Top 5 Online PhD Programs Without the GRE Requirement

Earning a Ph.D. or doctoral degree is often a good career choice for professionals in many fields. Research indicates that earning a doctorate can provide one with many excellent benefits.

For example, many Ph.D. holders earn more over their lifetimes than the typical person with only a master’s degree. This statement is confirmed by a study from the US Census Bureau. It found that for all of the disciplines studied, the increase in salary with a Ph.D. ranged from 7% to 33% more.

The data indicated that higher salaries with a Ph.D. were especially common in the science and math fields, as well as industrial research and development.

Those who are considering their Ph.D. could be making a very good financial decision over the long run. Fortunately, there are more online Ph.D. programs available today than ever before.

Getting your Ph.D. is often more convenient and affordable than you might think at first. And many of them no longer require the student to take the GRE to be considered for admission. Or, the program may offer a GRE waiver for students with a certain GPA and/or a high level of work experience.

Recommended online Ph.D. and doctoral programs without a GRE requirement are:

#1 Temple University

– Executive Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

The Executive Doctor of Business Administration at Temple University is a partially online doctoral program made for business professionals with many years of managerial business experience, who want to transform their business practice. Most students are current, senior managers who want to advance their business careers by learning new skills to solve tough business problems. The majority of graduates intend to advance in their company to a senior level executive position, such as CEO or COO.

Students in this three year, part time, online program investigate applied business research problems. For example, you may study how customers react to new pricing structures, or how effective a new social media strategy is.

The curriculum emphasis is upon general business, globalization, innovation and entrepreneurship. The program is well known for its rigorous, and prestigious business education. Learn the techniques and tools of applied business research, so you may solve your organization’s complex business problems.

Each doctoral student enjoys a one-on-one mentorship with world class business faculty. The program has three onsite residencies each semester, with online courses between each residency.


  • University Type: Non-profit
  • Campus Location: Philadelphia PA; online
  • Accreditation: AACSB, Middle State Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: DBA
  • GMAT/GRE Required: No
  • Additional Information: The Fox Business School at Temple ranks as one of the top 1% institutions in the world for business and economics citations.

#2 University of New England

– Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed. D)

The University of New England has a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership, with a focus on transformative leadership. It will teach you how to transform yourself, organization and community through a highly flexible but rigorous curriculum.

Graduates of the program gain skills to build allies with others who want to achieve common outcomes in educational leadership, and learn how to collaborate with those with very different perspectives and values.

This doctoral program is fully online, with no campus visits needed, and consists of 51 credit hours. End goals of the accredited program are:

  • To prepare educational leaders who are focused on the future and are capable of bringing change and innovation to their organization
  • To promote highly educated and knowledgeable leaders in education who are able to connect and collaborate with each other
  • To build a reputation that is based upon collaborative, action based research
  • To provide every doctoral student with a strong faculty mentoring team that will enhance their program of study

Required courses include:

  • Preparation for Transformative Leadership (Credits: 3)
  • Qualitative Research Methods (Credits: 3)
  • Interpreting Empirical Data (Credits: 3)
  • Technology & Organizational Transformation (Credits: 3)
  • Managing Change (Credits: 3)
  • Policy Analysis (Credits: 3)
  • Enacting Transformative Leadership (Credits: 3)
  • Research Team Project A (Credits: 3)
  • Research Team Project B (Credits: 3)
  • Ethical Leadership (Credits: 3)
  • Diagnosing Organizational Dynamics (Credits: 3)
  • Dissertation Seminar (Credits: 3)


  • University Type: Non-profit
  • Campus Location: Boston, Massachusetts; online
  • Accreditation: New England Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Degrees Offered: Ed.D.
  • GMAT/GRE Required: No

#3 University of South Florida

– Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

The University of South Florida offers a Doctor of Public Health that stresses both public health education and training. It is designed to prepare the public health professional with a master’s degree for leadership roles in many practice-based settings, such as:

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Health services
  • International agencies
  • Community based groups

The emphasis of this online DrPH is on developing advanced knowledge and expertise in the development, implementation and evaluation of public health practice. The focus is slightly different than a Ph.D., which is heavily focused on research.

This program is completed online, and there also is on-campus learning three times with on campus visits in Tampa. It requires the student to complete a total of 43 semester hours beyond the master’s degree. The core curriculum for the DrPH has four curriculum clusters of 25 credits, and also 12 electives. The major curriculum clusters are in these areas:

  • Community Engagement
  • Leadership and Management
  • Communication and Education
  • Evidence-Based Public Health

Advanced training in this DrPH includes collaborating with senior-level public health professionals via applied practice experiences that are designed to hone leadership and professional skills. Understanding of DrPH core knowledge is verified through an exam performed by the doctoral committee. A field-based doctoral project also is required.


  • University Type: Non-profit
  • Campus Location: Tampa, FL; online
  • Accreditation: CEPH, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition: Inquire
  • Degrees Offered: DrPH
  • GMAT/GRE Required: Yes; can be waived for students who have a 3.5 or higher GPA in previous work

#4 Colorado Technical University

– Doctor of Management – Project Management

Colorado Technical University offers a Doctor of Management degree online with a concentration in project management. This is a terminal degree for higher level management professionals. The online program with no GRE requirement will encourage you to think and act in a strategic fashion, and to enhance your ability to make meaningful contributions to your area of management.

It features a rigorous curriculum that integrates cutting edge project management tools with advanced concepts in management. This will provide students with the business and management skills to manage the whole lifecycle of a program or product.

The project management concentration will expand the skills of senior level or executive program and portfolio managers. Students also are strongly challenged to contribute to the business and management body of knowledge through scholarly writing projects.

Graduation from this program requires the student to complete a dissertation. It will document your research processes and will present both the findings and conclusions of your research. All doctoral degree programs at CTU require the student to complete a residential symposium.

Required courses include:

  • Management Theory
  • Management and Ethics
  • Leadership Theory and Development
  • Application of Action Research
  • Strategic Thinking and Organizational Alignment
  • Practice and Theory of Consulting and Intervention
  • Organization Innovation and Scenario Thinking
  • Principles of Research Methods and Design
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Doctoral Research I: Principles of Research and Writing
  • Doctoral Research II: Annotated Bibliography
  • Dissertation Research Process


  • University Type: Non-profit
  • Campus Location: Denver, Colorado; online
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition: Inquire
  • Degrees Offered: Doctor of Management
  • GMAT/GRE Required: No

#5 Chamberlain University

– Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice, with a focus on Healthcare Systems Leadership from Chamberlain University, will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to assist in the transformation of healthcare where you have the most ability to make a difference.

Faculty provide plenty of support and guidance from your first class, and throughout your project and practicum that you complete in your local area. You may complete these projects at your place of work in some cases.

This online DNP program is grounded in the eight essentials that are described in The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice, which was published by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Input from major nursing profession stakeholders are incorporated into this program from such organizations as the Institute of Medicine and Quality and Safety Education for Nurses.

The program is appropriate for RNs and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who already earned their MSN degree.

Required courses in this online doctoral program are:

  • Scientific Underpinnings
  • Application of Analytic Methods
  • Applied Organizational and Leadership Concepts
  • Health Policy
  • Fiscal Analysis and Project Management
  • DNP Project
  • Foundational Concepts and Application
  • Theoretical Basis for Advanced Nursing Practice


  • University Type: For-profit
  • Campus Location: Downer’s Grove, IL; online
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: Inquire
  • Degrees Offered: DNP
  • GMAT/GRE Required: No

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