Doctorate Degrees

People return for their doctorate for different reasons. Some long for more respect and job responsibility, some may be motivated by higher earning potential; whatever the reason, doctorate programs are similar to master's programs in that they require additional time and money and more discipline on the part of the student. Doctoral programs often take years to complete, especially if one attends the program on a part-time basis. Doctoral degrees for medical professionals include: physician, psychologist, health administrator, nutritionist, human services, physical therapist, and public health to name a few. Doctoral nursing degrees are available as are doctorates in natural, or holistic, medicine. Obviously, the doctorate degree is the terminal medical degree and the one that bears the most responsibility and authority.

Prerequisites for a doctoral program include a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or both. GPA and standardized test scores are also strongly considered, especially science scores. Many doctoral programs require letters of recommendation from employers and/or professors. Doctoral candidates should prepare themselves for teaching and research positions while in school, as well as a close working relationship with academic advisors and professors. Doctoral students will spend much of their time researching and writing their dissertation—a paper that explores a topic or issue in their field of study—then defending it to other students and faculty. Defense of a dissertation is usually required to graduate and obtain a doctoral degree. This is not required of medical students, just those pursuing a doctorate in other medical disciplines like the ones previously mentioned.

Last Updated: 05/21/2014

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