Best Doctorate Programs

Earning a doctoral degree is an exciting prospect that takes anywhere from 5-7 years of full-time learning. Alongside advanced graduate-level coursework, you will complete a dissertation or major project that demonstrates expertise in your field of study.

Before deciding on a degree, it is important to consider whether your program options fit with your career goals. Many Ph.D. holders choose to teach at a university, and some pursue careers in private industry. Those with higher-level degrees are generally in a better position to receive a higher salary. A doctoral degree can also give you a leg up on other job candidates and make you a more appealing candidate when applying for employment.

While some colleges have doctoral programs available online, earning such a prestigious degree completely online is not the norm. Many students start their degree on campus or through a hybrid format, where they attend a local college or university and supplement their education with online courses.

Note that a doctorate degree is a significant investment of time, so be sure to do your research and find the program that is best for you. To learn more about program options, explore the rankings listed below.

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

This site 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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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    Stanford University

    Stanford, CA

    Graduation Rate

    95%

    Enrollment

    15,953

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $55473

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $55473

    From its campus in Stanford, California, Stanford University offers multiple programs as a private institution. Students earn an accredited degree that prepares them for the workforce. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Depending on their major, learners complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.

    #2

    Harvard University

    Cambridge, MA

    Graduation Rate

    98%

    Enrollment

    30,391

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $49653

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $49653

    From its campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University enrolls learners in 491 programs. Degree-seekers enroll in rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The school reports a 5-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. A total of 72% of students receive some form of financial aid. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 98%. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. Degree-seekers benefit from internships, research opportunities, and other forms of service learning. The admission rate is 5% for incoming students. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores.

    #3

    University of Chicago

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    96%

    Enrollment

    17,834

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $57642

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $57642

    Located in Illinois, University of Chicago offers 232 programs for students. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 5-to-1. According to the school, 57% of students receive some form of financial aid. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 96%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school offers internships, research opportunities, and other forms of experiential learning. The admission rate is 7% for hopeful students. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions.

    #4

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Cambridge, MA

    Graduation Rate

    96%

    Enrollment

    11,254

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $53450

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $53450

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which enrolls students in programs from its Cambridge, Massachusetts campus. Learners choose from a variety of degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Enrollees can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department provides more information about the application process. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. The school is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

    #5

    Princeton University

    Princeton, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    98%

    Enrollment

    7,853

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $48502

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $48502

    From its campus in Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University grants degrees as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps students reach their educational goals. During a bachelor's degree, students take lower-division and upper-division coursework. Undergraduates also complete general education classes. Degree-seekers study advanced concepts in their major during upper-division courses. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #6

    Yale University

    New Haven, CT

    Graduation Rate

    96%

    Enrollment

    12,060

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $57700

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $57700

    Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University is a private institution that offers multiple programs. The school's accredited degrees help graduates launch or advance professional careers. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Yale University is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

    #7

    University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia, PA

    Graduation Rate

    96%

    Enrollment

    26,552

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $53166

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $53166

    From its campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the institution helps students reach their educational goals. Bachelor's programs educate students with lower-division and upper-division coursework. The 120-credit bachelor's programs also include general education credits. Upper-division credits emphasize advanced concepts in the major. The school supports students with tutoring and career services. Students can expect to spend around 13995 per credit while earning a degree. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #8

    Columbia University in the City of New York

    New York, NY

    Graduation Rate

    96%

    Enrollment

    30,135

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $57864

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $57864

    Located in New York, New York, Columbia University in the City of New York enrolls students as a private institution. The school's academic and technical programs help students reach a variety of professional goals. During a bachelor's degree, undergraduates take lower-division and upper-division coursework. The school's 120-credit bachelor's programs also include general education credits. Upper-division courses typically focus on advanced concepts within a major. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Columbia University in the City of New York is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #9

    Brown University

    Providence, RI

    Graduation Rate

    95%

    Enrollment

    9,948

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $59254

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $59254

    Located in Rhode Island, Brown University enrolls students in 303 programs. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a 6-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. According to the school, 55% of students receive some form of financial aid. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 95%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates on the job market. Degree-seekers participate in internships, research projects, and other forms of experiential learning. The admission rate is 8%. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores.

