47+ Cheapest Online Ph.D. Programs in the World 2024


Did you know that many good, accredited, and reputable schools offer cheap online Ph.D. programs? 

You will find this post beneficial if you are looking for an affordable Ph.D. program that fits your busy schedule.


These affordable online Ph.D. programs are almost identical to offline and conventional programs; they have the exact requirements and courses online. 

While some online Ph.D. programs take as long as five years to complete, others take just three years to complete successfully.


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Affordable Online Ph.D. Programs in the World 2024

Our ranking of the top affordable online Ph.D. programs considers base tuition. Many programs have further fees, and we urge all readers to research the various fees associated with the different institutions. Since online Ph.D. programs have become more regular, students are looking for straightforward entry and affordable institutions.

The universities that offer the best and cheapest online Ph.D. programs for 2024, alongside their respective tuition/per credit hour, are as follows:

RankUniversityTuition/per credit hour
#1Texas Tech University$166.50
#2University of Nevada$269
#3California Coast University$290
#4New Mexico State University$291.30
#5Valdosta State University$293
#6University of West Georgia$312
#7University of Nebraska-Lincoln$326
#8American College of Education$336
#9Delta State University$374
#10University of the Cumberlands$375

Our rundown of the top affordable online Ph.D. programs gives potential students a handy guide for comparing their budget with their potential institutional match. Some of the programs are all online, while others are hybrid programs.

All information is researched and included in the descriptions with as much care as possible. All those searching for 100% online doctoral programs should double-check the information since educational institutions have the right to change what they charge for their programs at their discretion. Official information is available on the institution’s website and should be consulted entirely. We have made these websites available for you.

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Cheapest Online Ph.D. Programs in the World 2024

The universities that offer the cheapest online Ph.D. programs in the world include:

  • Texas Tech University
  • University Of Nevada
  • California Coast University
  • New Mexico State University
  • Valdosta State University
  • University Of West Georgia
  • University Of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • American College Of Education
  • Delta State University
  • University Of The Cumberlands

#1. Texas Tech University

One of the institutions offering the cheapest online Ph.D. programs in the world is a public institution situated in Lubbock, Texas, on 1,839 acres. Texas Tech University was established in 1923 and offers an online Doctor of Education in Agricultural EducationDoctor of Education in Higher EducationDoctor of Philosophy in Systems and Engineering Management, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Technical Communication and Rhetoric.

Texas Tech makes it to the top of our rundown because the educational cost for the Doctor of Education program in Higher Education is $166.50 per credit hour and $216.50 per credit hour for in-state and out-of-state students, respectively.

A professional degree intended for full-time professional higher education employees, the Doctor of Education in Higher Education program is in a mixed format with a yearly on-campus intensive course lasting an entire week. The program is 60 credit hours long and is a joint program with Texas A&M. The Doctor of Education in Agricultural Education has 29 faculty from both educational institutions.

With an admission that takes place on a two-year, unique program cohort cycle, it was approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2000. Using Blackboard, Skype, WebEx, and interactive video conferencing, the program uses several delivery tools. There are occasional face-to-face meetings on campus and in professional locations.

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#2. University Of Nevada

Established in 1864, our third public institution on the rundown is The University of Nevada—Reno. Situated in Reno, Nevada, the university that offers the cheapest online Ph.D. programs in the world sits atop our list due to the exceptionally competitive tuition of $269 per credit hour.

The University of Nevada offers an online Doctor of Nursing Practice designed to prepare advanced nursing practice experts. The Doctor of Nursing Practice focuses on evidence-based and ground-breaking practice as a result of thorough research and theory.

The program offers two tracks through which students matriculate into the program: a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice, wherein the student enters with a master’s degree in nursing in hand, or a bachelor’s in nursing leading to a Doctor of Nursing Practice, where the student enters the program with a bachelor’s degree in the field. The latter extends the time the student will work toward their degree.

