In Canada, many universities offer both courses and full degrees through distance learning. A significant portion of these programs is at the graduate level, but only a few currently offer the opportunity to earn a doctorate degree through distance education. As with conventional doctorate programs, admission is highly competitive and based on a combination of previous academic work and employment, reference letters and a written research proposal or statement of interest.

Doctorate in Social Science at Royal Roads University

Royal Roads University advertises itself as "Canada's University for Working Professionals." Located in Victoria, British Columbia, it offers a range of applied and professional programs that are offered primarily online. While a number of these are at the graduate level, there is only one doctoral program that is available through distance learning. This program is intended for working professionals with a minimum of ten years of experience in senior decision-making positions. Along with a dissertation, there are six additional courses included in the program. Two of these--Global Interdependence and Community and Social Science Theory and the Globalized World--focus on political and global studies, while the remaining coursework consists of applied research and methodology of social science in general.

Royal Roads University 2005 Sooke Road Victoria, B.C. V9B 5Y2 250-391-2511 royalroads.ca

Doctorate in Business Administration at Athabasca University

Athabasca University is based in northern Alberta and focuses exclusively on distance education courses and programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Among these is the first online doctoral program in business administration offered by a Canadian post-secondary institution. This program emphasizes research into the practice of business and management in a variety of organizations. In the first three years of the program, students are expected to attend one five-day orientation and two five-day research workshops on-site at the university, which offer the opportunity to network with fellow professionals and share research ideas. Students are expected to defend their dissertations in person as well. All other requirements are completed through distance learning.

Athabasca University 1 University Drive Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3 800-788-9041 athabascau.ca

Doctor of Education in Distance Education at Athabasca University

Also offered through Athabasca University, this doctoral program is advertised as "the first of its kind in North America." Apart from one on-site, five-day orientation workshop and the formal presentation and defense of a dissertation, it is offered entirely through distance learning. This program is mainly intended for working professionals who are already involved in the field of distance education and wish to upgrade their skills or advance to senior levels of management in their current careers. Coursework consists of specialized topics in distance education, such as leadership, project management, teaching, and learning. Its main focus is on research, with three of the six required courses dedicated to research methods and the completion of a dissertation.

Athabasca University 1 University Drive Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3 800-788-9041 athabascau.ca