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2024 Best Grad Schools in the United States for Doctorate Degrees

There are lots of options to choose from today when trying to decide which grad school to attend. College Factual was founded, in part, to help students make the decision as to what would be the best school for them. Our Best Doctor's Degree Colleges ranking is part of that endeavor.

What's on This Page: * Our Methodology

  • Best Graduate Schools List

top phd programs in the us

Choosing the Best Grad School for You

Quality Badge

Our analysis looked at 691 grad schools in the United States to determine which ones have the best doctorate degree programs. Our ranking for the best grad schools is based on objective factors. We steer clear of subjective measures since they don't give a clear picture when determining how one school compares to another. The following gives more info on what goes into our ranking factors and why we consider those factors.

Higher Than Average Earnings

To determine the overall quality of a graduate school, one factor we look at is the average early-career salary of those receiving a doctorate degree from the school. Recent students who earned a doctorate degree in the United States entered the job market making an average of $75,260 while those in the top 20 schools on our list made an average of $88,513.

Taking Out Student Loans

Graduate students may also take on a lot of debt while working on their doctorate so we factor that into our rankings as well. The average amount taken out in student loans for graduates at a particular school may be crippling for those who earn less than average wages after graduation.

More Ranking Factors That Are Important

We also analyze a number of other factors in addition to average post-graduation earnings and average student debt when coming up with our yearly Best Doctorate Degree Schools ranking. On a broad level, other factors that go into our rankings include such things as the demand of the school, the student body caliber, if the school has online options, and the educational resources provided by the school.

We go into more detail on these factors on our graduate school ranking methodology page.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Not quite ready to work on your doctorate? Check out our Best Master's Degree Schools ranking.

Top Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States

Learn more about these excellent grad schools below:

MIT crest

Our analysis found Massachusetts Institute of Technology to be the best grad school for doctorate degrees in the United States in this year’s ranking. MIT is a private not-for-profit institution located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 568 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a doctorate degree from MIT go into careers with an average salary of $115,303 during the early years of their career.

Learn More About Massachusetts Institute of Technology

UPenn crest

The excellent doctorate degree programs at University of Pennsylvania helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in the United States. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 1,254 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from UPenn make an average of $97,555 a year.

Learn More About University of Pennsylvania

Stanford crest

A rank of #3 on our Best Doctorate Degrees in the United States list means Stanford University is a great place for students working on their degree. Stanford is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Stanford, California. It awarded 1,105 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Upon graduation, doctorate degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $98,295 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Stanford University

Harvard crest

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Harvard University. The school came in at #4 in the United States on this year’s best doctorate degree schools ranking. Harvard is a private not-for-profit institution located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school has a large population, and it awarded 1,444 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a doctorate degree from Harvard go into careers with an average salary of $95,158 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Harvard University

Princeton crest

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Princeton University. The school came in at #5 in the United States on this year’s best doctorate degree schools ranking. Princeton, New Jersey is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out doctorate degrees to 293 students in 2020-2021.

Full Princeton University Report

Carnegie Mellon crest

Carnegie Mellon University landed the #6 spot on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and it awarded 333 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Full Carnegie Mellon University Report

Northwestern crest

Northwestern University landed the #7 spot on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. Evanston, Illinois is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out doctorate degrees to 1,028 students in 2020-2021.

Upon graduation, doctorate degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $93,954 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Northwestern University

UChicago crest

University of Chicago landed the #8 spot on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. University of Chicago is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Chicago, Illinois that handed out 755 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from UChicago make an average of $96,200 a year.

Learn More About University of Chicago

Rice crest

Rice University ranked #9 on this year’s Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States list. Rice is located in Houston, Texas and has a medium-sized student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 207 doctorate degrees to qualified graduate students.

Learn More About Rice University

USC crest

University of Southern California did quite well in the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking, coming in at #10. Located in Los Angeles, California, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 1,914 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from USC make an average of $87,196 a year.

Learn More About University of Southern California

UC Berkeley crest

University of California - Berkeley ranked #11 on this year’s Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States list. UC Berkeley is a large public school situated in Berkeley, California. It awarded 1,187 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a doctorate degree from UC Berkeley make an average of $88,876 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on University of California - Berkeley

Vanderbilt crest

Vanderbilt University ranked #12 on this year’s Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States list. Vanderbilt is a private not-for-profit institution located in Nashville, Tennessee. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 787 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from Vanderbilt make an average of $91,182 a year.

Learn More About Vanderbilt University

Georgetown crest

Georgetown University did quite well in the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking, coming in at #13. Georgetown is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Washington, District of Columbia. It awarded 1,014 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a doctorate degree from Georgetown make an average of $105,462 per year during the early years of their career.

Learn More About Georgetown University

Yale crest

Yale University did quite well in the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking, coming in at #14. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, the fairly large private not-for-profit school awarded 742 diplomas to qualifed doctorate degree students in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a doctorate degree from Yale go into careers with an average salary of $91,187 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Yale University

Teachers College crest

Teachers College at Columbia University did quite well in the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking, coming in at #15. Teachers College is a small private not-for-profit school situated in New York, New York. It awarded 185 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a doctorate degree from Teachers College make an average of $78,856 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Teachers College at Columbia University Report

Duke crest

Duke University came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. Located in Durham, North Carolina, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 949 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a doctorate degree from Duke make an average of $92,967 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Duke University Report

Columbia crest

Columbia University in the City of New York landed the #17 spot on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. Columbia is a large private not-for-profit school situated in New York, New York. It awarded 1,502 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from Columbia make an average of $102,938 a year.

Learn More About Columbia University in the City of New York

Bentley crest

Bentley University did quite well in the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking, coming in at #18. Bentley is located in Waltham, Massachusetts and has a medium-sized student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 1 doctorate degrees to qualified graduate students.

Full Bentley University Report

Suffolk crest

Suffolk University landed the #19 spot on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. This medium-sized private not-for-profit school is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and it awarded 351 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

The average salary of a graduate with a doctorate degree from Suffolk is $56,355 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Suffolk University

Cornell crest

Cornell University landed the #20 spot on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. Cornell is a private not-for-profit institution located in Ithaca, New York. The school has a large population, and it awarded 777 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

The average salary of a graduate with a doctorate degree from Cornell is $107,405 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Cornell University

Georgia Tech crest

With a ranking of #21, Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus did quite well on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States list. Atlanta, Georgia is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out doctorate degrees to 577 students in 2020-2021.

Full Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus Report

Brown crest

Brown University ranked #22 on this year’s Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States list. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Providence, Rhode Island, and it awarded 293 doctorate degrees in 2020-2021.

The average salary of a graduate with a doctorate degree from Brown is $60,843 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Brown University

WUSTL crest

Washington University in St Louis came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking. WUSTL is located in Saint Louis, Missouri and has a fairly large student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 742 doctorate degrees to qualified graduate students.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from WUSTL make an average of $72,507 a year.

Learn More About Washington University in St Louis

Notre Dame crest

University of Notre Dame did quite well in the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States ranking, coming in at #24. Notre Dame, Indiana is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out doctorate degrees to 422 students in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, doctorate degree graduates from Notre Dame make an average of $78,016 a year.

Read full report on University of Notre Dame

Caltech crest

With a ranking of #25, California Institute of Technology did quite well on the 2024 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States list. Caltech is located in Pasadena, California and has a small student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 184 doctorate degrees to qualified graduate students.

Those who receive a doctorate degree from Caltech go into careers with an average salary of $59,996 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on California Institute of Technology

Rest of the Top 50 Best Doctorate Degree Schools in the United States

Not only did these schools make the top 50 list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

NYU Crest

Narrow Doctorate Degree Schools by Region

Rocky mountains, middle atlantic, great lakes, new england, plains states, far western us, other u.s. territories, rest of the top 15% doctorate degree schools in the united states.

To learn more about the schools below, just click on their names:

Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our Best Doctorate Degree Schools ranking:

More Rankings

Bachelor's degrees, returning adults, master's degrees.

More Rankings >

Notes and References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System ( IPEDS ) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s ( College Scorecard ).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies .

