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A Comprehensive List of Universities Offering PhD Programs Without a Masters Degree in the USA

May 30, 2023

A building with a sign reading "phd program" to represent universities offering phd programs without a masters degree in the usa

Are you considering pursuing a PhD in the USA but don’t have a master’s degree? While a master’s degree is typically a prerequisite for a PhD program, there are some universities that offer PhD programs without requiring a master’s degree. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive list of universities that offer such programs, as well as the pros and cons of pursuing a PhD without a master’s degree.

  • Why Pursue a PhD Without a Master's Degree?
  • Pros and Cons of Pursuing a PhD Without a Master's Degree
  • Is it Possible to Get Accepted Into a PhD Program Without a Master's Degree?
  • How to Prepare for a PhD Program Without a Master's Degree
  • What are the Admission Requirements for PhD Programs Without a Master's Degree?
  • Top Universities in the USA Offering PhD Programs Without a Master's Degree
  • Differences between Traditional PhD Programs vs. Those That Don't Require a Master's Degree
  • How Long Does it Take to Complete a PhD Program Without a Master's Degree?
  • What are the Career Prospects after Completing a PhD Program Without a Master's Degree?
  • Tips for Successfully Completing Your PhD Program Without a Master's Degree
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Pursuing a PhD Without a Master's Degree

Why Pursue a PhD Without a Master’s Degree?

There are numerous reasons why you might choose to pursue a PhD without first obtaining a master’s degree. Perhaps you have a strong background in a certain subject area and feel ready to delve deep into research in that field without first completing a master’s program. Alternatively, you may be looking to save time and money by combining your master’s and PhD studies into a single program.

Another reason why some individuals pursue a PhD without a master’s degree is because they have gained significant professional experience in their field and want to further their knowledge and expertise. In some cases, this experience may be equivalent to a master’s degree, making it unnecessary to complete a separate program before pursuing a PhD. Additionally, some PhD programs may offer a direct entry option for students who have not completed a master’s degree but have demonstrated exceptional academic and professional achievements.

Pros and Cons of Pursuing a PhD Without a Master’s Degree

As with any academic pursuit, there are both advantages and disadvantages to pursuing a PhD without a master’s degree.

Some of the advantages include:

  • Saving time and money by combining your master’s and PhD studies
  • Diving right into research in your field of interest instead of spending time on a master’s program
  • Standing out as a unique candidate in the job market with both a PhD and bachelor’s degree

Some potential drawbacks include:

  • Potentially missing out on valuable coursework and research experience obtained in a master’s program
  • Not having a clear understanding of your research interests and goals before starting a PhD program
  • Limited options for funding, as many PhD funding opportunities require a master’s degree

Another potential disadvantage of pursuing a PhD without a master’s degree is the lack of preparation for the rigor and demands of a doctoral program. Master’s programs often provide a foundation for the advanced research and writing skills required in a PhD program. Without this foundation, students may struggle to keep up with the pace and expectations of a PhD program.

On the other hand, pursuing a PhD without a master’s degree can also provide a unique perspective and approach to research. Without the constraints and biases of a master’s program, students may be more open to exploring unconventional ideas and methods in their research.

Is it Possible to Get Accepted Into a PhD Program Without a Master’s Degree?

Yes, it is possible to get accepted into a PhD program without a master’s degree at several universities across the USA. However, admission to such programs may be more competitive than traditional PhD programs and may require strong academic credentials and/or research experience.

Some universities offer direct-entry PhD programs, which allow students to enter a PhD program immediately after completing their undergraduate degree. These programs are designed to provide students with the necessary coursework and research experience to complete their PhD without the need for a master’s degree. However, it is important to note that direct-entry PhD programs may have stricter admission requirements and may be more rigorous than traditional PhD programs.

Learn More: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS UNIVERSITIES IN THE USA

How to Prepare for a PhD Program Without a Master’s Degree

If you are considering applying for a PhD program without a master’s degree, there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of success:

  • Gain relevant research experience in your field of interest through internships, research assistant positions, or independent research projects
  • Connect with professors and researchers in your field to learn more about potential research areas and to obtain letters of recommendation
  • Take courses or attend workshops to develop skills in areas related to your research interests, such as statistical analysis, coding, or data visualization

Additionally, it may be helpful to attend conferences or seminars in your field to stay up-to-date on current research and network with other professionals. It is also important to carefully research and choose PhD programs that align with your research interests and career goals. Finally, be prepared to work hard and be persistent in your pursuit of a PhD, as it can be a challenging and competitive process.

What are the Admission Requirements for PhD Programs Without a Master’s Degree?

Admission requirements for PhD programs without a master’s degree will vary from university to university, but may include:

  • A strong academic record, typically demonstrated through transcripts and GPA
  • Letters of recommendation from professors or researchers in your field
  • A statement of purpose outlining your research interests and goals
  • Standardized test scores, such as the GRE or GMAT
  • Research experience or relevant work experience

It is important to note that some PhD programs without a master’s degree may require additional coursework or prerequisites to be completed before admission. Additionally, some programs may have a higher emphasis on research experience or a specific area of study. It is recommended to thoroughly research and understand the admission requirements for each program you are interested in applying to.

Top Universities in the USA Offering PhD Programs Without a Master’s Degree

Here are some of the top universities in the USA offering PhD programs without a master’s degree:

  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • Cornell University
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Stanford University
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • Yale University

While pursuing a PhD without a master’s degree may seem like a daunting task, it can be a great option for those who are passionate about their field of study and want to dive deeper into research. Many of these universities offer accelerated programs that allow students to complete both their master’s and PhD degrees in a shorter amount of time.

It’s important to note that while these universities do offer PhD programs without a master’s degree, they often have strict requirements and prerequisites that must be met before being accepted into the program. Additionally, students may need to take additional coursework or exams to make up for the lack of a master’s degree.

Differences between Traditional PhD Programs vs. Those That Don’t Require a Master’s Degree

PhD programs that do not require a master’s degree will generally be more research-focused than traditional PhD programs. Students may begin researching and working on their dissertations earlier in the program, and may complete the program in less time than traditional programs. However, some of the courses and research opportunities available in traditional programs may not be available in programs that don’t require a master’s degree.

Another difference between traditional PhD programs and those that don’t require a master’s degree is the level of academic preparation required for admission. Traditional PhD programs often require applicants to have a master’s degree in a related field, while programs that don’t require a master’s degree may accept students with only a bachelor’s degree. This means that students in non-traditional PhD programs may need to take additional courses to catch up on foundational knowledge before beginning their research.

How Long Does it Take to Complete a PhD Program Without a Master’s Degree?

The length of time it takes to complete a PhD program without a master’s degree will vary depending on the university and the specific program. However, some programs designed for students without a master’s degree may take four or five years to complete, while traditional programs may take six years or more.

It is important to note that completing a PhD program without a master’s degree may require additional coursework and research to make up for the lack of advanced degree. Additionally, some universities may require students without a master’s degree to complete a certain number of credit hours before being admitted to a PhD program. It is important to research and carefully consider the requirements and expectations of each program before applying.

What are the Career Prospects after Completing a PhD Program Without a Master’s Degree?

Completing a PhD program without a master’s degree can open up a wide range of career opportunities in academia, government, non-profits, and industry. Graduates may go on to become researchers, professors, policy analysts, or consultants, among other professions.

One advantage of completing a PhD program without a master’s degree is that it can lead to faster career advancement. Many employers value the specialized knowledge and skills that PhD graduates possess, and may offer them higher salaries and more senior positions than those with only a master’s degree.

Another benefit of earning a PhD without a master’s degree is the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research in a particular field. PhD students often work closely with faculty members and other researchers to develop new theories, methods, and technologies that can have a significant impact on their field of study.

Tips for Successfully Completing Your PhD Program Without a Master’s Degree

If you decide to pursue a PhD program without a master’s degree, here are some tips to help you succeed:

  • Stay motivated and focused on your research interests and goals
  • Take advantage of all available research and professional development opportunities
  • Connect with professors and researchers in your field to build relationships and obtain support
  • Develop strong time management and organization skills to balance coursework, research, and other commitments
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest research and trends in your field

Frequently Asked Questions About Pursuing a PhD Without a Master’s Degree

Here are some common questions and answers about pursuing a PhD without a master’s degree:

  • Can I pursue a PhD without obtaining a master’s degree first? Yes, several universities across the USA offer PhD programs without requiring a master’s degree.
  • What are the advantages of pursuing a PhD without a master’s degree? Advantages include saving time and money, diving right into research, and standing out in the job market with both a PhD and bachelor’s degree.
  • What are the disadvantages of pursuing a PhD without a master’s degree? Drawbacks include potentially missing out on valuable coursework and research experience, not having a clear understanding of research interests and goals, and limited options for funding.
  • What are the admission requirements for PhD programs without a master’s degree? Admission requirements will vary by university, but may include a strong academic record, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, standardized test scores, and/or research experience.

Overall, pursuing a PhD without a master’s degree is possible at several universities in the USA and can open up a variety of career opportunities. However, it may require more careful planning and preparation than a traditional PhD program, and you should carefully consider the pros and cons before deciding to pursue this path.

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schools that offer phd without masters

Can You Get a PhD without a Masters?

  • Applying to a PhD

Yes, it’s possible to get a PhD without first having a Masters degree.

The conventional route for someone who earns a PhD is to pursue a Bachelor’s degree, followed by a Masters degree and then a PhD. However, several students opt to bypass a Master’s degree by enrolling onto a doctoral programme as soon as they complete their undergraduate degree.

Before we discuss how this can be done, it is worth mentioning the advantages and disadvantages of this route.

Advantages of Applying to a PhD without A Masters

The motivations for undertaking a PhD immediately after an undergraduate course are largely in saving money and time. This is because you will essentially eliminate a year of study. Another advantage of immediately enrolling onto a doctorate degree is project availability. If you find a project that you’re really interested in, it’s unlikely that it will still be available in a years’ time. Therefore, bypassing a Masters and enrolling directly into a PhD will increase your chances of securing the research project before it becomes unavailable.

Disadvantages of Applying to a PhD without A Masters

Although a Masters degree will add a year onto your academic journey, it can be incredibility helpful for your development and can help prepare you for a doctoral degree.

Not having a Master’s degree may prove to be a hindrance during your application process. This is because many other students will also apply to the same research projects, and it’s likely that the majority will hold a Masters. This will put you at a disadvantage to them.

Besides this, the dissertation project you’ll be required to undertake on a Master’s programme will provide you with a taste of what it is like to work on a research-based project. In addition to this, it’s likely that you’ll be able to select your own dissertation topic. As such, you can explore a specific field you’re interested in in further detail. This is a great way to confirm that both research-based work and the specific field you’re interested in are right for you before committing the next few years to it via a PhD.

Another advantage to the dissertation project associated with a Masters degree is the opportunity it provides you with to work closely with a project supervisor. This will help you understand the PhD student-supervisor relationship and communication frequency that works best for you. You can then use this knowledge to find supervisors who would compliment you when it comes time to find a PhD project to apply to. For tips on how to find a great PhD supervisor, check out our supervisor guide .

PhD without a Masters – How Does It Work?

To be considered for a PhD without a Master’s, at a minimum you will be expected to have a Bachelors degree. For students looking to enrol onto a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) PhD, a relevant Bachelors in a 3-year undergraduate course is usually expected. However, this is not the case for students looking to apply to non-STEM PhDs. Rather, students looking to apply to doctorates in subjects such as those surrounding Arts and Humanities are usually expected to have a relevant Bachelors from a 4-year course.

In addition to this, you will need to have demonstrated strong academic performance during your undergraduate course. This means that your Bachelors will need to be at least a UK Upper Second-Class Honours (2.1) for nearly all institutions to consider you.

Should you be accepted into a PhD programme without a Masters, the usual process will be to first register you as an MPhil student. You will then have a year to prepare and submit a thesis. Your thesis will need to detail the research you have carried out within that year and outline how you intend to continue it into a full PhD study. There are three outcomes of this MPhil thesis review:

  • Failure and you’re not awarded anything.
  • You pass, however, the supervisor doesn’t believe you’ve demonstrated strong research skills. You’re awarded an MPhil but they do not upgrade your course to a PhD programme.
  • You pass and the supervisor believes you have proven yourself as a capable researcher. Your course is upgraded to a PhD as opposed to you being awarding an MPhil.

For more information on these outcomes, read the outcomes section of our PhD Viva guide .

Integrated PhD

Some universities offer Integrated PhD degree programmes (also known as an Integrated Masters degree). These are four-year programmes comprising of a one-year Masters degree immediately followed by a three-year PhD degree. These can prove a great option for graduate students who are looking to undertake a PhD without a Masters but are struggling to meet the eligibility requirements. You can read about the many benefits of  integrated degrees here .

Finding a PhD has never been this easy – search for a PhD by keyword, location or academic area of interest.

PhD without a Bachelors – Is It Possible?

Yes, it is possible to get a PhD without a Bachelor’s, however, this is extremely uncommon.

When this occurs, it is almost always reserved for very mature individuals. For example, an individual may not be in active academia but still may have significantly contributed to their field. This contribution could be through the work they have undertaken as part of their career, or as part of a long-term study project, they have undertaken out of self-interest.

In either case, the individual would need to prove that they have extensive experience in their field and have directly contributed to new knowledge within it. The key factor here is that their work has pushed the boundaries of existing knowledge. It is not enough for an individual to be regarded as an expert in their field – they must have contributed something new and meaningful. It’s common for individuals awarded a PhD through this means to have produced several publications within their lifetime. It’s also common for the individual to have gained several professional accreditations within their field before even being considered suitable for a PhD research degree.

Universities Offering PhD without a Masters

Unfortunately, there is not a centralised list of universities which offer PhDs without a Master’s degree. The reason for this is that the edibility requirements differ from PhD to PhD and from department to department.

Therefore, you will need to check the guidelines for each individual university and the requirements for each specific PhD you’re interested in.

Should you find a PhD programme you can apply to with a Bachelors, make every effort to make your application as strong as possible. This is because you will be competing against other candidates, most of who will have a Master’s degree.

Not only can you strengthen your application by having a Bachelors with a First-Class Honours (1st), but you can also do so by showing the traits of a successful researcher. This includes showing a genuine interest in the project, a high work ethic, and exceptional communication skills.

Additionally, a strong letter of recommendation from a respected university lecturer will prove very beneficial. This is especially true if the lecturer supervisors his or her own PhD students. This is because the lecturer will understand the skills required for an adept research student.

For more advice on how to apply to a PhD degree, check out our Application Process Guide.

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PhD without a Master’s Degree? Exploring Direct PhD Programs

PhD without Masters

Introduction

What is a direct phd program.

  • Pros of Doing a PhD Without a Master's Degree
  • Cons of Doing a PhD Without a Master's Degree
  • Fields in Which it is More Common to Enter a PhD Program Without a Master's Degree
  • Fields in Which a Master's Degree is Often Required for Admission to a PhD Program
  • How to Apply for a PhD Program Without a Master's Degree
  • Examples of Successful PhD students who did not have a Master's Degree
  • Top Universities Offering PhD without Master's Degree

Direct PhD Programmes in United States:

Direct phd programmes in europe:, direct phd programmes in australia:, direct phd programmes in asia:.

During my teaching years at a premier Engineering institute in India, I encountered an intriguing case that shed light on the possibility of pursuing a PhD without a master’s degree.

One day, a former student reached out to me with exciting news. She had successfully cleared the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), a qualifying exam for admission to postgraduate programs. Even more surprising was her plan to directly join the PhD program at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.

Initially, I found this puzzling—how could one step into a PhD without completing a master’s degree? It turned out that such programs do indeed exist at IITs and other esteemed institutions in India and abroad.

Intrigued by this revelation, I delved deeper into the details and later shared this valuable information with many students. Little did I know that this piece of knowledge would significantly benefit aspiring scholars aiming for a direct PhD path.

A PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is the highest level of academic degree that one can achieve in many fields. It typically involves several years of intensive research and coursework in a specialized area and completing a dissertation that makes an original contribution to the field. A PhD can lead to many career opportunities, including positions in academia, industry, and government.

The traditional path to a PhD usually involves completing a bachelor’s degree in a related field, followed by a master’s degree before starting the PhD program. The bachelor’s degree provides a broad foundation in the field, while the master’s degree provides more specialized training and research experience that prepares students for the rigours of a PhD program.

However, some students may wonder whether it is possible to skip the master’s degree and go straight into a PhD program. This can be an attractive option for students who want to save time and money, or who have extensive research experience that makes them well-prepared for a PhD program.

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of doing a PhD without a master’s degree, as well as some examples of successful PhD students who took this route.

A direct PhD program, sometimes referred to as an integrated or combined PhD program, is a doctoral-level academic program that allows students to pursue a PhD degree without first obtaining a master’s degree.

In traditional PhD programs, students typically complete a master’s degree before embarking on their doctoral studies. However, in a direct PhD program, students are admitted directly into the PhD program after completing their undergraduate studies.

