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Top 20 Cheapest Online PhD Programs in 2024

Lisa Marlin

If you’re looking to earn a Ph.D. without committing to full-time study, an online Ph.D.  might be a fantastic option. Many students can juggle their thesis, work, and family commitments, but unfortunately, online doctorates tend to come with a hefty price tag.

That said, you don’t have to break the bank to pursue your qualification! We’ve compiled the 15 cheapest online Ph.D. programs in 2024.

Table of Contents

The 20 Cheapest Online Ph.D. Programs

Related : Cheapest Online Master’s Degrees

1. Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

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  • Missouri State University
  • Annual tuition : $14,700
  • Cost per credit: No information available
  • In-person requirement: 100% online
  • Credits required to graduate: 29 credit hours

The Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) at Missouri State University is one of the cheapest online Ph.D. programs in nursing. It offers incredible flexibility, letting full-time and part-time students choose between attending classes in real time or watching replays on their own time. The program provides a clear overview of modern scientific methods and practices, entrepreneurship, finance management principles, and health policy for senior nursing professionals.

2. Doctor of Acupuncture (DAc)

pacific college of health acupuncture phd program screenshot

  • Pacific College of Health and Science
  • Annual tuition : $9,988
  • Cost per credit: $454
  • Credits required to graduate: See the model curriculum

This online program is designed for anyone with a Master’s in Acupuncture. It aims to give students a deeper understanding of Chinese medicine and general biomedicine, specifically acupuncture. It will also sharpen students’ knowledge of healthcare ethics, build leadership skills, and enhance their problem-solving capabilities. This is one of the cheapest online doctorate programs available today, especially considering the number of credit hours.

3. Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Agriculture Education/Higher Education Administration

Texas Tech University phd in agriculture

  • Texas Tech University
  • Annual tuition : $8,779 (based on full-time courseload of 18 credit hours, for all online learners)
  • Cost per credit: $488 per credit hour in-state online learners. According to Texas Tech University, students may pay around the same for out-of-state (although there may be some fees)
  • In-person requirement: Hybrid
  • Credits required to graduate: 72 credit hours minimum

This cheap online doctoral program in education is delivered entirely online. To be eligible, students need relevant professional experience. For Higher Education specialization, they’ll also require professional experience at a post-secondary institution. The Agriculture Education program will help students develop critical thinking in agricultural research, statistics, and communication.

4. Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies

a&t university phd philosophy leadership studies course

  • North Carolina A&T State University
  • Annual tuition: $4,194 for in-state students, $15,480 for out-of-state students
  • Cost per credit : $233 per credit hour for in-state students, $860 per credit hour for out-of-state students
  • Credits required to graduate: 60 credit hours minimum, 48 hours of coursework, 12 hours for dissertation

This interdisciplinary program is for master’s degree holders who want to research sociology and behavior in order to learn more about leadership qualities. The program requires 42 program credits and 12 dissertation credits. This online doctorate is relevant to various industries and disciplines. Upon successful completion, students will be qualified for a range of roles in consultancy, research, and education.

Related : The best one-year online Ph.D. programs

5. Ph.D. in Computer Science

doctor of computer science colorado tech screenshot

  • Colorado Technical University
  • Annual tuition: $13,393
  • Cost per credit: $598 per credit hour
  • In-person requirement: Courses are 100% online. On-campus residency is required during research.
  • Credits required to graduate: 100 credit hours are obtainable in as few as three years.

This 100-credit program in computer science provides a modern, relevant approach to computing. With deep knowledge in a specialized area of computer science, students are equipped to predict future trends in the field and make significant contributions to the sector. This program will help them become experts in computer design, security, and processes. As one of the most affordable online Ph.D. programs in computer science, classes are flexible, so students can arrange their studies around their schedule.

Considering that 100 credits are required to graduate, this Colorado Technical University program is one of the most inexpensive Ph.D. programs online.

6. Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Untitled

  • Indiana State University
  • Annual tuition : $8,103 for in-state students, $10,527 for out-of-state students
  • Cost per credit: $438 per credit hour in-state. Out-of-state students pay $861 per credit hour unless they’re eligible for online rates ($569). A $50 per graduate course fee is added to online learning courses .
  • In-person requirement: 100% online
  • Credits required to graduate: 37 credit hours, no dissertation required

Students require a Master’s in Nursing to be eligible for Indiana State University’s online DNP program. This program doesn’t involve writing a dissertation, and the entire course can be completed in 37 credit hours. It is designed to develop and sharpen knowledge of care delivery, ethics, leadership, and decision-making while developing critical thinking skills to provide patient care.

To earn a DNP, Indiana State University offers one of the more affordable Ph.D. programs online.

7. Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction

new mexico state university C&I phd

  • New Mexico State University
  • Annual tuition: $17,551
  • Cost per credit: $444.40 per credit hour for all students .
  • In-person requirement: One week of in-person learning at the Las Cruces campus during the summer session (required for three summers)
  • Credits required to graduate: 66 credit hour minimum. Depending on your advisor and committee suggestions, more may be requested.

The C&I (Curriculum and Instruction) online doctorate at New Mexico State University is a generalist doctoral qualification. You can choose to specialize in multicultural teaching, early childhood education, education and technology, cultural studies, or critical pedagogies. The program also offers the option to choose independent courses to enhance your particular area of study.

The C&I doctoral program is one of the most affordable Ph.D. programs online (a flat rate of $444.4 per credit hour) whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student.

8. Doctor of Public Health / Global Health Leadership

Untitled

  • Indiana University Online
  • Annual tuition: $10,350 for in-state students, $22,500 for out-of-state students
  • Cost per credit hour: $690 in-state, $1,500 out-of-state
  • In-person requirement: Three face-to-face meetings in both Year 1 and Year 2. Otherwise, everything else is online.
  • Credits required to graduate: 45 credits over an average of three years

This doctoral qualification specializing in global and public health uses a global curriculum from an international faculty. The program accepts two cohorts: a group with seven years of work experience (after completing a master’s degree) and one for students with at least a few years’ experience post master’s.

Indiana University’s program is designed for professionals in the public health  sector – and it’s one of the cheapest Ph.D. programs of its kind.

9. Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Untitled

  • University of Massachusetts – Amherst
  • Annual tuition : $14,850 (based on a full-time course load of 18 credit hours)
  • Cost per credit: $825 per credit hour
  • In-person requirement: If you already have an MSN and are a CPN (Advanced), you can join the online DNP completion program.
  • Credits required to graduate: 36 credit hours

The University of Massachusetts’ online doctorate program in Nursing Practice allows professionals to enhance their practical skills and knowledge of medical care. It also helps them to think critically about advanced scientific knowledge in healthcare, analyze clinical results, and perfect their leadership skills while taking an evidence-based approach through the latest healthcare and nursing research.

10. EdD in Higher Education Administration

Untitled

  • University of Wyoming
  • Annual tuition : $6,460 for in-state students, $19,340 for out-of-state students
  • Cost per credit: $359 per credit hour for in-state students. $1,075 per credit hour for out-of-state students.
  • In-person requirement: Initial campus visit, then almost entirely online
  • Credits required to graduate: Roughly 75

University of Wyoming’s doctoral program aims to create education leaders that effectively manage higher education institutions. Students can complete the program with around 75 credits. This program can be completed almost entirely online (though it does require an initial campus visit). If you’re looking for the cheapest Ph.D. online, this is certainly one of them.

11. Doctor of Philosophy in Polymer & Fiber Engineering

Untitled

  • Auburn University
  • Annual tuition : $17,082 ((based on a full-time course load of 18 credit hours)
  • Cost per credit: $949 per credit hour
  • In-person requirement: You may be required to visit the campus for oral exams and project/thesis/dissertation defense
  • Credits required to graduate: 30 credit hours minimum for a thesis option, 36 credit hours minimum for the non-thesis option

This is one of the few online doctoral specializations available for professionals in the field of chemical engineering. It is also one of the cheapest Ph.D. programs in the discipline, requiring 30 course credits and 10 research credits to complete. If you’re looking for a cheap online Ph.D. in engineering, this offering from Auburn University might suit you.

Specialization subjects include polymer chemistry and conduction in polymers, mechanics of materials made of textiles, fabrics used for producing paper, along with many others. Any student with a master’s degree from a recognized institution in a relevant field (e.g., biomedical engineering, polymer science) is eligible for the program.

12. Ph.D. of Philosophy in Nursing

Untitled

  • Hampton University
  • Annual tuition: $9,382 – $10,425 (based on completing 54 to 60 credits over four years)
  • Cost per credit: $695
  • Credits required to graduate: 54 to 60 credits over an average of 4 years; 7 years maximum

To apply, students need a master’s degree in a relevant field. This online doctoral degree requires a minimum of 48 credits (beyond a master’s degree) for completion. This is a flexible program where students can pursue areas of interest beyond the core subjects.

13. Doctor of Education in Community Care & Counseling

Untitled

  • Liberty University
  • Annual tuition: $13,566 on average
  • Cost per credit: $595 per credit for full-time students (6-15 credits per semester)
  • Credits required to graduate: 57 credit hours over 2.5 years (on average)

This 100% online and highly flexible program is offered by Liberty University, a higher education institution grounded in Christian values. The program specializes in diagnosis, treatment, and counseling, especially in family and marriage, as well as research and education methodology. Note : This EdD degree does not meet state counseling licensure requirements.

14. Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy

Untitled

  • Annual tuition: $11,900 on average
  • Cost per credit:  $595 per credit hour for full-time online (enrolled in 6 to 15 credits per semester)
  • Credits required to graduate: 60 credit hours over 3 years on average

This online doctoral program can be completed in 60 credit hours and aims to equip students for the world of public policy. It encourages new research to improve and transform the public policy sector through Christian doctrine.

15. Doctor of Business Administration

Csu

  • Columbia Southern University
  • Annual tuition : $8,845
  • Cost per credit: $435
  • Credits required to graduate: minimum of 61 credits (up to 9 can be transferred)

One of the most affordable online degree programs in Business Administration, this Columbia Southern Ph.D. allows students to develop advanced leadership and decision-making skills, focusing on both research and the application of theory. To earn their doctorate, students need to complete a dissertation and defend it before a committee (which can be done remotely). In addition to this project-based study, students must also complete coursework on topics such as corporate responsibility, financial and accounting management, and quantitative data analysis.

16. Juris Doctor

Alu

  • Abraham Lincoln University
  • Annual tuition : $11,375
  • Cost per credit: $325 per quarter unit
  • Credits required to graduate: 140 quarter units over four years

The Juris Doctor program offered by Abraham Lincoln University is one of the oldest online law schools in California. Fully online, students learn a range of advanced analytical, technical, and research skills to practice law or work in a range of positions in the legal sector. The program is registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California.

17. Doctor of Education (EdD)

William howard taft

  • William Howard Taft University
  • Annual tuition: $6,480 (based on a full-time course load of 18 credit hours)
  • Cost per credit: $360
  • Credits required to graduate: 60 credits

This online Ph.D. in Education program equips students with advanced knowledge of organizational development, educational psychology, diversity in education, and law & ethics. Students can choose between three concentrations: Leadership & Administration, Educational Technology, and Charter School Administration.

18. Online Doctor of Education in Leadership & Innovation

Asu

  • Arizona State University
  • Tuition : $10,170 (for a full-time load of nine credit hours per semester)
  • Cost per credit: $565
  • Credits required to graduate: 90 credit hours

This affordable online doctorate is offered in a cohort model that is designed to provide students with a high degree of academic support. As part of this model, students are placed in leader scholar community groups to improve student experiences and promote better learning outcomes. Designed for practicing educators and leaders in the education sector, the program gives educators the tools to better support student success and drive positive change in classrooms – and across entire institutions.

Students may opt for one of three educational pathways:

  • Pre-K to Grade 12 Change Leadership
  • Higher Education Change Leadership
  • Systems, Professional, and Reimagined Change Leadership.

19. E dD in Leadership

Ace

  • American College of Education
  • Total program cost: $23,914
  • Cost per credit: $306 (total program cost $23,914)
  • Credits required to graduate: 64 credits over 36 months

This is one of the most affordable fully online doctoral programs in educational leadership. Students pursue original research in an area of their choice while using evidence-based decision-making to solve real-world problems. The program typically takes three years, but accelerated programs are available for qualifying students (e.g., EdS, ACE graduates).

20. Doctor of Nursing Practice (Educational Leadership)

Post

  • Post University
  • Annual tuition: $13,860
  • Cost per credit: $770
  • Credits required to graduate: 42 credit hours over 28 months

This is one of only a handful of online DNP programs specializing in educational leadership. It equips nursing educators with vital skills across leadership, curriculum development, policy, finance, research, and strategic planning. The program is broken down into eight-week courses and offers six start dates per year, making it easier for busy professionals to fit their studies into their schedules.

What’s the Average Cost of Online Doctoral Degrees?

Most online doctoral degree programs cost between $10,000 and $20,000 yearly in tuition and fees. However, this can vary widely depending on the institution and field of study. The most affordable online doctorate degrees start at around $6,000 annually, with a total degree cost of around $12,000.

Related : The easiest Ph.D. to consider

Make Cheap Online Ph.D. Programs Even More Affordable

We’ve pulled together the cheapest online doctoral degree programs from respected institutions in various fields. However, even when looking at the most affordable online doctoral programs, tuition and other fees can add up. Luckily, many sources of financial support can help.

Many universities and colleges provide financial aid to students. There are also scholarships, loans, and grants available for deserving students. You can even ask your employer to cover all or part of your tuition and other study expenses.

Top Doctoral Degree Fields

By looking at the median annual wage, some of the highest-paying fields for Ph.D. graduates (as of 2021) include:

  • Psychiatrists : $226,880
  • Software Architects : $120,520
  • Bioengineers and Biomedical Engineers : $97,410
  • Medical Scientists : $95,310
  • Petroleum Geologists : $83,680

Related : The top online Ph.D. programs .

Where Are Ph.D. Holders Most Desired?

Currently, doctorate holders are most in demand  in the fields of law, post-secondary education (especially in health specialties), and physical therapy. You’ll find countless affordable online doctorate programs, especially in some of the programs we listed above.

Mean earnings in the US in 2021 by level of educational attainment:

  • Less than 9th grade: $32,907
  • High school (9th to 12th Nongrad): $30,072
  • Graduate (including GED): $42,851
  • Some college, but no degree: $45,423
  • Associate degree: $52,127
  • Bachelor’s degree: $80,384
  • Master’s degree: $97,647
  • Professional degree: $156,305
  • Doctorate degree: $140,469

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest online doctorate.

In the age where online learning is becoming the norm, it comes as no surprise that more and more institutions are offering doctoral degrees online. Online education, by its nature, tends to be cheaper than in-person learning. To give you a better idea, some of the cheapest online doctoral programs are:

  • North Carolina A&T State University’s Doctor of Philosophy program  costs just $233 per credit, or $4,194 per year in annual tuition for in-state residents. However, tuition is significantly higher for residents of other states.
  • Columbia Southern University  offers doctorate programs at $435 per credit hour (or $391.50 for CSU Learning Partner members). The university tries to include textbooks  and eBooks in the total cost to lower your costs even more. Of course, this may not always be valid for those working toward doctorates.

It’s worth mentioning that many doctorates (even those online) offer financial aid opportunities to help you pay part or all of your tuition costs. It may be worth looking into programs where these opportunities exist.

Do Online Ph.D. Programs Provide Financial Aid?

If you want to earn your doctorate online, you can still apply for FAFSA  if the school or program accepts it. Consider online schools and programs that offer financial aid.

Most universities will offer scholarships and grants to qualifying students, whether they are attending in-person or online classes. For example, students at Missouri State University’s Doctor of Nursing program can apply for MSU’s annual scholarship.

Note: Although you can apply for various scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to get them.

Are Online Ph.D. Programs Legitimate?

Yes, there are a large number of legitimate online Ph.D. programs offered by reputable institutions. As with any higher-education program, it’s essential to check that the school is accredited before enrolling, as this is directly related to the value of any qualification. It’s also important to consider the institution’s reputation, which may influence potential future employers.

Can I Get a Ph.D. for Free?

Several fully-funded Ph.D. programs  offer doctorates with no out-of-pocket costs. These programs typically cover tuition and other expenses for the entire duration of the program through scholarships, grants, work-study, or a combination of these. Some schools even offer a stipend for living expenses.

However, many of these programs involve on-campus attendance. The options for fully-funded online doctoral programs are much more limited.

Key Takeaways

An online doctoral qualification not only helps you to advance your career but also encourages your personal development via critical thinking, leadership, and analytical skills. You’ll find that pursuing one of the cheapest online Ph.D. programs in 2022 will provide countless benefits!

Want to get a Ph.D. but aren’t sure if you qualify? Discover whether you need a master’s to get a Ph.D. !

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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Most Affordable Online Ph.D. Programs in 2024

  • Online Degrees
  • 10 min read

Pursuing a Ph.D. can be a costly endeavor, but it doesn’t have to break the bank.

We’ve ranked the 20 most affordable online Ph.D. programs based on a methodology weighing three key factors.

The Top 20 Most Affordable Online PhD Programs in 2024

Rankings analysis and insights, guide to affordable online phd programs, top paying phd degrees, common questions about affordable online phd programs, can i earn a ph.d. online for free.

Ranking Methodology

  • Annual Tuition Costs: This accounts for 50% of the ranking score. We looked at the total annual tuition cost for a full-time course load. Lower tuition receives a higher score.
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: 30% of the ranking score is based on the cost per credit hour. A lower cost per credit equals a higher score.
  • Flexibility and Accessibility: The remaining 20% of the score focuses on program flexibility and accessibility. Programs that are 100% online with multiple start dates per year and no residency requirements receive the highest marks.

Using this ranking methodology, here are the top 20 most affordable online Ph.D. programs for 2024.

North Carolina A&T State University – Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies

Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies

  • $4,194 – $15,480 annual tuition
  • 60 credits, 100% online

With in-state tuition of just $233 per credit hour, NC A&T tops the list as the #1 most affordable online PhD program. This flexible 60 credit program has no residency requirements and focuses on leadership theory and research methods.

Columbia Southern University – Doctor of Business Administration

Doctor of Business Administration

  • $8,845 annual tuition
  • 61 credits, 100% online

At $435 per credit hour, CSU offers one of the cheapest online business doctorates. This 100% online, 61 credit DBA has a dissertation requirement but no residency.

William Howard Taft University – Doctor of Education

Doctor of Education

  • $6,480 annual tuition

Taft’s EdD only costs $360 per credit and has no additional fees. The 60 credit degree is fully online with a choice of concentrations.

American College of Education – EdD in Leadership

EdD in Leadership

  • $6,528 annual tuition
  • 64 credits, 100% online

For $306 per credit hour, ACE offers an affordable leadership-focused doctorate in education completely online. Students complete a dissertation.

Indiana State University – Doctor of Nursing Practice

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • $8,103 – $10,527 annual tuition
  • 37 credits, 100% online

With tuition of $438 per credit, ISU’s 37 credit DNP is a top choice for an affordable nursing doctorate. The program is 100% online with no residencies.

Texas Tech University – EdD in Agricultural Education

EdD in Agricultural Education

  • $8,779 annual in-state tuition
  • 72 credits, hybrid

Texas residents pay only $488 per credit for this 72 credit education doctorate with an agricultural focus from TTU. It is mostly online with minimal campus visits.

Post University – Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • $13,860 annual tuition
  • 42 credits, 100% online

Post offers its 42 credit DNP for only $770 per credit hour. The program is entirely online in an accelerated 28-month timeline.

Liberty University – Doctor of Education in Community Care & Counseling

Doctor of Education in Community Care & Counseling

  • $13,566 annual tuition
  • 57 credits, 100% online

Liberty’s CCC EdD costs just $595 per credit with discounts for full-time students. The 57 credit program is 100% online.

University of Wyoming – EdD in Higher Education Administration

EdD in Higher Education Administration

  • $6,460 – $19,340 annual tuition
  • 75 credits, mostly online

UW’s education doctorate costs only $359 per credit for in-state students. It is mostly online with one initial campus visit.

Missouri State University – Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • $14,700 annual tuition
  • 29 credits, 100% online

MSU’s DNP runs $14,700 in flat annual tuition, making it one of the most affordable nursing doctorates. The 29 credit program is completely online.

Abraham Lincoln University – Juris Doctor

Juris Doctor (JD)

  • $11,375 annual tuition
  • 140 credits, 100% online

ALU offers an ABA-approved law doctorate for only $325 per quarter unit. The 140 unit JD is 100% online with flexibility.

Arizona State University – Doctor of Education in Leadership & Innovation

Doctor of Education in Leadership & Innovation

  • $10,170 annual tuition
  • 90 credits, 100% online

ASU’s EdD is $565 per credit but offers grants and scholarships to lower costs further. The 90 credit program is online in a supportive cohort model.

University of Massachusetts – Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • $14,850 annual tuition
  • 36 credits, online after MSN

UMass’ 36 credit DNP is $825 per credit hour for a total cost under $15,000 a year. It is online after completing an MSN degree.

New Mexico State University – PhD in Curriculum & Instruction

PhD in Curriculum & Instruction

  • $17,551 annual tuition
  • 66+ credits, mostly online

NMSU’s C&I doctorate is $444 per credit for all students. It is mostly online with some summer campus sessions required.

Pacific College of Health and Science – Doctor of Acupuncture

Doctor of Acupuncture

  • $9,988 annual tuition
  • Varies, 100% online

At $454 per credit, this DAOM completion degree is one of the most affordable doctorates in acupuncture. The program is 100% online.

