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August 16


Doctoral Degree

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This is an academic degree of the highest level, is designed to train research scholars and, why not, future college and faculty members.

In order to award a doctoral degree, students must take advanced coursework, seminars, and write a dissertation describing an original research with the supervision of a faculty adviser. There is also a complete examination after three to five years of study to test the student’s ability to use knowledge obtained in the last years of study. Once the student has passed successfully the exam, begins the concentration on research.

It is really important to complete an original piece of important research that has to be successfully defended in front of a panel of faculty members, this work make take at least two or three years. The time depends of the field of study; some doctoral degrees may last eight years further than the bachelor’s degree

  Types of Doctorates

There are essentially three types of doctorates:
  First-Professional doctoral degrees:

In US there are many degrees which include the word “doctor” such as Chiropractic, Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Optometry, Osteopathy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Podiatry, Psychology and Veterinary medicine. First-Professional doctoral degrees like the M.D. and the J.D. don’t require the conclusion of a thesis or a publication. The most common first-professional doctoral degrees are:
1. Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.)
2. Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.D.M)
3. Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S)
4. Juris Doctor or Doctor of Law (J.D.)
5. Medicine Doctor or Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
6. Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)
7. Optometry Doctor or Doctor of Optometry (O.D.)
8. Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
  Research oriented doctorates:

These doctorates are always awarded for students who have done an excellent academic research that is a publishable standard and represents a contribution to human knowledge. The most common type of research doctorate is the Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), but the U.S. Department of Education recognized a number of doctoral degrees as equivalent:
1. Doctor of Arts (D.A.)
2. Doctor of Architecture (D.Arch.)
3. Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A)
4. Doctor of Criminal Justice (D.C.J.)
5. Doctor of Comparative/Civil Law (D.C.L.)
6. Doctor of Computer Science (D.C.S.)
7. Doctor of Education (D.Ed.)
8. Doctor of Engineering (D.Eng.)
9. Doctor of Information Technology (D.I.T)
10. Doctor of Medical Science (D.M.Sc.)
11. Doctor of Design (Dr.DES.)
12. Doctor of Religious Education (D.R.E.)
13. Doctor of the Science of Law (L.Sc.D.)
14. Doctor of Rehabilitation (Rh.D.)
15. Doctor of Theology (Th.D.)

Keep in mind that many of these doctoral degrees also allow for a more specific concentration such as a doctorate in educational leadership .


  Honorary doctorates:

The “honoris causa” doctorates are awarded for a considerable contribution to a field but not in an academic character. Usually universities derive benefits by association with the person who award the doctorate.

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