Popular Reports

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top phd programs in the us

Doctor of Philosophy in Education

Ph.D. Commencement robing Martin West and Christopher Cleveland

Additional Information

  • Download the Doctoral Viewbook
  • Admissions & Aid

The Harvard Ph.D. in Education trains cutting-edge researchers who work across disciplines to generate knowledge and translate discoveries into transformative policy and practice.

Offered jointly by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Ph.D. in Education provides you with full access to the extraordinary resources of Harvard University and prepares you to assume meaningful roles as university faculty, researchers, senior-level education leaders, and policymakers.

As a Ph.D. candidate, you will collaborate with scholars across all Harvard graduate schools on original interdisciplinary research. In the process, you will help forge new fields of inquiry that will impact the way we teach and learn. The program’s required coursework will develop your knowledge of education and your expertise in a range of quantitative and qualitative methods needed to conduct high-quality research. Guided by the goal of making a transformative impact on education research, policy, and practice, you will focus on independent research in various domains, including human development, learning and teaching, policy analysis and evaluation, institutions and society, and instructional practice.   

Curriculum Information

The Ph.D. in Education requires five years of full-time study to complete. You will choose your individual coursework and design your original research in close consultation with your HGSE faculty adviser and dissertation committee. The requirements listed below include the three Ph.D. concentrations: Culture, Institutions, and Society; Education Policy and Program Evaluation; and Human Development, Learning and Teaching . 

We invite you to review an example course list, which is provided in two formats — one as the full list by course number and one by broad course category . These lists are subject to modification. 

Ph.D. Concentrations and Examples

Summary of Ph.D. Program

Doctoral Colloquia  In year one and two you are required to attend. The colloquia convenes weekly and features presentations of work-in-progress and completed work by Harvard faculty, faculty and researchers from outside Harvard, and Harvard doctoral students. Ph.D. students present once in the colloquia over the course of their career.

Research Apprenticeship The Research Apprenticeship is designed to provide ongoing training and mentoring to develop your research skills throughout the entire program.

Teaching Fellowships The Teaching Fellowship is an opportunity to enhance students' teaching skills, promote learning consolidation, and provide opportunities to collaborate with faculty on pedagogical development.

Comprehensive Exams  The Written Exam (year 2, spring) tests you on both general and concentration-specific knowledge. The Oral Exam (year 3, fall/winter) tests your command of your chosen field of study and your ability to design, develop, and implement an original research project.

Dissertation  Based on your original research, the dissertation process consists of three parts: the Dissertation Proposal, the writing, and an oral defense before the members of your dissertation committee.

Culture, Institutions, and Society (CIS) Concentration

In CIS, you will examine the broader cultural, institutional, organizational, and social contexts relevant to education across the lifespan. What is the value and purpose of education? How do cultural, institutional, and social factors shape educational processes and outcomes? How effective are social movements and community action in education reform? How do we measure stratification and institutional inequality? In CIS, your work will be informed by theories and methods from sociology, history, political science, organizational behavior and management, philosophy, and anthropology. You can examine contexts as diverse as classrooms, families, neighborhoods, schools, colleges and universities, religious institutions, nonprofits, government agencies, and more.

Education Policy and Program Evaluation (EPPE) Concentration

In EPPE, you will research the design, implementation, and evaluation of education policy affecting early childhood, K–12, and postsecondary education in the U.S. and internationally. You will evaluate and assess individual programs and policies related to critical issues like access to education, teacher effectiveness, school finance, testing and accountability systems, school choice, financial aid, college enrollment and persistence, and more. Your work will be informed by theories and methods from economics, political science, public policy, and sociology, history, philosophy, and statistics. This concentration shares some themes with CIS, but your work with EPPE will focus on public policy and large-scale reforms.

Human Development, Learning and Teaching (HDLT) Concentration

In HDLT, you will work to advance the role of scientific research in education policy, reform, and practice. New discoveries in the science of learning and development — the integration of biological, cognitive, and social processes; the relationships between technology and learning; or the factors that influence individual variations in learning — are transforming the practice of teaching and learning in both formal and informal settings. Whether studying behavioral, cognitive, or social-emotional development in children or the design of learning technologies to maximize understanding, you will gain a strong background in human development, the science of learning, and sociocultural factors that explain variation in learning and developmental pathways. Your research will be informed by theories and methods from psychology, cognitive science, sociology and linguistics, philosophy, the biological sciences and mathematics, and organizational behavior.

Program Faculty

The most remarkable thing about the Ph.D. in Education is open access to faculty from all Harvard graduate and professional schools, including the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard Kennedy School, the Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard School of Public Health. Learn about the full Ph.D. Faculty.

Jarvis Givens

Jarvis R. Givens

Jarvis Givens studies the history of American education, African American history, and the relationship between race and power in schools.

Paul Harris

Paul L. Harris

Paul Harris is interested in the early development of cognition, emotion, and imagination in children.

Meira Levinson

Meira Levinson

Meira Levinson is a normative political philosopher who works at the intersection of civic education, youth empowerment, racial justice, and educational ethics. 

Luke Miratrix

Luke W. Miratrix

Luke Miratrix is a statistician who explores how to best use modern statistical methods in applied social science contexts.

top phd programs in the us

Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor studies the economics of education, with a particular interest in employer-employee interactions between schools and teachers — hiring and firing decisions, job design, training, and performance evaluation.

Paola Uccelli

Paola Uccelli

Paola Ucelli studies socio-cultural and individual differences in the language development of multilingual and monolingual students.

HGSE shield on blue background

View Ph.D. Faculty

Dissertations.

The following is a complete listing of successful Ph.D. in Education dissertations to-date. Dissertations from November 2014 onward are publicly available in the Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard (DASH) , the online repository for Harvard scholarship.

  • 2022 Graduate Dissertations (265 KB pdf)
  • 2021 Graduate Dissertations (177 KB pdf)
  • 2020 Graduate Dissertations (121 KB pdf)
  • 2019 Graduate Dissertations (68.3 KB pdf)

Student Directory

An opt-in listing of current Ph.D. students with information about their interests, research, personal web pages, and contact information:

Doctor of Philosophy in Education Student Directory

Introduce Yourself

Tell us about yourself so that we can tailor our communication to best fit your interests and provide you with relevant information about our programs, events, and other opportunities to connect with us.

Program Highlights

Explore examples of the Doctor of Philosophy in Education experience and the impact its community is making on the field:

Callie Sung

The Human Element of Data and AI

Gahyun Callie Sung's journey to HGSE and the LIT Lab is reflected in her research into data and using AI to improve student outcomes

Mary Laski

Improving the Teacher Workforce

With her research work, doctoral marshal Mary Laski, Ph.D.'24, is trying to make teaching in K–12 schools more sustainable and attractive

APS

PhD Program Rankings (Adapted from US News and World Report)

Below are reputation scores and ranks of the top 27 PhD programs in Psychology, including top-ranked schools in each of six subspecialties. From US News and World Report, “America’s Best Graduate Schools” rank/school average reputation score.

Rank                                      School Average reputation score

1                                 Stanford Univ.                                                         4.8

2                                 Univ. of California-Berkeley                                       4.6

2                                 Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor                                     4.6

4                                 Univ. of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign                         4.5

4                                 Yale Univ.                                                                 4.5

6                                 Harvard Univ.                                                        4.4

6                                 Univ. of California-Los Angeles                             4.4

6                                 Univ. of Minnesota-Twin Cities                             4.4

9                                 Carnegie Mellon Univ.                                             4.2

9                                 Princeton Univ.                                                          4.2

9                                 Univ. of Pennsylvania                                                4.2

9                                 Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison                                        4.2

13                               Indiana Univ.-Bloomington                                          4.1

13                               Univ. of California-San Diego                                         4.1

13                               Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill                               4.1