Direct PhD programs are often structured to be more streamlined, allowing students to move directly into advanced research and coursework related to their field of study. These programs are typically designed for highly motivated and academically strong students who demonstrate exceptional potential for research and scholarly work.

The specific structure and requirements of direct PhD programs can vary depending on the university and the field of study. In some cases, students may be required to complete additional coursework or examinations to ensure they have the necessary background knowledge and skills for doctoral-level research. However, the overall goal of these programs is to accelerate the process of earning a PhD by allowing students to begin their doctoral studies earlier in their academic career.

Pros and Cons of Doing a PhD Without a Master’s Degree

While it is possible to pursue a PhD without completing a master’s degree, there are several potential advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Pros of Doing a PhD Without a Master’s Degree

  • Saving time and money: Completing a master’s degree can add two or more years to the time it takes to earn a PhD, as well as significant tuition costs. Skipping the master’s degree can allow students to complete their PhD more quickly and with fewer expenses.
  • Gaining more research experience: Some students may already have extensive research experience, either through undergraduate research opportunities or work in a related field. Skipping the master’s degree can allow these students to continue building on their research skills and contribute to the field more quickly.

Cons of Doing a PhD Without a Master’s Degree

  • Lack of preparation in research methodology and theory: Master’s degree programs often provide students with more specialized training in research methods and theoretical frameworks, which can be valuable preparation for a PhD program. Skipping the master’s degree can mean missing out on this preparation and potentially struggling to keep up with the demands of a PhD program.
  • Potential challenges in meeting admission requirements: Some PhD programs may require applicants to have a master’s degree or equivalent research experience, which can make it difficult for students who have not completed a master’s degree to be accepted into a PhD program. Additionally, some students may need to complete additional coursework or exams to meet the admission requirements for a PhD program.
  • A student who completed a bachelor’s degree in computer science and spent several years working in the industry as a software developer may have gained extensive research experience in a specialized area of computer science. This student may be well-prepared to pursue a PhD in computer science without completing a master’s degree.
  • A student who completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has some research experience through undergraduate research opportunities may struggle to keep up with the demands of a PhD program in psychology without completing a master’s degree that provides more specialized training in research methods and theoretical frameworks.

Fields in Which it is More Common to Enter a PhD Program Without a Master’s Degree

While it is not uncommon for students to pursue a master’s degree before starting a PhD program, there are some fields where it is more common for students to enter a PhD program directly after completing a bachelor’s degree. These fields include:

  • Engineering: In many engineering disciplines, it is common for students to enter PhD programs directly after completing a bachelor’s degree. This is because engineering programs often provide students with extensive research experience and specialized training in research methods and theoretical frameworks that prepare them for a PhD program.
  • Natural Sciences: In fields such as biology, chemistry, and physics, it is also common for students to enter PhD programs directly after completing a bachelor’s degree. This is because these fields often require extensive research experience and specialized training in laboratory techniques and scientific methods, which students can gain through undergraduate research opportunities and coursework.

In these fields, students who have completed a bachelor’s degree and have extensive research experience may be well-prepared to pursue a PhD program without completing a master’s degree. However, it is important to note that this may not be the case in other fields, such as the social sciences or humanities, where a master’s degree may be more commonly required or preferred for admission to a PhD program.

It is important for students to research the admission requirements and expectations for PhD programs in their chosen field before deciding whether to pursue a master’s degree or apply directly to a PhD program after completing their bachelor’s degree.

Fields in Which a Master’s Degree is Often Required for Admission to a PhD Program

While it is possible to pursue a PhD without completing a master’s degree, there are some fields where a master’s degree is often required or preferred for admission to a PhD program. These fields include:

  • Humanities: In fields such as history, philosophy, and literature, it is common for students to complete a master’s degree before applying to a PhD program. This is because these fields often require extensive coursework and training in research methods and theoretical frameworks, which students can gain through a master’s degree program.
  • Social Sciences: In fields such as psychology, sociology, and political science, a master’s degree is often required or preferred for admission to a PhD program. This is because these fields often require specialized training in research methods and statistical analysis, which students can gain through a master’s degree program.

In these fields, students who have completed a bachelor’s degree but do not have a master’s degree may find it difficult to gain admission to a PhD program. This is because PhD programs in these fields often have high admission standards and may require applicants to have completed a master’s degree or equivalent research experience.

  • A student who completed a bachelor’s degree in English literature and has some research experience through undergraduate research opportunities may need to complete a master’s degree in order to gain admission to a PhD program in literature. This is because PhD programs in literature often require extensive coursework and training in research methods and theoretical frameworks.
  • A student who completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has some research experience through undergraduate research opportunities may be able to apply directly to a PhD program in psychology. However, some PhD programs in psychology may require applicants to have completed a master’s degree or equivalent research experience, which could make it difficult for this student to gain admission without completing a master’s degree.

How to Apply for a PhD Program Without a Master’s Degree

While it can be challenging to gain admission to a PhD program without a master’s degree, there are some steps that students can take to increase their chances of success. These steps may include:

  • Demonstrating exceptional academic qualifications: Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree with exceptional grades and have a strong academic record may be more likely to be considered for admission to a PhD program without a master’s degree.
  • Demonstrating research potential: Students with extensive research experiences, such as through undergraduate research opportunities or independent research projects, can demonstrate their potential for success in a PhD program.
  • Completing additional coursework or exams: Some PhD programs may require applicants without a master’s degree to complete additional coursework or exams to demonstrate their readiness for PhD-level work. This may include completing additional courses in research methods, statistics, or theory, or taking qualifying exams to demonstrate mastery of the field.
  • A student who completed a bachelor’s degree in physics with exceptional grades and extensive research experience may be able to gain admission to a PhD program in physics without completing a master’s degree. This is because the student has demonstrated exceptional academic qualifications and research potential.
  • A student who completed a bachelor’s degree in history and has some research experience through undergraduate research opportunities may need to complete additional coursework or exams to gain admission to a PhD program in history. This is because PhD programs in history often require extensive coursework and training in research methods and theoretical frameworks, which students may not have gained through their undergraduate studies alone.

It is important for students to research the admission requirements and expectations for PhD programs in their chosen field before deciding whether to pursue a master’s degree or apply directly to a PhD program after completing their bachelor’s degree. Students may also want to reach out to professors and advisors in their field to discuss their options and receive guidance on the application process.

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Examples of Successful PhD students who did not have a Master’s Degree

While it is less common for students to enter a PhD program without a master’s degree, there are examples of successful PhD students who have done so. These students have demonstrated exceptional academic qualifications, research potential, and perseverance in their programs. Some examples of successful PhD students who did not have a master’s degree include:

  • Dr. Jennifer Doudna: Dr. Doudna is a biochemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020 for her work on the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system. She entered a PhD program in biochemistry at Harvard University directly after completing her bachelor’s degree at Pomona College. She completed her PhD in just four years and went on to a successful career in academia and research.
  • Dr. Maryam Mirzakhani: Dr. Mirzakhani was a mathematician who won the Fields Medal, often considered the highest honour in mathematics, in 2014. She completed her bachelor’s degree in mathematics in Iran and then entered a PhD program in mathematics at Harvard University without completing a master’s degree. She completed her PhD in just three years and went on to a successful career in academia and research.
  • Dr. David Gelernter: Dr. Gelernter is a computer scientist and artist who completed his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and classical Hebrew literature at Yale University. He then entered a PhD program in computer science at the same institution without completing a master’s degree. He completed his PhD in three years and went on to a successful career in academia and research.

These examples demonstrate that it is possible for students to succeed in PhD programs without completing a master’s degree. However, it is important to note that these students had exceptional academic qualifications, research potential, and perseverance and that their success was not guaranteed.

Students who are considering applying to PhD programs without completing a master’s degree should carefully consider their own academic qualifications and research potential and should seek guidance and support from advisors and mentors in their field.

Top Universities Offering PhD without Master’s Degree

While it is less common for universities to offer PhD programs without a master’s degree, there are some prestigious institutions around the world that do accept students into PhD programs without a master’s degree in certain fields. Here are some examples:

  • Harvard University, USA : Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences allows exceptional students to apply directly to their PhD programs without a master’s degree in fields such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, and computer science.
  • Stanford University, USA : Stanford’s School of Engineering offers a direct PhD program for exceptional students in fields such as electrical engineering, computer science, and mechanical engineering, without requiring a master’s degree.
  • University of Cambridge, UK : The University of Cambridge’s PhD programs in sciences and engineering fields may admit students without a master’s degree on a case-by-case basis, considering their qualifications and research potential.
  • Imperial College London, UK : Imperial College London’s PhD programs in engineering and physical sciences may admit students directly from a bachelor’s degree, based on their qualifications and potential for research.
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland: ETH Zurich, a leading institution in science and engineering, may admit students into their PhD programs without a master’s degree, considering their academic achievements and research potential.
  • IIT Delhi, India : a leading institution in engineering, admit students into their PhD programs without a master’s degree, considering their academic achievements and research potential.

It’s important to note that the admission requirements and policies for PhD programs without a master’s degree can vary by institution and field of study and may be subject to change. It’s always recommended to thoroughly research and review the specific requirements of each institution and program you are interested in, and contact the admissions offices for up-to-date and accurate information.

Direct PhD Offered in Various Continents/Countries

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • Stanford University
  • Harvard University
  • Princeton University
  • University of Cambridge (UK)
  • University College London (UK)
  • ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
  • Technical University of Munich (Germany)
  • University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • Australian National University
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Queensland
  • Monash University
  • National University of Singapore
  • Tsinghua University (China)
  • University of Tokyo (Japan)
  • Seoul National University (South Korea)
  • Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) – Various campuses in India

These universities, among many others, offer direct PhD programs across a wide range of disciplines including engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and more. It’s important to research each program carefully to understand its specific requirements, application process, and available funding opportunities.

Pursuing a PhD without a master’s degree is possible but it is less common and comes with its own set of challenges. In this article, we have discussed the pros and cons of doing a PhD without a master’s degree, fields in which it is more common to enter a PhD program without a master’s degree, and fields in which a master’s degree is often required for admission to a PhD program. We have also provided some advice on how to apply for a PhD program without a master’s degree and shared examples of successful PhD students who did not have a master’s degree.

For students who are considering pursuing a PhD without a master’s degree, it is important to carefully consider their academic qualifications and research potential. They should also seek guidance and support from advisors and mentors in their field, and consider completing additional coursework or exams to prepare for the rigors of a PhD program.

In conclusion, the decision to pursue a PhD without a master’s degree is a personal one and should be made after careful consideration of the individual’s goals, strengths, and weaknesses. We encourage readers to engage with the topic further by researching specific PhD programs and seeking advice from mentors and advisors in their field.

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6 September 2023

7 minutes read

PhD without a Masters in the USA: A Comprehensive Guide

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Dirghayu Kaushik

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Key Takeaways:

  • Direct Entry to PhD: Many U.S. universities now offer programs allowing students to pursue a PhD directly after completing their bachelor’s degree, bypassing the master’s.
  • Time and Cost Efficiency: This pathway saves time and money, reducing the overall duration and cost of higher education.
  • Research Focus: Direct PhD programs emphasize intensive research, allowing students to delve deeply into their field of study from an early stage.
  • Stringent Criteria: Admission to these programs is competitive, with a strong emphasis on undergraduate academic performance and research experience.
  • Varied by Field: Availability and norms of direct PhD programs can vary significantly across different academic disciplines and universities.

In recent years, a paradigm shift has been evident in the academic landscape. The USA, known for its rigorous academic structure, has begun to adapt and transform. Many universities now offer candidates the chance to pursue a PhD without a master’s degree.

Such an option seems tempting for those looking to save time and dive directly into research. This direct entry, or “bachelor’s to PhD,” program is a welcome change for many aspiring scholars.

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  • Why the Sudden Shift?

The educational field is dynamic, and constantly evolving based on societal needs and scientific progress. As global challenges become more complex, there’s a demand for in-depth, specialized research.

This means a longer time spent on research rather than course completion. The direct PhD route facilitates just that – more time on research, and less on course study.

Universities Leading the Way

Several top-tier universities are at the forefront of this transition. For instance, a student aiming for a PhD in Computer Science or Bioengineering might find the direct PhD path available, whereas it might not be the case for someone seeking a degree in History or Philosophy . Always ensure you check specific departmental guidelines.

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  • Why Consider a PhD Without a Master’s Degree?

The lure of diving straight into research after an undergraduate program has several enticing advantages.

Duration and Costs

The primary advantage for many is the saved time. Traditionally, students spend two years in a master’s program, followed by 4-6 years for a PhD. By opting for a direct PhD, one might shave off a couple of years from their academic journey. This not only translates to saved time but also reduced tuition and associated costs.

Early Start to Research

Starting research early means a more extended period for deep study and the potential to make significant breakthroughs. Additionally, diving directly into research post-bachelors can lead to early publications, making the candidate’s academic profile stronger.

Admission Criteria: Candidates for direct PhD programs must demonstrate academic excellence, particularly in their major-specific courses, and have significant undergraduate research experience.

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  • Eligibility and Admission Criteria

Jumping from a bachelor’s program to a PhD isn’t a walk in the park. Admission criteria are often more stringent for direct PhD applicants.

Demonstrating Academic Excellence

Universities typically expect a stellar undergraduate academic record, emphasizing strong grades in major-specific courses. It’s also not just about grades – active participation in relevant seminars, workshops, and other academic events can enhance a candidate’s profile.

Research Experience and Recommendations

An essential criterion is demonstrable undergraduate research experience. Potential PhD candidates must have participated in significant research projects and ideally have some publications or research reports to showcase.

Furthermore, having recommendation letters from known figures in the field or previous research supervisors can considerably strengthen an application.

Program Availability: The availability of direct PhD programs varies across disciplines and institutions. For example, fields like Computer Science and Bioengineering at institutions such as MIT and Stanford offer direct PhD options, while other fields and universities might not.

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  • Universities Offering Direct PhD Programs

As the appeal of direct PhD programs grows, many universities across the USA have adopted this approach, allowing students to delve into intensive research immediately after their bachelor’s.

However, the offerings and requirements vary from one institution to another, and often from one department to another within the same university. Here’s an expanded look into some of the universities leading the charge and their specific programs:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT has always been at the forefront of innovation, and its approach to graduate studies is no different. Several departments within MIT allow for a direct PhD pathway:

  • Biology: The department seeks candidates with a strong foundation in biology and other sciences. Undergraduate research experience is a significant plus.
  • Electrical Engineering & Computer Science: This department often values a blend of academic excellence and demonstrable skills, such as coding or design projects.

Stanford University

Stanford is another top-tier institution where certain departments entertain direct PhD applications:

  • Chemistry: Aside from a stellar academic record, the department values candidates with laboratory experience and those who’ve contributed to research publications.
  • Physics: A strong foundation in physics, proven through coursework, and undergraduate research, often sets successful candidates apart.

University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)

UC Berkeley has a wide array of programs, some of which allow candidates to transition directly from their bachelors:

  • Molecular & Cell Biology: Here, the emphasis is on in-depth knowledge of biology and related disciplines. Candidates with research papers or projects often have an edge.
  • Environmental Science, Policy, & Management: This interdisciplinary program values candidates with a broad perspective on environmental issues and ideally some fieldwork or research experience.

Princeton University

At Princeton , the blend of traditional academic values with forward thinking has led to the adoption of direct PhD programs in select departments:

  • Mathematics: A profound understanding of advanced mathematics, as well as participation in relevant seminars, workshops, or Olympiads, can be beneficial.
  • Neuroscience: The department seeks individuals keen on exploring the frontiers of brain science. Laboratory experience, especially with techniques such as fMRI or electrophysiology, can be a plus.

Caltech (California Institute of Technology)

Caltech , renowned for its research contributions, also offers some direct-to-PhD programs:

  • Aeronautics: Candidates with a background in engineering, physics, or applied mathematics and a penchant for aerospace studies stand out.
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics: Those with a deep understanding of chemistry and biology, complemented by laboratory experience, are often favored.

Tips for Aspirants

Before diving into the application process:

  • Research Thoroughly: Understand the specific requirements of your desired program and department. Some might prioritize academic grades while others may emphasize research experience.
  • Engage with Current Students: Connecting with PhD students can provide a clearer picture of what to expect and how to strengthen your application.
  • Seek Guidance: From academic advisors to professors, gathering feedback can fine-tune your application, making it more aligned with what the department seeks.

While the option of direct PhD programs is increasingly available, it’s essential to understand that each university and department will have its specific criteria.

Being well-researched, prepared, and proactive can make a significant difference in the application process. The journey might be intense, but the rewards, both intellectual and professional, are profound.

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Need-to-Know Before Applying

Before embarking on the application journey, it’s essential to ensure you’re a good fit. Thoroughly research the program, faculty, available resources, and funding opportunities. Getting in touch with current PhD students or alumni can provide invaluable insights.

