dcsimg

Schools with doctorate degree programs

The highest level of education a student can receive is a doctoral degree. These advanced degrees indicate that the recipient has in-depth knowledge and mastery of their particular area of study, and they're relatively rare. Less than 1 percent of the population in the U.S. holds a doctoral degree, according to the education firm Peterson's. While the Census Bureau reported the number of doctoral degree holders increased by 1 million from 2002-12, don't expect this level of education to become as common as bachelor's degrees or even master's degrees.

A doctoral degree may not be for everyone, as it entails a rigorous program that can take years to complete. Those who pursue this elite credential must have a love of learning and a strong desire to take their education to the very highest level.

What is a doctorate?

Even those not familiar with the doctorate degree definition may be familiar with the term Ph.D. The letters Ph.D. stand for Doctor of Philosophy, which is the most popular doctoral degree in the country. According to the National Science Foundation, science and engineering doctorate degrees — Ph.D. degrees — accounted for 74 percent of doctorates earned in 2012.

The following are other examples of doctoral degrees.

  • Doctor of Education
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Doctor of Medicine
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery
  • Juris Doctor

Some of these doctoral degrees, such as those for medicine and law, are also referred to as professional degrees.

Do you need an advanced postgraduate degree?

Although a Ph.D. or other doctoral degree might be helpful in advancing some careers, it is only truly necessary for relatively few occupations.

These include the following positions.

  • Most postsecondary teachers
  • Lawyers
  • Doctors and surgeons
  • Dentists
  • Veterinarians
  • Physical therapists

In addition, any person who is planning to do advanced research will likely need a doctorate, regardless of their field.

Other jobs requiring a Ph.D. include those in fields where a government license or professional credentials are needed. For example, a person with a bachelor's or master's degree in psychology may be able to work in entry-level positions. However, states may require a Ph.D. in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology degree before they will license that person and allow them to use the title of "psychologist."

Deciding to commit to a doctorate

Before entering a doctorate program, students should carefully consider the time commitment and their financial resources.

Peterson's notes that a Ph.D. can take up to nine years or more to earn, and many doctoral candidates are unable to work a full-time job during that time because of the rigorous demands of their studies. Fortunately, many institutions offer stipends and fellowships to graduate students to offset the cost of living, so check with universities that interest you about their funding options.

In other good news for prospective doctoral students, the National Science Foundation reports the average time to earn a Ph.D. has been declining in recent years. As of 2012, the following represents the median time, based upon field of study, from entering graduate school to earning a doctorate.

  • Social sciences: 7.7 years
  • Life sciences: 6.9 years
  • Engineering: 6.7 years
  • Physical sciences: 6.7 years

While the doctoral degree process can be challenging, it can also be immensely rewarding. Some Ph.D. jobs may pay significantly more than those requiring less education, but often the real value lies in the opportunity to explore an area of study the student finds meaningful and relevant.

Career counselors at schools with doctorate degree programs can help students learn more about whether this advanced degree is right for them. Interested students should request more information about both programs and entrance requirements, as certain qualifying exams, such as the GRE or LSAT, might be required..

Sources:

Ph.D. Programs are Rigorous Educational Experiences, Peterson's, Jan. 17, 2014,
http://www.petersons.com/graduate-schools/phd-programs-rigorous-educational.aspx

Census Bureau Reports Fast Growth in Ph.D.s and Master's Degree Holders, Census Bureau. Jan. 23, 2013,
https://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb13-13.html

Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2012, The National Science Foundation,
http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/sed/digest/2012/index.cfm

Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
http://data.bls.gov/projections

Psychologists, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Jan. 8, 2014,
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm

Program

  • All
  • Art & Design
  • Business
  • Communications & Media
  • Computers & Technology
  • Cosmetology
  • Culinary Arts
  • Education & Teaching
  • Engineering & Architecture
  • Health, Healthcare & Nursing
  • High School
  • Liberal Arts
  • Math & Science
  • Psychology & Counseling
  • Testing
  • Vocational & Trade

Degree/Diploma Offered

  • All
  • Associate
  • Bachelor
  • Master
  • Doctoral
  • Diploma
  • Certificate
  • Coursework

Location Type

  • Campus and Online
  • Campus
  • Online

Zip/Postal Code

Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Phoenix Career Services™ help students find careers that match their interests & map out a personalized career plan.
  • Mentorships & networking opportunities available through Alumni Association of 800,000+ graduates.
  • Flexible start date and class schedules.
  • 100+ locations and online options.
  • Offers special military rates and special advisors who have a military background.
  • Students can earn credits for applicable military training and education.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Founded in 1949, Grand Canyon University is a premier, private, accredited, nondenominational Christian university located in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 16:1 and 33.9% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • As a Christian university, the school encourages students to find their purpose in Christ, with an emphasis on applying Christian values and ethics to the workplace.
  • 65% of students have cars on campus, and alcohol is not permitted for students of legal age.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • With 100,000+ students, it's the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation.
  • Since 1971, its mission has been to develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for impacting tomorrow’s world.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • The student-faculty ratio is 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 76.5%.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • 95% alumni satisfaction rate.
  • Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.
  • Potential students may preview a free, one-week mini course to get an accurate impression of the student experience.
  • Courses are taught by expert faculty, with 86% of professors possessing a doctoral degree.
  • Offers credit for prior experience and learning, as well as scholarships, accelerated programs, and several other ways to help reduce tuition costs.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
West Coast University , North Hollywood
  • Began in 1909 as a single classroom in Los Angeles.
  • Offers no-cost dental clinic in Anaheim, where students gain experience by offering a selection of free dental services.
  • Involved in philanthropy, through partnerships with several organizations, such as the California Institute for Nursing and Healthcare (CINHC) and Shriner’s Hospital.
  • Accredited by The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission.
  • 4 California campuses and 2 other campuses in Florida and Texas.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked #18 Best Education Schools by U.S. News and World Report in 2014.
  • Established in 1918 with the mission, “to improve learning in urban education locally, nationally, and globally.”
  • The first major research university to offer an online M.A.  in teaching program.
  • Offers certificate through doctoral programs in teaching, counseling, and more.
  • All programs taught with the guiding principles of leadership, learning, accountability, and diversity.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits