Doctorate Degrees and PhD Programs in Illinois
What is a Doctorate Degree vs a PhD Degree?
A Doctorate, or Doctoral Degree, is the highest level of academic degree awarded by a university. A doctorate typically signifies that the individual is qualified to teach at the post-secondary level or work in a specific field of profession. There are two major types of doctoral degrees; the research-oriented degree, and the professional doctorate degree.
Doctorate Degrees are sometimes referred to as terminal degrees which means it is the final degree available in graduate school for students wishing to study in the chosen subject. In most fields, the terminal-level degree is the doctor of philosophy, or PhD, but in some fields, it's a professional degree, such as a doctor of medicine or law degree.
We commonly associate a doctorate degree with the field of medicine and the abbreviation ‘M.D’, or medical doctorate, and the Ph.D., or Doctor of Philosophy Degree. In fact, there are different types of doctoral degrees, including the DBA degree, and several reasons why earning one might be just what the doctor ordered.
Is a PhD and a Doctorate the Same?
Doctoral degrees encompass both PhD degrees and other 'Doctor of' degrees. While these may be equivalent academically, there are differences to learn between PhD degrees and other degrees such as the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) or Juris Doctor (JD). Essentially, the differences appear in terms of the type of research and the focus for each degree - whether it is research-focused (PhD) or professional practice-focused (e.g. DBA degree, JD degree, PsyD degree).
What Is a PhD?
Doctor of Philosophy, or PhD degrees, are research-based academic degrees which are awarded in many fields. A PhD degree is granted to students who have conducted publishable, original research in a peer-reviewed academic publication. Additionally, to get to that research, doctoral candidates have to complete a substantial amount of coursework beyond the master’s degree level. Many holders of this degree might pursue academic careers as college professors, scholarly writers and researchers. While the most common research degree is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree, other research doctorates are available.
Some popular PhD Majors include:
- Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
- Doctor of Arts (D.A.)
- Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)
- Doctor of Professional Studies (DProf)
- Doctor of Social Science (DSocSci)
- Doctor of Management (DMan)
- Doctor of Engineering (D Eng)
- Doctor of Theology (ThD)
What Is A Professional Doctorate Degree?
A professional doctorate degree is awarded in fields where both research and study are required, but the type of research is ‘applied’. This means it is designed to be used for professional purposes, such as to solve a real-world problem in their domain. These can be seen in psychology, medicine, engineering, education, law and business. Unlike the PhD, some professional doctorates while considered terminal degrees within their specific profession, may serve as a prerequisite or platform to a research degree in that field.
Examples of professional doctorates might include:
- Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
- Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
- Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
- Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)
- Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.)
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.)
- Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.)
- Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.)
- Doctor of Optometry (O.D.)
- Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)
- Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.)
- Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.)
- Doctor of Osteopathic
- Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
- Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)
- Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
Note that the Ed.D., D.Min., D.B.A. and M.D. are both research and professional doctorate degrees. Original research for a dissertation may have a combination of both theory and practical components.
PhD programs are available within various fields of study. In each of these disciplines, there may be doctorate programs in several specialties and concentration areas. This may allow you to tailor your program to your interests and career goals.
Popular PhD and Doctorate Programs in Illinois
DID YOU KNOW?
About 3 percent of all jobs in the United States were in occupations that typically require a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) or first professional degree, such as in law or medicine. In May 2013, the median annual wage for those jobs was $97,550 according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What is Higher Than a PhD?
A higher level of research doctorates, called Higher Doctorates, are sometimes awarded to those whose research is of a very high standard. These higher doctorates are also bestowed if a university wishes to formally acknowledge an individual for their achievements or contributions in the field. A Higher Doctorate typically signals that you have authoritative standing in your field.
Preparing for a Doctoral Degree in Your Field
Earning a doctoral degree may require a major investment of time and energy, but at the same time, climbing that mountain may give you excellent results and recognition. Just remember to do some homework as early as college. Choosing a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, taking coursework during the preliminary degree(s), and making sure you are up to the commitment are some of the building blocks to earning your PhD degree or doctorate degree in any field.
How to Earn a Doctorate Degree near Illinois
While each doctorate degree has its own requirements, doctorate degree curriculum typically involves coursework plus research. In the event you are in a four-year doctoral degree program, you may need to complete the following steps.
