Online Ed.D Programs Without Dissertation

If you’ve been researching doctoral degrees, you may notice that virtually all PhD programs require a dissertation, while professional doctorates may require a doctoral project, much like Capella University’s Doctoral Capstone Experience.

While dissertations are fairly common, what is a doctoral capstone, and what’s the difference between the two?


Dissertation and Doctoral Capstone: Commonalities

All doctoral programs prepare students to apply research skills in the workplace and community.

Completing either a dissertation or a professional capstone requires intense preparation and a strong foundation in research. Both culminate in a final document that’s publication-ready and demonstrates academic rigor.


Learn more about the differences between a PhD and a professional doctorate. 


Dissertation and Doctoral Capstone: Differences

The dissertation always results in the traditional five-chapter written document.

The doctoral capstone is presented in two parts:

  • A deliverable, which could be a portfolio, a paper of publishable length, or a product such as a change management plan, policy manual, software, or curriculum.
  • A final report, which describes the creation of the deliverable and the learning that supports it.


Additionally, the focus for each is different.

  • A dissertation is an original contribution to the body of academic literature and theory in the field. It addresses a research problem, or a gap in existing research, that will contribute to the knowledge base of the discipline. At Capella, a PhD dissertation involves a quest for new knowledge that is intended to solve a real-world problem and be relevant to the field.
  • A doctoral capstone is intended to extend or apply research to immediately deliver a solution to an issue within a real-world setting. That’s why, unlike the dissertation, the doctoral capstone deliverable can take on so many different forms. It may be the writing of software to solve a specific technical problem, or a curriculum designed to solve a specific educational problem.

Time Frame to Completion

Time frames vary in both types of projects, but in general, a dissertation can take anywhere from 1-2.5 years or more, while a doctoral capstone can take anywhere from 6 months to a year or more, depending on your program.

However, the reduced time frame doesn’t mean the capstone is less rigorous; it’s a different type of project, a different undertaking, but it will be as demanding as a dissertation.


Capella’s Dissertation and Doctoral Capstone Experience



Capella University offers PhD and professional doctorate degree programs ranging from business to education and health to technology. Learn more about Capella’s online doctoral programs.

* Disclaimer

Tags: dissertation, doctoral, doctoral capstone

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Let’s be perfectly clear: Fast track programs to Ph.D. degrees are rare. That said, more and more legitimate online “accelerated” programs devised by brick and mortar schools are becoming available, particularly targeting working individuals, with master’s degrees, who want to earn that Ph.D. while continuing in their job.

What exactly is the definition of a fast-track degree? Two, three years rather than four to six? Yes. That works. Example: Earning a Nursing Practitioner (DNP) degrees in two years; an online program allowing an RN to accelerate to a DNP while still on the job? Sure.

You won’t likely find an engineering or medical doctorate offering accelerated fast tracks to a Ph.D., but in other fields, business, counseling, yes. Believe us, we looked.

A note of warning: if a school says that they can “award” you a Ph.D. based “solely on your life experience” consider that a warning flag for a so-called diploma mill. Immediately check out the school thoroughly before you pay any fees. Google the words Diploma Mills, then the name of the school you suspect is one. [It might not be.] In compiling this list we looked for those red flags.

Meanwhile, as you can see by the list that follows, there are accredited schools that legitimately offer fast-track programs towards earning a Ph.D. [And by the way, that holds true to an even greater extent for those looking to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree.]

We presented the list in alphabetical order. These are 50 top programs, all accredited, but rating one over the other in terms of importance (is a nursing Ph.D. any more valuable than a doctorate in education?) wasn’t a logical thing to do. Instead, enjoy the range of options available. If you are contemplating moving forward to get a Ph.D., one of these schools might have a program fit just for you and your academic skills.

