An American Doctorate Degree Program is both the highest degree available in the United States and an internationally recognized indicator of academic achievement. Students earn this degree from one of many accredited doctorate degree programs, all of which demand independent, professional level research in the field of study.
When doctoral studies may begin varies between subjects and individual doctorate degree programs. Some programs demand a master’s degree and/or professional experience in the subject area, while other doctoral programs are designed to commence immediately after earning a Bachelor’s degree. However, all doctoral studies include three standard steps. First, students take preliminary courses followed by written examinations.
If they pass, they may advance to the candidacy stage, during which the students furthers educates themselves on their field, chooses a subject for their doctoral dissertation, designs their research, and develops a dissertation committee. The committee will be responsible for reviewing the student’s doctoral work and, hopefully, approving it. The last phase is the independent research and doctoral dissertation phase. This can take several years in many subjects. Once the student and the academic advisor feel the dissertation is of a doctoral standard, it is submitted to all dissertation committee members.
A dissertation defense is scheduled, during which the student defends their work and their methodology. If the student shows sufficient knowledge, this phase of most doctorate degree programs ends in a doctorate degree being awarded.
This process can take seven or more years, in addition to the time needed to complete the preliminary Bachelor’s and/or Master’s level work. It requires a high level of dedication, academic knowledge, and passion for one’s field, which is why the American doctorate degree program carries such a high level of prestige and respect.