Colorado Technical University – PhD in Computer Science

PhD in Computer Science

  • $13,393 annual tuition
  • 100 credits, online with residency

CTU offers a flexible 100 credit PhD in computer science for $598 per credit hour. Online with occasional on-campus research.

Indiana University – Doctor of Public Health

Doctor of Public Health

  • $10,350 – $22,500 annual tuition
  • 45 credits, mostly online

IU’s online DrPH costs between $690-$1500 per credit depending on residency. It includes some face-to-face meetings over two years.

Hampton University – PhD in Nursing

PhD in Nursing

  • $9,382 – $10,425 annual tuition
  • 54-60 credits, 100% online

Hampton’s online nursing PhD ranges from $695-$750 per credit. The flexible 54-60 credit program has no residency requirements.

Auburn University – PhD in Polymer & Fiber Engineering

PhD in Polymer & Fiber Engineering

  • $17,082 annual tuition
  • 30-36 credits, mostly online

Auburn’s engineering Ph.D. is $949 per credit. The program is mostly online, with potential campus visits for exams and defense.

Liberty University – PhD in Public Policy

Ph.D. in Public Policy

  • $11,900 annual tuition

Liberty’s 60 credit public policy Ph.D. costs $595 per credit. The online program incorporates Christian doctrine.

  • Public and state colleges tend to offer the most affordable options, with lower in-state tuition rates. Private universities are typically more expensive for online doctoral programs.
  • Certain fields like nursing, education, business, and public policy have numerous affordable online options, likely due to high demand. Fields like law, medicine, and hard sciences have fewer cheap online programs available.
  • Total credit requirements range widely from 30 credits up to over 90 credits, impacting overall program cost. Shorter programs with no dissertation requirement are sometimes cheaper.
  • Annual tuition costs of $10,000-15,000 are quite common even for affordable online PhDs. Programs under $10,000 are rare, making financial aid and support crucial.
  • 100% online programs with no residency provide the most cost savings on travel and lodging. Programs with some on-campus elements have higher overall costs.
  • Part-time and flexible pacing options can lower per credit tuition rates at some schools, ideal for working professionals.
  • Even affordable programs often have extra fees for technology, resources, and graduation costs that add to the total price.
  • Ranking strictly by annual tuition cost provides just one data point. Cost per credit and program flexibility also influence value.

In summary, public universities tend to offer the most affordable online Ph.D. options, especially in high-demand fields like nursing and education. But additional financial support is still key, even with cheaper programs. Flexibility, required credits, and fees also impact total costs.

Pursuing a PhD can be expensive, but online programs can provide a more affordable option for advancing your education and career. This guide covers key factors to consider when researching cheap online doctoral programs.

What to Look For in Affordable Online PhDs

  • Low Tuition Costs – Compare annual and per credit tuition rates. In-state public schools tend to be cheaper.
  • Limited Fees – Watch out for extra fees that can increase the overall cost.
  • 100% Online – Fully online programs eliminate travel and on-campus costs.
  • Flexibility – Look for self-paced options with multiple start dates per year.
  • Financial Aid – Ask about scholarships, grants, assistantships, and other aid opportunities.
  • No Residency – Programs without residency requirements maximize cost savings.

Most Affordable Online Ph.D. Fields

Certain subjects tend to have lower-cost online doctoral options:

  • Public Policy/Administration
  • Engineering
  • Computer Science

Ways to Save on Online PhDs

If tuition is still high, here are some tips to reduce costs:

  • Apply for financial aid through the school and external scholarships
  • Use employer education benefits or tuition reimbursement
  • Attend part-time to qualify for lower per-credit rates
  • Find paid research or teaching assistant roles
  • Take advantage of in-state tuition if moving is an option

A Ph.D. can lead to high-paying jobs in academia, research, or specialized industries.

These degrees offer high salaries because they require a high level of skill and knowledge. They also lead to careers in in-demand fields.

  • Early Career Salary: $103,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $144,000
  • Initial Salary: $118,000
  • Pay at mid-career level: $145,000
  • Early Career Salary: $83,400
  • Mid-Career Salary: $146,000
  • Early Career Salary: $96,100
  • Early Career Salary: $93,700
  • Mid-Career Salary: $135,000
  • Pay in Your Early Years: $88,100
  • Pay at mid-career level: $133,000
  • Salary for an Early Career: $105,000
  • Pay at mid-career level: $131,000
  • Early Career Salary: $93,600
  • Mid-career salary: $137,000
  • Early Career Salary: $75,400
  • Mid-Career Salary: $141,000
  • Early Career Salary: $73,600
  • Mid-Career Salary: $138,000

Pursuing an online PhD program can provide flexibility and convenience for working professionals and parents.

However, earning a doctoral degree remotely also raises many questions about cost, financial aid, legitimacy, and more.

The section below answers some of the most frequently asked questions about affordable online PhD options .

What are some of the cheapest online doctorate programs?

While tuition costs vary, some particularly affordable options include:

  • North Carolina A&T State University’s online Doctor of Philosophy program charges just $233 per credit hour for in-state students.
  • Columbia Southern University offers doctoral programs starting at $435 per credit hour, including textbooks and eBooks.
  • Many schools provide financial assistance, which can lower out-of-pocket costs for online learners. Checking a program’s aid opportunities is advisable.

Can I get financial aid for an online PhD program?

Yes, financial aid, including scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans, is often available for online doctoral students–some of which are known as “ fully funded online PhD programs “. Steps to take:

  • Complete the FAFSA if the program/school accepts it.
  • Research scholarships and grants specifically for online learners.
  • Ask about aid directly through the school or program.
  • Explore employer education benefits and professional development funds.

Are online PhD programs seen as legitimate credentials?

Absolutely. Top schools like Stanford, Columbia, and MIT now offer online doctorates. Be sure to verify:

  • The program has valid accreditation .
  • The school is non-profit and regionally accredited.
  • Past graduates found career success after earning their degrees .

A small number of schools provide full funding for select on-campus Ph.D. students. But free online options besides the GI Bill for veterans are very limited. Realistically, expect to pay some tuition costs unless you secure a full scholarship or grant.

Affordable online Ph.D. programs do exist but require diligent research. Seeking aid and evaluating total costs are key steps for remote doctoral students.

Finding an affordable online Ph.D. is possible with research and utilizing all financial aid opportunities available. Being flexible about the school and program can also help you find the best value.

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Explore a range of online doctoral programs, including Ph.D. degrees, that offer accelerated paths, reduced residency requirements, and flexible online learning options.

Many degree programs fall under the title of doctorate, including Doctor of Philosophy degrees or Ph.D.

These Ph.D. degree programs are available in a variety of subjects and are intended to help students understand their specialty in the abstract and as a school of thought and theory rather than strictly as a practice.

Institutions that offer the best programs typically have exceptional funding, prestigious reputations, top-of-the-line research facilities, and abundant academic resources.

When selecting one of the shortest online doctoral programs or easiest online Ph.D. programs, you can access more info by visiting the links provided in each school description to ensure that you find the best program for you!

The easiest isn't always the shortest nor the shortest the easiest.

Doctorate Programs That Might Interest You

1-year Online Doctoral Programs | 18 Month Doctorate Programs Without Dissertation | Shortest Doctoral Programs Online and On-campus | Easiest Ph.D. to Get Online | Easiest PhD to Get (Traditional) | Free PhD Programs Online

Doctorate Degree vs PhD

Ph.D. programs focus more on the theoretical and abstract aspects of their respective fields of study to understand it as a school of thought rather than just a practical application.

Usual doctorate programs tend to be more practical in their study and focus on the application of knowledge rather than understanding more abstract perspectives.

Ph.D. degrees are often offered in the same fields that have standard doctoral degrees available usually offered in fields such as engineering, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

Doctorate programs are made up of advanced coursework, research projects, or thesis work almost strictly for practical application. Such degrees will get you ready to teach at the university level or help you advance to the leading edge of your field researching, serving, and creating.

Ph.D. and Doctorate degrees can often achieve the same ends and should be considered more or less equal in weight.

1 Year Ph.D. Programs Online

Chatham university.

Chatham offers a 1-year online DNP program for working nurses seeking advanced leadership roles. The intensive curriculum covers care delivery models, quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and informational systems. The program features synchronous online classes and immersive clinicals at sites nationwide. Students collaborate virtually with renowned faculty.

Within 12 months, students complete 36 credits and 1,000 clinical hours. Graduates can sit for Family Nurse Practitioner certification. Nurses with a BSN can enter the accelerated program. Applicants need an active RN license. This online DNP empowers nurses to rapidly earn doctoral credentials while working. It prepares graduates to advance as clinical, executive, research, and teaching leaders.

Breyer State Theology University

Breyer State Theology University offers a 1-year online PhD in Grief Counseling through its Department of Ethereal Studies. This accelerated program is tailored for working professionals seeking to advance their bereavement therapy career. The curriculum covers advanced grief counseling theories and interventions for diverse populations. Students gain expertise in areas like trauma-informed care, healing rituals, afterlife philosophies, and continuing bonds.

The online format combines asynchronous learning with live classes in an intimate cohort overseen by esteemed faculty. Students complete their dissertation in just one year. Graduates earn a PhD from BSU's pioneering metaphysical psychology department. This flexible doctoral program prepares students to progress their counseling practice or pursue academic research roles.

American International Theism University

American International Theism University (AITU) offers one-year online doctoral degrees for working professionals. Accelerated PhD tracks include Philosophy of Islamic Studies, Business Administration, Education, Finance, and Grief Counseling. Professional doctorates prepare leaders in Divinity, Sacred Music, Spiritual Psychotherapy, and more. The online programs blend video lectures, discussions, and immersive retreats. Curricula explore metaphysics, ethics, and wisdom traditions across faiths.

Within 12 months, students complete doctoral coursework, exams, and a dissertation overseen by distinguished faculty. Applicants should hold a relevant master's degree and background in theological studies or social sciences. These intensive online doctoral programs allow students to rapidly earn advanced credentials through flexible study with global peers. Graduates pursue roles driving innovation in spiritual care, research, and leadership.

Online Doctorate Programs That Might Interest You

15-18 month doctorate programs without dissertation, boston university.

Boston University offers a Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree program that can be completed in 18 months. The program consists of 10 courses, which are about 33 to 37 credits. Students may concentrate on various areas and can then choose what else they would prefer to learn to complete their credit requirements.

This is a fully online degree program that accelerates each semester’s worth of class to take only seven weeks to complete with new courses starting every September, January, and May. The program is available to doctoral students who have completed an accredited occupational therapy program. There are foundation courses, which include evidence-based practice and health care management, but no dissertation is necessary whereas a doctoral project is still required.

Frontier Nursing University

The Maryville University of St. Louis offers a Doctor of Nursing (DNP) program that is available online. The DNP program requires students to complete a total of 33 credit hours, including 18 to 20 months for completion. Many students in the online DNP program are working as nurses in the field, and this affords them a flexible program that allows many students to achieve their academic goals while active in the healthcare industry.

This course is an online program that does not require a GMAT or GRE. It may have a waiting list, but unlike other programs, it does not require clinical hours. The Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership is an online program that offers personal coaching throughout the process. It is a cohort learning method with online education, and students might need a bit more time to complete it.

Maryville University

Maryville University offers online doctoral degrees tailored for working professionals. Programs available fully online include Doctorates in Higher Education Leadership, Educational Leadership, Nursing Practice, Health Administration, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. The EdD programs prepare graduates for leadership and faculty roles in education. The DNP equips nurses for advanced clinical and executive practice.

Health Administration focuses on healthcare organizational development, quality, and finance. Licensed PTs and OTs can pursue clinical doctorates while working. Courses blend live online classes and self-paced learning. Programs leverage cutting-edge virtual labs and simulations. With a relevant master's degree, students can earn an accredited doctorate from Maryville University online to advance their careers.

24 Month Doctorate Programs

University of north carolina – chapel hill.

One option is to earn an online Ph.D. in Nursing, while another option is to earn their Medical Degree at the same time as their  Master of Business Administration , but the Transitional Doctoral Program in Physical therapy may be earned in 24 months fully online. This part-time program provides online learning courses to help licensed physical therapists enhance their skills and gain access to higher career options. Some credits can be earned through workplace applications.

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University offers over a dozen online doctoral degrees tailored for working professionals. GCU provides online EdD tracks in Organizational Leadership, Higher Education Leadership, and K-12 Leadership. Other doctorates cover psychology, nursing, business, and more. Programs blend asynchronous and live virtual classes focused on applying concepts. Specialized tracks allow customization.

Online students get personalized faculty support and access to robust digital resources. Within 2 years (or less), learners complete coursework, residencies, exams, and a dissertation to earn an accredited doctoral degree from GCU. With flexible and practical curricula, GCU enables busy professionals to obtain doctorates fully online and further their careers.

Liberty University

Liberty University offers a Doctor of Education degree program that can be completed fully online. The minimum time to earn the degree is about 30 months for completion of all 54 credits. The courses are each 8 weeks long and no dissertation is required. The Doctor of Education degree program provides a curriculum that focuses on developing innovative programs, as well as a capstone project.

University of West Georgia

The University of West Georgia offers several online doctoral degree options for working professionals seeking advanced training. UWG provides online doctorates in School Improvement, Nursing Education, Professional Counseling and Supervision, and Higher Education Administration. The EdD programs focus on data-driven leadership strategies and developing administrative expertise.

The DNP prepares nurses to improve care systems and patient outcomes. Coursework blends synchronous evening classes and self-paced learning for flexibility. Experiential projects allow application to careers. With a relevant master's degree, students can earn an accredited doctorate fully online from UWG to advance as leaders in their field.

Shortest Ph.D. Programs Online and On-campus

Obtaining a Ph.D. can be a long-term commitment and many doctoral programs can take over five years to complete. To help busy working professionals looking to jumpstart their careers and those looking to begin their careers at a high level, this list serves as a simple reference guide, compiling information on some of the shortest doctoral programs in the country.

These online degree programs operate in full-time, part-time, fully online, or hybrid formats.

  • Baylor University - online EdD in Learning and Organizational Change, 54 credits, 36 months
  • Maryville University - online Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online DNP), 20 months, no GRE or no GMAT requirement
  • University of Dayton - online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership for Organizations, 36 months, 60 credits
  • Capella University - online Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision, 0 max transfer credits, 60 credits, CACREP accredited
  • Franklin University - online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), 58 credit hours, transfer up to 24 hours of previously earned credit, 36 months + 1 year for dissertation
  • Walden University - online Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology, up to 53 credits, fast-track option, earn MPhil at the same time
  • Frontier Nursing University - online Doctor of Nursing Practice, MSN with DNP, 675 clinical hours for MSN plus 360 additional for DNP
  • Boston University - Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy, PP-OTD, 33-37 credits
  • University of Florida - online MSN to DNP, 35 credits, five semesters
  • Gwynedd Mercy University - Accelerated Executive Doctorate of Education ABD (All But Dissertation) Completion Program, online EdD , 27 credit hours, 18 months
  • Duquesne University - Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), 35 credit hours
  • The College of St. Scholastica - Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy, online tDPT, 16 credits
  • Liberty Univesity - Doctor of Ministry, online DMin, 30 credit hours, 24 months
  • University of Florida - Doctor of Nursing Practice, MSN to DNP, 35 credits, 5 semesters
  • University of North Dakota - Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice, online DNP, 36 credit hours, 5 semesters
  • Seton Hall University - Doctor of Nursing Practice, online DNP, 31+ credits for post-MSN students, 73-79 credits for post-BSN students
  • Regis University - Doctor of Nursing Practice, online DNP , 28-33 credit hours, 8-week terms
  • Georgia State University - Curriculum and Instruction EdD, Educational Leadership EdD, on-campus EdD, 54 credit hours
  • Bowling Green State University   - Technology Management, web-based Ph.D., 66 credit hours
  • Hampton University - Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management, online Ph.D., 60 credit hours
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Safety Sciences, online Ph.D., 54 credit hours
  • East Carolina University   - Doctor of Nursing Practice, hybrid online DNP

Easiest Ph.D. Programs Online & On-Campus

To be sure, at the Ph.D. level, no program could be considered "easy," but there are certain programs designed to be "easier" than others. Generally, education, humanities, and the social sciences are considered the easiest fields in which to pursue degrees.

With that in mind, our list of the easiest Ph.D. programs includes schools and programs that offer significantly reduced residency requirements, accelerated courses, credit transfers, and integrated dissertation colloquia.

The rankings below display schools with accreditation from at least one of the six regional accrediting agencies , and all offer at least one virtual Ph.D. degree. Accredited online Ph.D. programs are also organized according to the U.S. News and World Report and Forbes Magazine rankings.

Easiest Online Ph.D. Programs & Online Doctoral Programs

  • WALDEN UNIVERSITY - 156 Online Doctoral Programs
  • REGENT UNIVERSITY - 81 online doctorate degrees, 6 Ph.D. programs online
  • HAMPTON UNIVERSITY - 5 online doctoral degree programs
  • UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA - 8 online doctoral degree programs
  • UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI - 4 online doctorate programs
  • COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY - 3 online Ph.D. programs, 1 online doctoral program
  • UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA - 12 online Ph.D. programs, 3 online doctoral programs
  • NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY -  10 online doctorate programs, 8 online Ph.D. programs
  • LIBERTY UNIVERSITY -  19 online Ph.D. programs, 16 online doctorate programs

Easiest Ph.D. to Get (Traditional)

The easiest doctorate degree can vary depending on your interests, skills, and strengths. However, here is a list of doctorate degrees that are mentioned as potentially less difficult to obtain:

  • Business Administration: This program focuses on business development, design, methods, tools, and professional ethics. A Ph.D. in Business Administration can be a good choice for professionals looking to advance their careers in business.
  • Counseling: A doctorate in counseling allows you to specialize in areas such as human behavior, social psychology, counseling supervision, or specific therapy approaches. This degree can lead to advanced career opportunities in healthcare and social services.
  • Criminal Justice: This program equips you with research skills and the ability to analyze data in the field of criminal justice. It can open doors to various career paths, including emergency management, forensic departments, and information security sectors.
  • Education: A doctorate in education focuses on enhancing educational research skills and preparing for leadership roles in educational institutions. It can lead to administrative positions in universities, professional departments, or elementary and secondary schools.
  • Healthcare Administration: This program prepares you for leadership roles in the business aspect of the medical industry. It covers topics such as policies, ethics, group management, hospital administration, and advanced patient care.
  • Human Services: A doctorate in human services prepares you for leadership positions within organizations that help underserved populations. It focuses on policies, legislation, rights, ethics, and protocols for serving within human services organizations.
  • Management: This program provides practical skills applicable to various industry settings. It covers areas such as financial management, system management, conflict management, and human resources management.
  • Public Administration: A doctorate in public administration develops managerial and strategic planning skills for administrative roles in different industries. It offers coursework in ethics of management, public policy, strategic planning, performance management, employee evaluation, and economics of administration.
  • Public Health: This program equips you with advanced training and research skills for the healthcare industry. It focuses on leadership and management roles in public health, emphasizing innovative thinking and communication mastery.
  • Public Policy: A doctorate in public policy focuses on theory, ethics, research, and practice in public service programs. It prepares you to analyze and propose policies to improve communities and societies.
  • Psychology: A doctorate in psychology combines research skills with professional practice. It can lead to careers as addictions counselors, applied researchers, professional consultants, or clinical psychologists.
  • Theology: A doctorate in theology explores divine and spiritual traditions through academics, research, and religious studies. It can lead to careers as professors, social service managers, private school teachers, or directors of religious education.

Please note that the difficulty of a doctorate degree can vary depending on individual circumstances, personal strengths, and the specific requirements of each program. It's important to thoroughly research and consider your own interests, skills, and career goals before deciding on a doctorate program.

Free Ph.D. Programs Online (Fully Funded)

According to Best-Universities.net .

  • Brown University - Fully-funded Ph.D. program in computer science
  • University of Houston-Downtown - Full scholarship program for online doctorate
  • Devry University - Comprehensive scholarship program for online degrees
  • University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Full scholarship program for online undergraduate and graduate degrees
  • Wilson Community College - Full scholarship program for community college students
  • University of Leeds - Up to 30 fully-funded online Ph.D. programs
  • University of the Witwatersrand - Comprehensive scholarship program for online bachelor's or master's degrees
  • The University of Texas at Dallas - Full scholarship program for online bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees
  • University of Strathclyde - Full scholarship program for online undergraduate or master's degrees
  • Emory University - Fully-funded online Ph.D. program in economics
  • New York University - Fully-funded Ph.D. program in childhood education
  • University of Pennsylvania - Fully-funded online Ph.D. program in educational leadership and policy

If you're not looking for an accelerated program , the list below displays some of the best traditional Ph.D. programs in the country, according to Study.com.

Best Ph.D. Programs in the U.S.

Guide to online doctorate degrees.

Fewer positions requiring this advanced level qualification and reduced competition for such job opportunities among job seekers are some of the reasons behind the few doctoral graduates.

With technological advancements in almost all areas of life, acquiring education, a significantly advanced level of education has become more accessible.

Graduate students now do not have to attend physical classes to pursue their dreams of developing and advancing their skills.

You can pursue your doctorate in the comfort of your home or even your office. There was a 20% growth in students granted doctorate degrees between the 2009/2010 and 2019/2020 academic years, according to NCES. This growth has been attributed in part to online Ph.D. programs and the streamlining of modern universities.