#3. California Coast University

California Coast University is a for-profit online university based in the Orange County city of Santa Ana, California, and is among the most affordable online programs in the world. The institution was established in 1973 to address the needs of working experts in business, industry, and education who required further education but couldn’t be on a traditional campus. The educational cost comes at a very competitive $290 per credit hour.

California Coast University offers online doctorates in the field of education. There are three emphases in this area: the Doctor of Education in Educational Administration, the Doctor of Education in Educational Psychology, and the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership.

The program in Educational Administration endeavors to assist leaders in understanding educational administration and improving their decision-making procedures. The program aims to train leaders in learning theory, educational leadership strategies, interpreting educational research, and creating leadership skills in domestic and multicultural learning communities.

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#4. New Mexico State University

A public institution established in 1888, New Mexico State University is situated in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on 900 acres. New Mexico State University offers the cheapest online Ph.D. programs in the world, including a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership, a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing. All programs cost $291.30 for each credit hour for residents and $897.90 per credit hour for non-residents. There are several other pricing structures for regional inhabitants.

The Doctor of Education and the Doctor of Philosophy in Education Leadership degrees comprehend the training of leaders to be focused on applying theory in practical avenues. The length of the Doctor of Education program is 63 credit hours, while that of the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership is 78 credit hours.

There are mandatory face-to-face parts of the program; consequently, it is a hybrid program. Training scholars in the theory, design, and practical application of educational plans and instruction, the Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Planning and Instruction is a hybrid program with mandatory summer sessions that last two weeks and must be attended through three sequential summers. The program is to last for 48 credit hours.

#5. Valdosta State University

Our second state institution on the list, Valdosta State University, was established in 1906 and is situated in Valdosta, Georgia. Being at the top of the rundown, its online Doctor of Public Administration program, which is among the cheapest online Ph.D. programs in the world, comes in at a very competitive $293 per credit hour. The program’s focal point is on practical issues in administration, including leadership, communication, management, and problem-solving within various professional environments.

Focused on current working professionals in their respective professional work environments, the courses are geared toward expanding on the student’s skills already obtained in their various and varied work situations.

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#6. University Of West Georgia

The University of West Georgia is situated in Carrolton, Georgia, on 645 acres. It is a public educational institution that was established in 1906. The university offers three concentrations in its Doctor of Education Program, among the free Ph.D. programs online: Nursing Education, Professional Counselling and Supervision, and School Improvement. Their online graduate programs’ educational costs are $312 per credit hour before fees.

The Doctor of Education focused on Nursing Education is a 60-credit hour program that incorporates 15 hours for composing the dissertation. The time allocated for the program is 11 semesters.

The objectives of the program focus on training students to take on complex and advanced faculty and leadership roles, be a part of educational plan design, develop courses, and evaluate programs and learner outcomes through proof-based strategies. The program likewise endeavors to train change agents in nursing education.

#7. University Of Nebraska-Lincoln

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is another public institution in our top 10. Situated in Lincoln, Nebraska, on 622 acres, the educational institution was established in 1869 and offers 100% online doctoral programs in education. The educational cost for the online doctorate is extremely competitive, placing the institution in the top 10.

The tuition for in-state and out-of-state students is $326 per credit hour and $609 per credit hour, respectively. The doctorates offered here include a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration, a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Studies, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Studies.

Much like other institutions, the Doctor of Education degree attempts to train professionals with advanced knowledge to apply it to real-world situations. The Doctor of Philosophy in Education Studies, be that as it may, trains students to be researchers in the field. The Doctor of Philosophy in Education Studies has three areas of concentration: special education and communication disorders, educational administration, and teacher education.

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#8. American College of Education

The American College of Education is a for-profit college in Indianapolis, Indiana. The school is an online educational institution with programs at the master’s and doctoral levels, as well as specialist degree programs and graduate-level certificates in education. Established in 2005, the college is completely centered on training educators and providing degrees and certificates alone in the area of education. American College of Education provides one doctoral program. 

