30 credit hours.

  • Aerospace Sciences (Ph.D.)
  • Biomedical Engineering (Ph.D.)
  • Chemical Engineering (Ph.D.)
  • Electrical Engineering (Ph.D.)
  • Energy Engineering (Ph.D.)
  • Environmental Engineering (Ph.D.)
  • Indigenous Health (Ph.D.)
  • Nursing (Ph.D.)
  • Petroleum Engineering (Ph.D.)

UND is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

26. University of South Dakota

Located in Vermilion, South Dakota, the university was founded in 1862.

The online PhD in Health Sciences program is designed for working professionals. It has a 72-credit-hour requirement and is delivered in an online format with limited expectations for face-to-face contact. The residency includes orientation, dissertation boot-camp, and dissertation defense.

  • Online Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences

USD is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

27. University of Southern California

The oldest research university in California, established in 1880, the university is located in Los Angeles, California.

Online doctoral programs include a Doctorate of Social Work, Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, and Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership.

  • Doctorate of Social Work Online
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership online
  • Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership online

The University of Southern California  is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

28. University of Texas at Tyler

Established in 1971, the University of Texas at Tyler is located in Tyler, Texas on a park-like campus on Harvey Lake.

The university offers online PhD programs in Clinical Psychology (99 credit hours), Nursing (60 credit hours), and Human Resource Development (hybrid, 60 credit hours). Scholarships and financial support are available based on eligibility.

  • PhD in Clinical Psychology
  • PhD in Nursing

UTT is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

29. University of the Cumberlands

Established in 1888, this Baptist Christian university is located in Williamsburg, Kentucky.

The online programs include a PhD in Business (66 credit hours), Counselor Education and Supervision (66 credit hours), and Leadership Studies (66 credit hours). Some courses may have online meeting times.

  • online PhD in Business
  • online PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision
  • online PhD in Leadership Studies

UCumberlands is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

30. Virginia Commonwealth University

Located in Richmond, Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University was established in 1838.

The 100% online PhD in Nursing can be taken either on a full or part-time basis. There is a 61 minimum credit hour requirement, and the program is delivered 100% online.

VCU  is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Types of Online PhD Programs

There are as many PhD Programs as there are fields of knowledge. Here are the most popular. Click on one you’re interested in to jump to that section of the page.

Business Administration

Criminal justice, curriculum & instruction, educational leadership, healthcare management, higher education, homeland security, human resources, information technology, management information systems, nurse practitioner (rn required), nursing education (rn required), organizational leadership, project management, public administration, public health, public policy, special education, supply chain and logistics.

A growing number of universities now offer a wide-range of doctoral programs online.

accountant working in the office

A PhD in Accounting focuses on developing skills to complete specialized and original research that can directly contribute or, ultimately, affect the accounting industry.

This degree focuses on giving students advanced knowledge in applied research and accounting theory to make them capable of working in specialized research organizations and higher academic institutions.

A PhD in Accounting is the highest degree in this field, and it usually takes four to seven years to complete. Most online programs for accounting have 60 to 120 credit hours or 20 to 40 classes. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the positions in specialized consulting and government agencies will grow by 4% in over the next 10 years.

business consultants working together on a laptop

Programs for a PhD in Business Administration are designed to prepare students for academic and business careers by developing their knowledge in management, consulting, economics, public administration, and several business-related career paths.

This doctoral degree aims to provide students with a deeper understanding of different business practices, both in theory and application. Having this set of skills can unlock various opportunities in academic institutions, government agencies, and private businesses.

The majority of people who take up this degree usually have years of experience in business and are interested in acquiring advanced knowledge. Younger students can take advantage of this and get a head start in building their network and connection while still studying.

counselor talking to a young couple

People face different challenges that can affect their mental health, which makes the PhD in Counseling one of the most popular doctoral degrees today. Earning this degree can help qualify students to practice clinical counseling and conduct research that can directly affect mental health care services.

It may take up to 10 years to earn a doctoral degree in counseling, but it will depend on the course load, and whether a student is taking up the degree part-time or full-time.

Upon completion, opportunities in both the public and private sectors will be available, and it is expected to steadily grow at 8-25%, depending on the field of specialization, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

female detective working on documents for a case

A PhD in Criminal Justice aims to expose students to rigorous training in criminological research methods, theory, and application.

This program focuses on providing students with a better understanding of research methods and data-driven metrics that they can use to evaluate and develop criminal justice policies.

Programs for PhD in Criminal Justice typically include classes in juvenile justice, social psychology, law enforcement, criminal behavior risk factors, homeland security, and technical leadership. This set of acquired knowledge can help open up different opportunities both in public service and specialized private consultation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that positions for this field will increase by 8% in private service and 5% in protective service.

education curriculum planners having a meeting

A PhD in Curriculum and Instruction is a program that focuses on teaching the dynamics within the educational system.

Students can choose from four concentrations in this field, including Early Childhood Education, Science Education, Mathematics Education, and Social Studies. The concentrations are designed to give students the skills needed to make significant research and contribution to the enhancement of knowledge in their specialized field.

This degree aims to shape students to become highly efficient in discovering, integrating, applying, communicating, and disseminating knowledge. Earning a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction can help students become critically reflective and dedicated to providing practical and theoretical training. This set of skills can open up different opportunities for academic and leadership positions that are available in educational institutions.

education teacher teaching in a university

Earning a PhD in Education is the highest academic achievement that students can get in the field of education.

These programs are designed to provide students with the expertise, skills, and credentials needed to conduct and publish high-level research that can affect college education, classrooms, institutions, and communities.

There are online programs that allow students to earn their doctoral degrees in education, but on-campus learning often offers better networking opportunities that can broaden their connection. Pursuing a PhD in Education requires students to have a master’s degree. This path usually takes at least three years to complete, depending on the course load and transfer credits.

training and development manager having a meeting with colleagues

Excellent education lies in the people who develop the system and the leaders that implement it. A PhD in Educational Leadership can help put scholars in a position that can directly contribute to it.

This degree focuses on providing students with the skills to solve problems and create a positive change in different learning settings and educational institutions.

Instead of practicing hands-on teaching, PhD in Educational Leadership focuses on developing the education system.

It is designed to help students conduct and publish research that can positively affect all learning environments, including pre-K-12, higher education, and even in the corporate sector. This doctoral degree can help make scholars viable candidates for high-paying positions in the academic sector, such as chief academic officer, training and development manager, and chief learning officer.

financial manager talking to a couple

A PhD in Finance is a program for students who want to develop a deeper understanding of behavioral finance, economics, statistics, econometrics, and corporate finance.

Taking up this degree can help equip students with better mathematics skills, analytical thinking, and a deeper foundation in all facets of finance and economics.

Although a bachelor’s or master’s degree will suffice in some positions, getting a PhD in this field can help solidify a student’s position for higher-paying jobs. Armed with a set of highly specialized skills in corporate finance, asset pricing, and portfolio management, students who earn their PhD in Finance have the opportunity to increase their skills in this field.

Healthcare Manager talking to doctors

PhD in Healthcare Management focuses on a wide range of research that can directly affect healthcare services, management, and administration.

Students may tackle subjects regarding the impact of insurance status and policies on medical expenditure, sources of discrepancies in cardiovascular care, and diffusion and adoption of innovations in healthcare.

Doctoral students in the field of healthcare management may have the opportunity to work closely with degree holders and notable professionals in the healthcare sector. There is also usually great exposure to other students with hands-on experience in business, math, social science, and clinically trained professionals. This privilege can help make them more efficient as academic researchers and open up different long-term positions in the education and healthcare sectors.

male professor teaching in a university

A PhD in Higher Education is a program that aims to develop scholars who are capable of conducting original research and have the necessary skills to interpret and communicate it through writing, teaching, and practice.

The research includes theoretical and empirical inputs that can affect post-secondary education policies and practices.

Students who are taking up a PhD in Higher Education need to complete a program that usually includes 60-100 credit hours.

The classes that they tackled in this doctoral degree typically include economics, politics, policies, governance, organization, student affairs, and social foundations of higher education. Students can often complete this degree within four to five years, depending on their course load, and attendance to off-campus classes.

Homeland Security officer standing on his post

A PhD in Homeland Security focuses on classes that provide better understanding and expertise in different research methods, strategic and critical thinking, data analysis, and policies on domestic and international security issues.

Aside from government agencies, these skills are also viable for high-paying jobs in private corporations that deal with security and emergency management.

Professionals who are working in the security service, criminal justice, and emergency preparedness sectors can pursue better career paths by earning their doctoral degree in Homeland Security. This degree can help open up different opportunities in government agencies, and the majority of degree holders find comfortable positions within the Department of Homeland Security.

Human Resources Manager talking to company's employees

PhD in Human Resources is a research-based degree that is designed to allow students to conduct and publish their original work, which can directly affect human resources.

It is a degree that helps students learn advanced skills that they need in the theoretical and empirical application on leadership, management, and administration.

Students who decide to pursue their careers in human resources will usually take four to five years before they can earn a doctoral degree. Throughout their studies, scholars may have the chance to work closely with the faculty while conducting their research, together with professionals in different fields. The coursework usually involves hands-on activities in advanced human resources, helping students solidify their chosen career path.

web developer working on his laptop

A PhD in Information Technology often attracts students who are keen on acquiring advanced knowledge in corporate, economic, business, and organizational implications of information technology. This degree is the highest academic achievement in the field.

It can help provide students with the opportunity to take academic positions in the future. Earning their PhD in IT allows them to pursue teaching jobs at the university-level in information technology subjects, including economics, psychology, management science, organizational behavior, and computer science.

A PhD in Information Technology is a multidisciplinary program that offers concentrations in information science and technology, information systems, software engineering, information security, and digital forensics. This acquired knowledge and skillset can help students become viable candidates in almost every private and public sector.

manager meeting her team

A PhD in management is a research-based specialization that includes advanced learning in accounting, decision theory and analysis, IT and operations management, entrepreneurship, finance, economics, leadership, and marketing.

This degree is one of the two terminal degrees that students often take if they want to pursue an academic career at business schools.

Due to the broad spectrum of study and advanced foundation in fields that are in high demand, both in the private and public sectors, PhD in Management became one of the most popular doctoral degrees. Being exposed to different research on advanced management can help students’ skills and knowledge remain current in their chosen fields.

network administrators checking the data room

Earning a PhD in Management Information Systems is often vital for students who want to pursue a career in economic and organizational management and technical aspects of information systems.

It focuses on research that can help students develop a deeper understanding of the economic and social contexts, together with the impacts of information technology.

This doctoral degree is in the list of STEM Designated Degree Program, which is a list of degrees that are in high demand and receives the utmost attention from academic institutions and the government. Taking up a doctoral degree in Management Information Systems has endless potential and secured positions, with an estimated 1.2 million job openings.

nurse checking patient's vital signs during operation

A doctoral degree is one of the two terminal degrees for nurse practitioners. It is a research-based degree that covers nursing methodologies and faculty development, including theoretical and empirical applications in nursing science.

This degree usually involves minimal clinical work, and students typically work closely with faculty to conduct their research.

A PhD in Nurse Practitioner requires a master’s degree and usually requires about 60 to 80 credit hours. It typically takes four to six years to complete and can be affected by the student’s course load. Upon completion of this doctoral degree, students often take positions as nursing researchers, nursing faculty, and health policy development officers.

healthcare professionals in a meeting

PhD in Nursing Education is a degree that aims to create scholars who are responsible for improving and innovating education for nurses.

It is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of educational development, strategies, and research to continuously innovate nursing science and leadership to be efficient in practicing the discipline of nursing.

It also covers other curricular and research resources from various disciplines that can have an impact on nursing science. This vast acquired knowledge in different fields can help students tackle positions in nursing faculties in both the education and healthcare sectors. It usually takes at least three years for students to earn their PhD in Nursing Education.

team of professionals in a meeting

The effectiveness of any organization lies in the leadership that manages it. Students who want to gain a better understanding of the theoretical and empirical applications of leadership should consider taking a PhD in Organizational Leadership.

This degree is often taken by professionals who are already familiar with their industry but lack leadership skills to lead a team and execute strategic plans on different projects.

Earning a PhD in Organizational Leadership can help amplify students’ current skill set and allow them to make an impact on their organization. This degree is designed to teach them how they can effectively build and manage teams for corporate and nonprofit organizations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job positions for leadership roles will grow by 7% for the next 10 years.

Project Manager collaborating with her team for a project

A PhD in Project Management is a program that focuses on creating scholars who deeply understand different subjects related to organizational efficiency and business management.

This degree is designed to provide students with skills that can help them manage teams, plan, coordinate, and create budgets for different projects.

Students who are taking up a PhD in Project Management typically select their concentration from program and portfolio management, project-based strategic leadership, risk and quality management, and life-cycle and performance management. Acquired knowledge in these concentrations can help students become viable candidates for different high paying positions, both in corporate organizations and government agencies.

psychologist talking to a patient in her office

PhD in Psychology is a program that focuses on the study and research of the entire mental health spectrum. It covers a wide range of research and practice areas, which includes counseling, therapy, social work, and even education.

It is the ultimate pursuit of academic excellence in the field of Psychology and can help students pursue careers that allow them to practice the profession or provide specialized consulting services.

Earning a PhD in Psychology usually takes four to eight years, and it depends on whether the students take the course part-time or full-time. The programs often have at least three full academic years and one year of internship for APA accreditation.

administrative assistant working on her computer

A PhD in Public Administration is the highest applied-research degree that students can take in the field. Scholars in this field are typically required to complete a dissertation, which can contribute, improve, or innovate the practice of public administration, both theoretically and empirically.

The goal of the program is to expose scholars to significant research in their careers, whether in academic, government or other work settings.

This degree can help students acquire advanced knowledge in the legal, political, and ethical practices in public administration. It can also help students develop a deeper understanding of the administrative functions of government agencies, together with the expertise in strategic planning, program implementation, advanced management techniques, and result-based leadership.

medical professor teaching in a university

A PhD in Public Health is a program that aims to provide scholars with advanced critical thinking and assessment skills. These skills can help them learn how to assess needs, analyze barriers, and create a positive impact on the practice of public health.

Pursuing this degree can help scholars acquire a better understanding of population-based theoretical research that can lead to the prevention of diseases and disabilities.

Students earning their doctoral degrees in public health can work on the skills they need to be efficient in biostatistics, epidemiology, or public health research.

