Best Online Doctorate Degree No Dissertation Programs

No time to write a dissertation? No problem — get your doctorate anyway by enrolling in one of these 15 no-dissertation-required online programs.
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Meg Embry is a writer at BestColleges covering all things career and education related. An award-winning journalist and editor, she has lived and worked in Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States....
Updated on September 28, 2023
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Have you always wanted to get a Ph.D., but the thought of writing a whole dang book makes your stomach turn? Forget about it. We've discovered 15 quality online doctorates that don't require a dissertation.

Our collection of no-dissertation doctorates spans subjects and industries, so there is something here for everyone — whatever your career goals might be.

Featured Online Doctorate Degrees

Enroll in your favorite program today; folks will call you “Doctor” before you know it.

What Doctorate Degrees Do Not Have Dissertation Requirements?

Degree programs in professional fields often focus on practical skills and real-world experience over strictly academic research. But that doesn't mean a no-dissertation degree program is for slouches.

They still include rigorous coursework, field experience, exams, and other assessments (like capstone projects or research papers) to ensure students become true experts in their fields.

1. Accounting Degrees

Learn about accounting, auditing, taxation, and business law in an online accounting program. Many accounting doctorates culminate in a capstone project, which may include working directly with a client.

An accounting doctorate opens the door for in-demand finance careers like financial manager, budget analyst, and tax examiner.

Featured Online Accounting Doctorate Programs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that finance occupations will grow by 7% from 2021-2031. The median wage for finance occupations was $76,570 per year in May 2021.

2. Doctorate in Business Administration Degrees

An online doctorate in business administration (DBA) is a smart move for anyone aiming for an executive position in corporate management. A DBA's focus is organizational and tactical: Common specializations include finance, marketing, and management. You'll likely complete an internship and a capstone project in your chosen specialization.

Featured Online Business Administration Doctorate Programs

There's a lot of money to be made with a DBA. Finance managers, for example, made a median annual salary of $131,710 in May 2021 (BLS).

3. Doctorate in Business Management Degrees

A doctorate in business management focuses on leadership and strategy. You'll learn to analyze market trends, find growth opportunities, and develop a long-term vision for your company.

Capstone projects typically include a real-world problem that requires the practical application of high-level business management concepts. Graduates often become executives, management consultants, and entrepreneurs.

Featured Online Business Management Doctorate Programs

The median wage for management occupations was $102,450 in May 2021 (BLS) This was the highest of all major occupation groups. The BLS reports that marketing managers made a median of $133,380 in the same year.

4. Doctorate in Computers and Information Technology

A doctorate in computers and information technology program (DCIT) focuses on advanced computer and information technology topics. Examples include data structures, algorithms, and artificial intelligence. Other topics you'll study are machine learning and cybersecurity.

Even non-dissertation DCIT degrees require a major research project. Graduates can work in academia, research, and high-level industry roles.

Featured Online Computers & Information Technology Doctorate Programs

People with a DCIT can apply for some of the highest-paying jobs. In May 2021, computer and information systems managers earned a median annual salary of $159,010 (BLS).

A doctorate in criminal justice prepares you for leadership roles in law enforcement, policy, the government, or the private sector. You'll study public policy, criminal justice, and behavioral psychology. Other study topics include research methods and statistics.

Instead of a dissertation, you may need to complete a research paper, portfolio, case study, or exam.

Featured Online Criminal Justice and Legal Doctorate Programs

Doctoral graduates may become professors, police chiefs, public policy directors, or forensic scientists. The median annual salary for police and detective supervisors in May 2021 was $99,330 (BLS).

6. Online Doctorate in Education and Teaching Degrees

Earn a doctorate in education or educational leadership to compete for advanced leadership roles in education. You can become a principal, superintendent, dean, or university department chair.

These rigorous programs cover topics like educational leadership, psychology, and research methods. They also cover curriculum design and education policy.

Featured Online Education and Teaching Doctorate Programs

In May 2021, university administrators made a median salary of $96,910 per year (BLS), and secondary school principals made a median annual salary of $98,420 (BLS).

7. Online Doctorate in Finance Degrees

In a doctorate in finance program, you'll master topics like advanced finance theory, international and corporate finance, and econometrics. The curriculum will also cover global markets, value creation management, and investment analysis. You can apply this rigorous training to top executive roles, like chief financial officer (CFO).

Featured Online Finance Doctorate Programs

Advanced finance expertise can lead to high-paying jobs. According to the BLS, CFOs in manufacturing or technical services earned over $208,000 per year as of May 2021.

