18-Month Doctorate Without Dissertation

Most students with a regular undergraduate degree take at least additional two years to earn their doctorate as they complete the requirements for their dissertation. Most people also figure there’s a decent chance to move towards a career that requires extensive research and writing.

However, if the idea does not entirely convince you to take on even more debt to get your degree but still want to be competitive in the job market, this article can help you out. You might be surprised to learn that several schools may offer a doctorate Ph.D. without a dissertation.

In fact, in an age where most people are looking for flexible learning options, several schools now offer an online doctorate. In this article, we’ll take a look at what you can expect from an 18-month doctorate program without a dissertation in terms of curriculum and whether such a program is right for you. By the end of this article, you’ll also know how to go about finding the correct information and program to help you with your decision.

Accredited Doctorate Programs That Might Interest You
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Does It Take to Get a Doctorate Degree?

When deciding whether to pursue an 18-month doctorate degree online no dissertation, you should also know what it takes to get one. Depending on the school, you might need a super-specific set of prerequisites or have a Master’s degree in a related field of study.

The degrees range from very specific and involved degrees like law, business, and health care management, to more general and less advanced degrees like arts and humanities, education, and religious studies. In most cases, degree requirements typically include completing classes in economics, psychology, sociology, and statistics. Some programs also require an internship or practicum and the completion of a thesis project.

In addition to meeting the general requirements for earning a doctorate, many programs will also require you to demonstrate your language competency. This is especially important for those who earned their undergraduate degrees in countries where English is not the primary language spoken. However, it can also be helpful and even necessary if your undergraduate degree is from an English-speaking university, but your dissertation will rely heavily on foreign-sourced materials.

For example, students pursuing a degree in foreign languages or literature may have to demonstrate their language competency and proficiency before enrolling in a doctoral program. On the other hand, doctoral candidates in psychology and business will probably not meet the exact language requirements.

Doctorate Programs without a Dissertation

Business Programs

In business, you can earn a doctorate in either the area of management or accounting. In most cases, the first step will be to earn a Master’s degree in business administration and specialize in either one of these two areas.

Once you have your MBA, you can then apply for Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programs that offer distance learning options and generally take 18months to complete. Not all schools offer an 18-month option, and some students will be required to complete at least three semesters or 9–12 months of full-time study before they are allowed to take on the dissertation part of their program.


It’s also possible to further your education in education and earn a doctorate. However, you might find that there’s a difference between the requirements you have to meet if you want to earn an 18-month doctoral education program without a dissertation.

In most cases, students pursuing an 18-month doctorate in education will be required to complete additional studies and take on more coursework than students who want to earn doctoral degrees in other fields. Some students may complete their entire online Ph.D. with no physical classes, while others will have to use a distance learning format for at least some of their coursework.


In the engineering field, it’s also possible to earn a doctorate without a dissertation. The degree programs may be called Doctor of Science in Engineering degrees and are generally awarded by schools with a strong research emphasis.

A student who gets their doctorate in this field will typically be required to complete at least one supervised research project before graduating. In some cases, they might even be required to take on an internship with an engineering-related company or institution as well.


Law degrees are also available without taking on additional studies related to completing a dissertation. Your law degree will generally take 18 months to complete, and most schools that offer these programs typically require that you complete an internship or practicum before you can graduate.

You will also be required to complete more coursework than pursuing non-law degrees. However, the courses may not necessarily be restricted to legal studies, and it’s pretty standard for students to take additional classes from other fields or areas of study.

Liberal Arts

A Liberal arts degree is also available as an 18-month doctorate without a dissertation. The degree may be named a Doctor of Philosophy in Arts and Sciences and may be awarded by schools that want their students to gain more in-depth knowledge about particular fields of study.

Even though these degrees are available without the dissertation, most students will still be required to complete a thesis project or other research paper before graduating. In some cases, these students will be required to take on additional coursework compared with pursuing other doctoral degrees like business or medical doctorates.


Nursing degrees are also available in a distance learning format and can be earned by completing a doctorate program with or without a dissertation. Even though these programs may take up to 18 months to complete, most students will still be required to take on additional coursework and clinical training before graduating.

The exception is for those practicing as nurses for several years and who want to earn additional credentials or broaden their scope of practice. In that case, it may be possible for you to complete the educational requirements while still maintaining your working hours since most post-graduate nursing programs are offered as part-time options.


It’s also possible to earn a doctorate in science without additional coursework or completing a dissertation. In the case of this type of graduate program, the doctorate is usually referred to as a degree in science with or without some other added-on moniker. You can take courses from different fields and earn your doctorate in science without any dissertation. However, it’s not common for students pursuing these programs to complete their entire program as distance learning only.

Colleges and universities usually offer doctoral science programs that encourage young scientists to graduate from school. Some of these programs may have a more research-oriented focus, while others may focus on training students for the workforce and not necessarily encouraging them to do research.

If you’re interested in earning your doctorate in a particular field, it’s good to try to find a school that offers the type of program that you want. However, even if you don’t end up earning your degree at one of these schools, they may be able to point you in the right direction so that you don’t have to struggle all alone.

Most colleges and universities will have information about the programs they offer, which will give prospective students an idea of what type of degree is available and at what level.

Further Resources

Online Doctorate Programs That Might Interest You
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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