Most of these fields require students to lead and use professional communication to inform and educate the public regarding critical issues in health. Faculty member, professor, and post-doctoral fellow are other high-demand positions that students can pursue as a degree holder in public health.

policy analysts working together in a laptop

A PhD in Public Policy is a degree that focuses on developing leaders equipped with a deeper understanding of research, ethics, public policy theory, and global practice.

In essence, it is a career path that students often take if they want to develop sustainable solutions that can have a positive impact on the quality of life.

Taking up a doctoral degree in Public Policy can help students tackle leadership concepts and theories, analysis of evidence-based research, and develop methods that streamline the processes of public and nonprofit policies. These skills can help them become viable candidates for positions such as senior public executives, policy analysts, or offer specialized consulting services.

school principal checking student's attendance for a field trip

The PhD in Special Education is the highest level of research-based degree in the field. This degree is designed to help students develop new pedagogical approaches and concepts that can improve the quality of education for differently-abled children.

Earning a doctoral degree in special education can also expose students to various educational courses that can help them become efficient in providing quality education to tomorrow’s teachers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the positions available for doctoral degree holders in special education will grow by as much as 6% over the next 10 years. These positions include education directors, curriculum developers, school principals, childcare administrators, and superintendents.

Logistics manager checking inventory in a warehouse

PhD in Logistics is a program designed to expose students to extensive study in theories, logistics, strategies, and application of supply chain management. It can help students learn all aspects of managing and operating the supply chain, which affects the production and distribution of a product.

The courses that students typically tackle in this degree include the concepts of demand and relationship management, forecasting, inventory, purchasing, and assembly.

This degree can help students develop a deeper understanding of the logistical systems, supply chain technology, research methods, and transportation economics. Being knowledgeable in the development, manufacturing, and logistics of products can help open up different high paying positions in product-based corporations. It is potentially one of the highest paying doctoral degrees and usually provides much room for growth and development.

What Are the Highest Paying Doctoral Degrees?

Highest Paying Doctoral Degrees

Earning a doctoral degree can help scholars build a deeper foundation in their chosen field and open up better career paths. Although getting a PhD almost guarantees a better position, some doctoral degrees are more rewarding.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following careers and average salaries represent the top 10% of wage earners in their respective fields:

Factors that may raise or lower your salary, besides your level of education, include your experience, the industry in which you work, and your location.

Salary Increase

One of the most rewarding benefits of earning a graduate degree is the potential to increase your salary. The U.S. Census Bureau found that over the course of a person’s lifetime, someone with a doctoral degree earns $3.4 million on average.

Compare that with someone with a bachelor’s degree, who earns $2.1 million on average over the course of their lifetime. Earning an accelerated PhD could mean earning more than $1 million more.

Not all doctorates will bring in the same salary increase. LinkedIn indicates that people with PhD’s who work in the fields of Science and Engineering usually see the best pay overall. For example, the top 10% of medical scientists make, on average, close to $160,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bottom 10% make just over $40,000 per year.

The primary difference between the top 10% and the bottom 10% is education level and experience. PhD holders in the sciences typically make much more money than those who only hold their bachelor’s or master’s degree.

What Are the Most Popular Doctorate Degrees?

Most Popular Doctorate Degrees

The highest paying doctoral degrees are not always the most rewarding path. Taking up a popular degree, for example, can expose students to more people, and some of them may have years of experience in their chosen field.

Having this academic setting may help students to improve their existing network and might unlock several high-paying positions that seek the specialization that they have.

Which PhD program you choose should depend on your interests and overall job satisfaction, not the potential salary level alone.

Intellectual Curiosity

Many people pursue their PhD because of their intellectual curiosity and desire to learn. For fields that don’t report a significant pay increase over a master’s or bachelor’s degree (like the humanities), PhD holders often spend the years it takes earning their degree for personal fulfillment and ambition. Sometimes that payoff is enough.

If you’re interested in pursuing your PhD for these reasons, there are many accelerated PhD programs available online to help your dream of being called “Doctor” one day come true. Some people even earn a PhD in a field unrelated to their primary career because of their love for learning and their desire to pursue other topics and subjects.

Careers that Require a PhD

Careers that Require a PhD

There are a handful of careers that require a PhD before you’ll even be considered for the job. This is because the training required to perform well at these jobs is only available through doctoral level programs. Most people obtain their PhD because they have their eye on these specific jobs. The following careers are usually only attainable to people who hold PhD’s:

  • Psychologist
  • Higher Education Administration (President, Dean, etc.)
  • Prestigious Appointments on Corporate and Federal Boards

Many careers and fields, however, still highly value someone who holds a PhD even if it’s not required to perform the job. These are common career fields that look to doctorate holders to lead and innovate:

  • Healthcare (Nursing and Public Health/Policy)
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Neuroscience)
  • Engineering

The reality is that most people who hold a doctorate often automatically receive more respect and reverence than those who don’t. It’s a prestigious degree that only about one percent of the population holds. Many of the most respected intellectuals and leaders of corporations and organizations have a doctoral degree because of this reason.

Some universities even offer a doctorate degree online no dissertation requirement for students who prefer not to spend the extra time required to complete a dissertation.

Even if your field doesn’t require a doctorate, it may be beneficial to your advancement in your field, a potential salary increase, and your own personal ambitions of holding one of the most prestigious degrees available.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Doctorate Degree?

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Doctorate Degree

There are two major types of doctoral degrees that students can earn; research-based and professional application. Both degrees require them to have a master’s degree, and if they already have one, it usually takes four to six years on average to earn their PhD.

On the other hand, students who are pursuing doctoral degrees part-time may take up to 10 years.

The time they need to complete a doctoral degree will depend on the program design and the area of specialization that they are taking. PhD programs usually require students to take 60 to 120 credit hours or about 20 to 40 classes.

However, some programs are streamlined and accelerated to help them earn their doctoral degree faster. If you have a tight schedule, then part time PhD programs are another option instead of accelerated programs.

Those who are pursuing a doctoral degree full-time can look for programs that have creative credit transfers, which can help them get their PhD within three years. These programs typically offer minimal on-campus obligations, giving scholars better flexibility in earning their degrees.

How to Accelerate Your Online PhD

PhD student studying on her laptop

Whether you’re searching for 1 year online doctoral programs or for a way to finish in 2 years, you may be able to accelerate the path to your doctorate.

Since you’ll already be expected to have completed a good amount of previous college training, there aren’t as many ways to accelerate a PhD as there are an associate, bachelor, or master’s degree. There are many accelerated PhD programs, however, that can help you move straight through a bachelor’s degree to a PhD.

In other words, you can apply to begin a bachelor’s degree with a program with the commitment and intention of following all the way through to a PhD as the final earned degree. These programs are designed so that you can earn your bachelor’s degree along the way and complete your PhD in as little as six years (including all the work you had to do towards the bachelor’s degree).

Most PhD programs take much longer than this, so this can be a great way to accelerate your degree. Alternatively, some programs award a terminal master’s degree as part of the PhD program.

If you don’t finish all the requirements for your PhD, you may still walk away with a master’s degree in your field, all of your work not having gone to waste.

Some accelerated PhD options online include accelerated courses as well. These courses can help you complete more credit hours in less amount of time and are great when you have some extra time to spare in your schedule.

They might not be as prevalent as accelerated courses at the undergraduate level, but many graduate programs online offer them as well. They are worth looking into if you’re itching to complete your degree quickly.

Advantages of Accelerated PhD Programs

Advantages of Accelerated PhD Programs

Many traditional PhD programs can take a long time to complete. In fact, many programs allow students upwards of 10 years or more to complete all requirements of their degree, knowing that some students get stalled in the research and writing process.

Sometimes, having too much time to complete a degree can be detrimental to your progress and completion of that degree, especially when it comes to such an advanced degree like a PhD. Enrolling in an accelerated PhD program can encourage you to stay on track with your studies and finish within a reasonable time.

Just because you’ll be completing your doctorate online and in an accelerated format doesn’t mean the rigor or intensity of the program will be less. In fact, because you’ll probably be doing it in less time, it may be more. Most programs require a dissertation or large research project as a capstone to fulfilling the degree requirements.

Many PhD programs also require lengthy and difficult tests before they will allow students to advance to candidacy. Online degrees are not much different in regards to these expectations.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the attrition rate for PhD programs is only 50%, which means that only one out of two people who begin a PhD program actually finish their degree.

It’s a sobering statistic, but it attests to the fact that a PhD is not a degree you can earn overnight. Even in an accelerated format, a doctorate takes time, effort, and dedication.

Since many people go back for their PhD’s after having already started a career in their field, choosing an accelerated PhD format might allow you to remain in your career while completing your degree. This is another benefit to completing a degree online rather than having to commute somewhere each week to complete coursework.

Finally and perhaps an overlooked advantage of these programs is that you’ll have the opportunity to network with people from across the nation. If getting a PhD means a potential climb up the ladder in your field, the rewards of moving for a job are probably worth it to you.

What better way to learn about job openings and potentials than in your online classes? Most jobs are advertised through word of mouth, so working with people from different regions and locations from where you are might open your eyes to an opportunity you never knew was there.

Getting a PhD is a serious commitment and not something you should decide on a whim to do. It can be tiring and stressful, but so very rewarding. If you complete your PhD, you’ll be one of only a small percentage of Americans who have one, and the job opportunities for you to do what you really love will most likely increase.

Accelerated PhD’s are convenient and can help you actualize your goals of earning the highest degree you can earn in your field.

Accreditation for an Online PhD Program

logos of six regional boards

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation or CHEA reviews regional accrediting bodies to ensure that students receive the highest standard of education that meets local demands. In turn, these accrediting bodies evaluate academic institutions or online programs within the institution.

This process aims to regulate and ensure that the quality of education is current, practical, and is following the curriculum requirements in PhD programs.

Regional accreditation evaluates the learning process in different online programs, ensuring that students are spending money on education that employers will recognize. Look for accreditation from one of these regional boards:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Regional accreditation of a program act as a guarantee of the value of the diploma that students receive upon completion of their course.

Financial Aid for PhD Students

screenshot of the FAFSA pdf

On average, a PhD program costs $18,000, and taking up a five-year plan will cost at least $90,000. This amount is on top of the living expenses that students need to tank when pursuing their doctoral degrees.

However, there are different financial aids that they can pursue to fund their studies and earn their postgraduate degrees without going into debt.

Here are the types of financial aids that may be available for PhD students:

  • Scholarships are the most common merit-based financial aid that students can receive. These programs can help in covering the cost of tuition and other fees that are related to earning their doctoral degrees.
  • Grants are similar to scholarships, but it is for students with the need for financial assistance. Students who want to apply for grants will have to go through different evaluations to be eligible for it.
  • Fellowships are programs that can provide financial aid to students who are pursuing doctoral degrees. These aids often cover the full tuition, together with a yearly stipend that students can use to cover other expenses related to earning their degrees.

You can find out what you qualify for at the federal level by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) .

Questions Related to Earning a PhD Online

Here are our answers to a few more questions you might have.

Can I Get My PhD Online?

Yes, it is possible to get a PhD from online programs. These programs receive regular innovations up to the point that it became the most attractive method of earning a PhD.

Today, there are 205 accredited academic institutions in the United States offering thousands of online programs that help students get their doctoral degrees.

Are Online PhD Programs Credible?

Yes, earning a PhD from online programs is a recognized achievement by employers. However, the credibility of this degree depends on the accreditation of the institution where students received it.

Regional accreditation is the process of evaluating academic institutions to ensure that students will complete a program that follows the strict guidelines and curriculum requirements of CHEA.

How Much Do Online PhD Programs Cost?

The cost of taking up online PhD programs will vary on the specialization that students want to take. On average, earning a PhD from online programs costs $4,000 to $20,000, and this amount includes the expenses for registration, books, and online coaching.

Taking a five-year plan, which is the average for most PhD courses, typically costs $20,000 to $100,000.

What Are the Best Online PhD Programs?

The best online PhD programs are those that lead you to a balance of a career you enjoy and the salary you’re comfortable with. This balance will depend on your interests.

Online learning offers a wide range of benefits, including flexibility in scheduling and defining the learning pace that is comfortable for students. However, not all online programs are made equal.

Scholars can find the PhD courses best suited for them by checking the rates, courses that they will take, the size of the classes, and regional accreditation from organizations that CHEA recognizes in evaluating PhD programs.

Is PhD Worth It?

graduating PhD student

Yes, a PhD is worth it for many students. A PhD is the highest academic achievement that any student can get, and may give a significant boost in the career path that they choose. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some careers “with an advanced degree, particularly a Ph.D., are expected to have the best opportunities.”

Acquiring advanced knowledge and highly-specialized skills in their field can help students become viable candidates in different high-paying positions. The unemployment rate for doctoral degree holders is only 1.1%, as opposed to 2% for master’s degree holders.

Universities are continuously innovating their PhD programs, making it easier for students to earn their diplomas without compromising the quality of education. With these programs, students can apply to an online PhD program and start pursuing a better career path with minimal on-campus obligations.

how to buy a phd

Best Accredited Online Ph.D. Programs 2024

Erin Treder

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Person in college

A Ph.D., or doctor of philosophy, is the highest level of academic degree that you can attain. Consisting primarily of research, a Ph.D. prepares you for a career in academia or research in the field you study.

Students who choose to pursue a Ph.D. online will find it can be completed in less time. Online students also get the added benefit of being able to complete their work from the comfort of home. The overall cost may also be less compared to an in-person program.

We’ve compiled a list of the best accredited online Ph.D. programs to help you start your search.

Top Schools for Online Accredited Ph.D. Programs

Capitol technology university.

