Should you work towards a Master’s or Doctoral degree? Which is right for you?

Should you work towards a Master’s or Doctoral degree? Which is right for you?

If you are considering going to graduate school, you are probably wondering which degree to get. The choice should not be too difficult once you understand the differences among the two types: doctorate and masters. Graduate school is a lot of work and can be very competitive. Many students who floated through undergraduate work are surprised to find that graduate school requires a much larger commitment. Students who are taking a full course load as well as teaching or working other jobs often find themselves overwhelmed. The difference between college and graduate school lies in the ability of the student to focus on their field and areas of most interest.

When considering the advantages of each, remember that both will give you in-depth training in a specialized field and the usefulness of each degree depends on your academic and career interests/goals. However, the higher the degree, the longer it takes to earn and the more specialized the focus becomes. For that reason, here are some things to consider.

What is a Doctoral Degree?

The most common doctorate, and main focus of this post, is the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Obtaining a Ph.D. degree means you have exclusive specialty in your field of choice. Bear in mind that one of the very important aspects of getting a Ph.D. consists in the ideal of creating knowledge. Ph.D. work requires original research that contributes new information. In order to earn your Ph.D., you will be required to pass comprehensive exams and a dissertation. What many students don’t know is that they can apply for a Ph.D. program directly after completing a bachelor’s degree, although some schools do require a master’s degree before entering a Ph.D. program.

Purpose and Uses of a Doctorate

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Things I Wish I Would've Known Before Applying to Grad School

Things I Wish I Would've Known Before Applying to Grad School

Looking back on my time in grad school is a bittersweet feeling. I had a lot of difficulties but I still treasure the hard work and tears (maybe that’s the cognitive dissonance speaking). I thought I’d share with you some wisdom from my time in grad school: the things I wish I would’ve known. If you understand and take seriously some of these things, then maybe you can avoid some of those tears in grad school (literal and/or figurative tears).

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So You Want to Go to Graduate School?

So You Want to Go to Graduate School?

Going to graduate school has received a bad rap from the people who are in graduate school. If you are an undergraduate who wants to go to grad school or a first-year grad student just starting out, there is no doubt that graduate school is a long-term commitment that involves a lot of hard work. There are plenty of grad school humor websites poking fun at the hopelessness of graduate school, but having an advanced degree opens a lot more doors than having simply a bachelor’s degree or even an associate’s degree.

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ReneP's Introductory Blog

ReneP's Introductory Blog

I could not be more pleased to be writing this blog right now. For many years, PhDStudent.com was but a twinkle in my eye and a notepad full of ideas, but now it’s finally come into fruition.

My name is René P, and I have a Masters and PhD in Experimental Psychology. I work as a senior statistician for both a university and a consulting company that I founded. I received my PhD in 2004, and I’ve been working with graduate students for the past 9 years. Working with PhD students on a daily basis has taught me that it’s not unusual to feel lost at some point during your graduate school journey. Many people don’t know where to go to find the answers they need, and that’s why I’m writing this blog.

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