  • Challenges of a Direct PhD Path

Pursuing a PhD immediately after obtaining a bachelor’s degree is undoubtedly a unique and commendable academic route. While there are significant advantages to this path, it’s not without its hurdles.

Let’s delve deeper into the challenges that candidates may face when choosing a direct PhD path and ways to navigate these challenges effectively:

The Intensity of the Learning Curve

Entering a PhD program straight from an undergraduate degree can be a bit of a culture shock for many:

  • Depth Over Breadth: While bachelor’s programs typically offer a broad understanding of a field, PhDs require intense specialization. This transition from a general to a highly specialized focus can be demanding.
  • Advanced Coursework: Direct PhD students may find themselves in advanced courses with peers who have a master’s under their belt. This can make the initial semesters particularly challenging as they grapple with complex topics without the cushioning of intermediary subjects.

Adapting to the Research Rigor

PhD programs are research-intensive, which is a significant transition from undergraduate studies:

  • Research Autonomy: Unlike structured undergraduate lab exercises, PhD research is often self-directed. This requires independent problem-solving, a skill that takes time to cultivate.
  • Publication Pressure: There’s an emphasis on producing publishable results in PhD programs. Navigating the world of academic publishing, from selecting suitable journals to responding to reviewer comments, can be a steep learning curve.

Potential Missed Networking Opportunities

A master’s program is more than just academic coursework. It often provides students with a chance to network and form connections:

  • Limited Alumni Connections: Going straight to a PhD might mean you miss out on two sets of alumni networks – one from your master’s and one from your PhD.
  • Fewer Peer Collaborations: Master’s programs often involve group projects and collaborations, which can lead to long-lasting professional relationships. Direct PhD candidates might need to be more proactive in seeking such collaborative opportunities.

Social and Emotional Adjustments

The personal adjustments and sacrifices inherent in any PhD program can be particularly accentuated in a direct PhD route:

  • Younger Peer Group: Being younger than many of your peers might lead to feelings of isolation or imposter syndrome.
  • Lack of Break: Many students use the time between a bachelor’s and a PhD for personal development, travel, or gaining industry experience. Jumping straight into a PhD means you’re back in the academic grind without a significant break.

Navigating Financial Complexities

While getting to the finish line faster might seem cost-effective, there are financial considerations:

  • Funding Challenges: Some funding opportunities or scholarships might be tailored specifically for master’s students. Direct PhD students need to be more resourceful in seeking financial support.
  • Longer Commitment: If you’re self-funding, remember that a PhD is a long-term financial commitment. Ensure you have a clear understanding of costs and potential financial strain.

Strategies for Overcoming Challenges

  • Mentorship: Seek out mentors early on, both within and outside your department. Their guidance can be invaluable.
  • Networking: Attend conferences, workshops, and seminars to broaden your network and gain exposure to various facets of your field.
  • Self-Care: Recognize the signs of burnout and stress. Engage in activities outside academia to maintain a balanced life.
  • Open Communication: Discuss your challenges with your PhD supervisor. They can offer guidance, resources, or even adjust your research load if needed.

Opting for a direct PhD path is a commendable and ambitious decision. However, it’s imperative for candidates to be aware of the potential challenges. With foresight, preparation, and the right support system, these hurdles can be effectively navigated, leading to a rewarding academic journey.

Adjusting to the Research Intensity

A PhD program is undeniably intense. The depth of research, long hours in the lab or library, and the pressure to publish can be overwhelming. Candidates who haven’t experienced the intermediary step of a master’s might find this transition especially taxing.

Networking and Building Relationships

One often overlooked benefit of a master’s program is the networking opportunities it presents. Direct PhD students might need to put in extra effort to establish connections in their field, attend conferences, and collaborate on research.

The prospect of pursuing a PhD without a master’s degree in the USA is both exciting and challenging. It offers a unique pathway for ambitious students eager to delve into research.

However, it’s essential to consider all aspects, from advantages to inherent challenges, before making a decision. Research thoroughly, engage with current students, and reflect on your long-term goals to ensure this path aligns with your academic and professional aspirations.

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Is it common to get accepted into a direct PhD program without research experience?

While it’s possible, it’s relatively rare. Research experience is often a significant criterion for acceptance.

Do all universities in the USA offer a direct PhD after a bachelor’s?

No, while the trend is growing, not all universities or departments offer this option. Always check the specific department’s guidelines.

How can I enhance my chances of acceptance for a direct PhD?

Strengthen your profile with solid undergraduate research, obtain strong recommendation letters, and demonstrate clarity in your research goals through your statement of purpose.

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Table of Contents

  • • Why the Sudden Shift?
  • • Why Consider a PhD Without a Master’s Degree?
  • • Eligibility and Admission Criteria
  • • Universities Offering Direct PhD Programs
  • • Challenges of a Direct PhD Path
  • • Conclusion

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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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

(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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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.

schools that offer phd without masters

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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Do You Need a Master’s to Get a PhD? Not Necessarily

Lisa Marlin

If you’re thinking about becoming an expert in your field by getting a PhD, you might already know how long the road ahead of you may be. Many people dream of getting a PhD, but they often get put off by the time commitment and cost involved before they can even get started.

After all, PhDs can take anywhere from 3 to 8 years  to finish — and in some cases, even more. Getting a PhD can be quite a difficult endeavor for people who have jobs , families, and other financial responsibilities to balance along the way.

If you want that coveted PhD without compromising your other responsibilities, you might find yourself asking, “do you need a master’s to get a PhD?”

The short answer is: not necessarily .

Although the traditional route to a PhD often involves getting a master’s degree first, many direct to PhD programs allow academics to skip an MA altogether. Even those with bachelor’s degrees have a decent chance at getting into a PhD program. However, going directly for a doctorate still has its advantages and disadvantages.

Table of Contents

How to Get a PhD Without a Master’s Degree

The minimum requirement to be considered for a PhD is a bachelor’s degree, but your chances of getting accepted will depend on how well you tender your application .

Educational institutions won’t freely advertise that they offer doctorates without master’s degrees. It becomes your task to look into the core beliefs of the universities you’re interested in to see whether you have a chance at success.

When putting together your application, you’ll have to check the universities’ requirements to ensure that your previous academic performance qualifies. The better your qualifications and recommendation letters are, the higher your chances of being considered.

Of course, you may be able to eliminate many of your troubles by going the direct to PhD route, which takes you from undergrad straight into a doctorate program.

PhD Without a Master’s – How Does it Work?

PhD programs that consider candidates who don’t already have a master’s will expect you to have at least a bachelor’s degree.

The expectation can vary depending on the doctorate, but the bare minimum requirement is generally:

A three-year undergraduate degree in a related discipline for STEM PhDs

A relevant four-year undergraduate degree for PhDs in the arts and humanities.

To be considered for a PhD without a master’s, you’ll also need to have a strong academic record from your undergraduate studies. Universities are highly selective when admitting PhD candidates without master’s, so you’ll need to show academic transcripts with a high GPA.

The first way you can study a PhD without a master’s is by applying to a program that allows a direct route from bachelor’s to PhD. There are a number of doctoral programs, especially online ones, that only require you to have an undergraduate degree to apply. Be aware that even if a master’s is not required, you’ll need to submit a strong application, including a compelling research proposal, in order to stand out from other applicants, many of whom may have master’s degrees.

Even if the program normally requires a master’s as a prerequisite, you may be able to get around this by first pursuing an MPhil. Under this process, you’re given a year to prepare a thesis, which outlines your initial research and how you plan to expand on it for a full PhD dissertation. If successful, your MPhil will be upgraded to a doctorate, you’ll become a PhD candidate, and eventually be able to earn a PhD. If you don’t demonstrate strong enough research skills, you may also pass and be awarded an MPhil degree, but won’t be upgraded to a PhD student.

Another option would be to pursue an integrated PhD program, sometimes known as an integrated master’s degree. These are specific courses offered by some colleges that combine a master’s and PhD: if you’re successful, at the end of the course you’ll be awarded both qualifications. Typically, integrated PhD programs last for four years, covering a one-year master’s and a three-year PhD.

How Long Does it Take to Get a PhD Without a Master’s?

Studying a PhD program without a master’s will typically add an extra year to the usual timeline , as you’ll need to spend an additional year either completing an MPhil or as part of an integrated PhD program. Therefore, as most doctorates take three to five years to complete, a PhD without a master’s will usually take between four and six years.

On the other hand, if you choose a PhD program that only requires a bachelor’s degree to join, it will only take the standard length of time for that program, usually three to five years.

Which Universities Offer PhDs Without a Master’s?

Unfortunately, most universities don’t advertise PhD programs without master’s, as candidates are generally accepted on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, admission requirements for PhD programs are usually set by the school or department, so even if one PhD program accepts candidates without master’s degrees, this may not be the case across the university.

If you want to pursue a PhD without a master’s, you’ll need to contact the admissions committee of the programs you’re interested in, and check their requirements.

Is it Possible to Get a PhD Without a Bachelor’s Degree?

It is not impossible to get a PhD without first having a bachelor’s degree, but it is very uncommon. In some rare cases, universities may accept candidates for doctoral programs with extensive professional experience in lieu of an undergraduate qualification.

If you’re able to demonstrate significant contributions to your field through either work or self-directed study, and that you’ve directly contributed new knowledge to the discipline, you may be accepted into a PhD program. You’ll be more likely to be accepted if you’ve been published, preferably multiple times, and have a number of professional accreditations.

Advantages of Going Straight to PhD

The biggest advantage of bypassing a master’s degree is easily the amount of time and money you can save in the process.

An MA can take as short as a year or as long as three to obtain. And when doctorates usually take anywhere from 5-7 years, shaving 1-3 years off can make a huge difference — especially for busy people who want to get ahead in their careers quickly.

Of course, you also won’t need to pay thousands of dollars in tuition fees for an MA. These savings alone are usually enough to convince many people to go for a PhD without master’s degrees slowing them down along the way.

Other benefits you may encounter are:

  • Grants and Stipends – Another advantage of joining a direct-entry doctorate program is the possibility of obtaining outside funding (if you qualify). Many PhD programs offer students financial assistance in the form of partial funding or full tuition waivers. If you can benefit from financial aid, you might be glad to know that some programs also offer stipends on top of the tuition grants.
  • Research Projects  – As a doctoral candidate, you might want to start or join certain research projects that may be time-sensitive. In cases like these, it’s usually advisable to go directly for PhDs to increase your chances of securing your dream project. If the project you’re looking at is a long-term endeavor, a doctoral program may also be the best route to allow for more in-depth fieldwork and experiments during your studies.
  • Less Stress and Hassle  – Choosing not to go for a master’s degree might help eliminate stress and hassle, such as school applications and potential relocations. Going direct to PhD means you’ll likely only need to move once (if at all) to your chosen school’s area.

Disadvantages of Skipping a Master’s Degree

Although the answer to the question “can you get a PhD without a master’s?” is a resounding yes, it doesn’t always mean that it’s the right choice for everyone.

Going from undergraduate studies straight into a PhD program can be quite a huge adjustment. The program might suddenly expect you to get familiar with new techniques, work, and professional relationships — and fast!

This adjustment period may put you at a disadvantage compared to other doctorate candidates who have previously completed a master’s degree.

Other hindrances you might encounter are:

  • Difficulty During Applications Process  – PhD programs are competitive and often only take the best-qualified applicants. If you’re competing with other students who have master’s degrees, it may affect your chances of securing a spot. However, if you go for a direct to PhD program  (undergraduate straight into PhD), it may be possible to avoid this problem.
  • Less Experience in Research and Dissertation Work  – A thesis or dissertation is a major requirement of completing a master’s degree. Skipping an MA means you’re missing out on all of the experience you’d otherwise get in research and fieldwork. You’ll also have less experience actually writing a dissertation.
  • Less Time to Confirm Your Interests  – Working on your master’s thesis will allow you to select a topic that interests you. You usually spend about a year working on your thesis, during which you can explore the topic further to confirm whether it’s really what you want to go into. By skipping the MA, you’re potentially giving up the chance to verify if the field truly interests you before you fully commit to it for the duration of your PhD. Going straight into a doctoral program may also mean that you miss out on the chance to choose your own topic and create your own research proposal.
  • Missing the Opportunity to Work with a Thesis Supervisor – When doing a master’s degree, postgraduate students work with a thesis supervisor who provides guidance and advice for their projects. Going direct to PhD means you miss out on the experience of working with a supervisor and finding the right types of communication, schedules, and professional relationships for your needs. This means you’ll have to figure all of this out during your doctorate program, which can add to your stress.

So Can you Get a PhD  Without a Master’s? Yes, But Not Always

You don’t necessarily need a master’s in order to pursue a PhD. Some PhD programs accept candidates with a bachelor’s degree only, or you may be able to get around a master’s prerequisite by signing up for a MPhil or an integrated PhD program.

The “ideal” doctorate program doesn’t come along often. If you find yourself faced with a choice between pursuing a master’s degree  or trying to get into your dream doctoral program, you might want to skip the master’s degree altogether.

Although you may miss out on an MA qualification, often, a finished PhD supersedes the need for one anyway.

Getting a PhD without a master’s degree can be difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible! For more inspiration, take a look at our guides to the highest-paying PhD degrees  and the best one-year online PhD programs .

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you skip a master’s and get a phd.

Yes, there are a few ways you may be able to get into a PhD program without completing a master’s first. You could opt for a PhD program that doesn’t require master’s as a prerequisite, or go for a MPhil or integrated PhD program. However, keep in mind that not all universities or programs allow you to apply for a PhD without a master’s.

Can I apply for a PhD after my bachelor’s?

In some cases, you can apply to a PhD program as soon as you’ve finished your undergraduate degree. Some doctoral programs accept candidates with a bachelor’s degree only, though you’ll probably need to have an excellent academic record and a strong research proposal.

Is a PhD better than a master’s?

PhD and master’s degrees are valuable in different ways, so it’s not really fair to say that a PhD is better than a master’s. Although a PhD is a more advanced degree, there are roles and professions that would prefer you to have a master’s rather than a PhD. Master’s programs usually have a more practical, real-world focus, which can be more useful  for many roles in the business, non-profit, and government sectors. On the other hand, a PhD is strongly rooted in in-depth research, so prepares candidates to work in research and academia.

Lisa Marlin

Lisa Marlin

Lisa is a full-time writer specializing in career advice, further education, and personal development. She works from all over the world, and when not writing you'll find her hiking, practicing yoga, or enjoying a glass of Malbec.

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Can you get a PhD without a master’s degree?

Traditionally seen as the pinnacle of academic success, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) rigorously prepares you for a career in research and academia that might even earn you the title of “Professor” one day. Getting a PhD is no easy feat, and involves years of gruelling hard work, often with a few life crises and probably thoughts of quitting in between. That said, the question of whether there’s a ‘shortcut’ on how to get a PhD often pops up in student forums and discussions.

Although getting a master’s degree after completing your undergraduate studies is the conventional route taken towards a PhD, you can in fact bypass your master’s degree entirely and go straight into a doctorate programme. Granted, not all subjects or countries have this option, but there’s plenty to go around if you want to save time and money to get your research going.

The University of California, Berkeley , for instance, only admits Bachelor’s degree holders into its political science PhD programme, with a possibility for students to obtain a master’s qualification if they withdraw from the doctoral degree as long as sufficient coursework has been completed. Similarly, you can get a PhD in the Ohio State University’s chemical engineering programme without having done a master’s .

Across the pond, the University of Cambridge can accept students without a master’s degree , where they’ll be placed in a probationary year before progressing into their dissertation. As you can see, various routes are available for direct PhD entry in different fields.

Once again: you don't need a Masters degree to get into a PhD program in America. And there's way more funding for PhD students than MS. Just in case no one told you. — Muneer Yaqub🇺🇸🇳🇬 (@elMunir5) February 21, 2022

How long does it take to get a PhD?

The doctoral degree is primarily a research degree , where you have to come up with your own original ideas and spend some years of fieldwork, lab work, or any other type of real-world practice that will contribute towards your final dissertation.

If you’re wondering why the US is a bit relaxed in terms of entry requirements, it’s probably because a PhD there is almost never a pure research degree, and generally takes a much longer time to complete as a full-time student than in the UK or Australia.

Countries that accept direct BSc degree (from Africa) to PhD i.e. without MSc 📍United States 🇺🇸 (very popular) 📍Hong Kong 🇭🇰 📍Australia 🇦🇺 📍Canada 🇨🇦 📍New Zealand 🇳🇿 Add yours ✌🏽 — Olájídé 𓃵 (@Jamaticulus) February 21, 2022

Many US doctorate programmes begin with coursework and assessments in the first two years.  After passing an exam, it’s only then that you’ll start working on your research and dissertation. Overall, you’re looking at a time frame of four to six years full-time if you want to get a PhD in an American university.