  • Campus + Online
  • In-State $25,830
  • Out-of-state $25,830
  • Retention Rate 75%
  • Acceptance Rate 47%
  • Students Enrolled 796
  • Institution Type Private
  • Percent Online Enrollment 98%
  • Accreditation Yes

Clemson University

  • In-State $14,118
  • Out-of-state $37,110
  • Retention Rate 94%
  • Acceptance Rate 49%
  • Students Enrolled 27,341
  • Institution Type Public
  • Percent Online Enrollment 49%

Keiser University

  • In-State $20,800
  • Out-of-state $20,800
  • Retention Rate 72%
  • Acceptance Rate 96%
  • Students Enrolled 19,861
  • Percent Online Enrollment 50%

Mississippi State University

  • In-State $9,110
  • Out-of-state $24,790
  • Retention Rate 81%
  • Acceptance Rate 76%
  • Students Enrolled 23,086
  • Percent Online Enrollment 43%

Nova Southeastern University

  • In-State $33,510
  • Out-of-state $33,510
  • Retention Rate 78%
  • Acceptance Rate 93%
  • Students Enrolled 20,898
  • Percent Online Enrollment 52%

Old Dominion University

  • In-State $7,029
  • Out-of-state $26,664
  • Students Enrolled 23,494
  • Percent Online Enrollment 76%

Saybrook University

  • In-State $0
  • Out-of-state $0
  • Retention Rate 0%
  • Acceptance Rate 0%
  • Students Enrolled 915
  • Percent Online Enrollment 100%

Texas Tech University

  • In-State $8,935
  • Out-of-state $21,204
  • Retention Rate 85%
  • Acceptance Rate 68%
  • Students Enrolled 40,542
  • Percent Online Enrollment 68%

How We Rank Schools

Accredited Schools Online uses a custom ranking system to evaluate schools on their quality, affordability, and reputation.

We rank schools using factors like graduation rate, admission rate, tuition costs, financial aid, and program offerings. All our ranked schools hold institutional accreditation .

For this page, we created a directory of online accredited Ph.D. programs that meet our criteria. The list is organized alphabetically rather than ranked.

Learn more about how we create school rankings on our methodology page .

Are Online Ph.D. Programs Worth It?

An online Ph.D. program is an ideal choice if you want to balance your career and family responsibilities along with your education.

While there are some preconceived notions that online programs aren’t legitimate, as long as the program you choose is accredited, the degree is the same as one earned in person.

While the annual tuition cost to earn a Ph.D. online averages $12,596 for a public institution and $28,017 for a private university, doctoral graduates enjoy a lower unemployment rate and higher weekly salary than those with less education, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Did You Know…

  • lowest unemployment rates at 1.6%.
  • In 2019, research found that 39.8% of graduate students were enrolled in online learning.
  • The number of doctorates awarded between 2020 and 2021 dropped by 5.4%.
  • Not all Ph.D.-holders end up working in academia.

Does Accreditation Matter for Online Ph.D. Programs?

A college is accredited after being recognized by an independent institution that verifies the school’s courses and programs meet set quality standards.

The school you choose must be accredited in order for your Ph.D. to be recognized by employers , earn professional licensures, and qualify you for federal financial aid.

Legitimate accreditors are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

How Much Does an Online Ph.D. Cost?

In general, you can expect to pay around $13,000-$30,000 per year in tuition and fees for your online Ph.D.

Several factors affect how much your Ph.D. program will cost, including:

  • Whether the program is fully funded
  • Whether your school is public or private
  • Whether you’re an in-state or out-of-state student
  • How long your program lasts (most Ph.D. programs take 5-7 years to complete)
  • How much financial aid you get

While many in-person and online doctoral programs in the U.S. are fully funded, these tend to be highly competitive.

One way to save money on your online Ph.D. is to attend a program that offers in-state tuition to residents. Make sure you submit the FAFSA each year so you can secure federal financial aid .

You may also need to budget for occasional travel to and from campus and research sites, especially as you work on your dissertation.

What’s the Difference Between a Ph.D. and a Doctorate?

While a Ph.D. and a doctoral degree, or doctorate, both signify the same level of education completed, their uses are different.

Doctorate is the broader term — a Ph.D. is a type of doctorate. Specifically, a Ph.D. is an academic degree that prepares you for a career in research or teaching in your field of study (such as science, English, or economics).

Besides a Ph.D., other types of doctorates include a doctor of medicine (MD), a doctor of education (Ed.D.), and a doctor of psychology (Psy.D.). These degrees are typically used in either an academic or professional setting.

Online Ph.D. Programs That Don’t Require a Dissertation

A dissertation is a final written project culminating in a student’s original research at the end of their Ph.D. program. A dissertation is typically presented and defended by its author. It’s typically required for degrees with an academic or research focus.

Not all Ph.D. programs require a dissertation. For example, some Ph.D. programs in humanities, education, business administration, and criminal justice require simple or no dissertations for a quicker completion time .

What Jobs Can You Get After Earning an Online Ph.D.?

Once you finish your online doctoral program, you can explore a variety of career paths both within and outside academia.

Many Ph.D. graduates, especially those who studied the humanities, go on to become professors. Other popular roles include administrator, scientist, and psychologist.

Graduates of online Ph.D. programs earn a relatively high average base salary of $108,000 a year, according to Payscale .

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Ph.D. Programs

What is the quickest ph.d. to get.

The quickest Ph.D. to earn are those that award professional degrees and don’t require extensive research projects or dissertations at completion. These Ph.D. programs can include accounting, business, education, and media.

To finish your degree faster, you can also look for accelerated programs that quicken the pace of a program and shorten the time it takes to complete.

Are online doctoral programs legit?

If the online doctoral program is accredited, it is legitimate. Accreditation ensures that the program meets the rigorous educational standards of other comparative doctoral programs.

With accreditation, employers and other institutions of higher learning will recognize your degree. As more universities turn toward online programs to serve a more diverse student population, there are a growing number of legitimate, accredited online Ph.D. programs.

How long are online Ph.D. programs?

Online Ph.D. programs, like any other doctoral program, can vary in length but typically take 5-7 years to complete. A doctoral degree balances coursework with research. Usually, students must meet a certain number of course requirements before they can start original research.

While coursework may take only a year or two, writing a dissertation that meets the program requirements varies from candidate to candidate.

Can I earn my Ph.D. entirely online?

Yes, many accredited colleges and universities offer 100% online Ph.D. programs. That said, some programs may require on-campus experiences, such as library research and a dissertation defense.

What do employers think of online doctoral programs?

It takes a high level of discipline and persistence to obtain a graduate degree, no matter the context. Most employers will recognize and value the hard work it takes to get a Ph.D., whether you completed your doctorate online or in person.

Make sure you research potential programs. If you’re attending an accredited, well-regarded school, employers will value your online Ph.D. just as much as a traditional one.

Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by Accredited Schools Online. Page last reviewed November 20, 2023.

Best Accredited Online Ph.D. Programs 2024

Online Ph.D. programs provide students with flexible schedules and affordable tuition. Check out the top-ranked programs in this comprehensive guide.

Best Accredited Online Master’s Programs 2024

Best Accredited Online Master’s Programs 2024

Best Accredited Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs 2024

Best Accredited Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs 2024

Shape your future with an online degree.

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Purdue University

  • Doctorate Degrees

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Didn't find what you were looking for.

An online doctoral degree can help you gain advanced knowledge and specialized expertise to further your career. Earning an online doctoral degree from an institution within the Purdue University system provides you access to a world-class education, with the flexibility and convenience of anytime, anywhere learning. Prepare to perform at the highest levels of your profession with an online doctorate from a prestigious institution within the Purdue University system.

Choose a degree level below to see the programs we have to offer.

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Doctoral Degree Programs

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Purdue University West Lafayette is a Top 10 public university with online and hybrid programs.

The PhD program in educational leadership develops leaders for the schools of Indiana and the nation. The West Lafayette program offers preparation in educational leadership for PK-12 schools and school districts.

  • Total Credits:  90
  • Aug 19, 2024

Gain an understanding of the administrative, political, financial, legal and sociocultural aspects of higher education and prepare to become a change agent in institutions of postsecondary education.

The Doctor of Technology will help you apply heightened technical and conceptual understandings of technology, research and development as you work to develop strategies to advance within your career.

  • Jan 13, 2025
  • May 5, 2025

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Purdue Global is Purdue’s online university for working adults, offering 175+ programs, including degrees, concentrations, certificates, and micro-credentials.

Develop educational leadership and research skills to become a changemaker in the field of education. Explore innovative instruction, education policy, diversity, equity, inclusion, and more.

  • Jul 3, 2024
  • Sep 18, 2024
  • Dec 4, 2024

Prepare to drive change and address challenges in fields related to health, health care, and public health. The program focuses on professional practice and allows you to personalize your degree with health science micro-credentials.

  • Total Credits:  88

Want the advanced knowledge and skills of a lawyer but don't want to practice law? Build the legal expertise needed to make an impact in health care, IT, business, finance, criminal justice, education, and other professions.

  • Total Credits:  72
  • Aug 28, 2024

If your goal is to become a licensed attorney, consider Purdue Global Law School's Juris Doctor (JD) program. JD graduates meet the legal education requirement of the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California.

  • Total Credits:  92

Complete the DNP online and earn a valuable health care credential while you continue to work. Deepen your specialty practice through practicums focused on quality improvement and population health.

  • Total Credits:  50

Purdue University Northwest

Purdue University Northwest offers nationally ranked online programs through the College of Nursing and an MS in Technology degree.

Graduates from the Doctor of Nursing Practice program will acquire the knowledge to allow them to plan, manage and deliver cost-effective, evidence based care to improve evidence-based healthcare.

  • Total Credits:  38 - 43
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How to Get a PhD

Last Updated: May 20, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Carrie Adkins, PhD . Carrie Adkins is the cofounder of NursingClio, an open access, peer-reviewed, collaborative blog that connects historical scholarship to current issues in gender and medicine. She completed her PhD in American History at the University of Oregon in 2013. While completing her PhD, she earned numerous competitive research grants, teaching fellowships, and writing awards. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 690,507 times.

A PhD, short for Doctor of Philosophy, may help you secure a position as a college or university professor, a researcher in a government or industrial laboratory, a consultant, or an independent practitioner. [1] X Research source If you have the curiosity to explore a subject in depth and the tenacity to do so for many years, applying for a graduate PhD program may be an excellent step in reaching your full potential. By learning the steps necessary to complete your prerequisite education, apply to graduate schools, and complete the work, you'll be well on your way.

Completing Prerequisite Education

Step 1 Complete an undergraduate degree in a broad field.

  • Generally, it's recommended that students interested in pursuing advanced degrees should develop a wide skill-base during their undergrad. In other words, while you may ultimately be interested in studying Zoology, an undergrad degree in basic Biology might provide you with a diverse base that you'll be able to narrow in your future studies.
  • Many universities offer majors designed to funnel you into an advanced degree. Pre-law majors and Pre-med majors are two notable examples of this. Talk to your academic advisor about your interest in pursuing a PhD after you graduate, if you've yet to select a major.

Step 2 Develop a close relationship with at least one faculty member.

  • A good way to develop a relationship with a professor is to take multiple classes with her and join her lab, or research team. Go to office hours, introduce yourself, and express your interest in advanced degree work. Most professors are more than happy to work with a talented student who shows a sincere interest in their work.
  • It's also a good idea to forge relationships with graduate students at your school. Speak to graduate students and faculty about their experiences at the school, even if you plan on going elsewhere for your advanced degree. Many will be happy to let you know about the advantages and disadvantages of studying for and obtaining a Ph.D. It can be a great way to get insider information and get ahead of the game.

Step 3 Obtain experience in the field with a research internship.

  • Work-study programs in your field of interest can also be extremely attractive of graduate applications. If you're studying English, try to secure employment in the Writing Lab, rather than the cafeteria to give yourself an edge and valuable experience.

Step 4 Make contacts in your field.

  • National and regional conferences, such as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), allow dedicated undergrads the opportunity to rub elbows with experts and contribute to the discussion.

Step 5 Start researching graduate programs in your junior year.

  • Look for programs with a good reputation, but give more weight to the faculty and the research interests of the other graduate students at prospective schools. What you're looking for in an advanced degree program is camaraderie and common ground, not an arbitrary ranking on some "prestigious" list.
  • The applications are expensive--sometimes $50 or $80 dollars each--so you won't be able to apply to all programs. Try to select a range of programs to apply to: choose a few big dream schools with great facilities and prestigious faculty and lots of competition to see if you can't get in. Apply to smaller programs that you'd also be happy attending. Apply to as many as you can afford to give yourself the best chance.
  • For some fields, a master's degree will be a more appropriate subsidiary or even terminal degree. At worst, a master's degree can be an excellent primer for the graduate school life, especially if teaching assistantships or fellowships are available.

Applying to Graduate Programs

Step 1 Take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) general or subject test

  • While most Master's programs only require the general test, which is like an advanced version of the SAT, some Ph.D programs will require that you take the subject test, which is given in several sections, including biology, literature, and other fields. It's a much more difficult test than the general--the reading list for the Subject test in lit is several hundred authors from a variety of periods. Make sure you take the correct test for the program to which you're applying. [5] X Research source
  • Schedule your test early in the application season, to give yourself enough time to retake it, if necessary. The test can be somewhat expensive, more than $100, so start studying now with a good-quality commercial study guide.
  • When you arrive for the test, you can arrange to have your scores sent directly to the graduate programs you'll be applying to. This has the advantage of cutting out an extra step in your application process, but also ensures that the school will see your scores, good or bad. If you're worried about your score, arrange to have them sent to you instead.

Step 2 Secure letters of recommendation from people familiar with your work.

  • It's important to ask for these letters as early as possible, preferably at least 3 months before you need to submit your applications. Professors will be inundated with letter-writing requests at the last minute, increasing the possibility of them writing a poor evaluation. Don't be one of those students.

Carrie Adkins, PhD

Carrie Adkins, PhD

" Ask well in advance, and supply any materials that might help them ," adds Carrie Adkins, PhD in History. "Professors can only write so many thorough, detailed letters of recommendation, so if you help them out by asking a month or two before the deadline and providing them with your CV and statement of purpose, you’ll be more likely to get their best efforts ."

Step 3 Write a statement of purpose.

  • If you're planning on applying to lots of schools, it can be a time-saver to write a "form" version of your letter, allowing space to customize the letter for more specific programs. It's very important to tailor each statement of purpose to the particular program to which you're applying. This demonstrates your seriousness and interest in the school. Each letter should read as if you're only interested in studying at that school.

Step 4 Assemble your application packets and submit them by the deadline.

  • a completed application form
  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume
  • Recent GRE scores
  • Statement of Purpose
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (for international students)
  • 2-3 Letters of Recommendation

Step 5 Apply for teaching or research assistantships.

  • Applying for financial aid will often involve supplementary application materials, like a teaching statement, research statement, or other short writing prompts. Research the specific requirements at each university for specific instructions when applying for financial aid.
  • If full funding isn't an option, consider applying for need-based scholarships. Often, these are available to minority applicants or students in financial straits. Likewise, the application fee can often be waived. Contact individual departments when you're applying to check about need-based application waivers.

