PhDs are the upper echelon of academics, and as such are not easy to come by. In field like the humanities, only about a third of PhD candidates in the humanities manage to finish their dissertation and earn their degree, although in some field like biomedical science up to 75% of the candidates manage to complete their program.
The reason for this is simple: PhDs, representing the highest level of educational achievement, are also the most demanding. They require years of full-time study, and often a large financial investment as well. The average PhD takes between five and seven years to complete.
PhD candidates are supposed to be the best and the brightest in their field, so it’s no surprise that PhD programs are highly competitive. The average GPA of incoming students is often above a four-point-zero, and many programs have GRE score requirements in the ninetieth percentile or higher.
But there is a better way. There are a few PhDs that are easier to get than others. For example, if you want to get a PhD in business, you can easily find a program that doesn’t require the GRE and has a lower GPA requirement. Or if you want to get a PhD in education, many programs don’t require a GRE score at all.
In this article, you are going to discover what are the easiest PhD to get, and what makes them so.
What Makes a PhD Easy?
There are a few factors that make some PhDs easier to obtain than others. The first factor is the GPA requirements. As mentioned earlier, the average GPA for PhD programs is quite high, often above a four-point-zero. But there are some programs that have lower GPA requirements, making them easier to get into if your grades aren’t quite up to par.
The second factor is the GRE score requirements. Many PhD programs require a GRE score in the ninetieth percentile or higher, but there are some programs that don’t have any GRE score requirements at all. This makes them much easier to get into if you’re not a strong test taker.
The third factor is the admissions requirements. Some PhD programs have very few admissions requirements, while others have quite a few. The fewer admissions requirements there are, the easier it is to get into the program.
The fourth factor is the time commitment. There are some PhD programs that can be completed in as little as two years, while others may take up to seven years to finish. The shorter the program, the easier it is to get your PhD.
Warning: Be wary of schools claiming you can complete your PhD in 1 year. These are unaccredited programs that hold 0 value. You’re basically buying a fake PhD from a shady dealer. There are better ways to spend your money. The absolute minimum time it will take to get a PhD is 18 months.
The fifth factor is the field of study. Some fields, like business and education, have many programs that are easy to get into. Other fields, like the humanities, have extremely competitive programs. It’s why only one third of people who enroll in a PhD in humanities manage to complete the program.
Finally, the type of school matters as well. Some schools are simply easier to get into than others. For example, Ivy League schools are much harder to get into than state schools.
If you’re looking for an easy PhD, there are a few fields where you might want to start your search: business, education, and the health sciences. But remember, even in these fields, a PhD is still a demanding degree that will require years of hard work and dedication.
Let’s see some of the easiest PhD programs.
The Easiest PhD Programs in the United States
Now that you know what makes a PhD program easy, let’s take a look at some of the easiest PhD programs to get into.
To make this list, we considered the factors we discussed earlier: GPA requirements, GRE score requirements, admissions requirements, time commitment, and field of study. We also looked at the type of school, with a preference for state schools over Ivy League schools purely as a matter of cost.
The reasoning behind our choice is that when you look for easy PhDs you want something that is not only easy to get into, but also affordable. If you want an easy PhD you aren’t looking for the best of the best, which is what you’d get at an Ivy school.
Editor’s note: You’ll notice that basically every program on this list is online. Some will require you to travel on camps a few times per term. The reasoning is that online PhDs are easier to get into. The competition is lower and the requirements are generally not as high.
Here are some of the easiest online PhD programs:
Doctorate in Business
A doctorate in business is a PhD in business. It is the highest degree you can get in business and it is the equivalent of a PhD in any other field. A doctorate in business usually takes four years to complete and it is offered by many business schools around the world.
Admissions requirements for a doctorate in business are usually very flexible. Most programs only require a bachelor’s degree and a minimum GPA. Some programs may also require you to submit GRE scores or take an entrance exam.
Time commitment is also very flexible for a doctorate in business. Many programs allow you to complete your coursework at your own pace and you can take up to six years to finish the program. Plus, most of these programs can be completed online. You don’t need fancy equipment or to be on-site to complete your coursework.
The field of business is one of the most popular fields for online PhD programs. This is because there are many different types of businesses and many different specializations within the field of business. You can find an online PhD program in almost any type of business, from accounting to marketing.
The main downside of a doctorate in business is that it is not as well respected as other PhDs. This is because business is not seen as an academic discipline by many people. A doctorate in business is seen as more of a professional degree than an academic one.
Easy PhDs in business administration programs include:
- The Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program offered by Hult University
- The Doctor of Management (DM) program offered by the University of Maryland University College
- The Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program offered by University of Missouri – St. Louis
Doctorate in Education
Education is a field that is always evolving at blazing speed. What used to be commonplace in education just 20 years ago is now seen as archaic and outdated. For example, the way we teach children to read and write has changed dramatically in the last few decades.
People seeking this type of doctorate programs are usually looking to move into leadership roles in education. The degree gives them the knowledge and skills they need to be able to lead a team of educators and make decisions that will shape the future of education.
Much like the doctorates in business administration, the easiest programs in education can be completed online, as they don’t require any special equipment or on-site visits (although some programs will ask you to go there every now and then).
However, admission into these programs is usually very competitive. Most programs require a master’s degree in education and a minimum GPA. Some programs may also require you to submit GRE scores or take an entrance exam.
Among the easiest PhD programs in education there are:
- Doctor of Global Studies in Education offered by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- Online Doctor of Education (ED.D.) offered by Indiana Wesleyan University
- Doctor of Education (ED.D.) offered by Northcentral University
Doctorate in Nursing
A doctorate in nursing goes well beyond the daily tasks of a nurse. With this type of education, your responsibilities will include conducting research, teaching at the college level, and working with government officials to shape healthcare policy.
