The word doctorate itself is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the degree, title, or rank of a doctor”. Most people are familiar with medical doctors (MD), but the title of doctor can apply to many different fields.
The doctorate degree definition is the highest academic degree that can be achieved in an area of study. Once a doctorate degree is earned, you are technically a doctor for that field.
There are four main college degree levels which, in order, are:
Doctoral Degree, which includes PhDs
What is a graduate degree?
A graduate degree is a degree earned past the bachelor’s level. So these would be Masters degrees, PhDs and other doctoral degrees.
What is a professional degree?
A professional degree is a degree which is intended to prepare the student for a specific line of work or even a specific job. Often there is a certification or accreditation alongside the academic requirements which will need to be met. Law degrees and medical degrees are two popular types of professional degrees. While professional degrees can be at varying levels of education there are professional doctorate degrees.
What does PhD stand for?
PhD is an abbreviation for Doctor of Philosophy and often these letters will be presented as a suffix behind the name of one who has earned this degree. For example: Jane Doe, PhD. Other acceptable abbreviations are Ph.D or DPhil.
PhDs can be earned in most areas of study, although typically not in medicine. However, there is a PhD in Nursing.
What is a Juris Doctorate?
A Juris Doctorate is a professional doctoral degree in the field of Law. Those who successfully complete this degree do not usually use the title of “doctor” although “esquire” is considered to be appropriate. The initials JD or J.D. as a suffix on someone’s name indicates that they have earned this degree.
What is a Doctoral Dissertation?
The definition for dissertation according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “an extended usually written treatment of a subject; specifically: one submitted for a doctorate”.
While it sounds simple enough, there is a bit more to it than just an essay or in-depth paper. Students are expected to develop their own ideas or theme for their dissertation and have it approved by their school through a dissertation proposal. After their proposal is accepted the student will likely have to do lengthy and documented research in order to support their concepts of the dissertation. Once completed, students must defend their dissertation in order to obtain their degree.
How long does it take to get a PhD?
The average students completing PhD programs will take from 4 to 7 years. There are always some exceptions, and particularly now that online PhD programs are available, some in the accelerated format, it may take as little as 2 years for students to complete the coursework. However, completing a dissertation may take longer.
How long does it take to get a doctorate degree?
The short answer is, the same as a PhD. As the above paragraph states, it will take the average student 4 to 7 years to earn their doctoral degree.
What does it mean if someone is a PhD candidate?
This means the student has completed all of their coursework, program requirements, and exams with the exception of their dissertation being the only thing keeping them from holding their hard-earned doctorate in their hands and weeping joyfully.
Why should I bother with online doctoral programs?
Online college and online learning have come a long way from the early days. Today many respectable schools with full accreditation offer online graduate programs, such as PhD and other doctoral programs. Often, the degree earned through online studies is indistinguishable from those granted to peers who have taken courses in the traditional fashion.
While online courses may not be available for some of the more hands-on degrees which may require a lot of time spent in the lab or otherwise, if your degree is available online through a reputable school that you’d like to attend, there is no reason not to choose that option outside of personal preference.