Completing Your Degree

Step 1 Choose a major professor and committee.

  • Choose people who you can work with, and who share a common research interest, as well as people you get along with personally. Personal differences often pop up during these kinds of working relationships, making it important to avoid them in the beginning.
  • Your proposed academic advisor/research supervisor should ideally be named in your statement of purpose, with the reasons you want to work with that person. Those reasons should show that you know something about that person's background and why he or she would make an effective advisor.

Step 2 Submit a plan of study.

  • The names and signatures of your committee members , the program director, and the student. You'll also need your student ID number and other personal information.
  • A brief statement of your academic and research goals . This will typically be a super-condensed version of your research question or thesis statement, probably no more than 50-100 words.
  • A list of the required courses you'll take over the next two years, listing course number, title, department, and instructor, as well as the semester you intend to take the course. Most programs require around 12 hours of required coursework for an advanced degree.
  • A list of the elective courses you'll take , with corresponding course numbers, titles, departments, and instructors, as well as the semester you intend to take the course. Most programs require somewhere between 20 and 30 elective hours for an advanced degree.
  • Dissertation hours . When you've passed your preliminary examinations, your coursework will change to independent research and dissertation work, but you'll still be registered for a course with a course number and a particular number of credit hours, with your major professor or thesis chair as the instructor. This information will also need to be included on the plan of study form.

Step 3 Complete the requisite coursework.

  • In graduate school, the course load is usually somewhat less than the undergraduate degree, because of the intensity of the coursework and other research or teaching responsibilities. A "full load" is usually considered 6 or 9 hours, though you'll be doing 20 or more hours of teaching or research in a given week. [6] X Research source
  • For a PhD student, a typical coursework semester might involve three courses: a required core class and two elective courses. Typically, elective courses will still be in the department the student is studying, if not the particular program. For example, a comparative lit PhD studying Medieval literature may take a 20th century poetry course in the English department as an elective, though probably not a biology class.

Step 4 Complete your written examination.

  • The written examination, sometimes called the "prelim," will typically be submitted to the department chair by your major professor, then administered to you toward the end of your second year of classes. When you pass the exam, you'll be considered "Post-Prelim" and may begin the process of completing your dissertation. [7] X Research source

Step 5 Begin performing research and collecting data.

  • Start with a research question. A research question is what you'll hope to answer over the course of your dissertation research. It needs to be narrow, but with broad-reaching implications. A starting research question might be something like, "How are women represented during the silver age of American comic book publishing?" or "What are the implications of spontaneous genetic mutation during breeding in drosophila, and what effect might this have on cancer research?"

Step 6 Explore the literature in your research field.

  • As you complete your coursework and add complexity to the topic in which you're interested, you'll likely change and add depth to your initial research interest. That's fine. Let the research grow your understanding of the topic, and change the way you approach it. That means you're on the right track.

Step 8 Prepare a doctoral dissertation/thesis

  • In the humanities , several semesters following your coursework and preliminary examination will be devoted to completing the research involved with your interests. During this time, you'll be expected to periodically update your committee on your progress, providing them with literature reviews and outlines, depending on your arrangement. You may also be expected to publish supplementary papers periodically in academic journals.
  • In the sciences , you'll spend your post-prelim semesters doing lab work, or other field work depending on your field of study. The time will be spent collecting data and performing experiments to move your research forward, to be collected in the dissertation, and probably published in peer-reviewed journals.

Step 9 Prepare for the oral defense of your dissertation

  • Most "defenses" are cordial affairs, not debates, though you should expect to be pressed and argued with regarding your methods, your conclusions, and other aspects of your work. The best way to prepare for your defense is to know your dissertation and your research inside and out.
  • At a successful defense, you'll need to present yourself and your work well both orally and in writing to earn recognition as a PhD candidate and a researcher. Practice delivering your main point quickly and your overall presentation or paper with confidence.

Funding Your Research

Step 1 Apply for departmental grants or additional appointments.

  • In the hard sciences , money is allocated to provide different labs, projects, and individuals money on a competitive case-by-case basis. To apply, you'll typically write a detailed proposal of your research goals and submit it to the department.
  • In the humanities , it's also common to seek subsequent teaching appointments in tangential fields: if your research involves the representation of women in comic books, and you've been teaching in the English department, why not pick up a special-topics course in Women's Studies?

Step 2 Apply for private research grants.

Surviving the Process

Step 1 Avoid petty competition and departmental rivalry.

  • Don't Try to do everything at once. Because you will spend several years to earn your doctorate, it's important to slow down and do everything with the attention to detail the process deserves. You don't want to get your dissertation hung up because of a silly documentation error you rushed through.

Step 3 Be tenacious and display initiative.

  • During the time you spend working on your doctorate, you'll face a variety of challenges. The lab's funding may be cut. You may lose grant money. Your paper may get rejected from a conference. Fail early and fail often. Create opportunities for yourself and work around the challenges.

Step 4 Stay organized.

Community Q&A

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You Might Also Like

Get a Ph.D. in Physics

  • ↑ https://www.findaphd.com/guides/what-is-a-phd
  • ↑ https://drexel.edu/soe/resources/career-path/how-to-get-doctorate-degree/
  • ↑ https://www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/dec/essay.phd.html
  • ↑ http://www.cs.unc.edu/~azuma/hitch4.html
  • ↑ https://math.berkeley.edu/graduate/phd-program/preliminary-exam

About This Article

Carrie Adkins, PhD

Before you can get a PhD, you'll need to complete your prerequisite education and take the GRE, or Graduate Record Exam. You will also need letters of recommendation from 1 or 2 distinguished professors in your field to submit with your application. Once you are admitted to graduate school, you should seek out funding opportunities, like grants or teaching positions. To earn your PhD, you will need to take courses, pass written and oral exams, conduct original research in your field, and write a dissertation. For more ways to get your PhD for free, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Buy a New Mattress Without a Ph.D. in Chemistry

By Patricia Marx

A stack of colorful mattresses.

Before we can talk about buying a new mattress, you’ll need a Ph.D. in chemistry and another in mechanical engineering. How else to make sense of the latest concepts in mattress technology—for instance, hyperelastic polymer, buckling column gel, phase-change molecule fabrics, ballistocardiograph sensors, ice fabric, and 3-D-matrix layers? A master’s degree in marketing and bullshit will also come in handy.

You will have plenty of time to pursue your degree in mattress studies because you no longer have to get out of bed to buy a new bed. No more lolling on a mattress in a showroom, as if you’re in a Marina Abramović installation. More than a hundred online merchants will deliver a mattress to you, rolled up like a Drake’s Yodel in a box the size of a doghouse that a cocker spaniel would feel cramped in. I could not sample every e-commerce mattress. Some companies require a customer to live with the purchase for at least a month before sending it back, and where was I supposed to store an extra mattress, let alone a dormitory’s worth of them? I did obtain, and later un-obtain, a couple of mattresses online. Who’d have thought that I, someone who spent years fastidiously fingering duvet covers to find the right softness, would be throwing caution to the wind and ordering a mattress on my computer? Welcome, mattresses, to the weird new disrupter world, where your neighbors include prescription eyeglasses, used clothes, and pets.

While I waited for my mattresses to be delivered, I hit some mattress stores. Aside from variations in size and upholstery, all mattresses look alike. Are they?

Let’s start with the basic types: innerspring coil, foam, hybrid (foam and innerspring), and adjustable air. Within each category are subcategories. There seem to be more kinds of foam mattresses than there are craft beers from Brooklyn, but don’t be fooled by proprietary terms like “Ambien-injected kosher crypto-foam.” There are actually only two types of foam: polyurethane, of which memory foam is a subset, and latex.

You’re just getting started making decisions, however. What level of firmness do you like? Do you sleep on your side, back, or stomach? When your bedmate tosses and turns, how much does it disturb you (on the Richter scale)? Do you want your mattress all-natural, or will a soupçon of nature do? Do any of the following materials alarm you: soy, hemp, horsehair, mohair, coconut fibre, green tea, polylactide derived from sugarcane? Are you for or against heat-conductive copper flecks? Is the amount of “edge support” that your mattress provides a matter of life and death? How much extra are you willing to pay for latex foam that is flash-frozen before it is baked, or will mere baking suffice?

“Which mattress should I get?” I asked Alex, a Saatva “sleep guide” who works in the company’s New York showroom. “It depends on your palate,” he said, like a waiter who’d been asked whether he recommends the chicken piccata or the trout amandine. Saatva is an e-commerce company, the parent of Loom & Leaf and Zenhaven, two other big names in direct-to-consumer bedding. Merchandise in the showroom is available for experiencing but not for purchasing. The lighting is subdued, the color scheme neutral; here and there, beige artificial trees are not growing. I surveyed the thirteen beds positioned throughout the space. Of the mattresses you can buy online, Saatva was named by Good Housekeeping “Best Overall.” ($1,695. Note: All prices here are for a queen, which is what forty-seven per cent of Americans sleep on.)

Dobrin Mitev, a former senior manager of affiliate and strategic partnerships for Casper, advised me to beware of ratings. He left his job last year because, he said, “I could no longer get behind the mattress industry.” Third-party review sites, he said, generally earn commissions based on how many consumer purchases are made through their links. At Casper, he said, “I was in charge of giving out a pretty penny to affiliates.” This might be why every mattress seems to have received an award for something, even if it’s Canadian Mattress That Tries Hardest or Best Mattress to Have Insomnia On.

Another thing: what is best for me is not necessarily best for you. Mike Magnuson, the founder and C.E.O. of a consumer site called GoodBed, put it this way: “If you were shopping for pants, you wouldn’t say to your friend, ‘Tell me what pants you’re wearing, and I’ll order the same ones.’ You wouldn’t think to look on the Internet for the best pants of 2022.” Take a look at Reddit, where people who care way too much about mattresses file wildly contradictory reports. One poster writes that he is “16 months and five mattresses into this journey”; another is “now googling Canadian coop cotton growers who work with family owned textile mills in Massachusetts.”

Before there were mattress reviews, there were mattresses. The earliest known example, discovered in South Africa’s Border Cave in 2020, is more than two hundred thousand years old. It’s made from sheaves of grass, about a foot thick, placed atop a layer of ash that was used, scientists believe, to provide insulation and to discourage bugs from crawling upward. “It would have been like sleeping on a rather compressed haystack,” Lyn Wadley, an archeologist at the University of Witwatersrand, who directed the excavation, said. Given the mattress’s age, would it be covered under the terms of the lifetime warranties offered today by such companies as Puffy, WinkBeds, DreamCloud, and Awara? (The average warranty covers ten to twenty years.) “As long as the two-hundred-thousand-year-old mattress was still being used by its original purchaser, then yes!” Magnuson said. Nevertheless, mattress people tell you to replace your mattress every eight years, and they’re not biased—no sirree.

By most accounts, the first water bed was created around 1600 B.C., when ancient Persians filled goatskins with water. Then, in 1833, along came Dr. Arnot’s Hydrostatic Bed for Invalids, devised by a Scottish physician to prevent bedsores. Not until 1968, though, did the water bed become the lay of the land: Charles Hall, a San Francisco grad student, introduced his water-filled vinyl “Pleasure Pit” at an art exhibition called “The Happy Happening.” Soon, Hugh Hefner reportedly got one (encased in Tasmanian-possum pelt), as did Tommy Smothers and a member of the Jefferson Airplane. A nudist colony owned two. “We called regular innerspring beds ‘dead beds’ and threw them off balconies from our hotel rooms at waterbed conventions,” Dennis Boyd, a water-bed impresario, recounted on his Web site, The Bedroom Store. Water beds peaked in the mid-eighties, capturing around twelve to fifteen per cent of the mattress market. By then, the anti-establishment had become the establishment and developed backaches, and nobody had time for sex. Nowadays, water beds are used by dairy cows, including a hundred and sixty-five belonging to Queen Elizabeth , as an aid in milk production. (Entrepreneurs: Nobody is selling bovine dust ruffles yet.)

Back at Saatva, I’m sprawled on the Classic, the brand’s signature model. It is composed of two layers of innerspring—the bottom is a system of interconnected coils that provide support, and the top has individually encased coils that contour to your body. Above the coils is a thin slab of memory foam, for “enhanced lower-back support and durability.” Covering it all, like icing on a cake, is a marshmallowy top of cotton quilting. The Saatva Classic mattress comes in three levels of firmness (firmest: sleeping on an airport bench; plushest: sinking in quicksand).

The innerspring mattress is the most old-fashioned type (it was invented in 1871, in Berlin) and the most popular. According to one bed blog, thirty-two per cent of Americans own one, and it has the highest satisfaction rate (sixty-three per cent, as opposed to eight per cent for foam types). I could complicate matters further by discussing the effect of coil gauge on mattress comfort (higher gauge equals thinner wire equals softer mattress), but what is this? Spring semester of coil college?

Have you ever lain awake at night, thinking, Well, I suppose I must chop off my arm now, because there is nowhere to put it if I remain on my side? If the answer is yes, your mattress is too firm, a common buying mistake. The mattress best suited to you is the one that keeps your spine in its natural S curve and relieves pressure points (shoulder and hips) by allowing you to sink into the surface just the right amount. In general, firmer mattresses are better for back and stomach sleepers and for people weighing more than two hundred and thirty pounds; softer mattresses are recommended for side sleepers and hummingbirds.

Memory foam is the biggest thing in bedding since those African sheaves of grass. It was invented, in 1966, by Charles Yost, an engineer who’d been contracted by NASA to come up with a material to cushion astronauts’ seats during liftoff and mitigate the stress caused by g-force. Memory foam is polyurethane foam (polyol plus diisocyanate, both derived from petroleum) with additives that make it denser and more elastic. This means that it is slower to change shape under pressure yet quicker to spring back to its original shape. It should really be called short-term-memory foam. When warmed by your body, it conforms to your contours, giving you a sense of being hugged. Some people feel trapped. Some people like feeling trapped. Because of memory foam’s high density, it absorbs movement, reducing the chance that when your partner rolls over a ripple will be detectable on your side of the bed.