Online Ph.D. programs are a relatively newer idea and online schooling in general has greatly increased access, flexibility, and convenience.

Students typically complete these degrees soon after completing a Master’s degree in the same area. As such, and with bachelor's degrees being necessary stepping stones, students can expect their journey from primary school to a Ph.D. to take about nine years, barring any accelerated tracks and failed classes.

Cost of an Online Doctoral Degree Program

When choosing any doctoral degree program, it is crucial to evaluate the costs and salary after attending. Even though online Ph.D. courses may usually be cheaper than on-campus learning, secondary schooling is rarely cheap and not every field will allow you to make back the cost in a reasonable amount of time.

Tuition, materials, technology, transportation, housing, and groceries should all be factors brought into account when deciding whether or where to attend, and in what field you can find the most success and fulfillment.

Below are the annual tuition rates of different institutions as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

  • Private-For profit institutions- $18,200
  • Private-Not for-profit institutions- $37,600
  • Public institutions- $9,400

Choosing an Online Doctoral Degree Program

Since doctoral programs require considerable investments of money and time, it is important to consider every factor before deciding on a school or program. Take some time to consider the marketability, cost, and difficulty of each program and your own interest in the subject. To reach your career and educational goals, do your best research.

How Long Does it Take to Get a PhD

The length of a Ph.D. program can vary, but it typically takes 3 to 6 years to complete.

  • A Ph.D. program typically takes 5 to 6 years in the United States.
  • A Ph.D. program typically takes 3 to 4 years in the UK and many other European countries.

The actual length of a Ph.D. program can be influenced by many factors, including the nature of the research, the student's progress, the advisor's availability, and funding considerations.

  • Some students may finish in less time, while others may take longer.
  • Part-time Ph.D. programs are also available, which can take longer to complete.

Here is a table summarizing the length of Ph.D. programs in different countries:

Top 50 doctorate-granting institutions ranked by the total number of doctorate recipients, by sex: 2020

Tied institutions are listed alphabetically.

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Earned Doctorates.

Doctorate recipients from U.S. colleges and universities: 1958–2020

(Number and percent) * = value < |0.05%|.

State or location of doctorate institution ranked by the total number of doctorate recipients, by sex: 2020

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

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

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

Are Online Ph.D. Programs Worth It?

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

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

While the annual tuition cost to earn a Ph.D. online averages $12,394 for a public institution and $26,621 for a private university, doctoral graduates enjoy a lower unemployment rate and higher weekly salary than those with less education, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Did You Know...

  • According to the BLS , workers with a doctoral degree earned a median of $651 more per week than workers with a bachelor's degree in 2022.
  • Doctorate-holders boast some of the lowest unemployment rates at 1%.
  • In 2019, research found that 39.8% of graduate students were enrolled in online learning.
  • The number of doctorates awarded between 2020 and 2021 dropped by 5.4%.
  • Not all Ph.D.-holders end up working in academia.

Explore Our Featured Online Doctoral Programs

Jump to top schools with online ph.d. programs, top schools for online accredited ph.d. programs.

We use datasets from sources like the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.

Capitol Technology University

  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit: In-State | $950 Out-of-State | $950

Credits to Graduate: 60

Founded in 1927, Capitol Technology University features 40 doctoral programs, which you can complete online. Majors include aeronautical science, artificial intelligence, computer science, cybersecurity, military leadership, occupation risk management, and supply chain management. 

Programs require about 60 credits, but you can choose from a doctoral degree without any research requirements. Coursework focuses on doctoral research, proposal writing, and oral defense. Capitol also offers a dual master's and Ph.D. in technology combination program. 

Admission requirements vary, but generally you need a master's degree in a related major and five years of work experience.

Clemson University

  • Clemson, SC

Cost per Credit: In-State | $515-$1,319 Out-of-State | $515-$1,319

Clemson's graduate catalog features 52 doctoral programs with the flexibility to study on campus, online, or in a hybrid format. Fields like digital history, entomology, genetics, or business administration offer on-campus programs for traditional doctoral students. You have the opportunity to study virtually in nine doctoral programs, including nursing, educational leadership, and parks, recreation and tourism management.

To obtain a doctoral degree, candidates must complete approximately 60 credits over a span of 3-5 years and successfully defend their dissertation.

Keiser University

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

Total Cost: In-State | $31,712 Out-of-State | $31,712

Keiser University , which was established in 1977, offers 19 flexible doctoral degrees. You can attend classes on the 100-acre main campus or study at one of 23 satellite campuses. Programs offer evening, online, and daytime courses. Keiser's “student first” policy lets you take 1-2 classes at a time, depending on your availability. It takes about 2-5 years to earn your doctoral degree.

To apply for a doctoral program, you need to submit your master's or doctoral transcripts, a resume, personal statement, and an application with a fee.

Mississippi State University

  • Mississippi State, MS

Cost per Credit: In-State | $537 Out-of-State | $1,074-$1,468

Credits to Graduate: 60-65

The public research university MSU , which began admitting students in 1880 as an Agricultural and Mechanical College, now boasts 71 doctoral degrees, including 15 virtual programs. Ph.D. programs include engineering, computer science, agricultural sciences, mathematical sciences, and educational leadership. In addition to coursework, you'll need to complete a dissertation and defense on an independent research topic.

As a doctoral candidate, you can access ample research opportunities. The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station runs 16 stations throughout the state. Applicants need a recommended 3.4 GPA for their master's-level coursework.

Nova Southeastern University

Cost per Credit: In-State | $969-$1,386 Out-of-State | $969-$1,386

Credits to Graduate: 51-64

Nova Southeastern University , the largest private research university in Florida, boasts 14 colleges and 11 campuses. NSU offers 37 doctoral programs, with 19 of them available online. Earn a doctoral degree online in subjects such as criminal justice, computer science, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology. 

Departments such as the NSU Fischler College of Education and the School of Criminal Justice offer dissertation resources, including templates and mentor support. Each program sets distinct admission requirements, but you generally need a master's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Old Dominion University

  • Norfolk, VA

Cost per Credit: In-State | $599 Out-of-State | $1,439

Credits to Graduate: 31-60 

Old Dominion University offers 10 online doctoral programs through its seven colleges and three schools. The program covers a range of subjects such as nursing, community college leadership, educational leadership, engineering management, English, instruction design and technology, and workforce and organizational development. 

Admission requirements vary across programs. For instance, the Ph.D. in business administration requires GMAT or GRE scores, while the Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction asks applicants to submit master's transcripts, an essay, and three references.

Saybrook University

  • Pasadena, CA

Cost per Credit: In-State | $1,416-$1,590 Out-of-State | $1,416-$1,590

Credits to Graduate: 54-76

Offering hybrid online degrees since 1970, Saybrook University now delivers 11 online doctoral degrees. You can earn a doctoral degree completely online or in a hybrid format with a low-residency option.

Doctoral students can pursue studies in counseling, integrative social work, organizational systems, mind-body medicine, integrative and functional nutrition, psychology, and wellness. To get admitted, you need at least a master's degree. And you complete up to 76 credits over about 4-5 years.

Texas Tech University

  • Lubbock, TX

Cost per Semester: In-State | $2,107-$6,877 Out-of-State | $2,107-$6,877

Credits to Graduate: 60-96

Created in 1923, Texas Tech's 13 colleges and schools offer 98 doctoral degrees. Texas Tech offers doctoral degrees in agricultural and applied economics, animal science, computer science, curriculum and instruction, and special education. 

Many of the doctoral programs, such as the Ph.D. in psychology and Ph.D. in wind science and engineering, offer STEM OPT Extension eligibility to extend your F-1 visa for up to two years. Programs require about 60 credits on average and a dissertation. Depending on the program, you may need to submit GRE scores to apply.

How We Rank Schools

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

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

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

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

Does Accreditation Matter for Online Ph.D. Programs?

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

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

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

How Much Does an Online Ph.D. Cost?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Graduates of online Ph.D. programs earn a relatively high average base salary of $105,000 a year, according to Payscale .

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Ph.D. Programs

  • Collapse All

What is the quickest Ph.D. to get?

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

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

Are online doctoral programs legit?

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

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

How long are online Ph.D. programs?

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

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

Can I earn my Ph.D. entirely online?

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

What do employers think of online doctoral programs?

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

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

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

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.

The 15 Most Affordable Online Doctorate Programs

Find your perfect school.

cheap phd programs in usa

Finding the most affordable online doctorate programs may not be easy, but we are here to help! At one time, pursuing a doctorate while working full time was practically an impossibility. That’s no longer the case; with the continued progression of technology, it becomes easier and more affordable to attain a degree without ever having to step foot in a classroom.

According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics, investing in a doctorate is financially rewarding, as on average someone with a doctoral degree earns $2,513 more per month than someone with a bachelor’s degree and $1,473 more than someone with a master’s degree.

Statistically, those with doctorates also have the lowest rate of unemployment , 2.5% – compared to 4.1% of those with master’s degrees and 5.5% of those with bachelor’s degrees.

affordable online doctorate programs

METHODOLOGY

Let us help you find the most affordable doctorate school program that fits your educational requirements for starting a new career, a job promotion, or simply meeting your personal goals. Our researchers at PremiumSchools.org utilize these indicators of excellent academic standards to locate exceptional doctoral degree programs designed just for you, and… your wallet.

The following schools are listed in random order. As every school displays its unique qualities and strengths, you should search our list based on your needs, career aspirations, and affordability.

The following factors were considered: 

  • Offers online classes for flexible or convenient attendance without compromising hands-on training,
  • Exhibits rigorous, yet engaging and innovative training in doctorate coursework that takes into account the readiness of students to take the next step in their budding careers,
  • Taught by outstanding faculty consisting of experts experienced at the doctoral level,
  • Held in high esteem among academic agencies, industry organizations, and journalistic resources,
  • Displays stellar reviews and feedback from school alumni and students,
  • Offers a convenient application process,
  • Provides exceptional Student Career Centers, Resource Departments, and easy-to-use Learning Management Systems, where applicable, 
  • Permits a wide range of scholarships, grants, and other financial support programs for eligible students,
  • Ensures the proper Accreditation in accordance with academic standards.

If you would like to learn more about our selection process, feel free to see our Methodology page! 

Please note that the below-mentioned tuition costs are approximate at the time of this publishing, for they may differ from program to program. Please check school websites for the most up-to-date pricing information.

15 MOST AFFORDABLE ONLINE DOCTORATE PROGRAMS

American college of education.

affordable online doctorate programs

Online Doctorate in Education

Incorporated in 2005, the American College of Education was established with the goal of providing high-quality, affordable, and accessible online programs. American College of Education is a B Corporation and a Dallas-based ACE Holdco PBC subsidiary.

ACE currently offers an extremely rigorous and demanding 64 credits Doctorate of Education in Leadership program with nine separate concentrations for students to choose from, including International Education, Instructional Leadership, Online Education, STEM Leadership, Higher Education, and Early Childhood Education.

You can achieve your EdD faster if you have a master’s degree from ACE or an EdS or All But Dissertation (ABD) from another university. If you ever need assistance or guidance, you can easily reach out to professors and mentors as they are attentive and supportive of your success. 

Tuition is very affordable at $306 per credit.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Learn more about the Affordable Online Doctorate Programs in Education at the American College of Education ’s website .

Did You Know?

ACE is well-known for its annual Alumni Achievement Award, which includes travel expenses of up to $1,000 to and from commencement, an Alumni Achievement Award plaque, a speech during commencement, and publicity through a media release.

Montana State University

affordable online doctorate programs

BSN to DNP Degree in Various Options

Montana State University was originally founded in 1873 as the Agricultural College of the State of Montana; 144 years later, MSU is the state’s largest university, having a student population of over 15,000 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1. 

Montana State University currently offers online Doctorate in Nursing Practice programs, specifically a BSN to DNP in Family/Individual, a BSN to DNP in Psych/Mental Health, and an MN to DNP. The DNP degree, which was founded in 2013, will prepare you for advanced practice nursing by providing you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to deliver clinical expertise, judgment, scholarship, and leadership at the highest level of nursing practice in primary health care settings.

You will be guided through the clinical elements by certified and experienced advanced practice registered nurse instructors and preceptors. You will direct your DNP academic projects in collaboration with doctorate teachers nationally known for their breadth and depth of knowledge. 

The college provides educational preparation and exciting opportunity to practice in Montana’s rural and frontier locations. Graduates will be qualified for national APRN certification as well as population-specific licensing

Tuition includes $2,783 per semester for residents, or $8,844 per semester for non-residents.

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Would you like more info about the Affordable Online BSN to DNP Programs? Take a look at MSU’s website !

MSU’s fraternity and sorority system dates back 102 years. Until the 1980s, all Montana State University first-year students were given green beanies during the first week of orientation. Freshmen were required to wear the beanies during the first week of class to show their status as new enrollees. Anybody caught without a beanie would be placed in stocks in the middle of campus.

William Howard Taft University

affordable online doctorate programs

Doctor of Education (Ed.D) Programs Online

William Howard Taft University originally began by offering continuing education programs to certified public accountants in 1976.  Since then, the school has become a specialized institution of distance education. 

The university currently offers online programs for a Doctorate of Education with three available concentrations; Leadership & Administration, Educational Technology, and Charter School Administration. Each concentration has a total of 60 credits, which students need to attain to graduate with an EdD from the University.

Before proceeding to the Core Courses, you should complete all Qualifying Courses and the Qualifying Examination. Before moving to the Dissertation/ADP Phase, you should complete all Core Courses and the Comprehensive Examination.

The program offers two modalities to its students; Independent Study and Directed Study. This option will allow you to transition from work to study efficiently. If you choose an Independent Study, you can begin the program on any six start dates throughout the year. If you choose the latter, you can start your studies on one of three different dates each year. Visit the Academic Calendar to learn more about the start dates. 

Tuition is $360 per credit.

Accreditation : 

  • Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

Are you interested in career advancement? Learn more about the Affordable Online Doctorate Programs at William Howard Taft University’s website.

William Howard Taft University was named after the 27th US President, William Howard Taft. Taft was the first president to throw out the first pitch of the baseball season, starting a tradition that is still going on today. The Washington Senators faced the Philadelphia Athletics in a game in 1910. The Senators triumphed 3-0.

Valdosta State University

affordable online doctorate programs

Online Doctorate Degrees in Education and Public Administration

Valdosta State University originally began as South Georgia State Normal College. The school has come a long way since its opening in 1913, from a college for women – with offerings in a two-year course in teacher preparation – to a flourishing university with over 11,000 students, which is part of the University System of Georgia.

Valdosta currently offers three 54-55 credit programs at the Doctoral level: A Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and instruction: Learning and Development, a Doctorate of Education in Leadership, and a Doctorate of Public Administration. 

You will benefit from their high-quality instructors, who have real-world experience and knowledge through years of learning, researching, and working in their respective fields. The recommended Ed.D. The course sequence will allow you to complete the program’s course requirements in 24-30 months. However, you should note that all Doctorate programs in the university only accept regular students.

eTuition is $293 per credit hour.

Accreditation: 

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033 404.679.450

Valdosta has several doctoral options – Learn more about the Affordable Online Doctorate Education Programs at Valdosta State University.

Valdosta State University was known as Georgia State Women’s College, an all-girls school. In 1950, it became coeducational, and the name was changed to Valdosta State University.

University of West Georgia

affordable online doctorate programs

Online Doctorate of Education with Concentrations in Professional Counseling & Supervision, School Improvement & Nursing

The University of West Georgia originally began as an agricultural and mechanical university, established in response to a call for “more realistic educational programs for rural youth.” Today, UWG has a student population of over 12,000 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 20:1.

The University of West Georgia offers five online Doctorate of Education programs, with majors in Higher Education Administration,  Psychology: Consciousness and Society, Professional Counseling and Supervision, School Improvement, and Nursing Education. All three programs contain 60 credits and are designed to be completed in two to three years, depending on how many courses you enroll in each term.

Courses in each degree track are offered entirely online in an asynchronous fashion; however, you must attend a two-day on-campus orientation before beginning your first semester. You will also need to visit the campus to defend your dissertation.

Tuition begins at $241 per credit hour.

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

Learn more about the Affordable Online Educational Doctorate Programs at the University of West Georgia ’s website.

Until the fall of 1965, no African-American students were admitted to the college. A teacher at Carver High Institution (a segregated school), Jeff Long, urged students to apply for admission to West Georgia in 1955 and 1956. Every senior applied, and every kid was turned down because of their color. Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna (President of UWG from 1994 to 2013) apologized to the Carver class of 1955 in 2002. A scholarship fund was established for the children of Carver students who were denied entrance.

Delta State University

affordable online doctorate programs

Doctor of Nursing Practice Program with Four Options

Located in Cleveland, Mississippi, Delta State University was established in 1925. Its staff at the time consisted of a president, business manager, dietitian, and nine teachers, and its first graduating class had only 13 students. Today, DSU has over 3,000 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1.

Delta State University currently offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice program with four program options: 69 credits RN-DNP, BSN-DNP, 69 credits Post Master’s (Non-FNP) DNP, 31 credits Post Master’s (FNP) DNP – which vary in completion time from a year and a half to four and a half years. The program was created by the Robert E. Smith School of N u rsing , which has stable national rankings and a tremendous track record of producing high-paying practitioners.

Non-FNP totals 1,020 clinical hours plus 420 scholarly project hours, while FNP scholarly project clinical hours are only 420. However, students with a master’s degree will not be required to complete as many clinical hours as students in other pathways. Furthermore, part-time options are offered for all tracks to assist students with demanding work or family responsibilities. Students will, nevertheless, need to plan several on-campus trips each semester.

Tuition for graduate programs, part-time is $442 per hour.

Are you looking to advance in your nursing career? Learn more about the Affordable Online Doctorate Programs in Nursing at Delta State University.

Delta State is well-known for its school mascot, the Fighting Okra, and you don’t see that every day. The Fighting Okra is Delta State University’s unofficial mascot and an urban legend. It emerges on campus during unexpected times, mostly to annoy students and athletes.

Walden University

affordable online doctorate programs

Online Doctoral Degree Programs with Many Areas of Study

Founded in 1970, Walden University now has over 60 online degree programs and over 300 specialties and concentrations. Walden lets students attain the worthwhile aims that underpin its motto: “A higher degree. A higher purpose.” With the mission of providing opportunities for adults in the workforce to pursue doctoral degrees, Walden University is now a fully accredited university that offers online courses at all degree levels. 

Walden has 25 online doctoral programs with over 150 specializations in nine different areas of study: Business Management, Criminal Justice, Social Work and human Services, Education, Nursing, Psychology and Counseling, Public Health and Health Sciences, and Public Policy and Administration.

All program allows up to 45 credits for transfer for a faster completion time of two to three years, with widely accessible online resources. Furthermore, new students can connect with an experienced Ph.D. student who can offer advice, recommendations, and direction.

Tuition costs vary widely, depending on your chosen area of study.

With 25 online doctoral programs, how can you go wrong? Learn more about the Affordable Online Doctorate Programs at Walden University .

More than 90% of Walden University’s academic members hold doctorates. State teachers of the year, competitive award winners, Fulbright scholars and specialists, and present and past board members for professional and humanitarian organizations are among Walden’s staff.

Governors State University

affordable online doctorate programs

Doctorate of Education in Interdisciplinary Leadership Distance Learning Degree Program

Founded in 1969, Governors State University and its 750-acre campus are located just 30 miles south of Chicago, Illinois. The University currently has a student population of around 6,000 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1.

Governor State University offers a 60-hour online Doctorate of Education in Interdisciplinary Leadership program, with 33 of those 60 hours spent in one of four unique concentrations: Higher Education Administration, Superintendent (P-12), and Not for Profit/ Social Entrepreneurship Leadership.

This curriculum will prepare you for leadership positions in academic and educational institutions such as K-12 schools, colleges and universities, post-baccalaureate training programs, school districts, education non-profits, and government agencies.

You’ll focus on skills and themes such as organizational leadership, educational program assessment, fostering diversity in academic settings, conducting scholarly research, and leveraging research findings to improve educational outcomes.

Tuition is $477 per credit hour for residents.

Learn more about the Affordable Online Doctorate of Education in Interdisciplinary Leadership Program at Governors State University.

When others only talk about environmental sustainability, this university likes to set an example for its students, which is why it operates one of the state’s largest solar-powered systems. They’ve also installed a wind turbine. Students not only graduate from college with book knowledge but also with practical experience.

Oakland City University

affordable online doctorate programs

Online Doctor of Education Degree Program with Three Specializations

Oakland City College was founded in 1885 but didn’t officially open its doors to students until 1891. OCU is the only university in the country to be linked with the General Baptist Church. Since achieving University status in 1995, OCU has grown to have an enrollment of over 1,400 students, while keeping the student-to-faculty at a low ratio of 12:1.

Oakland City University’s online Doctor of Education program consists of at least 60 credit hours, not including the obligatory 30 credit hour master’s degree. However, other graduate-level work may be given additional credit. The doctorate program offers three specializations: Superintendency, Curriculum and Instruction, and Organizational Management. Students in the program participate through Cohort Groups that are established each academic year and contain no more than 16 students.  

Each specialization is a terminal degree that requires students to go through rigorous research, analysis, implementation, and site-based practice procedures. In addition to completing coursework, you have to do an intensive internship incorporating an action research study, a cultural diversity project, and a capstone paper/project.

Tuition is $450 per credit hour.

Are you ready to take your career to the next level? Learn more about the Affordable Online Doctorate Programs at Oakland City University .

