Doctorate Degrees and PhD Programs in Michigan
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 Michigan
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 Michigan
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 Michigan
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 508 Graduate Schools with Doctorate and PhD Programs in Michigan
- 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.
Northcentral UniversityDoctor of Business Administration - Public Administration Doctor of Philosophy in Technology and Innovation Management - IT Project Management Education Specialist - Leadership in Higher Education Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Learning Analytics in Higher Education Doctor of Business Administration - Management of Engineering and Technology Doctor of Business Administration - Industrial Organizational Psychology PhD in Business Administration - Industrial Organizational Psychology Doctor of Philosophy in Technology and Innovation Management - Computer Science Doctor of Criminal Justice - Policing Doctor of Philosophy in Education - E-Learning Doctor of Education - Leadership in Higher Education Education Specialist - Early Childhood Education Education Specialist - General Education Doctor of Business Administration - General Business Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy - Couple Therapy Doctor of Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Education Specialist - Curriculum and Teaching Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Health Care Administration Doctor of Education - Special Education Doctor of Business Administration - Homeland Security - Leadership & Policy Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Management Information Systems Doctor of Education - Global Training and Development Doctor of Business Administration - Management Information Systems Doctor of Business Administration - Organizational Leadership Doctor of Business Administration - Applied Computer Science
Western Theological SeminaryMaster of Divinity
Siena Heights UniversityGraduate Teacher Education
University of Michigan - DearbornEducation Education Specialist Information Systems Engineering Automotive Systems Engineering
Michigan State University College of LawLaw
Michigan School of Professional PsychologyClinical Psychology
Michigan Technological UniversityMetallurgical and Materials Engineering Physics Chemical Engineering Graduate Program in Physics Atmospheric Sciences Mathematical Sciences Civil Engineering Chemistry Computer Science Biomedical Engineering Geological Engineering Computational Science and Engineering Mining Engineering Forest Science Environmental Engineering Forestry Industrial Heritage and Archaeology Electrical and Computer Engineering Mechanical Engineering Biological Sciences Rhetoric and Technical Communication Materials Science and Engineering Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology Geology
Michigan State UniversityElectrical Engineering Educational Psychology and Counseling Anthropology Ecological - Community Psychology Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Crop and Soil Sciences Anatomy Civil and Environmental Engineering Fisheries and Wildlife Geography Brain, Behavior and Cognition Graduate Program in Behavioral Neuroscience Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy Agricultural and Extension Education Graduate Study in Plant Sciences Animal Sciences Romance and Classical Languages PhD in Business Administration Osteopathic Medicine School Social Work Certificate Program Sociology Medical Scientist Training Chemistry Economics Ph.D. Media and Information Studies
Oakland UniversityDoctor of Philosophy in Computer Science and Informatics Doctor of Physical Therapy Education Specialist in Early Education and Intervention Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Mathematical Sciences Doctor of Philosophy in Reading Education Doctor of Philosophy in Education: Counseling Education Specialist in Leadership Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering Doctor of Philosophy in Early Childhood Education Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences: Biological Communication Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences: Medical Physics Doctor of Philosophy in Systems Engineering Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences: Health and Environmental Chemistry Doctor of Philosophy in Education: Educational Leadership Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy Doctor of Nursing Practice
Calvin Theological SeminaryTheology
Andrews UniversityDoctor of Nursing Practice Leadership
Ferris State UniversityPharmacy Optometry
Walsh College of Accountancy and Business AdministrationDoctorate of Management in Executive Leadership
Eastern Michigan UniversityTechnology Studies Interior Design Leadership & Counseling Educational Studies Psychology
University of Michigan - FlintDoctor of Education (Ed.D.) Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (t-DPT) Transitional Physical Therapy Nursing (DNP)
University of MichiganDual Degree in Education (PhD) and Statistics (MA) Business Administration Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences Biomedical Engineering Cell and Developmental Biology Comparative Literature Anthropology and History Asian Languages and Cultures Cellular and Molecular Biology Construction Engineering and Management Dentistry Applied Physics Civil and Environmental Engineering Architecture Chemical Biology Classical Studies Astronomy and Astrophysics Biomedical Sciences Classical Art and Archaeology Medicinal Chemistry Theatre and Drama Nuclear Engineering English and Women's Studies Urban, Technological, and Environmental Planning Educational Studies- Science Education (PhD)
Western Michigan UniversityBiological Sciences Physics Psychology Higher Education & Student Affairs (HESA) Leadership Sociology Geosciences Chemistry Computer Science School Psychology Science Education Statistics Comparative Religion Interdisciplinary Health Studies English Public Administration Political Science Special Education Electrical and Computer Engineering Mathematics Mechanical Engineering Behavior Analysis; I/O Psychology; Clinical Psychology Mathematics Education History Industrial Engineering Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
University of Detroit MercyElectrical and Computer Engineering Chemistry Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
Central Michigan UniversityGraduate Program - Physical Therapy Graduate Program - Speech-Language Pathology Doctor of Health Administration Science of Advanced Materials Graduate Program - Higher Education Administration Graduate Program - Psychology Graduate Program - Mathematics Graduate Program - Industrial/Organizational Psychology Doctorate - Audiology Graduate Program - Educational Administration Graduate Program - History Graduate Program - General/Experimental Psychology Graduate Program - School Psychology Graduate Program - Educational Leadership
Wayne State UniversitySocial Work Medical and Radiological Physics, Radiation Oncology and Radiology Physics Civil Engineering Chemical Engineering Italian Cancer Biology Graduate Program Medical Doctor (M.D.) Nutrition and Food Science Mechanical Engineering Programs in German and Modern Languages Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Reading, Language and Literature Cellular and Molecular Pathobiology Spanish Communication Psychiatry Mathematics Nursing Molucular and Cellular Toxicology History Translational Neuroscience Program Anatomy and Cell Biology Pharmacy Clinical Psychology
Grand Valley State UniversityNursing - DNP
Van Andel InstitutePhD in Cell and Molecular Genetics