Memory foam’s density also means that it tends to feel hotter than a spring mattress, which is airier. To compensate, memory foam is sometimes infused with gel, in capsules or swirls. Does that work? Not really, according to Michael Hickner, a professor of materials science and engineering at Penn State. “I think a lot of it is marketing and small design tweaks,” he told me. But the main problem he has with foam mattresses is that they “do not biodegrade for all intents and purposes.”

The type of foam the planet is rooting for you to buy is natural latex. Made from liquid extruded from rubber trees, it’s whipped until frothy and then baked. The resulting material can be both biodegradable and recyclable. No trees are harmed in the process; for them, it’s like giving blood. Latex is denser and heavier than urethane foam, in addition to being more durable, and often cooler. It has more air flow because of small perforations, which resemble the peg holes of a cribbage board. Latex foam is more expensive. It is also bouncier, which puts it on many Best Mattresses for Sex lists.

As with finding a person to sleep with, choosing what you want to sleep on is now largely done online. This was made possible because foam mattresses, unlike the old-fashioned battleships of steel and batting, can be compressed, jammed into a box, and delivered by UPS to your bedroom. Even hybrid mattresses—foam plus microcoils—are squishable and shippable. (Saatva is unusual in that it hand-delivers your purchase unfurled.)

After you coax your new mattress out of the box, it will expand in a leisurely fashion, like a slo-mo popcorn kernel; the process will take between four and forty-eight hours. It might smell funny, like new carpet or melted permanent markers, but don’t worry. The fumes, an effect of off-gassing (the emission of minute amounts of volatile organic compounds), will go away in a few days. You’ll likely have somewhere between a hundred days and a year to try the bed out, and if it’s not up to snuff you can return it for a refund.

The first of the new mattress disrupters, a Tennessee startup called BedInABox, appeared in 2006. The C.E.O. and founder, Bill Bradley, had been inspired by Magniflex, an Italian bed-maker that, since 1986, had been offering compressed, vacuum-sealed mattresses stuffed into duffelbags. Like Popsicle, Taser, and Zoom, the brand name BedInABox became synonymous with the category of product. But the hegemony of traditional retailers with a physical presence wasn’t threatened until Casper arrived, in 2014, with just one mattress style, and launched a social-media campaign that made tugging a foam rectangle out of a box look like the most fun anyone could ever have. In 2010, by some accounts, less than one per cent of mattress purchases in the United States were online; in 2018, the slice was forty-five per cent; and since the start of the pandemic it’s certainly grown even larger. Virtual buying has a lot to recommend it: the mattresses are generally cheaper, owing to lower operating costs and more competition; there’s a lot more product to choose from; and the return policies tend to be more generous.

But can you reliably pick the right mattress sight unseen? Not automatically. However, if you try out some models in an actual store or two, you should do fine. I headed to the Third Avenue outpost of Tempur-Pedic, to find out what all-foam mattresses feel like. Tempur-Pedic gets credit for popularizing foam, but the original was produced, in 1991, by the Swedish company Fagerdala, which used the technology developed by nasa for the astronaut seats. (Those engineers had named the treated polyurethane Temper, for its temperature-regulating properties.) Fagerdala sold the North American distribution rights to Robert Trussell, a horse breeder in Kentucky, who, with a friend, created Tempurpedic, Inc. Today, the brand is part of Tempur-Sealy International, which, along with Serta Simmons Bedding L.L.C., is estimated to account for 45.4 per cent of mattress sales.

The showroom contained thirteen sheetless beds, some flanked by monitors projecting calming images of nature. I faked sleeping on three models, and I’ll be damned if I could tell them apart. “This one is up to eight degrees cooler,” an associate named Amir said, of the LuxeAdapt—or was that the Luxe breeze? As I auditioned the Luxe breeze (twenty per cent more pressure relief), Amir said, “No other foam comes close to Tempur-Pedic’s foam.”

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I asked what makes it so special. “I can’t tell you,” Amir said. “It’s a trade secret.” Manufacturers often boast of a “proprietary formula,” which could be as meaningful as adding a dash of salt. Whatever the Tempur-Pedic secret, the beds I sampled were extremely comfortable. Tempur-Pedic mattresses, like real maple syrup, are generally regarded as superb but pricey ($2,399-$5,399).

Dobrin Mitev believes that price does reflect quality. “At least at Casper, the more expensive models had a more complex structure,” he said. “More layers, and each layer had a different function.” Comparing mattresses to wine, he recommended selecting from the middle price range. “You don’t want to buy the cheapest,” he said, but in the mid-range “there is not that much difference.”

If the middle range is still a financial stretch, you could try the Zinus Green Tea Cooling Swirl Memory Foam Hybrid ($379 from Amazon), Denver Mattress Doctor’s Choice Plush ($799.99), NovaForm Comfort Grande ($599.99 from Costco), Allswell Bed in a Box Hybrid ($349 from Walmart), or Hesstun Medium Firm Innerspring ($549 from IKEA ).

How bad could a cheapie be? Time to visit Mattress Firm, a repository of mattresses in a wide range of brands and prices—at the high end, Intellibed ($5,799) and Tempur-Pedic ($5,099); at the low end, Sleepy’s innerspring ($199) and Tulo’s memory foam ($259). At my local branch, I found fifteen or so beds shoved close together under ceiling lights, creating a warehouse vibe. I was immediately greeted by Moncef, a cheerful man whose nametag identified him as a Sleep Expert. When I confessed that I wasn’t sure which type of mattress I wanted, he said, “Perfect! You’re a mystery shopper.” He added that he had a scientific method for determining my ideal mattress. It involved asking me a lot of questions and looking at a chart. From Moncef, I learned that although a plush mattress helps you fall asleep faster, a supportive mattress helps you stay asleep longer.

After flopping around on many expensive mattresses, I asked to see some, ahem, budget choices. Those were displayed in the basement. I spread out on a Beautyrest that felt like a slice of Wonder Bread. After twenty minutes, I told Moncef that I needed more time to make a decision. “Did I mention we’re having a sale?” he said.

Did I mention that it’s almost impossible to buy a mattress that is not on sale? March through May is the best time to buy, according to Bob Vila’s Web site, because new product usually arrives in June. But everything is negotiable. Chris Regan, who manages the mattress-testing program at Consumer Reports , estimated that mattresses have a markup of forty to fifty per cent. Haggling usually works, unless you are dealing with a company with fixed prices, such as a warehouse club.

Regan recommends shopping in an area where there are lots of mattress stores. “When you head out of a place and say, ‘I kind of like this one, but I’m going down the street,’ the salesperson will likely offer you a better deal,” he said. If a price reduction is a no-go, try for free sheets or pillows. There are online tricks, too: leave your item in the shopping cart—there’s a good chance you’ll receive an e-mail with a discount code within a day or two.

At Hästens, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. The company’s most preposterously priced mattress, a king-size Grand Vividus, costs $539,000 (bed frame included). When Drake bought one, in 2020, it was merely $400,000. For non-Grammy winners, there’s a waiting list. Handcrafted by a team of artisans in Sweden, each mattress takes up to six hundred hours to assemble and stitch and is wrapped in checked cotton ticking. If you buy one, even the company’s humblest ($19,575), a pair of “sleep doctors” will come to your house twice a year for twenty-five years to flip, rotate, and massage your mattress.

No, these mattresses are not stuffed with caviar or antimatter or five hundred and thirty-nine thousand dollars in unmarked bills. In addition to steel (for the springs), wool, cotton, and flax, they are made from more than a dozen layers of hand-teased South American horsetail hair. Horsehair fibres are hollow, a Hästens executive explained, which means that they enhance the mattress’s ventilation system. (Horses sleep standing up; make of that what you will.) Although the mattresses have a warranty of twenty-five years, the executive clarified, “We won’t replace it if your dog rips it apart.”

Not long ago, joined by the person with whom I share an old but good-enough-for-now mattress, I tried out a few Hästens models during a private sleep consultation. This was arranged by a Hästens employee, Kristel Kalm (real name), a lanky former tennis pro from Sweden. She’d offered to send a car for us, but we made the three-block journey on foot. In borrowed goose-down Hästens booties ($200), we chilled on a king-size 2000T mattress ($61,780). The lights were dim and candles burned, mimicking the ambience of a séance or a facial. I wish I could tell you that Hästens mattresses are uncomfortable, because then you wouldn’t even think of spending the equivalent of a year’s college tuition on a bed. But they are extremely comfortable, somehow simultaneously dense and pliant. Oh, well, sleep is as good as college for your brain.

The first of my online purchases to arrive was a Layla Hybrid, a flippable number composed of more layers than a lasagna—the one in the middle has individually wrapped coils for support, and on either side of this are foam layers for comfort, with one side firmer than the other. Many mattresses nowadays are not flippable. You like firm or you like plush; why would someone want two options? I’d asked this question of Alex, my sleep guide at Saatva. “Our numbers suggest there’s an age group that enjoys firm, but, when they reach their sixties or seventies, they get arthritis and need something softer,” he whispered discreetly. I wanted to try Layla because the outer layers are infused with copper, which supposedly makes it cooler. If you shop for mattresses, you will reach the conclusion that the greatest problem facing Americans today is not climate change or gun violence but “sleeping hot.”

I dragged the duffelbag inside my apartment and watched a few online videos about how to set up a Layla mattress. In one, a spokesman says to use the duffelbag’s shoulder straps to carry it up the stairs. If you’re a mule. I could barely slide the bag across my floor. Every video shows the unpacker expressing delight at the complimentary extra-large T-shirt that says “Wake Up!” After maneuvering the Hybrid out of the bag, I nervously used the enclosed Layla cutting blade to remove the outer plastic casing. Trying to puzzle out which direction the unbound mattress would spiral so that it wouldn’t smash into the table, I understood how chimps taking I.Q. tests feel. Before I could get at the inner shrink-wrap casing, my Layla started to expand, and within a minute or two it was fully grown. I peeled off the last of the plastic to reveal a honeycomb-patterned charcoal-gray mattress cover, made from polyester, viscose, rayon, and Lycra spandex. Don’t even think of trying to get it back in the duffel. ($1,699, reduced to $1,499.)

For a few nights, I slept on the Hybrid. The soft side was too soft for me, and the other side was spongy but didn’t make me feel like I needed a forklift to get out of bed. You can also go for the extra topper with copper-infused memory foam ($349), which provides cushioning, or, as the Layla Web site says, it’s “like adding an extra layer of clouds to a bed already made of cotton candy.” I consulted with Michael Hickner again to ask about the claims made by Layla and other companies that copper’s thermal conductivity allows it to pull heat away from your body.

“I’d like to see independent scientific data to support that,” he said. “Once companies figured out they can make money selling mattress snake oil to the public, they turned what used to be a boring thing you bought once every twenty years into a designer wellness solution that could change your life.” Still, if you want a soft, comfortable mattress, Layla does the trick. If you want a surface that is truly cooling, try sleeping on a glacier.

Next to arrive was the Avocado Green, rated No. 1 by Consumer Reports . It is so organic, carbon-negative, and eco-chummy that when global warming finally gets us you can rest assured that it was not because of anything you slept on. Its vegan option, which replaces wool with cotton, is PETA -approved. Gwyneth Paltrow partnered with Avocado on the Goop x Avocado mattress—no, let’s call it a sleep system—which starts at $24,000 and is available on demand. I chose my model during a visit to Avocado’s Experience Center, at 135 Fifth Avenue. While I waited for the couple chilling out on the Eco Organic model to move on, I asked a sales associate named Desi (long hair, leggings) if customers ever fall asleep. “All the time,” she said. “The longest was four and a half hours. He was so embarrassed that he bought the mattress.” I ordered the Avocado Green in king and opted for in-home delivery, recommended for beds that are royalty. For $249—cheaper than back surgery—you get setup and free removal of your old mattress. Mine was ready to go in less time than it takes for a sleeping pill to kick in. The Avocado Green has a luxe-feeling surface, both firmer and bouncier than the Layla. And I cannot agree with the online reviewer who observed that the Avocado Green had a faint odor of sheep.

In truth, the more mattresses I slept on, the more I couldn’t tell them apart. The Avocado innerspring and latex, topped with wool sheared from Himalayan Gaddi goats that, according to the brand’s Web site, “graze on organic pastures [where] a frigid mountain stream runs downhill and peaks over 20,000 feet loom high above,” was also great ($2,299). So was the DUX 6006, which has as many as forty-two hundred interconnected coils and a removable top pad for extra cushioning, if that’s your thing ($10,430). Ditto the Sleep Number 360 p6 Smart Bed, which contains two air-filled bladders, so that the inflation and deflation of each side can be adjusted on their own, to accommodate the preferences of you and your bedmate ($3,099). And, for anyone who needs biometrics regarding each second of her slumber, the SleepIQ Technology found in every Sleep Number mattress is designed for you. (I’m more “Don’t ask, don’t tell” about my nocturnal heart and breathing rates.) The Casper Nova Hybrid ($2,295) is awfully cozy, and I also like the Casper Original, both the all-foam ($1,295) and the hybrid foam with springs ($1,695).

Staring at the ceiling in Bloomingdale’s, listening to the Four Seasons sing “Oh, what a night” over the sound system, I wanted to answer “Both” to the salesperson’s question: Which is more comfortable? Some of this confusion is deliberate. Jerry Epperson, an investment banker who specializes in the furniture and mattress fields, told me, “We’re an industry where five companies do sixty to seventy per cent of the manufacturing.” He named them: Tempur-Pedic, Sealy, Serta, Simmons, and Sleep Number. A manufacturer often sells the same product to various retailers, each of which may differentiate it in a trivial way—changing the color or the quilting pattern, making it a smidgen thicker or thinner. The retailer then slaps on a proprietary name, deeming the mattress an exclusive. Mattress people call this practice “the name game.” This makes it difficult to ask Mattress Firm to honor its guarantee to “beat any competitor’s price by 10% or your purchase is free.”

Ever notice how similar many of the logos and ad slogans of mattress companies are? Compare, for instance, the clean sans-serif lowercase fonts of Nectar, Layla, Purple, and Saatva. Is this intentional? “Absolutely,” Dobrin Mitev said. “It’s competitor mimicry.”