Adizes Graduate School

  • Tuition: $400 per semester unit

Degree offered: Ph.D. in Organizational Transformation
Fast Track: on average, 3 years
Students (only 10 students per class, we are told) explore change management in organizations and society. This is a multi-disciplinary business program that includes coursework such as Spiral Dynamics, and Systems Thinking: modeling complexity. You’ll find the program offers a flexible, interactive forum with a global student body of senior managers.
Accreditation: California State Bureau for Private, Postsecondary and Vocational Education

American Museum of Natural History

  • Tuition: Students who are accepted pay no tuition, thanks to a stipend

Degree offered: Ph.D. in Comparative Biology
Fast Track: Accelerated 4 year program. 62 credits through coursework, teaching assistantships, and individual dissertation research
This is really cool. This is a highly unique combination of courses and electives with field work opportunities with AMNH scientists in locations around the world. Students may be offered special opportunities for teaching experiences, ranging from university level to the Museum’s exhibition and K-12 education programs.
Accreditation: New York State Board of Regents

American University

  • Tuition: $1,526 per credit

Degree offered: Ph.D. in Communications
Fast Track: 3 years
The accelerated program here operates on an 11-month learning and research structure that aside from formal coursework, includes participation in research groups, one-on-one mentoring with faculty, dedicated time for dissertation research and defense, and student collaboration and peer support.
Accreditation: National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Argosy University

Degree offered: Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Also offered, a DBA. Below, we have described just the Ed.D. But students looking for accelerated coursework should thoroughly explore this website.
Fast Track: A large number of courses are fast tracked to accelerate the time needed to earn a Ph.D.
Students who graduate from this Ed.D. program will have the ability to (among other things), to advance social justice and transformative practice by fostering democratic and empowering environments that promote understanding and respect for diversity; cultivate the active engagement of diverse communities in social justice initiatives that enhance student development and learning; and demonstrate critical reflection that strengthens or improves themselves, their institutions, and their professional community.
Accreditation: Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Boston University

Degree offered: Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Fast Track: The program can be completed in 16 months, depending on how many foundation courses, if any, you need to complete. There are four semesters with each semester lasting 14 weeks.
BU’s program will prepare students to critically evaluate theory and evidence in your area of practice; identify gaps or shortcomings in current intervention methods and programs; and design innovative responses to fill those unmet needs.
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges

Bowling Green State University

  • Tuition: $10,606 for in-state students; $17,914 for non-residents

Degree offered: Doctorate in Technology Management
Fast track: 59 plus hours
BGSU’s online coursework contains four elements. First, within the construction management, specialization is directed toward applied research, the advancement of the construction organization, and professional management leading to the effective and efficient control of the construction process. After that, the elements of the program are Digital Communications, Human Resource Development and Training and Manufacturing Systems.
Accreditation: Distance Education and Training Council Accrediting Commission

Bradley University

  • Tuition: $830 a credit hour

Degree offered: Doctor of Nursing Practice, Leadership
Fast track: 39 credit units
If you already are a licensed registered nurse who holds an MSN you can add to that through instruction in advanced leadership theory and practicum. All this leads to preparing you for upper-level management positions in a variety of health care settings.
Accreditation: National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission

California Coast University

Degree offered: Doctor of Education in Educational Psychology (Ed.D.)
Fast track: completely online, 66 credits. Start when you want, work at your own pace. An accelerated program, if you want it to be.
The program includes just some of the following courses: Philosophical Foundations of Education, Learning Theory, Analysis of Current Issues in Education, Organizational Behavior and Adaptive Leadership, Educational Research -Group Dynamics, and Advanced Educational Psychology.
CCU also offers two other Ed.D.s: Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership and Doctor of Education in Educational Administration
Accreditation: Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).

California Intercontinental University

Degree offered: Doctorate in Global Business and Leadership
Fast track: the online school offers an accelerated path to DBA, in 24 months
The doctorate program at CIU prepares students for careers in the fields of global business management and consulting, enterprise architecture, content management, development specialist, and application architecture. Students pursing this emphasis will learn about theories, practices, and ethics of leadership, risk management, global leadership business interaction and project management.
Accreditation: Distance Education and Training Council Accrediting Commission.

Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Degree offered: PsyD
Fast track: The school permits students with bachelor’s degrees to enter and complete the 5-year PsyD degree program.
Students in the program are expected to develop essential diagnostic, therapeutic, and consultative skills through rigorous coursework, challenging practicum and internship experiences, and an applicable dissertation. The successful graduate will be equipped with expert knowledge in theory, research, and practice in clinical psychology, and be prepared to serve as lead practitioners and/or senior administrators in both educational and clinical settings.
Accreditation: The American Psychological Association.

