2019 Most Affordable Online Doctoral Programs

Most Affordable Online Colleges-2019-Badge

Offering annual tuition rates under $12,000 per year, all 25 of these colleges and universities are affordable options for online doctoral programs. Taft University System, ranked #1, offers a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and a Doctor of Education (EdD) with three concentrations available. Tuition for these programs is very affordable, at only $5,040 per year. Ranked #2, the University of North Dakota offers 11 different online doctoral programs including a DNP as well as a PhD in several engineering disciplines.

You can read more about our ranked schools below, browse our four program specific doctoral degree rankings, or see our Overall Most Affordable Colleges. View our methodology or learn more about SR Education Group.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank College Annual Tuition Online Doctoral Degrees
#1 #1 Taft University System $5,040 5
#2 #2 University of North Dakota $5,656 11
#3 #3 Bethel University - MN $6,112 9
#4 #4 University of Missouri $6,602 8
#5 #5 Mississippi State University $7,117 8
#6 #6 Northwestern State University of Louisiana $7,125 8
#7 #7 Trident University International $7,650 5
#8 #8 University of Massachusetts-Lowell $8,050 3
#9 #9 Aspen University $8,108 8
#10 #10 Old Dominion University $8,520 5
#11 #11 Endicott College $8,856 4
#12 #12 Ball State University $8,924 3
#13 #13 Indiana University - Bloomington $9,273 5
#14 #14 University of Northern Colorado $9,280 5
#15 #15 Wilmington University $9,480 9
#16 #16 Texas Tech University $10,140 8
#17 #17 Central Michigan University $10,185 7
#18 #18 Murray State University $10,304 9
#19 #19 Arizona State University $10,575 3
#20 #20 Liberty University $10,710 53
#21 #21 Hampton University $11,120 4
#22 #22 University of Wyoming $11,700 6
#23 #23 Capella University $12,207 75
#24 #24 University of Arkansas $12,605 8
#25 #25 Nova Southeastern University $13,260 21

Most Affordable Online Doctoral Degrees by Subject

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  • Annual Tuition: $5,040
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 5
  • William Howard Taft University offers online doctorate degrees from their Boyer Graduate School of Education and their W. Edwards Deming School of Business. Within the Boyer Graduate School, students can receive an Ed.D. with a concentration in Educational Technology & Leadership, a concentration in Charter School Administration, or a concentration in Leadership & Management. The Deming School of Business offers a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) completely online. To obtain their degree, students must complete 60 total units of coursework in classes like Strategic Planning & Implementation, Business Law and Conceptual Foundations of Accounting & Finance. Taft has a unique tuition billing method, which charges students $420 per month during the term of enrollment, making it an inexpensive option for potential applicants.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,656
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 11
  • The University of North Dakota is a public research institution in Grand Forks offering 11 online doctoral programs. Students can earn a PhD, DNP, or FNP in engineering, medicine and health, or aerospace sciences from a school accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Students attend live classes via web streaming to join in class discussions. Minimal on-campus visits may be required, depending on the course of study. When applicable, doctoral candidates can complete their practicum locally. Doctoral tuition varies by residency, with cost per credit hour $404.06 in-state and $976.45 out-of-state, with cheaper rates available for residents of Minnesota and contiguous states.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,112
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 9
  • Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota offers three doctorate degrees that are rooted in their Christian, faith-based mission. Students looking for an Ed.D. can apply to their Higher Education Leadership or K-12 Administration programs. Both of these degrees require 61 total credits and take, at minimum, three years to finish. The Ed.D. in Higher Education offers courses in Historical, Cultural, and Philosophical Issues Impacting Educational Leadership, Re-imagining Higher Education, and Leading in a Complex and Pluralistic Society, among others. Students with a master's in nursing can apply to their Doctor of Nursing Practice program, which requires 36-39 credits to complete and can be finished in 2-3 years. The cost of this program is $875 per credit, making the total cost of the program between $31,500-$34,125.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,602
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 8
  • Online students attending the University of Missouri can earn doctorate degrees in a number of compelling disciplines. Students can receive a PhD in Agricultural Education and Leadership, Art Education, and Architectural Studies. They also offer an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and several Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees, including Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Leadership and Innovations in Health Care, and Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist.

  • Annual Tuition: $7,117
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 8
  • Mississippi State University has a robust center for distance education and offers eight doctoral degrees for online learners. Their Ph.D. in Community College Leadership requires 61 credit hours to graduate while their Ph.D. in Engineering with a concentration in Aerospace Engineering requires 50 hours, 20 of which are devoted to research for your dissertation. They offer other Ph.D. in Engineering concentrations including one in Civil Engineering and another in Mechanical Engineering. Both of these concentrations require 42 hours of coursework if the student already has a B.S., and an additional 20 hours of research. The tuition for online graduate-level students is $474.50 per credit hour plus $499.50 due in fees per semester.

