Defining a PhD Program
For people thinking about continuing their educational pursuits to the highest level, they would want to go after a PhD.
Breaking it down to its most simple terms, a PhD is known as a Doctor of Philosophy, an advanced degree typically necessitating anywhere from three to eight years of education beyond obtaining a Bachelor’s degree. Keep in mind that the title of “Doctor” is not always utilized, typically being honorary in the U.S.
Individuals should note that there are a number of complementary programs involving similar years of study, taking place following the earning of a bachelor’s degree. Among those are the D.A., or Doctor of Arts, Doctor of Education (Ed.D), and the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) to name a few.
In determining if a PhD is necessary in one’s educational and career aspirations, they should review several questions. They include:
· Why do I want to obtain a PhD?
· Will I feel a sense of power and prestige if I obtain this degree?
· Do I want to work or teach in an environment where this degree is necessary?
· Will I commit the time and effort necessary to attaining such a degree?
If there is any hesitancy or reluctance on the above-noted questions, individuals should seriously reconsider their PhD aspirations.
Educate One on Choosing the Right PhD Degree Program
With the costs for schooling continuing to go up, selecting the right PhD Degree Program proves all the more important in order to save money and land the best education possible.
For those not aware, the top of the education mountain is achieving a doctoral degree, which many colleges and universities offer in a number of specialties. Where to go to get that degree can oftentimes be the biggest question facing a student.
The choice to go to graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. is an important one, and not one to be taken lightly or without major thought.
In many cases, doctoral programs require five to seven years to complete; by the time one is done, they will have spent close to one-quarter of their life in graduate school.
In the majority of fields one’s training will not be done; in the majority of science fields students then require 2-4 years in postdoctoral training prior to beginning their professional career.
Where Does One Start?
When searching for the right place to gain a PhD, students should take several factors into consideration. Among them are:
· Locate a program in one’s specialty – This is extremely important, given that this portion of your education will have a major impact on your professional options and potential levels of success. Students have can access graduate catalogs from schools nationwide to see what their PhD options are;
· Meet and talk with faculty members for the prospective programs – Students can meet with the professors they had with their master’s degrees and find out which programs and universities they would recommend in going after the doctoral degree. Once that is done, meet up with prospective faculty to get a feel for their teaching and personnel skills;
· Look at the expenses – With the economy still on the minds of many people, it only makes sense to weigh the costs of each PhD program. Not only is the education cost itself important, but also look at things like books, fees, housing or transportation costs etc.;
· Determine the application process – While filling out an application doesn’t sound like a lot of work, keep in mind all the needed information, meeting deadlines and more. In order not to stress out over this part of the process, complete the needed paperwork in plenty of time.
Provide Oneself with a Degree Not Many Have
Due to the fact earning a PhD requires extra study time and major intellectual effort; note only a small percentage of the population receives the degree.
Each university formulates general guidelines that a student must be sure to follow to attain a PhD degree, and each college or department within a university puts in place specific standards by which it measures the full understanding of a subject.
Typically when one prepares for their PhD work in a certain field, a student is required to achieve both a Bachelor's and Master's degree (or their equivalent) in that field or in a similarly tied field. To show full mastery of the subject, a student might need to complete more graduate-level courses, keep in place a high grade average, or complete a number of special examinations. Oftentimes, students must meet all three requirements.
What it all boils down to in separating the PhD from other collegiate achievements at the end of the day is research. The time spent researching is like no other college program, leading students to not only explore, but gain a full understanding of their objective.
To complete a PhD, each student must present results from their research to faculty in a complete, formal document known as a dissertation or thesis.
The last and most important step is having the student defend their researched beliefs through an oral examination, leading to their successful or unsuccessful attempt to achieve the degree.
With a PhD in hand, the possibilities are endless.