Online PhD Programs: Are They Credible?


The advancements in modern technology paved the way for limitless possibilities in terms of advancing in your career. This can be attributed to the fact that because of a stable and reliable internet connection, you now have the liberty to get a doctorate online. However, there are certain apprehensions when it comes to this and one of the most common questions that are asked by those keen on getting a degree online is whether these are credible.

Simply put, yes, online Ph.D. programs are credible.

But this depends on the major factors which are listed below.


If you try to research the digital world, you may find that there are various online Ph.D. programs now available. However, you need to carefully scrutinize their accreditation, because this is the primary indication that they are credible. Otherwise, your time and effort in getting the degree may not be recognized. If an online school holds regional accreditation, then you are guaranteed that an independent third party took the time to review the degree programs that they offer. It is because they have met certain quality criteria or a requirement that they were granted accreditation from this body.

Course Content

Another indication of the credibility of an online Ph.D. program is the content of the courses they offer. Be wary of certain online institutions that have already gained a reputation for being a diploma mill, such that the education they offer is worth a little bit more than a piece of paper. You can expect that accredited online institutions have courses that are as equally challenging to complete as taken on a physical campus, sometimes even more.

Mission and Faculty

An online institution that clearly states their mission is a good sign that they are credible because their mission supports the growth and educational goals of its students. In a gist, their mission should reflect what they offer. On the other hand, the faculty of an online institution should have the credentials to teach in a Ph.D. program. Otherwise, they may lack the experience in their respective fields to impart a high level of knowledge to their students.

Program Diversity

There is a great chance that an online institution that offers various online degree programs is credible, particularly if the programs are relevant in the respective industries. In this way, they can offer various choices to their potential students, helping them enroll in the ones that are a good fit for them. In this case, the experts behind suggest that you leverage on platforms that can match you to the online degree program that you need. This will ensure that you are not wasting your time and effort in accomplishing a degree that you will not be able to utilize in your industry.

How to Get a Ph.D. Online?

While every program may be different, and online institutions may implement varying processes, the basic flow of how you can get an online degree is similar in most cases. It begins with you choosing a program and to do so, you may need to work with your academic advisor to ensure that the program you will take is aligned with your career goals. In choosing a program, you also need to identify the time that you can commit to finishing the course for you to have a good idea of the timeline that you have when it comes to getting your degree. Based on your availability, you need to select a path that you wish to take, determining how many credit hours you can commit to taking in each semester.

Once the pace of learning that you are amenable with is clear for you, the next step is to enroll in the courses that you want to take. With an online course, expect that you will get notified about your current lectures and assignments. It is up to you to download and study the lectures. You may also leverage other tools to enrich your education. The important thing is that you complete your research and assignments and submit all your requirements before the due date specified by your professor. The submission is usually done via a classroom portal that you can access.

Advantages of Getting an Online Ph.D. Program

Scheduling Flexibility

One of the greatest advantages of getting a degree online is the flexibility that it offers when it comes to your time and schedule. In this case, you no longer have to put your career on hold just to get a doctorate because by doing it online, you will have the opportunity to work on your assignments and tasks outside of your work hours. The key is in ensuring that you will still be able to commit some of your time dedicated to learning.

Access to Faculty

Another advantage of getting an online degree is your access to faculty. Through online or digital channels, professors have the opportunity to reach out to more students compared to a traditional setting. There are also several channels that both students and professors can use to collaborate such as through emails, instant messaging, video chatting, and even through discussion boards.


Finally, there is a great chance for you to save a significant sum if you opt to get your degree online. While you still need to pay for your tuition fee, you get to save on other miscellaneous expenses such as your transportation costs because you don’t have to physically show up for class.

Advantages of Getting an Online Ph.D. Program

To wrap things up, indeed, online Ph.D. programs are credible, but this depends on whether you are taking the course from an accredited digital channel with course content that is appropriate for the degree. The credibility of the provider also depends on their capability to offer diverse programs that present different options for the student to choose the right fit for him or her. In the end, you may find that there are several advantages to getting a Ph.D. degree online so perhaps this is the best time for you to go ahead and explore your options.


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