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PhD vs. Doctorate: Everything You Need to Know
Deciding whether or not a postgraduate education is something you want to pursue? It might be overwhelming to think about postgraduate education when you aren’t even sure what the difference between a PhD and a doctorate is. Learning about each will help you decide whether a PhD or doctorate degree is best for you. Let’s get started!
What is a PhD?
“Doctor of Philosophy” is commonly referred to as a “PhD.” A PhD is a kind of doctoral degree that focuses on theoretical research. “Theoretical” has to do with assumptions that people have on a topic. The research explores ideas related to a particular subject rather than the practical application to real life. Earning a PhD is a popular option for those that want to pursue teaching at a university level.
What is a doctorate?
Doctoral degrees emphasize research and practical application. Students pursuing doctoral degrees often conduct observation based research in their chosen fields. Earning a doctorate degree often leads to research professional careers. An example of
Which degree is “higher” academically?
Both PhDs and doctorates are known as “terminal” degrees, meaning they are the highest degrees you can earn. A PhD falls into the category of doctorate, so one is not “higher” than the other.
Basic similarities and differences
As a PhD falls into the doctorate category, they share similar attributes. However, they are not completely the same. Here are some basic similarities and differences to help avoid confusing them.
- The highest level of a graduate degree
- Requires rigorous research
- Students gain a deeper understanding of the area of study
- Able to teach as a professor at a university
- Must complete dissertations
- Leads to higher paying jobs
- Doctorates require a more hands-on approach to coursework
- PhDs follow a more theoretical approach
- Doctoral dissertations focus on real-world issues and how to apply them
- PhD dissertations use data to theorize and form hypotheses
Which one is more expensive: a PhD or a doctorate degree?
The cost of earning either a PhD or doctorate varies depending on many factors, such as institution attended and years of completion. Nevertheless, the average price for a doctorate degree is about $114,300. For a PhD, the average cost is about $98,800 total.
See also: How much does a PhD cost?