Cleveland University

  • Tuition: $108,885 for the full 10 trimester tuition. Each trimester costs a bit different, but the $108,885 is the total

Degree offered: D.C., Doctor of Chiropractic
Fast track: CCC offers a 4-year Doctor of Chiropractic degree, as well as an accelerated program covering the same curriculum in just 10 trimesters.
At Cleveland Chiropractic College, students begin true hands-on learning in their very first trimesters. All health care educational programs begin with the basic sciences of anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry because these are the building blocks of human life.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

College of St. Scholastica

  • Tuition: $790 per credit hour

Degree offered: Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy
Fast track: A condensed 2-year program
The Ph.D. curriculum is designed to expose students to a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, laboratory exercises, reading, role-playing and clinical experiences.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Colorado Technical University

  • Tuition: $598 per credit hour

Degrees offered: Example: Doctor of Management, Private Sector Higher Education Leadership (but there are 14 Business management Doctorate degree programs available online)
Fast track: For the Doctor of Management, 3 years
Students accepted into the program will be required to complete concentration courses that apply leadership theory and management principles with key elements including policy, assessments, managing resources, organizational development and the regulatory environment.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission and North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Columbia University

  • Tuition: $1,184 per credit hour

Ph.D Degrees offered: Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering / Operations Research, and Mechanical Engineering
Fast track: Students with a strong engineering background do not need to formally matriculate into a degree program before beginning their studies
Columbia has gone “all in” on online degrees and they offer accelerated, fast track programs for busy professionals. Columbia students can focus on one of several areas of concentration or prepare for future endeavors such as architecture. Some typical concentrations are: Structural engineering: applications to steel and concrete buildings, bridges, and other structures; Geotechnical engineering: soil mechanics, engineering geology, and foundation engineering; and Construction engineering and management.
Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC)

Dominican University

  • Tuition: $1,500 per credit unit

Degree offered: MLIS/Ph.D.
Fast Track: 4 years
This fast-track (it is, although you might not think 4 years is a fast track) designed for students who want to earn MLIS and Ph.D. degrees through an accelerated sequence of courses. The accelerated degree option is particularly relevant to practicing information science professionals who have an undergraduate degree, but not a master’s degree, and are interested in pursuing doctoral level coursework and research.
Accreditation: The American Library Association’s Committee on Accreditation

Drexel University

  • Tuition: $1,157 a credit (Education graduate students); $845 a credit for nursing students going for a DNP

Degree offered: Nursing, DNP and Education, Ed.D.
Fast track: online doctorates (and master’s, incidentally) are designed to get the degree “in as little as two years.” PLEASE check with the school for more details about the specific program you are interested in.
The online doctorate degrees offered by Drexel University are in the fields of Education, Healthcare, and Nursing, and can be completed on a part-time basis. The curriculum has been designed for optimal turnaround; spend less time in the classroom and more time getting your foot in the door with an employer that values a hard-earned education.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Duquesne University

  • Tuition: $1,402 a credit (warning: it is not clear what the tuition per hour rate is for DNP students. The University needs to add to its tuition rates page. Check with the school for the latest information)

Degree offered: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Fast track: 32 credit program towards the DNP
Nurses prepared at the DNP level will function from a strong evidence-based foundation, effectively assessing health care policy, organizational effectiveness, and economic trends in health care to design new models for patient care services.
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

East Carolina University

  • Tuition: $233.36 a credit for N.C. residents; $851.57 for non-residents

Fast track degree offered: DNP to Ph.D. in Nursing. Total of 56 credits required (but the school allows for 21 semester credits from your DNP studies to go towards the 56)
The Ph.D. program prepares nurses for leadership roles in the administration of clinical services in a variety of community-based or acute care provider agencies. The DNP to PhD is designed for nurses wishing to build on education gained while earning their practice doctorate to develop research skills and competencies. It is an accelerated pathway.
Accreditation (for the nursing degree): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Frontier Nursing University

  • Tuition: $18,645 for 33 credits

Degree offered: Doctor of Nursing Practice
Fast track to a DNP: Frontier’s Post-Master’s DNP program is designed for certified nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who want to improve their skills in the areas of leadership, clinical scholarship, evidence based practice and clinical evaluation. When you receive the Master of Science in Nursing degree at Frontier, you can continue seamlessly into the 17 credit hour companion DNP program
Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

