Online Doctoral Programs in Liberal Arts and Humanities

Typically, Online PhD in Liberal Arts programs are concerned with the study of the human in general – our history, physical world, ways of recording events, and the laws of science that bind us together. Most programs encourage students to examine their field through the lens of multiple disciplines. Participants might thus study to develop a versatile, independent mind-set and the ability to examine issues with an analytical eye.

written by Rana Waxman

Online PhD in Liberal Arts and Humanities: Basics

Online PhD in Liberal Arts programs span a full list of terminal and research-oriented course plans in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics. Interested students could look for an interdisciplinary program in which one might largely create their own curriculum Or, choose to more narrowly focus in one of the many single content areas within the liberal arts and humanities.

What Might a PhD in Liberal Arts Entail?

Students often engage in part with theory, research, and techniques that could provide an immersive experience. In some schools as well, social and behavioral change may be highlighted. Thus, students might have the opportunity to learn how to translate their liberal arts knowledge into evaluation-based practices that pay attention to the community, society and the world in which we live.

While individual subjects vary quite a bit, all doctoral students must typically complete several requirements in order to accomplish their degree.

Compulsory Courses: Each PhD program usually comes with a set of core classes to help students establish a firm and broad grasp of the field as a whole.

Elective Courses: Once a doctoral student has satisfied the core classes requirement, s/he typically moves on to classes in a specific area of interest to anchor research.

Research: Research is an integral part of the PhD

process and is a frequently a requirement for an academic career.iPhD students usually study advanced research methods to prepare them for independent research (E.g. statistical methods, data collection and analysis).

Comprehensive Exam: After coursework is completed, doctoral students often must undergo intense written and oral examinations to prove mastery of their given subject before they embark on their dissertation.

Dissertation: The dissertation is a final synopsis of publishable quality written work that doctoral students must compose. In it, they may be tasked to conduct original research and defend their contribution in front of a faculty panel. A dissertation could take years to complete, and each university has guidelines for it.

Postsecondary teachers who work for 4-year colleges and universities typically need a doctoral degree in their field. i

How Long Might It Take to Earn a PhD in Liberal Arts Online?

Most PhD programs in Liberal Arts take an average of 4 to 7 years to complete, though some students may need more time for their dissertation. Furthermore, time to completion is often a reflection of whether the program takes students straight from college or whether a graduate degree is also necessary. Full-time and part-time options also affect length.

Online PhD in Area, Ethnic and Cultural Studies

Students who want to develop a solid grasp of an ethnicity or culture might strive to earn an Area, Ethnic and Cultural Studies PhD online. These programs often systematically explore the traditions, customs, history, language and social institutions of a people. Students could study to ground and immerse themselves in Jewish thought and practice, African American culture, European diplomacy and beyond.

Online PhD in Communications and Public Relations

Online Communications PhD programs could engage students across content and creative areas. Students might choose to focus their studies on areas such as health, environmental, international, intercultural, and organizational communication as well as from journalism studies and media development.

Online PhD in English 

An online PhD in English program might meld courses in writing, rhetoric, discourse, technology, and textual studies. Frequently, they emphasize research that examines texts in a variety of contexts. For instance, students might investigate how different literary texts and media are affected by form, purpose, technology of composition, audience, cultural location, and communities of discourse.

Online PhD in History

Online History PhD programs often require students to read historical documents to insights about the past, present and future. Participants could develop their critical curiosity and analytical eye as they explore particular aspects of history, events and literary texts. While they might encourage interdisciplinary investigation, participants typically focus on a particular place, time and/or transnational field.

Online PhD in Humanities 

PhD in Humanities online programs often aim to expand and deepen knowledge and expertise through course content from multiple disciplines. Students might have the opportunity to explore ideas, views and practices in areas such as leadership, public policy, social change, ethics, creativity, innovation, design thinking, and spirituality.

Online PhD inLanguages

Online PhD programs in Languages could foster skills in world languages and the disciplinary tools of linguistic, cultural, and literary analysis. Areas of emphasis could include Linguistics, Romance Languages, a Foreign Language or translation.

Online PhD in Liberal Arts and Sciences

An online PhD in Liberal Arts and Sciences could focus on the natural laws and relationships that connect humans and their environment. Some of the potential areas of emphasis could include Ethical and Creative Leadership, Public Policy and Social Change, Educational Studies and Humanities and Culture.

Online PhD in Literature and Writing

Coursework in online PhD programs in Literature and Writing might meld critical analysis with creative originality. Students may need to read and write extensively but also research literary and historical contexts to develop their grasp of context, author, genre and composition.

Online PhD in Philosophy and Ethics

An online PhD in Philosophy and Ethics could ask students to be thought leaders as they seek answers to classic questions about morality, political philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophies of law, science, language and religion. Participants are often immersed in studies about intellectual thinkers and may develop the ability to think critically and write analytically.

Online PhD in Women’s Studies

Online Women’s Studies PhD programs put the female gender in the spotlight. Students might seek a program that emphasizes a topic such as feminist thought, female health and reproduction, woman and spirituality or a related subject.

Why Earn a PhD in Liberal Arts and Humanities Online?

Often planned-out for the at-work adult, online PhD in Liberal Arts programs could provide the convenience and flexibility to study when and where one is able from wherever an internet connection is available.

Today’s digital technology could connect a PhD student with their mentor or advisor through video conferencing, which may also be used for seminars. Otherwise, course content is frequently delivered through the university’s online learning platform in a recorded format.

This might enable a busy adult to press pause, rewind or stop to self-pace and may lessen the pressure to have to take classes in person. While there may be deadlines and discussion boards that need to be attended to, it may not be necessary to log in at specific times.

That stated, some universities do ask students to take part in brief residential meetings whether to orient them to their program, encourage interaction, or teach specific skills that are better suited to in-person sessions.

Application Information

Admission criteria for Doctorate in Humanities online programs is set by each school. Some base their decision on based on an unweighted GPA and/or GRE or GMAT scores. Applicants may need to furnish transcripts of all prior degrees and might need to have earned a Masters degree with a specified minimum GPA and have a course in statistics prior to enrollment. Make sure to verify details with the schools on your list – it could make the application process smoother.

Apply to Online PhD in Liberal Arts Programs

Easily apply to online PhD Liberal Arts programs next. Filter for the subject you want, then browse partner programs. To contact schools, just click to use the on-page form. Why wait?


Find Schools