What Is the Easiest Doctorate Degree? [2021 Guide]

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What is the easiest doctorate degree?

What Is the Easiest Doctorate Degree

Sometimes, finding the easiest doctoral degrees comes down to better understanding what each program consists of and the time that will be involved in pursuing them.

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Accelerated PhD programs are also a possibility. Finding the learning option that best fits your schedule can be a strategic way to conveniently earn your doctorate degree.

Another option is finding a university that is more lenient in their required master’s degree GPA needed for a PhD program admission.

What Is the Easiest Doctorate Degree?

Completing a doctorate from any university requires dedication and perseverance. Here are a few program and admissions factors, though, that could make a doctoral degree a little less difficult to obtain:

  • Less math required
  • Less science required
  • No GRE or GMAT requirement
  • No dissertation requirement
  • No residency requirement
  • Online learning options available
  • Accelerated courses available (generally lasting 8 weeks each)
  • Aligned with your interests and strengths

The easiest PhD to get can also depend on your own interests, skills, and strengths. For example, someone with strengths in English and communication might not consider it easy to obtain a doctorate in chemistry.

Select the program that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:

Methodology: The following degree programs are offered online by accredited universities. Specific admission requirements vary by university, but a growing number of schools do not require GRE or GMAT scores or dissertations. The degree programs listed below are in alphabetical order.

Business Administration

doctorate degree in Business Administration

This is a research-based business program for professionals who wish to take their managerial skills to an advanced level. You can combine corporate experience and relevant research to make impactful administrative decisions.

Business administration courses are usually defined around an overall business development project that looks at business design, methods, tools, and professional ethics. If you are looking to advance your career in business, you might want to consider earning a doctorate in business administration.

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Some business professionals with administration expertise pursue senior administrative roles in their professional industry or become involved in making impactful business decisions to help transform companies.

Counseling

doctorate degree in counseling

If you are working in the healthcare or social work industry, a doctorate in counseling might appeal to you.

An advantage of this particular type of program is that you can pursue a specification that aligns best with your interests and career goals. For instance, you might study human behavior, social psychology, counseling supervision, or even specific avenues of therapy.

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Getting a doctorate degree in counseling can open the door to more advanced career opportunities in the healthcare and social services industries. Some counseling professionals open a private practice while others may work in a hospital, university, or community center.

Following a doctorate in counseling, you can pursue licensure and certification in the field.

Criminal Justice

doctorate degree in Criminal Justice

If working in the domain of law and order fascinates you, you might consider earning a doctorate in criminal justice.

A criminal justice program can help you develop the necessary skills to conduct your own research and analyze data in a way that influences the justice system. A doctoral program can also give you the chance to explore theoretical elements of the justice field.

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Depending on your academic background and your area of specialty within criminal justice, this doctorate can lead to a variety of career paths. Some graduates work within emergency management agencies, forensic departments, information security sectors, and even academia.

Education

doctorate degree in Education

If you wish to have a leadership role in the education industry, you might consider pursuing a doctorate of education. This program enables you to enhance your educational research skills and adapt to administrative roles in a variety of sectors.

Professionals in this field may hold senior administrative roles in universities, professional departments, or elementary and secondary institutions. Principals and superintendents are both examples of educational administration roles.

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In an education doctoral program, you’ll likely take advanced research courses. Research skills can help you analyze the current educational system and implement changes within academic institutions.

Healthcare Administration

doctorate degree in Healthcare Administration

A doctorate in healthcare administration can help prepare you for leadership roles in the business aspect of the medical industry.

This versatile degree involves courses that focus on policies, ethics, group management, hospital administration, finances for healthcare, and advanced patient care.

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A healthcare administration doctoral program can enable you to combine holistic knowledge and advanced business strategies. This skill set is directly applicable to helping healthcare institutions run effectively and efficiently.

Professionals in this field may work as health information managers, hospital administrators, clinical or nursing home managers, and other leadership roles within healthcare institutions.

Human Services

doctorate degree in Human Services

A doctorate in human services can help prepare you for leadership positions within organizations that help those in need. This type of program often has a focus on underserved populations.

Through the coursework, you can gain an advanced understanding of policies, legislation, rights, ethics, and protocols for serving within human services organizations. You can often choose a concentration based on your interests and what population you most wish to serve.

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There’s a growing need for people in the industry of social services. Professionals in this field tend to work as social service managers, community service managers, or training and development managers.

Management

doctorate degree in Management

Learning practical skills that can be applied to numerous industry settings is at the forefront of a doctorate in management.

You may gain credibility in the eyes of employers through this doctorate program. You’ll likely learn advanced skills in training, research, theory, and practice for leadership in business, education, or government institutions.