16                               Johns Hopkins Univ.                                                       4.0

16                               Univ. of Colorado-Boulder                                              4.0

16                               Univ. of Texas-Austin                                                  4.0

19                               Cornell Univ.                                                               3.9

19                               Duke Univ.                                                                   3.9

19                               Northwestern Univ.                                                  3.9

19                               Univ. of Chicago                                                      3.9

19                               Univ. of Washington                                                    3.9

24                               Columbia Univ.                                                             3.8

24                               Ohio State Univ.                                                             3.8

24                               Univ. of California-Irvine                                                 3.8

24                               Univ. of Virginia                                                              3.8

Top Specialty Programs

C linical Psychology

1. Univ. of Minnesota-Twin Cities

2. Univ. of Illinois-Urban a-Champaign

3. Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor

4. Univ. of California-Los Angeles

5. Univ. of Washington

Co unseling Psychology

1. Univ. of Maryland-College Park

2. Ohio State Univ.

3. Univ. of Minnesota-Twin Cities

4. Univ. of Missouri-Columbia

5. Univ. of Iowa

Developme n tal

2. Univ. of Virginia

2. Stanford Univ.

4. Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor

5. Univ. of Illinois-Urban a-Champaign

5. Univ. of California-Berkeley

Expe ri menta l P sychology

1. Stanford Univ.

2. Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor

3. Univ. of California-Berkeley

4. Univ. of Illinois-Urban a-Champaign

5. Carnegie Mellon Univ.

I ndustrial / Organizational

2. Univ. of Maryland-College Park

3. Michigan State Univ.

4. Ohio State Univ.

5. Bowling Green State Univ.

5. Univ. of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Schoo l Psychology

1. Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

2. Univ. of Texas-Austin

3. Univ. of South Carolina-Columbia

3. Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln

3. Columbia Univ.

(The response rate for psychology was 34%, the lowest response rate for the six PhD fields surveyed. Political Science had the highest response rate, at 54%.)

Reprinted with permission from US News and World Report. Copyright, 1995, US News and World Report.

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top phd programs in the us

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top phd programs in the us

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APS has responded to urge that psychological science expertise be included in the group’s personnel and activities.

Privacy Overview

Top 15 Most Popular PhD Degrees in America in 2024

top phd programs in the us

Key Takeaways

  • PhDs and doctoral degrees are usually terminal degrees, which is the highest academic degree you can earn in your field.
  • More than 50,000 doctoral candidates earn this advanced degree every year, though this number may be declining.
  • The most popular doctorate degrees are in high-demand fields with lucrative opportunities like engineering, biology, and computer science.

Doctorate degrees can lead to career advancement, research positions, and a higher average salary. But which are the most popular subjects at the doctorate level?

Many popular advanced degrees can be found in the life sciences, as well as in select social science fields, healthcare industries, and in a wide range of engineering subdisciplines.

In many cases, popular PhDs are also among both the top PhD programs and the highest paying PhDs .

It’s also possible to earn many excellent doctorate degrees entirely online .

Otherwise, read on to find where the most PhD and doctorate degrees are being earned today.

Smiling female student with notebooks

An Overview of PhD Programs Offered

It may be possible to earn a PhD in just about any field.

However, the value of this PhD will depend a great deal on your selected area of study. The PhD is a research intensive degree. And because of this, one of the primary reasons that individuals will pursue their doctoral studies is to contribute to research in their field.

This makes the PhD particularly popular in fields with robust research opportunities and needs. For instance, a doctorate in psychology degree may qualify you to conduct meaningful mental health research.

A computer engineering degree may qualify you to contribute to research teams making strides in artificial intelligence. A PhD in cell biology could put you on the front lines in the battle against a deadly disease.

In some fields, such as clinical psychology, it may be more appropriate to earn an applied doctorate, as opposed to a research based PhD program. And in some fields, such as fine arts or library sciences, a master’s degree may already qualify you for a top salary in your field. Whether or not a PhD is right for you will depend on your intended career path.

That said, PhDs and doctorate degrees are available in the full spectrum of academic disciplines. Many of these doctorate degrees are also available online or in blended formats.

What’s the difference between doctoral degrees and PhDs?

Technically, a PhD is a type of doctorate degree. This means that all PhD candidates are doctoral students. By contrast, not all doctoral students are PhD candidates.

The major distinction is that doctoral students are primarily focused on putting existing theories into practice. Depending on your chosen field, doctorate degrees may require participation in an educational leadership program, engagement in clinical practice, work as a resident in a nursing program, and much more.

By contrast, PhD students are focused on creating new knowledge in their area of study. This usually means that PhD candidates are focused on introducing new theories, creating research projects around these theories, and presenting new findings that demonstrate a mastery of existing knowledge and the insight to introduce new ideas into the field.

How We Ranked Popular Doctorate Degrees

The National Science Foundation (NSF) provided a comprehensive survey of completed doctorate degrees from 2005 to 2015. While the exact year over year figures may fluctuate slightly, the proportion of graduates in each field has remained relatively constant during the period surveyed, as well as to the present day.

The National Science Foundation notes that, in 2020, 55,283 doctoral degrees were awarded throughout the United States. This represents a small decline in doctorate degrees awarded in the previous year–55,614 in 2019.

To find the most popular doctorate degrees in America, we compared NSF survey data with the information provided by governing bodies in particular fields. For example, to find the most current number of psychology doctorates awarded, we compared the NSF survey data to the American Psychological Association data.

The Most Popular PhDs and Doctoral Degrees in the U.S.

The figures provided by the National Science Foundation include both applied doctorate degrees and research based PhDs. This is reflected in the ranking below:

1. Engineering

13,606 Doctoral Engineering Degrees Awarded in 2019

When all subfields are counted together, engineering makes up the single most popular doctorate degree. Engineering is a field that uses science and technology to create and operate machines, structures, infrastructures, and manufacturing processes.

There are many different types of engineering including biomedical engineering, aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, communications engineering, and more.

Doctoral level students will typically have some experience in the field. Earning a doctoral level degree in engineering can qualify you to work in a wide range of research and development positions for private firms, think tanks, government agencies, universities, and more.

Students who are interested in earning an engineering doctorate can start with a look at Best Research Universities for Engineering Degrees .

Students studying in a library

2. Education

8,605 Doctoral Education Degrees Awarded in 2019

A doctorate in education could help you build toward a career as a special education policy expert, district administrator, university professor, and much more. The doctorate in education is highly popular because it provides a clear pathway to a wide range of careers in education research and leadership, and because it is extremely versatile.

Education doctorate online programs produce post-secondary educators, private education firm leaders, policy consultants, literacy researchers, and more. Moreover, doctors of education will qualify for today’s most lucrative and important careers in higher education leadership. Upon completion, PhD graduates may pursue careers as college presidents, school superintendents, deans, and more.

Start your search for a PhD in education with a look at the Best Online Doctorate in Education Degree Programs Ranked for Students .

3. Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Between 5,328 to 7,885 Doctoral Life Sciences Degrees Awarded in 2019

Biology, biomedical engineering, and related subjects make up a rapidly growing area of innovation. Biology is the study of life and living organisms.

This discipline covers a vast array of topics and specializations, biology students study life at the macroscopic and microscopic level. Those in biomedical specializations will study the intersection between biology, pathology, and healthcare.

The high growth in this particular field makes the doctorate degree highly popular. Whether you want to become a doctor or nurse, a zoologist or ecologist, a botanist or biochemist, an immunologist or virologist, earning a biology or biomedical doctorate can provide a pathway for participation in groundbreaking research.

Students interested in earning their doctorate degree in biology or biomedicine can start with a look at the Best Research Universities for Biology .

4. Psychology

6,915 Doctoral Psychology Degrees Awarded in 2019

Psychology is the study of the mind. Earning a doctorate in psychology will provide you the opportunity to conduct research in key areas like human development, cognition, and behavior. Those earning an applied psychology doctorate will practice clinical skills like counseling, behavioral therapy, and therapeutic treatment for mental health disorders.

For many working professionals in the field of psychology, a doctorate degree is a required credential. For instance, students who plan to ultimately become practicing clinical psychologists will be required to earn their doctorate degree in psychology from a program that is accredited by The APA Commission on Accreditation, and subsequently qualify for and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).

5. Health Sciences

3,710 Health-Related Doctoral Degrees Awarded in 2019

Medicine is a huge field without countless areas of specialization. If you’re interested in the human body, studying how it works, and using that understanding to relieve suffering, pain, and sickness, medicine is a great path of study.

You don’t need to become a medical doctor in order to earn a doctorate degree in the health sciences. Health sciences can include doctoral level study in a wide range of areas including physical therapy, public health, occupational therapy, and much more.

