Find your next area of study: PhD

The most advanced degree bestowed upon students in the United States is known as a Doctorate degree. There is often a great deal of confusion surrounding the terms PhD and Doctorate as the two are often used as interchangeable words even though they have different meanings. The term Doctorate refers to the group of degrees that make up the highest level of academic achievement in the U.S. On the other hand, PhD is a type of Doctorate known as the Doctor of Philosophy. The PhD degree is the most commonly awarded type of Doctorate degree in the United States.

The PhD degree, or Doctor of Philosophy, is awarded to students who complete a research doctorate program. Doctorate programs are divided between research and professional doctorate degrees. While technically labeled the Doctor of Philosophy, a PhD is awarded to any student who completes relevant coursework in any research doctorate program. The Doctorate degree awarded to those who complete a professional Doctorate program is not considered a PhD but is equivalent to it as far as recognition and meaning is concerned.

American students can pursue a PhD degree at one of 282 different universities across the U.S. The requirements for admission to the different universities can vary depending upon the institution and the programs offered within the school. An online phd can also be obtained for students who are currently working full time, have personal responsibilities, or for those who prefer flexibility and time. Some of the general requirements for admission to a PhD program include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in required field of study
  • High grades
  • Numerous letters of recommendation
  • Academic studies related to field of study
  • Statement of interest in the program
  • Satisfactory results on entrance exams (for example the GMAT for business Doctorate programs)

The specific entrance requirements will differ from school to school. Some areas of study will require students to have a Master’s degree in their field of study before applying for a Doctorate program; others will not have that same requirement.