- Complete 60 to 120 semester credits (varies between graduate schools)
- Pass final examinations
- Write and defend a research thesis or dissertation
Other doctoral programs may involve a capstone project and supervised placement in your field. Format may vary depending on the type of doctoral degree you are pursuing. However, usually the courses are taken first. Rigorous examinations follow subsequent to test a candidate's knowledge. A dissertation topic is proposed and the latter part of one's doctorate program may be spent in research - collecting, recording, analyzing data, testing a hypothesis or whatever is pertinent to the field of study. Programs may vary, so follow up directly about individual programs to learn more.
DID YOU KNOW?
To receive a doctoral degree, students must often complete a dissertation, a lengthy research project that contributes new knowledge to the field. Occupations that require a doctoral degree include animal scientists, computer and information research scientists, and physicists.
How Many Years is a Doctoral Degree?
Typically, a doctorate degree program can take about 4 to 6 years to complete after the bachelor’s degree. If you hold a master’s degree, you may be able to complete your doctorate in about 3 years of full-time study - or you may be able to find a dual masters and phd program. However, this is going to depend on the institution and the type of program. In some universities, it may be possible to find part-time doctoral degree programs, a factor that might extend time to completion.
What Are the Prerequisites for a Doctorate?
Doctoral applicants were previously required to have a master's degree, but many programs accept students immediately following undergraduate studies. Many programs gauge the potential of a student applying to their program and grant a master's degree upon completion of the necessary Ph.D. course work.
Is a Doctorate Degree 'Right' for You?
Doctoral degrees are not required in every field, which doesn't mean you shouldn't go for it. However, if you are thinking ahead to plan your scholastic path, or pave the way to a potential career, it is important to find out whether a doctoral or professional degree is required for professional practice. Is a PhD degree ultimately best for you? According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the answer may be ‘yes’ if any of the below statements are true.
- Your goal is advanced computer and information research.
- You are interested in a medical field (dentist, doctor, chiropractor).
- You want to do independent research in medical science, physics, biochemistry, biophysics.
- You want to work as a librarian in an academic library.
- Your ambition is to work as a licensed clinical psychologist.
Are Online PhD Programs Available?
Yes, some schools do offer online PhD programs. These may allow you to pursue your education without compromising your schedule. Generally, online programs will make course readings, syllabi, assignments and lectures available through an online platform. Online doctoral programs may also use chatrooms, discussion boards and email to encourage communication with professors and classmates. Fully online PhD programs are not always available. However, if this is the case, you might find hybrid doctoral programs which combine web-based courses with intensives on campus. Contact schools to learn more. You can even find online PhD programs that don't require you to take a GRE!
Accreditation and Doctoral Degrees near Illinois
Accreditation in the United States focuses on institutions and programs. Institutional accreditation takes into account the integrity of the graduate school (faculty, mission, achievement). Specialized program accreditation takes into account courses and educational standards. Accreditation may help you evaluate the quality of a PhD program or school. It may also be an important factor if you are interested in federal aid.
An institution can be accredited nationally by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. These national agencies recognize 6 regional organizations in turn.
Standards for PhD program accreditation differ, and you are wise to see what they are in your field. For instance, the American Psychological Association (APA) accredits doctoral programs in psychology (PhD and PsyD), but look to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing for Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. Visit the US Department of Education or individual accrediting bodies websites to learn more.
Top 320 Graduate Schools with Doctorate and PhD Programs in Illinois
- Accredited online university.
- Capella University offers doctoral programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.
- Competency-based curriculum delivers both foundation knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you’re learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.
