Online Doctorate's Degrees from Accredited Colleges

Also referred to as a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) the Doctorate Degree is an academic degree that indicates the completion of the highest level of academic achievement possible. The Doctorate Degree typically requires four to six years of additional study beyond the Master's Degree level. Despite the fact that it is tends to be classified as a "terminal" degree, certain Doctorate Degrees, that is a professional Doctorate, may also be considered first professional degrees.

Online Doctorate Degrees

Types of Doctorate Degrees

Broadly speaking, Doctorates are generally classified in the following categories:

Higher Doctorates - refers to a higher tier of research Doctorate Degrees and are awarded on the basis of a formally-submitted portfolio of published research which measures up to very high standard.

Honorary Doctorates - a college or university may choose to formally recognize an individual's contributions to a particular field or philanthropic efforts by granting an Honorary Doctorate Degree upon them.  Typically, the college or university will waive the usual requirements for bestowal of the degree.

Professional Doctorates - usually awarded in certain fields where most recipients of the degree are not always engaged primarily in scholarly research.  They are typically involved in a profession such as medicine, law, music, or the ministry.  Examples include the degrees of Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Juris Doctor (JD).

Research Doctorates - awarded on the grounds of mastery of research methods evidenced by grades and a comprehensive examination, and academic research that is publishable in a peer-reviewed academic journal.  The following are the most recognized forms of this particular Doctorate Degree:

  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • Doctor of Engineering (DEng)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
  • Doctor of Science (DSc or ScD)

Educational Requirements

Normally, admission into any Doctorate Degree program requires that the student has earned their Master's Degree.  There are certain graduate programs that will allow coursework on a Doctorate Degree to commence immediately after earning a Bachelor's Degree.

General Education Requirements

Since general education requirements are normally fulfilled while the student earns their undergraduate degree (i.e. Associate's and Bachelor's Degrees), there are no general educational requirements for a Doctorate Degree.

Required Core Subjects

Required core subjects will always differ based on the Master's degree curriculum that the student enrolls in.  Typically, the general education requirements remain the same through most of the accredited colleges and universities that you can enroll in through this site.  However, required core subjects are determined by the discipline that you choose to pursue.  For more information on these required core subjects of you MBA Degree program, look at your particular degree curriculum listed above.

An Overview of the Doctorate Degree

Normally, the Doctoral student will take advanced courses in their chosen field of study in small seminars or through independent studies.  The coursework usually entails three to four semesters of rigorous full-time study.  Once the coursework has been completed, the Doctoral candidate is required to pass a written and/or oral Doctoral qualifying exam in order to prove that they have the necessary background to proceed with the independent research phase of the program.

The qualifying exam is given by the candidate's committee.  Typically, this is three to five professors in the candidate's program who all agree to guide and oversee the candidate's research. The Doctoral candidate then pursues original research and writes a book-length thesis or dissertation about it.  Once they have finished the dissertation, the candidate must defend its conclusions orally before the committee. Once they have successfully defended and deposited the finished dissertation with the university, their title of "doctor" has been earned.

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