The magnificent Verdin custom-constructed 50′ clock and bell tower that greets you as you enter the school is dedicated to the passing of Jerry Phillips, Class of 1959, and professor from 1963 until retirement in 2001.  Furthermore, the clock represents the minutes and hours of faculty and staff service, reminding them of the passage of time as they pass by. The bells should remind everyone to examine the quality of their obedience and count their minutes through honesty, fairness, and loving kindness. Talk about traditions!

National University

cheap phd programs in usa

Ten Online Doctorate Degree Options

National University was founded in 1996 to build upon the education foundations pioneered by the world’s brick-and-mortar universities while using the Internet to offer a new form of quality education. 

NU currently offers 23 online doctorate programs, including Doctor of Education, Doctor of Business Administration, and Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology. National University takes a unique approach to the idea of student-teacher mentors. Students are partnered with one faculty member for each course, creating a class size of one and ensuring that students have a more personalized learning experience.

The one-on-one format is convenient, and personal attention is ideal for expanding your knowledge and getting higher degrees while working full- or part-time. However, do not expect to be spoon-fed. You must fulfill the high criteria, or you will fail, as is the case in most other prestigious schools of higher learning.

Tuition costs vary widely, depending on the area of study.

  • WASC Senior College and University Commission

Not sure which direction you want to go in? Take a look at all of the affordable Online Doctorate Programs that the National University has to offer.

National University employs only doctoral-level staff, the majority of whom have completed their program of study at a regionally authorized institution of higher learning in the discipline in which they teach or create curriculum.

University of Kansas

affordable online doctorate programs

Online Doctor of Medicine

Originally established in 1865, the University of Kansas has grown to encompass 13 schools and 27,000 students spread across their five campuses (Lawrence, Kansas City, Overland Park, Wichita, and Salina).

The University of Kansas currently offers three of the most affordable online doctor of medicine degree programs: a Clinical Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology, a Doctor of Occupational Therapy, a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Their DNP program has separate curriculums for those who have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Aside from the online Doctor of Medicine, the university also offers a doctorate in Audiology, Education, Musical Arts, Engineering, and Doctor of Philosophy.

If you ever decide to enroll in the School of Medicine and live anywhere near Wichita and Kansas City, you can volunteer at the JayDoc Free Clinics. You’ll run clinics for non-emergency and preventative care to the city’s uninsured and underinsured populations. If you are from or near Salina, you have the opportunity to help with medical care at Ashby House, a facility for a vulnerable population.

Tuition varies per credit hour. See the University of Kansas’ website for details.

Check out these Affordable Online Doctorate Program options at KU’s website.

The University of Kansas is home to the state’s only professional pharmacy and medical schools. Furthermore, KU’s Cancer Center is the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated facility.

Washburn University

Online nursing doctoral degrees.

Washburn University was established in 1865 by members of the Congregational Church to create an institution to provide education to all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or income. WU has a student population of around 6,500 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1.

Washburn University has three online Doctor of Nursing Practice programs: BSN to DNP, MSN to DNP with APRN-NP, and MSN to DNP without APRN-NP.  DNP students receive a minimum of 1000 hours of direct patient care through preceptor-guided clinical experiences.

At the time of program enrollment, an MSN to DNP applicant who is nationally certified as a nurse practitioner may be given up to 500 clock hours toward the minimum 1000 clock hour requirement. 

Tuition begins at $682 per credit hour.

Would you like to know more about Washburn University’s affordable online Doctorate degrees in Nursing? Take a look!

Washburn’s DNP degree focuses not only on the medical aspect but also places a heavy emphasis on entrepreneurship. This is the first DNP program in the country that includes MBA courses in the curriculum. With a strong focus on entrepreneurship, you can combine advanced practice knowledge and abilities with excellent business acumen.

Johnson University

affordable online doctorate programs

Ph.D. in Leadership Studies Online

Johnson University, founded in 1893 as the School of Evangelists, was originally established under the principle “Open day and night to the poor young man who desires above every other desire, to preach the Gospel of Christ.” Today, Johnson is a private, Christian university with a relatively small student population of only 1,171, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1.

The Ph.D. in Leadership Studies program from Johnson University can be completed entirely online and is offered with six major concentrations: Educational Leadership, Organizational Leadership, Ministry Leadership, Philosophy Leadership, Theology Leadership, and Missional Leadership.

This degree is a 60-credit hour multidisciplinary program created for working individuals who want to learn about leadership through the lenses of the individual, organization, and society.

Aside from focusing only on information exchange, the school also gives extra attention to student-student and student-teacher communication and connection, thus a cohort-based program. You will be working with other students, professors, and alumni throughout the program duration. 

Tuition is $675 per credit hour.

Learn more about the online Ph.D. in Leadership program at Johnson University.

Johnson University hosts one of the best annual Research Summit, including brief seminars led by professors and/or guest speakers and face-to-face networking with faculty and peers. These Research Summits are entirely optional, but doctoral students enrolled online can attend.

Old Dominion University

affordable online doctorate programs

Online Doctorate Degrees in Nursing and Education

Founded in 1930, Old Dominion University was originally established as the College of William and Mary, the second oldest university in the United States (royally founded in 1693). Since earning its independence in 1962, Old Dominion has continued a steady pattern of growth, today it has a student population of 24,672 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1.

Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist, and doctoral degrees.

Old Dominion offers eight online doctorate degree programs, including Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Philosophy in Education. FNP, PMHNP, and Nurse-Midwifery specializations are the only specializations available for full-time students. Full-time and part-time study options are available for the other doctoral degrees.

All tracks necessitate a total of five campus visits. The full-time plans are expected to take two years to complete. Part-time programs have varying completion times. Students should expect to spend three to six hours per week on coursework per credit.

Tuition is $551 for Virginia Residents and $595 for out-of-state students.

Need more info? Learn more about the Affordable Online Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at Old Dominion University.

Old Dominion University takes its name from one of Virginia’s state nicknames, “The Old Dominion,” which was bestowed upon the state by King Charles II of England in recognition of the state’s devotion to the throne during the English Civil War.

Liberty University

affordable online doctorate programs

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Liberty University was founded in 1971. They are based in Lynchburg, VA, and have grown from 154 students to over 15,000 residential students. As a faith-based school with Christian values, they will prepare you for life, teaching you the skills you need to succeed in your career, as well as your personal life.

Liberty University offers 54 credit hours online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degree program if you are interested in taking your career in education to the next level.You’ll learn about best teaching practices, university administration, and the historical development of the American higher education system, among other things.

Your research courses will lead to a capstone project that will promote real-world application. With a capstone project, you will conduct your own research and contribute new knowledge to the field. 

Tuition for Educational Doctoral degrees begins at $650 per credit hour.

Check out additional information about Liberty University’ s affordable Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership online degree program.

Residential students must complete 20 hours of community service per semester as part of Liberty University’s goal of servant leadership and service. As a result, they volunteer over 300,000 hours in the community and on campus each year. In addition, the university launched LU Send Now. They have already had teams assist in the aftermath of disasters such as the floods in South Carolina and tornadoes in Mississippi.

Traditional brick-and-mortar doctoral degree programs are expensive, and tuition costs are a major deterrent for most. They also appear to be unsustainable, particularly for people who work full-time. However, depending on your area of focus, many doctoral programs – especially online versions – are within reach.

Generally, you can find reasonably priced doctoral or Ph.D. programs in healthcare, education, or business-related subjects, as they are the most popular. So, don’t put off achieving your academic goals any longer, sign on today and get started earning your doctorate!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Doctoral degrees are the highest educational achievement imaginable, and only a few people hold this degree. They bring with their prospects for promotion, new opportunities, and prestige. While obtaining a doctorate often leads to increased compensation and leadership in your profession, it also necessitates a significant financial commitment. Below are the few known to be affordable online Doctorate fields:

  • Business Administration
  • Organizational Leadership

Most Affordable Doctorate Programs - fact

Finding an online Ph.D. program directly related to your profession can be difficult, but it is possible if you ask the correct questions.

Once you’ve reduced your options down to a few key players, you’ll want to take a few more steps to evaluate the program entirely—and the results you can expect. It is best to meet or speak with the program chair and ask five significant questions concerning its accrediting authenticity and the student experience.

  • Are you accredited on a regional or national level? And what is the state of your accreditation?
  • How easy is it to get in touch with the mentors here?
  • What is it like to be an online student at this university?
  • What resources will I have access to as part of this program?
  • Will I be able to get help with my dissertation?

If you have any worries about the accrediting agency’s legality, check to see if it is recognized by one of two authorities: the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education . The latter features a College Navigator service that allows students to check the accreditation of any institution they are thinking about attending.

The cost of tuition for online Ph.D. programs varies. Costs are affected by various factors, including program length, available financial aid, and whether the school is private or public. Doctoral programs typically provide more financial assistance than master’s programs. According to EducationData.org , the average cost of a Ph.D. degree is $114,300. However, you can find a quality program with tuition costs of approximately $400 to $600 per credit hour. 

Many institutions provide financial aid to full-time online Ph.D. students, and there are no differences in application, requirements, or qualifications between on-campus and online programs. In general, doctoral students are eligible for student loans, assistantships, and scholarships. Furthermore, many corporations/companies assist their employees who desire to pursue a Ph.D. and help finance students’ tuition and research fees.

Interested students can apply for various scholarships to assist their studies. The six grants listed below are just a few examples of scholarships that might help students avoid debt.

Army Nurse Corps Association Scholarship

Active-duty servicemembers and veterans who worked as military nurses can apply for financial assistance of up to $3000. This scholarship is also open to military spouses and other dependents.

Don’t Text and Drive Scholarship

This scholarship is available to candidates majoring in any subject from Digital Responsibility. Scholars that are selected will get up to $1000 in financial assistance.

ACS Cancer Nursing Scholarship

The American Cancer Society provides this scholarship to Ph.D. candidates for two years at a time, with the opportunity to extend the award for another two years after the initial award period. Preferred recipients are pursuing careers as nursing scientists in cancer nursing research. Scholars can receive up to $15,000 in financial aid.

NLN Foundation for Nursing Education Scholarship

The National League for Nursing is the only membership organization in the United States that provides Ph.D. scholarships to nurse educators. The award aims to contribute to a diverse workforce of nurse educators by assisting master and doctorate students in entering the field and advancing the cause worldwide. Scholars might get up to $8000 in financial aid.

SMART Scholarship

The SMART Scholarship for Service Program, which stands for Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation, provides tuition assistance to students at all levels of study, including Ph.D. students, in one of 19 STEM-related fields of study. Recipients receive a full scholarship for tuition and fees, a health insurance allowance, and a stipend for personal costs. Furthermore, after completing their particular degree program, recipients have assured job placement with the Department of Defense (DoD). 

Ford Emerging Voices Scholarship

In collaboration with the Alliance for Women in Media (AWM), Ford Motor Company provides financing to two women pursuing a graduate degree in any area. Scholars might get up to $3000 in financial aid. However, scholarship awardees earn more than just money because AWM requires them to publish up to four blog articles for the organization’s blog.

At PremiumSchools.org, we strive to bring you the most updated information on affordable tuition program options. Check out these rankings:

  • The 10 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs
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The 20 Most Affordable Online Doctoral Programs

Phd program rankings.

  • Fully Funded PhDs in Education
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  • Doctorate in Public Policy/Administration
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  • ALL Ph.D. Degree Program Rankings

Career Guides

  • Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  • Aerospace Engineering
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  • Chemical Engineering (PhD CE)
  • Chemistry (D.Chem.)
  • Clinical Nutrition (D.C.N.)
  • Speech-Language Pathology (CScD)
  • Criminology (D.Crim.)
  • Economics (DEc)
  • Health Science (D.H.S./D.H.Sci)
  • Library Science (D.L.S.)
  • Molecular Biology (Phd Mol Biol)
  • Occupational Safety and Health (D.O.S.H.)
  • Physics (Ph.D. Physics)
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  • Write a Perfect Essay Like a PhD
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  • Importance of Accreditation
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If you’re looking for the most affordable online doctoral degrees, you likely either have a vision for success or have already accomplished a great deal. Doctoral degrees are terminal degrees giving their owners the highest amount of learning they can receive in their field.

Most Affordable Online Doctoral Programs

Completing the degrees necessary to enter into a doctoral program can be quite an expensive venture. Most potential doctoral students are anxious to cut expenses as much as possible. These schools provide the least expensive doctoral degree programs available online.

Methodology

The writers and editors of Online-PhD-Degrees.com gather the most important and relevant information from the independent, unbiased  NCES.gov’s College Navigator , as well as, college websites and publicly available data including various highly respected sources.

Sponsored schools are, in fact, paid advertisements that are not in any way affiliated with OPD’s individual school rankings.  They are distinctly defined with the word “SPONSORED” so as to not perplex our visitors with what the site editors, researchers and writers of OPD have methodologically researched and ranked.  Independently sponsored schools pay for their placement on our site. For more information regarding our ranking methodology or our sponsored schools, please visit our methodology page.

Below is our list of the most affordable online schools that offer doctoral programs. We provide information on each school’s tuition, the doctoral degrees offered at the schools, and some introductory points about the way in which the online degrees are delivered.

This website will aid in that first step in preparing you for your path toward selecting an online college that works for you and your needs. Perusing each school’s website yourself and requesting information to be sent to you for your evaluation is highly recommended and encouraged.

20 Most Affordable Online Doctoral Programs

1

The Taft University System

The William Howard Taft University System offers some of the most inexpensive online doctoral programs. A private university which is based in Colorado, the Taft University System has been offering degrees since 1976. It became one of the pioneers of distance education and after the turn of the century began offering doctoral degrees as well.

The Taft University System offers 3 concentrations in Education and a Doctor of Business Administration. The minimum completion time for the online doctorates at the Taft University System is 27 months. Students are enrolled in one class at a time while completing other classes. The average completion time is 48 months.

Accreditation:  Accredited by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education

Tuition:  $315 per credit hour

Online Doctorate Programs Available:

  • Doctor of Education in Leadership and Management
  • Doctor of Education in Charter School Administration
  • Doctor of Education in Technology and Leadership
  • Doctor of Business Administration

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT THE WILLIAM TAFT UNIVERSITY SYSTEM .

______________________________

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA

University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota has one of the lowest costs per credit of all the schools on this list. UND offers the same tuition for their online programs as they do for in-state on-campus students. The University of North Dakota was founded in 1883, even before the state of North Dakota was established. It is now the state’s largest university.

According to its website, the University of North Dakota has “emerged as an innovator in energy, medicine, aviation, and unmanned aircraft systems.” This specialty shows in the type of online doctoral programs that are offered by the university, one of which is Aerospace Sciences. The University of North Dakota has a high success rate with 85% of the graduates working in the field of their education.

Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission

Tuition:  $511 per credit hour

  • Aerospace Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Energy Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Nurse Anesthesia
  • Nursing Practice
  • Petroleum Engineering

MORE INFORMATION ON ONLINE DOCTORATE PROGRAMS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA

university of missouri name

University of Missouri

The University of Missouri, though it only offers one online doctorate, still has one of the most affordable online tuition rates. Mizzou Online offers over 100 online degrees and certificates and according to their website, the staff has a collective 600 years of experience in online and adult education.

The online doctorate that is offered at the University of Missouri is a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Environmental Sciences with an emphasis on Architectural Studies. This degree program consists of 72 credit hours and is delivered 100% online.

The minimum time to completion is 5 years but actual completion time will depend on the number of credits per semester.

Tuition:  $542 per credit hour

  • Aesthetics of Design
  • Facility Management and Design
  • Inclusive design/Accessibility
  • Sustainable Design

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN HUMAN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI.

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University not only regularly receives accolades for its online program, it also provides affordable tuition. With 7 online doctoral programs in the field of engineering and one in Community College Leadership, Mississippi State charges under $500 per credit hour of doctoral learning.

Ranked in the top 20% for online military-friendly schools Mississippi State has “veteran-friendly distinctions” and is recognized as a “military spouse friendly” school as well. SmartAsset has listed Mississippi State as being the top “best value” school in Mississippi for three years in a row.

Accreditation:  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Tuition:  $537 per credit hour

  • Community College Leadership
  • Computational Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Concentration in Aerospace Engineering
  • Concentration in Civil Engineering
  • Concentration in Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering

MORE INFORMATION ON ONLINE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT MISSISSIPPI STATE 

northwestern state university of louisiana

Northwest State University of Louisiana

Northwestern State University offers the same low rate of tuition for students acquiring their doctorates as for in-state students.  Their low tuition gives doctoral students across the country the opportunity to take classes at one of the top online schools in the U.S.

Northwestern State University was founded in 1884 and became the parent of eNSU which was Louisiana’s “first and largest electronic campus.” eNSU offers “accommodating class schedules, personalized instruction, military benefits, and financial aid.

According to their website, eNSU is recognized as a top military-friendly school and one of the best Online Schools for Veterans. eNSU has over 40 online degrees and programs with two online doctorate programs available.

Tuition: $475-575 per credit hour

  • Doctor of Education in Adult and Learning Development
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ONLINE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT THE NORTHWEST STATE UNIVERSITY OF  LOUISIANA

OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY name

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University offers in-state and out-of-state graduate tuition both for under $600 per credit hour which makes it one of the least expensive online doctorate offerings on this list. Old Dominion University is a public research university established in 1930 in Norfolk, Virginia.

Their student satisfaction rate is very high with a 2017 survey showing 97% of students either satisfied or very satisfied with their experience at Old Dominion. The online satisfaction rate was just a little lower at 95.9%. Old Dominion University offers 10 online doctorate programs in varying fields from Education to English to Instructional Design.

Tuition: 

  • In-state: $599 per credit hour
  • Out-of-state: $1,439 per credit hour
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Educational Leadership with Licensure
  • Occupational and Technical Studies
  • Instructional Design and Technology
  • Nursing-Advanced Practice
  • Nursing-Nurse Executive
  • Public Administration and Policy

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ONLINE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY.

ASPEN UNIVERSITY

Aspen University

Aspen University has one of the lowest tuition rates for online doctorates. Aspen is a private university located in Denver, Colorado, which has been offering distance education since 1987. Aspen offers “online doctoral degree programs in the high demand fields of Education (Ed.D.), Nursing (DNP) and Computer Science (DCS).

According to their website, Aspen University allows their doctoral students to obtain a graduate degree at their own pace through the completion of online coursework. The online doctoral programs at Aspen University are designed for students who are balancing school, family, or work commitments at the same time as pursuing higher education.

Accreditation:  Distance Education Accrediting Commission

Tuition:  $518 per month

  • Computer Science
  • Health Care Administration and Leadership
  • Higher Education Leadership
  • K12 Educational Leadership
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Organizational Psychology

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ONLINE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT ASPEN UNIVERSITY

BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

Ball State University Online

Ball State University has a low cost for a high reputation for its online doctoral programs. In 2018, Ball State University earned high rankings from U.S. News and World Report. These include the 9th best online graduate education programs for veterans and the 16th best online MBAs.

Almost all of Ball State’s online programs are offered 100% online with no trip to the campus needed to complete the program. Ball State was the “first higher education institution in the country to earn Learner Support Program Certification for its online programs.”

This certification was provided by Quality Matters. Ball State is also ranked No. 8 by Victory Media on its list of Military Friendly Schools.

Tuition:  $576 per credit hour

  • Adult and Community Education
  • Educational Administration and Supervision
  • Special Education
  • Higher Education and Community College Leadership

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT BALL STATE UNIVERSITY ONLINE.

INDIANA UNIVERSITY BLOOMINGTON

Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University Bloomington is the parent of Indiana University Online which offers some of the most affordable online doctoral programs. IUOnline began 5 years ago and has been very successful in bringing education to people at their convenience.

Not only do around 33% of Indiana University’s students take an online class but the online degree programs have increased by 46% since 2014. This brings the total online degree programs at IUOnline to 124 with 6 doctoral programs included. IUonline has a commitment to delivering “high-quality academic experiences and seamless services to online students.”

Tuition:  $530 per credit hour

  • A few of the degrees are more per credit hour. However, in-state tuition for all doctoral degrees at Indiana University is under $600 with the exception of Nursing Practice.
  • Instructional Systems Technology
  • Literacy, Culture and Language Education
  • Occupational Therapy Post-Professional
  • Nursing Science
  • Public Health, Global Health Leadership

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ONLINE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY BLOOMINGTON.

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO-DENVER

University of Colorado Denver

Colorado University Online makes the list as one of the most affordable schools at which to study for a doctoral degree. Depending on the degree one is seeking, the price for studying online at CU Online can be under $400 a credit. CU Online offers 28 online degrees including 3 doctorate degrees in the field of medicine.

CU Online is an affiliate of Colorado University Denver which has a strong medical presence in the Denver area, serving over 500,000 patients a year. The University of Colorado Denver is not new to the field of medicine, opening their Department of Medicine and Surgery in 1883.

The Department of Nursing at the University of Colorado Denver is 130 years old. The University of Colorado Denver is the largest public research university in Colorado.

  • $450-$720: In-State Graduate Tuition
  • $1,400-$1,549: Out-of-State Graduate Tuition
  • Doctor of Pharmacy – iPharmD
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ONLINE DOCTORATE PROGRAMS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER .

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas Online has some of the least expensive online doctorates available for those interested in pursuing a doctorate in Education or Nursing. Three out of the four online doctoral programs offered at U of A Online are under $500 a credit hour which makes the school one of the most affordable on this list.