Northern Illinois UniversityOnline BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice Online MSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice
Colorado Technical UniversityDoctor of Management - Criminal Justice Doctor of Management - Technology Management (Executive Format) Doctor of Management - Higher Education Teaching and Learning Doctor of Management - Organizational Development and Change (Executive Format) Doctor of Management - Environmental and Social Sustainability (Executive Format) Doctor of Management - Global Leadership (Executive Format) Doctor of Management - Private Sector Higher Education Leadership Doctor of Management - Project Management (Executive Format) Doctor of Management - Nonprofit Leadership (Executive Format) Doctor of Nursing Practice Doctor of Management - Executive Leadership (Executive Format) Doctor of Management - Homeland Security (Executive Format) Doctor of Computer Science - Big Data Analytics (Executive Format) Doctor of Management - Healthcare Management and Leadership (Executive Format) Doctor of Computer Science - Information Assurance (Executive Format) Doctor of Management - General Concentration (Executive Format) Doctor of Computer Science - Enterprise Information Systems (Executive Format) Doctor of Computer Science (Executive Format)
Northcentral UniversityDoctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Human Resources Management PhD in Psychology - Industrial Organizational Psychology Doctor of Business Administration - Criminal Justice Doctor of Education - Instructional Leadership Doctor of Business Administration - Applied Computer Science Education Specialist - E-Learning Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Instructional Leadership Education Specialist - Curriculum and Teaching Doctor of Education - English Language Learning Education Specialist - Instructional Leadership Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Management Information Systems Doctor of Health Administration Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology - Mental Health Policy and Practice Doctor of Business Administration - Management of Engineering and Technology Doctor of Education - Curriculum and Teaching Doctor of Business Administration - Financial Management Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology - Addictions Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Organizational Leadership Education Specialist - Learning Analytics in K-12 Education Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy - General Family Therapy Doctor of Criminal Justice - Policing Education Specialist - Sport and Athletic Management Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Homeland Security - Leadership & Policy Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Learning Analytics in K-12 Education
National University Of Health SciencesDoctor of Chiropractic Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Illinois Institute of TechnologyTechnical Communication Chemistry Design Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Personnel and Human Resource Development Architecture Applied Mathematics Computer Engineering Clinical Psychology Physics Computer Science Biology Technical Communication and Information Design Mathematics Education Rehabilitation Psychology Biomedical Engineering Management Science Collegiate Mathematics Education Industrial/Organizational Psychology Chemical Engineering Science Education Materials Science and Engineering Civil Engineering Environmental Engineering Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics
Illinois State UniversityCommunication Sciences and Disorders Educational Administration Curriculum & Instruction English Studies School Psychology - Doctoral Degree Nursing Special Education Mathematics Education English Biological Sciences
St. James School of MedicineDoctor of Medicine
Bradley UniversityDoctor of Physical Therapy Physical Therapy
Erikson InstituteChild Development
Chicago Theological Seminary, TheMinistry Doctor of Philosophy
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignLeisure Studies Health Behavior, and Health Policy and Administration Statistics and Probability Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Human Resources and Industrial Relations Accountancy Communications Science and Disorders Educational Policy Studies Urban Planning Law Health Education Educational Organization and Leadership Special Education Educational Psychology Curriculum and Instruction Library Science Finance Landscape Architecture
Chicago State UniversityEducational Leadership
Meadville/Lombard Theological SchoolTheology
University of Saint Mary Of The Lake Mundelein SeminaryTheology
Spertus CollegeJewish Studies
Dr. William Scholl College Of Podiatric MedicinePodiatric Medicine
Midwestern University (IL)Osteopathic Medicine Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) Pharmacy
Trinity International University (IL)Biblical Studies
Seabury-Western Theological SeminaryTheology
Illinois College Of OptometryOptometry
Southern Illinois University School Of MedicinePharmacology Medical Doctor (MD)
Lutheran School Of Theology At ChicagoTheology Religious Studies
Institute for Clinical Social WorkClinical Social Work Ph.D. Distance Learning Program
Jewish University Of AmericaHebrew Literature Counseling Jewish Education
Mccormick Theological SeminaryTheological Studies Urban Ministry
North Park Theological SeminaryTheology
Northern Baptist Theological SeminaryMinistry Religious Studies
Southern Illinois University - EdwardsvilleEducational Administration
Northern Illinois UniversityCounseling Program History Economics Applied-Industrial/Organizational Psychology Developmental Psychology Neuroscience and Behavior Educational Administraion Chemistry and Biochemistry Physical Therapy Program Social/Personality Psychology Geology Clinical Psychology Instructional Technology English Psychology Educational Psychology School Psychology Curriculum and Instruction Communicative Disorders Mathematical Sciences Human and Family Resources Reading Adult Education Public Admi nistration Cognitive Psychology
University of Illinois - SpringfieldPublic Administration - Doctorate