Are There Any Doctoral Programs without a Dissertation Required?

This is not an easy question to answer. Perhaps the best way to go about it is to question the person asking about a dissertation being required to complete a PhD. Why would somebody want to receive a PhD qualification? There are a number of reasons.

  • They need it as an academic qualification for their career.
  • They are fascinated by a dissertation topic and want to study it formally.
  • They already have a great deal of knowledge about a certain topic and producing a dissertation would be a natural extension.

The short answer to the question though is that most academic institutions which offer the qualification of Doctor of Philosophy do require that all students complete a dissertation. It has been the case for generations and is not likely to change. However, there are exceptions to most rules and in this case such an exception can be found.

As the prospective PhD student you will need to do some serious investigation. One problem you may encounter is that if you wish to be a graduate of a particular institution, unless the institution does not allow you to acquire a PhD qualification without a dissertation, you will not be able to be part of that academic institution.

In your investigation which will be most effective by working online, you will discover that some universities will substitute a dissertation for an explanation of research work carried out on a particular topic. However, the qualification given in response to this work may not be referred to as a PhD but something else. If that's important, then again you may need to rethink your project.

One of the things which will benefit students in this category is that many academic institutions do not require the students to attend in person at a particular academic institution. It is possible to write a dissertation off campus so if that is a reason why someone is concerned about obtaining a PhD without a dissertation, that they do not live nearby; such an objection can be overcome.

Of course there are certain online institutions which offer all forms of degrees which in reality are purchased. You do need to be able to prove you have completed a significant amount of related work but the PhD qualification can be obtained without the writing of a dissertation. Just who recognizes this type of qualificantion is another matter entirely.