Doctorate Degrees and PhD Programs in Philadelphia
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 Philadelphia
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 Philadelphia
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 Philadelphia
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 399 Graduate Schools with Doctorate and PhD Programs in Philadelphia
- 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 Education - Special Education Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy - Therapy with Military Families Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy - Systemic Leadership Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy - Medical Family Therapy Education Specialist - Organizational Leadership Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy - General Family Therapy Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy - Education and Supervision Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy - Culture, Diversity & Social Justice in a Global Context Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy - Couple Therapy Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy - Child and Adolescent Therapy Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design (PhD-ID) Doctor of Philosophy in Human Resource Management Education Specialist - Special Education Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Leadership Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Special Education Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Organizational Leadership Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Learning Analytics in K-12 Education Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Learning Analytics in Higher Education Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Leadership in Higher Education Education Specialist - Sport and Athletic Management Doctor of Philosophy in Education - International Education Doctor of Business Administration - Advanced Accounting Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Instructional Leadership Doctor of Business Administration - Applied Computer Science
University of PennsylvaniaMarketing Educational Leadership - Doctorate Comparative Literature and Literary Theory Classical Studies Chemistry Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World Architecture - Doctorate Psychology Program in Cell Growth and Cancer Philosophy Pharmacological Sciences Mid-Career Doctorate in Educational Leadership Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development - Doctorate Executive Doctorate in Higher Education Management Education Policy - Doctorate Demography - Doctorate Cell and Molecular Biology Nursing - Doctorate Religious Studies Sociology French Literature - Doctorate Biology Systems Engineering Quantitative Methods Educational Linguistics
Temple UniversityEdD in Higher Education Executive EdD in Educational Leadership Doctor of Nursing Practice Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering Doctor of Philosophy in Bioengineering Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Lehigh UniversityApplied Mechanics and Engineering Mathematics Integrative Biology Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Mathematics Computer Science and Engineering Physics Materials Science and Engineering Industrial & Systems Engineering Civil and Environmental Engineering Earth and Environmental Science Biochemistry Counseling Psychology Educational Leadership Chemical Engineering English Special Education School Psychology Polymer Science and Engineering(Arts and Sciences/Engineering and Applied Science): Interdisciplinar Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Molecular Biology Psychology with a focus on Human Cognition and Development Instructional Technology Comparative and International Education History Economics
Bryn Mawr CollegeMathematics Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology Chemistry Master of Social Service Clinical Developmental Psychology Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies Physics History of Art
Medical College of LondonMedical Doctor
Immaculata UniversityEducational Leadership and Administration Clinical Psychology Doctoral of Education (Ed.D.) in Higher Education
La Salle UniversityDoctor of Nursing Practice Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) Doctor of Theology (Th.D.)
Biblical Theological SeminaryReligious Studies MA in Counseling Leadership
Chestnut Hill CollegeHolistic Spirituality Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology
Westminster Theological SeminaryReligion Theology
University of the SciencesPharmacognosy Biochemistry Cell Biology and Biotechnology Pharmacology-Toxicology Entry-Level Pharmacy Health Policy Chemistry Pharmaceutics
Princeton Theological SeminaryGraduate Programs
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New JerseyD.O. - Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Public Health
Salus UniversityOptometry Audiology
Princeton UniversityEnvironmental Engineering and Water Resources Ph.D. - Oceanography/Atmospheric Science Sociology Mathematics Ph.D. - Near Eastern Studies Music Program in History of Science Religion Classics History of Science Statistics and Operations Research Mechanical Engineering Population Studies Interdisciplinary Operations Research and Financial Engineering Geosciences Chemical Engineering German Studies History Archaeology Physics Anthropology Ecology Ph.D. - Biology Center for Photonics and Optoelectronic Materials
Neumann UniversityDoctor of Education: Educational Leadership
Thomas Jefferson UniversityDoctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Master of Science in Cell and Developmental Biology Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics, Genomics & Cancer Biology Doctor of Philosophy in Immunology & Microbial Pathogenesis Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience
Arcadia UniversityDoctor of Physical Therapy Doctor of Educational Leadership Dual Degree in Public Health and Physical Therapy
Temple UniversityPhD in Education with a Concentration in Science, Mathematics and Educational Technology PhD in Education with a Concentration in Applied Linguistics PhD in Education with a Concentration in Educational Psychology PhD in Education with a Concentration in Special Education PhD in Policy and Organizational Studies with a Concentration in Adult and Organizational Development PhD in Policy and Organizational Studies with a Concentration in Higher Education PhD in Policy and Organizational Studies with a Concentration in Urban Education PhD in School Psychology PhD in Education with a Concentration in Literacy and Learners Occupational Therapy Urban Studies Master of Tourism and Hospitality Management (MTHM) - Doctorate Healthcare Financial Management - Doctorate Pharmaceutical Sciences - Doctorate Physical Therapy Sociology - Doctorate Communication Sciences Dance - Doctorate Psychology Religion - Doctorate History - Doctorate Media and Communication Computer and Information Sciences - Doctorate Mathematics - Doctorate Music Therapy - Doctorate
Eastern UniversityDoctor of Education (EdD) in Curriculum & Instruction with STEM Focus PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy DA in Marriage and Family Therapy Studies PhD in Organizational Leadership w/ concentrations
Holy Family UniversityDoctor of Psychology in Counseling Psychology (PsyD)
Rowan UniversityPhD in Education Ed.D in Educational Leadership
West Chester University of PennsylvaniaDoctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.)
Gwynedd - Mercy UniversityDoctorate in Education-Leadership in Special Education Concentration Doctorate in Education-Leadership in PreK-12 Schools and School Districts Concentration Doctorate in Education-Leadership in Higher Education Concentration
Saint Joseph's UniversityEducation Educational Leadership
Rutgers, The State University of New JerseyComputational & Integrative Biology
Villanova UniversityNursing Doctorate in Computer Engineering Online
Alvernia UniversityDoctor of Philosophy in Leadership
Widener UniversityGraduate Nursing Criminal Justice Physical Therapy Higher Education Leadership Adult Education Reading Education Human Sexuality Education MSW Program Clinical Psychology School Administration