Compared to anywhere else, you can get a PhD in the US without forking out any for tuition, even for international students. This is because the programmes there tend to be fully-funded , with enough stipend and income from teaching assistantships to cover your cost of living.

Meanwhile, a PhD in Australia or the UK is generally a pure research degree, where you dive headlong into your dissertation topic from the start of your programme. You’ll already be discussing your doctoral thesis with a supervisor in your first year, starting with a literature review and critiquing existing scholarship on your subject before moving on to independent research in the following years. The programme duration is shorter than in the US — a full-time study takes about three to four years.

How can I get a PhD without a master’s degree as an international student?

Full-time PhD programmes in the US are a few years longer compared to other countries. Source: Roslan Rahman/AFP

It goes without saying that being in good academic standing will go a long way in getting into a PhD programme right after your undergraduate studies, but that’s only part of the equation. PhD applications require more paperwork, including a statement of purpose tailored to the university and recommendation letters from your previous instructors that can vouch for your potential as a candidate.

The best way to get into your programme though? Contact the university directly to express your interest and see what funding package is available based on your circumstances. The graduate admissions page will list what is required for application, where you’ll know if you can be admitted with just a bachelor’s degree.

Although skipping a step to get a PhD sounds ideal, you need to assess if you have the capacity to undertake a high-intensity academic life. A master’s degree might cost you an extra year or two, and a few thousand off your account, but it builds a solid foundation for the kind of discipline and knowledge you will need to survive your PhD.

If you do decide to take the plunge, you might want to look out for programmes that can grant you a master’s qualification along the way, so your hard work pays off in case you choose to withdraw from your PhD in the future.

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How to Find the Right PhD Programs Without Master’s

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How to Find the Right PhD Programs Without Master’s

Ordinarily, you will have to obtain a master’s degree first before you can pursue a PhD program. This is because a master’s degree is a prerequisite for a doctoral degree program. However, you can skip this process to get into PhD programs without a master’s. Yes, you can do that; it is very possible.

I know this may sound a little bit strange. In fact, as a result, people keep wondering if they can actually skip from a bachelor’s degree to a PhD.

Well, the answer is yes; you can actually transition to a PhD from the bachelor’s degree level, but it is not easy.

This article will explain in detail how you can get into PhD programs without a master’s and answer every question related to PhD programs without a master’s.

In addition to this, you will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing Ph.D. programs without having to acquire a master’s degree.

Is it Possible to Get a PhD Without a Master’s?

Of course, it is very possible for anyone to acquire a PhD without undergoing a master’s degree program.

The usual pathway involves students studying to acquire bachelor’s and master’s degrees before enrolling to pursue a PhD Nevertheless, they can decide to skip the graduate level in order to acquire a doctoral degree.

In some countries, like the U.K., it is very common to do this.

While some countries still require a master’s degree before applying to a PhD program, many universities around the world do not.

But before you can do this, you will have to consider a lot of factors.

See Also: Best Universities for Masters in Communication

Factors to Consider While Going from a Bachelor’s to PhD

Before choosing to switch from a bachelor’s to a PhD, there are certain factors that you must consider first. These factors include:

  • Master’s degree programs make you stand out
  • Flexibility
  • A Master’s degree could promote a Ph.D. program

How do I apply for PhD programs without a master’s?

Before you apply for PhD programs without a master’s, ensure that you check if you meet the requirements of the universities to which you’re applying.

Almost every institution has different rules and regulations for making Ph.D. applications because some may require a master’s degree during the application process.

Additionally, you should make sure that you have enough evidence in your application stating why you are fit to enroll in the doctoral program by submitting visible samples of your work , which is equivalent to a master’s degree thesis.

You will also have to show that you have the motivation and willingness to contribute your quota to the institution through innovation, research, collaboration, and hard work.

Which universities offer PhD programs without Masters?

Unfortunately, there is no list of universities offering PhD programs without a master’s. This is because every university has different requirements for its doctoral degree programs .

So, make sure you check the requirements of the institution and the PhD program that you wish to apply to.

Related: What is Advanced Degree: Q and A

If you’re able to find a university that does not require a master’s, ensure to make your application stand out because you will be up against other applicants who may hold a master’s degree.

You can also include a letter of recommendation with your application, and the letter should come from a respected university professor in the field to which you are applying.

Advantages and Disadvantages of PhD Program Without Master’s

Choosing to skip a master’s degree for a Ph.D. comes with a lot of advantages and disadvantages. You can see them below.

Advantage s

Bypassing a master’s degree program for a Ph.D. helps students save money and time. Doing this will help you eliminate between one and two years of expenses during the course of the program.

Read: Top Cheapest Online Law School To Study

Choosing to pursue Ph.D. programs without a master’s will make projects available to you. Once you find a project that you like, someone else might take it up while you are studying to acquire a master’s degree.

But by bypassing a master’s degree, you will have the opportunity to take up that research project during your doctoral program.

Disadvantages

If you don’t have a master’s degree, it could be a hindrance to you while applying for a Ph.D. program because other students who are seeking doctoral degree admission with you may have a master’s degree.

With this, they stand a better chance of securing admission than you.

Related: List of Top MSc Colleges in the World

The dissertation project that students undergoing a master’s degree program carry out gives them knowledge of how to handle a research project. Under the PhD program, chances are that you will choose a dissertation project for yourself.

So, if you skip the master’s degree, you will not have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge that this dissertation project offers.

Additionally, the dissertation project under the master’s degree program will enable you to work in collaboration with a project supervisor in the field. Also, see if you Can I do MBA after MS .

This will help you understand the relationship between a PhD student and the supervisor and decide the approach that best works for you.

With this understanding, you can now choose a supervisor who will help you find a nice PhD project. But If you bypass a master’s degree for a PhD, you will definitely miss out on this.

Finding the perfect PhD program without a master’s degree can be difficult, but it is certainly doable. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get through this:

1. Clarify Your Research Interests

Before you start looking for programs, establish a list of your research interests.

What field of study do you find most interesting? What specific research questions would you like to investigate? Knowing this will allow you to narrow down your choices.

2. Check Admission Requirements

Examine the requirements for admission to PhD programs at various universities.

While many programs favor applicants with a master’s degree, applicants with a solid bachelor’s degree and related research experience may be considered.

3. Identify Universities and Programs

Begin by investigating universities and programs that are relevant to your study interests. Look for universities that are well-known for their research in your field of interest.

4. Reach Out to Potential Advisors

Contact professors or researchers whose work you respect and who could be possible PhD supervisors. Inquire about PhD possibilities and express your interest in their research.

It is critical to establish a good relationship with a potential advisor.

5. Highlight Relevant Experience

Highlight any relevant research experience, articles, or projects you worked on throughout your bachelor’s degree in your application.

This can show your dedication and capacity to manage PhD-level research.

6. Prepare a Strong Statement of Purpose

Write a convincing statement of intent that explains why you want to pursue a PhD, your research interests, and why you’re a good candidate even if you don’t have a master’s degree.

Emphasize your enthusiasm, motivation, and any unique experiences or skills.

7. Prepare for Standardized Tests

GRE or other standardized test scores are required for many PhD programs. Prepare for these exams and go for high marks to boost your application .

8. Secure Strong Recommendation Letters

Request letters of recommendation from academics or professionals who can speak to your academic abilities and research potential.

9. Apply to Multiple Programs

Apply to a variety of programs, including ones that accept applicants who do not have a master’s degree. To increase your chances of acceptance, cast a wide net.

10. Consider Part-Time or Online Programs

Some universities offer part-time or online PhD programs with more flexible entry requirements . If you are unable to commit to a full-time, on-campus program, these options can be extremely beneficial.

11. Be Persistent

Be prepared for rejection, and don’t give up. It may be more difficult to gain admission to PhD programs without a master’s degree, but it is not impossible.

Continue to improve your application and apply to multiple programs until you are successful.

12. Seek Funding Opportunities

Look for scholarships, grants, and fellowships to assist with funding your PhD education. Financial assistance can make you a more appealing prospect.

13. Consider Bridge Programs

Some universities provide bridge programs to help students shift from a bachelor’s degree to a PhD.

Additional coursework and research experience are often provided in these programs to prepare you for PhD studies.

14. Network and Attend Conferences

Attend industry conferences and seminars to network with professors and researchers. Making connections can help you find opportunities and the right program.

List of PhD Programs Without Masters

While many PhD programs require applicants to have a master’s degree, other Ph.D. programs admit students with a bachelor’s degree immediately.

These PhD programs are frequently referred to as “direct entry” or “combined” programs. Consider the following options:

1. Integrated PhD Programs

Some colleges provide integrated PhD programs, which allow students to begin a PhD program immediately after finishing their bachelor’s degree.

These programs are often longer in duration than regular Ph.D. programs and may incorporate master’s-level coursework as part of the program.

2. PhD Programs with Conditional Acceptance

In some situations, universities may conditionally admit students with a bachelor’s degree.

This means that students are admitted into the Ph.D. program but may be required to complete additional coursework or achieve certain academic standards during their Ph.D. studies.

3. Research Experience

If you did a lot of research as an undergraduate, you might be able to use that experience to get into a Ph.D. program. In such circumstances, strong letters of recommendation and a well-defined research plan can be critical.

4. Professional Experience

Professional experience and accomplishments may be deemed equivalent to a master’s degree in certain professions, particularly the sciences and engineering.

Some PhD schools may admit you without a master’s degree if you have a strong track record of research or job experience in your field.

5. Alternative Routes

Alternative routes to a PhD exist in some subjects and disciplines, such as apprenticeships or industry-specific programs. These routes may not necessitate a master’s degree.

Remember that admittance to PhD programs can be quite competitive, but perseverance and a well-prepared application can help you overcome the challenge of not having a master’s degree.

Make your application materials stand out by emphasizing your enthusiasm, research experience, and potential for success in your chosen profession.

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50 Best PhD Programs That Don’t Require GRE Scores [2024 Schools Guide]

Check out PhD Programs that don’t require GRE scores for admission. Compare PhD programs without the GRE (Campus & Online).

PhD Programs No GRE

We’ve identified a number of accredited universities that don’t require the GRE as part of their PhD application process.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

List of Online PsyD Programs No GRE

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. In addition, the universities included in this list offer online psychology doctoral programs and either do not require the GRE or offer GRE waivers for qualified students.

Adler University

Founded in 1952, Adler strives to develop professionals and practitioners who will better their local communities and the world. Driven by the work of physician and psychotherapist Alfred Adler, the school values fairness, equality and civil rights and helps students learn to put these concepts into practice.

  • Online Doctor of Psychology in Industrial & Organizational Psychology

Adler University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Alliant International University

Recognized as a top school for minorities by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education and for military veterans by College Factual, Alliant values diversity in the classroom and the workforce. Students are encouraged to have a global perspective, a desire for community service and a commitment to equality.

Believing that hands-on experiences are essential for a well-rounded education, the school connects students to the community throughout its degree programs.

  • Online Doctor of Psychology

Alliant is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Antioch University

Equal rights, equal pay and equal educational opportunities for minorities and women have long been important at Antioch. In the 1800s, Antioch was one of the first institutions of higher education that admitted both whites and African-Americans, and the school’s list of famous alumni includes Coretta Scott King.

  • Online Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Antioch University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

California Southern University

Since its beginnings in 1978, the mission of California Southern University has been centered around the idea of providing flexible educational experiences for adult learners.

Throughout the school’s 30 programs, there is a continual focus on establishing strong, supportive relationships between staff and students.

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

Capella University

Enrolling over 37,000 students each year, Capella University offers educational opportunities for working professionals. Through distance-learning programs, the university reaches students from every state and over 50 different countries. Of the school’s more than 1,500 faculty members and administrators, 88 percent hold doctoral degrees.

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Felician University

Since 1942, Felician University has been providing educational experiences based on the Catholic Franciscan values of service, compassion and respect. Over 2,000 students take classes from this school each year. The university has a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, and 73 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students.

  • Online Doctor of Counseling Psychology

Felician University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Grand Canyon University

Founded in 1949, Grand Canyon University seeks to educate students from a Christian perspective so that they will become service-minded professionals whose faith permeates their lives and directs their work. The university enrolls over 19,000 on-campus students and more than 60,000 online students each year.

  • Online Doctor of Performance Psychology

Grand Canyon University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Meridian University

At Meridian University, the goal is for students to gain a transformative education. Through their schooling, students should grow personally and learn to affect change in their fields and in their communities. Approximately 91 percent of Meridian students complete their degree programs within the allotted time.

Meridian University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Northwest University

Affiliated with the Assemblies of God denomination, Northwest University is a Christian school with a desire to engage students who are committed to both scholarship and service. Graduates go on to work in a variety of fields, including ministry, business, medical and educational settings.

Northwestern University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Pepperdine University

U.S. News has ranked Pepperdine University at No. 46 on its list of Best Value Schools, and Forbes has placed the school at No. 8 on its list of the Most Entrepreneurial Universities. The university opened in 1937, and the school’s alumni group today boasts over 100,000 members. 84 percent of Pepperdine students serve in internships or other hands-on experiences.

Pepperdine is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.

Saybrook University

Saybrook University was established in 1971 and offers a PhD in Clinical Psychology. The degree is designed for those students who are looking for a program that will equip them with the practical skills necessary to start their professional practice.

The program covers multi-cultural psychology, psychotherapy, child and adolescent psychology, and more.

  • PhD in Clinical Psychology

Saybrook University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.

Touro University Worldwide

Touro University Worldwide is the online branch of the Touro College and University System. Altogether, Touro schools include around 19,000 students and more than 95,000 alumni. Founded on Jewish principles and traditions, the group’s roots date back to 1970.

  • Online Doctor of Psychology in Human & Organizational Psychology

Touro University Worldwide is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

University of Hartford

With over 6,500 enrolled students, the University of Hartford issues more than 1,500 diplomas each year. The student body is made up of people from nearly every state and over 40 different countries. Creativity, diversity, responsibility and integrity are some of the highest values of this school, which was founded in 1957.

University of Hartford is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

University of the Cumberlands

The Baptist roots of the University of the Cumberlands date back to 1888. The university reaches over 10,000 learners each year and has a 17:1 ratio of students to faculty. Hands-on learning is highly valued at this school, and all students engage in service opportunities while attaining their degrees.

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

Walden University

Over 57,000 students are studying with Walden University at any given time. The faculty members are leaders in their areas of expertise, and almost 90 percent of them hold doctoral degrees. The university’s status as a certified B Corporation shows its commitment to operating ethically and motivating students to be positive change-makers in their communities.

Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Western Kentucky University

U.S. News has ranked Western Kentucky University No. 24 in Best Colleges for Veterans and No. 34 in Best Regional Universities South. Both Sierra Club and Princeton Review have applauded this university for its environmental efforts. The school has over 20,000 students, and the average class has around 24 students in it.

Western Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

List of Online Doctor of Education (EdD) Programs No GRE

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. In addition, the universities included in this list either do not require the GRE or offer waivers for qualified students.

Baylor University

Baylor University holds fast to its Baptist roots while welcoming a diverse student body from many religious and geographic backgrounds. Founded in 1845, the school is committed to serious scholarship, community service, and the integration of faith and life. Baylor has over 17,000 students and a 14:1 student-faculty ratio.

  • Online Doctorate of Education

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

City University of Seattle

  • Online Doctor of Education in Leadership

CityU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Colorado State University

Founded in 1870, Colorado State University has awarded over 230,000 degrees. The school was involved in the establishment of the Peace Corps, and still today, many students choose to spend time serving through this organization. In addition to global service and responsibility, CSU values innovation, respect, diversity and academic excellence.

Colorado State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Concordia University

Since 1805, Concordia University has been educating students in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, tradition.

Although based on Christian faith and principles, and university welcomes a diverse student body made up of people from many religious backgrounds. The school enrolls over 5,000 students each year and boasts a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

This is an online doctorate in education no GRE required.

  • Online Doctor of Education

Concordia University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Creighton University

Considered U.S. News ’ No. 1 school in the Regional Universities Midwest category and the Best Colleges for Veterans category, Creighton University educates nearly 9,000 students yearly.

The school was founded in 1878 by Jesuit Catholics and many members of the Jesuit tradition still work at Creighton. Within six months of degree completion, 99 percent of graduates are successful at landing a job or a satisfactory next step.

Creighton University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.

East Tennessee State University

Founded in 1911, East Tennessee State University today educates more than 14,500 students each year. The university values respect, diversity and academic excellence, and well-rounded student experiences are essential to an ETSU education. There are over 100 degree programs at this school, and the student-faculty ratio is approximately 16:1.

East Tennessee State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Florida State University

Florida State University offers over 300 degree programs, and the Carnegie Commission has bestowed on this school the distinction of Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity. With over 41,000 members, the student body includes people from more than 130 countries around the world. Six Nobel Laureates have taught at this university.

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

Johns Hopkins University

Since its beginnings 1876, Johns Hopkins has highly prized both teaching and research, and the school considers itself the first research university in the United States. Although particularly well-known for its School of Medicine, this university also awards degrees in public health, education, physics, business and other disciplines.

