Is There a Doctor Here? A Guide to the Types of Doctorate Degrees

Is There a Doctor Here A Guide to the Types of Doctorate Degrees

More and more college graduates are going on to earn master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, and professional degrees. Roughly 13.1 percent of American adults have an advanced degree, compared to only 8.6% in the year 2000.

In fact, master’s degrees are now as common as bachelor’s degrees were way back in the 1960s.

There are a number of compelling reasons why you might want to pursue a doctorate degree, but it’s also a huge commitment of time and money. Before you commit yourself to an academic path, it’s worth looking into the many different types of doctorate degrees.

Without further ado, let’s check out what you need to know about the different types of doctorate degrees in healthcare, education, the arts, and every field of study you could imagine.

Research Doctorates

There is a long list of different research doctorates that one can be awarded. In order to obtain a research doctorate, you have to complete either a dissertation or a project that is based on original research.

When you think of a doctorate degree, a Ph.D. might be the first thing that comes to mind. This stands for Doctor of Philosophy and it is the most common degree that is awarded at the highest academic level. People can receive PhDs after participating in programs that span the whole spectrum of academic fields.

In the U.S., there are 282 universities that award PhD degrees. In order to obtain a PhD, you typically need to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant degree if not a master’s degree. You also need several letters of recommendation, reasonably high grades, satisfactory scores on graduate-level exams, and more.

However, PhDs are actually only one of the types of research doctorate degrees you can receive. Some of the others include:

  • Doctor of Architecture
  • Doctor of Arts
  • Doctor of Applied Science
  • Doctor of Business Administration
  • Doctor of Canon Law
  • Doctor of Chemistry
  • Doctor of Church Music
  • Doctor of Criminal Justice
  • Doctor of Criminology
  • Doctor of Comparative/Civil Law
  • Doctor of Design
  • Doctor of Education
  • Doctor of Engineering
  • Doctor of Environment
  • Doctor of Fine Arts
  • Doctor of Forestry
  • Doctor of Geological Science
  • Doctor of Health and Safety
  • Doctor of Hebrew Letters/Literature
  • Doctor of Hebrew Studies
  • Doctor of Industrial Technology
  • Doctor of Juridical Science
  • Doctor of Juristic Science
  • Doctor of Library Science
  • Doctor of Medical Science
  • Doctor of Missiology
  • Doctor of Music
  • Doctor of Music Education
  • Doctor of Music Ministry
  • Doctor of Musical Arts
  • Doctor of Modern Languages
  • Doctor of Nursing Science
  • Doctor of Professional Studies
  • Doctor of Public Administration
  • Doctor of Public Health
  • Doctor of Recreation
  • Doctor of Rehabilitation
  • Doctor of Religious Education
  • Doctor of Sacred Music
  • Doctor of Sacred Theology
  • Doctor of Science
  • Doctor of Social Science
  • Doctor of Social Work
  • Doctor of Theology

As you can see, the world is your oyster when it comes to the different types of doctorate degrees that are research-based. If you are interested in one of the less common and more niche types of doctorate degrees, you will want to research schools that offer appropriate programs.

Are you interested in the field of education? Follow this link to learn about five benefits of obtaining a Doctorate in Education.

Professional Doctorates

There are many different professional degrees in the US that are titled as doctor’s degrees. These degrees are classified as “doctors degree – professional practice.”

The difference between professional and research doctorates has to do with how the degree is obtained. For research degrees, a dissertation needs to be prepared and defended based on original research. Additionally, it can be awarded after executing an original project that demonstrates substantial scholarly or artistic achievement.

A professional doctorate, on the other hand, has to do with the total time to degree of at least six years. On top of that, the individual’s studies must have provided both the skills and the knowledge for the credential, recognition, or license that is required in order to practice professionally.

The first professional doctorate that might come to your mind is a M.D., a Doctor of Medicine. However, there are countless other professional service doctorates you can obtain. These include:

  • Doctor of Audiology
  • Doctor of Behavioral Health
  • Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine
  • Doctor of Computer Science
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery
  • Doctor of Dental Medicine
  • Doctor of Health Administration
  • Doctor of Health Science
  • Juris Doctor
  • Doctor of Management
  • Doctor of Medical Physics
  • Doctor of Medical Science
  • Doctor of Ministry
  • Doctor of Sacred Music
  • Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Pracice
  • Doctor of Occupational Therapy
  • Doctor of Optometry
  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Doctor of Law and Policy
  • Doctor of Pharmacy
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Doctor of Podiatric Medicine
  • Doctor of Psychology
  • Doctor of Social Work
  • Doctor of Speech Language Pathology
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

No matter what field of study you are interested in, there is a good chance there is a doctoral degree you can obtain in that field. It’s always a good idea to look into what your career options will be once you have obtained your degree. Many of these degrees are fairly specialized, and it’s worth making sure the ROI is favorable.

Which Are the Best Doctorate Degrees?

There is no simple answer to which are the best doctorate degrees. Some of the most common doctorates are PhDs, MDs, and JDs. However, there is no reason to limit yourself when it comes to setting up your academic and career path in life.

Before applying to a doctorate program, it’s worth stepping back and taking stock of where you are and where you want to go in life. There’s no reason to get a doctorate just so you can gain the affirmation of a few letters behind your name. Do the math and make sure that this path is the right thing for your career, your future income, and for your own purposes in life.

Did you find this article about the types of doctorate degrees helpful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more informative and useful content!

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