Doctorate degrees in health sciences are both popular and varied. Additional specializations can include important areas like immunology, virology, environmental health, and much more.

Among the more popular health sciences degrees, consider our look at the Top 8 Best Online Public Health PhD Degree Programs (Doctorates)

6. Social Sciences

3,705 Doctoral Social Science Degrees Awarded in 2019

The Social Sciences is a broad educational category that encompasses various disciplines and subdisciplines including psychology, sociology, economics, political science, anthropology, and more. For the purposes of this ranking, we excluded psychology doctorates in the figure above.

Most consequently among the social sciences are fields like Criminology and Criminal Justice; Public Policy and Urban Studies; Gender and Women’s Studies; Health Policy Analysis; Linguistics; and more.

This is a field in which a doctorate degree can be particularly valuable. There is a great deal of emphasis on field research, statistical analysis, and policy development in the social sciences. Students who earn their doctorate degrees have a chance to lead research and influence positive change in numerous settings.

Students who are interested in applying this knowledge in the legal sector can start with a look at The Best Online Criminal Justice Doctorates (PhDs) Ranked in 2023 .

7. Humanities

3,476 Doctoral Degrees Awarded in Humanities Fields in 2019

Humanities is actually a category of disciplines, rather than a single discipline itself. Humanities includes a number of key branches English, Economics, and History. However, each of these humanities subjects is fairly popular on its own. This section refers to the sum of doctoral candidates pursuing humanities degrees in a wide range of other subjects.

The figure here from the National Science Foundation refers to the number of doctoral students pursuing advanced degrees in subjects like Philosophy, Religious Studies, Music, Art History, Archeology, and more.

8. Business Management and Business Administration

More than 3,000 Doctoral Business Degrees Awarded in 2019

While the MBA is the single most popular advanced degree available, the doctorate in business administration is reserved for those with a direct interest in the theories and research behind certain business practices. In most cases, the DBA program is perceived as an academic “capstone” that signifies their accomplishment of real-life, practical experience.

In this regard, a DBA can carry a certain level of prestige that may qualify you for highly competitive leadership opportunities.

To get started, check out our look at the Best Online DBA Doctorate in Business Administration Degree Programs .

9. Chemistry

2,720 Doctoral Chemistry Degrees Awarded in 2019

Chemistry is a life sciences subdiscipline and is the study of the fundamental materials and processes that make up the universe and everything within it. Those who earn doctorate degrees in chemistry will have the opportunity to apply their advanced knowledge and credentials in a wide range of laboratory and field settings.

Doctors of chemistry will qualify to conduct research, provide post-secondary education, or serve in organizational leadership roles in an array of fields including engineering, medical science, pharmacology, environmental science, food science, and forensics, just to name a few.

Two women discussing chemistry

10. Computer and Information Sciences

2,883 Doctoral Computer Science Degrees Awarded in 2019

Computer and information sciences doctorate degrees are popular for good reason. This field is a frontier brimming with innovations. This means that doctoral graduates have an opportunity to participate in fast-paced research and development projects and serve in leadership roles at bleeding edge companies.

Earning a PhD in computer science can lead to many high-paying opportunities for private research firms, government agencies, universities, and much more.

Start your search with a look at the Best Online PhD of Computer Science Degree Programs (Doctorates) 2023 .

11. Physics

1,859 Doctoral Physics Degrees Awarded in 2019

Physics is a notoriously challenging field that incorporates branches like quantum physics, mathematical physics, biophysics, astrophysics, and much more. Therefore, those who pursue doctoral degrees in physics will work in a wide range of settings. Graduates with a doctorate degree in physics may work in laboratories, conducting field research, or leading research teams for government agencies.

Because physics is the study of matter, energy and the properties comprising the physical world around us, physicists may work in a wide range of areas including geological survey, space exploration, environmental sustainability and more.

Two female students studying together in a student center

12. Economics

1,381 Doctoral Economics Degrees Awarded in 2019

Economics is the most popular humanities discipline among doctorate degree candidates. It is also among the highest paying PhDs that you can earn.

Economics is the study of production, consumption, and the transfer of wealth. These are concepts that apply to virtually every area of labor and commerce, which means that your economics doctorate could qualify you for research and consultation opportunities in various settings. Your knowledge of financial systems, market behavior, and global economics could provide inroads into banking and finance, healthcare systems, government research, and a host of other high-paying career prospects.

13. Mathematics and Statistics

1,163 Doctoral Mathematics Degrees Awarded in 2019

Mathematics is the study of numbers, shapes, quantities, and patterns. Math students explore the relationships, rules, and formulas that govern the behavior of numbers and which, consequently, shape the world around us. Earning a doctoral degree in mathematics or statistics will enable you to apply these studies in a research, development or postsecondary education.

Your expertise could apply in a wide range of settings from sociological research and policy development to engineering innovations and technology implementation. Indeed, mathematics principles can be used to improve our comprehension of everything from the economy, public health, and resource distribution to weather, construction, and supply chain management. As a graduate with a doctorate in mathematics, you may be in a position to provide both leadership and education in virtually limitless private, public, and government-funded settings.

14. English (Letters)

1,023 Doctoral English Degrees Awarded in 2019

The National Science Foundation uses the category of “Letters” to account for a wide range of disciplines centering around the use of both the written and spoken world. This includes disciplines and subdisciplines such as English, Literature, Creative Writing, Speech, and more.

These are popular areas of doctoral study for those in the fields of language and literacy education, individuals pursuing leadership roles in the publishing sector, and for those interested in conducting research in areas like speech pathology. This is also a popular area of advanced study for post-secondary literature and composition professors.

Those interested in the field can get started with a look at the Top 5 Best Online English PhD Degree Programs (Doctorates) .

Happy students in a classroom

15. History

977 Doctoral History Degrees Awarded in 2019

History is an interdisciplinary field that brings together various areas of academic inquiry such as literature, archeology, political science, and philosophy to provide a better understanding of how the events in our past have shaped present-day realities.

History serves as a pathway into understanding the evolution of scientific inquiry, the emergence of important philosophical movements, breakthroughs in civic governance and so much more. This means a doctorate in history can lead to a wide range of careers in education, law, civics, public service, and much more.

In history, a PhD is considered a terminal degree and can lead to opportunities for professional historical research, consultation for government agencies, professorship in a university history department, and more.

Get started today with a look at the Best Online History Doctorate Degree Programs (PhDs) 2023 .

More About Doctorate Degrees and PhD Programs

If you are a prospective doctoral students, you may have many questions.

Below you will find a summary of the most important aspects of doctorate degree programs. That is, admission requirements, typical curriculum, and other program requirements.

Admission Requirements

Every doctorate program has its own admission requirements. However, most doctorate programs will carry the same basic threshold for admission:

  • A completed online application
  • Official undergraduate college transcripts
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • GRE scores, MAT scores, or GMAT scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal interviews
  • Personal statement or essay
  • Plan of study

Key Point: In most cases, you’ll be eligible to enter a doctoral degree after earning a bachelor’s degree. However, some specialized doctoral degrees and PhD programs may require you to have earned a master’s degree as well.

Four students walking together in a park

Curriculum and Courses

Most PhD programs will require students to participate in extensive research and complete a dissertation. Regardless of whether you complete a traditional, hybrid or online doctoral program, the typical time to completion is three to six years.

The typical components of your PhD degree program may include:

Foundational Courses

While some foundational doctorate courses may be focused on your specific discipline or area of study, most courses will focus on research methods and experimental design. You may be able to complete many of these requirements through online classes.

Examinations for PhD Candidacy

Many doctoral students are required to complete certain examinations to enter into online PhD candidacy. This will typically occur after you’ve completed one to two years of foundational courses.

Dissertation

In most cases, the central component of your PhD program will be the completion of your dissertation. After gaining status as a PhD candidate, you will typically work closely with a professorial advisor or mentor to develop an original research question. This research question will form the basis of your dissertation—an ongoing project designed to address this research question through applied research. While you will work closely with your advisor or mentor, much of your dissertation will be rooted in independent research. This is especially true for students pursuing an online PhD.

Oral Defense

Upon completion of the written portion of your dissertation—which will typically present the findings from your original research project—you will be expected to defend your findings. This “oral defense” will typically be conducted by a commission of professors and experts in your field. PhD candidates in some online degree programs may be able to conduct this defense via teleconferencing.