George Fox University

  • Tuition: $737 per credit hour

Degree offered: Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Fast track: 3 years
Core courses in the George Fox Ed.D. program are designed to equip students with knowledge and skills foundational to their discipline. Successful candidates will demonstrate expertise in (among other things) the ability to reflect critically and ethically on matters of equity and social justice in educational settings; and to collaborate to solve educational problems and implement strategic actions that reflect justice for all students and stakeholders.
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Georgia State University

  • Tuition: $382 a credit for Ga. residents; $1,243 for non-residents

Degree offered: BSN to Ph.D. track
Fast track: An amazing program. 4 years to go from bachelors to Ph.D., with the fourth year a dissertation year
The curriculum includes seven core masters courses and 16 core doctoral courses. The school boasts: Only 4 percent of all nursing schools in the country offer this entry level to doctoral education. Note: this is a hybrid program. But consider the fast track. Is it worth it (Ga. State is in downtown Atlanta…not a bad place to be)? You decide.
Accreditation: SACS and NCATE

Gwynedd Mercy University

Degree offered: Ed.D. [Doctorate in Educational Leadership]
Gwynedd Mercy University’s Online Accelerated Executive Doctorate in Educational Leadership is a 54-credit program, which can be completed in less than three years. It offers students a motivational learning community in which to develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to lead and transform educational institutions. Some basic coursework involves the articulation of an educational organization’s mission, goals, and guiding principles that distinguish it from others. Graduates will understand the foundational base of organizational theory and demonstrate the ability to bridge theory and practice.
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Hampton University

Degree offered: Ph.D. in Educational Management
Fast Track: 66 credit hours
This accelerated 66 credit-hour Ph.D. program is designed to provide specialized instruction, and is focused on giving students the experience they need by providing concentrations such as Higher Education, Pre-K-12 Education, STEM Leadership and Special Education. These concentrations, in combination with critical leadership training, provide graduates with a comprehensive set of skills that allow them to facilitate positive change in the educational landscape
Accreditation: International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)

Holy State University

  • Tuition and costs: $4,000 for the entire degree program

Degree offered: Many Ph.D.s. Go to the above URL for more information.
Fast Track: up to 3 years
We hesitated at first to list this school as legitimate, but we found no concrete evidence that this is a scam or a diploma mill. However, tread softly. The “school” gears your Ph.D. to your skill sets. The accelerated courses mean (they explain) that at most it would take 3 years to earn that Ph.D. We highly recommend that you learn everything you can about Holy State before committing to it.
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Educational Standards of Schools and Universities (ACESSU). NOTE: Be very careful here. We have not heard of ACESSU. That doesn’t mean it’s a bogus accrediting agency. But it could be. We looked through lists of diploma mills and did not find this university listed. That is a good thing. So, we included it in this list. We recommend further research before you lay out any tuition fees.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

  • Tuition: $705 per credit hour

Degree conferred: DNP to Ph.D. program
Fast track: You can earn your Ph.D. in half the time, the school claims. As 27 credits from a DNP degree transfer to this Ph.D., coursework is completed in a highly accelerated format, requiring only 33 semester hours of graduate credits to complete the DNP to Ph.D. degree as opposed to the 60 hours required of the traditional nursing Ph.D. NOTE: you will be required to be on campus two times a semester.
Now to the overview: Students enrolled in the program will gain knowledge in everything from curriculum evaluation in nursing to conducting various kinds of research necessary for teaching in the university level nursing classroom. IUP’s DNP to Ph.D. program prepares students for a career as a professor of nursing in various academic settings, including colleges and universities, and is for nurses that already have a DNP who wish to obtain tenure track faculty positions within a university setting.
Accreditation: IUP as an institution is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. According to their own website, this particular graduate program is seeking specific accreditation. Please return to the college website for the latest news.