The programs listed above are online EdD programs no GRE required.

The Johns Hopkins University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Lamar University

A member of the Texas State University System, Lamar University has about 15,000 enrolled students and over 75,000 alumni. Approximately 30 percent of the university’s classes are taught online. The school was founded in 1923 and today employs over 1,200 people and offers more than 100 degree programs.

  • Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

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

Liberty University

Since 1971, over 250,000 people have received an education from Liberty University. Currently, about 30 percent of the school’s students are active-duty members of the military or veterans. Liberty University has Baptist affiliations and seeks to develop students’ Christian worldview. Volunteerism is valued, and the student body puts about 500,000 hours into service each year.

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

Maryville University

Over 9,000 students take classes from Maryville University each year. The school has a 14:1 student-faculty ratio, and about 90 percent of the faculty members have received doctoral degrees. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Maryville was one of the top three fastest-growing universities in the United States.

Maryville University of Saint Louis is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

National University

Founded in 1971, National University is a network of nonprofit educational institutions dedicated to providing flexible, quality education to help students meet their educational and career goals. NU’s programs are taught by 100% doctoral professors.

National University has over 30,000 students enrolled and more that 220,000 alumni from around the world.

National University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Northwest Nazarene University

Although Northwest Nazarene University began as an elementary school in 1913, the school quickly expanded its educational offerings and awarded its first college degrees in 1917. Today, more than 8,000 students take NNU classes each year. Although the Church of the Nazarene sponsors the school, students come from a diverse mix of religious backgrounds.

Northwest Nazarene University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Oakland City University

U.S. News ranked Oakland City University at No. 7 on its list of Best Colleges for Veterans. The publication also grants it the No. 39 spot on its Regional Colleges Midwest list. Affiliated with the General Association of General Baptists, the college pursues both academic and spiritual development for students.

Oakland City University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Saint Leo University

Famous alumni of Saint Leo University include Desi Arnaz and Stephen Stills. U.S. News gives this university the No. 14 spot on its list of Best Value Schools. Founded in 1889, Saint Leo University is rooted in the Benedictine Catholic tradition and values excellence in academics, relationships, personal growth and integrity.

Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Samford University

According to U.S. News , Samford wins the No. 4 spot on the list of Regional Universities South. This school has graduated 8 state governors, 60 members of Congress and a number of other high-profile citizens. The university has been educating students since 1841 and currently enrolls over 5,500 learners each year and has a student-faculty ratio of 13:1.

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

Texas A&M University

In 1876, Texas A&M University became the first public college in Texas. Over 70,000 students currently study with Texas A&M, which offers over 400 degree programs. The school values leadership in both its staff and its students and seeks to develop strong leaders who will make a difference in their communities.

Texas A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission.

Texas Tech University

According to the Center for Measuring University Performance, Texas Tech University ranked in the top 50 public research schools in the United States. There are more than 38,000 students currently taking Texas Tech classes and over 1,700 faculty members. More than 8,000 students graduated from this university in 2018.

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

Trident University

Ranked No. 19 on the list of Best Colleges by The Military Times, Trident University has been the school of choice for over 27,000 students. The university’s goals for students include strong critical thinking skills, an understanding of how to gather and use information, the ability to communicate clearly, and a commitment to integrity.

Trident University accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Union University

At Union University, there’s a 10:1 student-faculty ratio for the more than 3,000 learners who study there. 85 percent of the faculty members hold terminal degrees. In the past year, Christian Universities Online gave this university the top spot on its Best Christian Colleges and Universities in the South list.

  • Online Doctor of Education – Leadership in School Reform

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

University of Arkansas

The Carnegie Foundation recognizes the University of Arkansas as one of the country’s top research universities, and the Chronicle of Higher Education has commended the school for having one of the country’s fastest-growing doctoral programs. With over 27,000 students and over 1,401 faculty members, there’s a student-faculty ratio of 19:1.

The U of A has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission without interruption since 1924.

University of Findlay

Since 1882, the University of Findlay has been equipping students with academic knowledge and spiritual development. Hands-on experiences help students put their classroom learning into practice throughout their schooling. The university has ties to the Church of God, and College Factual has named it the denomination’s best school.

University of Kentucky

Founded in 1865, the University of Kentucky maintains a commitment to producing graduates who influence communities throughout the world. The school has more than 2,000 faculty members and over 29,000 students. Forbes has placed this university at No. 63 on its list of the best colleges in the southern United States.

The University of Kentucky is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Massachusetts

As New England’s top public university, the University of Massachusetts values academics, research, and professional excellence. Reuters includes UMass on its list of the World’s Most Innovative Universities. Currently, the school has over 70,000 enrolled students, and more than 500,000 people have graduated from this university since its beginnings in 1863.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of New England

The University of New England, founded in 1939, has campuses in Biddeford and Portland, Maine and Tangier, Morocco. It’s a relatively small university, with a total of approximately 7,000 students, less than a third of which are doctoral students.

The EdD at UNE is a 51-credit course of study that can be completed entirely online and requires no GRE scores for acceptance. You can start in the Fall, Spring, or Summer and finish within 3 years.

The University of New England is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Southern California

U.S. News gives the University of Southern California the No. 22 ranking on its list of National Universities. Over 47,000 students are enrolled at this college, and there are more than 4,000 faculty members. The school grants about 10,000 advanced degrees each year.

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

William Carey University

True to its Baptist heritage, William Carey University’s goal is to prepare students for professional work that is guided by faith-based principles. In the early 1900s, it was a college for women only, but coed instruction began in 1954. U.S. News has given William Carey the No. 3 spot on its list of Best Value Schools.

William Carey University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

List of Online DBA Programs No GRE

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. In addition, the universities included in this list either do not require the GRE or offer a GRE waiver for qualified students.

Baker College

Desiring to turn out leaders who excel in their fields, Baker College encourages critical thinking, effective communication, personal growth and hands-on experiences throughout all of its academic programs. The school traces its history back to 1888, and its Center for Graduate Studies awarded its first doctoral degree in 2011.

Baker College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

  • Online DBA in Accounting
  • Online DBA in Global System and Supply Chain Management
  • Online DBA in Human Resource Management
  • Online DBA in Information Technology Management
  • Online DBA in Intelligence
  • Online DBA in Leadership
  • Online DBA in Project Management
  • Online DBA in Strategy and Innovation

Concordia University – Chicago

Since 1805, Concordia University has been educating students in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, tradition. Although based on Christian faith and principles, and university welcomes a diverse student body made up of people from many religious backgrounds. The school enrolls over 5,000 students each year and boasts a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Concordia University Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Drexel University

  • Online Executive DBA

Drexel is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Florida International University

FIU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  • Online DBA – Management

Johnson & Wales University

JWU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Since 1971, over 250,000 people have received an education from Liberty University. Currently, about 30 percent of the school’s students are active-duty members of the military or veterans.

Liberty University has Baptist affiliations and seeks to develop students’ Christian worldview. Volunteerism is valued, and the student body puts about 500,000 hours into service each year.

University of Dallas

UD is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of Maryland

UM is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Missouri – St. Louis

UMSL is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Phoenix

UOPX is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Wilmington University

Wilmington is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

List of Online Doctor of Social Work Programs No GRE

  • Online Doctor of Social Work

Kutztown University

Kutztown is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Millersville University

Millersville is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Southern Connecticut State University

SouthernCT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Tulane University

Tulane is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of Alabama

UA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of Pennsylvania

  • Online Doctorate in Clinical Social Work

Penn is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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

University of St. Thomas

St. Thomas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

List of Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Programs No GRE

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. In addition, the universities included in this list either do not require the GRE or offer GRE waivers for qualified students.

Arkansas State University

  • Online of Nursing Practice

Arkansas State University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Barry University

  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice – Anesthesiology

Barry is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

DePaul University

  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

DePaul is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Duke University

Duke is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Duquesne University

Duquesne is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Georgia College

GCSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Indiana State University

Indiana State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

New Mexico State University

NMSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Oklahoma City University

OKCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Pace University

Pace is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Palm Beach Atlantic University

PBA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Penn State University

Penn State is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Saint Francis Medical Center

Saint Francis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Texas Wesleyan University

  • Online Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

Texas Wesleyan is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of Arizona

UA is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of California – Irvine

  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice – Family Nurse Practitioner

UCI is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

University of Central Arkansas

UCA is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Iowa

UI is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

UK is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of Massachusetts – Boston

As New England’s top public university, the University of Massachusetts values academics, research and professional excellence. Reuters includes UMass on its list of the World’s Most Innovative Universities. Currently, the school has over 70,000 enrolled students, and more than 500,000 people have graduated from this university since its beginnings in 1863.

The University of Massachusetts Boston is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

University of Minnesota

UMN is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Nevada – Las Vegas

UNLV is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

University of North Dakota

UND is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of South Alabama

South is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of Texas

UT is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

List of Online PhD Without GRE Requirements

Enrolling over 37,000 students each year, Capella University offers educational opportunities for working professionals.

Through distance-learning programs, the university reaches students from every state and over 50 different countries. Of the school’s more than 1,500 faculty members and administrators, 88 percent hold doctoral degrees.

Capella offers an Online PhD no GRE.

  • Online PhD in Business Management
  • Online PhD in Systems Engineering

Johnson University

  • Online PhD in Leadership Studies

JU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Nova Southeastern University

PhD programs no GRE required.

  • Online PhD in Computer Science
  • Online PhD in Conflict Analysis & Resolution
  • Online PhD in Criminal Justice
  • Online PhD in Health Science
  • Online PhD in Nursing – Nursing Education
  • Online PhD in Occupational Therapy

NSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Texas Woman’s University

Online PhD programs no gre requirement.

  • Online PhD in Nursing Science

TWU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  • Online PhD in Business
  • Online PhD in Information Technology

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

This is a PhD no GRE required program.

  • Online PhD in Nursing

UWM is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Over 57,000 students are studying with Walden University at any given time. The faculty members are leaders in their areas of expertise, and almost 90 percent of them hold doctoral degrees.

The university’s status as a certified B Corporation shows its commitment to operating ethically and motivating students to be positive change-makers in their communities.

  • Online PhD in Management
  • Online PhD in Public Health
  • Online PhD in Social Work

PhD Programs that Don’t Require the GRE

The following doctoral programs do not require the GRE for admission:

  • Business & Management
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy
  • Theology & Ministry

A growing number of universities offering PhD programs or professional doctorates no longer require the GRE.

Doctor of Business Administration – DBA or PhD

PhD in Business Administration

A Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is an applied doctorate or a professional doctorate.

Many students enroll in a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program because they are entrepreneurs, potential business owners, or current managers who want to move into executive leadership .

You will learn about business practices, economics, finance, accounting, entrepreneurship, management, and many other important topics within specialized business tracks. For example, you may choose a track in finance or marketing to complete your DBA studies .

With a PhD in Business Administration , students learn about a specific focus within business, choosing a specialized track within business to focus on while they study. They may develop new theories in public administration, economics, entrepreneurship, management, marketing, or other aspect. Most students go on to become professors, researchers, or business analysts.

With the PhD in Business , a dissertation may be required, but there are a growing number of doctorate degrees with no dissertation requirements.

Doctor of Computer Science – DCS

Online Doctor of Computer Science students

A Doctor of Computer Science program teaches students about data analytics, computer networking, programming, enterprise information systems, and information technology topics. Most programs can be customized so that you pick the track that most relates to your field of interest.

If you have strong science skills, you may want to pursue this applied doctorate in computer science that provides a scientific foundation for understanding technology.

Since many different industries rely on technology and computer science, graduates may find work in a wide variety of fields.

Criminal Justice Doctorate – PhD

PhD in Criminal Justice Online

Earning a PhD in Criminal Justice teaches students about law enforcement, laws, ethics, community leadership, and cyber security at the local, state, and federal level.

You will learn about improving safety through justice, as well as criminal investigation tactics through PhD criminal justice degree programs.

Doctor of Education – EdD or PhD

Online Ed.D. no gre

Want to become a thought leader in the field of education?

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) is an applied doctorate for those who work in the education field. Many graduates work in schools, but others serve in government agencies, nonprofit organizations and more.

A Doctor of Education is an interdisciplinary program that helps graduates learn about applied theories when it comes to teaching different subjects and helping students learn. You may want to specialize in different education topics to take your career to the next level, such as educational leadership , early childhood development, or special education.

If you are currently teaching in a K-12 school, an EdD may broaden your career options. Potential uses of this degree would be teaching at the university level or entering school administration.

Doctor of Healthcare Administration – PhD or DBA

healthcare administration doctoral programs

For those who want to work in a leadership position in a healthcare organization , a doctoral program in healthcare administration or management can be a good choice.

This degree program is suited toward those who want to make business decisions for a hospital rather than practicing medicine. Graduates of these programs often work as hospital CEOs or Chief Financial Officers.

PhD in Human Services

Doctor of Philosophy

Working in social services can be a rewarding career, especially if you want to be a community leader.

Earning a PhD in Human Services offers students the opportunity to work in criminal justice, education, social work , community leadership, and housing, among others with the goal of helping families and individuals in local and global communities.

Doctor of Information Technology – DIT, DBA, or PhD

PhD in Information Technology

The workforce is becoming increasingly dependent on technology, and obtaining a doctorate in information technology will help you stay up on the latest developments in this area. You will explore ways that information technology can benefit society.

This degree can also be quite useful in business settings. Graduates may lead IT departments or serve as tech consultants.

Doctor of Nursing Practice – DNP or PhD

PhD in Nursing no GRE

Many people holding this degree serve as nurses in medical settings. It’s worth noting that the education provided in this type of program is quite different from the doctorate-level training that physicians receive.

Obtaining a Doctor of Nursing Practice or a PhD in Nursing will not qualify you to work as a physician. Graduating with a doctorate in Nursing is one way to achieve the highest level of nursing education and certification.

Doctor of Occupational Therapy – DOT or PhD

Doctor of Occupational Therapy

To take the test for licensure as an occupational therapist, you must earn either a master’s degree or a doctoral degree in this field.

A doctoral-level education may provide a greater variety of career or leadership options than a master’s-level education in occupational therapy.

An entry-level DOT program is designed to help you enter the occupational therapy field for the first time.

PhD in Psychology

Clinical Psychologist Doctorate Programs

Graduates with a PhD in psychology typically go on to own their own clinical counseling practices, helping others to work through mental illness, difficult traumatic experiences, and early childhood development problems.

Graduates may wish to attain a license to practice psychology, or they may pursue careers in sociology, education, and social work.

This degree program is often recommended for people who want to work directly with clients. It can be useful in a clinic, hospital or school setting, and it may be an essential step toward getting licensed in your state .

If you haven’t already completed a psychology graduate program , you can also earn your master’s in psychology online (no GRE required) .

Doctor of Public Administration – DPA

Public Administration programs

This professional doctorate equips you to serve in careers related to public affairs .

When you graduate with a doctorate in public administration, you may work in government settings or organizational leadership positions with non-profit entities.

The degree may be helpful for working in public administration , policy analysis, federal jobs, or as a local government leader.

Doctor of Public Health – DPH or PhD

Public Health Degree

Like a PhD in Healthcare Administration, a Doctor of Public Health degree is an applied doctorate for students with a desire to work in the healthcare sector. You may want to choose this particular option if your career plans involve crafting healthcare policies or working as an administrator.

The goal of this doctorate is often to help improve health at a large-scale level: for whole populations rather than individual people.

You may also be interested in a no-GRE online MPH .

PhD in Public Policy

Doctorate Public Policy

Earning a PhD in Public Policy helps students move into careers at a high level within government agencies, business, political roles, and community leadership.

Whether you want to become a social work leader or you have international leadership in mind, you can customize a public policy program to suit your career interests.

Doctoral Programs in Ministry or Theology

Theology students

A Doctor of Ministry or Theology program helps students learn advanced principles of ministry, theology, and leadership within the Church.

Most students are able to study on an independent project that is approved by their school.

Graduates go on to become professors, ministry leaders, and higher officials within the Church.

What are GRE Waivers?

Minimum undergraduate gpa.

Some universities allow GRE exemptions for students who demonstrated academic competency during their undergrad years. These schools may set a minimum GPA that students must have achieved during their earlier education to be considered for this type of academic waiver.

GPA requirements may vary among a school’s many programs. Waivers may be subject to approval on an individual basis.

Previously Earned Graduate Degree

The GRE is intended to demonstrate preparation for higher education. However, if you’ve already earned an advanced degree, the school’s admission department may consider that sufficient proof that you can handle the rigors of their PhD program.

For this waiver, some schools may require not only that you have an advanced degree but also that you achieved a particular GPA.

Professional Experience

Because extended employment in a field may demonstrate competency, some schools consider work experience in their area of focus just as valuable as high scores on the GRE.

If you have several years of relevant work experience, that may earn you a GRE waiver. Some schools specifically include relevant military service in their rules about qualifying for waivers.

