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Complete Guide to Online Doctoral Programs

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A doctorate degree is the highest degree in a field that a person can earn in most professions. Earning such a degree typically qualifies one for teaching college courses in that field or working in management in the industry. The median number of years to complete a doctoral degree across all fields in the United States is seven, although the time necessary to complete varies greatly depending on the program. Online degree programs offer an even greater freedom since they're usually created with working adults in mind.

There are two main types of online doctorate degrees awarded by universities in the United States: research and professional. Research doctorates are typified by relevant classwork, exams and defense of a thesis or dissertation. The dissertation is an original work by the student designed to enhance human knowledge in the field of study. Professional doctorate degrees are those that require degrees for licensure in the field, and usually have a residency or other professional experience requirement in addition to its educational requirements.

One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing an online doctorate degree is the accreditation of the program or school that offers it. The U.S. Department of Education publishes a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies for higher education each year. When pursuing a doctorate degree, it's especially important to ensure that the time and effort spent in earning the degree will be recognized as rigorous to the professional field the student will enter after graduation.

Comprehensive List of Online Colleges & Universities for a Doctorate Degree Degree

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