Jacksonville University

  • Tuition: The total tuition for the Fall 2016 cohort is $87,000 (or $28,000 per year)

Degree offered: Doctor of Business Administration
Fast Track: up to 3 years, 60 credits
This is a doctoral program for executives with a curriculum that builds on the skills students have mastered professionally, while heightening their ability to be agile and fluid as managers. The JU D.B.A. program is based on the three pillars of “Leadership,” “Globalization,” and “Business Analytics.” The 3 year, 60-credit DBA program, prepares candidates to scope out the best paths for data discovery, innovation, and quantitative analysis and global challenges.
Accreditation: AACSB

Johns Hopkins University

Degrees offered: Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Fast Track: 54 credits in the Doctoral program
This online program prepares practicing educational leaders to meet the challenges associated with improving both the public and private education environment. Graduates of this part-time program will be prepared for a wide variety of leadership positions in pre-K-12 settings and the education industry.
Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

Kansas State University

  • Tuition: $566.10 per credit hour

Degree conferred: Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning
Fast track: This hybrid program allows students to take online courses during the fall and spring semesters and participate in intensive 10-day summer experiences, during three consecutive summer residency sessions on the K-State campus.
The personal financial planning doctorate offers students a wide array of concentrations. Class work includes such topics as Family Resource Management, Statistical Research in Family Studies and Human Services, and Money and Relationships.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Maryville University

  • Tuition: $788 a credit hour

Degree offered: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Fast Track: 18 month commitment
The program at MU is comprised of 30 credits over five semesters in a blended learning format. Additional content beyond the MSN includes: systems thinking; patient safety and quality; ethics in advanced nursing practice; health policy aimed at patient advocacy; and the completion of a scholarly project that uses evidence-based practice.
Accreditation: CCNE/NLNAC

Monmouth University

Degree offered: Doctor of Nursing Practice
Fast Track: 36 credits
The DNP curriculum focuses on evidence-based practice, organizational and systems leadership, information technology, inter-professional collaboration, emerging practice challenges, and implementing translational research and science into practice. This use of advanced clinical skills and research is consistent with school’s commitment to experiential education.
Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

National Graduate School of Quality Management

  • Tuition: $2,993.32 for four-credit courses

Degree conferred: Accelerated DBA program, Online/In class
Fast track: The Doctor of Business Administration in Quality Systems Management (DBAQSM) degree program at The National Graduate School of Quality Management (NGS) requires the completion of 60 credits designed to be completed over a 30-month period.
Overview of the program: the key components of the program include two in-residence courses, 14 online courses, and the completion of an individual Doctoral Dissertation Project, which is conducted in parallel to the program.
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

New York Medical College

  • Tuition: $2,200 for each 4-week medical program

Degree offered: Ph.D. in Medical Sciences
Fast track to a Ph.D.: 2 years plus dissertation
Ph.D. degrees are awarded in six basic medical sciences. During the first year of study, students undertake an interdisciplinary core curriculum of courses and rotate through laboratories throughout the Graduate School. After that you can choose a major discipline of study and dissertation sponsor, complete the remaining didactic requirements in the chosen discipline, and begin intensive research training. Formal course work is usually substantially completed within two years, after which the student completes the qualifying exam, forms a dissertation advisory committee, presents a formal thesis proposal, and devotes his or her primary effort to the dissertation research project.
Accreditation: N.Y. State Board of Regents

Regis University

Degree: Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Fast Track: The school offers two plans of study for the DNP program: a 2 year (6 semester) option, or a 3 year (9 semester) option.
This program educates nurses working in advanced practice and leadership roles with the values and additional knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to practice in an ever-changing health care environment. The DNP graduate will be poised to take on a leading role in direct patient care, in the management of care for individuals and communities, in health care policy decision making, and at the senior level of management within healthcare organizations.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Sam Houston State University

  • Tuition: $1,477.50 for three credit hours

Degree conferred: Ed.D.
Fast track: 60 credits
This is an interdisciplinary doctoral program designed to prepare educators to develop and administer programs for under-prepared community college and university students in math, reading, and/or writing.
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Seton Hall University

  • Tuition: $1,135 per credit

Degree offered: Ed.D. program
Fast Track: 2 year program
This is an all-inclusive, two-year accelerated doctoral program. It’s a flexible course format that includes traditional in-seat, online, and on-site practicums scheduled during the weekends and summer. One thing the university promotes: that this is a good program for aspiring superintendents.
Accreditation: NCATE

South University

  • Tuition: $12,045 per quarter

Degree offered: PharmD
Fast Track: three year program
This accelerated pace is only available at a handful of institutions across the country. South University’s program was designed to meet the increasing demand for well-trained pharmacists. The program is tailored to accentuate the future of the pharmacy profession while also developing pharmacists who are familiar with contemporary practice. The curriculum is structured to educate and prepare competent pharmaceutical practitioners who can provide care in a variety of institutional, community, and other settings. Students learn the skills needed to assess, monitor, initiate, or adjust drug therapy programs.
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education

