Doing Online PhD- Advantages and Disadvantages

The hardest part of any education system is doing PhD- Doctor of Philosophy because it is the highest level of academic honour, a candidate must be more responsible and sensitive towards the award. 

The world becomes digitalizing so fast and so the education system is! Even nowadays universities across the world offer so many courses as well as dissertation is many different subjects. Thanks to the internet, now doing a PhD without going to the classroom comes true. 

Excluding science and related subject, anyone can do PhD online in different subjects mostly in humanities, social science, marketing and Information technology. 

However, before enrolling into any of the online PhD programs you know its advantages and disadvantages and with that, you have to be aware of the risk associated with it. 

Things to know before enrolling into an online PhD program: 

“Fraud and fake” these two words are most popular in recent times. More than 40% of websites are fraud and giving fake degrees and certificates online. Hence it is very important to “first!” check the authenticity of the online resource or the PhD program you are going to enrol. 

As we know, doing a PhD is a costlier and time-consuming process thus you never want to pay a fraud. 

Imagine that you had paid someone 1000$ fees for doing PhD online and in the next morning, you know that it was fake.   

How does it feels? obviously not good.

So it is better to check authenticity first before taking any step further, now how to do it. 

In the very first step, check the security of the online portal. For that open the website of the online PhD program you wish to study, in the google chrome and see whether it is secure to share personal and financial information or not. 

Frauds are generally not bothered about it because once they steal your money they immediately shut it down. Therefore first, check the security. See the image below, 

The indication of a secure connection.

In the next step, check the accreditation of the online programmer (who is offering you online PhD), Go to their “about us” page first and other related pages and see with which university it is tied up or whether it is accredited with the authorised university or not. 

 If the online PhD program is associated with some university, next go the universities official website and cross-check whether they have approved the website or online portal on which you wish to do PhD. 

In addition to this also, check the university certification and other related information.

If the university itself is conducting the online PhD, you must have to know whether it is government approved or not, or the degree is valid in other regions of the related country or in your country. 


I advise not enrol in some unknown Online PhD programs, nowadays universities across the USA and UK offers online PhD program, if possible, try to enrol in those. 

In the next step, check the authenticity of the authorities involved in it. For example, professors. 

A supervisor or a PhD guide must be allowed to the PhD student right! Go and check which supervisors they are offering, check their LinkedIn account and know about that work they had done. 

If possible contact the faculty or professor through LinkedIn or Facebook and send them greetings like, 

Hello sir, I am going to enrolling in an online PhD program in which you are one of the faculty or supervisor. It is my honour to work under your guidance kindly consider me as your PhD student. 

 Now, what is the purpose of it! If he was really associated with the online PhD program he will reply. Even if he was not associated he will reply to you regarding that.  

If possible, go to their alumni or student corner and try to contact them and ask them about their experience.  

Fees structure: 

Now, this is very important to check the fees structure of the online PhD program you wish to enrol with a related subject. If it is too cheap, something’s not right! 

You are enrolling in some university accredited online PhD program, hence you have to pay university right!

If they ask you to pay into their PayPal account or through crypto-currency, don’t do it.  


Advantages of online PhD: 

Choice of the subject: 

Sometimes it happened that the subject you wish to study is not available in your region or country. Or you have to migrate to some other country for doing it. In those cases doing online PhD is one of the best options. You can study your dream subject, even if it is not available in your country. 

Shifting to some other places gives extra financial burden to you and you also have to adjust to a new social environment. Enrolling into an online PhD can enable you to study from your home in the subject you wish. 


One of the greatest advantages of doing online PhD is the conform!

It grants you with great comfort, you no longer need to go to university and sit in the class. Attending 4 to 5 lectures a day gives you mental and physical stress as well. 

In online PhD, you can access all your lectures at your time and convenience. Further, you can download the lectures or material and do your work anywhere you want to do. 

Low cost: 

Obviously, the online PhD programs are low cost as compared with the physical PhD programs as you have to pay extra for utilising the library, campus, tuition fees and other academic fees in offline PhD.   

But remember! Online PhD programs are lower cost but not cheaper. 

Curriculum advantage:

Doing something online always makes your curriculum vitae attractive. People are now fascinated by online things- digital marketing and online learning things.

Doing a PhD online gives you extra rewards. It further shows how self-discipline you are for your work.

As per my personal experience I can it provides more authority to your resume.

Related article: Doctorate vs PhD.

Disadvantages of online PhD: 

In comparison with the advantages, online learning programs are more disadvantageous. 

Long-distance with a PhD guide: 

PhD guide or supervisor plays an important role in your PhD even if you are not believing in it. You think that they are harassing you all the time but they know how to complete your PhD in time. 

In an online PhD, your guide is not with you. Thus you have to do the majority of the work by your self. 

Even, he or she is even not aware of your progress hence it is very important for you that you have some experience of research, teaching or guiding others during masters or bachelors. It is very tough for the newcomer to do all the things by themself because they are inexperienced. 

No self-discipline: 

Conform sometimes creates a problem. In online learning or in online PhD, you can do things on your time and that is the main advantage of it. Sometimes creates a huge problem, as someone is not self-discipline, he or she can not finish their work or their learnings or classwork on time. 

Thus if someone is not so self-discipline, online PhD is not for them. 

Lack of one on one interaction: 

Your guide is in the USA and you are in Indonesia (just assume it), you both can not interact one on one and that is the major disadvantage of it. 

No other benefits: 

In an offline PhD program, your guide or PhD supervisor can check you thesis or paper and advise you to make is better. Also, they help you to publish a paper and in other academic activities. An online PhD supervisor can not give you these benefits. 


Conclusively, the online PhD is for those who actually want a degree in their job curriculum and i can genuinely say it is not for a novice at all. If you can hire a sub-supervisor who is with you then and then enrol in it. 

Besides all this, if you are in information technology or finance or marketing and already working; you can go for an online PhD in your spare time. 

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