    #10

    Dartmouth College

    Hanover, NH

    Graduation Rate

    95%

    Enrollment

    6,292

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $57796

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $57796

    From its campus in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth College grants college degrees as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps students reach their career goals. Undergraduates complete lower-division and upper-division coursework to earn a bachelor's degree. The school's 120-credit bachelor's programs also include general education credits. Students learn advanced concepts in their major during upper-division courses. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Dartmouth College has been accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #11

    Northwestern University

    Evanston, IL

    Graduation Rate

    95%

    Enrollment

    22,603

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $58227

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $58227

    From its campus in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University enrolls students as a private institution. Learners learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. At the institution, 66% of students receive financial aid and 21% take out loans. The school reports a graduation rate of 95%. The school reports a 9% admission rate. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. Northwestern University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #12

    Duke University

    Durham, NC

    Graduation Rate

    96%

    Enrollment

    16,172

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $55880

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $55880

    Duke University, located in Durham, North Carolina, grants degrees as a private institution. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports that 63% of learners receive financial aid, while 18% take out loans. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 96%. The admission rate is 8% for hopeful students. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. Duke University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #13

    Cornell University

    Ithaca, NY

    Graduation Rate

    95%

    Enrollment

    23,620

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $58586

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $58586

    From its New York campus, Cornell University offers 372 degree-granting programs. Students benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school holds a student-to-faculty ratio of 9-to-1. According to the school, 59% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 95%. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. Learners participate in internships, research projects, and other forms of experiential learning. Prospective enrollees can expect an 11% admission rate. Some programs offer test-optional admission policies.

    #14

    California Institute of Technology

    Pasadena, CA

    Graduation Rate

    92%

    Enrollment

    2,240

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $54570

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $54570

    California Institute of Technology grants degrees as a private institution from its location in Pasadena, California. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. According to the institution, 74% of students receive aid and 4% receive loans. The private school reports a graduation rate of 92%. Hopeful students can expect admission rates of 7%. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. The school holds accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #15

    University of Notre Dame

    Notre Dame, IN

    Graduation Rate

    97%

    Enrollment

    12,809

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $57192

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $57192

    University of Notre Dame, located in Notre Dame, Indiana, enrolls students as a private institution. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. The school's academic and technical programs prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. A total of 68% of students receive financial aid and 31% take out loans at the school. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 97%. The admission rate is 19% for incoming students. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. University of Notre Dame is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #16

    Vanderbilt University

    Nashville, TN

    Graduation Rate

    93%

    Enrollment

    13,537

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $52781

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $52781

    A top-ranked school, Vanderbilt University enrolls learners in programs from its campus in Nashville, Tennessee. The institution offers a variety of degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional goals. Generally, it takes two years to complete an associate degree, four years to earn a bachelor's degree, 1-2 years for a master's degree, or 3-7 years for a doctoral degree. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. This makes it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can help applicants complete the process. Learners at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. The school holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #17

    Washington University in St Louis

    Saint Louis, MO

    Graduation Rate

    94%

    Enrollment

    15,449

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $56300

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $56300

    Washington University in St Louis, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Saint Louis, Missouri. The college offers multiple degree-granting programs. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help learners meet a variety of professional goals. Degree-seekers can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The admissions department can help prospective students determine the next steps. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Washington University in St Louis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #18

    Rice University

    Houston, TX

    Graduation Rate

    94%

    Enrollment

    7,643

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $50310

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $50310

    Located in Houston, Texas, Rice University ranks as one of the top colleges. The institution offers a variety of degree-granting programs. The school's academic and technical tracks help students meet diverse career goals. Students typically earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in two, and a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help prospective students determine the next steps. At the accredited institution, students also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Rice University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #19

    Georgetown University

    Washington, DC

    Graduation Rate

    94%

    Enrollment

    19,371

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $57384

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $57384

    From its Washington, District of Columbia campus, Georgetown University enrolls students in 220 programs. The institution's programs offer a rigorous course of study. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 11-to-1. According to the school, 54% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 94%. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. Learners participate in internships, research projects, and other forms of experiential learning. The admission rate is 17% for prospective students. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores.

