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Choosing a University for your Doctoral Studies

Doctoral programs can take anywhere from four to seven years, and once you've committed to a program your best route to completion is to stick with your chosen college or university.

Where Do You Start Your Search for a Doctorate Program?

Find out who offers your specialty.

Your first step in seeking an institution for your doctoral studies is to find out who offers your specific program. Once you've found the program you think fits best, be sure to understand the specifics – many programs and specializations overlap.

Start a conversation with university stakeholders.

What should you discuss? Discuss topics like how credits are earned, the support system offered to doctoral students, and what resources are available to doctoral students. Knowing this information will enable you to be sure the program is in line with your needs.

Weigh the costs.

As with any major investment you make in your life, price is a factor. It's not that you should be seeking the cheapest option, but you are looking to achieve the most value for your dollar in the long run.

Consider reputation.

One of the biggest motivators behind obtaining a doctoral degree may be to advance your career by increasing your professional options. That's why it's important to conduct thorough research, including checking reviews, seeking out alumni, and confirming accreditation.

Think About the Best Way for You to Pursue Your Education.

Do you want to pursue your doctoral degree full-time or part-time? Would you like to attend a ground campus or an online university? These questions are important to consider as they can greatly influence what type of university you should be researching and ultimately considering.

Why Accreditation Matters

You've decided to make a substantial financial investment in your future. In order to ensure you're making a sound financial decision, you'll want to conduct research to determine the value of your degree. Accreditation has a strong influence on the ultimate value of your education. The right accreditation can give you confidence that the school you are choosing has been held to the highest standards.

Further Reading on Accreditation: Accreditation 101 - Regional vs National