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In your studies, you’ll typically focus on financial management, system management, conflict management, or human resources management. You can structure your course load according to your interests and career goals.

This doctorate program is quite broad, so it can be applicable to leadership and management roles in nearly any industry, depending on your chosen concentration.

Public Administration

doctorate degree in Public Administration

A doctorate in public administration can be tailored to suit your interests and career goals. This type of program can help you develop your managerial and strategic planning skills for administrative roles in a variety of industries.

You can also pick a specific concentration that best aligns with your industry of choice. Public administration coursework tends to look at ethics of management, public policy, strategic planning, performance management, employee evaluation, and the economics of administration.

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Common public administration careers include human resources manager, budget analyst, and health services manager.

Public Health

doctorate degree in Public Health

A doctorate in public health can equip you with advanced training and research skills for the healthcare industry. Some leadership and management roles in the public health industry require innovative thinking and communication mastery.

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Your coursework will likely consist of lots of hands-on and practice-based work. You can also choose a specialization that focuses on health education, epidemiology, biostatistics, and more. Some professionals with a doctorate in public health work as medical services managers, professors, medical researchers, or epidemiologists.

Public Policy

doctorate degree in Public Policy

A doctorate in public policy focuses on public policy theory, ethics, research, and practice on a community and global scale. You can learn about the development and purpose behind public service programs, and you can learn to analyze and propose policies to improve them.

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Coursework often focuses on ethics, legislation, communication development, management principles, and case study evaluation with extensive research. Common public policy careers include political science professor, political scientist, community services manager, and emergency management director.

Psychology

doctorate degree in Psychology

A doctorate in psychology can develop your research skills in a way that is applicable to professional practice.

The coursework is designed to prepare you for direct professional practice. Some career paths in this field include addictions counselor, applied researcher, professional consultant, and clinical psychologist.

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Some of your courses may look at behavioral assessments, child psychology, advanced psychodynamic theory, or ethics and professional development. In addition, you can choose a specialization that aligns with your interests.

Theology

doctorate degree in Theology

Using academics, research, and religious studies, a doctorate in theology explores the divine and spiritual traditions around the world.

Many theology doctorate programs focus mostly on Christianity and the Bible. You may find yourself studying ethics, history, philosophy, literature, or ancient texts during this degree program.

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Secular or religious careers in this field can include professor, social service manager, private school teacher, or director of religious education.

Types of Doctorate Degrees

Types of Doctorate Degrees

There are a variety of quick doctorate degrees that do not take an extensive amount of time to complete:

  • Doctor of Education (EdD). This professional degree is designed to prepare people for leadership roles in educational institutions. There is a greater focus on the application of research. This type of program can take approximately 3 years to complete.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). This scholarly program can help you develop the advanced skills necessary to be a leader in your chosen field of expertise. A PhD is also common for those who are interested in research and academia. Some PhD programs can take around 3 years to complete, though a dissertation requirement may add time.
  • Doctor of Theology (ThD). This degree combines research with religious studies. You can explore spiritual traditions through the study of literature, ancient religious texts, ethics, history, and liturgical practice. Some programs only take 2 years to complete.
  • Medical Doctorate (MD). Earning a medical doctorate from an accredited institution is a requirement to become a licensed physician. You’d study patient ethics, management, and advanced healthcare practices, and you’d engage in research-based study. Some medical doctorates can be completed in 3 years with a residency.
  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). This research-based degree helps prepare you for management and leadership roles in a variety of business industries. Its aim is to train professionals and managers to develop and implement conceptual tools for innovative change within their businesses. It can take a minimum of 2 years to complete this doctorate degree.
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). This is the highest level of academic study for nursing available. A DNP enables nursing professionals to become experts in clinical nursing practice or to work in more focused roles outside of direct patient care. A DNP can take a minimum of 1 year to complete with a placement to follow.

There are many other doctorates available that may better align with your interests and career goals.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD?

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD

A PhD generally takes 3 to 5 years to complete. Basically, how long it takes to get a doctorate degree will depend on the school and the individual program. It can also depend on the number of credit hours required and how long it takes to complete any dissertation requirement.

If no dissertation is required, a doctoral program can generally be completed in 3 years with full-time study. Some online PhD programs also offer accelerated courses to help you complete your degree more quickly.

Can You Get a Doctorate in 2 Years?

two year doctoral programs

While it’s rare to obtain a PhD or doctorate in 2 years, there are some two year doctoral programs available. These programs require a full-time course load and extensive organizational and time management skills.

Some programs emphasize that a minimum of 2 years of study are required. A very few number of doctorate programs take a year of study plus a residency placement. Doctorate degree online no dissertation programs may take less time to complete as well.