    #20

    Tufts University

    Medford, MA

    Graduation Rate

    94%

    Enrollment

    12,219

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $59560

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $59560

    Located in Medford, Massachusetts, Tufts University ranks as one of the top colleges. Learners choose from a variety of degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help students reach a variety of career goals. At the school, students typically complete an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department can help students apply to the school. At the accredited institution, enrollees also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. The school is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #21

    Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore, MD

    Graduation Rate

    94%

    Enrollment

    28,890

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $54160

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $54160

    Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University educates college students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps students reach their professional goals. During a bachelor's degree, students take lower-division and upper-division coursework. Undergraduates also complete general education classes. In upper-division classes, undergraduates learn advanced concepts in their major. The school supports students with tutoring and career services. The school charges an average of 4064 per credit. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Johns Hopkins University has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #22

    University of Southern California

    Los Angeles, CA

    Graduation Rate

    92%

    Enrollment

    46,287

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $59260

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $59260

    University of Southern California offers programs from its campus in Los Angeles, California. The institution provides a variety of programs and coursework. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help students meet their career goals. Learners can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. These policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department can help prospective students complete their application. Students at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. University of Southern California has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #23

    Washington and Lee University

    Lexington, VA

    Graduation Rate

    93%

    Enrollment

    2,183

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $56170

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $56170

    From its campus in Virginia, Washington and Lee University enrolls students in 39 programs. Degree-seekers enroll in rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 8-to-1. According to the institution, 67% of enrollees receive some form of financial aid. The private school reports a graduation rate of 93%. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The admission rate for prospective students is 25%. Some programs offer test-optional admission policies. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #24

    Middlebury College

    Middlebury, VT

    Graduation Rate

    94%

    Enrollment

    2,669

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $57880

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $57880

    Middlebury College offers programs from its campus in Middlebury, Vermont. The institution offers a variety of degree-granting programs. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help learners meet a variety of professional goals. Typically, it takes students two years to complete an associate degree, four years to complete a bachelor's degree, 1-2 years for a master's degree, or 3-7 years for a doctoral degree. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. This makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help students apply to the school. Students at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. The school is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

    #25

    Wesleyan University

    Middletown, CT

    Graduation Rate

    91%

    Enrollment

    3,053

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $59086

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $59086

    A private institution, Wesleyan University educates students on its campus in Middletown, Connecticut. The school's academic and technical programs help students reach a variety of professional goals. During a bachelor's degree, enrollees take lower-division and upper-division coursework. The degree typically requires general education credits. Upper-division requirements focus on advanced concepts within a major. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #26

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Graduation Rate

    93%

    Enrollment

    13,519

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $57560

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $57560

    From its campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University awards degrees as a top school. The institution offers a variety of degrees and courses. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help learners meet their career goals. Enrollees typically earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in two, and a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. This makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help prospective students determine the next steps. At the accredited institution, enrollees also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Carnegie Mellon University holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #27

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Graduation Rate

    91%

    Enrollment

    30,092

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7019

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34198

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, welcomes students with 274 program options. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Most students, approximately 64 %, use some form of financial aid to pay for their education at the school. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 91%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates on the job market. The school offers internships, research opportunities, and other forms of experiential learning. The admission rate is 25% for incoming students. Some programs no longer require standardized tests for admission.

    #28

    University of California-Los Angeles

    Los Angeles, CA

    Graduation Rate

    91%

    Enrollment

    44,589

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11442

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $41196

    University of California-Los Angeles, a public organization located in Los Angeles, California, offers multiple programs. The school offers accredited degrees that prepare students for the workforce. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. The school reports that students receive an average aid award of $ 18994, making the average tuition cost after aid $ 16474. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.

    #29

    New York University

    New York, NY

    Graduation Rate

    88%

    Enrollment

    52,775

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $52204

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $52204

    Located in New York, New York, New York University often ranks among the best schools. The institution offers a variety of degrees and courses. Academic and technical programs help students reach their professional goals. At the institution, students typically complete an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The admissions department can help students complete the application process. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. New York University has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #30

    University of California-Berkeley

    Berkeley, CA

    Graduation Rate

    92%

    Enrollment

    42,327

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11442

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $41196

    University of California-Berkeley, located in Berkeley, California, enrolls students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps students reach their professional goals. The institution's bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division requirements. Bachelor's programs also incorporate general education requirements. In upper-division classes, students learn advanced concepts in their major. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. Students pay a per-credit fee of around 2712 at the school. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. University of California-Berkeley holds accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.