Amid all the shadiness and hyped marketing, how to choose? Before you resort to the “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” method, let me offer a few tips: Whether you buy online or in person, sample enough mattresses to figure out whether you prefer memory foam, latex, innerspring, adjustable air-filled, or some combination. Don’t buy any mattress that doesn’t come with a trial period. Keep the mattress pristine during this time. (Many people spring for a waterproof mattress protector.) Read the fine print on the return policy to avoid surprises. Some policies allow only exchanges. That’s not for you. In my experience, Costco and Amazon make it so easy to return that you’ll hope you don’t like what you ordered. A warning about warranties: many of them are prorated; many offer repairs, not refunds or replacements; and the criteria for determining what is covered can be stringent. (Technically, sagging means a dip of at least an inch and a half. I’m not sure even an elephant house guest would cause that.) You know that mattress tag? Removing it can void the warranty.

Some advice from the mattresscenti: Seth Basham, an analyst at Wedbush Securities who covers the mattress industry, believes in reading online customer reviews. Mitev puts greater stock in the bigger, long-established companies than in the small upstarts with no track record. In contrast, many grassroots sites advise staying away from big brands like Sealy, Simmons, Stearns & Foster, and Serta (often referred to as the “S brands”), because they allegedly use poorer-quality materials. Brent Larson, a rep from the testing organization Element Materials Technology, suggests consulting Consumer Reports , which, as a nonprofit, purchases its own samples from the companies it evaluates and restricts which findings can be used in advertising.

What mattress does Chris Regan, who oversees mattress testing at Consumer Reports , sleep on? “A ten-year-old Sealy,” he said. “Is it time for me to get a new mattress? Yes. Am I going to? Probably not.” He added that the car he drives, an old Jeep, “is one of our lowest rated.” It gets him where he wants to go. ♦

An earlier version of this story misstated the job title of a former Casper employee and misspelled the name of a Hästens mattress.

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how to buy a phd

10 things you need to know before starting a PhD degree

So you want to do a PhD degree, huh? Here we've got everything you need to know about getting started.

So you want to do a PhD degree, huh? Are you sure about that? It’s not going to be an easy decision, so I’ve put together a list of 10 things you need to know before starting a PhD degree. Oh, and don’t panic!

I have recently graduated from the University of Manchester with a PhD in Plant Sciences after four difficult, but enjoyable, years. During those four years, I often felt slightly lost – and there was more than one occasion on which I didn’t even want to imagine writing up my thesis in fear of delving into fits of panic.

On reflection, I realise that – to quote a colleague – commencing my PhD was like “jumping in the deep end with your eyes closed.” If only I’d known to take a deep breath.

1. Are you sure you want to do a PhD degree?

Let’s be under no false impressions, completing a PhD isn’t easy. There will be times when you feel like Wile E Coyote chasing after the Roadrunner – a little bit out of your depth a lot of the time. It’s four years of your life, so make sure it is what you really want to do.

If you want to pursue a career in science, a PhD isn’t always necessary.

It is possible to make great inroads into industry without a doctoral degree. That said, a PhD can also be a very useful qualification with many transferable skills to add to your CV.

By the time you’ll have finished, you can include essentials such as time management, organisational skills, prioritising workloads, attention to detail, writing skills, presenting to an audience – and most importantly – resilience, to name but a few.

2. Choose your project, and supervisor, wisely.

This is  very  important.

Time after time, our experienced scientists at EI, including Erik Van-Den-Bergh (and I agree) say, “ make sure you’re extremely passionate about exactly that subject. ” When I saw the PhD opening that I eventually was offered, I remember being demonstrably ecstatic about the project before I’d even started it.

I was always interested in calcium signalling and organised a meeting with my potential supervisor immediately, which (to quote Billy Connolly) I leapt into in a mood of gay abandon.

Not only does this help you to keep engaged with your project even through the painstakingly slow times, it also greatly enhances your ability to sell yourself in an interview. If you can show passion and enthusiasm about the project and the science then you’ll be that one step ahead of other candidates – which is all the more important now that many studentships are competitive.

You have to  be the best  out of many, often exceptional candidates.

However, as important as it is to be passionate about your project, make sure that the person who will be supervising you is worthy.

Does your potential supervisor have a prolific track record of publishing work? What is the community of scientists like in the lab you may be working in? Are there experienced post-doctoral scientists working in the lab? Who will your advisor be? Is your supervisor an expert in the field you are interested in? Is the work you will be doing ground-breaking and novel, or is it quite niche?

There is nothing more frustrating – and I know many PhD degree students with this problem – than having a supervisor who is rarely there to talk to, shows little interest in your work, and cannot help when you are struggling in the third year of your project and some guidance would be much appreciated.

Personally, and I was very lucky to have this, I think it’s incredibly useful to have two supervisors. My PhD degree was split between the University of Manchester and the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth. Between my supervisors, I had two people with expertise in different fields, who could give me some fantastic advice from different perspectives. This also meant that I had two people to check through my thesis chapters and provide useful comments on my drafts.

PhD students networking during the last Student Symposium

Make sure you are passionate about your subject before taking it to PhD level. And by passionate I mean  really  passionate.

For a start, you will most likely have to write a literature review in your first three months, which if done well will form the main bulk of your thesis introduction and will save you a lot of stress and strain when it comes to writing up.

At the end of your first year, you will have to write a continuation report, which is your proof that you deserve to carry on to the end of your three or four years. This doesn’t leave much time for lab work, which means time management is incredibly important. If you think you’ll be able to swan in at 11 and leave at 3, think again.

Fundamentally, never, ever rest on your laurels! As tempting as it may be to slack-off slightly in the second year of your four year PhD, don’t.

4. Be organised.

This is a no-brainer but still, it’s worth a mention. Take an hour on a Monday morning to come up with a list of short-term and long-term goals. You’ll probably have to present your work at regular lab meetings, so it’s always worth knowing what has to be done (lest you look a pillock in front of the lab when there’s nothing to show for your last two weeks.)

It’s always good to have a timeline of what will be done when. If you have a PCR, maybe you can squeeze in another experiment, read a few papers, start writing the introduction to your thesis, or even start collecting the data you already have into figures.

The more good use you make of your time, the easier it’ll be to finish your PhD in the long run. Plus, it’s lovely to sit back and look at actual graphs, rather than worry about having enough to put into a paper. Once you’ve typed up your data, you’ll realise you’ve done far more than you had anticipated and the next step forward will be entirely more apparent.

5. Embrace change – don’t get bogged down in the details.

Felix Shaw – one of our bioinformatics researchers at EI – put it best when he said, “ it felt like I was running into brick walls all the way through [my PhD]… you’d run into a brick wall, surmount it, only to run straight into another. ”

You’ll find that, often, experiments don’t work. What might seem like a great idea could turn out to be as bad as choosing to bat first on a fresh wicket on the first day of the third Ashes test at Edgbaston. (Yeah, we don't know what that means either - Ed).

Resilience is key while completing your PhD. Be open to change and embrace the chance to experiment in different ways. You might even end up with a thesis chapter including all of your failures, which at the very least is something interesting to discuss during your  viva voce .

6. Learn how to build, and use, your network.

As a PhD student, you are a complete novice in the world of science and most things in the lab will be – if not new to you – not exquisitely familiar. This matters not, if you take advantage of the people around you.

Firstly, there are lab technicians and research assistants, who have probably been using the technique you are learning for years and years. They are incredibly experienced at a number of techniques and are often very happy to help show you how things are done.

There are postdocs and other PhD students, too. Not only can they help you with day-to-day experiments, they can offer a unique perspective on how something is done and will probably have a handy back-catalogue of fancy new techniques to try.

There are also a bunch of PIs, not limited to your own, who are great to talk to. These people run labs of their own, have different ideas, and might even give you a job once you’ve completed your PhD.

Don’t limit yourself to the labs directly around you, however. There are a massive number of science conferences going on all around the world. Some of them, such as the Society of Biology Conference, take place every year at a similar time in different locations, attracting many of the leaders in their respective fields.

If you are terrified by the prospect of speaking at a full-blown science conference and having your work questioned by genuine skeptics, there are also many student-led conferences which will help you dangle your fresh toes in the murky waters of presenting your work.

One such conference, the Second Student Bioinformatics Symposium, which took place at Earlham Institute in October 2016, was a great place for candidates to share their projects with peers, who are often much more friendly than veteran researchers with 30 year careers to their name when it comes to the questions at the end of your talk.

Another great reason to attend conferences, of course, is the social-side too – make the most of this. You never know who you might meet and connect with over a few drinks once the talks are over and the party commences.

7. Keep your options open.

You should be aware that for every 200 PhD students,  only 7  will get a permanent academic post , so it’s  incredibly unlikely that you’ll become a Professor  – and even if you make PI, it probably won’t be until your mid-forties.

You may also, despite having commenced along the academic path, decide that actually, working in a lab environment isn’t for you. Most PhD graduates, eventually, will not pursue an academic career, but move on to a wide range of other vocations.

It might be that Science Communication is more up your street. This was certainly the case for me – and I made sure that I took part in as many public engagement events as possible while completing my PhD. Most Universities have an active public engagement profile, while organisations such as STEM can provide you with ample opportunities to interact with schools and the general public.

You might also consider entrepreneurship as a route away from academia, which might still allow you to use your expert scientific knowledge. There are a variety of competitions and workshops available to those with a business mind, a strong example being Biotechnology YES.

I, for example, took part in the Thought for Food Challenge, through which I have been able to attend events around the world and meet a vast array of like-minded individuals. Many of the participants from the challenge have gone on to set up successful businesses and have even found jobs as a result of the competition.

10 things phd fire

8. Balance.

Remember that you still have a life outside of your PhD degree – and that this can be one of the greatest opportunities to make amazing friends from around the world.

A science institute is usually home to the brightest students from a variety of countries and can provide a chance to experience a delightful range of different people and cultures. Don’t just stick to the people in your lab, go to events for postgraduate students and meet people from all over campus.

There are usually academic happy hours happening on Fridays after work where you can buy cheap beer, or some lucky institutions even have their own bar. At Norwich Research Park, we not only have the Rec Centre, along with bar, swimming pool, calcetto, samba classes, archery, and a range of other activities, but there are also biweekly “Postdoc pub clubs” which are very fun to join on a Tuesday evening.

Maintain your hobbies and keep up with friends outside of your PhD and you’ll probably find it’s not that gruelling a process after all.

Plus, the people you meet and become friends with might be able to help you out – or at least be able to offer a sympathetic shoulder.

10 things phd relaxing

9. Practical advice.

If, after reading all of this, you’re still going to march forth and claim your doctorhood, then this section should be rather useful.

Firstly, make sure your data is backed up. It’s amazing how many people don’t do this and you’d be bonkers not to. Keep your work saved on a shared drive, so that if your computer decides to spontaneously combust upon pressing the return key, you won’t have lost all of your precious work – or have to go through every one of your lab books and type it all up again.

Secondly, don’t leave your bag in the pub with your half-written thesis in it. I did this, the bag was fine, I was in a state of terror for at least half an hour before the kind person at Weatherspoons located said bag.

Thirdly, read. Read broadly, read anything and everything that’s closely related to your project – or completely unrelated. It’s sometimes amazing where you might find a stroke of inspiration, a new technique you hadn’t thought of … or even in idea of where you might like to go next.

Finally, ask questions – all of the time. No matter how stupid it might sound in your head, everyone’s probably been asked it before, and if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

You’ll probably look far less stupid if you just ask the person standing next to you how the gradient PCR function works on your thermal cycler rather than standing there randomly prodding buttons and looking flustered, anyway.

10. Savour the positives.

At the end of all of this, it has to be said that doing a PhD is absolutely brilliant. There’s no other time in your life that you’ll be this free to pursue your very own project and work almost completely independently. By the time you come to the end of your PhD, you will be the leading expert in the world on something. A real expert! Until the next PhD student comes along …

Related reading.

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A PhD, is it worth it? Just ask our students

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The realities of doing a PhD

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My advice for PhD students? See what bites

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COVID and my PhD: to lockdown and back

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How does a PhD work and how to find the right one

Becky Shaw, PhD student at Earlham Institute

Building the confidence to take on a PhD

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What’s the third year of a PhD like? Tips for navigating your PhD

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Top 15 Best PhD Graduation Gifts in 2024

Chriselle Sy

I found the very best PhD graduation gifts. Below, I’ll discuss each. This article includes specific PhD graduation gift recommendations. I did my best to include a little bit about why new doctors appreciate each, and I link to where you can find them.

Note that The Grad Cafe is supported by our audience, I regularly use affiliate links throughout. That means I could get a small commission when you order something on this list. Thanks for your support!

Ready to discuss PhD graduation gifts? Read on.

Table of Contents

You Can’t Go Wrong With…

If you’re at a loss thinking about what to buy a Ph.D. graduate as a present, you can’t go wrong with cash, checks, and gift cards.

There’s no denying that PhDs can be incredibly expensive. Just look at the data from EducationData.org , which states that federal graduate student borrowers have $91,148 average loan balances. It doesn’t matter if they earned their degree in person or online — debt is debt. Cutting a check for any amount can help a PhD graduate buy what they need (or want). They can also choose to pay the amount toward their debt.

Of course, giving cash or a check isn’t everyone’s idea of a good present. In that case, you can always give a gift card .

PHD graduation gifts—Amazon black gift box with gift card inside

Amazon Gift Cards come in nice packaging, like this graduation gift box.

Amazon allows you to choose your gift card amount,  starting from $25 and going all the way up to $2,000. You can also send your gift card digitally if you’d rather skip the box altogether.

On Amazon, you can also choose gift cards from specific brands. For example, if you’d like to give the gift of tech, you can opt for an Apple gift card between $25-$500. And if you’re looking for PhD graduation gifts for her , try a Sephora gift card  between $25-$250.

Buy a Graduation-Themed Amazon Gift Card

Buy an Apple Gift Card

Buy a Sephora Gift Card

15 Best PhD Graduation Gifts [2024]

Check out these unique, fun gift ideas for a doctoral graduate near and dear to your heart!

1. A Care Package – CRAVEBOX Gourmet Specialty Snack Box

CraveBox snack box

Care packages are an excellent yet practical way to show you care. The CRAVEBOX Gourmet Specialty Snack Box is a 50-piece collection of gourmet snack samplers.

Why a PhD Graduate Would Like It:

Unless your recipient is a picky eater, they’re bound to like something in this package. After all, who wouldn’t want to try new types of snacks? They might even find their new favorite snack in this box!

Of course, you may want to ask about food sensitivities and preferences before choosing a box like this.