If you want to get your doctorate as quickly as possible, you might want to subscribe to a full-time course load and find a reliable mentor to help you through the process. You can also prepare yourself to be completely immersed in academic research and writing.

Are There Any 1 Year Online Doctoral Programs?

one Year Online Doctoral Programs

If no dissertation is required, a doctoral program can typically be completed in 3 years with full-time study. There are some schools, though, that offer accelerated doctorates so you can try to finish sooner.

In addition, some programs require fewer credit hours overall. A program that consists of 35 credit hours may be completed in 2.5 years or less. Doctorates that consist of 27 credit hours may take 18 months or less.

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There are a few rare doctoral programs that can be obtained in 1 year, usually because they require fewer credit hours and also have an accelerated learning option.

Here are some examples of doctorates that can require fewer credit hours:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Education
  • Doctor of Ministry
  • Doctor of Occupational Therapy

It’s strategic to research the scheduling and program requirements of the schools you are interested in.

What Is the Quickest Doctorate Degree to Get?

Quickest Doctorate Degree to Get

Doctorate programs can vary between schools and between areas of study. It is sometimes easier to define what the quickest doctoral degree is by highlighting the factors that can make a degree take longer to complete.

For example, many PhD programs require you to write a dissertation. Other programs, such as medical or nursing programs, can require a residency. Some online doctorate degrees with no dissertation require 400 hours or more of practicum experience. These factors can all extend the time spent in a program.

Some of the quickest doctoral programs are ones that have fewer credit hours and do not have dissertation or residency requirements. Being continuously enrolled year-round can also lessen the time it takes for you to complete your studies.

If you’re looking for the shortest doctoral program online, you might want to consider accelerated doctoral degrees. They truly put a focus on the speed, convenience, and advancement of their doctoral students.

Which Subject Is Easy for PhD?

Which Subject Is Easy for PhD

All doctorates take extensive work and dedication, but you may find some programs to be less difficult than others based on your own interests and skill sets.

For example, the following humanities and social science subjects are often perceived as less difficult because they involve less math and science:

  • Literature
  • Anthropology
  • Education
  • Communications
  • Religion

In addition, professional doctorates are sometimes perceived as less difficult than PhDs because they are more practice-based and do not tend to require dissertations.

Do You Need a Masters to Get a PhD?

You do not always need a masters to get a PhD. Admissions criteria vary by each university, and some programs, typically bridge or direct-entry programs, admit students with just a bachelors degree.

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Schools with bachelor-to-PhD programs generally admit undergraduate students who have an impressive application and a completed bachelors degree. There has been a rise in the number of bachelors-to-PhD programs available, so you may want to research the admissions requirements of the universities that interest you.

What’s the Difference Between a Professional Degree vs. Doctorate?

Here are some contrasting differences between a professional degree and a doctorate degree.

Professional Degree Doctorate
  • Advanced focus on the practice of knowledge and skills
  • More professionally oriented to a specific field and industry
  • Emphasizes solving new and emerging problems in the field
  • An academic and research-based degree
  • Emphasizes creating new knowledge to share with others
  • Intensely scholarly

In some cases, a professional degree can still come with the title of doctor.

What’s the Difference Between a PhD vs. Doctorate Degree?

Here are some core differences between a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and a professional doctorate degree.

Doctorate Degree PhD
  • Focuses on applying research to problems
  • Designed for professionals looking to advance in their field
  • Usually includes a capstone project that is based upon a real-world problem
  • Focuses on research and theory analysis
  • Designed for people interested in research and academia
  • Usually includes a dissertation

Both degree paths can help qualify you for senior or leadership roles in your industry.

Is a Doctorate Worth It?

Earning a doctorate degree

Yes, a doctorate is worth it for many students. Earning a doctorate degree allows you the opportunity to advance your skill set and expertise in your chosen field. In the process, it can also help qualify you to advance your career.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who earn a PhD or professional doctorate generally earn more than those with lower degrees.

Getting Your Doctorate Degree Online

Getting Your Doctorate Degree Online

Earning a doctorate degree online can be a flexible way to adapt terminal studies to your existing schedule. Online programs often allow you to decide how heavy you want your course load to be.

Choosing the ideal online doctorate degree for you depends on your previous work and educational experience, your interests, and your career goals. The convenience of advancing your skill set and specialized expertise online makes online doctoral programs a popular choice for students and professionals alike.

You can start exploring doctorate degrees from accredited universities today to find the ones that best align with your schedule and career goals.

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Claudia Amendola Alzraa
WRITTEN BY
Claudia Amendola Alzraa
Claudia has a Master's in Library and Information Studies, a Bachelor's in Education, and a Bachelor's with Honors in English and Philosophy. With a history working in Special Education, Claudia is an advocate for diversified and equitable education, and student success initiatives.