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) is among the free Ph.D. programs online with a concentration in leadership. Tuition for the program comes in at $336 per credit hour, placing the institution within our top 10 cheapest online Ph.D. programs worldwide.

The online Ed.D. program is intended for professionals working full-time in their respective fields. Applicants to the program should, at the time of application, have an earned M.S., M.B.A., or M.Ed. with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Up to 18 credit hours can be accepted from other educational institutions. To keep costs down, there are no residency requirements for the program. Rather, virtual meetings take place, and all seminars are self-paced.

#9. Delta State University

Delta State University is another public institution that made it to our list of the cheapest online Ph.D. programs worldwide. It is situated in Cleveland, Mississippi, on 339 acres and was established in 1924. Delta State University provides an online Doctor of Nursing Practice, among the free Ph.D. programs online, allowing students to take the Family Nurse Practitioner certification. The program’s educational cost is competitive and set at $374 per credit hour.

Admissions present two unique paths: one in which the student holds a bachelor’s degree upon admission and the other in which the student holds a master’s degree upon admission.

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#10. University Of The Cumberlands

The University of the Cumberlands is a private institution established in 1888. Situated in Williamsburg, Kentucky, the university is situated on 150 acres and provides a variety of 100% online doctoral programs. Included among the online doctoral programs are a Ph.D. in Leadership (Business and Education), a Doctor of Education in Counselor Education and Supervision, a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (hybrid program), and a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (hybrid program. 

A good number of the online doctoral programs at the University of the Cumberlands are extensions of the Ph.D. in Leadership. The program explicitly in Leadership focuses on training leaders in teaching and administrative Strategies. The program trains leaders who will go on to work in community organizations, higher education, and K–12 schools. The doctorate in leadership has two primary emphases outside the primary leadership degree: educational leadership and Counsellor Education and Supervision.

Other cheapest online Ph.D. programs in the world include:

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the cheapest online doctorate?

We have made the Tuition/per credit hour for each university in our list available to you in this article. Consult it!

Is a Ph.D. worth it?

A doctorate is worth it. If your goal is a faculty appointment, then a Ph.D. is the most likely way to have your dream come true—but be aware that it’s no guarantee. The number of available junior faculty positions is much smaller than the number of new Ph.D. graduates yearly.

Can you get a Ph.D. in one year?

The answer to this question is double-edged… but it is more no than yes. Oxfam offers a one-year Ph.D. by published work through Oxford Brookes. The meaning of this is that you must have produced a fair amount of work previously (books, chapters, papers), and in one year, you get to write a 15,000-word critical review of your work.

How Much Does It Cost To Get Ph.D.? Online?

Online Ph.D. programs are estimated to cost between $4,000 to $20,000 per year; the exact amount you will have to invest into getting a Ph.D. will depend on the course and your program. Whichever way, online Ph.D. programs are typically cheaper than conventional offline programs. You should take advantage of the cheapest online Ph.D. programs to earn a Ph.D. at a very affordable cost.

Is Online Ph.D. Worth It?

Online Ph.D. is worth it; the certificate and honors are valued. Online Ph.D. is also best for busy professionals who may find it challenging to attend offline classes that do not fit into their schedule. Aside from being time-friendly, cheap online Ph.D. programs are also available for those who can’t afford the expensive nature of running an offline program.

How Long Does An Online Ph.D. Take?

Firstly, you should know that an online Ph.D. program is not a shortcut to earning a Ph.D., offline Ph.D. programs typically take almost six years to complete, and most online programs take the same time. But, some schools offer Ph.D. programs that have a duration of about 3-5 years.

Conclusion: Cheapest Online Ph.D. programs

The barriers of distance and time have been removed to make it easier for students to earn a Master’s degree from home. What makes it more interesting is that the cost barrier has also been dealt with. Any of these cheapest online Ph.D. programs will be a fantastic choice.

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