Teaching Requirements

Some Ph.D programs will also include a teaching component, which will require you to work as an adjunct professor or teacher’s assistant in an undergraduate or graduate school. It may be possible for students in online doctorate degrees programs to also serve teaching requirements by instructing online students.

Key Point: The PhD is a research-focused degree. The dissertation is a central part of many doctoral programs.

Careers for Doctoral and PhD Graduates

Students who complete doctoral programs are generally eligible for top positions and opportunities in their field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that, in 2021, working professionals with a PhD earned more per week than Americans in every other educational demographic.

According to the BLS, the median weekly earning for graduate students with doctorate degrees was $1909. By contrast, those with master’s degrees earned a weekly median of $1574, while bachelor’s degree holders earned a median of $1334.

Career options for those with doctorate degrees include.

  • Theoretical Research
  • Scientific Research
  • Post-Secondary Education
  • Public Policy Consultation
  • Clinical Practice
  • Organizational Leadership

Key Point: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, students with a doctorate will earn more than graduates with bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

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Finance Graduate Programs in America

1-25 of 209 results

Harvard Business School

  • Boston, MA ·
  • Harvard University ·
  • Graduate School
  • · Rating 4.2 out of 5   5 reviews

Harvard University ,

Graduate School ,

BOSTON, MA ,

5 Niche users give it an average review of 4.2 stars.

Featured Review: Other says The HBS community fosters an environment where students are motivated to pursue their entrepreneurial interests. The extensive resources available cater to the distinct requirements of innovators,... .

Read 5 reviews.

Wharton School

  • Philadelphia, PA ·
  • University of Pennsylvania ·
  • · Rating 4.67 out of 5   15 reviews

University of Pennsylvania ,

PHILADELPHIA, PA ,

15 Niche users give it an average review of 4.7 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Intensive but interesting. Great people, but professor quality varied. Lectures tend to be very interesting, but are high level in some cases. Coming from an engineering background, this felt "easy",... Professors are very friendly and actually enjoy getting to know their students. .

Read 15 reviews.

Kellogg School of Management

  • Evanston, IL ·
  • Northwestern University ·
  • · Rating 4.83 out of 5   18 reviews

Northwestern University ,

EVANSTON, IL ,

18 Niche users give it an average review of 4.8 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Kellogg's MBA program at Northwestern University stands out for its collaborative environment, rigorous curriculum, and emphasis on experiential learning. With a focus on teamwork and diverse... .

Read 18 reviews.

Tepper School of Business

  • Carnegie Mellon University ·
  • Graduate School ·
  • PITTSBURGH, PA
  • · Rating 4.73 out of 5   11

Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

  • University of Pittsburgh ·
  • · Rating 4.75 out of 5   12

Kogod School of Business

  • American University ·
  • WASHINGTON, DC
  • · Rating 4.56 out of 5   9

Owen Graduate School of Management

  • Nashville, TN ·
  • Vanderbilt University ·
  • · Rating 4.4 out of 5   5 reviews

Vanderbilt University ,

NASHVILLE, TN ,

5 Niche users give it an average review of 4.4 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says I attend my first semester in the fall of 2024. My experience so far has been amazing. I cannot wait until I start my experience. .

Olin Business School

  • St. Louis, MO ·
  • Washington University in St. Louis ·
  • · Rating 4 out of 5   7 reviews

Washington University in St. Louis ,

ST. LOUIS, MO ,

7 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says The enrolment process was an absolute pleasure. Being able to sit in on classes and interact with faculty and students was a fantastic opportunity. It gave me a real feel for the academic dynamic and... .

Read 7 reviews.

College of Science - University of Notre Dame

  • Notre Dame, IN ·
  • University of Notre Dame ·

University of Notre Dame ,

NOTRE DAME, IN ,

  • Find college scholarships

McDonough School of Business

  • Washington, DC ·
  • Georgetown University ·
  • · Rating 4.88 out of 5   8 reviews

Georgetown University ,

WASHINGTON, DC ,

8 Niche users give it an average review of 4.9 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says It's a great experience. The opening term, before mod 1 classes, gets you ready for anything academic wise. Because the experience has been great, the "worst" part would be early 8 AM classes for a... .

Read 8 reviews.

Carey Business School

  • Baltimore, MD ·
  • Johns Hopkins University ·
  • · Rating 4.64 out of 5   28 reviews

Johns Hopkins University ,

BALTIMORE, MD ,

28 Niche users give it an average review of 4.6 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says I start in the Fall of 2024. I agree with the post stating, "You will not get easy A's here," everything in this program is earned and supports the legacy of Johns Hopkins. All of your exams are... .

Read 28 reviews.

  • Pittsburgh, PA ·
  • · Rating 4.73 out of 5   11 reviews

Blue checkmark.

Carnegie Mellon University ,

PITTSBURGH, PA ,

11 Niche users give it an average review of 4.7 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Embarking on Carnegie Mellon's Master in Business Analytics promises unparalleled growth. Its esteemed reputation in academia assures an intellectually stimulating environment, fostering... .

Read 11 reviews.

D'Amore-McKim School of Business

  • Northeastern University ·
  • · Rating 2.5 out of 5   4 reviews

Northeastern University ,

4 Niche users give it an average review of 2.5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Recently began my journey in the GSPA MS in Accounting/ MBA program! So far classes have been tailored to students with nonbusiness/ accounting allowing for any interested parties to join. Teachers... .

Read 4 reviews.

Leonard N. Stern School of Business

  • New York, NY ·
  • New York University ·
  • · Rating 4.82 out of 5   28 reviews

New York University ,

NEW YORK, NY ,

28 Niche users give it an average review of 4.8 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says As a part-time MBA candidate at NYU Stern, I'm deeply impressed by the program's blend of academic rigor and practical application. The faculty, industry leaders in their own right, provide... .

Carroll School of Management

  • Chestnut Hill, MA ·
  • Boston College ·
  • · Rating 5 out of 5   2 reviews

Boston College ,

CHESTNUT HILL, MA ,

2 Niche users give it an average review of 5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says I am currently enrolled in the part time, professional evening MBA program. So far it has brought me to communicate with like minded individuals and the professors truly want to see you succeed so... .

Read 2 reviews.

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Claremont McKenna College

  • Claremont, CA ·

CLAREMONT, CA ,

McCombs School of Business

  • Austin, TX ·
  • University of Texas - Austin ·
  • · Rating 4.69 out of 5   13 reviews

University of Texas - Austin ,

AUSTIN, TX ,

13 Niche users give it an average review of 4.7 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Being in the accounting program at UT Austin has been a remarkable opportunity for me. The best part of being an accounting major at McCombs is the diverse set of classes that students can utilize to... .

Read 13 reviews.

College of Business - Lehigh University

  • Bethlehem, PA ·
  • Lehigh University ·

Lehigh University ,

BETHLEHEM, PA ,

Hough Graduate School of Business

  • Gainesville, FL ·
  • University of Florida ·
  • · Rating 5 out of 5   4 reviews

University of Florida ,

GAINESVILLE, FL ,

4 Niche users give it an average review of 5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says The academics at UF are rigorous but prepare you for real life scenarios. The coursework is well rounded for students to be able ready for all aspects of business administration. .

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences - Boston University

  • Boston University ·

Boston University ,

Questrom School of Business

  • · Rating 4.29 out of 5   7 reviews

7 Niche users give it an average review of 4.3 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Boston University's MBA program transformed me. Faculty, experts in their fields, nurtured my learning. A diverse student body broadened my perspective. Experiential learning honed skills and... .

Wisconsin School of Business at UW Madison

  • Madison, WI ·
  • University of Wisconsin ·

University of Wisconsin ,

MADISON, WI ,

Business School - University of Miami

  • Coral Gables, FL ·
  • University of Miami ·
  • · Rating 4.33 out of 5   9 reviews

University of Miami ,

CORAL GABLES, FL ,

9 Niche users give it an average review of 4.3 stars.

Featured Review: Current Master's student says I'm currently enrolled in the online MBA program at the university of miami at Herbet Business School. As an online student and the sole provider for my family, I find the online format and... .

