What You Should Know About This Degree
At the doctoral level, students have two options – a Doctor of Education (EdD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). While both are terminal degrees representing the highest level of study in a particular subject, there are key differences. An EdD is a professional doctorate, meaning the curriculum focuses on developing research and practical skills meant to be applied in real-world settings. Your professional goals will help determine which type of degree is right for you.
Faculty support is also a significant consideration at the doctoral level. Students work closely with faculty on research and their dissertation. While there are other factors that come into play, such as schedule, completion time, and cost, when selecting a doctoral program, be sure to review the program’s faculty list and what kind of faculty support is available. You may want to select a program with faculty whose academic interests and areas of expertise align with yours.
Regardless of whether you choose an online, in-person, or hybrid program, earning a doctorate is a major commitment of time and energy. The coursework is intellectually rigorous and demands focus and innovative thinking. For working adults, especially those who have been out of school for several years, starting a doctorate program is a big life change that requires preparation and planning.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Doctorate in Education programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? As a terminal degree, EdD programs typically have stringent eligibility requirements that can include a master’s degree and professional experience in education or a related field. Be sure to review the program’s eligibility requirements before applying to confirm that you meet the minimum qualifications for admission.
- Does the program have any in-person requirements? Even if all of a program’s coursework is available online, it may have requirements for in-person orientations, seminars, or dissertation defenses. Review the curriculum and talk to advisors to find out what, if any, attendance expectations there are to confirm they will fit into your schedule and budget.
As part of your research process, find out what the program’s admission requirements and deadlines are. This will help your application process go smoothly. This information is typically available on the program’s website, or you can contact the school’s admissions department.
Financing your education is another important consideration. Many doctoral programs offer assistantships and stipends, although they may come with work requirements. Talk to program representatives and financial aid counselors to find out what your options are for paying for your doctorate program.