When selecting a doctoral program, there are a few things to consider and that is what this month’s blog is about. Selecting a doctoral program is more than just about having the right program, but several other things to consider.
- While the degree program is important, make sure it will match your future career goals. Some jobs have specific requirements about the degrees they require from the type of degree to whether the degree is from a regionally credited school and more. So make sure the degree matches you long term career goals.
- Money – how much does the school cost and is it within your budget or financial aid limits. There are many types of financial aid, but many programs have limits so check them out. The one thing you do not want to happen is get to the finish line and not have the money to go the distance.
- Time – As stated in another blog called “Time Management” know the time that is required by the school each week to complete homework. The amount of time required each week will vary by college and how long the terms. Colleges that have shorter terms are considered accelerated and will require more time each week due to more work being done. Colleges with longer terms will have some intense weeks versus all weeks, but this can affect the time it takes to complete a degree.
- Residencies – most doctoral programs require what is called a residency which means the students get together in person. Now depending upon the college, they may offer residencies in a variety of cities while some colleges only have residencies in their home city. Residences require travel expenses and this is not covered in the tuition cost in terms of cost to get to the residency, food and hotel. So these are expenses that should be taken into consideration because residencies have to be attended at various times throughout the coursework and not attending can slow down completion times.
- For-profit versus Traditional colleges – there are many options when it comes to going for a doctoral degree, so explore all options. Both of these school options are great, but if you are considering perhaps a hybrid degree you might want to attend a college that has a local campus. Not all traditional colleges offer entire doctorate degrees online and require some classes to be attended on campus.
- Tools – Having the right tools and plan. Some individuals think that because one is attending college online that no tools are needed, but the fact is that there are many tools that are needed. Having a computer is great, but what about a backup plan? Having a backup plan is very important for a computer and internet service, most professors are not empathetic to computer challenges or internet being down, and therefore a backup is very critical for success. Next month, the blog will go into more detail about the tools needed for success.
These are just a few things to consider when selecting a doctoral program. These suggestions are based upon my own experiences and my husband whom is currently in the process of selecting where to attend for his doctoral program. So there are many things to consider and lookout for next month when we will get into more detail about the tools for success.