Some Programs Have No GRE Requirement

If the program for which you are applying has no GRE requirement, then you won’t need a waiver. The school isn’t looking for test scores, so you won’t need to furnish them.

Just be sure to read all admission requirements closely. Some schools require GRE scores for only a few of their doctoral programs.

GMAT or GRE?

The GMAT is for business school

The GMAT, also known as the Graduate Management Admissions Test, is similar to the GRE but it has a more specific focus. The GMAT is an exam designed expressly for those entering business school.

Some business schools do accept GRE scores. However, if you are applying only to business programs, you should opt for the GMAT.

If GRE Scores are Optional, Should I Send Them?

To some faculty, GRE scores carry a lot of weight. Therefore, high marks on this test may elevate you in their eyes. In other words, even if the GRE is optional, furnishing a good score may be beneficial.

On the other hand, low scores may have the opposite effect. When the GRE is optional, rather than required, it may be best to keep your low marks under wraps so that your other merits take center stage.

If you’ve never taken the GRE, is it worth it to try, just so you can submit your results to a GRE-optional program? There’s no cut-and-dry answer to that question, but current program participants may be able to lend insight.

Should I Apply to PhD Without GRE Programs?

Your decision to apply to a PhD program should have nothing to do with whether or not they require the GRE. The main consideration should be the university’s accreditation.

Here are a few points to consider…

GRE is a Poor Predictor of Performance in Graduate School

If a doctoral program doesn’t require GRE scores, it’s an indication that the school understands the limitations of this exam.

The GRE won’t provide clear evidence about whether you will succeed in the classroom, get good grades, make it to graduation or be a leader in your professional field someday.

Accredited Universities Offer No GRE PhD Programs

Not having GRE requirements is not a sign that a program will be weak or substandard. Many respected, accredited programs don’t require that you take this test before you can be admitted.

Instead of using GRE requirements to evaluate a school’s strength, consider whether the program has received accreditation. Also, gather reviews from current or recent students, and get advice from the school’s graduate coordinator.

You Still Have to Meet Other Admissions Standards

All PhD programs are selective about their candidates. So, whether or not they require that you submit GRE scores, they all have admissions requirements that you must meet in order to get into the school.

Other factors considered for acceptance may include:

  • Your resume
  • Letters of recommendation from people familiar with your work
  • Your transcripts from other higher education endeavors.
  • A statement from you about your goals
  • Your proficiency in the English language

Your Master’s Degree Might Be Enough

If you’ve already completed a master’s program , that shows that you’re able to perform at the graduate level.

Therefore, your school of choice may not require GRE scores as additional proof, especially if your degree is paired with a master’s thesis, a high GPA or years of professional experience.

GRE Scores: What They Tell Us, What They Don’t

a person in an office looking over a portfolio

GRE scores are not as helpful as you may have been led to believe. Let’s take a look at some recent studies on the reliability of GRE results.

GRE Scores Do Not Predict Classroom Performance

Creativity, interpersonal skills and internal motivation are just a few of the components that contribute to how well you do in the classroom.

However, the GRE measures none of those. It focuses only on your test-taking skills.

So, doing well on the test doesn’t guarantee classroom success.

GRE Scores Lose Impact over Time

Researchers have discovered that your scores on this test may give a school an idea of what kinds of grades you’ll achieve during the first year in their program.

However, your scores do nothing to predict your academic success after that first year.

The GRE Lacks Reliability in Predicting Final Outcomes

The GRE can’t determine whether a first-year doctoral student will end up completing the program.

Some high-scoring students may not possess enough tenacity to stick with school until graduation. On the other hand, some low-scoring students may have been the ones most likely to persevere.

Applying to Graduate School with No GRE Test Scores

Applying to Graduate School with No GRE Test Scores flowchart

There are some things that you should consider before specifically seeking out a no GRE required doctoral program:

  • While some high-profile schools may admit you without this test, not taking the GRE will automatically close many prestigious schools to you.
  • Some fields are more likely to require the test than others.
  • Sometimes, it’s easier to find a no-GRE-required online program than an in-person one.

Consider your motivation for not submitting scores:

  • Because you’ve already settled on a program that doesn’t require this test? Great!
  • Because you’re too busy to study? Think hard about whether you have time for a doctoral program.
  • Because you received a low score? According to an ETS survey, nearly 25 percent of test-takers improve their results second time around.

If one of your primary concerns is the amount of time required , you may be interested in our article discussing accelerated PhD programs online .

What is the GRE, and Who Needs to Take It?

The GRE is a test designed to show that you learned enough during your undergrad years to be ready for the rigors of grad school. The exam includes sections on verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. You may need to take it if you’re applying to graduate programs.

Is the GRE Test Required for Graduate School?

No, not always. There are some graduate schools that don’t require GRE or GMAT scores. Some offer alternative options, and others simply have no GRE (or other entrance exam) requirements. Some schools require that you submit exam scores for only some of their graduate programs.

Is the GRE Required for PhD Programs?

Many doctoral programs require applicants to take the GRE, but not all do. Others allow waivers or base their admissions decisions solely on other criteria. In particular, some of the best-ranked online PhD programs may allow you to enroll even if you’ve never taken the GRE.

What’s the Difference Between GRE vs. GMAT?

While the GRE is used for a variety of different graduate programs, the GMAT is designed specifically for admission to business schools. However, some business schools accept GRE scores as well. Even still, those who have their hearts set on business school would do best to take the GMAT.

Is There Any Reason to Take the GRE for a PhD Program?

If your top school choice requires GRE scores, then you should take the test. Also, if you are planning to apply to quite a few programs, then there’s a good chance that you’ll need to submit test scores with some of those applications.

What is a GRE Waiver?

the GRE logo with a red Waived stamp on it

Some schools require GRE scores for admission to their doctoral programs, but they will make an exception if you meet other qualifications.

These qualifications may include:

  • High GPA scores during undergraduate studies
  • Relevant work or military experience
  • Related master’s degree

Which PhD Programs May Waive the GRE?

Online doctoral programs across a variety of fields may admit students without requiring GRE scores. Commonly, this may include programs related to education, healthcare, human services and technology, and you may have options for PhD or applied doctoral degrees.

Despite the name, a Doctor of Philosophy degree is not limited to the study of philosophy. You can earn a doctor of philosophy degree in many areas, including science, the humanities or education. Your coursework will involve completing a dissertation.

A PhD program is often recommended for students interested in pursuing research or teaching.

Can You Get Into a PhD Program Without GRE Scores?

There are quite a few universities that no longer require the GRE as part of the admissions process. Some don’t require it at all, while others offer GRE waivers if you have a decent GPA, previous graduate-level courses, and similar criteria.

Some PhD Programs Have No GRE Requirement

The Graduate Record Examinations have come to be recognized as synonymous with grad school acceptance. Despite that, there are many schools that will admit you to their doctoral programs even if you’ve never taken this test. In fact, the number of PhD programs that don’t require GRE scores is growing.

In particular, online PhD programs often base their admissions decisions on factors other than exam scores.

Therefore, you may want to start your school-selection process by identifying programs that do not include GRE scores as one of their admissions factors.

Some PhD Programs Offer GRE Waivers

High marks from your last educational endeavor — your master’s degree, for example — may be enough to get you into a PhD program without needing to provide GRE scores.

If you already have work history in your intended field of study, this may also serve as sufficient proof of your competency for the school’s PhD program.

Waiver requirements can vary between schools and may be determined on a case-by-case basis.

List of Doctoral Programs without the GRE

list of universities

The following doctorate programs do not require the GRE at some universities.

  • Doctor of Psychology
  • Doctor of Education
  • Doctor of Business Administration
  • Doctor of Social Work
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy

To provide a more comprehensive list, we’ve also included universities that offer GRE waivers.

Key Takeaways

PhD Programs That Don't Require GRE Scores

You may be able to get a PhD or a professional doctorate without ever taking the GRE.

Options include:

  • Choosing a program with no GRE requirements
  • Qualifying for a waiver

Skipping GRE test prep may allow you to speed up the process of beginning a fulfilling and challenging doctoral education .

schools that offer phd without masters

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2024 Best Grad Schools in the United States for Doctorate Degrees

There are lots of options to choose from today when trying to decide which grad school to attend. College Factual was founded, in part, to help students make the decision as to what would be the best school for them. Our Best Doctor's Degree Colleges ranking is part of that endeavor.

What's on This Page: * Our Methodology

  • Best Graduate Schools List

schools that offer phd without masters

Choosing the Best Grad School for You

Quality Badge

Our analysis looked at 691 grad schools in the United States to determine which ones have the best doctorate degree programs. Our ranking for the best grad schools is based on objective factors. We steer clear of subjective measures since they don't give a clear picture when determining how one school compares to another. The following gives more info on what goes into our ranking factors and why we consider those factors.

Higher Than Average Earnings

To determine the overall quality of a graduate school, one factor we look at is the average early-career salary of those receiving a doctorate degree from the school. Recent students who earned a doctorate degree in the United States entered the job market making an average of $75,260 while those in the top 20 schools on our list made an average of $88,513.

Taking Out Student Loans

Graduate students may also take on a lot of debt while working on their doctorate so we factor that into our rankings as well. The average amount taken out in student loans for graduates at a particular school may be crippling for those who earn less than average wages after graduation.

More Ranking Factors That Are Important

We also analyze a number of other factors in addition to average post-graduation earnings and average student debt when coming up with our yearly Best Doctorate Degree Schools ranking. On a broad level, other factors that go into our rankings include such things as the demand of the school, the student body caliber, if the school has online options, and the educational resources provided by the school.

We go into more detail on these factors on our graduate school ranking methodology page.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Not quite ready to work on your doctorate? Check out our Best Master's Degree Schools ranking.

Top Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States

Learn more about these excellent grad schools below:

MIT crest

Our analysis found Massachusetts Institute of Technology to be the best grad school for doctorate degrees in the United States in this year’s ranking. MIT is a private not-for-profit institution located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 568 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a doctorate degree from MIT go into careers with an average salary of $115,303 during the early years of their career.

Learn More About Massachusetts Institute of Technology

UPenn crest

The excellent doctorate degree programs at University of Pennsylvania helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in the United States. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 1,254 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from UPenn make an average of $97,555 a year.

Learn More About University of Pennsylvania

Stanford crest

A rank of #3 on our Best Doctorate Degrees in the United States list means Stanford University is a great place for students working on their degree. Stanford is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Stanford, California. It awarded 1,105 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Upon graduation, doctorate degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $98,295 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Stanford University

Harvard crest

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Harvard University. The school came in at #4 in the United States on this year’s best doctorate degree schools ranking. Harvard is a private not-for-profit institution located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school has a large population, and it awarded 1,444 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a doctorate degree from Harvard go into careers with an average salary of $95,158 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Harvard University

Princeton crest

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Princeton University. The school came in at #5 in the United States on this year’s best doctorate degree schools ranking. Princeton, New Jersey is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out doctorate degrees to 293 students in 2020-2021.

Full Princeton University Report

Carnegie Mellon crest

Carnegie Mellon University landed the #6 spot on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and it awarded 333 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Full Carnegie Mellon University Report

Northwestern crest

Northwestern University landed the #7 spot on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. Evanston, Illinois is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out doctorate degrees to 1,028 students in 2020-2021.

Upon graduation, doctorate degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $93,954 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Northwestern University

UChicago crest

University of Chicago landed the #8 spot on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. University of Chicago is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Chicago, Illinois that handed out 755 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from UChicago make an average of $96,200 a year.

Learn More About University of Chicago

Rice crest

Rice University ranked #9 on this year’s Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States list. Rice is located in Houston, Texas and has a medium-sized student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 207 doctorate degrees to qualified graduate students.

Learn More About Rice University

USC crest

University of Southern California did quite well in the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking, coming in at #10. Located in Los Angeles, California, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 1,914 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from USC make an average of $87,196 a year.

Learn More About University of Southern California

UC Berkeley crest

University of California - Berkeley ranked #11 on this year’s Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States list. UC Berkeley is a large public school situated in Berkeley, California. It awarded 1,187 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a doctorate degree from UC Berkeley make an average of $88,876 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on University of California - Berkeley

Vanderbilt crest

Vanderbilt University ranked #12 on this year’s Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States list. Vanderbilt is a private not-for-profit institution located in Nashville, Tennessee. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 787 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from Vanderbilt make an average of $91,182 a year.

Learn More About Vanderbilt University

Georgetown crest

Georgetown University did quite well in the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking, coming in at #13. Georgetown is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Washington, District of Columbia. It awarded 1,014 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a doctorate degree from Georgetown make an average of $105,462 per year during the early years of their career.

Learn More About Georgetown University

Yale crest

Yale University did quite well in the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking, coming in at #14. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, the fairly large private not-for-profit school awarded 742 diplomas to qualifed doctorate degree students in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a doctorate degree from Yale go into careers with an average salary of $91,187 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Yale University

Teachers College crest

Teachers College at Columbia University did quite well in the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking, coming in at #15. Teachers College is a small private not-for-profit school situated in New York, New York. It awarded 185 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a doctorate degree from Teachers College make an average of $78,856 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Teachers College at Columbia University Report

Duke crest

Duke University came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. Located in Durham, North Carolina, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 949 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a doctorate degree from Duke make an average of $92,967 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Duke University Report

Columbia crest

Columbia University in the City of New York landed the #17 spot on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. Columbia is a large private not-for-profit school situated in New York, New York. It awarded 1,502 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from Columbia make an average of $102,938 a year.

Learn More About Columbia University in the City of New York

Bentley crest

Bentley University did quite well in the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking, coming in at #18. Bentley is located in Waltham, Massachusetts and has a medium-sized student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 1 doctorate degrees to qualified graduate students.

Full Bentley University Report

Suffolk crest

Suffolk University landed the #19 spot on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. This medium-sized private not-for-profit school is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and it awarded 351 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

The average salary of a graduate with a doctorate degree from Suffolk is $56,355 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Suffolk University

Cornell crest

Cornell University landed the #20 spot on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. Cornell is a private not-for-profit institution located in Ithaca, New York. The school has a large population, and it awarded 777 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

The average salary of a graduate with a doctorate degree from Cornell is $107,405 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Cornell University

Georgia Tech crest

With a ranking of #21, Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus did quite well on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States list. Atlanta, Georgia is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out doctorate degrees to 577 students in 2020-2021.

Full Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus Report

Brown crest

Brown University ranked #22 on this year’s Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States list. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Providence, Rhode Island, and it awarded 293 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

The average salary of a graduate with a doctorate degree from Brown is $60,843 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Brown University

WUSTL crest

Washington University in St Louis came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. WUSTL is located in Saint Louis, Missouri and has a fairly large student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 742 doctorate degrees to qualified graduate students.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from WUSTL make an average of $72,507 a year.

Learn More About Washington University in St Louis

Notre Dame crest

University of Notre Dame did quite well in the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking, coming in at #24. Notre Dame, Indiana is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out doctorate degrees to 422 students in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from Notre Dame make an average of $78,016 a year.

Read full report on University of Notre Dame

Caltech crest

With a ranking of #25, California Institute of Technology did quite well on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States list. Caltech is located in Pasadena, California and has a small student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 184 doctorate degrees to qualified graduate students.

Those who receive a doctorate degree from Caltech go into careers with an average salary of $59,996 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on California Institute of Technology

Rest of the Top 50 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States

Not only did these schools make the top 50 list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

NYU Crest

Narrow Doctorate Degree Schools by Region

Rocky mountains, middle atlantic, great lakes, new england, plains states, far western us, other u.s. territories, rest of the top 15% doctorate degree schools in the united states.

To learn more about the schools below, just click on their names:

Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our Best Doctorate Degree Schools ranking:

More Rankings

Bachelor's degrees, returning adults, master's degrees.

More Rankings >

Notes and References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System ( IPEDS ) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s ( College Scorecard ).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies .

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  • PsyD vs PhD

Getting Your Psychology PhD or PsyD Without a Master’s

Completing a doctoral degree in psychology can be a crucial educational step toward a challenging but rewarding career in the field, whether working with patients or contributing to the field in other ways.

With multiple possible degree paths that end in similar outcomes, it can be difficult for students to understand the best route to take, depending on the education they already have. Specifically, for students who have only a bachelor’s degree, many worry their options for a psychology Ph.D. or a Psy.D. may be limited.

So let’s explore what students need to know about getting a psychology Ph.D. or Psy.D. without having a master’s degree.

Psychology Doctorate Options

At the end of both a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology and a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), an individual will have earned a doctorate and, depending on their personal preferences and professional goals, could use the “Dr.” title. But the details of the degrees are quite different, and which is right likely will depend on the individual and their career dreams.

In general, Psy.D. degrees are more appropriate for those who want to work directly with patients or clients, while Ph.D. degrees may appeal more to those who want to work in academic research to help advance understanding of human behavior.

