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How do I get a Doctorate Degree Online?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2018
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People searching the web to determine how to get a doctorate degree online are likely to discover numerous advertisements on how to proceed. Some of them seem very easy: pay some money, send in a thesis and get a degree in life experience. Others more closely match the traditional doctoral studies, will take about three years to complete, and will involve actual study. The tricky thing about many of these advertisements is that all these universities claim to be accredited, and most people are told to make sure to attend an accredited university so that any degree they earn “counts.”

There are levels of accreditation, and plenty of organizations that accredit schools that sound very professional. Chances are they aren’t recognized by other major accrediting agencies. It is extremely important that if people choose to get a doctorate degree online in the US, for instance, they find schools that are accredited by either the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education. In Canada, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada should accredit an online university offering doctoral degrees.

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Reputable and recognized accredited universities may have some requirements to enter studies for a doctorate degree online. Some might want a reasonable score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Most doctoral programs will also call for transcripts proving a bachelor’s degree, or even master’s degree. Some fields have to have been studied at undergraduate levels prior to taking on graduate work. For instance, those taking a PhD in counseling might need to have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or social work.

Students considering any type of online degree must be self-motivated. Discipline is needed to study and complete work in the given time period. When there is no regular school to attend, it may be easier to fall behind or put off doing work. In the end this can only hurt the student, who may not complete the requirements needed to advance. Those who need a little more inspiration and discipline from teachers may want to consider an offline program instead.

Those looking for online degrees should note that it isn’t possible to get a doctorate degree online for every subject. Those subjects that may be best suited to this can be studied independently. It can also be the case that while many studies can occur at home, a college might ask students to spend some time at a physical university campus. This may be structured during the summer months or on weekends so that working professionals can plan to take off the time for any attendance at the college.

Another issue for people planning to get a doctorate degree online is how to finance it. Many offline doctoral programs offer different sorts of stipends or fellowships, often as teaching assistants that more advanced students can take in order to lower their total fees paid. Online colleges usually don’t have this option, so it’s quite possible to have to pay at least $10,000 US Dollars (USD) a year, if not more, and this can mean taking out significant student loans if the amount is not affordable.

In the end it is possible to get some doctorates online. These will be most valuable if they come from an accredited school and represent at least three years work and study in a subject. Those degrees offered from degree mill colleges that don’t represent mastery of subjects in which a doctorate could be earned are not worthwhile and tend not to be recognized by other professionals.

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