Buy the CRAVEBOX Gourmet Specialty Snack Box

2. Presentation Clicker and Pointer – Logitech R500s

Image of black clicker

The Logitech R500s is a presentation pointer and clicker that works from a 65ft range(20m). It has a red laser and customizable buttons. The R500s connects via a USB dongle/receiver, but it’s also universally compatible, including with Bluetooth.

PhD graduates, especially ones going into an academic or research-based career , will have to give a lot of presentations. A good clicker like this can make their presentations go more smoothly.

Buy the Logitech R500s

3. RocketBook Smart Reusable Notebook Set

Image of two black notebooks, two pens, and two pen cases

The RocketBook has been around for a while, but it’s still a pretty cool product all around. RocketBooks are essentially notebooks with special pages that let you scan and digitally convert notes. They come in various sizes and have reusable pages if you use the Pilot Frixion pen. That’s a win for the planet!

PhD graduates will likely write a lot  of notes in their lifetime. The RocketBook blends old-school handwritten notes with technology, allowing easily scannable and text-convertible notes with the app’s OCR (optical character recognition) feature. Some may find this gift a novelty, but it’s a great way to help the environment!

Buy the RocketBook Smart Reusable Notebook Set

4. Boogie Board Basics Reusable Writing Pad

Black writing board

The Boogie Board is a reusable writing pad for quick notes and reminders at work or home. You can use anything to write on it, as long as it has a dull pointy end. This board is good for 50,000 resets (board clears) — endless use!

This is one of the coolest gift ideas for PhD graduates because it reduces desk clutter and wasted paper.

Buy the Boogie Board Basics Reusable Writing Pad

5 . Mechanical Pencil + Stylus: rOtring 800+

Black mechanical pencil

This rOtring mechanical pencil and stylus hybrid lets you switch seamlessly from paper to screen. It’s a well-designed writing instrument that prevents writing fatigue thanks to its hexagonal barrel.

This mechanical pen and stylus combo is one of the best PhD graduation gifts for students . For many, pencils are the writing instrument of choice. rOtring is a known and reliable pencil brand, so there’s no doubt it will provide an enjoyable writing experience — and it’s a breeze to use!

Buy the rOtring 800+ Mechanical Pencil and Stylus

6. Hobonichi Techo 5-Year Diary

Front and back images of the Hobonichi Techo diary

The Hobonichi Techo is a well-known planner/diary loved for its sheer quality and flexibility. The Hobonichi Techo 5-Year Diary allows the user to plan and organize up to five years of their lives.

The Hobonichi Techo 5-Year Diary offers PhD graduates an easy way to keep track of their appointments and events — especially if they prefer pen and paper to phone apps.

Buy the Hobonichi Techo 5-Year Diary

7. HidrateSpark PRO Smart Steel Water Bottle

Black water bottle with glowing colored bottom

The HidrateSpark PRO Smart Steel Water Bottle keeps you hydrated with its reminder glow. You can even track your water intake through its free app and customize the bottle’s glow lights and light patterns. The best part? It keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours!

The HidrateSpark PRO bottle makes a great gift for a PhD graduate, especially if they are so busy that they forget to take care of themselves. Dehydration is no joke!

Buy the HidrateSpark PRO Smart Steel Water Bottle

8. Leather Briefcase and Laptop Bag by KomalC

Brown leather business briefcase

This leather briefcase and laptop bag uses buffalo leather and durable YKK zippers to ensure years and years of use. It fits laptops without being too bulky while still having plenty of room for files, folders, and notebooks.

This KomalC leather briefcase is a high-quality bag a PhD graduate can take with them anywhere. It’s roomy and protects their laptops and important items without being too bulky or uncomfortable.

Buy the Leather Briefcase and Laptop Bag by KomalC

9. Custom Engraved Steel Business Card Case

Silver business card case

This beautiful two-tone business card case holds up to 15 business cards. It comes with free personalization, allowing three text lines with up to 25 characters for each line.

PhD graduates often carry business cards. So why not have a nice, engraved case to keep them all in great condition until it’s time to hand them out?

Buy the Custom Engraved Steel Business Card Case

10. Mechanical Retro Style Flip Clock

Retro clock image

This retro-style flip clock has a minimalistic design while still displaying the time down to the minute. It has a durable stainless steel frame and ABS plastic cards to ensure longevity. However, it has delicate inner mechanisms, so it’s not the best gift for someone with cats or young children.

This gift is a great conversation starter for your PhD recipient!

Buy the Mechanical Retro Style Flip Clock

11. Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker

Sonic bomb alarm clock image

This alarm clock was made for those who sleep through just about any other alarm. It comes with a shaker that users can put underneath their pillow (or anywhere else where it would make a racket) so the vibrations will wake them up when the alarm rings.

This Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker is one of the best PhD graduation gifts for students who sleep like the dead. This alarm clock might help the recipient avoid tardiness, though their sleeping partner might not appreciate it so much!

Buy the Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker

12. FlexiSpot Laptop Desk Riser

Laptop desk riser image

This laptop desk riser is 27×19 inches — a relatively large desk surface when raised. It has five adjustment settings from 1.8 to 15.9 inches. This Flexispot product allows the user to turn any surface into a standing desk. Make sure you also check the Best Desks for Students .

Sitting all day while working is detrimental to your health. This laptop desk riser is an excellent choice for PhD graduates who spend way too much time at their workstations. And if they don’t want to stand, even the slight elevation of gaze reduces neck strain and back pain.

Buy the FlexiSpot Laptop Desk Riser .

*You can also add the FlexiSpot Anti-Fatigue Mat .

13. FlexiSpot EN1 Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk

Standing desk image

The En1 electric height adjustable desk has a 55×28 inch table top for a spacious work area. It runs quietly while adjusting height smoothly. Users can set the table’s height between 28-47.6 inches. It supports up to 154 lbs, which accommodates even the heaviest workloads.

The EN1 makes is a great PhD graduation gift for the same reason a laptop riser would — it helps your PhD graduate to stand more often, minimizing stress and back pain. This fully electric desk is also quite convenient, without requiring manual adjustments. What better way to kick off your graduate’s high-paying PhD job  than a fabulous new desk?

Buy the FlexiSpot EN1 Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk

14. Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Canceling Headphones

headphones image

The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are legendary for great audio quality, comfort, and portability (they fold up to a smaller profile when not in use). It offers ANC (active noise cancellation) and even has built-in Alexa voice control.

If you want to give the gift of peace and focus, this pair of headphones is an incredible choice. While this one’s pricey, you can find other ANC headphones that are more affordable. The XM4s also have a newer version, the XM5 (but these don’t fold up into a smaller profile).

Buy the Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Canceling Headphones

15. Microsoft Surface Go 3

Microsoft Surface Go 3 image

The Microsoft Surface Go 3 is a tablet that can replace a laptop. It runs on Windows, has a touch screen and decent battery life, and works with a stylus. You can also charge it with a power bank if you run out of juice.

The Microsoft Surface Go 3 is an excellent and pragmatic PhD graduation gift for students because of its productivity capabilities, including responding to emails and word processing. And, of course, it also works well for entertainment purposes. Save this for a loved one — it’s pricy!

Buy the Microsoft Surface Go 3

How Much Should You Spend on PhD Graduation Gifts?

The cost of your PhD gift depends on your relationship with the graduate. It can be anywhere from $10-$300, or maybe even more if you wish — but never spend more than you can afford. Here’s a general guide for how much you might want to spend:

  • Acquaintances : <$30
  • Friends : $25-$50
  • Closest friends and relatives: $50-$100
  • Significant others, children, and close loved ones: $100-$300+

Avoid superfluously expensive gifts for people you aren’t close with — that’ll just make them uncomfortable!

Finishing a doctorate is no easy feat — even the online PhDs  take endless hours to complete. Bottom line? Graduating with a PhD is a cause for celebration! And what better way to celebrate your new PhD-holder loved one than with a thoughtful present ?

PhD graduation gifts don’t have to be expensive or luxurious. They can be something as simple as a mug or a shirt with a witty PhD-related message. Doctorate graduation gifts can even be sentimental, like an engraved business card case.

If someone you know recently achieved a PhD (or even an MBA ), this list of the best graduation gifts for PhD students might offer some gift inspiration.

It can be challenging to come up with ideas for PhD graduation gifts, but there’s always a fantastic option out there waiting for you. But remember: if you can’t come up with any ideas that feel right, everyone loves cash or gift cards!

Do you have any other PhD graduation gift suggestions? Leave them in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you give a phd graduate.

The perfect PhD graduation gifts for doctoral graduates depend on your preference — unless the recipient specifically requests something. Cash, checks, and gift cards are popular options but may seem impersonal. Instead, you might give the graduate something pragmatic, like food, or something heartfelt, like a craft. Of course, the 15 suggestions on this list are also great PhD gifts.

What Are Good PhD Graduation Gifts for a University Graduate?

It truly depends — you can give something generic like a mug or shirt with a witty PhD-related saying or something more aligned with your recipient’s interest if you know them well.

What Is the Going Rate for PhD Graduation Gifts?

It really depends on your relationship with the recipient. Gifts can cost anywhere from $10-$300 and sometimes even more. If you’re more an acquaintance than a loved one, choose something on the lower price end to avoid making the recipient uncomfortable.

Is it OK to Give a Check as a PhD Graduation Gift?

Absolutely! Although some people may find checks or cash impersonal, a PhD graduate could probably use the money. After all, they can put it toward student loans or buy something they really need.

Related Reading:

  • Top 12 Best Laptops for Graduate Students
  • Top 10 Best Jobs for MBA Graduates

5 Ways To Work While Studying And Get Ahead Of The Competition

  • How To Prep Your Resume For Success 
  • 5 Tips For An Amazing Video Interview

how to buy a phd

Chriselle Sy

Chriselle has been a passionate professional content writer for over 10 years. She writes educational content for The Grad Cafe, Productivity Spot, The College Monk, and other digital publications.  When she isn't busy writing, she spends her time streaming video games and learning new skills.

  • Chriselle Sy https://blog.thegradcafe.com/author/chriselle-sy/ Graduate Certificate vs Degree: What’s the Difference? [2024 Guide]
  • Chriselle Sy https://blog.thegradcafe.com/author/chriselle-sy/ The 18 Best Scholarships for Black Students in 2024-2025
  • Chriselle Sy https://blog.thegradcafe.com/author/chriselle-sy/ The 25 Best Gifts for Nursing Students in 2024
  • Chriselle Sy https://blog.thegradcafe.com/author/chriselle-sy/ Dissertation vs Thesis: Your 2024 Guide

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how to buy a phd

Doctorate Degree

Buy a phd to get ready for your next job.

What is a doctorate degree?

The highest degree you can have is a doctorate degree. Typically, this may last for four years or more. Just like a master’s degree, it requires passing the comprehensive exam and finishing a dissertation. You should have a master’s degree first before you buy a doctorate degree.

Here is the list of doctorate degrees available in various universities worldwide:

Why a doctorate degree?

Although quite demanding, people would still prefer to reach for greater heights in terms of academic qualifications. this is the reason why a doctorate is being offered to maximize the potential of an individual. being called a doctor even if you are not a medical doctor by degree is such music in the ears. to buy a doctorate degree gives a level of competency. since it is the highest possible academic degree, you can explore a lot of opportunities if you have credentials that would prove a doctorate degree., get accredited degree, no need to taky any exams or study, you can get real degree from real universities without opening a single book, interested please contact us.

University Degrees Education was put up to answer the increasing demands of people wanting to buy a degree online and have their bachelor, master’s and even doctorate degree without the burden of going to school and accomplishing bulk of coursework. With the competitive society that we have now, being unemployed is the least you can be. With University Degree Solutions you can choose and buy a degree online suited to your skills and needs. With its pool of accredited colleges and universities worldwide, you can buy a degree online you can be proud of.

10 Best Growth Stocks to Buy According to Billionaire Dan Loeb

Published on june 7, 2024 at 8:09 am by omer farooq in hedge funds , news, 4. danaher corporation (nyse: dhr ).

Third Point’s Stake Value: $511,926,000

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 98

Another one of Dan Loeb’s top growth stock picks is Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR). The stock accounts for 6.5% of Third Point’s Q1 2024 portfolio. Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) is a diversified conglomerate that manufactures and markets medical, industrial, and commercial products and services across the globe. The company operates through three segments: Biotechnology, Life Sciences, and Diagnostics. DHR is among Dan Loeb’s longest held positions and here’s what the activist investor had to say about the company in his Q2 2023 investor letter :

“Danaher has created significant value over decades through its unique operating system and superior M&A, and its low leverage balance sheet should allow it to take advantage of depressed valuations in the life science tools sector to continue to add to its portfolio. More importantly, Danaher stands to benefit from the surge in new projects and drug discovery spending occurring in the post-Covid world. Danaher’s Biotechnology and Life Sciences segments are poised to accelerate from data analytics and computational biology, which will grow meaningfully as AI and eventually quantum computing technology advance. We would not be surprised to see Danaher’s growth rate move from high single digits to the low teens over time, implying a long runway for Danaher’s business and stock price to increase sustainably while they enable the discovery and manufacturing of key life-saving drugs.”

Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) has a track record for successfully acquiring and integrating businesses (Beckman Coulter in 2011, Pall Corporation in 2015, and General Electric Life Sciences in 2020). The company recently acquired Cambridge-based biotech company Abcam, that makes proteins and reagents, for $5.7 billion in December 2023. The company’s Kaizen- based M&A philosophy has helped it acquire hundreds of businesses since 1984, some of which were troubled, and turn them into profitable entities. Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) has grown its portfolio and global footprint across all its segments and has demonstrated strong capital allocation skills. In 2016, it spun off its industrial businesses into a separate industrial technology conglomerate Fortive in 2016. In 2019, it spun off its dental business into Envista in 2019. And in 2023, the group spun off its environmental services arm into a separate listed entity Veralto. These moves have created immense shareholder value and show how DHR’s continuous improvement-oriented approach throughout its operations has worked and will work for the years to come.

Why should growth investors who also want a bit of value buy DHR? Over the past 10 years, the company has grown its free cash flow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.8%. It converts over 100% of its profits into free cash flow and ended 2023 with an FCF of $5.78 billion (net income was $4.74 billion). It has a highly recurring revenue business model (over 50% of its revenue is recurring across all its segments), driven by consumables like filters and reagents. This limits its downside risk to business cycles and translates into stable earnings. Moreover, new drug discovery spending and projects are expected to be a long-term catalyst for this company. One of its most opportunistic end-markets is bioprocessing i.e. its biotech segment, in the long term, as biotech spend picks up pace and recovers later in 2024. In Q1 2024, the company reported a 17% decline in core revenue in its biotech segment, led by weak demand from China. However, management remains optimistic and expects the new FDA wins for biologic and genomic medicines in 2023 to drive core revenue growth in its bioprocessing business to high-single digits, in the long term.

