Doctoral programs grant Doctor of Philosophy degrees -- the most advanced academic degrees awarded by universities, and the ones required of university professors or researchers. The Ph.D. involves coursework, usually two to three years, as well as a significant amount of research.
As a Ph.D. candidate, you must submit a thesis or dissertation that contributes original academic research to your chosen field of study. The length of doctoral programs varies according to discipline, but doctoral degrees in the humanities take the longest to complete. Though a doctorate usually means full-time commitment, an online program will allow you to pursue this degree at a part-time pace.