  • Annual Tuition: $7,125
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 8
  • Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers two doctorate programs: a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and a Doctor of Education in Adult Learning and Development. Within the Doctor of Nursing program, students can concentrate in APRN to DNP Leadership (for APRNs) or in Organizational Systems Leadership (for non-APRNs). The Doctor of Education in Adult Learning and Education also has 2 concentrations: Adult Learning and Workforce Development or Community College Leadership. Northwestern State University's tuition is very affordable, costing $475 per credit hour for up to 9 hours, then $100 per credit hour thereafter.

  • Annual Tuition: $7,650
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 5
  • Trident University International offers online Ph.D. degrees in Business Administration, Educational Leadership, and Health Sciences. They also offer a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). The Ed.D. program is designed for working professionals who already have a fair amount of experience in their field. The DBA degree is generally for students who hope to work in academics or research after graduation.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,050
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 3
  • The University of Massachusetts at Lowell offers several Ed.D. and Ed.S. programs online. Their Ed.D. in Leadership in Schooling program requires students to take two courses per semester and attend a five-day summer residency program. To fulfill this degree, students take courses in Strategic Partnering with Families and Communities, Developing Inclusive School Contexts, Organizational Learning, and Foundations for Practitioner Scholars. The Ed.S. in Reading and Writing degree requires students to take ten courses or 30 credit hours. The credit hours can come from courses like Young Adult Literature, Language Acquisition, and Teaching Reading in Content Area. They also offer an Ed.S. in Administration, Planning & Policy, and a STEM concentration for their Leadership in Schooling major.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,108
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 8
  • Aspen University s nursing, education, and computer science programs all offer online doctoral degrees. The Doctor of Science in Computer Science requires 20 courses to be completed in order to graduate. Courses cost $1,350, making the total cost of the program $27,000. The Doctor of Nursing requires 14 courses, so the total amount of tuition for this program comes out to $18,900. Their Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning has a number of specialties, including Higher Education Leadership, Organizational Psychology, K-12 Educational Leadership, and Health Care Administration and Leadership. These degrees all require 20 courses for a total of $27,000.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,520
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 5
  • Old Dominion University offers four online Doctor of Philosophy degrees. These include Ph.D.s in Career and Technical Education, Community College Leadership, English, Instructional Design & Technology, and Nursing. Tuition for these courses is $523 per credit for in-state tuition and $568 per credit for out of state tuition. The Community College Leadership degree requires 54 credit hours while the English degree requires 48 credits. The Career and Technical Education major has a 60-credit minimum to receive your degree and the Nursing-Advanced Practice degree requires 36 credit hours.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,856
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 4
  • Endicott College is a private university in Massachusetts providing students with the opportunity to earn graduate degrees online through the Van Loan School. They are accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and offer four doctoral programs: a PhD in Applied Behavioral Analysis, an EdD in Educational Leadership in either higher education or PreK-12, and a PhD in Nursing. Though the majority of these programs can be completed online, some require minimal on-campus attendance. Tuition varies by program, ranging from $5,150 to $6,178 per semester.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,924
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 3
  • Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, is a public research institution offering doctoral degrees in education that can be earned primarily online. Their online Doctor of Education (EdD) and Specialist in Education (EdS) programs were designed to make it easier for adults to advance their studies without having to commute daily to campus. Some of these doctoral programs are blended, meaning some on-site courses are required in addition to the online classes. The school is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission. Tuition per credit hour is $410 in-state and $616 out-of-state.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,273
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 5
  • Indiana University - Bloomington offers online doctoral degrees in three different fields: education, health and health sciences, and public health. All of the programs can be taken at the student's own schedule and pace. The courses are designed and taught by the same professors who teach on campus. There are two options for the online Doctorate of Education program: Instructional Systems Technology or Literacy, Culture, and Language Education. Health and Health Sciences offers one fully online program: Occupational Therapy and Post-Professional OTD, and two programs that can be completed 88-90% online: Nursing Practice and Nursing Science. Tuition for online doctoral programs is anywhere from $429-$1,000 per credit hour for Indiana Residents and $515-$1,000 for out-of-state students, depending on the program.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,280
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 5
  • The University of Northern Colorado offers five online doctorate degree programs. One is a Doctor of Education in Educational Studies, two are a Doctor of Philosophy, and the others are nursing degrees, which include nursing education and DNP degrees for both post-master s and post-bachelor s students. Although asynchronous, most online courses have weekly deadlines and assignments to connect with other students. Various groups of students or instructors can arrange to meet in the online module for discussions. ;The special education degree can be started at anytime and completed fully online, but all other online doctoral degrees from UNC require some in-person visits. Cost per credit hour varies by program, ranging from $530 $630.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,480
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 9
  • Wilmington University is a private research institution in Delaware that offers nine online doctorate programs, including some accelerated programs. Students can complete terminal degrees in nursing, business administration, or education. WU has many accelerated nursing degrees that combine a post-master s certificate with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The school offers asynchronous classes that allow students to work whenever is convenient for them, as well as synchronous classes in which students attend a live class via a webcam. Tuition per doctoral credit is $632 for U.S. residents and $695 for international students.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,140
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 8
  • Texas Tech University in Lubbock is a public research institution offering online doctoral degrees in the fields of education, systems and engineering management, and technical communication and rhetoric. Seven of these degrees are fully online, with two additional hybrid degree options that combine online classes with on-campus attendance. Requirements vary by program, but some require synchronous class attendance and/or a few in-person visits. The school s education degree programs include studies in agricultural education, higher education administration, and family and consumer science education. TTU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,185
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 7
  • Central Michigan University is a public research institute offering online doctorate degrees. Their three programs are Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, Doctor of Educational Technology, and Doctor of Health Administration. Cost per credit hour for these programs is $679, $711, and $850, respectively. Some coursework is asynchronous, whereas other classes are synchronous to simulate a physical classroom and help students connect with their peers. The Doctor of Health Administration degree requires six two and a half day in-person intensives, but the rest of the degree can be completed online. All of CMU s degrees are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,304
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 9
  • Murray State University is a public, regionally-accredited, 4-year school with an enrollment of just over 10,000. Murray State offers two online doctoral degrees. The Post Master's to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a 20-month, year-round program that requires 32 credit hours for completion. This degree provides nurses with an alternative to research-based doctoral degrees, and requires students to attend campus once per semester for orientation. The Doctor of Arts in English Pedagogy and Technology requires 48 credit hours for completion and is designed for English teachers at all grade levels. It offers five areas of focus, and may be completed in three years.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,575
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 3
  • Highly rated for its innovative efforts in education, and renowned for producing qualified graduates, Arizona State University offers over 175 100% online degree programs. These include doctorates in behavioral health and education. The Doctor of Behavioral Health has clinical and management specializations, which each requires 84 credit hours for completion. The Doctor of Education in Leadership & Innovation requires 90 credit hours for completion, and culminates with an action-research dissertation. Thirty hours of qualified master's degree credits can be applied towards online doctoral degrees. All ASU Online classes are 7.5 weeks in length, and there are six start dates per year.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,710
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC and TRACS
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 53
  • Nonprofit Liberty University offers extensive online degree programs in an 8-week format, with eight start dates per year. Over 40 doctoral programs are offered online in subjects such as counseling, divinity, education, public policy, and nursing. The Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice offers concentrations in homeland security and leadership and takes an average of three years to complete. The degree requires 60 credit hours, and up to 15 credit hours can be transferred. LU's online programs do not require set login times, allowing busy working professionals to fit their degree around their personal schedules.