The University of Arkansas was founded in 1871 and now has over 12,000 students taking at least one online course. The University of Arkansas Online was named one of the best online programs in graduate education by  U.S. News and World Report.

At the University of Arkansas, “Online courses are designed by the academic colleges and schools at the University of Arkansas to produce the same learning outcomes as traditional, on-campus courses.”

Tuition:  $438-$597 per credit hour

  • Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Human Resources and Workforce Development Education

LEARN MORE ABOUT ONLINE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS.

UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA MONROE

University of Louisiana Monroe

The University of Louisiana Monroe offers two inexpensive doctoral programs online. The Educational Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

The coursework for the Doctorate in Education can be completed in as little as 24 months. The coursework for the Marriage and Family Therapy Doctorate can also be completed in a little over 2 years. These degree programs are offered by ULM Online at $500 per credit hour.

The University of Louisiana Monroe is a public research institution in Monroe, Louisiana which opened in 1931. ULM Online offers 30 online degree programs and maintains the same level of excellence in its online programs as it does on campus. According to their website, “ ULM students who learn online earn the same degree as our face-to-face students from an accredited and respected institution of higher learning. “

Tuition:  $695 per credit hour

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Marriage and Family Therapy

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ONLINE DOCTORAL DEGREES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA MONROE.

Texas AM University Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce has one of the least expensive online doctorates on this list. Only one online doctorate is available at Texas A&M, the Doctorate of Education in Educational Administration.

This degree has a K-12 public school administration emphasis and requires a strong commitment to education on the part of its applicants and students. “ The Department of Educational Leadership at Texas A&M University-Commerce prepares graduates for teaching, service, and leadership roles in a variety of educational, business, government and industry contexts .”

Accreditation:  Southern Association on Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Tuition:  $758 per credit hour

Acceptance:

  • General requirements for admission into Graduate Studies at Texas A&M  must be met.
  • 3.40 GPA for master’s degree work
  • Letter of recommendation, administrative experience along with all departmental requirements
  • Two cohorts of doctoral students are accepted each year. Acceptance is competitive
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCTORATE OF EDUCATION IN EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY COMMERCE.

liberty university

Liberty University

Liberty University Online is developing a reputation as one of the best online colleges, especially for the price. Liberty offers 9 different doctoral programs online which makes it one of the most diverse online schools on this list. The tuition for the programs varies from around $400 to $650 a credit.

Liberty Online is affiliated with Liberty University which was begun by Jerry Falwell in 1971.  In 1985, Liberty began its distance learning program by sending VHS tapes to long-distance students. The University now has over 100,000 students with over 550 programs. Liberty Online has over 250 of these programs available for off-campus students.

Liberty University is a private, non-profit private institution and is one of the largest Christian institutions in the world based on student enrollment.

Tuition:  $565-$615

  • Divinity D.Min.
  • Ed.D. Community Care and Counseling
  • Business Administration
  • Education Specialist
  • Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Ph.D. Higher Education Administration
  • Ph.D. Theology and Apologetics

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ONLINE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT LIBERTY UNIVERSITY.

california southern university

Cal Southern University

Cal Southern University offers several online doctoral programs that are some of the most affordable available. The Juris Doctor Degree is $375 per credit hour and the Doctor of Psychology and Doctor of Business Administration Degrees are both $495 for each credit hour.

The online doctorates at Cal Southern University are applied or professional doctorates. Unlike academic doctorates, they are “more devoted to the advanced, practical application of theory in a professional setting.” The online doctorates at Cal Southern are offered by Cal Southern’s Schools of Business, Law, and Psychology.

Cal Southern University has a “state of the art” online library and offers flexible scheduling for those students who are balancing multiple responsibilities besides finishing their doctoral degrees.

Accreditation:  Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Tuition:  $250-$475 per credit hour.

  • Juris Doctor
  • Doctor of Psychology

LEARN MORE ABOUT ONLINE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT CAL SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY .

Montana State University

Montana State University

One of the most affordable online doctorates, the DNP degree at Montana State University Online has two concentrations. One can study to be a Nurse Practitioner focusing on Family/Individual studies or Psychiatric/Mental Health. Now Montana’s largest university, Montana State University was founded in 1893 in Bozeman, Montana.

Originally a land-grant institution, MSU serves its community well with over 8,500 students being from the state of Montana. Montana State University has maintained a high standard of academic excellence throughout the years. 

According to the website of Montana State University, “During its most recent re-accreditation, MSU was commended for an ‘extremely high level of productivity and effectiveness.'” MSU is committed to maintaining this standard in its online degree programs as well.

Accreditation:  Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Tuition:  $291 per credit hour

  • Nurse Practitioner, Family/Individual
  • Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric/Mental Health

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ONLINE DOCTORATE OF NURSING PRACTICE AT MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY.

Governors State University

Governors State University

Governors State University offers in-state tuition to all online students making their online doctoral programs some of the cheapest available. Of the 5 online doctoral programs available at Governors State, two of them: Counselor Education and Supervision and Interdisciplinary Leadership are priced at only $477 per credit hour. Another online doctorate in Physical Therapy is $613 per credit hour.

Governors State University is a public university in Illinois, located 40 miles south of Chicago, that offers 64 degree programs to its students. According to its website, Governors State University has the most affordable undergraduate tuition in the state of Illinois. The online program at Governors State University offers over 200 online courses.

Tuition:  $477-$797 – In-State Tuition

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Doctor of Occupational Therapy
  • Doctor of Counselor Education
  • Doctor of Interdisciplinary Leadership

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ONLINE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT GOVERNORS STATE UNIVERSITY .

Amridge University

Amridge University

Offering 9 different doctoral programs at low cost, Amridge University “has been a long-time leader in online education.” All of the programs at Amridge University use distance learning as the primary way of teaching.

According to their website, Amridge University has made it their goal to support their students from the beginning of their application and throughout their online experience. Amridge University was founded in 1967 and is a private university.

They offer “excellent scholarships and incentive discounts for Military Students, First Time Freshmen, Sister Institution Staff, Ministers, and Corporate Alliances.

Accreditation:  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges – 1866 Southern Ln. Decatur, GA 30033

Tuition:  $535-$780 per credit hour

  • Organizational Leadership and Management
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Ministry in Family Therapy
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Professional Counseling
  • Doctor of Ministry
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ONLINE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT AMRIDGE UNIVERSITY .

johnson university

Johnson University

Johnson University offers one of the cheapest online doctoral degrees. The Doctorate in Leadership Studies is an interdisciplinary degree that focuses on “four dimensions of leadership studies.” These four dimensions are:

  • individual and personal systems,
  • organizational systems,
  • global systems,
  • and research.

The Ph.D. program is “rooted in a commitment to educating a whole person.” Johnson University is a private, Christian university based out of Kimberlin Heights, Tennessee. Founded in 1893, Johnson University is not only part of the educational scene but also the history of Tennessee.

Johnson University has two physical campuses, an online campus, and extended education programs that are located in many other states. Johnson University’s online program provides students with constant and direct access to their faculty.

One-on-one advising in their academic discipline as well as virtual library services and other academic resources are also offered to every online student.

Tuition:  $945 per credit hour

  • Doctorate in Leadership Studies

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ONLINE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT JOHNSON UNIVERSITY.

University of Wilmington

University of Wilmington

Wilmington University offers 3 affordable doctorates 100% online. The price to enroll in one of these doctorates is $632 per credit hour which comes to around $1,896 per course.

Wilmington is located on 3 different campuses in New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland as well as on their online campus. Wilmington has 20,000 students enrolled and a 17:1 faculty-student ratio.

Wilmington University is a private, non-profit, doctoral research institution that was founded in 1968. According to its website, Wilmington University offers a high transfer of at 90 credits and is focused on providing career-focused degree programs.

Accreditation:  Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Tuition: $696 per credit hour

  • Higher Education Leadership and Innovation
  • Organizational Learning, Leadership and Innovation

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ONLINE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AT WILMINGTON UNIVERSITY.

How can i make my doctorate program more affordable.

A doctoral degree program can be made more affordable by looking for programs that offer tuition discounts, tuition waivers, or scholarships. Students should also look into the cost of living in any potential locations and investigate loan and grant options.

Other cost-saving measures include taking courses online or part-time, depending on the availability of courses in the program. Additionally, some universities may offer stipends or fellowships to help offset costs.

How long will an online doctorate take to earn?

An online doctoral program can vary in the length of time it takes to complete. Generally, online PhDs take the same amount of time as an on-campus program would take. However, because online education is usually accomplished while working full time or completing other responsibilities, the classes may take longer for individuals to complete.

The average student in any Ph.D. program will take 8.5 years to complete their doctorate. Some programs may be completed in as little as three years. On average, one can expect to take five years to complete an online or on-campus Ph.D. program.

  • Things to consider when evaluating the time it takes to complete an online Ph.D. are:
  • The projected timeline proposed by the school for the program;
  • How many responsibilities and other duties one has outside of accomplishing the Ph.D.;
  • Whether or not one has credits that will transfer into the program and related to this;
  • Whether one will be able to test out of any proposed classes in the program.

Looking closely at the prescribed program as well as talking to your adviser and accurately adjudicating one’s schedule, will give a pretty close estimate of the time it will take to complete an online Ph.D. program.

What is the average cost of an online doctoral degree?

According to Guide to Online Schools, over 245 schools now offer an online doctoral degree. Doctoral degrees are offered online in various fields, including:

  • Literature,
  • Philosophy,
  • Public Health,
  • Technology,
  • Engineering,
  • and many others.

The cost of acquiring an online doctoral degree can be less than attending a traditional classroom, depending on the type of school one attends. The average tuition for a doctoral degree in a traditional setting is between $15,000-$20,000 a year (according to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System).

According to NCES, public institutions offer the least expensive degrees, with traditional doctorates averaging around $11,000. Private Non-Profit Institutions, on the other end of the spectrum, cost around $25,000 a year. Private For-Profit Institutions cost about $14,000 a year for a doctoral degree.

More and more top public and private research institutions are offering online degrees, some of which are included on this list. The average cost of an online doctoral degree on this list is about $500 a credit, which comes to around $10,000 a year.

Are online doctoral degrees 100% online?

The list in this article of the most affordable online degrees only includes degrees in which the coursework can be completed 100% online. Often a doctorate will require one or several visits to campus as residencies, though many on this list do not require this.

A residency can be very helpful in forging connections, meeting classmates in person as well as doing intensive study, and working with faculty. If an institution advertises 100% online coursework, the residencies may be considered differently. However, with advancing technology, it is becoming more common for online doctorates to be able to be completed 100% online.

In a research field, the work in a doctorate is primarily intellectual and therefore doesn’t require on-site, hands-on experience. However, a field such as Chemistry has the option for physical research as well as theoretical. In these types of doctorates, a yearly residency may be necessary to complete the requirements for the degree. Technology has affected even these degrees, however, with the developing world of online labs.

How important is it for my online doctorate to be accredited?

When acquiring an online doctorate, not only should cost be a factor, but accreditation should be as well. The quality of a doctorate is monitored by accreditation. An applicant having an accredited Ph.D. may make a difference for an employer when looking to hire new employees.

Graduate programs may have regional accreditation and also a programmatic accreditation for the specific doctorate being offered. If one is looking to enter an academic field, having an accredited degree is very important as the accreditation will be noticed. Because serious academics usually have accredited degrees, one’s circle of colleagues and classmates will be of a higher caliber in an accredited degree program.

Only programs with accreditation can grant federal aid, which should also be considered. Another aspect of accreditation to consider is that transferring credits from one institution to another may only be possible if the credits were acquired from an accredited institution.

If you are already employed, and your doctorate will be covered by your employer, often the doctorate will have to be accredited in order to qualify for tuition reimbursement. In sum, advancing one’s career and financing one’s doctorate will both be affected by ensuring that a doctorate is accredited.

What are the usual prerequisites to enter an online doctoral program?

Most online doctoral programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s and master’s degree. These degrees can sometimes be in a related field, or some doctoral programs may require applicants to have a degree in the field they are entering.

A specific GPA requirement usually needs to be met in order to be accepted into a doctoral program. Another prerequisite may be work or experience in the field of doctoral studies. Entering an online doctoral program may require particular prerequisites in working with online technology.

Testing may be required throughout the doctoral program to ensure a student’s aptitude in their field of research. Applying for an online doctoral program will generally require the following:

  • Application Fee – usually between $50-$100
  • Application Form
  • Resume – including all work experience and education
  • Statement of Purpose – including generous information about why the doctorate is a good fit
  • Standardized Testing – usually, the GRE or the GMAT or a standardized test in one’s field may be required.
  • Letters of Recommendation – often, three letters will be required from former professors or colleagues in the field of study that one wishes to enter
  • Official Transcripts – from all colleges and universities attended
  • TOEFL – often required for those whose first language is not English

Related Links:

  • BEST ACCREDITED ONLINE PH.D. PROGRAMS
  • MOST AFFORDABLE ONLINE DOCTORAL PROGRAMS IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (DBA)
  • FASTEST ONLINE DOCTORAL DEGREE PROGRAMS

Most Affordable Online PhD Programs Ranked for Students in 2024

cheap phd programs in usa

Earning a PhD will typically place you at the highest academic tier in your field. The doctoral degree will qualify you as an expert in your chosen subject and give you access to opportunities like professorship, research leadership, and more. But earning the PhD is also a very lengthy and potentially costly undertaking. Fortunately, there are affordable online doctorate programs that make it possible to reach this elite academic status while still working directly in your field.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online PhD Degrees

Aspen university, university of west alabama, purdue global, liberty university, university of west georgia, grand canyon university, arkansas state university, embry–riddle aeronautical university, capitol technology university, saint leo university, troy university, northern kentucky university, regent university, jacksonville state university, valdosta state university.

  • Liberty University 99%
  • Troy University 95%
  • Nebraska Methodist College 84%
  • Grand Canyon University 83%
  • Northern Kentucky University 80%
  • Columbus State University 79%
  • Carson–Newman University 79%
  • Valdosta State University 76%
  • Jacksonville State University 76%
  • University of West Alabama 74%
  • Purdue Global 28 to 1
  • Jacksonville State University 21 to 1
  • Grand Canyon University 21 to 1
  • Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University 20 to 1
  • Valdosta State University 20 to 1
  • Regent University 19 to 1
  • University of West Georgia 19 to 1
  • Southern Arkansas University 18 to 1
  • Troy University 18 to 1
  • Northern Kentucky University 18 to 1
  • Carson–Newman University $31,320
  • Capitol Technology University $26,934
  • Saint Leo University $26,050
  • Columbia International University $25,590
  • Liberty University $22,713
  • Regent University $18,820
  • Grand Canyon University $17,800
  • Nebraska Methodist College $16,207
  • Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University $10,748
  • Purdue Global $10,080
  • Regent University $15,590
  • Saint Leo University $15,218
  • Nebraska Methodist College $11,758
  • Capitol Technology University $11,340
  • Columbia International University $10,710
  • Grand Canyon University $10,621
  • Northern Kentucky University $9,900
  • Jacksonville State University $9,600
  • Carson–Newman University $9,432
  • Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University $8,916

Columbus State University

Carson–newman university, nebraska methodist college, southern arkansas university, columbia international university.

  • Regent University 41%
  • Columbia International University 46%
  • Capitol Technology University 47%
  • Southern Arkansas University 63%
  • Arkansas State University 63%
  • Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University 70%
  • University of West Georgia 70%
  • Saint Leo University 71%
  • Aspen University 8 to 1
  • Nebraska Methodist College 13 to 1
  • Arkansas State University 14 to 1
  • University of West Alabama 14 to 1
  • Carson–Newman University 14 to 1
  • Columbia International University 15 to 1
  • Capitol Technology University 15 to 1
  • Liberty University 17 to 1
  • Columbus State University 17 to 1
  • Saint Leo University 17 to 1
  • Valdosta State University $4,371
  • Columbus State University $4,371
  • University of West Georgia $4,371
  • Aspen University $5,110
  • Arkansas State University $5,232
  • Southern Arkansas University $6,750
  • University of West Alabama $9,100
  • Troy University $9,312
  • Jacksonville State University $9,720
  • Northern Kentucky University $10,008
  • Aspen University $3,900
  • University of West Georgia $4,338
  • Valdosta State University $4,572
  • Arkansas State University $4,986
  • Southern Arkansas University $5,274
  • Columbus State University $6,300
  • University of West Alabama $6,678
  • Liberty University $7,847
  • Troy University $8,550
  • Purdue Global $8,730

Key Takeaways

  • The PhD is a terminal degree in most fields, and can provide access to high-ranking leadership opportunities as well as professorship and research roles. The online doctoral program may offer an affordable alternative to the traditional brick-and-mortar experience.
  • The cost of a PhD can vary widely depending on school and length of time to completion. Annual tuition can range from $30,000 for in-state public universities to $100,000 a year at a private graduate school.
  • A growing number of highly respected graduate schools are offering access to affordable online doctoral programs, which can help to reduce costs like housing, transportation, and certain campus fees.

Featured Programs

An overview of the doctorate degree, why get an online doctorate degree.

Many doctoral candidates have already reached more advanced stages in their career. The online doctorate is a great way to continue in your education while remaining active in your career. Online doctoral degree programs are often tailored to the scheduling needs of working professionals. This means that you may be able to complete your online doctorate while still earning a living. This can help offset your dependence on financial aid options and, ultimately, reduce your student loan debt.

What kinds of online doctoral degree programs are there?

Online doctoral degree programs are offered in a variety of disciplines including business administration, health sciences, computer science, and more. Some doctoral degree programs do not naturally lend themselves to online learning, but for those that do, it may be possible to choose from a variety of affordable online doctorate degrees.

What can you do with a doctoral degree?

Earning a doctorate qualifies you to work at the highest levels in your field including executive leadership business, consultation in public affairs, work as a university professor, or a career spent in research. Depending on your area of concentration, your online doctoral program could allow you to contribute to important economic research, participate in major long-term public health surveys, or provide R&D leadership to a major consumer brand.

What are the admission requirements for an online doctorate degree program?

The admission requirements for online doctoral degree programs are the same as those for a traditional doctorate degree. The bachelor’s degree is typically the basic threshold for entry into a doctoral program. Most reputable online doctoral degree programs will also require a strong academic track record and a minimum undergraduate GPA. You are not required to earn a master’s degree before gaining entry into a doctoral degree program. However, some doctoral programs may recognize these graduate credits. Starting with some credits earned could reduce the time and money you’ll spend on your PhD. In other words, if you already have a master’s degree, you could choose from an array of more affordable online doctorate degree programs.

How much does a doctoral degree cost?

The cost of a doctoral degree is extremely variant. Most online doctoral programs fall on the higher end of the cost spectrum and can range from roughly $30-$40K per year for in-state students to upwards of $60,000 to $100,000 per year for out of state students. That said, the most affordable online doctoral programs actually offer online learning opportunities for as little as $5,000 to $9,000 per year.

Can I get an affordable online doctorate degree?

Yes, you can absolutely get an affordable online doctorate degree. A growing number of highly reputable universities now provide partially or fully online doctoral programs. For many doctoral students, one of the biggest challenges is balancing the enormous commitment of time spent on research and coursework with work, family and home-life demands.

Earning an online doctorate makes it possible to save money on expenses like housing, transportation, and certain campus fees. Online doctoral programs also make it possible to continue working in your field, which means you can complete your degree program while still earning a living. This can ultimately reduce your dependence on student loan debt.

An affordable, quality education from an accredited online doctorate program is within your reach. Our in-depth, comprehensive guide to affordable degree programs will give you even more tips on making a doctorate degree as affordable as possible.

How We Rank the Most Affordable Online PhD Programs

In most cases, the most affordable online doctoral degree programs will be those offered by universities in your state. Online students who attend public universities enjoy access to in-state tuition rates just like traditional on-campus doctoral candidates.

That’s why we’ve ranked these online doctorate programs by placing the highest weight on in-state tuition rates. The tuition price listed below may not reflect the lower rate extended to in-state residents. Click on each school to learn more about in state tuition discounts. Other factors included in our ranking are Influence–the measure of a school’s excellence based on the real-world impact of its professors, students, and alumni; and the percentage of full-time students enrolled in online degree programs at each institution.

Below is a mix of both public and private universities offering the most affordable online doctoral degree programs on the higher education landscape.