Read 9 reviews.

Simon Business School

  • Rochester, NY ·
  • University of Rochester ·
  • · Rating 4.6 out of 5   5 reviews

University of Rochester ,

ROCHESTER, NY ,

5 Niche users give it an average review of 4.6 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Academic at Simon in the business analycitcs program is quite rigorous and we hit the ground running with a July start for the fall semester. Very good program. Benet Career services are outstanding... .

Cox School of Business

  • Dallas, TX ·
  • Southern Methodist University ·
  • · Rating 4.43 out of 5   14 reviews

Southern Methodist University ,

DALLAS, TX ,

14 Niche users give it an average review of 4.4 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says While acting as a Divisional CISO at Bank of America, I had colleagues and mentors that recommended that I attend a graduate college. With my near decade of supporting military operations with the... .

Read 14 reviews.

Weatherhead School of Management

  • Cleveland, OH ·
  • Case Western Reserve University ·
  • · Rating 2.8 out of 5   5 reviews

Case Western Reserve University ,

CLEVELAND, OH ,

5 Niche users give it an average review of 2.8 stars.

Featured Review: Current Master's student says My time so far at the Weatherhead School of Management has been challenging, yet it has also been extremely rewarding and has opened up so many doors for me in terms of networking and expanding my... .

A. B. Freeman School of Business

  • New Orleans, LA ·
  • Tulane University ·
  • · Rating 5 out of 5   1 review

Tulane University ,

NEW ORLEANS, LA ,

1 Niche users give it an average review of 5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says The Master of Finance program is a well-rounded program to help prepare you for the world of finance. It is great whether you have previous finance or business knowledge or if you are starting from... .

Read 1 reviews.

Leavey School of Business

  • Santa Clara, CA ·
  • Santa Clara University ·
  • · Rating 4 out of 5   2 reviews

Santa Clara University ,

SANTA CLARA, CA ,

2 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Smaller class sizes and up to date equipment make for a comfortable experience. Class is mostly younger international students. .

University of Dallas

  • · Rating 4.11 out of 5   9

University of Houston - Clear Lake

  • HOUSTON, TX
  • · Rating 4.65 out of 5   68

Mississippi State University

  • MISSISSIPPI STATE, MS
  • · Rating 4.54 out of 5   52

Showing results 1 through 25 of 209

Master of Finance: Is This The Right Degree For You?

Choosing a graduate program is a major decision. After all, it can be considered the final stepping stone to your dream career ! If you've been curious about a Master of Finance degree, stick around as we answer all of your questions. We'll also provide you with the tools you need to be on your way to completing a Master of Finance program.

How long does it take to complete a Master of Finance program?

Assuming that you've completed your undergraduate studies, a Master of Finance program takes an average of three years to complete. Like other schooling programs, this timeline often depends on your specific situation. If you plan on enrolling as a full-time student and can pass all your courses, you can complete this program in two years.

When deciding which institution to complete your Master of Finance degree at, it is important to consider their options for this program. Some grad schools offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as 18 months and online courses to better fit your schedule.

Is it hard to earn a master's in finance?

Like all graduate programs, earning a master's in finance can vary in difficulty depending on a student's skill level, understanding of courses, and study habits. If you're wondering if a master's in finance will be difficult for you, you should first look at what the program entails and assess your ability to perform well in those areas.

A major aspect of all Master of Finance programs is that they are interdisciplinary, touching on various topics like:

If you enjoy these subjects, chances are you will enjoy this graduate program! That is not to say that it won't be challenging — however, with the right tools and study habits , we are confident that you will find success.

What career can I have with a master's in finance?

A graduate program is a great way to set you up for your future career and help you accelerate your job growth. With a growing economy, the finance industry offers many opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations in the financial sector are expected to see an 8% growth from 2020 to 2030, making this your prime time to complete your grad program and join the workforce. Obtaining your master's in finance will also give you the competitive edge you need to land a rewarding position with competitive pay.

Some career options you have upon completing your Master of Finance degree are:

  • Budget Analyst
  • HR Specialist
  • Purchasing Manager

If you want to explore the different career opportunities offered in the finance industry, be sure to use our Places to Work tool. You will be able to view stats on different companies and hear from employees' personal experiences.

Where do I start a master's in finance?

If you're ready to begin your journey in earning your Master of Finance degree, look no further! At Niche, we are your one-stop shop for all things college, graduate school, and post-grad life. Check out our list of the best finance graduate programs and start narrowing your search to a school that fits your needs as a student. If you find yourself having questions along the way, visit our blog, where we offer you all of the best guidance for navigating life as a student.

External Sources:

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm

Make Yourself at Home

Program helps homeless students with compassion and innovation.

Donna Bailey on the front porch or her Raleigh home.

By Susanna Klingenberg

Mary Haskett, a professor of psychology, will never forget the day in 2017 she discovered a student on her research team was living in his car. The realization opened her eyes to a pervasive problem on college campuses: housing insecurity. “I remember calling around campus, thinking surely there’s got to be someone who’s equipped to help this student,” says Haskett. “But I kept getting dead ends.”

Her frustration led her to survey students and make a staggering discovery: 10% of NC State students had experienced homelessness in the past year. That number rose to 14% in 2023. Haskett pulled together a team of housing security experts and NC State faculty, staff and students to research solutions. That collaboration resulted in HOST (Housing Options for Students Today) , a nonprofit that matches students who need short-term housing with volunteer hosts. It’s the first program of its kind specifically for college students in the U.S.

The HOST model is simple and flexible. Volunteer hosts provide a safe, private space in their home. If a home stay isn’t the best fit, the program offers options including rental assistance, temporary hotel housing or connection to community resources. Since its inception in 2022, HOST has secured housing for 39 students with a mix of host houses and financial assistance.

“Students can be making ends meet, excelling academically, doing everything right,” says Libby Stephens, HOST’s program coordinator. “But it only takes one crisis — a car breaking down or a medical emergency — and things can so quickly unravel.”

Volunteer hosts are vetted and receive ongoing support, as well as training in areas like boundary-setting and conflict mediation. Donna Bailey ’03 of Raleigh served as a volunteer host for an international student navigating life in the U.S. “I’ve lived overseas, and it was enormously helpful when people were warm and open,” says Bailey. “This was my chance to give back.”

“I’ve lived overseas, and it was enormously helpful when people were warm and open.” —Donna Bailey ’03

The program has served as a model for new host housing programs across the country. Haskett and her team recently expanded the program beyond NC State to help any college or graduate student in Wake County.  “In the future, we’d like to do more work on advocacy and policy,” says Haskett. “We’d like to put ourselves out of a job.”

  • Donna Bailey
  • Housing Options for Students Today
  • Libby Stephens
  • Mary Haskett
  • Susanna Klingenberg

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UC College of Nursing researcher accepted for prestigious fellowship for nurse leaders and innovators

headshot of Evelyn  Fleider

Samantha Boch, PhD, RN, assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing and affiliate faculty of the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence at Cincinnati Children's Hospital is one of 16 nurse scientists accepted to the fifth cohort of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators . The fellowship program, funded by grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation , recognizes and advances early-to-mid-career nursing scholars and innovators with a high potential to accelerate leadership in nursing research, practice, education, policy and entrepreneurship.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation seeks to prepare nurses as collaborative leaders with the skills and confidence to inspire others, enact change and challenge the status quo. Through the creation of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators, the foundation supports nurse leaders who take ideas to scale that advance high-quality, high-value care and optimal health outcomes.

“Our motto is UC Nurses. We See Leaders ,” Interim Dean Gordon Gillespie, PhD, DNP, RN, FAAN, says. “Sam is the epitome of a nursing leader and scholar; I can’t wait to see the impact her project will have in advancing health equity and education in our country.”

Samantha Boch, PhD, RN

As a part of the three-year fellowship program , Boch will receive $450,000 to conduct an innovative project focused on better understanding the health of and use of health services by children in foster care who also experience parental incarceration. Mentored by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital CHECK (Comprehensive Health Evaluations for Cincinnati’s Kids) Foster Care Center Medical Director Mary Greiner, MD, MS, and Scientific Director for Child Welfare Research Sarah Beal, PhD, Boch will leverage CHECK’s data to identify opportunities to better care for those children.