Online Doctoral Degrees (53)

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  • Annual Tuition: $11,120
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 4
  • Hampton University is a private institution in Virginia offering five online doctoral degrees for students all over the country. Students can earn a PhD in Business Administration, Counselor Education and Supervision, Educational Management, or Nursing, or a DNP in Nursing Practice. The DNP requires three on-campus residencies, but the remainder of the coursework is completed online. HU prides itself on providing comprehensive online student support, including counseling, library services, and writing help. The school has been accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), with additional accreditations by program. Cost per online graduate credit hour is $695.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,700
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 6
  • The University of Wyoming offers three online Doctor of Education degrees: an EdD in Educational Leadership, an EdD in Instructional Technology, and an EdD in Higher Education Administration. Students earning the EdD in Higher Education Administration will study the legal and financial issues associated with running an institution of higher education. This public university also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, and students in this program may choose one of two clinical concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner or Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Tuition for these doctoral programs is $11,700 per year.

  • Annual Tuition: $12,207
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 75
  • Capella University offers 10 online doctoral degrees in a variety of fields, from Psychology and Education to Information Technology and Business. Students in these programs are able to work with the university s career center in order to choose the program that will best serve their professional aspirations. The career center also helps doctoral students after they graduate to assist them in finding employment. Additionally, Capella University ensures that doctoral students are connected to the school community through Campus, an online learning platform that allows for easy communication among students and alumni. All online doctoral programs also include research seminars that give students the knowledge and experience needed to complete their dissertation and graduate on schedule.

Online Doctoral Degrees (75)

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  • Annual Tuition: $12,605
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 8
  • The University of Arkansas provides distance learners with the opportunity to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree or one of three Doctor of Education Degrees. Available EdD degrees include Adult and Lifelong Learning, Educational Leadership, and Human Resource and Workforce Development Education. The EdD degrees in Adult and Lifelong Learning and Educational Leadership typically take about three years to complete, whereas students earning the Human Resource and Workforce Development Education Degree may take up to seven years to graduate. GRE scores are required for admission to all doctoral programs at the University of Arkansas.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,260
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Doctoral Degrees: 21
  • Nova Southeastern University caters to nontraditional and distance doctoral students with its online doctoral degrees in Computer Science, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Criminal Justice, Speech-Language Pathology, Education, Health Sciences, Nursing, and Occupational Therapy. The Doctor of Education degree has several optional concentrations, including Curriculum & Teaching, Reading Education, Special Education, and more. Online programs at this innovative university are specifically designed for students with full-time jobs or other commitments. Some online programs are also available in both a full-time and part-time format to allow students even more flexibility when developing their schedules.

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This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.