Doctorate Degree – An Overview

When we think about a doctor, the typical picture in front of our eyes is usually that of a medical professional with a M.D degree.

However, one can earn a doctorate degree in almost any approved field of study. Needless to say, a doctorate degree is considered the highest academic degree to be earned by a scholar.



A person normally tries to earn a doctorate degree after earning the Master’s degree and to further his or her career or research. But only a few professional areas (those requiring state licensing) mandatorily require a doctorate degree.

A doctorate degree can be classified into many, such as a Professional doctorate, Research doctorate, honorary doctorate etc. A professional doctorate degree is usually awarded for medical or legal professional field.

The most common doctorate degrees awarded are the Medicinae Doctor (MD) and the Juris Doctor (JD). Such doctorate degrees are used to further professional work or applied research. Other not so popular but definitely important doctorate degrees include, Doctor of – Business Administration, Education, Public Administration etc.

Next we have the research doctorate degree that is given to a person for an original academic research work. The most common research doctorate degree is the Doctorate of Philosophy which is simply known as PhD. To be awarded a research doctorate degree one has to work and submit an original piece of research work in the form of a research thesis or dissertation.

A research doctorate degree can be completed only after three years (it can extend up to 8 – 10 years as well) of intense research and course work.The eligibility test for undergoing a research doctorate degree has to be written during your graduate school programme.


The test is administered and judged by a competent advisory committee.Once you successfully pass the eligibility test, you are required to submit an original synopsis or dissertation proposal on your chosen field of research.This proposal has to be verified and accepted by the advisory committee.

Once done you are required to initiate your research work and submit the final thesis after the stipulated course work. Once the thesis is accepted, you have to prepare the dissertation defense and defend your research work in front of the advisory committee and/or other research scholars.

Once you successfully defend your research work, the advisory committee recommends your name for the award of the doctorate degree by the University.These days doctorate degree are offered online as well but the demand for online doctorate degrees is usually very low.



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