She will also partner with Ebony Underwood, CEO & Founder of WE GOT US NOW , the nation’s leading organization advancing the wellbeing of children and young adults with incarcerated parents, to co-design care guidelines for children who experience parental incarceration.

"I am thrilled to be in partnership with Sam,” Underwood says. “Her commitment to uplifting and elevating the subject matter expertise of those closest to this issue is a testament to her leadership and dedication in advancing the health equity and well-being for the vulnerable population of children impacted by parental incarceration."

A forensic nurse scientist, Boch’s program of research centers on the social determinants of health with particular emphasis on understanding and mitigating the consequences of mass incarceration on child and family health.

“I’m deeply honored to have been chosen as part of the cohort for the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators,” says Boch. “This is a unique opportunity to further develop my leadership skills and partner with amazing organizations, mentors, and individuals with lived experiences of parental incarceration to positively impact care and the health of these families.”

Featured top image of the UC College of Nursing. Photo provided.

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30 Fully Funded Ph.D. Programs

These fully funded Ph.D. programs are in fields like business, computer science, education and nursing.

Two women standing in the modern library

(Getty Images) |

Many Ph.D. programs are fully funded.

Students interested in graduate research in various fields, from public health and English to computer science and engineering, have numerous options for Ph.D. programs that offer full funding. These programs typically provide waived tuition and fees and an annual stipend. Some also offer health insurance and other benefits. Gaining admittance into these small cohorts can be highly competitive, and the programs can be time-consuming . Here are 30 fully funded Ph.D. programs at U.S. colleges and universities. Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list – there are others out there.

A man handling papers from the Hulton Archives, wearing white gloves.

  • Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Chicago

Anthropology Ph.D. students at the University of Chicago can receive funding for up to eight years of study, assuming they are in good standing at the university. During that time, they will receive a full-tuition scholarship plus health insurance and a living stipend – which equated to $33,000 for the 2022-2023 school year – and can apply for external fellowships.

Radcliffe Quad undergrad housing at Harvard University in Fall in Cambridge, MA, USA on November 2, 2013.

Ph.D. in biological sciences in public health at Harvard University (MA)

Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston offers a Ph.D. in biological sciences in public health that aims to provide students with expertise in disease prevention and treatment. This program includes tuition, a stipend and health insurance for five years as long as the student maintains satisfactory academic progress. International students receive the same benefits. Current research in the school's laboratories involves diseases like AIDS, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, malaria and tuberculosis.

MIT, a private university

(Dominick Reuter) |

  • Ph.D. in business at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Students enrolled in the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can study a range of fields like organization studies, accounting and information technology. Those pursuing a Ph.D. will receive a full-tuition scholarship plus a monthly stipend of $4,267, capped at $51,204. They will also receive medical insurance, new laptops at the beginning of their first and fourth years of study and $4,500 over five years for conference travel expenses.

Rice University

(Tommy Lavergne | Rice University)

Ph.D. in business at Rice University (TX)

At the Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business in Texas, students enjoy full financial assistance upon admission to the Ph.D. program. Aiming to prepare students to teach in fields like accounting, finance, organizational behavior and strategic management, the program provides students with a research or teaching assistantship. Students receive a tuition waiver and a $40,000 annual stipend contingent on making satisfactory academic progress and maintaining full-time student status.

top phd programs in the us

Office of Strategic Communication | University of Iowa

  • Ph.D. in business at the University of Iowa

The University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business offers Ph.D. degrees in fields such as accounting, economics, business analytics and marketing. The college says it provides full funding to "virtually all admitted students." This includes tuition and fees, a minimum nine-month stipend of about $20,000 with annual adjustments and comprehensive health insurance covered at 90%. Some departments offer funding for research presentations at major conferences, summer fellowships and paid time off for independent research.

Cornell University buildings viewed from McGraw Tower

Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Cornell University (NY)

According to Cornell University 's website, all students admitted to the chemical engineering Ph.D. program at the New York school receive a full tuition waiver, health insurance and a stipend. This funding can come from a teaching assistantship, research assistantship or fellowship, and full stipends are granted for nine months with the likelihood of additional aid in the summer.

top phd programs in the us

Chris Taggart | Columbia University

Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Columbia University (NY)

Students enrolled in Columbia University 's Ph.D. program in clinical psychology at the Teachers College in New York receive fully funded tuition and a $25,000 stipend annually for three years. The stipend also carries into a student's fourth year. These doctoral fellows "may be expected to serve" as graduate teaching or research assistants. Students typically complete the mentor-matched program, which includes a full-year internship, in five to seven years.

Unidentified individuals, and University Hall  on the campus of Brown University.

Ph.D. in computer science at Brown University (RI)

Brown University 's Ph.D. students in computer science have access to "full financial support while completing the degree," plus the option to take classes at nearby schools without incurring additional costs, according to the school's website. In fact, doctoral students in any program at the Rhode Island university are guaranteed five years of financial support, which includes tuition remission, a stipend, health services fees and a subsidy for health insurance.

top phd programs in the us

Georgetown University |

Ph.D. in computer science at Georgetown University (DC)

Georgetown University 's Ph.D. program in computer science provides scholarships and assistantships that cover full tuition at the Washington, D.C., school and include a stipend and health insurance for the first five years. Once enrolled in the program, students must complete the Apprenticeship in Teaching Program and ultimately write and defend a full research dissertation in a seminar open to the public.

Cherry trees in bloom in the campus of Washington university in springtime

Ph.D. in computer science at Washington University in St. Louis

Ph.D. students in the computer science or computer engineering program at Washington University in St. Louis receive full tuition support and health insurance. According to the university's website: "As a doctoral candidate, you will also receive a generous stipend to cover living expenses and a new, high-end Apple laptop computer. This support is guaranteed as you continue to make satisfactory progress towards your degree." Doctoral students may also qualify for one of three fellowships.

top phd programs in the us

Jeff Miller | UW-Madison

  • Ph.D. in counseling psychology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison

Incoming Ph.D. students at the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin—Madison are guaranteed full funding for the duration of the time that they are expected on campus, according to the university's department of counseling psychology website. Doctoral students also receive a benefits package that includes health insurance. Funding may come from financial aid, fellowships, assistantships and/or traineeships.

top phd programs in the us

Emory University |

Ph.D. in economics at Emory University (GA)

Students enrolled in the economics Ph.D. program at Emory University typically receive full funding, according to the Georgia university's website. The stipend provided to students is $36,376 per year for five years, starting in fall 2023, and the full tuition scholarship is worth $70,200 per year. Funding for admitted students also includes a $4,370 annual subsidy that covers 100% of a student's cost of health insurance. First-year students have no stipend-related work requirements.

New York City, New York, USA - September 13, 2013: Street view of New York University NYU in Greenwich Village Manhattan. There are people visible in this image.

  • Ph.D. in education at New York University

New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development offers more than 30 degree programs. Many can be pursued on campus or online. Ph.D. degrees are offered in areas like developmental psychology, educational leadership and childhood education. Full-time NYU Steinhardt Ph.D. students are eligible for a funding package that includes an annual stipend – $32,000 for the 2022-2023 academic year – tuition coverage for required coursework and student health insurance for five years.

top phd programs in the us

L.A. Cicero, Stanford News Service |

Ph.D. in education at Stanford University (CA)

Stanford University's Graduate School of Education allows students numerous fellowship and assistantship opportunities at the California school, along with a "five-year funding guarantee that provides tuition aid, fellowship stipend, and assistantship salary, and covers the standard cost of attendance," the program website reads. At the Graduate School of Education, doctoral students can choose from a range of academic areas like curriculum studies and teacher education, and developmental and psychological sciences.

Two friends working in a public library, using a computer to find some specific books for their studies together.

  • Ph.D. in education at the University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education provides full funding to Ph.D. students as part of a fellowship and research apprenticeship package. This funding includes a living stipend, health insurance and coverage of tuition and fees for up to four years if the student maintains full-time enrollment. Some students may also qualify for additional summer funding.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - November, 20 2010: The Computer Science and Engineering Building on the University of Michigan's North Campus has an eco-friendly design.