SEE ALSO:   Online Accredited PsyD Programs

Of course, that’s a guideline rather than a rule, and students who earn either type of degree can work in many different areas of psychology, or may earn enough experience and education to overlap a few areas of the field.

Importantly, though, it’s more common for Psy.D. tracks than Ph.D. tracks to include supervised professional experience as part of the doctoral program, which may impact a graduate’s ability to earn professional licensure (more on that later).

Starting Point

Regardless of what comes next, prospective psychology doctoral students will need to earn a bachelor’s degree. Ideally, they’d major in psychology in college, though there are a handful of other subjects that could suffice, depending on their doctoral program.

These include:

  • Social work
  • Anthropology

Many doctoral programs will accept applicants who have only a bachelor’s degree, but there are several considerations that may impact whether doctoral candidates can apply with only an undergrad degree:

  • Length of doctoral program: Shorter Ph.D. or Psy.D. programs, meaning those that are designed to be completed in only a few years, will usually require students to complete a master’s degree before they apply. For example, an optional completion timeline offered in the Psy.D. program at the University of Indianapolis accepts only those applicants who have already completed a master’s degree in the field, and the admissions office prefers those who already have some practical experience under their belts. UIndy’s 3+1 track can be completed in only four years, while most psychology doctorates will take at least five and sometimes closer to seven years.
  • Master’s en route: In most longer-timeline programs, students will earn a master’s degree on their way to getting their doctorate. For example, the Tufts University  Ph.D. in Psychology will last at least five years, and students will complete a master’s degree at the end of their second year in the program.
  • Prior coursework: In many psychology doctoral programs, students aren’t required to have majored in psychology at any level but rather it’s necessary for them to have completed certain coursework integral to the study of psychology. At the Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology , Clinical Psy.D. applicants are required to have completed undergrad courses in introductory psychology, statistics, abnormal psychology and biological bases of psychology, in addition to at least one course in cognitive, developmental and/or social psychology, psychology and perception, conditioning and learning, and psychology of personality.

SEE ALSO:   List of Combined Master’s and PsyD Programs

In every state, a series of rules and guidelines apply to the licensure of psychologists. States vary quite dramatically in what they require, but a psychology doctorate is generally the most important educational step.

However, professional experience is also required in every state, usually both before and after earning a doctorate. That means that students who attend Psy.D. or Ph.D. programs that don’t include a supervised professional experience period, such as an internship or other professional practicum, may not satisfy the licensure requirements in their state.

Additionally, many states require students who attend programs that are not accredited by the American Psychology Association to provide a detailed list of all coursework at the doctoral level, and students may have to take remedial graduate courses if their programs don’t meet the standards.

Earning your doctoral degree in psychology, whether by completing a Ph.D. or a Psy.D., is the single best way to earn licensure and become a professional psychologist. While there’s no single possible way of getting there, students who don’t have a master’s degree, and have no need to earn one, likely will find many options for doctorate programs.

Do You Need a Masters to Get a PhD?

Do you need a masters to get a PhD? If you have a bachelors and are considering going for a doctorate, you might be wondering this same question.

Do You Need a Masters to Get a PhD

Options vary by program and school, but many schools do provide opportunities for students to apply to a PhD degree program without a master’s degree.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

Going directly from a bachelors to PhD can have a number of pros and cons, depending on your situation.

PhD students studying together in library

Many universities allow you to apply to a PhD degree program without a master’s degree. Some schools will require that you earn a masters along the way, though. By getting a PhD without a master’s, you may have a chance to save time and money.

That said, it may be more difficult to get accepted or to compete with other applicants if you don’t already have a master’s degree. If you are hoping to skip the master’s degree, you’ll likely need prior upper-division coursework aligned with your PhD objectives. This coursework may be completed in your bachelor program, if available.

If you’re pivoting to a new academic field of inquiry or to a new career, getting a masters degree online or in the classroom may be more realistic and advantageous. Post-baccalaureate course credits and work experience related to your area of academic interest may add to your qualifications for going straight into a PhD degree program without a masters.

Getting a PhD without a master’s is not uncommon, but you also have the options of getting a master’s degree first or applying to a PhD program that allows you to earn a masters along the way.

Should I Go Straight to PhD After Bachelors?

PhD student studying

You’ll likely save time and money if you apply to direct entry PhD programs after a bachelors. It is helpful to keep in mind, though, that PhD programs require time and extensive research. One advantage with the masters before PhD pathway is that it gives you a chance to explore the graduate program without making a full commitment to a longer PhD track.

If you were to decide after a year or two that a lengthy doctoral program is just not right for you, then you can end your study and likely have a masters in hand as a reward for your efforts.

If you go straight into a PhD program that doesn’t include a master’s degree along the way, then you may leave largely empty handed if you don’t finish or don’t complete your dissertation, despite years of study and tuition costs. That said, it could certainly make sense for you to go straight into a PhD program, depending on your circumstances.

If you have a strong interest in your chosen academic field and have some experience studying and working in that field, then it may be advantageous to go straight into a PhD program that’s aligned with your interests and career goals.

Can You Get a PhD Without a Masters?

PhD students in university class

Going straight for a PhD after a bachelors degree can be done, though the options will vary from school to school.

Universities that allow you to apply to a PhD program without a master’s degree will likely require you to hold a bachelors in a subject area that is the same as or closely related to the doctoral program.

In most cases school admission officers may also be looking for evidence that you are prepared for the academic challenges of a PhD program. So, they may want to see a master’s GPA for PhD admissions, which you would lack if you applied for direct entry PhD programs.

You may want to consider what work or learning achievements can help qualify you for admissions. Those qualifications can then be presented in a resume or in letters of recommendation.

Some schools may only qualify you if you have other course work, subject-area certifications, or work experience related to the field, in addition to your bachelor’s degree.

Should I Get a Masters or a PhD?

PhD student studying in university library

Is a PhD worth it ? Should you just stick with a masters? While both graduate programs involve advanced coursework and at least some research, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether to get a masters or a PhD.

A masters might be best when:

  • You’re seeking to fulfill specific job requirements . For example, a masters is needed to work as an IT specialist, a secondary teacher, therapist, accountant, or business manager.
  • You want to qualify for promotions . A masters can help you advance your skills and knowledge to qualify for promotions in your field. A PhD is often not required to work in roles that have more responsibility, that require more expertise, or that lead to greater seniority.
  • Your bachelors is not conducive with your career goals . If you have a bachelor’s degree that is not well aligned with your present career goals or interests, a masters may allow you to quickly gain a strong foundation to help you pivot to a new career.

A Ph.D. might be best when:

  • You want to dive into research . If your academic interests include doing extensive, original research that advances knowledge in your area of specialization, then getting a PhD may be the path for you.
  • You want a career in academia . If your goal is to pursue a career in academia and either teach at a university or engage in original research for consulting or advocacy work, you’ll likely need a PhD to qualify and to acquire the needed expertise.

Can You Get a PhD Without a Bachelors?

You will need a bachelors before you can qualify to get into a PhD program. If your interests or your specific career goals dictate getting a PhD, you may save time and money by going straight into a doctorate program once you have completed your bachelors.

Even if you decide to get a masters before entering a PhD program or earn one as part of a PhD program, you’ll first need to get a bachelors.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters vs. PhD?

PhD students studying together in library

Since getting a graduate degree requires you to have a bachelors beforehand, you will already have completed all or most of any required lower-division general education requirements.

Even though the time it takes will vary by university and program, you should be able to get a master’s degree in about 1 to 2 years. But how long does it take to get a doctorate degree ? A doctorate program entails more extensive research and dissertation writing requirements, so it typically takes 3 to 5 years to get a PhD.

Any capstone project, whether for a masters or a PhD—such as a practicum, internship, or dissertation—may factor in to how long it can take you to receive your degree.

Is It Easier to Get into a PhD Program with a Masters?

PhD students taking exam in university classroom

Earning your master’s degree prior to applying to a PhD program may offer some advantages. Having a bachelors may qualify you to apply for PhD programs at many universities.

On the other hand, a bachelors may not provide you with the qualifications you need to get accepted or to be competitive with other applicants, especially in high-demand programs or at more selective graduate schools.

Getting a masters first can be a great way to sharpen your academic skills and to build a more impressive academic resume, making you a more qualified and competitive PhD degree program applicant.

Your masters program coursework and research may also help you identify the areas of specialized research that will most interest you in your PhD program. This can allow you to be more selective about schools, identifying the ones that are best aligned with your interests or that have the most promising academic colleagues.

Last but not least, getting a masters can help prepare and motivate you to do the kind of extensive research and writing required by a PhD degree program.

If you do decide that earning a masters is the best route for you, but are busy with work or family, you may want to note that some universities offer part time masters programs , which may fit in better with your busy life.

What Is the Difference Between a Masters vs. PhD?

PhD student participating in class

With a masters program, you can quickly access upper-division course work that gives you mastery of core knowledge and expertise in your area of academic study.

A masters is likely to be a great way to increase your job qualifications with just a couple years of study. Career fields that can benefit from a masters include technology, engineering, communications, finance, counseling, business management, or organizational leadership.

A PhD may be required if you want to get the best jobs in senior administration, analysis, consulting, or advocacy roles in school administration. A PhD may also be needed for certain roles in leadership development, in the social sciences, or in public policy.

If you’re studying the humanities and want to work in academia as a university professor and researcher, for example, you’ll likely need a PhD. For some roles, you may also benefit from the research skills and expertise you gain from a PhD program.

Getting Your PhD Online

Getting Your PhD Online

Earning a PhD means you have the chance to become a thought leader in your field down the road.

Whatever your area of academic interest, there are many accredited graduate schools that will allow you to get a PhD without a master’s. Many of these schools also offer accredited online programs to provide study options tailored to your needs.

It’s never too early to start exploring accredited online PhD programs to find the one that best suits your needs and your career goals.

schools that offer phd without masters

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Best Online MBA Programs – 2024

May 23, 2024

Are you thinking of ways to accelerate your career in business? Perhaps you feel ready to switch your area of focus, become a manager in your company, or start your own. Maybe you’ve thought about an MBA, but you’re hesitant to quit your job and put your life on pause for grad school. An online or hybrid Masters in Business Administration (MBA) program could be the perfect solution. Below, you can read about factors to consider when choosing the best online MBA for you, followed by a list of 20 top online and online/hybrid MBA programs. Click here is you are looking for a list of the Top MBA Programs .

What to consider when choosing an online MBA

Before we dive into the list, here are some important factors to consider as you begin your application process.

Online vs. hybrid format : Some of these programs are fully online, while others take place in an online/hybrid format. This means that a percentage of your time will be spent on campus, participating in seminars, workshops, or networking events. This hybrid format can be great for students who want to continue working their jobs but still want to connect with their cohorts and professors. However, if you are extremely busy or getting to campus is highly inconvenient, a fully-online program could be a better option.

Location : Location also comes into play here, since programs with hybrid elements will require that you travel to campus every so often. So, if you live and work in Seattle, you may want to consider University of Washington’s program before USC’s. Location can also affect tuition, if the program offers in-state tuition at lower rates than out-of-state.

Best Online MBA Programs – 2024 (Continued)

Acceptance information : Make sure to pay attention to the program’s acceptance rate, average GMAT scores, and undergrad GPAs. Some schools value high GPAs and test scores more than others, and doing the research ahead of time will allow you to streamline your application process.

Tuition : Below, you will find information on each program’s tuition-per-credit. Throughout the course of these programs, you will likely end up paying a tuition somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000, more or less (depending on the length of the program and whether it’s at a public or private university). However, certain programs are as low as $29,000, and even offer additional merit- and need-based- scholarships. So, while online MBAs can be costly, they tend to be significantly less expensive than many residential programs.

20 Best Online MBA Programs

Continue reading for 20 of the nation’s top online MBA programs.

1) Indiana University—Bloomington (Kelley)

With 50% of coursework made up of electives, this program is perfect for students who want to customize their own pathways. In addition to being the top program on the U.S. News list, Kelley’s online MBA is ranked as the #1 online MBA program in Finance and Marketing, and the #2 online MBA program in Business Analytics and General Management. The program boasts its excellent full-time faculty and career coaching that extends through professional life after graduation.

  • Location: Bloomington, Indiana
  • School type: Public
  • Acceptance rate: 27%
  • Average GMAT score: 670
  • Average undergrad GPA: 3.4
  • Graduate enrollment: 1,652
  • Tuition per credit: $1,635

2) Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)

Tepper’s online hybrid MBA is taught by the same faculty who teach their full-time MBA, and online students also have access to the school’s many resources. With an analytics-focused curriculum, the program is designed to help students harness emerging technologies and work with data to make smart business decisions.

  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
  • School type: Private
  • Acceptance rate: 61%
  • Average GMAT score: 668
  • Graduate enrollment: 228
  • Tuition per credit: $2,274

3) University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)

This online MBA offers full-time and part-time options, which makes it possible for working professionals to complete the program without disrupting their career goals. Students choose from 36 electives, immersive summits, and 6 concentrations: Data Analytics and Decision Making, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Strategy and Consulting, and Management and Leadership.

  • Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Acceptance rate: 62%
  • Average GMAT score: 674
  • Average undergrad GPA: 3.3
  • Graduate enrollment: 797
  • Tuition per credit: $2,025

4) University of Southern California (Marshall)

Designed for fully employed professionals, this comprehensive and full-time MBA prepares students to accelerate their careers or successfully change industries. Despite its online format, students experience camaraderie with other students and support from expert faculty. After an on-campus orientation, classes take place two evenings a week.

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Acceptance rate: 46%
  • Average GMAT score: 619
  • Average undergrad GPA: 3.2
  • Graduate enrollment: 283
  • Tuition per credit: $2,307

5) University of Washington (Foster)

Foster’s online/hybrid MBA program offers a 4-to-5-day session on campus each quarter to ensure networking and professional development opportunities for students. The core curriculum is grounded in business principles, theories, and frameworks, while also offering hands-on case analysis for real-world decision-making experience.

  • Location: Seattle, Washington
  • Acceptance rate: 73%
  • Average GMAT score: 620
  • Average undergrad GPA: 3.5
  • Graduate enrollment: 160
  • Tuition per credit: $1,500

6) University of Florida (Warrington)

The Warrington College of Business offers an accelerated 16-month online MBA program, as well as an online 2-year program. As one of the first schools to offer a fully-accredited online degree, UF offers experiential learning opportunities and global immersion experiences, as well as top career coaches.

  • Location: Gainesville, Florida
  • Acceptance rate: 56%
  • Average GMAT score: 617
  • Graduate enrollment: 867
  • Tuition per credit: $1,208

7) Arizona State University (Carey)

Carey’s online MBA emphasizes connected leadership, fostering leaders with a “holistic understanding of people, ideas, and context.” In this program, students enroll in one 5-week class at a time, which makes the course load manageable for those who need flexible learning schedules.

  • Location: Tempe, Arizona
  • Acceptance rate: 80%
  • Average GMAT score: 548
  • Graduate enrollment: 515
  • Tuition per credit: $1,330

8) University of Arizona (Eller)

Eller College of Management offers a rigorous core curriculum, a range of electives, and an optional Global Business Experience trip that provides the opportunity to gain hands-on business experience in settings from Brazil to Singapore. Depending on circumstance, students can complete this degree in as little time as 14 months and in as much time as 48 months.

  • Location: Tucson, Arizona
  • Acceptance rate: 74%
  • Average GMAT score: 572
  • Graduate enrollment: 552
  • Tuition per credit: $1,250

9) Rochester Institute of Technology (Saunders)

This online executive MBA, which takes place over 16 months and 4 semesters, is designed for experienced, creative, and innovative leaders in business who seek further career advancement. Though all coursework is online, students must attend a 3-day on-campus orientation, as well as a 7-to-10-day international seminar closer to the time of graduation (airfare and lodging provided).

  • Location: Rochester, New York
  • Acceptance rate: 50%
  • Average GMAT score: 551
  • Graduate enrollment: 39
  • Tuition per credit: $1,660

10) University of Kansas

This highly-affordable MBA provides a top-tier business education for under $40,000. Better yet, there’s no Kansas residency requirement, which makes the program incredibly flexible. According to reports, Kansas MBA alumni have an average post-graduation salary increase of 27%, and 87% received a pay raise after degree completion.

  • Location: Lawrence, Kansas
  • Acceptance rate: 66%
  • Average GMAT score: 530
  • Graduate enrollment: 489
  • Tuition per credit: $865

11) University of Maryland—College Park (Smith)

UMD’s Smith School of Business boasts a flexible and engaging curriculum that provides the same rigor as its on-campus MBAs. Specializations include Finance, Information Systems, Marketing, Supply Chain Management, and a General Track that takes a more expansive look at core business concepts. No matter the concentration, Smith provides real-world value through a focus on data-driven strategies.

