Understanding the different Doctoral Degrees

Nowadays, there are different types of Doctoral Degrees which is the highest level of academic degree in most fields. When you think about a doctoral degree the first thing that comes to mind is usually a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) which is the most common between all degrees, but the truth is that different fields have different types of doctoral degrees.

Over the past year, we have heard many people say that if you do not have a Ph.D. then you are not a doctor, and do not have the qualification to refer yourself as a doctor. This is a miss conception that we want to eradicate because there are so many more doctoral degrees besides a Ph.D.

A doctoral degree takes about four to five years to complete after a bachelor’s degree, but if you have a Master’s Degree then you can complete a doctorate in the same subject area with only three years of additional full-time study. Keep in mind that going forward with your studies and completing a doctorate will open so much more opportunities for you, that is why today we will be talking over the different degrees, so you can find which one is the best for you.

Ph.D. / DPhil, Doctor of Philosophy

As we have mentioned, this is the most common Doctorate Degree, and it is well known around the world. According to Find a Ph.D. “A Ph.D. is a doctoral research degree and normally the highest level of academic qualification you can achieve. The degree normally takes between three and four years of full-time work towards a thesis offering an original contribution to your subject.”

There’s a lot of questions when it comes to Ph.D.’s, a lot of people think that these types of degrees are only for geniuses or for people with a lot of time in their hands. None of these are true.

The only thing that you need to qualify for a doctoral degree is that you need to produce advanced work that makes a significant contribution to knowledge in your field. Basically, PhDs are doctorates, but not all doctorates are PhDs.

Ed. D, Doctor of Education

This one refers to a Doctor of Education Degree (or Doctorate in Education). The main difference between an Ed.D and a Ph.D. is that the first one focuses on inter-relationships between pedagogical theory and practice. If you decide to go for an Ed.D you will be moving forward to senior leadership or policy roles within education.

When it comes to a Doctor of Education the specialization is more practice-based since your career field will be focusing on people, also you will have modules with a period of independent research towards an original doctoral dissertation.

In order to apply to an Ed.D, you will need to be an experienced professional looking to advance in your career in a specific way. Usually, the Ed.D programs are part-time in order for students to work and study at their own pace.

Sc. D, Doctor of Science

According to the Through Education website, the Doctor of Science is “one of the lesser-known post-graduate degrees in the country and one that people aren’t completely familiar with (…) it is often awarded to people graduating in a STEM field.”

The main difference in the United States is that an Sc.D is awarded to science or STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) disciplines. This means that in the United States a Ph.D. and an Sc.D are equals but applied to different specialties.

Regardless, there are countries around the world that consider an Sc. D more important than a Ph.D. due to the hard work and research that you have to do in order to achieve it.

MD, Doctor of Medicine

When it comes to an MD this is the most common type of physician that works in the medical field. When you receive a Medical Doctorate you are licensed to work in the 50 states all over the country.

A Medical Doctor also specializes in treating people with medication since they learn allopathy in medical school, this is the most traditional philosophy, and it is what people refer to when it comes to “modern medicine”.

D. Litt, Doctor of Letters

The D. Litt studies take about three to five years to complete, and even if it seems like a short period of time, this doctoral degree is a course that remains the highest level of degree in education to date.

This doctoral degree focuses mainly on research and as said in the Get My Uni website: “To become eligible to be a recipient of the degree, the graduate from any specialization should’ve at least published a minimum of 10 research journals in their specialization field.”

We are proud to say that our CEO and founder Dr. Morissa Schwartz has a D. Litt specialization in this field: “I earned a master in communications before earning this degree. My dissertation was on Nihilistic Libertarianism in Pop Culture.

I know that The Doctor of Letters recognition is usually awarded to individuals in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and India, following a long period of extensive research and many publications in scholarly and academic journals.

The best part and what made the experience so fulfilling is that I went to school while running the business full time. It was a lot of work but so rewarding!”


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