A doctorate in nursing is a great way to take your career to the next level. Nurses with a PhD are often seen as leaders in their field and are highly respected by their peers. And hospitals are always looking for ways to improve patient care, so a PhD in nursing can help you make a real difference in the lives of people.
With all these important tasks, it is no surprise that a PhD in nursing is a very demanding degree. It can take up to eight years to complete, and you will need to complete coursework, research, and a dissertation.
That said, there are many online PhD programs in nursing that can make the process easier. You can often find programs that allow you to complete your coursework at your own pace and do your research from home.
Some of the easiest PhD programs in nursing include:
- Post-Master’s Online Nursing PhD at University of Central Florida
- Online PhD in Nursing at Walden University
- Online Doctor of Nursing Practice at Maryville University
Editor’s note: The doctorate in nursing practice at Maryville University takes only 18-20 months and requires no dissertation. That’s among the easiest ones you can get.
Doctorate in Psychology
Psychology is a field that is getting more and more attention as we learn more about the human mind. And with a doctorate in psychology, you can be at the forefront of this exciting field.
A doctorate in psychology will allow you to work in many different settings, including hospitals, private practices, and research laboratories. You will also have the opportunity to teach at the college level and conduct research that could lead to new discoveries about the human mind.
However, a PhD in psychology is not an easy degree to obtain. It can take up to eight years to complete, and you will need to complete coursework, research, and a dissertation.
That said, there are many online PhD programs in psychology that can make the process easier. You can often find programs that allow you to complete your coursework at your own pace and do your research from home.
Some of the easiest PhD programs in psychology include:
- Online Doctor of Psychology in Human and Organizational Psychology at Touro University
- PhD in Psychology – Cognition and Instruction – Qualitative at Grand Canyon University
- Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology at Capella University
Doctor of Physical Therapy
With an aging population and an increasing focus on healthy living, there is a growing demand for physical therapists. You can make an impact in this field by helping people recover from injuries and improve their quality of life.
A doctorate in physical therapy will allow you to work in many different settings, including hospitals, private practices, and research laboratories. You will also have the opportunity to teach at the college level and conduct research that could lead to new discoveries about the human body.
It might sound a little weird to get an online degree in physical therapy, but it is actually a very popular option. Many students choose this route because it allows them to complete their coursework at their own pace and do their research from home.
2 of the easiest PhD programs in physical therapy are:
- Physical Therapy (DPT) – Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy at A.T. Still University
- Post-Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy Online at Utica University
Doctorate in Theology
If you are interested in a career in the clergy or in working for a religious organization, then a PhD in theology is the degree for you.
A doctorate in theology will allow you to work as a pastor, a missionary, or a religious counselor. You will also have the opportunity to teach at the college level and conduct research that could lead to new discoveries about religious beliefs.
This is a bit of a weird field to include, since religion is a very personal topic, but there are actually many online PhD programs in theology that can make the process easier. You can often find programs that allow you to complete your coursework at your own pace and do your research from home.
Warning: one thing ot note about ThDs is that some of them will require you to spend time on campus. Usually it’s anywhere between a few days and a few weeks. Still better than having to live on campus for months, but something to keep in mind.
Some of the easiest PhD programs in theology include:
- Doctor of Ministry, Pastoral Studies at Grace College (this one is not 100% online)
- Doctor of Ministry in Apologetics and Theology at Liberty University
- PhD in Theology at Oral Roberts University
Doctorate in Social Work
A social work degree can lead to a career in many different settings, including hospitals, schools, private practices, and research laboratories. You will also have the opportunity to teach at the college level and conduct research that could lead to new discoveries about human behavior.
A social worker can make a real difference in the lives of their clients, and there is a growing demand for social workers as our population ages. If you are interested in helping others and making a difference in the world, then a PhD in social work is the degree for you.
Here are the easiest PhDs in social work:
- MSW/PhD in Social Work at Boston College
- Doctor of Social Work Degree in Clinical Practice & Leadership Program at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville
- Doctor of Social Work (DSW) in Social Welfare Program at University at Buffalo
These are just a few of the options available to you if you are interested in getting an easy PhD.
But now you’re probably wondering “this is cool and all, but are online PhDs even valid?”. That’s a fair question that we are going to answer immediately.
Are Online PhDs Valid?
This is a question many people wonder before enrolling into an online PhD. There is still some stigma against online PhDs, with many people wondering if they are as good as a traditional PhD.
The answer is it depends. Some fields can’t just be studied online, you need access to facilities or you need to be on-site. Other fields can be studied online with no problem.
It also depends on the school you’re attending. Some online schools are accredited and have a good reputation. They are accredited institutions and the curriculum is just as challenging as a traditional PhD program. The only difference is that you complete your coursework and exams online.
Others schools are not as well respected. They are considered ‘diploma mills’ by many, and their PhDs are not seen as being on the same level as a traditional PhD.
So, if you’re looking at online PhDs, do your research and make sure the school and field of study are reputable.
A PhD is a great way to further your career and improve your earning potential. But not all PhDs are created equal. Some are easier to get than others, and some have better job prospects than others.
And, ultimately, what makes a PhD easy is also your investment in it. Sure, a grueling 7-years program about quantum physics will be difficult no matter what. But if you’re passionate about the subject, it will make the journey much easier.
The most important factor in your choice should be your why. Why are you getting a PhD? Is it for the love of learning? Is it to further your career? Once you know your why, the choice becomes much easier.
Do your research and pick the PhD that’s right for you. And, most importantly, don’t give up on your dreams. A PhD is within reach, no matter what field you’re in. Technology is such a helpful tool in this case too. Between the possibility to complete a PhD online, and the research boost the massive internet archives give you, there’s really no excuse not to get that degree you’ve always wanted.