What Does it take to Complete a Doctoral Program?

Skills Required to be Successful in a Doctoral Degree Program

While completing a degree program at any level takes hard work and dedication, doctoral courses require a very specific skillset. Doctoral students should be prepared to:

  • Gather, interpret and understand complex content relevant to their field of interest
  • Reach new conclusions based on theory and research
  • Defend their conclusions with experimentation, observation, surveying and qualitative or quantitative analysis, depending on the program of study

Since the culmination of a doctoral degree is to explain research and theory via the writing and presentation of a dissertation, this level of degree program is not for everyone.

During postgraduate study, the following skillsets will be of utmost importance:

Critical Reading and Academic Writing Skills

Critical reading skills can help you to find appropriate academic material for your topic of choice and allow you to effectively compare academic sources. Academic writing skills you are important throughout your program, as you'll be completing written assignments including your dissertation or thesis.

Critical Thinking Skills

Much like critical reading skills, the ability to understand, question, and evaluate academic literature will help you when gathering and processing evidence and research throughout your program.

Aptitude for Problem Solving

The ability to problem solve can help you brainstorm ideas for topics before and during written assignments and research.

Ethical and Academic Judgment

Sound ethical and academic judgment can serve you well in both your academic and professional pursuits. The ability to critically evaluate published evidence, data, and academic sources will become valuable to you while conducting research and writing your dissertation or thesis.