The company’s long-term business strategies, successful restructuring toward becoming a pure-play company with exposure to life sciences and diagnostics, and cash flow generation capabilities make DHR an attractive idea while it trades at 8.4 times its sales, close to its 5-year average of 6.7x.

NYSE:TSM NYSE:DHR Headline NYSE:UBER NYSE:CPAY NASDAQ:AUR NASDAQ:META NASDAQ:GOOG NASDAQ:AMZN NASDAQ:MRVL NASDAQ:MSFT Daily Newsletter Corpay Inc. (NYSE:CPAY) Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META) Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Aurora Innovation Inc. (NASDAQ:AUR) Michael Burry Is Selling These Stocks Marvell Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MRVL) Jim Cramer is Recommending These Stocks Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (NYSE:TSM) 10 Best Growth Stocks to Buy According to Billionaire Dan Loeb Show more... Show less

how to buy a phd

AI Fire Sale: Insider Monkey’s #1 AI Stock Pick Is On A Steep Discount

Published on may 1, 2024 at by inan dogan, phd.

Artificial intelligence is the greatest investment opportunity of our lifetime. The time to invest in groundbreaking AI is now, and this stock is a steal!

The whispers are turning into roars.

Artificial intelligence isn’t science fiction anymore.

It’s the revolution reshaping every industry on the planet.

From driverless cars to medical breakthroughs, AI is on the cusp of a global explosion, and savvy investors stand to reap the rewards.

Here’s why this is the prime moment to jump on the AI bandwagon:

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Thinking of Pursuing a PhD in Economics? Info on Graduate School and Beyond

Kasey Chatterji-Len and Anna Kovner

Photo of three young students writing a formula on a green blackboard with white chalk.

Becoming a PhD economist can provide a fulfilling and financially secure career path. However, getting started in the field can be daunting if you don’t know much about the preparation you’ll need and the available job opportunities. If you’re wondering what it means to be an economics researcher or how to become one, please read on. We’ll review how to prepare for a career in economics research, what an economics PhD program entails, and what types of opportunities it might bring. Economic education is a core component of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s mission to serve the community. To empower would-be economists, this post provides information for students who seek a career in economics research. We hope this information will be helpful to students interested in economics, regardless of their background and economic situation.  This information is most applicable to students applying to programs in the United States.  

The Breadth of Economics Research  

Academic disciplines conduct research in different ways, so it’s important to have a basic understanding of the types of questions economists ask and how they approach answering them. There are many definitions of economics, but a broadly useful one is the study of how people, organizations, and governments make decisions under different constraints, and how those decisions may affect their outcomes. 

When answering these questions, economists seek to ground their analyses in models and to be quantitatively precise about the effects they assign to any given cause. The range of topics economists can study is wide, but the accepted approaches to answering questions are stricter. Some examples of what economists might ask: 

  • How do different public housing programs affect the children who live there? 
  • Does a certain type of law encourage businesses to innovate? 
  • How will a change in the interest rate affect inflation and unemployment rates? 
  • How much does affordable health insurance improve people’s health? 
  • How can poor countries eradicate poverty? 

There are many different subfields within economics, including, but not limited to behavioral, econometrics, energy/environmental, development, financial, international, monetary, public, and urban economics. You can familiarize yourself with the latest work in economics by subscribing to working paper series, such as NBER’s New This Week or the New York Fed’s Staff Reports . To get an idea of the breadth of questions economists can answer, you could listen to Stephen Dubner’s “ Freakonomics Radio ” podcast. You may also want to explore the Journal of Economic Perspectives , the New York Fed’s Liberty Street Economics blog, VoxDev , or VoxEU .  

What Is a PhD Program Like?    

Economics PhD programs typically last five to seven years. Unlike masters programs, they are often fully funded with a stipend, though most require students to complete teaching assistant and/or research assistant (RA) work as part of their funding package. In the first two years, students take classes, many of which are mathematically demanding. The rest of the program can include additional classes but is primarily devoted to original research with the aim of producing publishable papers that will constitute the dissertation.  

Faculty advisors are a central part of PhD programs, as students look to them for guidance during the research process. Economics PhD programs are offered within university economics departments, but there are similar programs in public policy and business schools. You can look at their websites to understand any differences in coursework and subsequent job placements. 

What Can You Do with an Economics PhD?  

Upon graduation, students can obtain jobs in a variety of industries. Many PhD students hope to become university professors. Governments and public policy-related institutions such as the Federal Reserve System, the U.S. federal government, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also hire economists to work on policy, lead programs, and conduct research. Finally, economics PhD graduates can also find employment at a variety of private sector companies, including banks, economic consulting firms, and big tech companies. The pay for these different positions can vary. According to the American Economics Association (AEA), the average starting salary for economics assistant professors in 2022-23 was approximately $140,000 at PhD granting institutions and $98,000 at BA granting institutions. 

Programs often publish the placements of their PhD graduates, so you can look online to see specific employment outcomes. See, for example, the University of Maryland’s placements . Ultimately, economists are highly regarded as authorities on a variety of topics. Governments, nonprofits, philanthropic foundations, financial institutions, and non-financial businesses all look to economists to answer important questions about how to best achieve their goals. Thus, earning an economics Ph.D. can potentially help you to influence issues that are important to you. 

Preparing for an Economics PhD Program  

There are several components to an economics PhD program application: college transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. Please download the Appendix linked below to learn more about transcripts and letters of recommendation. The Appendix details ways in which you can select coursework, obtain research experience, and develop relationships to position yourself for success as a PhD applicant.  

If you feel that you are too far along in your academic career to take enough of the classes described in the Appendix, this does not necessarily preclude you from pursuing an economics PhD. For example, it’s possible to take some of these classes through a master’s program, or through a pre-doctoral RA job. Some pre-doctoral RA jobs, such as the one here at the New York Fed , may enable you to take classes in preparation for graduate school. If you are concerned about your transcript, reach out to an economist at your university for advice; program standards for coursework and grades vary, and it’s a good idea to get more personalized advice. 

Research Experience   

If you’re interested in becoming an economics researcher and applying to PhD programs, it’s best to get research experience as soon as possible. Working as an RA is a great way to learn how to conduct research and get a better idea of whether it’s the right career path for you. Additionally, it can help you obtain a letter of recommendation for graduate school applications and improve your qualifications.  

All types of academic research can be enriching, but it’s beneficial to gain experience working directly with an economist. To find a position, you can reach out to professors whose work you find interesting or find an RA program at your school. Typical RA tasks may involve data collection and cleaning, as well as running analyses and creating charts to represent results. This is where coding skills become crucial; having taken math, statistics, and econometrics courses will also enable you to take on more responsibilities. 

You may also have the opportunity to conduct your own research, possibly under the supervision of a professor at your university. This research could be self-initiated or part of a course such as a thesis workshop. Self-directed research is a great opportunity to learn about all stages of the research process. It’s also an excellent opportunity to create a writing sample for graduate school applications. Ultimately, though, your motivation for conducting your own research project should be that you want to answer a question.  One thing economists have in common is a love of answering questions using data and theory. 

Research experience is also often obtained after completing an undergraduate or master’s degree. Taking on a full-time RA position before applying to PhD programs is very common and can make you a more competitive applicant. You may either get an RA job working for a professor or participate in a pre-doctoral RA program.  

Research assistant programs are more structured than positions with individual professors or projects, which could be helpful. Universities, parts of the government, think tanks, research organizations, and the Federal Reserve System are all good places to look for research assistant programs. To help you decide which opportunities are most desirable, you may want to ask potential employers : Where do people in this program tend to go afterward? Will I be working directly with an economist? How much of my time will be spent on academic research work? Will I be able to take classes as part of this program? Considering whether an economist will be able to evaluate your performance is an important factor for recommendation letters. The ability to take classes, either through tuition reimbursement or waivers, can also be an important benefit. 

The Research Analyst program here at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is one example of these programs and you should check it out here . The Federal Reserve Board of Governors also has a large program, and many other regional Federal Reserve Banks have similar programs. In addition, the PREDOC website and the  NBER post listings of RA opportunities. J-PAL and IPA also tend to recruit RAs for economic development projects. Another source of RA opportunities is the @econ_ra account on X. 

Who Should Get a PhD in Economics?  

A PhD may not be for everyone, but it is for anyone—people of all genders, religions, ethnicities, races, and national origins have PhDs in economics. Many economists majored in economics, but others majored in math, physics, or chemistry. Because economics is such an integral part of policymaking, it is important that economists come from a wide range of backgrounds so policy can be stronger and more effective. The inclusion of differing perspectives helps ensure that the contribution of economists to work in public policy, academia, and beyond effectively serves the broadest range of society. 

  • Coursework Appendix

how to buy a phd

Kasey Chatterji-Len is a research analyst in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group.

how to buy a phd

Anna Kovner  is the director of Financial Stability Policy Research in the Bank’s Research and Statistics Group.

How to cite this post: Kasey Chatterji-Len and Anna Kovner, “Thinking of Pursuing a PhD in Economics? Info on Graduate School and Beyond,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York Liberty Street Economics , May 31, 2024, https://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2024/05/thinking-of-pursuing-a-phd-in-economics-info-on-graduate-school-and-beyond/.

You may also be interested in: AEA: Resources for Students

PREDOC: Guidance for Undergraduates

RA Positions-Not at the NBER

Disclaimer The views expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the author(s).

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    Completing Prerequisite Education. Complete an undergraduate degree in a broad field. To qualify for a PhD program, you will need a solid record of undergraduate coursework from a reputable university. [2] This degree should demonstrate your potential for both advanced coursework and independent research.

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    3. Attend the award ceremony. Once a candidate receives final approval from the appropriate committees for their honorary doctorate degree, they must attend the corresponding award ceremony. Universities typically award honorary degrees at the same time they issue traditional students their substantive degrees.

  15. Best Affordable Online Ph.D. Programs And Doctorates

    Out-of-State | $1005. Credits to Graduate: 64-69. Texas A&M University College Station offers online Ph.D. programs in educational administration, interdisciplinary engineering, and plant breeding. Additionally, it offers online Ed.D. programs in educational administration, and curriculum and instruction.

  16. Online Doctorate Degrees from Top Universities

    Earn a doctorate degree online from some of the world's most renowned universities and institutions.

  17. Most Affordable Online Ph.D. Programs in 2024

    Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies. $4,194 - $15,480 annual tuition. 60 credits, 100% online. With in-state tuition of just $233 per credit hour, NC A&T tops the list as the #1 most affordable online PhD program. This flexible 60 credit program has no residency requirements and focuses on leadership theory and research methods.

  18. Discover Paying for Doctorate Degree 2022+

    Unemployment Rate by Educational Attainment. According to the BLS, in 2021 those with a doctoral degree had a 1.5% unemployment rate and earned a median usual weekly earnings of $1,909. On the other hand, those with a master's degree had a 2.6% unemployment rate and a median usual weekly earnings of $1,574.

  19. How to Buy a New Mattress Without a Ph.D. in Chemistry

    More than forty-five per cent of mattress purchases in the U.S. are made online. Illustration by Anna Haifisch. Before we can talk about buying a new mattress, you'll need a Ph.D. in chemistry ...

  20. 10 things you need to know before starting a PhD degree

    5. Embrace change - don't get bogged down in the details. Felix Shaw - one of our bioinformatics researchers at EI - put it best when he said, " it felt like I was running into brick walls all the way through [my PhD]… you'd run into a brick wall, surmount it, only to run straight into another. It's true.

  21. Top 15 Best PhD Graduation Gifts in 2024

    Why a PhD Graduate Would Like It: PhD graduates, especially ones going into an academic or research-based career, will have to give a lot of presentations. A good clicker like this can make their presentations go more smoothly. Buy the Logitech R500s. 3. RocketBook Smart Reusable Notebook Set

  22. Online Degrees and Postgraduate Studies from Top Universities

    Visit the learner help center. Earn a Master's degree, a Bachelor's degree, or a Postgraduate credential from a top-ranked university at a breakthrough price. Study on your own schedule with 100% online degree or postgraduate programs. Learn from project-based courses and get direct feedback from your professors.

  23. Buy a PhD to get ready for your next job

    When you buy a PhD, you are offering an employer the certainty that they can rely on your guidance in these critical decisions. Being able to adequately understand the correct importance of these moments, combined with the talent of foreseeing what the best choice is are just some of the essential aspects connected with a PhD.

  24. PDF Phd Program Overview

    PhD program • Recommending changes in committee membership, subject to approval by the student, the Associate Dean for the PhD program, and (if already approved) the Dean of the Graduate School • Making sure that students have required coursework and credits. Once a committee is appointed, a change in topic

  25. Navigating Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Programs: How To Choose The

    Choosing the right clinical psychology Ph.D. program is can be crucial key for to your personal and professional growth. Learn how to make an informed decisionfind the right program for you, apply effectively, and utilize supportive resources for support on your journey to becoming a compassionate qualified, and skilled clinical psychologist.

  26. 10 Best Growth Stocks to Buy According to Billionaire Dan Loeb

    Published on May 1, 2024 at by Inan Dogan, PhD Artificial intelligence is the greatest investment opportunity of our lifetime. The time to invest in groundbreaking AI is now, and this stock is a ...

  27. Planning for a PhD in Supply Chain Management Online

    Walden University offers a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) with the option to get a specialized PhD in supply chain management online. Unlike other spotlighted programs, the DBA at Walden University is a self-designed major. This means supply chain management students choose the courses they want to take instead of following a set curriculum related to supply chain.

  28. Compare Mortgage Rates and Loans

    Find the best mortgage rates and loans for your dream home at realtor.com®. Compare multiple lenders and get personalized offers in minutes.

  29. Thinking of Pursuing a PhD in Economics? Info on Graduate School and

    Becoming a PhD economist can provide a fulfilling and financially secure career path. However, getting started in the field can be daunting if you don't know much about the preparation you'll need and the available job opportunities. If you're wondering what it means to be an economics researcher or how to become one, please read on. We'll review how to prepare for a career in ...