Most Affordable Online PhD Programs for In-State Students

  • #8 Best Small Colleges in Colorado 2024
  • #9 Best Colleges in Colorado 2024
  • #1 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degree Programs Ranked for 2024
  • #2 Most Affordable Online Master's Degree Programs Ranked for Students
  • #6 Best Online Associate Degrees in Colorado 2024
  • #6 Top 20 Most Affordable Online MBA Degree Programs Ranked 2024
  • #9 Best Online Master's Programs in Colorado 2024
  • #11 Best Online Colleges in Colorado 2024
  • #16 Most Affordable Online Computer Science PhDs (Doctorates) 2024
  • #2 Most Affordable Master's in Counseling Degree Programs Ranked for 2024
  • #20 The Most Affordable Traditional MBA Degree Programs for 2024

Tuition + fees

Student body

Career Outlook for degree at Aspen University

  • #12 Best Online Bachelor’s of Graphic Arts Degree Programs for 2024
  • #13 Best Online MBA Programs in Alabama
  • #15 Top 20 Easiest Online Degrees from Accredited Schools in 2024
  • #15 Best Online DBA Doctorate in Business Administration Degree Programs
  • #16 Best Online Master's Programs in Alabama 2024
  • #17 Best Online Colleges in Alabama 2024
  • #19 Best Online Bachelor’s in Child Development Degree Programs for 2024
  • #21 Best Online Bachelor’s of Elementary Education Degree Programs for 2024

Career Outlook for degree at University of West Alabama

  • #8 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Indiana 2024
  • #1 Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity in Indiana
  • #3 Best Online MBA in Human Resources Ranked for Students in 2024
  • #4 Best Online Associate in Early Childhood Education
  • #4 Best Online Colleges in Indiana 2024
  • #4 Best Online Master's Programs in Indiana 2024
  • #4 Best Online Associate Degrees in Indiana 2024
  • #4 Best Online MBA Programs in Indiana
  • #4 Best Online Associate in Human Services
  • #5 Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity in Illinois
  • #5 Best Online Associate in Paralegal Studies
  • #6 Most Affordable Online Associate Degree Programs Ranked for 2024
  • #6 Best Online Master’s in Human Services
  • #7 Fastest Accelerated Online Bachelor's of Information Technology
  • #8 10 Best Online Bachelor's of Forensic Psychology Programs
  • #8 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degree Programs Ranked for 2024
  • #8 Fastest Accelerated Online Bachelor's of Cybersecurity
  • #9 Best Online Associate in Information Technology
  • #9 Best Online Associate in Business Management
  • #9 Best Online Associate in Health Science Degree Programs
  • #10 Best Online Associate in Accounting
  • #13 Best Online Bachelor’s of Early Childhood Education Degree Programs for 2024
  • #14 Most Affordable Online Master's Degree Programs Ranked for Students
  • #15 Best Online Bachelor's in Law and Legal Studies Degree Programs for 2024
  • #16 Best Online Bachelor's of Healthcare Administration Degree Programs for 2024
  • #21 Best Online Bachelor’s of Human Services Degree Programs Ranked for 2024
  • #21 Best Online Master's in Project Management
  • #22 Best Online Master’s in Finance
  • #25 Best Online Bachelor’s of Health Science Degree Programs Ranked for 2024

Career Outlook for degree at Purdue Global

  • #3 Best Private Colleges in Virginia 2024
  • #7 Best Research Universities in Virginia 2024
  • #7 Best Grad Schools in Virginia 2024
  • #9 Best Colleges in Virginia 2024
  • #19 Best Research Universities for Criminal Justice Degrees
  • #21 Best Research Universities for Social Work Degrees
  • #1 Top 10 Best Online Counseling PhD Degree Programs (Doctorates)
  • #1 Best Online Bachelor's in Math Degree Programs Ranked for Students
  • #1 Best Online Colleges in Virginia 2024
  • #1 Best Online Associate Degrees in Virginia 2024
  • #1 Best Online Associate in Economics
  • #1 Best Online Associate in Philosophy
  • #1 Top 16 Most Affordable Online Counseling PhDs (Doctorates)
  • #1 Best Online Bachelor's in Music Degree Programs Ranked for 2024
  • #1 Most Affordable Online PhDs in Psychology Ranked for 2024
  • #1 Accelerated Online Business Administration PhD Programs (Doctorates)
  • #1 Best Online Bachelor's in Christian Counseling Degree Programs
  • #1 Top 15 Most Affordable Online Economics PhD Programs (Doctorates) 2024
  • #1 Best Online Associate in Education
  • #1 Best Online Associate in Mathematics
  • #1 Top 10 Best Online Bachelor's of Nursing (BSN) Programs
  • #2 10 Best Online Bachelor's of Forensic Psychology Programs
  • #2 Best Online Associate in Early Childhood Education
  • #2 Top 10 Best Online Master's of Psychology Degree Programs 2024
  • #2 How To Get an Online Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies
  • #2 Best Online Bachelor's in Religious Studies Degree Programs for 2024
  • #2 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration Degree Programs for 2024
  • #2 Top 3 Best Online Economics PhD Degree Programs (Doctorates)
  • #2 Best Online Associate in Biblical Studies
  • #2 Fastest Accelerated Online Bachelor's of Information Technology
  • #2 Online Colleges That Start Anytime and the Benefits of a Self-Paced Education
  • #3 Best Online Degrees for a Career in Teaching Ranked 2024
  • #3 Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity in Virginia
  • #3 Best Online History Doctorate Degree Programs (PhDs) 2024
  • #3 Best Online Bachelor’s of Christian Ministry Degree Programs for 2024
  • #3 Best Online Master's in Theology
  • #3 Top 5 Best Online Criminal Justice Doctorates (PhDs) 2024
  • #3 Best Online Associate in Paralegal Studies
  • #3 Fastest Accelerated Online Healthcare Administration Masters
  • #3 Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity in District Of Columbia
  • #3 Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice PhDs (Doctorates)
  • #3 Fastest Accelerated Online Bachelor's of Cybersecurity
  • #4 Best Online Associate in Accounting
  • #4 Best Online MBA Programs in Virginia
  • #4 Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity in Illinois
  • #4 Top 20 Best Online Accredited Doctorate Degree Programs (PhDs) 2024
  • #4 Best Online Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Degree Programs
  • #4 10 Fastest Accelerated Online Bachelor's of English
  • #4 Top 15 Most Affordable Online Information Technology PhD Programs
  • #4 15 Fastest Accelerated Online Master's of Psychology Programs
  • #4 Top 15 Fastest Accelerated Online Counseling Doctorates (PhDs)
  • #4 Best Online Associate in Psychology
  • #4 Best Online Bachelor’s of Elementary Education Degree Programs for 2024
  • #5 Top 20 Easiest Online Degrees from Accredited Schools in 2024
  • #5 Top 10 Fastest Accelerated Online PhD in Criminal Justice (Doctorates)
  • #5 Best Online Master's Programs in Virginia 2024
  • #5 Top 10 Fastest Accelerated Online Psychology Doctorates (PhDs)
  • #5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Biblical Studies
  • #5 Fastest Accelerated Online Doctorate of Information Technology
  • #6 Best Online Bachelor’s of Graphic Arts Degree Programs for 2024
  • #6 Best Online Master’s in Biblical Studies
  • #6 Best Online Bachelor's in Strategic Communications Degree Programs
  • #6 Best Online Bachelor's of English Degree Programs for 2024
  • #7 The Best Online Christian Colleges and Universities for Bachelor's Degrees
  • #7 10 Fastest Accelerated Online Master's of Accounting Programs
  • #7 Best Online Doctorate of Educational Psychology (PhDs) 2024
  • #8 Best Online Associate in History Degrees
  • #8 Top 20 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's of Cybersecurity
  • #8 Top 20 Most Affordable Online Business Administration Doctorates
  • #8 Top 10 Best Online Communications PhD Degree Programs (Doctorates)
  • #9 Best Online Bachelor’s of Early Childhood Education Degree Programs for 2024
  • #9 Most Unusual Doctoral Degrees You Can Earn Online (PhDs)
  • #9 Best Online Bachelor's in Law and Legal Studies Degree Programs for 2024
  • #9 Best Online Bachelor’s of Education Degree Programs for 2024
  • #9 Best Online Bachelor’s of Data Science and Analytics Degree Programs for 2024
  • #9 Best Online Associate's in Physics
  • #9 Best Online Master's in Biology
  • #9 Best Online Associate in Business Administration
  • #10 Best Online Bachelor's in Social Work Degree Programs Ranked for 2024
  • #10 Best Online Bachelor’s of Data Science and Analytics Degree Programs for 2024
  • #10 Best Online Bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Programs for 2024
  • #10 Best Online Bachelor's in Network Administration Degree Programs for 2024
  • #11 Best Online DBA Doctorate in Business Administration Degree Programs
  • #11 Top 20 Most Affordable Online Master's of Nursing Programs
  • #11 Best Online Bachelor's of Finance Degree Programs for 2024
  • #12 Best Online Bachelor’s of History Degree Programs Ranked for 2024
  • #12 Best Online Master's in Project Management
  • #12 Best Online Master's in Sports Management
  • #12 Most Affordable Online Applied Behavioral Analysis PhD Programs
  • #13 Best Online Bachelor’s of Homeland Security Degree Programs for 2024
  • #13 20 Fastest Accelerated Online English Doctorates (PhDs) 2024
  • #14 Best Online Bachelor's in Sports Management Degree Programs for 2024
  • #14 Best Online Bachelor's of Healthcare Administration Degree Programs for 2024
  • #14 Top 18 Most Affordable No GRE Online PhD Degree Programs
  • #15 Best Online Christian Colleges and Universities for Master's Degrees
  • #16 Best Online Associate in Criminal Justice
  • #17 Best Online Bachelor’s in Marketing and Advertising Degree Programs for 2024
  • #17 Most Affordable Online Criminology Doctorate Programs (PhDs)
  • #18 Top 20 Most Affordable Online Doctorate of Education (PhDs)
  • #18 Most Affordable Online Master's Degree Programs Ranked for Students
  • #18 Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Degree Programs
  • #18 Best Online Master’s in Finance
  • #20 Best Online Bachelor's in Accounting
  • #21 Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity
  • #23 Best Online Master’s in Counseling
  • #25 Best Online Associate in Christian Ministry
  • #25 Best Online Bachelor's of Economics Degree Programs for 2024
  • #5 How to Earn Your Master's Degree Without Your Bachelor's Degree
  • #6 Best College Majors that Offer Accelerated Degree Programs

Median SAT/ACT

Career Outlook for degree at Liberty University

  • #4 Best Online Colleges in Georgia 2024
  • #5 Top 15 Fastest Accelerated Online Counseling Doctorates (PhDs)
  • #6 Best Online MBA Programs in Georgia
  • #7 Top 10 Best Online Counseling PhD Degree Programs (Doctorates)
  • #9 Best Online Master's Programs in Georgia 2024
  • #10 Top 20 Most Affordable Online MBA Degree Programs Ranked 2024
  • #10 Most Affordable Online Master's of Music Education Programs
  • #13 Top 16 Most Affordable Online Counseling PhDs (Doctorates)
  • #20 Top 20 Most Affordable Online Doctorate of Education (PhDs)
  • #20 Top 20 Most Affordable Online Master's of Nursing Programs

Career Outlook for degree at University of West Georgia

  • #4 Most Affordable Colleges in Arizona 2024
  • #4 The Most Influential Universities and Colleges Ranked by State 2024
  • #4 Best Grad Schools in Arizona 2024
  • #4 Best Research Universities in Arizona 2024
  • #1 How To Get an Online Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies
  • #2 Best Online Bachelor's in Animation Illustration
  • #3 Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity in Arizona
  • #3 Best Online MBA Programs in Arizona
  • #3 Most Affordable Online PhDs in Psychology Ranked for 2024
  • #3 Best Online MBA in Accounting Degree Programs
  • #4 Best Online MBA in Business Analytics Ranked for Students in 2024
  • #4 Best Online Master's Programs in Arizona 2024
  • #4 Best Online MBA in Marketing Degree Programs Ranked for Students in 2024
  • #5 Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity in Washington
  • #5 Best Online Colleges in Arizona 2024
  • #5 Fastest Accelerated Online Bachelor's of Healthcare Administration
  • #5 Fastest Accelerated Online Master's of Cybersecurity
  • #5 Fastest Accelerated Online Bachelor's of Cybersecurity
  • #8 Fastest Accelerated Online Healthcare Administration Masters
  • #9 Top 16 Most Affordable Online Counseling PhDs (Doctorates)
  • #12 Top 20 Most Affordable Online Business Administration Doctorates
  • #13 15 Fastest Accelerated Online Master's of Psychology Programs
  • #15 Top 20 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's of Cybersecurity
  • #17 Most Affordable Online Applied Behavioral Analysis PhD Programs

Career Outlook for degree at Grand Canyon University

  • #3 Best Research Universities in Arkansas 2024
  • #1 Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity in Arkansas
  • #2 Best Online Colleges in Arkansas 2024
  • #2 Best Online MBA Programs in Arkansas
  • #2 Best Online Master's Programs in Arkansas 2024
  • #2 Best Online Associate Degrees in Arkansas 2024
  • #3 Best Online Associate in General Studies
  • #6 Best Online Associate in Emergency Management
  • #7 Best Online MBA in Supply Chain Management Ranked for Students in 2024
  • #9 Best Online Bachelor’s of Digital Media for 2024
  • #12 Best Online Bachelor's in Construction Management Degree Programs
  • #17 Best Online Master's in Sports Management
  • #18 Top 20 Most Affordable Online MBA Degree Programs Ranked 2024
  • #20 Best Online MBAs in Finance
  • #22 Best Online Master’s in Emergency Management
  • #23 Best Online Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership Degree Programs

Career Outlook for degree at Arkansas State University

  • #11 Most Affordable Online Associate Degree Programs Ranked for 2024
  • #13 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degree Programs Ranked for 2024
  • #14 Best Online Master’s in Sustainability and Green Technologies
  • #14 Best Online Master's Programs in Florida 2024
  • #24 Best Online Bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Programs for 2024

Career Outlook for degree at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University

  • #9 Fastest Accelerated Online Doctorate of Cybersecurity
  • #13 Best Online Master's Programs in Maryland 2024
  • #19 Best Online Bachelor’s of Data Science and Analytics Degree Programs for 2024

Career Outlook for degree at Capitol Technology University

  • #4 Best Online Associate Degrees in Florida 2024
  • #4 Fastest Accelerated Online Master's of Cybersecurity
  • #6 Top 10 Best Online Master's of Psychology Degree Programs 2024
  • #6 Best Online MBA in Data Analytics Ranked for Students in 2024
  • #6 Best Online Master’s in Forensics Degree Programs
  • #6 Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice PhDs (Doctorates)
  • #7 Top 5 Best Online Criminal Justice Doctorates (PhDs) 2024
  • #7 Best Online DBA Doctorate in Business Administration Degree Programs
  • #7 Fastest Accelerated Online Healthcare Administration Masters
  • #10 Best Online Associate in Information Technology
  • #10 Best Online Associate in Cybersecurity
  • #12 Best Online MBA Programs in Florida
  • #12 15 Fastest Accelerated Online Master's of Psychology Programs
  • #13 Top 20 Most Affordable Online Business Administration Doctorates
  • #13 Best Online Bachelor's in Sociology Degree Programs Ranked for 2024
  • #13 Best Online Bachelor’s of Elementary Education Degree Programs for 2024
  • #14 Best Online Bachelor's in Religious Studies Degree Programs for 2024
  • #14 Best Online Master’s in Human Services
  • #14 Best Online Colleges in Florida 2024
  • #15 Most Affordable Online Criminology Doctorate Programs (PhDs)
  • #16 Top 20 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's of Cybersecurity
  • #17 Best Online Master's Programs in Florida 2024
  • #17 Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Degree Programs
  • #19 Best Online Bachelor’s of Early Childhood Education Degree Programs for 2024
  • #19 Best Online Bachelor’s of Homeland Security Degree Programs for 2024
  • #21 Best Online Master's in Social Work MSW
  • #22 Best Online Bachelor’s of Education Degree Programs for 2024
  • #24 Best Online Master’s in Emergency Management
  • #24 Best Online Master's in Theology
  • #24 Best Online Associate in Liberal Arts

Career Outlook for degree at Saint Leo University

  • #10 Best Colleges in Georgia 2024
  • #4 Best Online MBA Programs in Georgia
  • #6 Best Online Master's in Healthcare Administration
  • #6 Best Online Master's Programs in Georgia 2024
  • #7 Best Online Colleges in Georgia 2024
  • #8 Top 10 Best Online Counseling PhD Degree Programs (Doctorates)
  • #8 Best Online MBA in Healthcare Management Ranked for Students in 2024
  • #11 Top 20 Most Affordable Online MBA Degree Programs Ranked 2024

Career Outlook for degree at Valdosta State University

  • #13 Best Online MBA Programs in South Carolina
  • #14 Best Online Master's Programs in South Carolina 2024
  • #16 Best Online Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Degree Programs
  • #19 Fastest Online Master's Degrees Ranked for Students in 2024
  • #23 Best Online Master’s in Biblical Studies

Career Outlook for degree at Columbia International University

  • #5 Best Online MBA Programs in Arkansas
  • #6 Best Online Colleges in Arkansas 2024
  • #6 Best Online Master's Programs in Arkansas 2024
  • #11 Best Online Master's in Agriculture and Agribusiness Degree Programs
  • #12 Best Online Master's in Kinesiology Degree Programs

Career Outlook for degree at Southern Arkansas University

  • #11 Best Online Colleges in Nebraska 2024
  • #14 Best Online Master's Programs in Nebraska 2024
  • #20 Top 20 Most Affordable Online PhD of Nursing (DNP) Programs

Career Outlook for degree at Nebraska Methodist College

  • #4 Best Online MBA Programs in Alabama
  • #6 Top 10 Best Online Counseling PhD Degree Programs (Doctorates)
  • #8 Best Online Colleges in Alabama 2024
  • #8 Best Online Master's Programs in Alabama 2024
  • #9 Best Online Bachelor's in Human Development Degree Programs for 2024
  • #10 Best Online Master’s in Emergency Management
  • #12 Most Affordable Online Criminology Doctorate Programs (PhDs)
  • #16 Best Online Bachelor’s of Homeland Security Degree Programs for 2024
  • #16 Best Online Master's in English

Career Outlook for degree at Jacksonville State University

  • #1 Best Online Bachelor’s of Graphic Arts Degree Programs for 2024
  • #2 Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity in Virginia
  • #2 Best Online Associate in Christian Ministry
  • #2 Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity in District Of Columbia
  • #2 Top 15 Fastest Accelerated Online Counseling Doctorates (PhDs)
  • #2 Best Online Doctorate of Educational Psychology (PhDs) 2024
  • #3 Best Online Associate in History Degrees
  • #3 Top 10 Best Online Counseling PhD Degree Programs (Doctorates)
  • #3 How To Get an Online Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies
  • #3 Best Online Associate Degrees in Virginia 2024
  • #3 Top 16 Most Affordable Online Counseling PhDs (Doctorates)
  • #3 Best Online Bachelor's in Music Degree Programs Ranked for 2024
  • #4 Best Online History Doctorate Degree Programs (PhDs) 2024
  • #5 Best Online MBA Programs in Virginia
  • #5 Best Online Bachelor's in Law and Legal Studies Degree Programs for 2024
  • #5 Best Online Bachelor’s of Christian Ministry Degree Programs for 2024
  • #5 Best Online Bachelor’s of Counseling Degree Programs for 2024
  • #5 Best Online Associate in Psychology
  • #6 Best Online Bachelor’s in Biblical Studies
  • #6 Fastest Accelerated Online Bachelor's of Information Technology
  • #7 Best Online Master's in Organizational Psychology
  • #7 Best Online Colleges in Virginia 2024
  • #7 Best Online Master's in Theology
  • #8 Fastest Online Associate Degrees Ranked for 2024
  • #8 Best Online MBA in Entrepreneurship Ranked for Students in 2024
  • #8 Best Online Master’s in Human Services
  • #8 Most Affordable Online PhDs in Psychology Ranked for 2024
  • #9 Top 20 Easiest Online Degrees from Accredited Schools in 2024
  • #9 Best Online Master's Programs in Virginia 2024
  • #9 Top 10 Best Online Communications PhD Degree Programs (Doctorates)
  • #9 15 Fastest Accelerated Online Master's of Psychology Programs
  • #10 Best Online Associate in General Studies
  • #10 Fastest Accelerated Online Public Health Doctorates (PhDs)
  • #10 Best Online Bachelor's of Theology Degree Programs in 2024
  • #10 Best Online Bachelor’s of Digital Media for 2024
  • #10 Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Degree Programs
  • #10 Most Affordable Online Applied Behavioral Analysis PhD Programs
  • #12 Top 20 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's of Cybersecurity
  • #12 20 Fastest Accelerated Online English Doctorates (PhDs) 2024
  • #14 Best Online Bachelor's of Economics Degree Programs for 2024
  • #14 Best Online Master’s in Biblical Studies
  • #15 Best Online Bachelor's in Sports Management Degree Programs for 2024
  • #17 Best Online Bachelor's of English Degree Programs for 2024
  • #19 Best Online Bachelor’s in Information Technology Degree Programs for 2024
  • #21 Best Online Master’s in Emergency Management
  • #23 Best Online Bachelor’s of Early Childhood Education Degree Programs for 2024
  • #24 Best Online Bachelor’s of History Degree Programs Ranked for 2024
  • #24 Best Online Master’s in Counseling

Career Outlook for degree at Regent University

Career outlook for degree at carson–newman university.

  • #9 Alabama's Best Colleges and Universities Ranked for Undergrads in 2024
  • #1 Best Online Associate Degrees in Alabama 2024
  • #3 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration Degree Programs for 2024
  • #3 Best Online MBA in Data Analytics Ranked for Students in 2024
  • #4 Best Online Master's in Artificial Intelligence Degree Programs
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Career Outlook for degree at Northern Kentucky University

More on the cost of a phd, how much does an online doctoral degree cost on average.

The average cost of a year in an online doctoral degree program is somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 per year for both private and public grad schools. However, you can pay as much as $100,000 per year to attend some of the nation’s most prestigious private schools. The most affordable online doctorate degree programs may cost as little as $5,000 to $9,000 per year of tuition and fees.

How can I lower the cost of my online doctoral degree?

Financial aid, scholarships, and geographical considerations all offer ways to offset the sticker price of an online doctoral degree. Financial aid and scholarships are both central considerations as you look for ways to cut your PhD program costs. Finding a grad school in state can also offer various opportunities for state-specific financial aid and tuition discounts.