Texas A&M University

  • Tuition: $240.93 per credit hour, residents; $637.92, non-residents

Degree offered: Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), completely online

Fast track: 64 credits
Major themes presented in the College’s mission statement and vision form the three intertwined goals of the Ed.D.: in Curriculum and Instruction: Leadership, Discovery and Application of Knowledge. Texas A&M offers a terminal professional degree for educational leaders in curriculum and instruction contexts serving teachers and administrators in K–12 public and private education.
Accreditation: NCATE

Thomas Jefferson University

  • Tuition: $1,075 per credit

Degree offered: DNP, Doctor of Nursing Practice
Fast Track: 3 year program
Jefferson offers multiple pathways to the DNP degree: Traditional Post-BSN Program, and a Post-MSN Program. These DNP programs are designed for the working healthcare professional: all coursework is completed online and the program can be completed on a full- or part-time plan of study. Jefferson also offers a full-time, on-site Post-BSN to DNP Program in Nurse Anesthesia. According to their website, all of Jefferson’s DNP programs focus on leadership, systems thinking, reflective practice, health policy, implementation science and evidenced-based clinical practice.
Accreditation: Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

Trine University

  • Tuition: $14,040 a semester

Degree offered: DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy
Fast Track: 6 year program in total, from B.S. to DPT (an accelerated track to a Doctorate). The DPT program itself is 3 years
Students receive clinical training in hospitals and clinics through its membership with the Life Science Consortium of Northern Indiana. The university’s newly renovated Health Sciences Education Center in Fort Wayne is equipped with leading-edge anatomy labs, clinical labs, and classrooms.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission and has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education

University of Bridgeport

Degree offered: Ed.D., Doctorate of Educational Leadership
Fast Track: 3 year program
The Hybrid, fast-track Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) at the University of Bridgeport (UB) offers an expedited way of pursuing an Ed.D. degree. The program is designed to enhance the effectiveness and enlarge the perspective of public and private organization leaders, policy makers, and researchers. The advanced graduate curriculum integrates the principles of administration, management, organizational psychology, law, program evaluation, international education, and research methodologies. UB’s hybrid Ed.D. program will provide graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel as leaders in an institution or agency involved in dealing with educational issues, policy makers in the educational field, or scholars involved in research and teaching. This is mostly online, but requires a week long summer residency.
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Connecticut Office of Higher Education.

University of Cincinnati

Degree offered: DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
Fast Track: 45 credit hours
Take note: this is a hybrid program, meaning there is some in-class time required (just a few days at the beginning of the program). Still, at 45 credits, it is an accelerated program. This is essentially a BSN to DNP program, enabling nurses with a bachelor’s degree to obtain master’s level and doctor of nursing practice education in an abbreviated timeframe. Hybrid BSN to DNP specialties include Adult-Gero Primary Care NP, Family NP, Nursing Administration, Pediatric Acute Care NP and Pediatric Primary Care NP. The Nurse Anesthesia specialty is delivered onsite. Cool program.
Accreditation: The DNP is approved by the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees and the Ohio Board of Regents

University of Delaware

  • Tuition: DE Resident: $837 per credit hour;   US Student: $1088.10, International: $1506.60

Degree offered: A Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy
Fast Track: 3 years plus dissertation
The Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy is an interdisciplinary, research-oriented degree that focuses on analysis of the critical policy challenges of our times. The program prepares scholars to create useable knowledge to inform decision making, and to positively impact the quality of life in communities at all scales, from cities to nations.
Accreditation: The Network of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA)

University of Michigan, Flint

  • Tuition: Michigan residents: $530.75 per credit hour;   $795.50 non-residents

Degree offered: Doctor of Nursing Practice
Fast Track: MSN to DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) program is 33 to 36 credit hours (accelerated program)
100 percent online program. Nurse practitioners assess and manage both medical and nursing problems in a variety of settings. You will serve as the primary care provider and consult and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide quality comprehensive care for individuals, families, and communities in a variety of ambulatory and inpatient settings.
Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

