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New Online Doctoral Degree Programs – February 2020

Several colleges and universities have recently announced the launch of new online and hybrid doctoral degree programs. These programs provide prospective doctoral students in fields such as education, leadership, law, pharmacy, occupational therapy, and public health with options for earning an advanced degree without having to relocate or commute regularly to a campus location. The University of North Dakota, Syracuse University, The University of Akron, Anderson University, Rivier University, St. John Fisher College, and University of the Pacific are among the schools offering these new doctoral degree programs.

The University of North Dakota (UND) – Online Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Indigenous Health Program

The University of North Dakota (UND), a state school located in Grand Forks, will become the first school in the country to offer an online PhD in Indigenous Health program this fall. The program is being offered through UND’s School of Medicine & Health Sciences, which currently offers an accelerated joint bachelor’s and master’s program that gives high school graduates a pathway to earning a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Indigenous Health degree online in five years. The new PhD program can be completed on campus, online, or through a combination of online and campus-based classes. It has an estimated time to completion of three years and two curricular options: an academic track for PhD students who intend to teach and/or conduct scholarly research in the field of Indigenous Health; and an applied track for those who seek leadership positions working in public health among indigenous communities. UND’s PhD in Indigenous Health program is currently accepting applicants; candidates for admission must hold a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited college or university.

Syracuse University – Online Juris Doctor (JD)/Master of Business Administration (MBA) Joint Degree Program

New York’s Syracuse University, which offers an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program through its Martin J. Whitman School of Management, became one of the first schools in the country to offer an online Juris Doctor (JD) program in January of last year. This fall, Syracuse will become one of the first universities to offer an online JD/MBA joint degree program. The new program is offered through Syracuse University’s College of Law in conjunction with the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Students who are interested in this joint JD/MBA degree program must first be accepted into the online JD program. After completing a year of JD studies, they may then apply for admission to the MBA program.

While Syracuse’s online MBA does not require students to attend any campus-based sessions, the online JD program requires attendance at six in-person residencies on the university’s campus. The online MBA program can be completed in 24 months and the online JD program is designed to be completed in three years and three months. The time it takes to complete the joint JD/MBA program will depend on how many courses students are able to complete per semester. Syracuse’s online MBA program has six options for specialization: Accounting; Business Analytics; Entrepreneurship; Finance; Marketing Management; and Supply Chain Management.

The University of Akron – Blended Online Juris Doctor (JD) Program

The School of Law at The University of Akron in Ohio has launched a new Blended Online Juris Doctor (JD) program designed to meet the needs of students who are not able to attend campus-based classes four or five days per week. The part-time program utilizes a hybrid format in which students attend campus-based classes two nights per week while completing the majority of their coursework online during the first two years of the program. For the final year-and-a-half of the program, the number of classes students attend on campus versus online depends on elective coursework, course availability, and the concentration students choose. The University of Akron’s JD program allows students to specialize in the following areas of the law: Business; Criminal; Health; Intellectual Property; International; Litigation; Public Interest; and Taxation. The program is accepting applicants for a fall of 2020 start date.

Anderson University – Online Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Leadership Program

Anderson University, a private, non-profit university located in South Carolina, has introduced a new online Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Leadership program that is accepting applications for a fall of 2020 start date. The research-based doctoral program is offered entirely online and gives students two curricular pathways: a Business track for students who are interested in studying business, government, and non-profit leadership; and a Christian Ministry track for students who are interested in pursuing leadership position in churches, denominational agencies, and religious education institutions. The 48-credit program, which is designed for students who hold a master’s degree from an accredited college or university, can be completed in 24 months of full-time study.

Rivier University – Online Doctor of Education (EdD) in Leadership and Learning Program

Rivier University, a private, non-profit school located in Nashua, NH, has launched a new online Doctor of Education (EdD) in Leadership and Learning program that is accepting candidates for its first cohort of students in September of this year. The 51-credit program is designed for working professionals who hold a master’s degree. The curriculum includes advanced training and instruction in theories and principles of leadership and adult learning. Students then learn how these theories are applied within organizations, institutions, and businesses in fields such as social services, healthcare, mental health counseling, education, and local, state, and federal government. The program utilizes a cohort model, which means that groups of students begin and progress through the program together, taking two courses per seven-week term in order to complete the program in three years.

St. John Fisher College – Online Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Program

The Wegmans School of Pharmacy at New York’s St. John Fisher College is launching a new online Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program this fall. Students in the program, which includes advanced training and instruction in pharmaceutical sciences, clinical skills, and administrative proficiencies, will be able to complete most of their didactic instruction through online coursework. The program’s clinical requirements include six immersion sessions held at the St. John Fisher College campus in Rochester, as well as 1680 hours of clinical rotations at pharmacy locations approved by the program. In order to qualify for the program, applicants must have completed a minimum of two years of pre-professional academic training or the equivalent of 62 credits of college-level coursework. The 151-credit program is designed to be completed in four years of full-time enrollment.

University of the Pacific – Hybrid Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program

University of the Pacific, a private, non-profit university with campuses in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Stockton, CA, has opened a School of Health Sciences that will begin offering several new graduate degree programs in the next year, including a hybrid Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program. The hybrid program will combine online learning with campus-based class meetings and simulation labs, and utilize a cohort model, which means that groups of students will begin and progress through the 128-credit program together and graduate in eight trimesters, or 32 months. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have completed college-level coursework in anatomy, physiology, statistics, medical terminology, movement science, sociology, human development, and abnormal psychology. However, the OTD program does not require students to have a bachelor’s degree prior to enrolling. The University of Pacific’s online hybrid OTD program is set to enroll its first cohort of students in January of 2021.


New Program Launches