Deepen Your Knowledge Through Liberty’s Doctoral Programs
With advanced studies and experience in your field, you provide expertise through the confidence of facing and overcoming real-world challenges. But if you’ve found gaps in your training and feel under-equipped to tackle the work in your field, then you’re ready to seek a higher level of knowledge and mastery. By earning your doctorate, you can reach the peak of academic and professional studies in your discipline.
With a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or other doctorates, you can engage in the highest levels of scholarship and contribute to the field of human knowledge. Your research and studies can help shape the future of your field and make your mark on it. Do you want to be a standout leader in your discipline? Liberty University’s doctoral programs can help you get the advanced training and studies you need.
Doctorate Vs PhD
Liberty University has many doctoral programs to choose from. Depending on the field, the highest degree may be a Ph.D. program or a doctorate of another type. These degrees are usually considered equivalent as far as being terminal degrees.
However, this comparison may differ from field-to-field. There typically aren’t many alternative tracks within specific disciplines to confuse – if you know the field you want to pursue, that will narrow your list of doctorate types. If you have questions about what doctorate is right for your career, contact our admissions office for more information.
For every field, there’s a degree that shows you’ve reached the top.
Maybe you’re in the field of education, science, or business. Perhaps you’re a counselor, nurse, or full-time ministry professional. At Liberty, we can offer you a doctoral degree in any of these fields, and many more. You’ll master the knowledge of your specialization and become someone that others look to for professional guidance.
So what are you waiting for? Advance your career, increase your knowledge, and revisit the skill or profession you love. Start pursuing your doctoral degree with us today.
Available Degree Programs by School
College of Osteopathic Medicine
John W. Rawlings School of Divinity (Postgraduate)
School of Behavioral Sciences
School of Law
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about how one of Liberty University’s PhD programs or other doctorates can help you meet your career needs? Below are some common questions and answers about how doctorates work, how they compare, and what they might do for your career.
Are doctoral degrees worth it?
If you’re considering doctoral studies, you likely need new skills and a higher-level credential to build toward the career you want. In this way, a doctorate is a key to opening the door to new career opportunities. Here are some ways that a doctorate can give you more options:
- Building Professional Credibility – Nothing shows that you’ve made an effort to gain the highest level of expertise in your discipline, like earning your doctorate. If you want to explore the most advanced levels of study and research in our field, then a doctorate can help you get the training you need.
- University Teaching – If you want to teach your discipline to professionals entering the field, a doctorate can help you pursue university teaching, which can be a rewarding career in its own right. You can also supplement your income and gain financial flexibility well into retirement by teaching college courses.
- Higher Earning Potential – While there’s no substitution for experience in your field, having the highest level of education shows that you can apply your knowledge in a specific, measurable way. With this earned credential, you can look forward to higher pay potential in nearly every field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that compared to professionals who have master’s degrees, graduates of doctoral programs may earn as much as 20% higher salaries.* If you want to avoid hitting a pay ceiling tied to your level of education, then a doctorate can be the best path forward.
Many options open up with a terminal doctorate, but the value to you is highly dependent on your career goals. If you need help deciding what the best doctorate for you is, contact our admissions office for assistance.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, at Learn more, earn more: Education leads to higher wages, lower unemployment (viewed online September 22, 2020). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
How many years is a doctorate degree?
Program lengths and formats vary depending on the discipline and field of the doctorate; however, most residential doctorate programs are designed to take 3 to 5 years, including the dissertation. This time frame can vary significantly depending on additional research, practicum, and professional experience requirements. If you want to learn more about the needs and length of the doctorate you’re considering, contact our admissions office for assistance.
Is a PhD and a Doctorate the same thing?
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs are usually the highest level of doctorate in a given discipline; however, there may be other doctorate types that compare. For employment or teaching requirements, all doctorate types are usually considered equivalent unless the job or teaching role needs a specific doctorate type.
For example, an employer may need an applicant to have earned a Ph.D. in Nursing specifically. While there are many potential alternatives, such as the Doctor of Nursing Practice, the employer may not consider any other credential to meet their needs. If you need help deciding which doctorate will best fit your career goals, contact our admissions office for assistance.
What is a PhD Degree?
A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is a research-focused doctoral degree that provides the highest level of academic study and scholarship in a specific discipline. As a generic term, a PhD is not exclusive to philosophy, and instead represents the terminal degree type for nearly every field.
These programs are usually considered “terminal,” meaning that they are there are no degrees considered to be at a higher level. While graduate programs often include a thesis project which uniquely applies current research, Ph.D.’s usually include an in-depth dissertation that focuses on creating original research and contributing new knowledge to the field. If you aren’t sure what doctorate may be the right choice for you, contact our admissions office for assistance.