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Earning Your Doctorate Without a Dissertation: Alternative Pathways to a PhD

Yocket Editorial Team

Table of contents

What Is a Dissertation?

A dissertation is a lengthy and formal research document that is typically a requirement for the completion of a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D. or Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). It represents a significant scholarly project that demonstrates a student's ability to conduct independent research, contribute to the existing body of knowledge in their field, and make an original and substantial academic contribution.

Depending on the academic institution and subject of study, dissertations come in a variety of lengths and formats. Some master's programs may also include a thesis or dissertation as a final project, even though these types of projects are most frequently associated with doctorate degrees. However, these types of projects are generally shorter and less comprehensive than doctoral dissertations. Yocket is your go-to resource for information, insights, and support on non-dissertation doctoral programs.  

Read Also - What is Dissertation

How does a dissertation work?

Students are frequently required to conduct research for their dissertations. They may pick the subject. They decide on the dissertation's subject matter. This essay-length document is lengthier. It might include tens of thousands of words. The objective is to convey their research on a certain subject or issue. There are quite stringent guidelines for some programmes. Others let the pupils entirely decide what to talk about.

Dissertations need a significant amount of time to finish. They demand that students invest significant time in thorough research. They could influence whether a student earns a degree. They must thus be finished carefully and with great care.

Why Are Dissertations Required for So Many Programmes?

The majority of programmes need dissertations to be completed. They facilitate the sharing of knowledge by pupils. Many of them are research articles that offer various points of view. Some are designed to be more of a discussion that has a resolution. Making sure a student can finish an independent research report is an aim for many colleges. To some extent, these skills could be quite helpful. They serve as the last grade in several schools.

They require a lot of time to finish. The longest and most significant task that most students will complete is a dissertation. They can need months to plan and finish. A lot of pupils will get assistance from their lecturers. They could be perfect for people who are fervent about a subject. Others may find them to be among the most taxing kinds of tasks.

List of Doctorates that Do Not Require a Dissertation

Numerous Ph.D. programmes do not demand a typical dissertation as the final output. Instead, the dissertation requirement is frequently replaced with alternate research or academic initiatives in these programmes. Following are some instances of such doctorates:

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Computers & Information Technology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Homeland Security
  • Management
  • Nursing
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health
  • Psychology

The particular prerequisites for doctorate programmes might change significantly across institutions and even between different programmes at the same institution, which is an essential point to remember. In order to choose a programme that fits your academic and professional objectives, investigate and evaluate several options if you're thinking about earning a doctorate without the conventional dissertation. When selecting a PhD programme, accreditation and programme quality should also be carefully considered. Get personalized advice, program recommendations, and more on Yocket premium.

18-Month Doctorate Without Dissertation Online

There are certain online doctoral programmes meant to be finished in a shorter amount of time, such as 18 months, and may not require a traditional dissertation, although traditional PhD programmes normally contain a dissertation and take several years to complete. These programmes frequently provide a different final project. The following are a few instances of 18-month doctorate without dissertation online:

  • Business Programs-  You can obtain a PhD in business in either accounting or management. Obtaining a Master's degree in business administration with a focus in either of these two disciplines is often the initial step.
  • Education- It is also feasible to pursue your studies and acquire a PhD in education. However, there may be a distinction between the standards you must satisfy if you wish to receive an 18-month doctorate education programme without a dissertation.
  • Engineering- It's also feasible to obtain a PhD in engineering without completing a dissertation. The degrees, which may also be known as Doctor of Science in Engineering degrees, are often given out by institutions with a strong focus on research.
  • Law- Without doing further coursework connected to finishing a dissertation, law degrees are also accessible. The average length of time to earn a law degree is 18 months, and most institutions that offer these programmes normally require an internship or practicum before you can graduate.
  • Liberal Arts- A doctorate in liberal arts without a dissertation is also offered; it takes 18 months to complete. Schools that want their students to learn more in-depth information about specific subjects of study may give the degree, which may go by the designation of Doctor of Philosophy in Arts and Sciences.
  • Nursing- A doctoral programme in nursing can be completed via remote learning with or without the completion of a dissertation. Although some programmes can be finished in as little as 18 months, most students must still complete extra coursework and clinical training before receiving their diplomas.
  • Science- Doctoral science programmes are typically offered by colleges and universities to entice young scientists to complete their education. While some of these programmes could be more focused on encouraging students to conduct research, others might be more concerned with preparing students for the workforce.


For people looking to acquire a PhD while adapting their particular circumstances and professional aspirations, earning a doctorate without the traditional dissertation is an increasingly practical and well-liked choice. We have examined a number of alternate routes that enable people to obtain the greatest degree of academic acknowledgment without the sometimes difficult dissertation procedure throughout this investigation. Explore non-dissertation doctoral programs and take the next step in your academic journey today with Yocket.

Frequently Asked Questions about Doctorate Without Dissertation

1. Can you get a doctorate without doing a dissertation?

2. What does PhD without dissertation mean?

3. What is the quickest doctorate degree to get?

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