8. Online Healthcare Administration Doctorate Degrees

An online doctoral degree in healthcare administration prepares you for top administrative roles in healthcare. You'll learn to set policies, ensure legal compliance, and manage budgets. The degree will also prepare you to improve outcomes and make strategic organizational decisions.

A non-dissertation capstone project may require you to design and implement real-life solutions for a local healthcare organization.

Featured Online Healthcare Administration Doctorate Programs

With this degree, you'll qualify for high-level positions like hospital CEO, CFO, or medical and health services manager. The latter role earned a median annual salary of $101,340 in May 2021, as per the BLS.

9. Online Doctorate in Liberal Arts and Humanities

If you just really love learning and teaching, a doctorate in liberal arts and humanities might be a good fit for you. There are several online English, history, art, theology, and philosophy programs to choose from.

Advanced liberal arts graduates often pursue academic careers, though your robust research and critical thinking skills will serve you well in any industry.

Featured Online Liberal Arts Doctorate Programs

Outside of academia, liberal arts doctorate-holders can find rewarding careers in just about every field, as journalists and writers, marketers and managers, analysts, and administrators.

10. Online Management Doctorate Degrees

A doctor of management degree (DM) expands your research, analysis, and leadership skills. You'll learn to respond strategically to complex organizational challenges and opportunities. A DM can help you secure leadership positions in the education, industry, and government sectors.

Graduates can secure executive and C-suite roles like director of operations and chief operating officer.

Featured Online Management Doctorate Programs

According to the BLS, the median pay for management occupations was $102,450 in May 2021. Chief executives earned even more: a median annual salary of $179,520 in the same year (BLS).

11. Online Doctorate in Nursing Practice and Healthcare (DNP)

A DNP is a clinically focused doctorate for nurses who want to continue working with patients as advanced practice registered nurses or who want to qualify for senior leadership roles.

As demand for highly skilled healthcare providers continues to rise, DNP graduates will likely find themselves in a strong position in the job market.

Featured Online Nursing Practice and Healthcare Doctorate Programs

DNP graduates who specialized as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, or nurse practitioners earned a median annual salary of $123,780 in May 2021 (BLS).

12. Online Doctorate of Public Administration

An online doctorate of public administration prepares you to create and shape policy for organizations and industries. You'll study organizational structures, management and governance, ethics, and social justice. Coursework will also cover different program and policy evaluation methods.

You can then pursue public policy roles like nonprofit executive director, city manager, policy analyst, or government affairs officer.

Featured Online Public Administration Doctorate Programs

In May 2021, the median annual pay for social and community service managers was $74,000 (BLS). Top executives in the social assistance sector made a median of $154,650 in the same year.

13. Online Public Health Doctorate Degrees

Get an online doctorate in public health if you want the expertise needed to protect and advance your community's health. You'll study subjects such as environmental health, biostatistics, and epidemiology. Other topics include health policy and behavioral science.

You can use this knowledge to qualify for various research, policy, and practice positions in public health.

Featured Online Public Health Doctorate Programs

Common careers for doctors of public health include biostatistician, professor, health and safety engineer, and epidemiologist. According to the BLS, health and safety engineers earned a median annual salary of $99,040 in May 2021.

14. Online Doctorate in Psychology

A doctorate in psychology opens the door to niche clinical positions that offer high pay, more responsibility, and more opportunities to make a meaningful impact on your clients and community.

In an online program, you'll explore practice ethics, research methods, and human development before focusing on a specialization.

Featured Online Psychology Doctorate Programs

Your advanced degree can help you become a clinical psychologist, professor, or industrial psychologist. The BLS reports that industrial psychologists earned a median salary of $105,310 per year in May 2021.

15. Online Doctorate in Science and Engineering

A Ph.D. in science and engineering can help STEM professionals land high-expertise roles in research and development, academia, the government, and industry.

Specialized doctoral programs like chemical engineering or industrial engineering may require a capstone project or technical report. During these projects, you'll investigate an engineering-related problem and propose innovative solutions.

Featured Online Science and Engineering Doctorate Programs

Graduates secure cool jobs as research scientists, engineering managers, professors, and product development engineers. In May 2021, engineering managers made a median yearly salary of $152,350 (BLS).

Frequently Asked Questions About Doctorate Programs With No Dissertation

Can you get a Ph.D. without a dissertation?

You sure can. Several Ph.D. programs (especially those with practical business applications) accept a capstone project, research paper, or exams instead of a dissertation.

Are doctoral programs without a dissertation available online?

Yes, many doctoral programs without a dissertation requirement are available online, providing more flexibility and cost savings.

Are online Ph.D. programs eligible for financial aid?

Of course! Prospective online Ph.D. students can qualify for financial aid, including public and private loans, grants, scholarships, and reduced tuition. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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