  • Location: College Park, Maryland
  • Acceptance rate: 86%
  • Average GMAT score: 564
  • Average undergrad GPA: 3.8
  • Graduate enrollment: 429
  • Tuition per credit: $1,733

12) Ball State University (Miller)

  • Another highly-affordable option, Ball State’s online MBA offers seven concentrations, ranging from Artificial Intelligence, to Finance, to Healthcare Administration. The degree program has no on-campus requirements and requires fewer credits for students who already have previous business degrees.
  • Location: Muncie, Indiana
  • School type:
  • Acceptance rate: 93%
  • Average GMAT score: 586
  • Graduate enrollment: 345
  • Tuition per credit: $701

13) The University of Texas at Dallas

With 9 concentrations and 5 double degree options, online MBA students at UT Dallas take courses on their own schedules while receiving customized career support. Though the program offers courses online (in synchronous and asynchronous formats), students must be able to attend testing centers in-person.

  • Location: Richardson, Texas
  • Average GMAT score: 635
  • Tuition per credit: $1,871

14) University of Massachusetts—Amherst (Isenberg)

This MBA includes six focus areas: Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Healthcare Administration, Marketing, and Sport Management. Though Isenberg MBA students have the option of completing the degree entirely online, students who live in the area (or near the Boston or Worcester locations) have the option of complementing online learning with some in-person classes in order to engage more closely with faculty members.

  • Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
  • Acceptance rate: 92%
  • Average GMAT score: 623
  • Graduate enrollment: 1,605
  • Tuition per credit: $925

15) University of Utah (Eccles)

The Eccles online MBA emphasizes analytical and quantitative problem-solving skills, effective management skills, awareness of ethical issues, communication, and strategic thinking. With its flexible and strategically-built curriculum, reports show that 50% of students received a promotion while completing this 2-year program.

  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Acceptance rate: 90%
  • Average GMAT score: 645
  • Tuition per credit: $1,350

16) University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium

In addition to its program in General Management, the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium offers a 36-credit MBA in Healthcare Management. Both of these options are 100% online, highly personalized, taught by Ph.D.-qualified faculty, and can be completed in 2.5-to-3 years.

  • Location: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  • Acceptance rate:
  • Average GMAT score:
  • Average undergrad GPA:
  • Graduate enrollment: 418
  • Tuition per credit: $825

17) Oklahoma State University (Spears)

As the most affordable program on this list and one of the most affordable accredited MBAs in the nation, Spears attracts full-time and motivated professionals who wish to complete a rigorous and practical academic curriculum in 16 months. Its online courses are designed to promote student collaboration, and better yet, they are available 24/7, so they can be completed regardless of student schedule or location.

  • Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • Graduate enrollment: 303
  • Tuition per credit: $364

18) University of Michigan—Ann Arbor (Ross)

Through a mix of online coursework and in-person residencies, University of Michigan offers an interactive and collaborative experience through its online MBA. The curriculum includes both synchronous class sessions and asynchronous modules, and local students are also eligible to attend in-person elective courses on the Ann Arbor campus. Career services for online MBA students include on-campus recruiting, personal coaching, LinkedIn profile review, resume reviews, virtual mock interviews, and more.

  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Acceptance rate: 71%
  • Graduate enrollment: 378
  • Tuition per credit: $2,212

19)  Florida State University

Designed for highly motivated individuals seeking a competitive edge in the business field, FSU offers an online, part-time MBA with specialization in real estate (which includes rigorous electives on real estate finance and analysis), in addition to its general online MBA program. Applicants should be able to demonstrate extensive professional experience and/or excellence and leadership in their previous academic work.

  • Location: Tallahassee, Florida
  • Acceptance rate: 63%
  • Average GMAT score: 560
  • Graduate enrollment: 599
  • Tuition per credit: $810

20) James Madison University

JMU offers three MBA concentrations: executive leadership (for tenured professionals seeking to enhance their skill sets), information security (for managers aiming to lead information security teams), and innovation (for professionals seeking to lead innovation in an organization). All three are delivered in a hybrid format with online coursework and in-person residencies. including an optional global residency.

  • Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Average GMAT score: 605
  • Average undergrad GPA: 3.1
  • Graduate enrollment: 171
  • Tuition per credit: $1,000

Best Online MBA Programs – Further Reading

Hopefully, this list has been helpful as you continue your search for the right online MBA. All in all, an online MBA program can be perfect for professionals with busy schedules and tight budgets who are looking to advance their careers. For more on how to get into top business schools, consider reading about the top feeders into MBA programs or the best Doctor of Business Administration Programs . Click here for the Average GMAT Score by School . Looking for more information on preparing for grad school applications more generally? Check out our articles on the top 130 GRE vocabulary words and how to study, or  GMAT vs GRE .

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When the PhD path leads to career struggles

A bird flew past a rainbow on the horizon, as viewed from Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester.

A doctoral degree is a major commitment. Think carefully.

I appreciated reading Kara Miller’s The Big Idea column “PhD: Pretty heavily disappointed” (Business, May 22), about people with doctoral degrees struggling to build careers in academia. It made me think back to a conversation I had when I was about to graduate from high school.

I happened to run into a former track coach of mine, and as we were reminiscing he asked me what I planned as a major in college. “History,” I responded. He said, “Why don’t you take some computer classes also? It never hurts to be able to do something useful.”

I did not reflect on his motivation at the time, but my track coach was a young guy, and he was probably giving me advice straight from his own life, as a parent trying to raise his own young children. I did take computer classes in college and ultimately received a PhD in chemical engineering. I always remember that conversation as being a kind of turning point.

Earning a doctoral degree is a life commitment of great proportion. It can take, as Miller notes, between four and seven years. If we think of working life as roughly between the ages of 22 and 65, then a PhD requires more than 10 percent of a person’s working life. People need to think carefully about that investment.

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Two powerful arguments in favor of the path of science, technology, engineering, and math are that there tend to be more STEM jobs for PhDs, and many universities’ STEM departments are generous in covering their PhD students’ tuition and cost of studies, including a stipend toward food, rent, and other expenses.

Stuart Gallant

Not much has changed in 30 years

As I prepared to graduate in 1995 with a doctor of education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, my mother memorably said to me, “Of my four children, you are the one with the most education and the smallest salary.” Apparently not much has changed in 30 years.

I must congratulate these students, however, on following their passion rather than following the money. I can’t help but think that their lives, though stressful, may contain greater happiness.

Peggy Clark

Lawyers & electricians & philosophers, oh my!

Kara Miller’s column on the career challenges for people with doctoral degrees generated more than 260 comments on Boston.Globe.com. The following is an edited sample of readers’ reactions:

Lots of law school grads are underemployed as well. (PL)

So true, PL. The market in Massachusetts is flooded with talented lawyers seeking work. (Roforma)

Supply and demand, the market at work. (guk)

Investing in education and research in all fields is the hallmark of a society with staying power. Disinvesting from these endeavors signals decline and decay. (Massachusetts citizen)

Electricians, plumbers, mechanics, and other skilled technical professions have no problems getting $100k jobs with great benefits. (ramsen)

Not enough turnover from tenured professors, leaving little space for new faculty. Although the tenured, well-established professors are needed, it’s the junior faculty who are hungry and with new ideas that help build new programs. The whole graduate program model is a bad model. I worked two jobs, had my tuition and some type of minimal student health insurance and could barely cover the rent with my stipend, and the second job paid for everything else. Though I was working on many faculty projects, it was the faculty who said this would be good for me. Never did they say it was also good for them. (TravelerofNJ2)

I just retired from a tenured faculty position in science. I’m in my early 70s. I have colleagues who are still doing what they do well into their 70s, a couple approaching 80. There is no active incentive from the university to move the older faculty on, to make way for a new generation. (Lola-lola)

The next step is for adjuncts to go on strike across the nation and hold colleges and universities accountable. The current system is completely absurd. (Wordsmith2358)

Universities should be required to release disclosure data about the fate of their PhD graduates. (davidman820)

I knew an attorney who managed a Cheesecake Factory. She had worked in food services through school. As an attorney, she really did not make that much money and was not doing the field of law of her choice. How many real estate closings can you do without dying of boredom? She went into management in the food industry and makes the same salary. (Antietem)

It was always a question and puzzling to me why people study philosophy. (Blazer27)

schools that offer phd without masters

Globe Opinion

IMAGES

  1. PhD Programs Without Masters Degree In 2022

    schools that offer phd without masters

  2. 2024 Best Universities That Offer PhD Without Masters

    schools that offer phd without masters

  3. 2024 Best Universities That Offer PhD Without Masters

    schools that offer phd without masters

  4. Masters Vs PhD: The Difference Between Masters & PhD/Doctorates 2022

    schools that offer phd without masters

  5. 2024 Best Universities That Offer PhD Without Masters

    schools that offer phd without masters

  6. PhD Programs That Don’t Require A Masters Degree

    schools that offer phd without masters

VIDEO

  1. Master's vs PhD

  2. I got through my PhD , without no corrections, Newcastle University, UK

  3. Good News For All Graduation Students! Now Get Direct PhD Without PG! #ugcnet #graduation #nep2020

  4. Direct PhD Advantages!

  5. Encryption & Authentication in Embedded Systems & Land High Paying Embedded Job in 30days! C2C 2.0

  6. Dangers of doing a PhD without masters!

COMMENTS

  1. 2024 Best Universities That Offer PhD Without Masters

    Saybrook University offers a PhD in Clinical Psychology program that is fully online. Students who do not hold a master's degree must complete 103 to 109 credits to graduate, while those who do have a master's in a related field must complete 100 to 106 credits. The program can typically be completed in 5 years.

  2. Universities Offering PhD Without a Master's Degree in the USA

    While a master's degree is typically a prerequisite for a PhD program, there are some universities that offer PhD programs without requiring a master's degree. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive list of universities that offer such programs, as well as the pros and cons of pursuing a PhD without a master's degree.

  3. Do You Need a Masters to Get a PhD? What You Need to Know

    The opportunity to experience postgraduate life - A Masters is more practical and involves more independent work than an undergraduate degree. A PhD builds on this as you are expected to work independently and lead your project. A one year Masters is a good way to assess whether you would want to spend three to four years doing a PhD.

  4. Can You Get a PhD without a Masters?

    Yes, it's possible to get a PhD without first having a Masters degree. The conventional route for someone who earns a PhD is to pursue a Bachelor's degree, followed by a Masters degree and then a PhD. However, several students opt to bypass a Master's degree by enrolling onto a doctoral programme as soon as they complete their ...

  5. PhD without a Master's degree? Discover if you can get one [2024]

    Which Universities Offer PhDs without Masters? There is not a centralized list of universities that offer PhDs without a Master's degree. In the U.S., most Ph.D. programs do not list a Master's degree as a prerequisite for admission. The admission requirements for Ph.D. programs differ from Ph.D. to Ph.D. and from department to department.

  6. Do You Need a Master's to Get a Ph.D.?

    Some programs may offer conditional admission based on your professional experience or other factors. Earning Your Ph.D. Without a Master's: Pros and Cons. Earning a Ph.D. without a master's degree features many potential benefits and some drawbacks. Use this information to discover which academic path works best for you.

  7. PhD without Master's Degree? Exploring Direct PhD in 2024

    A direct PhD program, sometimes referred to as an integrated or combined PhD program, is a doctoral-level academic program that allows students to pursue a PhD degree without first obtaining a master's degree. In traditional PhD programs, students typically complete a master's degree before embarking on their doctoral studies.

  8. PhD without a Masters in the USA: A Comprehensive Guide

    Direct Entry to PhD: Many U.S. universities now offer programs allowing students to pursue a PhD directly after completing their bachelor's degree, bypassing the master's. Time and Cost Efficiency: This pathway saves time and money, reducing the overall duration and cost of higher education. Research Focus: Direct PhD programs emphasize ...

  9. Can I earn a PhD without a Master's?

    Yes, it is possible to earn a PhD without a master's degree. Though the traditional path entails completing a master's program before embarking on a doctorate, some schools and programs offer options to skip the master's entirely. Actually, in select cases, it's the preferred approach. Below, we'll share four common scenarios that can ...

  10. 30 Fully Funded Ph.D. Programs

    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 ...

  11. Do You Need a Master's to Get a PhD? Not Necessarily

    Which Universities Offer PhDs Without a Master's? Unfortunately, most universities don't advertise PhD programs without master's, as candidates are generally accepted on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, admission requirements for PhD programs are usually set by the school or department, so even if one PhD program accepts candidates ...

  12. Can you get a PhD without a master's degree?

    As you can see, various routes are available for direct PhD entry in different fields. Once again: you don't need a Masters degree to get into a PhD program in America. And there's way more funding for PhD students than MS. Just in case no one told you. — Muneer Yaqub🇺🇸🇳🇬 (@elMunir5) February 21, 2022.

  13. How to Find the Right PhD Programs Without Master's

    2. Check Admission Requirements. Examine the requirements for admission to PhD programs at various universities. While many programs favor applicants with a master's degree, applicants with a solid bachelor's degree and related research experience may be considered. 3. Identify Universities and Programs.

  14. What is it Like to Do a PhD Without a Masters?

    But there are several considerations to doing a PhD without a Masters. A Masters is a great way to experience postgraduate life and academic research in your field of interest without committing to a full PhD project. This can be useful as there are several differences between professional work and academia that are more easily understood from the experience of doing a Masters.

  15. Best Online Doctoral Programs Of 2024

    Best online Doctor of Nursing Practice: University of Central Florida. Best online Doctor of Business Administration: Walsh College. Best online doctorate in physical therapy: Texas Tech ...

  16. The Ultimate Guide to Online Doctoral Degrees

    But there are universities offering PhD without masters programs. Northeastern University, Walden University, the University of Bridgetport, and others are universities offering PhD without masters. There are also dual Masters and PhD degree programs for students who want to maximize their time and effort. These are rigorous programs that ...

  17. Can You Get a Ph.D. Without a Master's?

    Importantly, you don't need a master's degree to apply for the Psy.D. program. In fact, most of the students enrolled in Regent's Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology do not hold master's degrees. The admission requirement is a completed four-year bachelor's degree from a post-secondary institution with state and regional accreditation.

  18. Do You Need a Masters to Get a PhD [2024 Guide]

    Yes, you can get a PhD without first obtaining a master's degree. A number of universities offer direct entry to PhD programs from undergraduate or bachelor degree studies. In some cases, specific schools or programs may prefer that applicants hold a master's degree. Other options that may exist are dual master and PhD programs, which are ...

  19. PhD without masters PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

    Search Funded PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in PhD without masters. Search for PhD funding, scholarships & studentships in the UK, Europe and around the world. ... Join high calibre doctoral candidates from around the world and study at a triple-accredited global business school. Henley Business School is ideally located, set on a ...

  20. 50 Best PhD Programs That Don't Require GRE

    In the early 1900s, it was a college for women only, but coed instruction began in 1954. U.S. News has given William Carey the No. 3 spot on its list of Best Value Schools. Online Doctor of Education. William Carey University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  21. Can You Get a PhD without a Master's? Yes, but Here's Why You Shouldn't

    It's almost a sure pass to a doctoral programme. 3. A Master's is the only way to a PhD in a new field. It does not matter where you want to pursue a PhD, if you don't have the right academic background in a connected subject area, your chances of being accepted to a PhD are little to zero. So, if you want to change careers and pursue a ...

  22. 2024 Best Grad Schools in the U.S. for Doctorate Degrees

    351 Doctorate Degrees Awarded. $56,355 Average Early-Career Earnings. Suffolk University landed the #19 spot on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. This medium-sized private not-for-profit school is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and it awarded 351 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

  23. Getting Your Psychology PhD or PsyD Without a Master's

    So let's explore what students need to know about getting a psychology Ph.D. or Psy.D. without having a master's degree. Psychology Doctorate Options At the end of both a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology and a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), an individual will have earned a doctorate and, depending on their personal preferences and ...

  24. Do You Need a Masters to Get a PhD?

    Many universities allow you to apply to a PhD degree program without a master's degree. Some schools will require that you earn a masters along the way, though. By getting a PhD without a master's, you may have a chance to save time and money. That said, it may be more difficult to get accepted or to compete with other applicants if you don ...

  25. Should you get a dual degree in medical school?

    Pursuing a dual degree path can help medical students grow their expertise and open up additional career paths. Dual degree programs have grown in popularity in recent years. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, roughly 10% of medical school graduates pursued a dual degree in 2023. Master's degree tracks usually add ...

  26. How to Pay for College Without Loans

    Enroll in a Public School in Your State. Attending a public in-state college may be one of the easiest ways to avoid student loans - or at least minimize them. Public schools charge much lower ...

  27. Best Online MBA Programs

    16) University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium. In addition to its program in General Management, the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium offers a 36-credit MBA in Healthcare Management. Both of these options are 100% online, highly personalized, taught by Ph.D.-qualified faculty, and can be completed in 2.5-to-3 years.

  28. When the PhD path leads to career struggles

    As I prepared to graduate in 1995 with a doctor of education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, my mother memorably said to me, "Of my four children, you are the one with the ...