Why get a doctoral degree online?

You may also be able to offset some of the expenses of the doctoral degree by earning your PhD online. While tuition for online doctoral degree programs is generally in line with tuition for the traditional PhD experience, you may be able to saving on housing, transportation, and certain campus fees.

For more tips on getting an affordable online education, check out our Guide to Financial Aid in Higher Education

USA Chalo

Find the Cheapest PhD Programs in the USA

May 29, 2023

A map of the usa with a magnifying glass hovering over it

Are you looking for the most affordable PhD programs in the USA? Pursuing a doctoral degree is a worthwhile investment, but it can also be a costly one. Fortunately, there are ways to find quality PhD programs that won’t break the bank. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of pursuing a PhD, what to consider when choosing a program, the top affordable PhD programs in the USA, financing options, and tips for saving money while completing your degree.

The Benefits of Pursuing a PhD Degree

What to consider when choosing a phd program, the top affordable phd programs in the usa, public vs private universities: which offers cheaper phd programs, the cheapest phd programs in stem fields, how to finance your phd program on a budget, scholarships, grants, and fellowships: resources for funding your phd, the best online phd programs for cost-conscious students, reducing the cost of your phd program through teaching or research assistantships, how to save money on living expenses as a phd student, balancing work and study as a part-time phd candidate, tips for graduating debt-free from your phd program, comparing the roi of different types of phd programs, real stories from students who found affordable and high-quality phd programs in the usa.

Before we dive into the affordability of PhD programs, let’s first discuss why pursuing a doctoral degree may be worth the investment. A PhD degree can open doors to advanced career opportunities and higher salaries. In addition, it provides the opportunity for advanced research, the development of critical thinking skills, and the chance to contribute original research to your field of study. Pursuing a PhD is also personally fulfilling for many students who have a passion for academia and want to make a lasting impact on their field.

Another benefit of pursuing a PhD degree is the opportunity to network with other professionals in your field. Doctoral programs often provide students with access to conferences, workshops, and other events where they can meet and collaborate with other researchers and experts. This can lead to valuable connections and collaborations that can enhance your career prospects and contribute to your research.

Furthermore, pursuing a PhD degree can also lead to personal growth and development. The rigorous academic program requires students to develop discipline, time management, and perseverance. These skills can be applied to other areas of life and can help individuals become more well-rounded and successful in their personal and professional endeavors.

When choosing a PhD program, cost shouldn’t be the only factor in your decision. You’ll want to consider the program’s accreditation, faculty expertise, research opportunities, and location. In addition, it’s important to consider the program’s admissions requirements, its reputation, and the potential for assistantships or scholarships. Keep in mind that the cheapest program may not always be the best fit for your academic goals and long-term career aspirations.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a PhD program is the program’s curriculum. You’ll want to make sure that the program offers courses and research opportunities that align with your research interests and career goals. It’s also important to consider the program’s flexibility and the ability to customize your coursework to fit your individual needs.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the program’s resources and support services. Look for programs that offer access to state-of-the-art research facilities, libraries, and other resources that will help you succeed in your academic pursuits. You’ll also want to consider the program’s support services, such as academic advising, career counseling, and mental health resources, to ensure that you have the support you need to thrive in your program.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff: the cheapest PhD programs in the USA. While tuition costs can vary widely by program and institution, there are some affordable options out there. For instance, the City University of New York’s Graduate Center has a highly-regarded doctoral program in English that costs less than $8,000 per year. Other affordable PhD programs include those at the University of Arkansas, Texas A&M University, and the University of North Dakota. It’s important to note, however, that affordability is relative, and what may be inexpensive for one student could still be costly for another.

It’s also worth considering that the cost of living in certain areas can greatly impact the overall affordability of a PhD program. For example, a program with lower tuition costs in a high-cost-of-living city may end up being more expensive than a program with higher tuition costs in a more affordable location. Additionally, some PhD programs offer funding opportunities such as scholarships, grants, and assistantships that can greatly offset the cost of tuition and living expenses. It’s important to thoroughly research and compare all aspects of a PhD program before making a decision based solely on tuition costs.

Also read: Fully funded short courses in the USA

When considering the affordability of PhD programs, it’s worth noting that public universities often have lower tuition rates than their private counterparts. This is because public universities receive funding from the government, which can make their programs less expensive. However, this isn’t always the case, and there are private institutions that offer competitive doctoral programs at reasonable rates.

Another factor to consider when comparing the cost of PhD programs at public and private universities is the availability of financial aid. Public universities may have more resources available for scholarships, grants, and assistantships, which can help offset the cost of tuition and living expenses. Private universities may also offer financial aid, but it may be more limited or competitive.

It’s also important to consider the overall value of a PhD program beyond just the cost. Factors such as the quality of faculty, research opportunities, and networking potential can all impact the long-term benefits of earning a doctoral degree. Therefore, it’s important to research and compare multiple universities before making a decision based solely on cost.

If you’re interested in pursuing a PhD in a STEM field, there are a number of affordable options to consider. For instance, the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s doctoral program in Computer Science costs just over $10,000 per year, and the University of South Carolina’s program in Chemical Engineering is similarly priced. Other affordable STEM PhD programs can be found at the University of Wyoming, the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and Mississippi State University.

It’s important to note that while these programs may be more affordable than others, they still require a significant investment of time and resources. It’s important to carefully consider the program’s curriculum, faculty, and research opportunities before making a decision. Additionally, many universities offer funding opportunities such as scholarships, grants, and assistantships to help offset the cost of tuition and living expenses. Be sure to research and apply for these opportunities to make your PhD program more affordable.

Even if you’ve found an affordable PhD program, the cost of tuition and living expenses can still be overwhelming. Luckily, there are options for financing your doctoral degree without going into massive debt. Some students choose to work part-time while studying, or to take on teaching or research assistantships, which can provide a steady income and valuable professional experience. You may also want to explore scholarship or fellowship opportunities offered by your institution or external organizations.

There are a variety of scholarships, grants, and fellowships available to PhD students that can help offset the cost of tuition and living expenses. For example, the National Science Foundation offers funding opportunities for students in STEM fields, while the Ford Foundation Fellowship Program provides support for students from underrepresented backgrounds. Be sure to research all the opportunities available to you, and apply early to increase your chances of receiving funding.

For students who are looking to save money on their PhD program, online options can be a great choice. Not only do they eliminate the need for expensive campus housing, but they can also be more flexible in terms of scheduling. Some affordable online doctoral programs include those at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, Liberty University, and the University of the Cumberlands.

As we mentioned earlier, teaching or research assistantships can be a great way to finance your PhD while also gaining valuable professional experience. Many PhD programs offer assistantship opportunities, so be sure to check with your department or faculty advisor to learn more. These positions typically involve assisting professors with research or teaching responsibilities, and can provide a stipend and tuition waiver.

In addition to tuition costs, living expenses can also add up quickly when pursuing a PhD. To save money on housing, consider living with roommates or in university-provided housing. You can also save money by cooking your own meals instead of eating out, and by finding affordable entertainment options in your city or town. Be sure to also take advantage of student discounts whenever possible, and consider taking public transportation instead of owning a car.

For some students, working full-time while completing a PhD may not be feasible. In these cases, pursuing a part-time PhD program can provide the necessary flexibility. Part-time programs often take longer to complete, but offer a more manageable workload and the ability to balance work and family obligations. It’s important to carefully consider your options and talk with your advisor before making a decision about whether a part-time PhD program is right for you.

While it may seem impossible to graduate from a PhD program without debt, there are steps you can take to minimize your financial burden. This may include obtaining funding through scholarships or grants, taking on assistantships, or finding ways to reduce living expenses. Additionally, it’s important to avoid taking on additional debt during your doctoral studies, such as credit card debt or excessive student loans. With careful planning and financial discipline, it’s possible to complete a PhD program without a significant debt load.

When choosing a PhD program, it’s important to consider not just the cost, but also the potential return on investment (ROI). This may include factors such as the program’s graduation rate, job placement rate, and average salary for graduates. Be sure to research the outcomes of other graduates from the program you’re considering to make an informed decision about whether it’s worth the investment.

Finally, it’s important to hear from other students who have successfully found affordable and high-quality PhD programs in the USA. Many students have navigated the process of finding funding, balancing work and study, and making the most of their doctoral experience. Be sure to seek out resources such as online forums and social media groups to connect with other students and learn from their experiences.

Pursuing a PhD degree can be an expensive undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be a financial burden. By carefully considering your options, researching funding opportunities, and finding ways to minimize your living expenses, you can complete a doctoral program without breaking the bank. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a PhD in the humanities or in STEM fields, there are affordable and high-quality programs available that can help you achieve your academic and career goals.

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20 Cheapest Universities in the USA for International Students 2024

Published: 11 May 2021 Study Abroad 80,964 views

20 Cheapest Universities in the USA for International Students 2024

Hi there! Do you want to study in cheap universities in usa for international students 2024? Are you on a budget and can't afford enormous tuition fees? Are you in search of cheapest universities in usa for international students? This article will provide insights into all of the above questions.

Walk with us as you will learn:

1. 10 Reasons why you Should Study in the USA

2. Table Showing the 20 cheapest universities and their tuition fees

3. 20 Cheapest Universities in the USA for International Students

  • City University of New York
  • University of the People
  • The California State University
  • Alcorn State University, Mississippi
  • Minot State University, North Dakota
  • South Texas College
  • Cooper Union NY
  • San Mateo College of Silicon Valley
  • Manhattanville College
  • Hillsborough Community College
  • Sonoma State University
  • Arkansas State University
  • Southeast Missouri State University
  • Bradley University
  • Ashland University
  • Bellevue University
  • Westcliff University
  • Pace University
  • Metropolitan State University (Minnesota) 
  • Trine University

4. Conclusion

Find ongoing scholarships in USA for international students

10 Reasons Why should study in the USA

Would it not be amazing if you find yourself studying in one of the cheapest pharmacy schools in USA for international students and at the same time exploring Walt Disney World, or the Statue of Liberty in New York? It would be the most fascinating period of your life. But do people migrate to the USA for just holidays? What about studies? Why do international students study in cheapest community colleges in usa for international students? 

We believe that there are 10 good reasons why the USA has become the most popular study destination.

1.You will study at Universally Recognized Institutes

Post-secondary school education is top-notch in the states. This place owns the cheapest colleges in usa for international students. Therefore, your credentials will be universally recognized. 

2. You will be popularly sought after by employers

When you own an American degree from the cheapest nursing schools in usa for international students, that would be a signal to employers that you are a deserving candidate for their company.

3. You will gain international opportunities.

You can launch an international career in the USA. The USA is home to the best brains in the world, high-quality institutes, world's biggest industrialized cities. Here you can get the cheapest universities in USA for Indian students.

4. You will enjoy Flexibility in your study programs

Studying in affordable universities in USA for international students or enrolling in a community college will give you the chance of acquired an accommodating degree. You can customize your degree to your interest and then transfer to a nationally ranked university.

5. If you are a Canadian, then this is for you

If you are a Canadian student, you will not suffer from cultural shocks. America and Canada share similar cultures and ethics. So teaching, political structure, and respect for freedom will not be barriers as they are the same in both countries. So study the cheapest mph programs in USA for international students.

6. You will experience a special culture

Have you ever thought of the "American dream"? Well, the USA is the only place where you can try your best to reach it. So why don't you do that through studying in the most affordable universities in USA for international students?

7. You will meet people of various backgrounds

The mixed society in the USA will help you in easily integrating into the American society. It's home to people from every corner of the world. Studying in one of the cheapest universities in usa for international students masters is a good plan

8. You will enjoy a variety of programs to study

Say you want to study something very specific. Say no more! The USA is here. This is where you get the cheapest llm in USA for international students. There will always be a school that offers your program in the USA. So the diversity here is second-to-none.

9. You may receive support for International Students

If you are part of a vast number of international students in the USA, you will be lucky to receive support as there are many resources in place that can make your studies in the cheapest US colleges for international students easy. 

10. You will be part of an interactive education system

Apart from your chosen program in the cheapest uni in USA for international students, you will receive a conversational, broad-based education. You will learn how to hone life skills that apply to many professions and circumstances.

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Table showing the 20 cheapest universities and their tuition fees

The above table indicates a summary of the cheapest universities for international students. Follow along as you read more details.

20 Cheapest Universities in the USA for International Students

Here are the following cheapest universities in America for international students. Learn more about the tuition and admission process through this list of cheapest universities in usa for international students. Then, you can make an excellent and informed decision.

1.City University of New York

City University of New York

The City University of New York is a public university system that accommodates 26 individual institutions. CUNY is located in New York and has a database of 9,000 International students. Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees can be obtained in a wide range of subjects such as business, computer science, engineering, fine arts, liberal arts, law, biomedical, and journalism programs. It is one of the best affordable universities in USA for international students

Tuition fee: $17,400

How to apply for admission to the city university of new york.

To get to the cheapest aeronautical engineering universities in USA for international students, undergraduates, applicants must have a high GPA in their high school diploma. For Graduates, applicants to the cheapest university in us for international students must have a minimum of second class upper division. You will need to apply, send your required documents, pay the application fee and consistently check your admission status.

Start Admission Process

2. University of the People

University of the People

The University of the People is one of the most student-oriented universities in the world. This university appears to be one of the top cheapest universities in USA for international students. Located in Pasadena, California, the University of the People is known to be the world's first non - profit, tuition-free, and accredited online university.

Tuition fee: This is a tuition-free institution. Still, an assessment fee per course is applicable. Specifically, the total assessment fee for an associate degree is $2060 and for a bachelor's degree is $4060. So the school has the lowest tuition fees for international students in usa.

How to apply for admission to the University of the People

To secure your admission to this university, you must be 16 years and above, demonstrate English Proficiency and proof of completing an undergraduate course, and have a minimum of two years of experience. You are to submit your resume, letter of recommendation, upload necessary documents and pass your entrance exams.

3.California State University

California State University

The California State University also known as the Long Beach boasts of 23 branches across the state of California. This is the cheapest universities in California for international students. Incredible, right? Is Long Beach one of the cheapest universities in the world? Maybe! Most popular majors include Business Management, Marketing, Visual and Performing arts, Family and Consumer Services, etc.

Tuition fee: $8,151

How to apply for admission to california state university.

This is among the cheapest medical university in USA for international students. International students are welcome to proceed with their application process. Transcript and examination scores will be sent as soon as possible. Medical Health Insurance is equally required. The enrollment is done online.

  4. Alcorn State University, Mississippi

This institution is renowned for offering more than 50-degree programs to over 4000 students with diverse ethnic backgrounds. One remarkable aspect more is that the University lets its students spend a semester in South America or Africa, embark on video conference sessions with multinational organizations. It is highly commendable that the institution belongs to one of the cheapest universities in the us for international students.

Tuition fee: $6,888

How to apply for admission to alcorn state university, mississippi.

To be eligible for admission in one of the universities in usa for international students with low tuition fee, as an undergraduate, a person must be a graduate of a recognized high school. Otherwise, the person would have to pass the General Education Development (GED) exams satisfactorily. When the application for admission is received, the applicant will be notified concerning his status. A partial transcript with all the available grades earned from freshman year till the present will make the admission process a lot easier.

  5. Minot State University, North Dakota

If you want to enjoy the feeling of familiarity, Minot State University is for you. The management ensures a student-teacher ratio of 14:1. It is one of the cheapest universities for international students in the US. The undergraduate programs underscore it seems to be one of the cheapest universities in USA for international students for masters. Information System, Science, Social Work, Education, Finance and Criminal Justice. We can safely say that this is one of the cheap universities abroad.

Tuition fee: $6,809.

How to apply for admission to Minot State University, North Dakota

As one of the cheapest state universities in USA for international students, Minot State University provides Bachelor's and Master's degrees for international students from over 30 different countries. The students can apply by taking courses on - campus and online for full-time and part-time.

Masters Degree Scholarships for International Students 2024-2025

6.South Texas College

South Texas College

This exceptional university is located in South Texas, USA. It offers undergraduate and certificate programs and maintains a student-teacher ratio of 22:1. This college is one of the cheapest law schools in USA for international students.

Tuition fee: $4,200

How to apply for admission to south texas college.

The admission process involves 5 stages (application, testing, advising, tuition, and new student orientation. The college enrolls students who are valid F-1 or M-1 visa holders under the student exchange and visitor information systems (SEVIS). On the other hand, international students are expected to campus while abiding by all federal regulations and may seek general admission to the college or admission to selective programs.

7. Cooper Union NY

Cooper Union

Cooper Union University has been tagged as one of the hardest universities to get into. This is officially one of the cheapest architecture universities in USA for international students. However, they are renowned for their programs in architecture, fine arts, and engineering.

Tuition fee: $22,635

How to apply for admission to cooper union ny.

The University offers a 50% scholarship, international students may be expected to pay $1,005 per semester. You may hurry to say that the institution is not the cheapest college in the world. Still, Cooper Union is recognized as an affordable institute of higher learning.

8. San Mateo College of Silicon Valley

San Mateo

San Mateo College is known for its quality associate, certificate, and transfer programs in the state of the art education facilities. It provides numerous opportunities with the Silicon Valley high-tech companies. San Mateo College boasts of guaranteed transfers to and partnerships with selected universities. It is one of the affordable universities in America for international students.

Tuition fee: $9,094

How to apply for admission to san mateo college of silicon valley.

It's simple. Apply for admission and identify an educational goal, complete the college orientation and the assessment. Then you will meet with a college counselor and get your first-semester education plan. Finally, you will register for classes and pay your fees. 

9. Manhattanville College

Manhattanville

Manhattanville College is known for majors such as Business Administration and Management, Social Sciences, Speech Communication, and Rhetoric, etc. The school offers you the opportunity to visit the world. It has secured connections with international institutions and universities. Manhattanville College in New York offers more than 50 bachelor's areas and above 70 master's programs. It is undoubtedly one of the low cost universities in usa for international students.

Tuition fee: $19,440

How to apply for admission at manhattanville college.

Prospective applicants, like you, can apply for cheapest MBA programs in USA for international students either through the Common Application board or the Manhattanville College Application board. Applicants are expected to hold at least a 3.0 high school GPA on a scale of 4.0

10. Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough

Students in HCC enjoy exceptional faculties, high academic standards, and small class sizes.  It is one of the cheapest universities in USA for international graduate students. It offers many pathways to Bachelor's degrees as well as associate degrees in liberal arts. HCC offers nationally recognized honors programs, leadership development, scholarship assistance. It also promises to build your skills in the workplace.

Tuition fee: $9,111

How do i apply for admission to hillsborough community college.

The first thing to do when applying to low tuition universities in USA for international students like HCC, is to submit a free admissions application. Then, you can apply for financial aid and adhere to the enrollment checklists. Finally, you will submit your Transcript and transfer credits and enroll in classes.

Ph.D Scholarships For International Students 2024-2025

11. Sonoma State University

Sonoma state University

At Sonoma State University, you will adopt analytical, communication, and research skills. For instance, as a student of interdisciplinary liberal arts, you will focus on human growth and development across the duration of your course. SSU has beautiful surroundings based on the outskirts of California's Napa Valley Winemaking region. Fortunately, low tuition fee universities in usa for international students like Sonoma State University, have an acceptance rate of 82%. So you can get cheap masters in usa

Tuition fee: $9,504

How do i apply for admission to sonoma state university.

You can apply online at Cal State Apply. The application fee is $55. On a scale of 4.0, your GPA should be at least 2.5. International students are requested to apply as early as possible to be considered for admission. 

12. Arkansas State University

The mission of this university is to educate leaders, enrich lives and enhance intellectual growth. It is one of the low cost colleges in USA for international students. This university owns a diverse student body from across the nation and worldwide. It's a doctoral-level national institution with more than 160 degree areas of study. The acceptance rate at Arkansas State University is 70.2%.

Tuition fee: $5,400.

How do i apply for admission at arkansas state university .

You are expected to complete an application for submission and submit a non - refundable application fee of $30. You will be requested to send your official transcripts and official test scores. For such cheap schools in USA for international students, you can further apply for financial aid or apply for scholarships. When you submit two MMR (Mumps, Rubella & Rubeola / Measles) records.

13. Southeast Missouri State University

Southeeat

Thai universities boast 12,000 undergraduates students. The majors that are popularly offered include Biology, Liberal Arts and Humanities, Business, etc. Internships and experiential learning are guaranteed in every major. Southeast Missouri State University is committed to taking advantage of critical learning and extracurricular activities. It is an example of the most affordable colleges in USA for international students.

Tuition fee: $ 14, 205

How do i apply for admission at southeast missouri state university.

Here are four (4) easy steps: a) submit your online application b)pay an application fee of $40 c) Email your supporting documents (passport copy, academic transcripts, affidavit of financial support, proof of English Proficiency, etc) 4) Mail your official transcripts. 

14. Bradley University

Bradley

A small college such as Bradley University gives you the best of exceptional learning experiences. It represents a bunch of cheap colleges in USA for international students 2024. Popular majors at Bradley University include education, Business, Journalism, Marketing, Communications, Engineering, etc. This school promises a small class with an exceptional student-teacher relationship. Bradley University has been tagged as the prestigious private university in the Midwest.

Tuition fee: $17,100

How do i apply for bradley university.

You will submit your application form. You may also be required to submit a personal statement. You will then lay a non - refundable application fee. Afterward, you can apply for financial aid, submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, and standardized test scores. If all goes well and you wish to study in cheap medical colleges in USA for international students, you will be called for a personal interview. 

