Guide to Doctoral Degree Programs

What types of doctoral degrees/programs exist and what are they called?

There are many doctoral degrees and programs. The names will have to do with the area you choose to study. Some are rather general such as psychology or environmental studies while other are more specific.

Some of the most popular online doctoral degrees are:

– Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

– Doctor of Education (EdD)

– Doctor of Public Health (DPH)

– Doctor of Psychology (PhD)

Online Doctoral Degree Rankings:

Online doctoral degrees are not specifically ranked and for good reason – there’s no real board to rank their prestige. As long as your degree is from an accredited school, it is valid and worthy of advancing your career. Any rankings you come across online are arbitrary. There may be schools that have offered a particular doctoral degree longer, which may mean the professors have a more experience in distance learning. This is a good sign because online courses can be tricky to teach since there’s no direct contact with students.

Ultimately, rankings do not weigh heavily in obtaining your online degree or putting the degree to use once you have it. Choose from schools that are regionally or nationally accredited and have offered your type of doctoral degree for a few semesters to ensure you have a solid foundation.

Transferring doctoral degree school credits

Transferring doctoral degree school credits is not common because schools are accredited for the various specialized degrees in psychology, physical therapy, etc. The standard doctoral degree can be obtained in three years and it is serious students that pursue a doctoral degree, so there usually isn’t a gap period that will cause a student to want to transfer credits to a new program.

Should you need to transfer credits, it is best to check with numerous schools and online programs to see which will accept your credits. Some require a student to be enrolled in their own doctoral program for an entire school year before they grant you credit for the courses taken at a previous school. Some schools will also limit the amount of credits you can transfer, usually taking only 6-8 hours from a previous doctoral program.

Doctoral degree programs require dedication and a large time commitment. A student is required to write and defend a dissertation and is considered an expert in their field after finishing their doctoral degree. Overall, a doctoral degree means a person has at least seven years studying a specific subject and can lead to top positions in that field. Even if you don’t go on to utilize the doctoral degree for that field, simply having a degree of that caliber will open many doors and put you in line for excellent jobs.

What sort of career can someone with a doctoral degree have?

Medical scientist – This is a fast-growing field that is expected to increase 40% by 2018. This required a Ph.D and usually involves working a lab, researching human conditions.

Veterinarian – Vets also require a Ph.D and can have a private practice or work for a zoo or research lab.

Physical Therapist – This industry is also growing. Hospitals, private physicians and large universities all employ physical therapists. Physical therapists can also be self-employed.

Environmental specialists and scientists – A doctoral degree in environmental studies is useful because of the state of the environment. A person with this degree can serve as a consultant for major corporations looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Environmental specialists and scientists can also work for research labs and the government.

Industrial organized psychologists – More and more companies are hiring psychologists as consultants to come in and improve the work environment for employees.

What are the average salaries of a person with a doctoral degree?

Having a doctoral degree usually allows you to rank in the top salary percentage. However, job experience is also considered, so do not consider obtaining a doctoral degree as your immediate ticket to big money. Here are salaries that coincide with our list for of doctoral jobs that are expected to grow in the coming decade.

Medical scientist – About $73,000

Veterinarian – About $75,000

Physical Therapist – About $73,000

Environmental specialists and scientists – About $60,000

Industrial organized psychologists – About $77,000

Doctoral degree scholarships and doctoral degree grants

Always inquire with your school to see if they have any scholarships or grants aimed at doctoral students or students specializing in your area of study. Some require a fellowship with the school be served, but this is well worth cutting thousands of dollars from your bottom line. Other sources to consider are the about the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Scholarship here.

Department of Housing and Urban Development Grant – This grant offers early doctoral funds for students whose dissertation topic focuses on topics that fall within HUD’s purpose of providing affordable, long term housing for citizens. Find out more about the HUD grants and scholarships, and download applications here.