University of Massachusetts

Degree offered: The Ph.D. program is offered in (a) physics, (b) radiological sciences, and (c) medical physics. These programs require 60 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree, including dissertation research. Here (below), we’ll discuss the Physics program, which is listed as an accelerated program.
Fast Track: 60 credit hours
Areas of research in this program include experimental nuclear physics, experimental and theoretical solid-state physics and materials science, optics, laser physics, submillimeter (terahertz) wave applications, nano-science and technology, astronomy, space physics, energy applications including nuclear and solar, applied mechanics, radiological health physics, and medical physics.
Caution: Peterson’s guide lists this as an accelerated online course. This is open to question IF you go to their website. Be careful in your due diligence to ensure that what you are signing up for (an accelerated program) is exactly that. Let the buyer beware. That said, this is one of America’s great schools.
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges

University of Pennsylvania

  • Tuition: $4,784 per cost unit (for part-time graduate students)

Degree offered: Hillman Scholars in Nursing Innovation program, a BSN to PhD program
Fast Track: No specific time given on their website, but this accelerated program takes students from the basic bachelor’s to Ph.D.
This very unique program incorporates interdisciplinary education with research career development and close mentoring that starts upon selection as a Scholar. Scholars work closely with their faculty mentors and collaborate with established research teams in Penn Nursing’s renowned research centers. The program focuses on innovation, integration, and impact. Not to be underestimated, Penn is one of the most prestigious universities in the U.S.
Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

University of St. Augustine for Health Science

  • Tuition: $12,300 per trimester, in Florida. Prices vary, you need to check this constantly

Degree offered: Doctor of Physical Therapy
Fast Track: 12 trimesters, 4 years
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program offers foundational courses needed for the general practice of physical therapy and courses leading to several specializations, including manual physical therapy. The program curriculum comprises 126 credits of coursework including two practicums and three clinical internships to give students real-world professional experience.
Accreditation: The Physical Therapy Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)

University of Tennessee

  • Tuition: $6,178 a semester for in-state students; $15,387 for non-residents

Degree offered: Doctor of Social Work
Fast Track: 3 years
The DSW differs from other social work doctorates in that it is a professional practice degree, designed to prepare students for advanced clinical practice and advanced practice leadership. Geared toward working professionals, the DSW is an intensive accelerated program that enables students to satisfy all degree requirements in three years, without career disruption.
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

University of Texas at Dallas

  • Tuition: $4,238 for 6 credit hours. Students taking online courses add $80 per credit for what they call a distance learning fee

Degree offered: Ph.D. in Management Science
Fast Track: 4 years (last two years, working on dissertation)
UT’s Jindal School offers doctoral programs, each with several areas of concentration. In both cases, doctoral students will develop strong analytical and empirical skills; take part in interdisciplinary coursework and research; integrate theory with practice; and work closely with senior faculty.

The Ph.D. in Management Science trains students to conduct rigorous scientific research across multiple fields of study. The Ph.D. in International Management Studies degree prepares students to conduct interdisciplinary research involving international management, organization theory, corporate strategy and organizational behavior. Most students in this program, upon completion, pursue academic careers.
Accreditation: AACSB

Utica College

  • Tuition: $1,132 per credit

Degree offered: Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy
Utica’s transitional DPT is a program that offers practicing licensed Physical Therapists the post-professional degree they need to advance their careers in a convenient and accelerated online format. Designed specifically for practicing licensed Physical Therapy professionals with BS/MS degree credentials, the program provides each student with an individualized program of study that takes into account prior education and work experience. The online curriculum covers a wide range of topics that includes: Foundations of Autonomous Practice, Prevention and Wellness, Diagnostic Imaging, and Pharmacology and Pathophysiology.
Accreditation: Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

Walden University

  • Tuition: The Walden website does not have a definitive answer to what your tuition is. They want you to fill out request forms, including what your chosen field will be

Degrees offered: Quite a few doctorates, ranging from business (DBA) to education (Ed.D.) to Psychology (PsyD). And more.
Fast track (or not): Anywhere from 3 years to 7. It all depends on how heavy you want to load your schedule.
The above URL is just the starting point. Walden is a 100 percent online school with numerous options, from Bachelor’s to Doctorates. Say what you will about the large number of courses offered: they are accredited. What does bother us is the lack of transparency when it comes to tuition and fees. We therefore caution you if you choose to attend this online school.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

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