  • Ph.D. in engineering at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor

Doctoral students in engineering at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor can choose from numerous areas of specialization under umbrella categories like aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, macromolecular science and engineering, and robotics. All engineering doctoral students are guaranteed full funding, a monthly living stipend and health insurance. The exact amount can vary, according to the program's website, and funding comes from a range of sources, including graduate student instructor positions and fellowships.

top phd programs in the us

Boston University Photography |

  • Ph.D. in English at Boston University

Annually, doctoral students studying English at Boston University receive a stipend plus full tuition, fees and basic health insurance. This funding is guaranteed for at least five years, with two of those years typically free from teaching requirements. Funding can sometimes be extended up to seven years, according to the university's website, but it's not guaranteed. Students may also apply for various prizes, fellowships and short-term research and travel grants.

top phd programs in the us

(Stephanie Diani) |

  • Ph.D. in English at the University of California—Los Angeles

Applicants to the Ph.D. in English program at the University of California—Los Angeles are automatically considered for various funding options. A six-year funding package includes "a minimum of two years of full fellowship, four years of summer stipend support and up to four years of teaching assistantships," according to the school website. Beyond tuition, fees and health insurance are also covered.

top phd programs in the us

Jeff Watts |

Ph.D. in international relations at American University (DC)

American University offers doctoral students in its international relations program who do not have external funding a renewable four-year Dean's Fellowship that is contingent on making satisfactory academic progress. The fellowship includes the cost of tuition, fees and a stipend that must be earned via a part-time role as a teaching or research assistant. Students also must "demonstrate competency in a modern foreign language" before graduating.

top phd programs in the us

Jonathan Cohen | Binghamton University

  • Ph.D. in management at Binghamton University—SUNY

All students admitted to the interdisciplinary management Ph.D. program at the Binghamton University—SUNY School of Management in New York receive a combination of a full-tuition scholarship and a teaching or research assistantship for each academic year, up to four years. This STEM-designated business doctoral degree prepares students for careers in academia and work in the public and private sectors, and has a student-faculty ratio of 1-to-1, according to the university's website.

top phd programs in the us

Duke University Communications |

Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at Duke University (NC)

Doctoral students at Duke University in North Carolina studying materials science and engineering generally receive full tuition, a stipend and fee support for the first five years. Students also receive up to six years of health insurance if they are on the university's student medical insurance plan. The doctoral program aims to help students publish with a faculty adviser and develop research skills, with the opportunity to present research at professional conferences.

top phd programs in the us

Homewood Photography | JHU

Ph.D. in nursing at Johns Hopkins University (MD)

The School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland provides most doctoral students with three fully funded years of study. Available financial aid includes graduate assistantships, targeted fellowships and nursing-specific funding. The university aims to "advance the theoretical foundation of nursing practice and healthcare delivery" with the degree, its website reads. "By graduation, most Hopkins nurse scholars have been awarded grants that continue their research and set them well on their way to a successful career."

"The Lawn in late afternoon at the historic University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Virginia. The lawn was part of Thomas Jefferson's campus design."

  • Ph.D. in nursing at the University of Virginia

All students admitted to the University of Virginia 's Ph.D. in Nursing program are eligible for four years of scholarship funding to cover tuition, insurance and fees, as well as annual stipends. To receive certain aid, students must work 10 hours per week as a graduate teaching assistant. With a heavy research focus, students can expect courses in qualitative, quantitative and historical research, and will have to submit a research proposal for peer review.

Yale University

Ph.D. in nursing at Yale University (CT)

At Yale University in Connecticut, the School of Nursing offers full funding to its Ph.D. students. They receive a monthly stipend for four years in addition to paid tuition and health care. The program allows students to gain in-depth knowledge in a particular area of study. Every incoming Ph.D. student gets paired with a faculty adviser "whose area of expertise and active research most closely matches with the student’s scholarly interest," according to the school's website.

top phd programs in the us

University of Minnesota |

  • Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program to study psychology at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities are guaranteed full funding for five years as long as they maintain satisfactory performance and degree progress. This funding includes full-time tuition, a nine-month stipend and subsidized health insurance. Funding comes from some combination of teaching assistantships, traineeships, research assistantships and fellowships. Students in the program can specialize in areas like cognitive and brain sciences, industrial-organizational psychology and social psychology.

top phd programs in the us

Matt Cashore | University of Notre Dame

Ph.D. within the Romance languages and literatures department at the University of Notre Dame (IN)

University of Notre Dame doctoral students who focus on French and Francophone studies, Iberian and Latin American studies or Italian studies are guaranteed five years of funding. Funding includes a full scholarship, including tuition and fees, plus a stipend and health insurance. Anyone who completes the Ph.D. degree requirements at the Indiana university within five years will automatically receive a one-year postdoctoral fellowship via the university's 5+1 Program. Fellows will have a teaching load limited to one course per semester.

top phd programs in the us

Ph.D. in social work at Bryn Mawr College (PA)

Students admitted to Bryn Mawr College 's Ph.D. program in social work receive full tuition waivers and "substantial stipends" toward living expenses. The Pennsylvania college's website says: "Consistent with our model, all Ph.D. students are funded equally, and do not compete for basic financial support during coursework." The program's cohorts typically include only three or four students each year. According to the college, it awarded the first Ph.D. degree in social work in the U.S. in 1920.

top phd programs in the us

Vanderbilt University |

Ph.D. in special education at Vanderbilt University (TN)

Funding is guaranteed for all admitted doctoral students enrolled in the special education Ph.D. program at the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. This includes full tuition, a "competitive" monthly stipend and health insurance for up to four years. Students may also be nominated for additional honor scholarships and fellowships. Areas of focus within the Ph.D. program include high-incidence disabilities and early childhood education.

Chicago, Illinois in the United States. Entrance to Northwestern University - School of Law.

Ph.D. in theatre and drama at Northwestern University (IL)

This interdisciplinary Ph.D. program at Northwestern University in Illinois combines coursework in humanities, social science and the visual arts. The program's students receive a five-year full-tuition scholarship plus an annual living stipend. Ph.D students enrolling at this program in fall 2022 will receive a living stipend of at least $36,960 during the 2023-2024 school year. Stipend amounts may change from year to year. Students can apply for subsidies to facilitate conference travel and summer language study.

COLLEGE PARK, MD - OCTOBER 4:   Testudo is pictured on the University of Maryland Campus. The University of Maryland announced a transformative investment of $219486,000 in the university on October 4. In a first of its kind announcement, university and government officials unveiled the investment in a celebration event for the campus community.

(Photo by Sarah L. Voisin | The Washington Post via Getty Images)

  • Ph.D. in women, gender and sexuality studies at University of Maryland

At the University of Maryland 's Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Ph.D. students without a master's degree usually have five years of guaranteed funding. Those with a master's degree usually are funded four years, with awards stemming from a mix of departmental fellowships and graduate teaching assistantships. Since the program's establishment in 1999, the department has granted 36 Ph.Ds, according to UMD's website.

top phd programs in the us

Learn more about paying for graduate school.

Finding a fully funded program isn't the only option to offset the costs of graduate school. See these seven strategies to pay for graduate school to learn more. Check out the latest Best Graduate Schools rankings to see the country's top business, medicine and law programs – and more. For additional grad school tips, follow U.S. News Education on Facebook , Twitter and LinkedIn .

Locust Walk with students in fall, University of Pennsylvania, University City area, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Ph.D. programs that are fully funded

  • Ph.D. in biological sciences in public health at Harvard University
  • Ph.D. in business at Rice University
  • Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Cornell University
  • Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Columbia University
  • Ph.D. in computer science at Brown University
  • Ph.D. in computer science at Georgetown University
  • Ph.D. in computer science at Washington University—St. Louis
  • Ph.D. in economics at Emory University
  • Ph.D. in education at Stanford University
  • Ph.D. in international relations at American University
  • Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at Duke University
  • Ph.D. in nursing at Johns Hopkins University
  • Ph.D. in nursing at Yale University
  • Ph.D. within the romance languages and literatures department at the University of Notre Dame
  • Ph.D. in social work at Bryn Mawr College
  • Ph.D. in special education at Vanderbilt University
  • Ph.D. in theatre and drama at Northwestern University

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