Start Admission Process.

15. Ashland University

Ashland

This university situated in Ohio offers top-notch degrees on campus and online for undergraduates, graduates, and working adults. It has been ranked as having the No.1 program in Ohio as per Education Management and Forensic Science. You can get a cheap MBA in USA for international students. This institution promises to provide a transformative learning experience. Students who intend to get graduate degrees are offered a variety of options. 

Tuition fee: $22,990

How do i apply to ashland university.

You will need a minimum of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for general undergraduate programs. You will also have to submit your immigration document, college transcripts, and proof of English Proficiency as well as proof of financial support.

Postdoctoral Fellowship 2024-2025 for International Students

16. Bellevue College

Bellevue

Bellevue College offers programs that will assist you in pursuing your educational goals and personal interests. The school reflects top affordable universities in USA for international students. It's a mid-size institution located in Bellevue, Washington in the Seattle Area. The courses of the school are designed for people with diverse interests in Business, Database, System Administration, Network, and Humanities. It has an enrollment of 6,602 undergraduate students.

Tuition fee: $3,229 - $11, 973

How do i apply for admission at bellevue college.

Submit your online application at Washington State Community and Technical College Web Admissions Center. Patiently waiting for three business days for the college to process your application. A $34 application fee and $32 placement fee will be requested from you before you can proceed with the admission process. 

17. Westcliff University

Westcliff

Westcliff University offers majors in Business, Technology & Engineering, Education and Law. Westcliff University facilities distance learning courses for working adults to advance their education. A student has the opportunity to learn from enlightened and practical instructors that are working in the field. The learning environment of the institution propels excellence and espouses innovation. 

Tuition fee: $13,560

How do i apply for admission at westcliff university .

Do you want to study in the cheapest state to study in USA for international students? You are encouraged to submit your application to Westcliff University. You are also urged to watch admission videos for the program in which you are applying. Once you have submitted your application, you can schedule an appointment with one of the university's advisors at (949) 825-5999.

18. Pace University

cheap phd programs in usa

Studying at Pace University will help you gain unique opportunities for internships and jobs in New York. The institution has been ranked as one of the cheapest universities in New York for international students. Specifically, Pace University is dedicated to helping international students upscale their careers. Their exclusive student development program includes personalized planning, dedicated mentoring, strong academics, and real-world experiences. 

Tuition fee: $39,000

How do i apply for admission at pace university .

Visit the  Apply Now  page of Pace University  and select an application based upon your student type. You will then complete your application with a $50 non - refundable application fee. You will be offered online and print application options in one of the cheapest college in us for international students, pending the student type. 

19. Metropolitan State University - Minnesota

Metropolitan University

Since the time it was founded in 1971, the Metropolitan State University has achieved national prominence. It offers high-quality, flexible, and is one of the best cheap universities in USA for international students. MSU has been recognized as Minnesota's most affordable university. It is an urban university that serves older students of various backgrounds primarily. It should be one of the best affordable universities for international students in usa.

Tuition fee: $17, 552

How do i apply for admission at msu .

You will not be required to pay an application fee. To complete your application, you will be required to submit your high school GPA, your high school rank, and transcripts. College Prep courses will not be required but SAT / ACT will be recommended.

20. Trine University

Trine Uni

Trine University offers majors in the arts and sciences, engineering, business, and education. It's one of the private cheap colleges in America for international students situated in Angola, Indiana. Trine University is recognized as one of the best colleges in the Regional Universities of the Midwest. It boasts a 450 - acre main campus that provides everything a student would need.

Tuition fee: $ 33, 490

How do i apply for admission at trine university.

You are to apply at the online university portal or Common Application. There is no application fee. The acceptance rate is 73%. You are expected to submit academic transcripts, a financial guarantee, a letter of recommendation to study in the USA, a copy of your passport, and English Proficiency Test Scores. 

Undergraduate Scholarships for International Students 2024-2025

So Where would you like to Study?

Do you still dream of studying   in the USA? As you have seen in the above list of cheapest community colleges in USA for international students, tuition fees shouldn't be a major issue. There are a series of Community Colleges that appreciate your mind and want to have you as their student. On top of affordable tuition fees, you can also apply for financial aid. There are also the cheapest public universities in USA for international students. All you need to do is to save a little more and you might find yourself in New York, Seattle, Minnesota, in the cheapest university in Texas for international students, California, or Angola. Pursue your educational goals in the USA and see your American dream come true. Cheers!

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  • Study Abroad

Fully-Funded PhD. Programs In The USA For International Students for 2024

  • Universities in USA

Updated on 28 January, 2024

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Neha Uppal

In today’s era, if you wish to be considered for top-level academic and non-academic positions abroad, doctoral programs are a necessity. Several top American universities offer Ph.D. programs, but not all of them are cost-effective.

Fortunately, some universities lower students’ financial burdens and provide fully-funded Ph.D. programs in the USA for international students.

Scholarships for PhD. Programs In The USA

The Fully-funded Ph.D. programs in the USA cover various programs such as studentships, scholarships , and grant and bursaries programs. Some American universities offer fully-funded doctoral projects as well. 

These fully-funded Ph.D. programs in the USA for international students do not cover only research council studentship. Usually, they also include:

  • Travel grants and conference funding
  • Resource grants 
  • Writing-up funding 
  • Hardship funding

Eligibility for Country/Course 

These fully-funded Ph.D. programs in the USA for international students are doctoral programs. Moreover, since these programs are also for out-of-state students, there is no restriction on the country’s eligibility. 

Additionally, the range of fully-funded Ph.D. programs in the US varies from small grants to full studentships.

Level of Scholarship 

The doctoral programs are the highest academic degrees awarded to a student by a university. You will only be eligible for the fully-funded Ph.D. program if you have completed a pre-requisite or postgraduate program. 

The Ph.D. would involve the students engaging independently in original research in a particular field or subject of their choice. 

Tenure/Duration

The duration of fully-funded Ph.D. programs in the USA can differ for various streams or students. American universities usually have some time restrictions. Generally, it is three to five years.

Subject/Fields for Fully Funded PhD. Programs In The USA

The USA’s fully funded Ph.D. programs for international students generally do not cover specific programs. Some scholarships provided by certain universities can be only for particular fields. For instance, the Rice University Fully Funded Doctoral program is restricted to some majors which include:

  • Architecture
  • Engineering 
  • Humanities 
  • Natural Sciences 
  • Social Sciences

Several scholarships, grants, and studentships are available for Ph.D. programs in the US. Some of them are sponsored by organizations, while the universities push others. 

We have listed some common ones below for your reference:

  • Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant for Doctoral Students
  • IBM Fellowship Awards Program for Ph.D. Students
  • Facebook Emerging Scholar Programme
  • Microsoft Research Scholarship for Scholars in Europe Africa Middle East (EMEA)
  • Columbia University International Postdoctoral Humanities Fellowship
  • University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program (UMAPS)
  • PEO International Peace Scholarship for Women to Study in USA and Canada

Some of the US universities that provide fully-funded PhD programs are listed in the table mentioned below:

(Source: usnews.com)

Application Duration of Fully Funded PhD. Programs In The USA

Application deadlines and notifications will vary according to the grant or scholarship you apply to. Following are the tentative application deadlines for the above-mentioned fully-funded Ph.D. programs.

Mode of Application 

The mode of application for all these fully-funded Ph.D. programs in the USA for international students is online.

Eligibility Criteria And Additional Requirements 

The eligibility criteria and additional requirements will vary according to different funding programs. To give you all an insight, here are the entry requirements for the IBM Fellowship Awards Program for Ph.D. Students.

Applications are welcome for students from all nationalities. However, all such nominees:

  • cannot nominate themselves and instead must be selected by the doctoral faculty member 
  • have to be enrolled full-time in a Ph.D. program over two consecutive academic years of the award/forfeit the fellowship
  • must have three years remaining in the program at the nomination time so the fellowship can be used for the last two years of study
  • cannot be from the US-embargoed countries 
  • should be in the same program for the award duration. Transferring departments or schools is not allowed  

Value of Scholarship 

The value of scholarships will also differ according to various funding programs for Ph.D. On average,  USD 25,000 to USD 40,000 (INR 20,63,363 to INR 33,01,380)

Selection Process 

The selection process of fully-funded Ph.D. programs in the USA is based on three factors:

  • Merit-based funding
  • Need-based funding
  • International funding

Requirements for Continuing Scholarships

Major fully-funded Ph.D. programs renew automatically for the next year varies on the basis of the student program.

In 2024, the United States continues to offer a wide array of fully-funded PhD programs for international students, reaffirming its commitment to fostering global academic collaboration and research excellence. These programs, available across diverse fields of study, not only cover tuition fees but also provide stipends, research funding, and health insurance, making advanced education accessible regardless of students' financial backgrounds. American universities prioritize attracting talented scholars from around the world, understanding their crucial role in driving innovation, cultural exchange, and academic progress. For international students, these fully-funded opportunities in the USA represent not just financial support, but a gateway to working with leading experts, accessing state-of-the-art facilities, and joining a vibrant intellectual community. In pursuing these programs, students embark on a journey of rigorous academic training and research, poised to emerge as experts and leaders in their respective fields.

Neha Uppal is a passionate content creator and editor. She carries 7.5+ years of experience working with leading edutech companies where she worked as a Faculty, Community Manager, and Content Marketeer. At upGrad, she is helping out people keep informed about the scopes and opportunities of studying abroad via informational articles/blogs.

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Top masters programs, top bachelors programs, learn more about study in usa, similar articles.

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cheap phd programs in usa

(Getty Images) |

Schools with the lowest costs for international students.

With the price of obtaining a visa and airplane tickets, in addition to tuition and other expenses, studying at a four-year college in the U.S. can be expensive. But international students on a tight budget shouldn't be discouraged – there are many lower-cost options to explore. Among the 544 ranked colleges that enrolled at least 25 international students, for instance, 15 have annual total costs below $24,600, according to U.S. News data. These costs, as low as $15,560, do not account for any awarded financial aid and include tuition and fees, room and board, books and transportation. Here are the 15 U.S. schools, mostly in the Midwest, with the lowest reported total costs for international students in 2022-2023. Schools that did not report total costs for international students are excluded.

cheap phd programs in usa

University of Maine at Presque Isle |

University of Maine—Presque Isle

Location: Presque Isle, Maine

U.S. News rank: 35-45, Regional Colleges (North)

Total costs, 2022-23: $24,590

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 1,573

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 70

International student 6-year graduation rate: Data not provided

Learn more about the University of Maine—Presque Isle .

cheap phd programs in usa

Greg Smith, NSU University Relations |

Northern State University (SD)

Location: Aberdeen, South Dakota

U.S. News rank: 85 (tie), Regional Universities (Midwest)

Total cost, 2022-23: $24,497

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 2,867

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 37

International student 6-year graduation rate: 56%

Learn more about Northern State University .

cheap phd programs in usa

Aaron Packard |

University of South Dakota

Location: Vermillion, South Dakota

U.S. News rank: 263 (tie), National Universities

Total cost, 2022-23: $24,485

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 6,987

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 105

Learn more about the University of South Dakota .

cheap phd programs in usa

SDSU - University Marketing & Communications |

South Dakota State University

Location: Brookings, South Dakota

U.S. News rank: 317 (tie), National Universities

Total cost, 2022-23: $24,240

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 9,847

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 241

International student 6-year graduation rate: 46%

Learn more about South Dakota State University .

cheap phd programs in usa

Audra Gray |

Talladega College (AL)

Location: Talladega, Alabama

U.S. News rank: 65 (tie), Regional Colleges (South)

Total cost, 2022-23: $23,975

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 1,144

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 60

Learn more about Talladega College .

Students holding tablets and phone talk in university lobby

Nicholls State University (LA)

Location: Thibodaux, Louisiana

U.S. News rank: 83 (tie), Regional Universities (South)

Total cost, 2022-23: $23,377

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 5,579

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 87

Learn more about Nicholls State University .

cheap phd programs in usa

Bemidji State University |

Bemidji State University (MN)

Location: Bemidji, Minnesota

U.S. News rank: 89 (tie), Regional Universities (Midwest)

Total cost, 2022-23: $21,892

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 3,839

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 66

International student 6-year graduation rate: 53%

Learn more about Bemidji State University .

cheap phd programs in usa

Dickinson State University |

Dickinson State University (ND)

Location: Dickinson, North Dakota

U.S. News rank: 53 (tie), Regional Colleges (Midwest)

Total cost, 2022-23: $21,458

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 1,337

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 41

International student 6-year graduation rate: 17%

Learn more about Dickinson State University .

cheap phd programs in usa

Ashley T. Evans |

Western Carolina University (NC)

Location: Cullowhee, North Carolina

Total cost, 2022-23: $21,435

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 10,145

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 155

International student 6-year graduation rate: 40%

Learn more about Western Carolina University .

Delta State University (MS)

Location: Cleveland, Mississippi

U.S. News rank: 63 (tie), Regional Universities (South)

Total cost, 2022-23: $21,422

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 2,041

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 61

International student 6-year graduation rate: 54%

Learn more about Delta State University .

University of North Carolina—Pembroke

Location: Pembroke, North Carolina

U.S. News rank: 56 (tie), Regional Universities (South)

Total cost, 2022-23: $20,577

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 6,317

Learn more about the University of North Carolina—Pembroke .

cheap phd programs in usa

BYU Photo |

Brigham Young University—Provo (UT)

Location: Provo, Utah

U.S. News rank: 89 (tie), National Universities

Total cost, 2022-23: $18,528

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 31,633

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 1,714

Learn more about Brigham Young University—Provo .

cheap phd programs in usa

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Minot State University (ND)

Location: Minot, North Dakota

U.S. News rank: 104 (tie), Regional Universities (Midwest)

Total cost, 2022-23: $18,088

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 2,576

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 248

Learn more about Minot State University .

Texas A&M University—Kingsville

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Texas A&M University—Kingsville

Location: Kingsville, Texas

U.S. News rank: 331-440, National Universities

Total cost, 2022-23: $17,444

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 5,085

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 178

Learn more about Texas A&M University—Kingsville .

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Oklahoma Panhandle State University

Location: Goodwell, Oklahoma

U.S. News rank: 17 (tie), Regional Colleges (West)

Total cost, 2022-23: $15,560

Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 1,294

International undergraduates, fall 2021: 63

Learn more about Oklahoma Panhandle State University .

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Find the school for you.

Get more information about how to choose a college and check out the complete rankings of the 2022-2023 Best Colleges to find the school that's best for you. For more advice and information on selecting a college, connect with U.S. News Education on Twitter and Facebook .

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U.S. schools with the lowest international student costs

  • University of Maine—Presque Isle: $24,590
  • Northern State University: $24,497
  • University of South Dakota: $24,485
  • South Dakota State University: $24,240
  • Talladega College: $23,975
  • Nicholls State University: $23,377
  • Bemidji State University: $21,892
  • Dickinson State University: $21,458
  • Western Carolina University: $21,435
  • Delta State University: $21,422
  • University of North Carolina—Pembroke: $20,577
  • Brigham Young University—Provo: $18,528
  • Minot State University: $18,088
  • Texas A&M University--Kingsville: $17,444
  • Oklahoma Panhandle State University: $15,560

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    The 20 Cheapest Online Ph.D. Programs 1. Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) 2. Doctor of Acupuncture (DAc) 3. Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Agriculture Education/Higher Education Administration 4. Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies 5. Ph.D. in Computer Science 6. Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) 7.

  2. 2024 Most Affordable Online Doctoral Degrees

    Liberty University Annual Tuition: $8,475 114 Programs ( view all) The University of Arizona Global Campus Annual Tuition: $11,670 - $16,286 4 Programs ( view all) Learn More Overview: Online Doctoral Programs Differences Between Ph.D.s and Professional Doctorates In the U.S., the highest terminal degree a person can earn is a doctoral degree.

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    20 Most Affordable Online Doctorate Programs in 2024 | Research.com Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist With a PhD in Computer Science and years of experience in academia and as a career planning advisor, I can affirm that high-paying and rewarding jobs often require a . But all too often, these degrees come with a hefty price tag.

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

    In-State | $535-$780

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

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

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    5 Most Affordable PhD Programs How Much Do Online PhD Degrees Cost? In short, it depends. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the median tuition and fees paid to several types of universities in 2020-21 were as follows: Public Institution: $12,394 Private, for-profit institution: $14,301

  7. Easiest PhD and Shortest Doctoral Programs Online 2024

    A Ph.D. program typically takes 5 to 6 years in the United States. A Ph.D. program typically takes 3 to 4 years in the UK and many other European countries. The actual length of a Ph.D. program can be influenced by many factors, including the nature of the research, the student's progress, the advisor's availability, and funding considerations.

  8. 15 Most Affordable Online Public Health Doctorates (PhDs)

    Indiana University Bloomington, the flagship campus of Indiana University, is a public research university offering more than 550 academic programs, many of which are nationally ranked in the Top 10 or higher.. IU-Bloomington offers an online doctorate in public health with a concentration in environmental health.This doctoral program provides a solid foundation in the field of public health ...

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    Out-of-State | $515-$1,319. Credits to Graduate: 60. Clemson's graduate catalog features 52 doctoral programs with the flexibility to study on campus, online, or in a hybrid format. Fields like digital history, entomology, genetics, or business administration offer on-campus programs for traditional doctoral students.

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    Old Dominion offers eight online doctorate degree programs, including Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Philosophy in Education. FNP, PMHNP, and Nurse-Midwifery specializations are the only specializations available for full-time students. Full-time and part-time study options are available for the other doctoral degrees.

  11. Best Online Ph.D. In Higher Education Programs Of 2024

    Tuition for the higher education doctoral programs on our list averages $905 per credit. With the average program requiring 64 credits, the average total cost of an online Ph.D. in higher ...

  12. PhD Study in the USA

    PhD Study in the USA - 2024. Over one million international students choose the USA as their study abroad destination, making it the most popular international study destination in the world! America is known for its comprehensive approach to postgraduate education, combining enhanced subject knowledge and research opportunities with the ...

  13. The 20 Most Affordable Online Doctoral Programs

    Tuition: $315 per credit hour Online Doctorate Programs Available: Doctor of Education in Leadership and Management Doctor of Education in Charter School Administration Doctor of Education in Technology and Leadership Doctor of Business Administration

  14. 30 Fully Funded Ph.D. Programs

    1 / 35 Credit 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...

  15. Most Affordable Online PhDs In Public Health Degrees

    Top 10 Most Affordable Online PhDs in Public Health Degrees. East Carolina University Greenville, NC. Indiana University-Bloomington Bloomington, IN. Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD. Kent State University Kent, OH. Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA. Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health Omaha, NE.

  16. Top 15 Most Affordable Online Information Technology PhD Programs

    The cheapest online doctoral programs also include doctorate degrees in business administration (DBA) that focus on information technology or information systems. ... Florida International University is one of the most prominent public research colleges in the United States that prepare students for academic, social, and professional success ...

  17. Most Affordable Online PhD Programs Ranked for Students in 2024

    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Daytona Beach , FL. #14 Most Affordable Online Colleges Ranked for Students 2024 #2 Best Online Associate Degrees in Florida 2024 #8 Best Online Colleges in Florida 2024 #11 Best Online MBA Programs in Florida. Other Rankings. Tuition + fees.

  18. Find the Cheapest PhD Programs in the USA

    Abhishek May 29, 2023 Study in USA Are you looking for the most affordable PhD programs in the USA? Pursuing a doctoral degree is a worthwhile investment, but it can also be a costly one. Fortunately, there are ways to find quality PhD programs that won't break the bank.

  19. College Consensus Unveils Consensus Meta-Rankings of Best Online

    With over four million annual visitors, College Consensus is a leading education resource bringing together expert reviews, student feedback, and key data to provide accurate and unbiased ...

  20. 20 Cheapest Universities in the USA for International Students 2024

    6.South Texas College. This exceptional university is located in South Texas, USA. It offers undergraduate and certificate programs and maintains a student-teacher ratio of 22:1. This college is one of the cheapest law schools in USA for international students.

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    Ph.D. in Economics. USD 31,775 (INR 26.23 Lakh) per year for five years, and the full-tuition scholarship is worth USD 65,700 (INR 54.23 Lakh) per year. Boston University. Ph.D. in English. a stipend of about USD 28,000 (INR 23.10 Lakh) plus full tuition, fees, and basic health insurance.

  22. 15 More Affordable Schools for International Students

    U.S. News rank: 35-45, Regional Colleges (North) Total costs, 2022-23: $24,590. Total undergraduates, fall 2021: 1,573. International undergraduates, fall 2021: 70. International student 6-year ...

  23. 397 Affordable Master's degrees in United States

    Affordable Master's degrees in United States. Programmes Scholarships. Page 1 | 397 Masters. Filters 2. 397 Masters. Sort . Our picks; Lowest tuition Fee ... automate data pipelines, and work with massive datasets. The Data Engineering with AWS program at Udacity is a comprehensive data engineering course designed to teach you how to design ...

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    Table of contents About Ph.D. Programs? Why Study Ph.D. Programs in USA? What is the cost of a Ph.D. degree Program In USA? Cheapest Ph.D. Programs in USA 2023 1. Ph.D. in General Psychology with an Emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology 2. PhD in Civil Engineering 3. Ph.D. in Computing and Information Sciences 4.

  25. Best Master's In Education Online Of 2024

    Tuition for the online master's in education programs on our list ranges from $488 to $1,079 per credit. With the typical master's degree requiring 30 to 40 credits, this brings the estimated ...