How Do I Compare Doctorate Degree Programs?

The doctorate degree program a student chooses can greatly affect his or her future and career. Prospective students need to take into account such factors as a school's location, cost and rankings when comparing several different programs. The following article further explains things one should consider when comparing doctorate-degree programs.

Choosing a Program

People who are interested in earning doctorate degrees should compare several programs in the field in which they intend to specialize. It is important to compare the objective and subjective aspects of doctorate degree programs so as to make informed decisions. The following factors should play a role in the decision-making process:

  • Program rankings
  • Average graduate performances
  • School location and cost

Important Facts about Doctorate Degree Programs

Degrees Offered PhD, DBA, DrPH, EdD, PsyD
Fields of Study Business, technology, counseling, psychology, education, healthcare, public service
Common Courses Management theory creation, applied research methods, quantitative research techniques, advancing research in information technology, leadership techniques
Online Availability Many schools offer fully online options

Program Rankings

Some organizations, like U.S. News & World Report, publish rankings of certain types of doctorate-level programs, such as clinical psychology or medicine. The methodology for each ranking is different, but they normally measure factors that include students' average entrance examination scores and the number of volumes in the schools' libraries. Ranking methodology varies by publication - some rankings are based solely on objective data, while others rely on surveys of faculty and students.

Average Graduate Performance

Another important factor to consider when comparing different doctoral degree programs is how successful the different programs' graduates are. Many schools don't present information online about graduates' job placement statistics or their starting salaries, but these figures are often tracked and figured into some rankings. Some schools do provide this information to prospective students upon request.

Location and Cost

There are personal and subjective aspects of doctoral degree program comparisons that must be considered along with more quantitative measures. People need to identify schools that are located in areas in which they want to reside for the duration of their studies. While tuition itself is objective, a potential student's budget is certainly personal and should be taken into account when comparing doctorate programs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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